Steve's Body

Still going!

Leena's Bed & Breakfast

"Best quote"

J.M. Chapman Fleur-de-Lis safely bagged and out of harm's way and Kentucky behind them (specifically, to the southeast), it's back to Leena's for Pete and Myka. It's late in the evening by the time they can see the driveway, but the familiar sign and quaint little B&B still manages to look homey and warm, even in the dark. It looks especially quiet tonight; most of the lights are off. Despite the return home, to whatever kind of normal they have, and the cookies and pie undoubtedly awaiting— Pete— Myka has seemed slightly out-of-sorts the whole journey home, especially through this last stretch.

She's leaning against the passenger side, one hand buried in a nest of curly hair, resting her head against the window, but doesn't seem particularly restful. As the path to Leena's crunches under the car tires, she twists in her seat to turn more toward Pete at the wheel. "Hey… Pete?" she says out of her lengthy, faraway silence. There's a glimmer of wonder in her eyes; worried, not endless. "When you get a vibe. What does it feel like?" It's not as if she hasn't heard Pete talk about his "vibes" before, colourfully … but something's clearly got his partner thinking.

Pete is, for the most part, keeping it together. He's got one hand on the wheel and the other on the remains of a sandwich of some sort. He must've stopped for food at least four times. And there's still going to be room for whatever Leena baked for them. She better have baked for them. After all that gold they left behind…

"Hm?" Pete finishes chewing the deliciousness of the sandwich and wipes his fingers on his pants. "Um. Well. It's pretty uh… vibey, I guess? I mean, it's like a feeling. It kinda' starts here, like in my core and it just kinda' runs all over my body like…" Pete realizes he's probably not explaining this right. And starts again.

"Okay, so imagine you're me, right? And you're a sexy beast, like me, right?" Pete's hardly paying attention to the fact that they are headed for the B&B anymore. He's looking at Myka and trying to explain. "And like you're about to make out with this awesomely hot nurse. Because you're in the hospital for saving puppies from a burning building. But anyway, you and this nurse are about to totally go all at it. But she walks in, looking almost as sexy as you-me would and she like is looking at your clipboard and then she looks at you…"

Myka, stop him before he ruins the mailbox.

Myka's eyes start to widen out of their pondering, shadowed under the crush of her eyebrows as they lower half-incredulous, half-disgusted — wavering only an instant when she tries to go along with Pete's story, because this is Pete, and he's telling his story in a Pete way but he has a point, somewhere.

"Okay, okay, Pete, firstly, I don't have any trouble imagining being you, because I have been there," one hand flies up to gesture solidly palm-down out of her crossed arms, "but trust me, I'm not looking to revisit the experience, secondly— alright, so what you're saying is…" She nods slowly, mouth open, translating, "it feels like… no one will make out with you because you likely have some kind of disgusting disease somewhere… disgusting." Myka looks like she's trying not to laugh at him for an instant — which is an improvement to her faraway wondering, anyway. "Like something bad is about to— " she glances out the window and sits up straight, " — Petethemailbox!"

"Now I wouldn't say disgust—"

Squeeeeeaaaaaal! Brakes are slammed on and the wheel is turned, which causes what's left of Pete's sandwich to roll off his lap and to the floor and he's more upset about that than he is the fact that they almost just took out the mailbox. Which, to be honest, is probably an artifact anyway so maybe nothing would've even happened. Who knows.

"Maaaan. My sandwich. That was Roast Beef too." The whiny sounds of Pete Lattimer are all over the vehicle at this moment, even as said vehicle comes to a final and complete stop, somewhere in the driveway and that's probably close enough. Which is why Pete just throws the car into park and turns it off.

It takes him a moment to give up on saving the last bit of sandwich, picking it up and holding it… looking at it… wondering if the five second rule still applies. And then he remembers that there was something being asked of him. "… What was I saying?"

Myka's hand flung to Pete's arm in the moment she thought he might do property damage, but now it eases onto her lap. She sinks further into her seat, even after the car comes to a full stop. "Sexy nurse," she reminds him, only to remind him of the point, "Vibes." She leans into her hand again, her head tipped toward the dark window even as she unbuckles her seat-belt. There's that distant look again. "I know that I don't get vibes like you do, but it's just that ever since Sykes and the Warehouse … not blowing up, I've felt… like something's— something's just off." She turns her head to look more squarely at Pete. "I guess I was wondering if it's just me."

"Oh come on, Mykes. That's just your brain doing that thing it does when things don't go the way you're prepared for them to go. Everything's fine, okay?" Pete reaches over with mayonnaise fingers and reaches out to pat Myka on the shoulder. Brother Style. "We're all fine. The Warehouse is fine. We stopped the rehappening of slavery. Everything's good." Pete finally unbuckles his belt and throws open his door. "Let's just go inside and relax while we still can. I've been practicing my 'Oh For Me' pie face since we got off the plane…"

Myka sighs under the pat of her shoulder, but she sits up taller. She still seems worried, but switch gradually goes off in that ever-thinking mind of hers, a decision made: to smile. Short-lived, given her next words: "Maybe it's… well, we lost people. Nothing's ever the same after that." Though her head casts down, reflective, she opens the door and steps out into the evening air. When she looks at Pete over the top of the car, she's smiling again — warmer, though whether she's feeling better or if it's just for her partner is debatable. "You're probably right," she tells him, immediately rushing — nearly to the point of snapping her fingers — to point at him. "Don't let it go to your head!" she shouts over the slam of the car door.

The short trip to the front door of Leena's becomes normal chatter; "Ugh, I'm too tired to bring anything in from the car tonight…" Travel, travel, travel, the life of a Warehouse Agent. The only thing Myka plans on bringing inside is herself — and not the smear of— ew, is that mayonnaise? She wipes off her shoulder with her sleeve whilst eyeing the perpetrator.

Pete has, unfortunately, broken the five second rule and is a little behind Myka because he's caught in mid-chew when she's looking at him with the Glare of Mayonnaise. He just kind of goes into deer in headlights mode, chews really quickly and then kind of moves to catch up with her as fast as possible. "Look, fighting zombies enslaved to gold works up my appetite. If you ate more than a Twizzler every weeks then you'd understand." Pete's working with the smiles and the jokes to try and get his surrogate sister pal out of whatever funk she's pushing herself to be in for some strange reason that is beyond his comprehension. Because, right now, all he can think about is pie.

The moment they get to the door, he's swinging it open and immediately bowing as if there should be some applause happening. "We have returned! We have conquered the— " Pause. Nobody's there to greet them? ANd there's no clapping. Frown. " —the Legend of the… Hidden.. Temple." Pause and blink blink. "Myka, are you expecting a surprise party?" Frown Again.

"Nnnoooo…?" Myka peers at Pete. That's the kind of thing people say when they're trying to trick people into believing there's a surprise party when there really is one, isn't it? Small problem: it's not her birthday. She just shuts the door behind Pete. An empty Leena's is an unnerving Leena's, but she rationalizes, "Artie's been distracted lately trying to figure out what didn't happen to the Warehouse." They have that in common. "He's probably buried in the depths somewhere with Leena and Claudia."

Shouting. It interrupts the tranquility of the B&B, insistent and demanding and maybe even with an edge of panic: a woman's voice, but it's not Leena's or Claudia's.

"Look at me!"


It's a voice Pete knows best of all. It's that of his mother. She's upstairs.

Myka freezes in the foyer, staring up the stairs, poised to run.
"… can't… if you die, Claudia!"

A flash of panic strikes Myka from above, rushing down on the heels of the recent thought of losing people, of things being wrong and hitting her triple-fold, tensing every muscle— "Claudia!" She bolts for the stairs.




Claudia's room looks exactly the same. Nothing is knocked about or turned over, it doesn't look like there has been a fight or a struggle. In fact, the room looks cleaner than normal. The worried and insistent calls from Jane Lattimer don't seem to have any place in this peaceful setting. That is, except for the dead body lying on the bed. His face is a deathly pale and there is no mistaking the fact that his chest is not moving up and down.

That fact is even clearer to Claudia, who currently has her hand placed on that terribly still place. There is no movement - within or without - from the corpse of Steve Jinks. The tears stream down her cheeks, running her mascara. Her face is turning just as pale as Jinks' and there is certainly a fight for life happening. In fact, there is a war for two lives waging currently. A rattle sounds in her own chest; something is wrong. Something is wrong deep down inside of her.


The metronome steadily beats again, imitating the sound of the heartbeat Claudia is so desperately attempting to restart.



She can't breathe, she can't breathe. Everything is turning white. She can see him. It's so bright and so purely white that it's hard to make anything out. And, though his back is turned to her, he is there. He's there! She can see him. She tries to move forward, but all she can do is stand there. She attempts to call out, to scream his name, but there's nothing. Just another gasp. Someone is telling her—

"You can't go to him. You have to bring him back with you."

There's a voice, a voice that's very far away telling her to keep breathing, that she wanted to save Steve—-



She takes a deep breath. It feels like the air is coming from somewhere far away, somewhere darker and harder and not as light and bright as where she is now. But, there is air in her lungs coming from somewhere. Finally,


It starts as a whisper, a notion; a prickling of the hairs at the nape of his neck. Vague, uncertain. Something he used to know. Amidst the blissful, blistering nothing — a spark, a touch; a modicum of different sifting out of stillness. Something where something didn't used to be. A name… his name. A voice— her voice.

Warily, a shift. A turn in the tide of white. Just a small, but vital change: he chooses to move.

His chin dips. Turning across his shoulder, he looks confused, emotion stilted by the incomprehension of a floating mind, except the one that has him looking fully upon that gasping, frightened, relieved, familiar face across the vast distance. Now in front of him.

Looking at her frantically hopeful expression, he feels—

Gasp! Harder, from just as far— farther— than Claudia's— the thunderous whisper of life breaks the stillness of Steve's dead features, lips parted in that vital inhale. It's like crossing a finish line. Within seconds, the morbidly pale skin has warmed, filling him with color.

He breathes. In and out. And beneath Claudia and Jane's tightly clenched hands, his heart beats to the time of the metronome on the bed-stand.

Tick. Tock.

Eyelids flutter, and then Steve opens his eyes to stare with an echo of that incomprehension, befuddlement warmed by his complexion, at the faces staring down at him as he— what is he, lying on a bed? "Hey…" he murmurs, and he's surprised to hear how hoarse he sounds, his throat tight and dry.

Claudia emits another rasp deep in her chest as she focuses in on the white haloed Steve in her vision of him in the after life. As he turns around toward her, the beam in her face is quite apparent and though she cannot move her projected self, every fiber in her being wants to jump forward and hug him. Which is fortunate as,


There's a deep inhale of air and Claudia almost snaps back from the strange white room she found herself and afterlife Steve in. Her own pale face quickly regains some peach color and the tears streaming down her face increase in frequency as opposed to decreasing. The figure in front of her is breathing, not surrounded in an impossibly white room and distinctly alive. Pulling her hand back from both the metronome and Steve's chest, she starts to cry, not out of fear, but out of happiness.

"Jinksy!" Claudia cannot restrain herself; she flings herself forward and wraps Steve into a large and crushing hug, threatening to crush out the life that she just risked her own to bring back.

On the other end of the bed, Jane Lattimer takes a deep and relieved breath, watching the two friends reunite in some for of hugging ritual.

While he may have been behind Myka when she hit the stairs, hearing his mother's voice made Pete forget all about the fact that he had been eating since they left Kentucky. Hell, even before they got on the plane in Kentucky. Whatever. Right now, the only thing that mattered was getting up those stairs and with the epic speed of someone that could still be playing football if he wasn't so in love with the deliciousness that he should be eating right now instead of…

"Mom!" is all that Pete can say at this exact moment of making sure that he gets into whatever room they are occupying without even beginning to let things like doors or windows or objects get in his way. And that exact moment is when he screeches to an incredible halt, looking as clueless and dumbfounded as he possibly can in this particular moment of confusion.

Ignorance may or may not be bliss right now.

Pete's eyes are immediately sliding into narrowed focus mode as he tries to understand what is going on at this exact moment. "Mom! What are y—"

Pause. "…Claudia? Is that…?" Steve's Body?

"Oh god! Necrophilia!" Pete's hands immediately goes up to cover his eyes as he's stumbling backwards to try and go in the other direction. "And my mother's watching it! OH GOD! MYKAAAAAA!"

Pete is flailing in place without moving his hands. Body Flailing. Oh God.

Myka's journey up the stairs is just a blur to her senses; she's in survival mode, not for her own survival, but Claudia's, a few fragments of shouts only leading to one conclusion— that the young woman is in trouble. And Myka can't bear the thought of something happening to Claudia, too.

Jinksy, someone shouts, but all Myka hears is her footsteps right behind Pete's. The slams of their feet on the stairs overtake all the voices coming from upstairs— all except for gasps so loud they made it all the way out of Claudia's room between steps. Myka, her strides wide, overtaking huge sections of the hallway at a time, grabs the door-frame and practically flings herself inside next to Pete. When she's struck with the sight inside, she nearly bowls over from the force of her own sudden halt. Eyes wide, her whole expression wide, it takes her more than a second to take it in, and even then she stands shock-still, stricken. Pete's shouting only reaches her tangentially, but her growing understanding of the scene prompts her to raise her hand, a half-formed instinct to either smack or calm Pete — it's unclear, as she more or less gives his arm two uncoordinated pats with her knuckle and then grabs it. She's fixed ahead.

Myka takes one step in, uncertain yet barely restrained from rushing full-tilt toward the unexpected embrace. "No— he's alive," her voice starts small, rising, torn strangely, in her surprise, between horror and joyous relief, "Pete, Steve's alive."

No need to ask how; while Pete may cry necrophilia, Myka's gaze is already landing heavily on the metronome.

Squeezed within an inch of his life, Steve's perplex — aimed somewhere over Claudia's strangling-him body to the matronly figure — flips to a bolt of surprise at the alarming entrance of Pete and Myka. "Juh— " is no better than a sputter, startled out of him as he jumps against Claudia, just barely distracted enough by her weight to not fling himself off the bed, his hand grasping behind him for balance. A greeting gets choked in his throat at the sudden exclamation from Pete, no more than a jumble of mystery, words that don't make any sense. His arm half-gripping, half-nudging Claudia aside, he straightens in a hurry against the bed's backboard. "Necro— " An artifact?

Only, wide gaze jumping from friend to friend, why are they all staring at him — Myka's, stunned, complicated. Pete— well… Pete, alarmed, equally staggered. And Claudia… whose face he barely saw, before it buried, burrowed into him, worryingly wet cheek against his chest under her colorful spread of hair; he grows disconcerted swiftly under the examination, and his own, sputtering, thoughts that seem to take a second to form.

"Yes," he mumbles, trying to swing his leg over the side of the — why is he in this — bed, sounding overly dry in his disorientation, dislike of being out of the loop. "Clearly, Steve is alive." Duh… right?

Of course Steve is alive! Claudia would stop at nothing until that was fact. While she allows herself to be dislodged from Steve for a brief period, she wipes at her wet face. Then, she takes a deep breath and hiccups a laugh, shooting a look over her shoulder at Pete and Myka. Steve just went through a lot, don't upset him. And also, Pete, gross. Though no words are spoken, her intentions are as clear as day.

"You---" she's not sure how to put this at all. "It---" Finally, she moves to put a hand on Steve's shoulder. "You shouldn't move around so quickly. You've been g—out of it for awhile. What's the last thing you remember?"

"The last thing I'm gonna' remember is what I just thought I saw. It's stuck. Trapped in my Mind's Eye."

Pete is trying his hardest to shake the images of what he just saw run through his head at this moment. It's really difficult. Even the actual moving and shaking of his head is not making it easier to clear his mind. It's really just making thing even less capable.

Still, though, with everything starting to become regular again (as regular as this entire thing can be) Pete's attention moves away from the Jinks and Claudia session to focus on his Mother. Whom, well, has had to have something to do with this entire situation.

"So. Mom. Uhhhh… is there an explanation in the cards or are we just going to move this right along and eat pie."


"… there is pie, right?"

Obviously, Pete is going to leave all of this actual conversation and great moments of resurrected reconciliation to Myka and the others. He and Steve can have a moment of fistbumpery later. Or something.

Myka's gaze goes from Jinks to Claudia and Jane and back again several times in slow, thinking rotations. She's getting the story, and one part of the plot, in particular, is being underlined: Steve doesn't know what happened, even less than Pete does. "… Maybe we should… give Claudia… a moment… with Steve," she suggests, taking pity on the recently resurrected man's confusion. She puts her hand on Pete's arm as if to guide him back, and her with him, out the door — but Myka herself seems to remain planted in a sort of in-between limbo, still stunned. She finds her feet in a moment and she begins to shuffle, bit by bit, backwards toward the hall, her barely blinking eyes still set inside Claudia's room.

Clearing her throat over her son's bumbling, and tearing empathetic eyes from the reunion of the two agents on the bed, Jane rises. She heads to help Myka with the escort out, ready to address the two befuddled returnees, though clearly as pensively as the situation demands — while Steve stares intently into Claudia's eyes. Not a lie, but not precisely all the information either, and it prickles him almost the same. "I feel— " he starts, bolting to his feet after the retreating Myka and Pete, and intending to say fine, when a flare streaks across his temple, jumping his hand there, "… okay, I feel like I got hit by a bus. But, hold on."

It's indistinguishable in the moment between a demand of the two— three— leaving and a general pause, because he hovers thoughtfully for a second, then determines, "The last thing I remember…" Disappointment, and imperative, tugs the corner of his mouth. "Marcus. Marcus, coming at me with a needle. I guess— " apologetic, he looks for all three faces; whoever's left, landing, undoubtedly on Claudia, then the floor as he grimaces under the migraine, "I blew it."

This is a confusing moment for Claudia. She wasn't expecting Pete and Myka back for at least another couple of hours - if not the next day. Their surprise entrance has sort of thrown her through a loop and reminded her that all she thought about was bringing Steve back not what to do afterward. She didn't think about the fallout or how he would feel about the fact that he was now tethered to an artifact. In the end, however, she still thinks him being alive because of an artifact is much better than being dead without it.

When Myka, Pete and Jane make for their exit, Claudia shakes her head. Hesitantly, she adds, "N-no, you don't have to go…" She feels a headache herself, but doesn't say anything. Though her hand mimics Steve for a moment, rubbing at her forehead as if to crush whatever pain might be there, she quickly brings her hand down to just bear through the pain. If the only consequence of bringing Steve back to life is a headache, she will gladly live with it.

Then, her attention is quickly drawn back to Steve. "No. No, you didn't fail." She's emphatic about that. "We found Sykes because of you. The message—-" The message in the lighter that they found after he died… "We found it in the lighter. It was the breakthrough." At one point she'll have to bring up that he died, she doesn't know how. Maybe she can just let it go for now. "You just… you scared us pretty badly, Jinksy."

Head tilting gradually sideways, he eyes her, half with a lack of comprehension even as he sighs, "Huh," in a bout of understanding. "The message, sure," his chin dips and the self-deprecating smile's still festering at the corners, "Guess I got a little over-dramatic there. Secret messages on hidden videos that reveal the end-game? That's the kind of thing that always happens when the person's…" A jagged edge hardens in his headache, interrupting him with a strange thought that, as soon as he tries to grasp it, escapes behind the migraine. "Uhh… anyway… I'm fine now." Clearly. Something flicks in his periphery: back, forth. "So, Myka and Pete," speaking of over-dramatic… "Were they out looking for him?"


— stomp. The reason Steve has a large gap in his knowledge will have to go unexplained at least for a few minutes longer, as the familiar tromping and shuffling of Artie's feet is fast approaching. Fast Artie is never good news. He bursts through the doorway trying to disguise his huffing and puffing but, no matter, still appears as though running up the B&B stairs was akin to climbing up a Mayan pyramid.

Immediately, his shrewd gaze is dark through those spectacles of his. Unlike the others, he is not oddly shocked to see Steve; he acknowledges the revived agent's presence with a small stutter in his manner, wide eyes to adjust to the fact that he is, indeed, alive. "Steve!" he greets, awkward but well-meant in his way. "Good to see you— on your feet. Again. Claudia— " He's quickly focused on her instead. It's not uncommon that a look of disapproval on lands on Claudia, by any means, but it's particularly bitter at the moment. Full of knowing. You know what you did. And warning. It's going to come back and bite you.

Unfortunately, Artie has no time for any of this here. "Claudia, I need to speak with you," his eyes flick shadily to Steve and back, " — the Warehouse— did you mess with the durational spectrometer again, I'm trying to piece together what happened before the exp— " Another quick peer at Steve and back. "Anyway. Just. Just come later." Despite his hurry-of-high-importance, he holds up a hand and makes a vague, harried attempt to be reasonable over this touching moment of reunion. "Take— take— take your time," he sputters and stomps right back out, on a mission.

"Y-Yeah…" Claudia wants to say more, however the unwelcome entrance of Artie interrupts anything she was about to say. Though she looks guilty for a half-second, that melts into determination and her own disapproval for his disapproval. This is always what she was going to do and he knew it. Steve is alive and she doesn't care what the consequences are for that. Despite that, her tone is playful and says nothing about what she has done and why he would be angry at her for that. "Careful, Artie, you know you can't walk fast or you'll break something. We don't have the proper fossils to put you together again afterward." Then, she takes a deep breath and turns back to Steve. "Not since I attempted to put a recorder on it and you made me retag seven full aisles of the Warehouse. I'll stop by once Steve's settled back in."

The harried, "yeah, yeah, yeah" that drifts from the hallway, then the stairs Artie tromps back down, may be bothered, but it lends an air of familiarity: a feeling that somehow the worst is over, and everything is back to the current variation of normal.

Which isn't, notably, how Steve left it.

Mid-processing the third distractingly not-quite-there greeting since he's woken up, the unwittingly resurrected agent folds his arms stiffly, wincing around his lingering migraine to pin Claudia, whensoever she turns back to him, with his best suspicious big brother stare. "Why," he mentions with a cool knowing that's, at once, alarmingly clueless— in that way that Agent Jinks has always been a bit naive when it comes to the Warehouse, "Do I get this feeling that there's something nobody's telling me?" A neighbor— a cousin— to a lie, and it tickles at him, like this strange feeling that he's missing something. Not just from them, but an odd little, what is it… like a missing beat. His fist pushes more firmly against his chest in idle concentration.

Claudia does turn back to Steve. And when she does, she doesn't look guilty, persay, but there's a certain look on her face. He knows her. He probably knows that she does look like she is keeping something from him. She would never take back what she did, but she fiddles with the mussed up quilt on his bed and is unable to keep his gaze for very long. In fact, she doesn't even answer him. For Claudia to be tongue tied certainly means something is wrong. Ticking of the metronome echoes in the silence and while Steve's fist is pressed up against his chest he may notice that his heart beats in time with it. "Don't worry about it, Jinksy," she says softly. "Just focus on getting better."

"Right, better," the resurrected agent murmurs in slight dissatisfaction but no less affection, triggered by seeing Claudia as less than herself. "From my mystery not okay-ness." It's a bit of a jib, but he lets it go with his zen-like exhale, because it clearly got to Claudia's head and he feels strangely responsible. Tick, tick, tick: the clock weighs heavily as he takes a few supportive steps towards her, crouching at the edge of the bed to lay a hand across the top of her knee when he guides her to sit with him. "Hey…" Soothing except— Tick, tick. Boy, that's a loud— he didn't have a clock like that. The comforter spreads out beneath Claudia in unfamiliar colors and texture. This isn't his bed.

His room.

That's not a clock say the creases appearing along his forehead, writing trouble across him like a neon sign. Having been reaching for Claudia's hand, when he thrusts back to touch his chest again, it's with her fingers that he spreads over his ill-beating heart. But it's not beating at all, is it, really; it's ticking.

"It's—" What can she say was his mystery not okayness? Should she lie? Is it better to shield him from the fact that he was dead for awhile? No, he's lying in Claudia's room, which makes little sense for an Agent recovering from a serious wound. It makes more sense if his room was archived in the Warehouse and wasn't available to house this experiment in raising people from the dead. When Steve pulls her arm forward, she jerks a little. It's not because she's afraid to touch him, it's because she can see it written on his face. He's starting to work it out. Her fingers spread out tentatively across his chest. She can feel his heartbeat tick in time with the metronome on the bedside table. For a moment, she closes her eyes and puts her other hand on top of his. Then, she opens them and looks him in the eye. Tears, again, start to form at the corners of her eyes. "Steve…" she can't tell him. She can't tell him he was dead. Don't make her.

Her tears might have gotten to him. They had a chance. But the shock racing up and down Steve's system blocks the empathy except for the softening of his eyes that only lets her see more of the conflict twisting in him as he comes to the only conclusion. "Was…" But his throat dries around the words and he interrupts himself with a stiff swallow, "I." Claudia's hand trembling is nearly a deafening sound, itself, in the suddenly gravely quiet room but even it can't completely stop Steve from realizing he's hearing an echo: a double-layered beat. Tick, tick. His head swings, dizzying him, to the bedside table where it sits. His new, wood and machine, heart. Familiarity hits him like a cold brick. The same thing that had kept alive the man that— well. He can only assume now the man that killed— that ki— …

Shedding Claudia's pressing hands, Steve lurches to his feet, his mouth a new solid line of upset and coldness that doesn't fit his empathetic face. Flashing a second look at the metronome, bitterly, he spirals around and marches out of the bedroom — not his! — and thunders down the stairs.

But even when he's gone, he's not gone. The metronome ticks on. Tick, tick. It's him now. She'll always hear the mechanical beat of his non-existent heart.

Claudia doesn't make much of a fight when Steve flees her room. Instead, she clasps her hands together in her lap and tearfully calls out, "Steve." Jerkily, she stands in an effort to follow him. Her eyes land on the metronome that is keeping Steve alive and they remain there for a few moments. Then, resolutely, she follows down the stairs at a slower pace. If he wants to be alone, she'll let him be alone. However, she won't let him go that easily. That much she's proven.

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