Molly and Ahsoka Save the World, Part One Who: Ahsoka Tano and Molly Hayes What: Time traveling and saving the world. Explaining away a few plots. When: The distant future (the year 2000!) of 2020, and the distant past of mid-January 2009. Relates to Purifier Plot and Timey Wimey Plot. Warnings: Ludicrously long. Also lesbians.
Ahsoka's eyes fluttered open, though for a moment she wasn't certain that they had. The room was almost black, the only light being the rose colored glow of Molly's eyes. That small luminescence only served to give the darkness depth, casting shadow over darker shadow. "Where are we?" asked Ahsoka, feeling in the darkness for her lightsaber.
"You remember that guy whose ass I said I could kick?"
"Turns out there were fifty more of 'im."
"Oh." She tried to stand up and felt a sudden ache. Memory flooded into her along with the pain. "I remember now. Why'd they stick us in here?"
"Probably because they don't know what we can do. The door won't come down, by the way. At least, I think it was the door I was punching. That's my leg you're grabbing, Soka. They took your lightsaber."
Ahsoka stopped groping Molly for the moment and struggled to her feet. "This isn't a cell." Her head was still somewhat foggy, so it was difficult to sense the area as well as she normally would. "I think it's a lab. Or it used to be. There's a sink over there, and I think there used to be a table here." She reached out with the Force to try to glean more information, but nothing much was forthcoming. She'd always been better with more martial uses of the Force. Advanced psychometry was outside of her bailiwick.
"A Purifier lab. I guess that would explain why the doors can take a pounding like that. Shame they didn't leave the table; we could at least have some fun while we waited for the world to end.” Dark humor, even flirtatious dark humor, didn't really fit Molly, but it helped shake Ahsoka out of her daze.
"Let me try. Finesse sometimes works when brute force doesn't." Turning her attention away from the room, Ahsoka used the Force to feel around the door. It was solidly built, that was certain, and the dents that Molly had left probably weren't going to do much besides lower the resale value. But one of the most important lessons her master had ever given her was If it can be built, it can be taken apart.
The hinge had been designed to hold things inside, inside. It hadn't been designed to keep people outside from getting in. Ahsoka slid the bolts off easily, letting them fall to the ground. The clatter, however, caught the attention of some passing guard. "Uh-oh."
"He heard me."
"Oh, come on! I've been pounding this thing down for half an hour, no one heard me!"
"They're coming. Let's go." She pushed against the door, feeling fist-shaped dents as she placed her hand against the metal. It fell to the floor with a thundering boom. "Yeah, they definitely heard us." She shielded her eyes against the sudden influx of light. "Come on." She walked outside, ready to fight, but the guard had gone for reinforcements. They were still a minute away. "Good, we should be able to—Bruiser? Come on!" She turned around to grab the girl, saw what had gotten her attention, and was suddenly very glad that she hadn't managed to feel the history of this place. The floors and walls of the lab were stained with blood, and that was the least of it. On the farthest wall, written in a hand so angry it could barely form the words, was the message "Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Mutant To Live."
The anger pouring off of Molly almost made Ahsoka hesitate to touch her. "We've got to go. They're coming for us."
"Not good. We've got to stop them. We can't do that if we're busy with every guard in this place. Come on."
Molly let out a quiet growl and turned on her heel. Ahsoka followed after. They found themselves in a long hall. Save for the heavy laboratory door now underfoot, it looked rather like an office building. "Which way are they coming from?" Molly demanded.
Ahsoka pointed to the far end of the hall. "They're coming from there. A dozen of them or so."
"Okay." Molly gently picked up Ahsoka, placed her on the floor, then picked up the door and threw it down the hall. It ended up lodged in the corner. "Damn, I was hoping they were closer."
"Next time, maybe. Come on, I need to make a stop." Ahsoka didn't make too much use of the more metaphysical Force techniques, but she always made sure that she could find her lightsaber if need be. "This way."
Molly followed silently, a stark change from her usual mid-mission chatter. Ahsoka didn't like it any more than Molly did, but Ahsoka had been through a war and had been trained as a Jedi. Part of being a Jedi was compartmentalizing emotions. She would deal with it when she had the time. Molly, on the other hand, kept her emotions so close to the surface that she practically glowed with them, and right now she was looking for someone to hurt.
"Here." She could sense someone behind the door, muttering to himself. Praying, probably; a lot of the Purifiers thought they were doing God's work, and a lot more of them pretended to be for the sake of an outlet for their racism. Ahsoka was about to open the door before she remembered Molly, who probably needed an outlet more than she'd care to admit. "There's someone in there. Can you take care of him?"
"Gladly." The door slammed open so quickly that it splintered. Ahsoka and Molly found themselves face to face with the Purifier they'd faced down earlier, save that there were no reinforcements for him this time. The guards were more than a minute away, which was a minute more than Molly needed.
The man jumped at the intrusion. Upon seeing Ahsoka, he spat, "Monster!" and stood up and reached for a gun that wasn't there.
"No, she's an alien. I'm the monster." Molly picked him up by the throat and held him against the wall. "Where is the genebomb?"
The man closed his eyes and gripped a cross around his neck, saying nothing but a quiet prayer.
"...He maketh me to lie down in green pastures..."
"You're not going to like it if I have to make you."
"...He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths..."
Ahsoka snatched her lightsaber from his table—whether he'd been using it as a trophy or a weapon, she didn't care. She met the man's eye and ignited her lightsaber; he only continued to pray.
"Fine." The pink glow of Molly's eyes became a darker, more violet hue as she switched tactics. Ahsoka switched off her lightsaber, no longer the most dangerous person in the room to lie to. "Tell me what I want to know."
The man gave a valiant struggle to protect his mind, but Molly had warned him for a reason—she pushed him until he broke. "The device... is with... Brother Simon."
"The hangar. Two floors up." Molly released him, letting him fall to the floor, harmless. Ordinarily, she would have taken the effort to fix him, but there was no time. Eventually he would piece together enough of his mind to realize what had happened, and he would certainly be competent enough to stand trial, but by then he would have made his peace with soiling himself.
Molly leaned heavily on Ahsoka for a moment, rubbing the bridge of her nose. She was clearly drained from using too much of her power so quickly, and she probably hadn't recovered completely from trying to bust her way out of the lab. "Are you all right?" Ahsoka asked, her concern less for the mission than for the girl.
"I'm fine." She shook her head as if to clear it. "Let's run."
The stairways were actually labeled as such, which was rather off-putting. Ahsoka had lived on Earth for longer than she'd lived anywhere save Coruscant, but she still had a tendency to assume that evil lairs should look like evil lairs. She was fairly certain that she'd passed a water cooler while running away.
The time they'd spent with the leader had caught up with them, however. Following behind them was a small group of Purifiers, armed with pistols that were almost definitely blessed for their holy mission of purifying the human genome. “Monster!” one of them shouted, taking aim at Ahsoka.
“Stop calling me that!” The Purifier fired and missed, but he was the only one stupid enough to fire. The confined space made the echo of the gunshot almost as painful as the bullet would have been. The Purifiers took the brunt of it, buying Ahsoka and Molly precious seconds.
Ahsoka's ears were still ringing when she and Molly emerged from the stairwell. As soon as they were out, Molly slammed the door behind them and squeezed the metal door frame and metal door together, sealing the Purifiers in. “If he's in the hangar, there's not much time left. Where is it?” she said, a bit loudly. Her ears were probably still ringing as well. Ahsoka started to reach out with the Force, but Molly said, “Wait, never mind. This way.”
“How do you know?” Molly pointed to a sign. Hangar, Left. Cafeteria, Right. Today's Special: Grilled Lamb. “Oh.”
“It would be hilarious that they're so blasé about it if they weren't professional mutant killers.” Molly sighed. “Let's go.”
There came a satisfying thunk from the stairwell as the guards tried to follow them. It was enough to bring a brief smile to Molly's face, which was a small relief to Ahsoka. They followed the sign and came to the hangar door. Ahsoka tried the handle. “It's locked.” She snorted. “Good thing I have a key.” Her lightsaber cut through the bolt, leaving nothing behind but charred wood and the tink, tink, tink of cooling metal.
They entered to find a man who was presumably Simon sitting in a rather boring office chair in the middle of a very large room. There was nothing around to signify its use as a hangar save space: no machinery, no airplanes, no signs of grease or tire marks. In fact, aside from the chair, the only thing in there was a small desk. “Ah, the monster has joined us. And you've brought the alien.”
Molly ignored the monster comment. “What us, dumbass? You're the only one here.”
“God goes with me wherever I am, mutant.” He said mutant like most people say scum. “I have no intentions to tell you my plans, incidentally.”
“Did I ask?” Molly whispered to Ahsoka. Simon went on, apparently ignoring them.
“I'm sure you've wasted your misbegotten lives watching action movies, but I am not the villain here. I am, in fact, the hero. I...” he hesitated slightly, then appeared to look upwards. Molly and Ahsoka followed his gaze, but saw nothing. Then he continued, a bit too quickly. “I am doing God's will, for all of humanity.”
“You don't need to tell us. I'll just rip your brain open and take what I want.”
“Ah, yes. Molly Hayes. Mutant. Part of X-Factor, a terrorist mutant group. Powers include superhuman strength, durability, and mind control. You are, in fact, the very thing that haunts my dreams at night.” There was something off about his voice that Ahsoka couldn't quite place. Whatever it was, it was distracting.
“We're not going to bother to correct you about what X-Factor is.” Ahsoka stepped forward, doing her best to maintain eye contact and persuade him with the Force. “We're just here to stop you. Stand down and we'll take you in alive.”
“I would not take another step if I were you.” He held up a small device that Ahsoka recognized from pictures. She stopped in her tracks, eyes wide. “You know what this is, do you not?”
“It... it won't stop me,” she said, doing her best not to take a step back.
“Of course it won't. But your friend... Why do you think there are no guards coming for you? They don't need to. This device will wipe out all mutants within a city block.”
“Get him,” said Molly quietly.
“I know, Princess. But it's not worth you.”
“I'm sure this would be touching if you were genuinely capable of feeling anything,” said Simon, toying with the device. “But it makes no difference; you will both feel God's wrath soon enough.” He threw the thing at Molly and ran.
“Molly!” Ahsoka ran to her side, though she didn't know what she could do.
“Don't stay here, just run! Get him!” She winced and turned away from Ahsoka. Then she opened her eyes and turned back. “I'm still alive, aren't I?”
Ahsoka picked up the device and examined it. “It's a flash drive. He doesn't have it with him. But I bet he's going to lead us to where it is!”
Molly and Ahsoka took off, Ahsoka in the lead. She could sense his fear and hate like heat from a flame. The few seconds they'd lost mattered more than they'd have thought; Simon clearly kept himself in shape enough to outrun them. Molly was falling behind, having spent too much of her energy already, but Ahsoka couldn't wait for her. She concentrated on the Force, on her breathing, and on Simon. Giving herself an extra boost of speed, she rounded a corner and found him running to a door at the far end of the hallway. She reached out to trip him up telekinetically; he stumbled and lost a few seconds doing it, giving Ahsoka enough time to slam him into the wall and hold her lightsaber to his throat.
“What are your plans?”
“And you wonder why people hate you. I can feel you in my mind, you freak. You're not getting anything.” That was the quirk in his voice that had Ahsoka had noticed earlier. He'd been trying to project the idea of a cultured, sophisticated man of God when he was no more than a hateful monster.
Ahsoka heard Molly breathing heavily as she ran down the hall. “You can tell me, or you can tell her. And you know what'll happen if you have to tell her.”
It wasn't fear so much that crossed his face as nervousness. He fidgeted slightly, but the only way of escape was at the end of a lightsaber, and he didn't seem to be that dedicated. Ahsoka heard Molly come up behind her and moved her lightsaber slightly, leaving the information gathering to the other girl.
After taking a moment to catch her breath, Molly met the man's gaze. “What are your plans?”
This one didn't struggle. He didn't even blink. He grinned. “Escape.” Simon held up another device, this one clearly neither a flash drive nor a mutant bomb, and flipped the switch.
“No!” Molly and Ahsoka grabbed him before he disappeared, but it didn't stop him; it just dragged them along.
Molly came to in a room that seemed familiar in a way she couldn't place. She sat up and tried to get her bearings. She was clearly in a child's room, but it was a rather sterile one; there were no toys, no drawings, nothing that would indicate anyone lived there save a wardrobe with a meager selection of clothing.
A quick examination of the closet made everything click. “Oh my God. This is my bedroom!” Mrs. Macmillan, the old bat, had been gone for years. This was clearly impossible.
She checked the window, just to be sure. It was still dark outside, but it did seem to be a familiar view. Molly had only lived with Macmillan for a few months, more than a decade ago, and yet...
The alarm clock (or rather, perhaps, her alarm clock) suggested the time was 6:22 AM. The old bat would still be asleep. Molly carefully crept out of her bedroom and down the hall, stepping over the creaky floorboard out of a habit she didn't know she still had, and sneaked into the living room. Mrs. Macmillan always left her computer on, but Molly hesitated before turning off the screensaver. She finally forced herself to wiggle the mouse.
She wasn't particular surprised to see the date on the desktop: January 18th, 2009.
“So this is when it happens. And why.” She remembered time swirling around itself a few years back (or, technically, right now). Everyone had just assumed that it was something that happened, like every other thing that happened in this place. Evidently that Simon guy had done something. Maybe the Purifiers had captured a time-controlling mutant or something. Or just some guy who was good with science.
“Okay. If I ended up with the bat, Soka's probably at X-Factor. I just gotta get over there. In the middle of winter, without a coat.” Molly wrapped a blanket around herself and started to leave when she noticed Mrs. Macmillan's purse open on the table. On the one hand, Molly didn't make a habit of stealing. Even when she had been a runaway, it was rare that she took anything that wasn't hers, and even then, only in an emergency. On the other hand, she knew what Mrs. Macmillan was, and there wasn't anything she could do about it without damaging the timestream, which old reruns of various sci-fi shows told her was very bad.
In the end, Molly decided she disliked Mrs. Macmillan enough to raid her purse, on the grounds that she'd tried to kill her (or would try to kill her, eventually, or however one conjugated time travel verbs) and also on the grounds that Fuck That Bitch. It probably wouldn't hold up in court, but in all the chaos that was bound to happen over the next week, she probably wouldn't even notice. Besides, Molly only got a hundred and fifteen dollars (a hundred and five, after a quick stop at the bakery for breakfast) which would hardly set her up in the big city.
After buying something for her and Ahsoka, Molly flagged down a cab and hopped in, giving up part of her hard-earned money for a few minutes of warmth rather than a half-hour trek through the cold. X-Factor wasn't far enough away to make her regret spending the money too much, though she would probably need to get some money from Ahsoka to buy a coat later; she doubted Old Navy took debit cards from banks that didn't exist yet.
Molly wasn't sure how to proceed once she reached X-Factor. The building was probably locked, and they'd changed the locks since 2009, so her key wouldn't work. No one but Ahsoka was likely to recognize her; she was pretty certain she hadn't even met any of them before. A twenty-four year old girl coming out of nowhere clutching breakfast and coffee with a blanket around her was weird even by X-Factor standards. And explaining that the current time-travel thing wasn't the universe being weird but the result of a time-traveling mutant-hater, and that she and Ahsoka were there on a mission to stop him from wiping out the entire species, and they had no idea how to go about it... it seemed inconvenient.
Molly was spared having to make a decision by the door opening. She dealt with this new development by jumping into the bushes, only just keeping the coffee from spilling. “Owww...” she whimpered. Anakin came out, yawned, stretched, and started jogging. He looked extremely young, but then again, he would. Molly wasted no time and sneaked in before Anakin remembered to come back and lock the door.
Part of it was Jamie's indecisive nature, she imagined, but X-Factor never seemed quite like a business. It was an amalgam of work and play, business and pleasure, professionalism and home. The layout had changed somewhat over the years, and she hesitated as she tried to remember how to get to Ahsoka's room. This was the foyer. The room over there was... Anakin's office? Yes, Anakin's office. The boss' office was further down the hall, and the living area would be upstairs.
Molly sneaked as quietly as she could to the upstairs hallway. There were a lot of bedrooms to choose from, and from the outside, they were all pretty much identical; she couldn't remember which one had been Ahsoka's. Some of them were probably occupied by someone awake already or awake still.
“Who are you?”
Case in point. Molly turned around to find Mia standing there in work-out clothes. Apparently every Force user she had a thing for early morning exercise. Every Jedi but the one I want, she thought. “I'm Molly. I'm here to see Ahsoka. Which room is she in?”
Either blunt honesty threw Mia off, or she was as given to answering questions in the past as she would be in the future. “She's in there, next to Anakin's room... wait, who are you again?”
Molly smiled. “No one.” Her eyes started to glow. “You should just go ahead and forget you saw me here.”
“I... all right.” She wandered away, presumably to wonder why her characteristic early-morning perkiness had faded into the same haze everyone else dealt with. She'd still feel a bit hazy about the last few minutes until she stopped trying to remember them.
Molly walked as quickly as she could on tiptoe to Ahsoka's door and knocked gently. “Soka?” she whispered. She turned the knob and slowly opened the door, moving as quietly as she could. She closed and locked the door behind her.
The room was fairly dark, as it faced away from the morning sun. What Molly could see was illuminated by the LED lights that technology companies at the time believed belonged on everything. She put their breakfast on a nearby table (lit up by a speaker; why anyone would need to see their speaker in the dark to be sure it was off was a mystery) and sat on the edge of Ahsoka's bed. It was, to Molly's relief, her; Ahsoka had had hair as a child, rather than lekku, and her coloring had been a bit different. This was obviously her Ahsoka.
“Hey,” she said gently. Times like this made it tempting to ignore the impending end of the world. Ahsoka's eyes opened slowly, but the confusion of where she was seemed to kick her warrior instincts into overdrive. She sprang up and grabbed the first figure in the darkness she saw, in this case, Molly. “Hey!” She placed a hand on Ahsoka's cheek. “Calm down. It's just me.”
“Where are we?” Ahsoka asked, releasing her grip on Molly. Then, rather dryly, she added, “This time?”
“2009.” Molly explained what she'd been able to figure out so far, which didn't take very long. Then, at the end, she added, “And I bought you a bun. And a white chocolate mocha.”
Molly could just make out Ahsoka's smirk in the darkness. “You know this is a mission, not a romantic vacation, Princess.”
“It can be both! Girl's gotta eat.” Ahsoka flipped the light on while Molly got the breakfast. “I saw Anakin leave to go running earlier. I've been thinking about it. I think we should try to avoid being seen by anyone we know.”
“Really?” said Ahsoka through a yawn. “Why's that?”
“Because last time, no one knew we were here. And if anyone finds out what we're doing, it might get public enough for the Purifiers to make different plans next time, and then what will happen?”
Ahsoka blinked. “You do know that it's possible that the only reason no one found out last time is because you made this same argument last time.” She sipped her coffee and opened the bag.
“Look, no one gets more of a headache from time travel than me. But you're better at planning than I am. What do you think?”
“I think I want the one with raisins this time.” The aroma of cinnamon filled the room. “And you're right. We'll take it on a case-by-case basis, but I don't think anyone should know right away.”
“Right.” Molly lay down across Ahsoka's bed. “I woke up in Old Lady Macmillan's house,” she said, changing topics slightly.
“Yeah. I kinda wanted to beat her up or something. I settled for taking some money out of her purse and downloading porn on her computer. Mutant porn. It promised some guy making interesting use of his tail.” She smirked. “Man, I was still calling myself Princess Powerful right now. Seems so long ago.”
“I still call you Princess Powerful.”
“You don't count. It's a pet name for you.”
“You're my pet, are you?”
“It does explain why I'm licking you all the time, doesn't it?” That got a giggle out of Ahsoka. Not nearly long enough from now, Molly and Ahsoka were going to have to focus and try to figure out their next move. The mission would start again, and it promised not to be an easy one. But at least, for the moment, there was time enough for giggling.
In 2009, Ahsoka had still been adjusting to the concept of having a “room.” Jedi in the Temple lived fairly spartan lives, and Ahsoka had spent most of her time since becoming a Padawan going spaceship to spaceship, so customizing her living space was rather pointless. As such, there was little color in her bedroom, but she was doing better. There were a handful of books and magazines on Earth culture, a couple of comforts that Anakin had made to make this place seem more like Coruscant, and her computer, a glowing spot of Ahsoka in the otherwise generic room.
“Nothing about Purifiers as a group, although air and water purifiers are apparently a low maintenance value.” Google had never failed her before, and searching for Purifiers anti-mutant hate group had resulted in nothing, so it was probably safe to assume that there was nothing there. “If the Purifiers are here, they're not online.”
“We know there are Purifiers here. Somewhere. I doubt it was just him and the old bat recruiting everyone during the March thing. If he's anything like us, he's in the same place he was ten years ago.” Molly was curled up on the end of Ahsoka's bed, making her thoughtful face. Experience had taught Ahsoka that the thoughtful face usually preceded something helpful or something weird.
“It's probably New York, but...” She entered Simon “New York City”. “Five million, two hundred and fifty thousand results.”
Molly seemed to decide on helpful. “Well, he was a Purifier, and probably a higher-up. Maybe he's a preacher or something. Look for anti-mutant churches in New York.”
“I don't think that will help.”
“Well, I know there are a lot of them, but—”
“That's not what I mean. Look, this guy tried to sell himself as being refined and Man-of-God and stuff, but he wasn't. It was an act. I think he was just in it for punishing people for being different from him.” There was a word for people like that, but Ahsoka didn't have Molly's colorful vocabulary, so she settled for “jerk.”
“In that case, he probably has a record. Do you think you could get into the NYPD database?”
“I don't know, people on TV do it all the time.”
“I'm a Jedi, not a hacker.”
Molly sighed. “This wouldn't have happened if you'd have taken him down when I told you to.”
“I'm sorry for trying to save your life, Princess,” said Ahsoka dryly. “It won't happen again.”
“See that it doesn't.” There was no anger in her voice, or at least none directed at Ahsoka. She opened her mouth to say something else, probably either lewd or sarcastic, then sat up suddenly. “Do you still have that fake bomb?”
“What fake—you mean the flash drive?” Ahsoka pulled the drive to her from across the room, brushing against Molly's hair. “What about it?”
“There might be something on it. Plans or whatever.”
“Do you really think he would throw his plans at us just to buy a few seconds to escape?”
“Simon was stupid and desperate. He thought I was going to break his brain. He might have.” Molly turned to face Ahsoka completely. “Pop it in, let's see.”
“Fine.” Ahsoka plugged the flash drive into her computer. “I don't know how confident I am about this. This is an eleven year old system, and he only threw the flash drive because it looked enough like the bomb to make me pause. It's—” Autorun started up with a bright, cheerful Windows XP tone. “Huh.”
“There are people that still haven't updated from Windows 98. Backwards compatibility is good money.”
“I don't know what that means, but there's some stuff on here. Check it out.” There was a Word file labeled Plan A, another labeled Plan B, and a few folders. She double-clicked on Plan A first. “It says I need a password.”
Molly leaned over her shoulder. “Good. What was it?”
Ahsoka hesitated. “Um. 'Genejoke.'” Her mouth felt dirty for saying it.
Molly didn't seem to care. “Ugh, Purifiers. Open it up.”
Plan A seemed to consist of things they already knew—large-scale genetic bombs all over mutant population centers. Kills mutants, but leaves buildings standing. It was disgusting, but useful information. “I'm guessing we interrupted their first plan. I think Simon is the bomb guy. There are blueprints in one of these folders. That, and his escape was important enough to carry a time travel thing around with him.”
“Why does that mean anything?”
“If the other guy had been able to escape, he would have while you were interrogating him.” She opened the Plan B file. “Here. Plan B starts with time travel and... oh no.”
“You're so good at reassuring me. You're the best girlfriend ever.” Molly leaned over Ahsoka's shoulder again. “I don't know what—oh no.”
Plan B required a rather large sacrifice on the part of its executor. He would travel back in time and stay there, hidden, constructing a genebomb that would affect the entire world. After building the bomb, he would die to preserve the secret. In two months time, according to this, there would be no mutants left anywhere.
“Why is that only Plan B? It's... terrifying.” Molly's voice was uncharacteristically small.
Ahsoka took a deep breath and tried to battle back the feelings of fear. “I think his plan was to not die, if at all possible. If anyone found out what had happened, they could undo it by killing him at any point up until the point where he traveled back. He was basically giving his life away.” She paused. “Maybe. Time travel is hard to follow.”
“Then how do we stop it?”
“That's the thing. I'm not sure we can.”
The day passed uncomfortably, with Molly and Ahsoka venturing out for food only when Ahsoka was confident no one else was around. The thought of mutantkind simply dissolving was numbing. Molly once suggested letting someone else know, but the Purifiers were shielded against psychics, superpowers, teleporters, and anything else they could think of; it was only luck that had gotten Molly and Ahsoka inside to begin with. And besides, neither of them could get themselves to suggest to the mutants of the world “You're all going to die, and there's nothing you can do about it.”
Molly was awake a little longer than Ahsoka, mostly staring at the ceiling. It wasn't the discomfort of sharing the tiny bed; there was rarely enough space between them normally to justify the size of the bed they had back home. It was the fact that she couldn't stop thinking. Mostly about Soka. If she, Molly, died alongside all the mutants, it would be terrible, but Ahsoka would have it worse. She would live. Molly couldn't imagine being the survivor of something like that. Careful not to wake her, Molly put an arm around Ahsoka, pressed her lips to her shoulder, and went to sleep.
“Huh? Wha?” She woke the next morning when Ahsoka shot up suddenly. Her lexicon being as short as it was at the time of day, she continued, “Wha? Huh?”
“He has a record!” Ahsoka was close to squealing. “He has a record!”
Molly blinked. The clock suggested that it was 7:18 AM. “Gonna say it again. Wha?”
“That guy. Simon. You said it yesterday, he probably has a record with the police.”
Molly was fairly certain that she would still be lost even if she were awake. “You said that didn't matter. You said you couldn't find him.”
“Yes, but he doesn't know that.” She jumped out of bed and sat down in her computer chair. “See, I can't just break into the NYPD database. But I'm willing to bet that he can. And he knows we're here and looking for him and he probably thinks we know his name. And if he can get in, I can follow.”
“There have got to be so many Si—” Molly was interrupted by a yawn. “—Simons, Soka.”
“It's at least a start.” Ahsoka was typing so quickly that Molly's eyes couldn't follow her. “We'll look for hate crimes, crimes against mutants, stuff like that.”
Molly was doubtful, but she allowed herself a bit of hope anyway. They had, at most, less than a week. She knew that the time travel thing would end on Sunday at midnight, or at least it had last time, and it was already Monday.
“I'm in. He's already been here.” Molly peered over Ahsoka's shoulder. There was a long list of names, but Molly couldn't really think of anything to do with them.
“Does that mean that we can't see his record?”
“Yes.” Molly's face fell. “But! I can find out what he deleted so that we at least have a name.” Her fingers started flying again. Clearly Ahsoka had been thinking the same thing last night that Molly had: survivor's guilt would be worse than dying.
Worried, tense, and unsure, Molly did all she could do to help: put her arms around Ahsoka's neck.
“Got it! We're looking for Richard Simon, of which there are ten in New York City. Now I should turn this off before they track me back to X-Factor.”
Molly jumped off the bed and did a dance. “All right! Hope! Hope tastes delicious!”
Ahsoka grinned. “I've got the addresses. We can get to all of them today.” She stood up and stretched, then bent over to touch her toes. “Never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad I wore shoes on the mission. It's too cold to go around barefoot.”
“Yeah.” Molly tilted her head and gave Ahsoka an appraising look. “Speaking of, maybe we should find a way to cover you up.”
Ahsoka looked a little hurt. “Why?”
“When you were little, you could pass for a mutant. Some people are jerks, but most people won't care about another mutant walking down the street. But people are going to notice the lekku and montrals.” Molly looked in Ahsoka's closet for something that she hadn't outgrown, but it'd been more than a decade since last these clothes had been worn. “And if he has anyone looking out for us, they'd be the first thing to mention.”
“I suppose. None of those will fit me, by the way.”
“Hm.” Molly scratched her head for a second. “I know! Rahne's probably got a hoodie or something!”
“And you want to ask to borrow it? I thought you didn't want to get found out?”
“Right now, Rahne's probably five again. She won't know we took it, and it is for the good of the world.” Ahsoka, whose morals were not quite as dubious as Molly's, hesitated. “Come on. If she were in your closet trying to save the world, wouldn't you want to help?”
Ahsoka rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Fine, Princess. But if we get caught, it was your idea.”
More than a little excited, Molly poked her head out of Ahsoka's room. It felt like it had been an eternity since she'd left; she'd been starting to feel trapped in there. “Coast is clear. Is she living with Anakin yet?”
Ahsoka didn't answer right away. “I don't... think so. This would be... January? No, not yet. She should still be across the hall.” They crept silently (Ahsoka moreso than Molly) to Rahne's door. Molly opened it slowly, but she needn't have worried: part of dating the maintenance expert meant that her hinges never creaked.
Once the door was closed, she relaxed a little. “Okay. Closet.” Molly opened the closet door and jumped back when something fell out. “Wow.”
Ahsoka, who was loitering near the door, came closer. “What?”
“Look at that.” Molly indicated the package that had fallen out.
“Are you going through her things?”
“It just fell out! Take a look at this.”
“Fine.” She joined Molly at the closet and examined the box. Then her eyes went wide. “Wow.” Laying at their feet was a lightsaber-shaped sex toy, still in its original packaging. “I didn't know Rahne had it in her.”
“Well, she obviously hasn't yet, it's still in the box.” Molly smirked. “Don't you have one like this?”
“I don't like you.” Ahsoka picked it up with a bit of apprehension. “Put it back.”
“You put it back, I don't know where it goes.”
Ahsoka ignored the obvious comeback to that comment. “Where'd you get it?”
“The floor! I—are those footsteps?” Molly closed her eyes and listened. “They're coming this way. Hide!”
Ahsoka made for the bathroom, leaving Molly to jump into the closet. It would occur to her later that she could have just claimed to be some descendant of some X-Factor member, or wiped the memory of whoever it was, but she panicked in small-scale crises.
The door opened and the footsteps came inside. Molly cracked the door a bit. It was Anakin. He looked a bit older than he had yesterday morning, and a bit younger than she was used to, but it was definitely him. Shit fuck hell shit shit... Her internal monologue offered some relief for the stress. Then he turned to face the closet, and the stress returned. She went as far back into the closet as she could go, only just remembering to hold the hangers in her hand to keep them from rattling together.
Anakin opened the door and looked at the top shelf, leaning in close enough that Molly felt pressed to hold her breath. “Huh,” he said to himself. “Wonder where she put it. Wouldn't think she'd put it too far away.” He turned around and walked over to the nightstand. As Molly only ever kept one thing in her nightstand, she gestured frantically to Ahsoka, who took the hint and tossed the sex toy onto the bed.
Anakin heard the toy drop, but apparently hadn't been paying close enough attention to know where the noise came from. Nor did he seem to care, since he took the sex toy and left. Once the door was closed again, Molly escaped the closet, dragging a hoodie along with her.
Ahsoka breathed a sigh of relief. “Guess he missed us. Too busy looking for that... um...” Her thoughts went away with her for a moment, making her face look as if she couldn't decide between delight and disgust.
“It was probably just to hide it from baby Rahne,” Molly decided. “Hopefully.”