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Something to Believe

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It had been one month, two weeks, four days and nine hours since his brother
died. His last connection to a life that seemed distant and out of reach now. But it was
normal. His little piece of normalcy in a world that hadn't been for years now.

"I'm sorry Danny." Shawn whispered as he stood in front of both his brother's
and his mother's grave.

"Shawn? Shawn!" Shawn looked over his shoulder and saw a sight he hadn't
seen in a long time. Nikki Hudson, her blonde hair blowing behind her as she ran
towards him.

"Nikki? What are you doing here?"

Nikki smiled as she finally caught up to Shawn, standing on tiptoe to give him a hug.
"It's nice to see you." She smiled.

Shawn briefly returned the hug. "Didn't think you'd be here."

"Yeah, funny place to run into each other huh?" Nikki half-smiled.

"So I guess you're..."

Nikki nodded her head. "P-Positive. Never wanted to know though." She shrugged.

Shawn looked down at the ground, staring at the scuff on his sneakers intently. "Yeah a lot
of people are saying that."

Nikki squatted down and looked up at Shawn. "Why do I get the feeling you feel like
half of Seattle dying is your fault?"

"You don't know do you..."

Nikki stood back up. "What?"

"Danny... Danny's ability was..." Shawn still couldn't say it. Deep down he
didn't think he ever would.

A look of shock came over Nikki's face. "This is *Danny's* fault? All those
people... He didn't..." She stammered, her hand covering her mouth as it formed a
perfect "O" of shock. "I mean I remember hearing on the news that they speculated it
could be one person that had caused the outbreak, but..." She gave Shawn another hug.
"I'm so sorry." She looked over at the tombstones for Danny and Susan. "I thought they
had died because of the outbreak, not that they were the cause of it."

"Mom wasn't. She was... she was the first one that Danny killed. He came to me
scared out of his *mind*..."

Nikki grabbed Shawn's hand and gave it a squeeze. "It's okay."

Shawn took his hand out of Nikki's grip. "No it isn't. I'm his older brother, he
came to me looking for help and I ended up... I ended up..."

Nikki cupped Shawn's cheek. "Shawn...."

"I ended up *killing* him Nikki! Me!" He wasn't going to cry. He was done
crying.

Nikki was silent for a long time. Finally she said, "Did he ask you to?"

"What? Nikki..."

"I know Danny... just like I know you. And I know that you wouldn't do
anything like that unless you had to. Danny was killing hundreds of people Shawn. And
it wasn't something he could control, or something that was going to stop." She rubbed
her thumb along Shawn's cheekbone. "You're not a bad person Shawn."

Shawn raised his hand and gripped it, stopping Nikki's thumb as it continued to
rub his cheek. "I missed you."

"Missed you too." Nikki smiled.

A chill wind blew through the cemetery, passing right through Shawn. "Nikki,
you want to go get some coffee or something? Maybe Rosie's for a Vanilla Cinnamon
Latte?" Nikki had the biggest sweet tooth of anyone Shawn had ever met.

Nikki nodded. "Yeah, let's get out of here. Too much death here to stay for too
long."

"Yeah." Shawn lowered Nikki's hand and didn't let go until they reached his car.

*~*~*

Most of Seattle was still in disarray after Danny's unintentional outbreak, and
while some businesses were closed up tighter than a drum, probably because they had no
one to run them, Shawn assumed, Rosie's was still open for business. It was the anti-
Starbucks, with its overly comfortable booths, complete with fraying, patched up
cushions, pastel colored walls, and incense candles that burned at every table.

After buying a Vanilla Cinnamon Latte for Nikki and a coffee, black with two
sugars, for himself, the two of them sat down in a corner booth, underneath a rather large
ficus that seemed like it was a few branches short of being completely overgrown.

Nikki took a sip of her Latte. "I missed these." She had a blissful smile on her
face. "The last time I had one of these... I don't remember."

"I haven't been here in a while. Usually my assistant got me my coffee. I haven't
had a reason to come here in months."

"That's right, Shawn Farrell, city congressman." Nikki laughed, "I never saw
you as a politician. Still don't."

Shawn shook his head. "I don't think I ever did either." He took a sip. "You
know a part of me is actually glad it didn't happen. I know I was doing it to show
everyone that the 4400 weren't all like Jordan, that we weren't monsters, or people to be
afraid of. But I never felt comfortable doing any of it."

"I don't think you have to worry about that anymore. There's a whole city of
people..."

"That's the problem. There's a whole city of people."

Nikki smiled. "Shawn, you don't have to solve everyone's problems. You aren't
a superhero."

Shawn didn't respond for a moment. "Someone has to be."

"Well you don't have to do it alone."

Shawn half-smiled, "No I don't."

"How's Kyle? And his dad?" Nikki asked.

"I wouldn't know... I haven't talked to them much since the funeral. Kyle...
Kyle is working with Jordan now. Doing God knows what. And uncle Tommy is so busy
with NTAC..."

"I would think so. I'm surprised the government hasn't shut them down yet."

"Apparently NTAC convinced the government that it was beneficial to have them
stay around, act as an informant for everything that's going on in the new Promise City."
Shawn stared at his coffee cup. "But they don't think that's going to work for long. And
when the government's support does end, my uncle Tommy has no idea what's going to
happen. He just knows that it isn't going to be good." Shawn swallowed the last of his
coffee. "Did... are both of your parents still..."

Nikki shook her head. "Nope."

"Was it your mom? Or..."

Nikki interrupted Shawn. "You want to know what's funny? With everything
that happened after I asked you to save my dad? He was the one that was P-Negative.
You cured him only for him to die anyway. Life's funny that way huh?"

"Nikki, that... I don't know what to tell you except for how sorry I am."

"Wasn't his fault. It was just his time. Wasn't yours either." Nikki said. "But I
think I've told you that already. You gave him more time that he wouldn't of had
otherwise. I had a whole extra year with him. Time I wouldn't replace for the world. It
made it... easier when we had to bury him for real this time."

"Was that who you were visiting in the graveyard?"

Nikki nodded. "It would have been his birthday today." She looked at Shawn.
"And if you say I'm sorry again I might just have to hit you."

Shawn laughed for the first time in a long time, the sound ringing in the small
coffee shop. "Wouldn't want little Nikki to do that, now would I?"

"You got that right mister." Nikki smirked. "And I won't let you forget it."

Shawn reached over and grabbed Nikki's free hand. "I wouldn't want you to."