Looking up into his eyes, Bo saw something in him, in Tate. She couldn't place it. Watching as he cracked eggs sloppily into a skillet, she set the underside of her chin on the back of her dining chair.
"You're getting the shells in the skillet." she said offhandedly.
Rolling his eyes, he tossed the contents of the skillet into the trash and wiped it clean, "You do it, then."
Not moving from her chair, she willed two eggs to levitate and gently crack against the corner of the counter, splitting them apart gently and tossing the empty shells into the trash. She smiled mockingly, and he scoffed.
"Your hair is growing out again."
"I'll shave it down later." he muttered, scrambling the eggs.
"I could do it for you."
"Since when do you know how to use an electronic razor?"
"It can't be that hard to learn, I mean you can do it." she turned her back to him, running her fingertips across Stanley's, her favorite stuffed turtle's, head.
"Wow, that wasn't offensive."
"Not what I meant."
There was a pungent silence. Standing up quietly, she walked slowly towards him. He never really touched her, skin to skin. This deprivation lead her to have a lack in vision into his mind, his past, his future, his thoughts. She used to be fine with the silence, but it had been 2 months of running around with secret identities and near-death experiences and she still barely knew a thing about him.
"What are you doing?" he asked, annoyed, and her outstretched hand recoiled to hide behind her back.
"Checking to make sure you aren't burning them again."
"I'm not the best cook." he says flatly, having said it a dozen times before.
"Better than nothing." she smiled a little and his eyes widened a little before narrowing, his head turning away from her. She took a deep breath and reached out to touch his hand again and she caught a flash of something.
He was smiling, laughing, and playing cards with a woman. She had soft brown eyes and a disarming smile. She grinned, pointing a finger at him as she slid a pile of potato chips over to her side.
"I win again."
"No fair! You've gotta be cheating!" he stood up, stalking slowly towards her.
She stood up too, her smile growing, "I wouldn't exactly call it cheating... rather, a gift, maybe."
Chasing her around the table, he pulled her close and kissed her neck, "Whatever you say."
"Now that's what I like to hear." she turned around, kissing him quickly, "Come and catch me!" she giggled, running out into the yard, him tailing close behind.
The more she ran in circles, the closer he came to catching up to her. Grabbing her wrist, he pulled her towards him and ran his fingers through her short hair. His breath was caught in his throat as he stared lovingly at her.
"You should grow your hair out again."
"As soon as you cut yours, you look like a viking." she snickered, kissing his palm.
"I love you."
"I know. I love you too, Will." she smiled again and her eyes grew bright. "Let's always stay together, okay?"
His smile reached his eyes as he embraced her around her waist, "Always."
As she saw the final part of the vision, she saw a knowing look in his eyes, so she felt the need to ask.
"Is that her? The one you fell in love with?"
"Why did she leave you?" she realized too late how blunt the question was, and she bit the inside of her cheek in remorse, "Never mind, I-"
"No. It's alright, it's not that big of a secret. I got involved with some bad things... bad people, so she left so I could clean up. I never heard from her again."
"Don't you want to find her?"
"I'm not one of your miracle cases, Bo, it won't work so just stop it." his voice shook as he scraped the eggs onto a plate, defensive about the subject.
"Talk to me, Tate."
"Eat your eggs."
"I said eat your breakfast!"
Her eyes welled up with tears, "I've told you everything about me, down to my favorite dessert, and I don't know the first thing about you or her! I don't even know her first name! The only person you've ever loved is gone so you shut people out. Stop shutting me out, Tate!"
"She's not the only person I've ever loved."
"The only person you've ever loved like that."
"Can you stop psychoanalyzing me?"
"Then tell me yourself."
"Fine... her name is Nina."
She took the plate of eggs to the table, getting small pieces in her spoon, "Tell me more."
"We were going to get engaged once I got a ring... but I didn't have the money."
"So you pinched."
"Yeah.. how do you know that term?"
"I like listening to conversations of strangers."
"I prefer the term, 'getting to know the person'."
"Without them knowing?"
"Exactly." she nodded, scooping the eggs in her mouth.
"So, anyway, I started lifting wallets, jewelry, anything I could get my hands on..."
"I got caught in the act, I had to return the wallet or face a fine that would've been more than I'd collected."
"She found out."
"She was gone by morning, left a note, and she gave me no way to contact her."
"Maybe she's been looking for you."
"My face was plastered all over the news, I doubt that she'd want me now."
"You don't know that."
"I do. I know that for a fact." tears pricked his eyes, pointing an accusatory finger at her.
She finished her plate and set it, along with her spoon in the sink, whispering calmly.
"You don't know that." Sparing him one last look before walking into her bedroom, "I'm going to find her and we'll know for sure."
Sitting on a small armchair, he put his face in his hands, "She doesn't want me around."
Waking up from a dream, Bo remembered only one detail: a note. A note signed by Nina, Tate's ex, and she saw the note in her mind's eye and copied it onto a slip of notebook paper.
I love you very much. Immensely. However, something has come up. I can no longer be with you. Due to the fiasco with the wallet, I begin to wonder how well you'd be able to take care of anyone, especially yourself. Please don't take it to heart when I say this, but, you need to move on from me and forget I ever existed.
I will always love you, Will, but we can never be together.
Shaking him awake, she set the note in his lap, "Either we find her or you put me in danger by letting me go alone."
He nodded, "I'll get changed, we'll go to a cafè and look her up, I guess."
She left the room, changing into a green tee, blue jeans, and her jacket over it. Hearing a familiar buzzing, she walked in on Tate slowly (and awkwardly) shaving off his hair.
"I'll get it." she offered, stepping onto the toilet seat cover.
He carefully handed it to her, and she seemed to naturally know how. She was careful to avoid the scars that adorned his skull, neglecting to ask about them. Chances are, she told herself, she wouldn't want to know anyway. Finishing, she brushed off the extra hair that clung there, and smiled in satisfaction.
"Not bad, kid." he grinned, running his hand over his scalp.
"Let's go before it gets too late."
Nodding, he took his jacket hanging from the couch, pulled it on, and locked the front door. Standing beside him, she watched as he slowly pocketed the keys and turned on his heel to walk down the porch. Bo knew he was thinking about Nina, and upon thinking further, looked up at Tate.
"You know how I go by Bo Winters?"
"I don't know my mother's last name. Or... mine, I guess."
Putting a hand on her shoulder, he stopped, and paused her train of thought, "What does that mean?"
"I was just thinking out loud." she drug her eyes to her shoes, walking again.
"You could just ask him if you're curious."
"He keeps everything on a need-to-know basis, if you don't need to know, you don't ever find out."
"I think that's the first time I've ever heard you use incorrect grammer."
"That's the first time I've heard you show signs you know correct grammer." she replied shortly, playing with the tips of her hair.
"You have such a sharp tongue."
"Winter says I got it from my dad."
"Who's your dad?"
"I don't know that, either."
"Those really sound like things you need to know." he muttured, pulling his hood over his head.
Frowning in distaste, she yanked his hood down, "They terminated the Amber Alert and the FBI isn't on your tail anymore, everything is private sector so why do you keep trying to hide?"
"I'm less likely to get killed if people see my face."
"That is a pretty ugly face you have."
"Oh shut up." he rolled his eyes as she giggled, walking into the computer bank at the cafè.
"I'll give you ten minutes. If you don't find any leads, we go home, deal?"
Ten minutes later, they still hadn't found anything and Tate was buzzed, having already drank his second cup of coffee. He bounced his leg against the floor, making a slight but quick and constant taptaptaptaptap against the floor with his foot. Bo took a breath and sighed deeply before giving him a look.
"Could you stop? It's distracting."
"It's been ten minutes."
"Give me more time." she muttered, and he nodded, standing to get another cup of coffee.
Tapping her head against the desk, she frowned up at the screen. The woman didn't have a Facebook, a traceable email, a Twitter, or any kind of social media site that she was connected to. (That she could find, as it were.) This was starting to irritate her, what could possibly be a way to find her? Taking a second to think about it, she remembered pieces of the words that Winters had thought several months back. The image escaped her, but some of the words remained.
As if hit by a thought, she closed all of the tabs she was in and pulled up the Google search engine. Typing at full throttle, she clicked Nina Adams experiment into the search box and nothing popped up, except a link to an online obituary. Opening the link, she saw a picture of the smiling woman and the pieces began sliding into place. Reading it, she finally got to the bottom where a small line read: Leaving behind a young baby, this brave mother will be missed, her child that was named Bo Adams-Tate before she died.
Tears flowed freely from her eyes and a numbness filled her, making her unable to even feel the shivers she experienced. Tate appeared behind her and set his foam coffee cup down, helped her up out of the seat. Taking her outside, he forgot about the coffee cup, his focus entirely on her.
"Bo... what's wrong? Sweetie, you need to tell me what's wrong..."
"You've never called me that before..." she sniffed, wiping her nose with the end of her sleeve.
"Then pretend I didn't say it-"
"I liked it-"
"Tell me what's wrong, Bo." he said sternly, sitting with her on a bench in front of the coffee hut.
"Her name is Nina Adams."
"I know... why does that matter?"
His eyes seemed to lose their light, "Oh..."
"On her obituary... it said she died giving birth to a child named Bo."
"I killed her... I killed my mom."
He watched her, reaching out his hand and touching her cheek. She flinched, her smile wobbling as he moved his hand and pulled her into a tight hug. His body shook as he squished her in his arms.
"I should've known... God, you look just like her. You act just like her. You roll your eyes at me just like her. She left me to protect you. I feel like such an idiot. I was so terrible to you all this time. I wanted to marry her and start a family with her but I just wasn't ready... I guess she figured that out."
"She would've been glad to marry you. You're a good dad."
He broke into a smile, hugging her even tighter, "Love you, Bo."
She coughed a little, "Can't breathe, Tate."
"...You can call me dad if you want. It's weird but I think I could get used to it."
"Let's go get ice cream."
"We just were crying like wackos in the street, and you wanna get ice cream?"
"Yes." Bo smiled as he let go of her.
"Fine." he huffed, standing and walking off.
After running to catch up with him, she grabbed his hand, "Thanks, Dad."
"I lied. I don't think I'll ever get used to it." he admitted.
Laughing, she shook her head, "Winters is gonna get an earful when we see him next."
"Who better to take care of me than my dad?"
He smiled, laughing a little before letting go of her hand, "Race you to the ice cream shop. First to get there gets more sprinkles! So... GO!"
Bolting down the street, she trailed close behind with a determined grin, "No fair!"
"All is fair in love, war and ice cream!"