The loneliness had been unexpected. He'd been on his own since he left home at 16; until he met Sammy. The days immediately following his best friend's death had been so full of chaos and change that he hadn't really had a chance to process the absence until he was back on the road. And then he was running. He was alone. And he missed his friend.
Tony Sawicki was a survivor, always had been and always would be. But his time spent off the grid had felt like an eternity. The solitude had weighed heavy on his shoulders and made his heart constrict. The first few weeks had been a hazy blur; the days empty and meaningless without his long time companion.
Despite his criminal history, he had never imagined there'd be a point in life that he'd be hiding from a sinister corporation he knew next to nothing about. He was no stranger to elaborate complexities, coming to terms with his gender and sexuality had been a mental clusterfuck, but being part of a scientific experiment entrenched in a global conspiracy was still something he could only barely wrap his his head around. He had clones. No - he had family.
And after six months without any sort of meaningful contact from his new family, a text from Sarah had been like a rain storm after a drought. He packed his bags and made his way back in a matter of days. But now, standing in front of the sliding door to Felix's loft, he is inexplicably nervous. Suppressing the unexpected feeling, he pounds his fist against the door a few times before sliding it open and entering without invitation. There is a moment of relief at the seemingly empty apartment, until he feels the cold metal edge of a knife against his throat. He stiffens instinctively, his body frozen as he takes in this unexpected development.
"Who are you?" The woman's breath is warm against his neck, but sends chills down his spine.
"Tony. My name's Tony." When the only response is the sharp blade pressing slightly harder against his skin, he elaborates. "I'm a friend of Fee."
After a brief hesitation, the pressure against his neck relents. A few tense moments pass as he waits for...something... He carefully steps away. Turning, he comes face to face with his reflection, except with unruly hair, blond curls growing out of dark brown roots, and a sly half grin conflicting with the feral gleam in wild, searching eyes.
"You are like me, but not...sestra?" Helena is slightly confused. It sets her on edge. She wants to trust this stranger wearing her face. She's learned a lot about family the last few months; about loyalty and love. But she knows how cruel the world is; how evil people can be. She studies the scruffy looking man, almost like a predator sizing up prey. She's willing to give him a chance; but if he's a threat to Sarah and Kira, a threat to her family, she will have no regrets disposing of him.
Tony holds up his hands placatingly. He's heard about the woman before him. Helena, Sarah's twin. Felix had mentioned her a couple times in passing. The rogue/killer clone. "Completely barmy," is how Felix had described her. But so far Tony thinks she has the look of someone who's been hurt, someone looking for love and affirmation, but is slow to trust after being burned in the past. He recognizes that look, can see it painted across her face; he'd spent years with it staring back at him in the mirror.
"Helena, right? Felix and Sarah told me about you." He lowers his hands and relaxes his posture, attempting to appear as non-threatening as possible.
"They have not mentioned you." Helena's hand clenches and unclenches reflexively around the knife.
"Probably just jealous that I'm better looking." He takes the risk of settling on the couch. Stretching out he tucks a hand in the waist band of his jeans. The move is deliberately casual, but he's not foolish enough to let his new sister out of his sight.
Helena tilts her head. He is definitely one of them, she decides. She doesn't understand exactly how, but the thought of adding another member to her patchwork family appeals to her. Especially one who is so...unique. She relaxes her hand, her grip on the knife loose as she walks forward before purposefully dropping it to the table between them as she passes by. She grins at his visible relief, before wandering off to the kitchen.
Tony's eyes follow her as she returns with a six pack of beer. Sliding it onto the table beside the discarded knife, she plucks out a bottle and twists off the top before folding herself into the armchair beside the couch. She takes a large swallow from the drink. She waits until Tony has had a few sips of his own before deciding to speak.
"You are brother, sestra?" At Tony's slow nod, a smile spreads across Helena's face. "You are very handsome."
Tony finally relaxes completely. He flashes a broad grin and Helena is immediately intrigued by his gold tooth. She slides off the couch and approaches her new brother slowly.
"Your teeth. It shines." Helena settles on the table, sitting calmly her legs crossed underneath her. The sudden closeness is odd, but Tony doesn't mind. Without hesitation he pulls out the dental bridge containing his gold "tooth" and displays it unashamedly to Helena.
"Courtesy of a bar brawl a few years back. Guy messed up my teeth, but I messed up his entire face." Tony shrugs and pops the bridge back in. "I hear you're no stranger to a fight yourself."
"No." Helena's face scrunches up as she similes, but shakes her head. Tony let's out a rumbling laugh. He begins to respond, but Helena has already taken interest in something new.
"You are the first of us with beard." Helena reaches to her own smooth chin and mimes the action of stroking a beard. Tony let's out another laugh and slowly reaches for Helena's hand. When met with curiosity instead of resistance he brings her hand to his chin. Helena's eyes shine with child-like joy as her fingers trace his jaw. "I like your hairs."
"Ya know, Blondie, I think you and me are gonna get along just fine." For the first time in a while, Tony feels at home. He's not so alone anymore.