2007-09-28: A Light In The Tunnel


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: It's almost a rule or a trend that whenever Peter and Elena progress forward, a really bad fight happens. Thankfully, this one ends a little better than the last one. This time, in the middle of the night, Peter manages to paint two paintings, and both depict catastrophic events that involve a certain electroblonde ex-girlfriend.

Date It Happened: September 28th, 2007

A Light In The Tunnel

Peter Petrelli's Apartment, New York City

The sunlight streaks in through multiple windows, illuminating a couple of rooms that have seen better days. Clothes are laying out in the area between the kitchen and the front room. A small white dog has curled up on one of the chairs, the one that hasn't been knocked over onto the floor. Books and decorations have fallen from one of the bookshelves, strewn out on the floor in a chaotic pile. Nothing was broken, luckily— though it's a wonder that the ship in a bottle remained up on the shelf, while so much of the rest got knocked off. Good news, too…

The closet, usually closed most of the time, lays open, a few items removed, and two flat objects lean against the wall and desk nearby— but we'll get back to that later.

Right now— there's sunlight and silence. The sheets of the bed are in disarray, but they cover the two occupents at least partially. One of them is definitely awake before the other, fingers quietly trailing along her skin where indirect sunlight bouncing off the sectioned mirror hits her. There's something around her neck— one of the few things that hadn't been removed during and left somewhere in his apartment— a cross.

Fingers hook under the chain, moving along it until he finds the cross that once belonged to her mother, that she's worn so many times since she died. While he's not overly religous, he certainly is spiritual— and there's a reason why he leans over her body and draws the cross up to his lips.

In memory of the future— a future that's the past to him— he whispers something against the small piece of metal against his lips, "Bless me father, for I have sinned."

He may not be religous, but she is. And while he certainly doesn't really regret it— he does know that it would be a sin in the eyes of many.

He doesn't even notice the dried paint splattered on certain parts of his body. Red, yellow, black….

The night before had been a whirl. Flashes of icy cold and searing hot. She wasn't even sure if it happened, or if she had dreamed it all. Even now the scent of rain remains a phantom memory on her nostrils. Her skin still tingled from the night before. It was amazing, how three simple words could affect him so. It had been truthful, absent, said in such a way that it had almost been one of the most natural things in the world that she's ever done. Perhaps she could even remember the vague snippets of memory where she had tried to move away from him to catch a breath, to keep things under control. But something had snapped. It had been too late for her. In many ways it had been over a couple of months ago.

In some ways it felt like it went on forever, and in some ways it felt like it hadn't gone on long enough. It also felt as if she'd only got a couple of hours of sleep, snatches of a nap here and there before it started all over again, feeling him everywhere all over again with his fingers clutching hers tightly as he moved. He waited for months. She never thought it would happen - not until she was marrried. But love and desperation had always been a volatile combination between them.

Everything felt heavy. She had already been on the verge of waking when the sun hit the skin of a slim, bare leg exposed from a tangle of sheets. The movement of the cool, gold chain around her neck pushes her towards consciousness further. There's a whisper - it wasn't her own. She can't quite make it out, considering how fuzzy her mind was. She stirs, her head moving, her eyesight obscured by a tangle of hair draped over her face. She slowly becomes away of a pillow underneath her, her arms curled up underneath it while she lays on her chest. There was a shadow, moving above her, blocking most of the light.

Dark lashes lift slowly from her eyes. "…Peter…?" Elena murmurs hoarsely. Her throat felt dry, and she had a little bit of trouble talking. Considering the noises she vaguely remembered making through the night, it wasn't all that surprising. In many ways she felt drunk, if not drugged.

Her eyes close again. "….did we make it to the bed after all…?" comes the tired sigh.

Not married. Something for which her telepathic dad may have words about one day, but Peter still can't bring himself to regret a single moment of the night— at least not the parts he remembers. There's a few moments where he's pretty sure he dozed off— or blacked out— but she always distracted him when things came back together. The whole night is in a partial haze, in fact— and he hadn't even been drinking. But she can be intoxicating, in more ways than one— and last night had definitely been one of the moments when emotions and chemistry couldn't be denied.

Lifting away, he shifts so that he can see her, letting the necklace fall back against her skin while his hand slides to find her own. In some ways his senses are heightened to a point of insanity— he can smell her, feel her— spot the way the light brings out the gold in her skin— but in other ways his senses are so dulled. He doesn't notice so much around him. Tunnel vision, in a way, with only the light at the end visible.

"Good morning," he says softly, voice not quite as hoarse, but definitely taking on the deeper, whispered tones. "Yeah— we made it to the bed." It's still early, honestly— the sun's up just enough to spill in his window and splash off of his mirror, brightening the room so much more than normal, but he can feel the strong desire to stay exactly where he is— all day— if he could. "Good thing it's a weekend." And a Sunday. He doesn't work on Sundays.

"…don't….even remember what day it is…" Elena murmurs, her lashes falling heavily over her eyes. His callused hand gripping her own she can't help but smile. It takes a bit, but she shifts, rolling on her back. With their fingers intertwined, the movement draws his arm across her torso while he lays sideways looking at her. Another sigh escapes her lips, dark eyes drifting to the alarm clock on her side of the bed. It was, she discovers, upside down in her vision. They had ended up sleeping cross-wise on the bed as opposed to sleeping with their heads toward the headboard.


She stifles a groan. She didn't want to move. She can probably catch mass later tonight, but…

She lets go of her hand, shifting so she could slide her arms around him and bury her face against his shoulder. She doesn't say anything for a while, but the sleepy sounds coming from her are content, not regretful. In many ways, she shouldn't have done it, shouldn't have let him. But it wasn't as if she gave it up to just anyone. "Good morning…" she says softly, drawing her fingertips lightly over his arm. Her touch tingles, and she tilts her head upwards to meet his eyes hazily.

"….do you have to be anywhere today…?" It was so -difficult- to talk, and a little difficult to move. Parts of her, she realizes, were a little sore.

It's funny how things turn out. It's lucky they didn't end up on the floor… Though they did manage to take a shower at one point, to warm up after the short lived cold rain that poured down on them on the rooftop. That— had also been an experience all it's own. Peter's fingers squeeze her hand gently, and with his arm drapped across her he leans in to kiss her shoulder gently. Sunday— yet she's so distracting he doesn't really care that he's making her miss mass. He's bad for a Catholic girl, it would seem…

There's some dried paint on the sheets, even— and a little smeared on her— but most of it is on him. How strange that he doesn't even notice it at all… Tunnel vision at it's worst. Or best, perhaps, because after all the darkness he went through, a light at the end of the tunnel might well blind him from more— for now.

"No— I don't work today— though I will have to take my dog for a walk later…" She'll survive a little longer, though, because he's distracted— and she's not exactly barking to get taken out, either. He hasn't even thought she might start chewing on his books— she's a pretty good dog, if mildly confused by what happened last night.

Then again they're a little confused themselves.

"I can make you breakfast…" he adds, though he'll have to stop kissing her in order to do that… And the way things are going— they won't be getting away from the bed for a little while longer.

Definitely a bad influence for a Catholic girl.

The Tunnel Vision effect is something she's really unaware of. Though when his hand squeezes hers gently, and when he shifts closer to kiss her shoulder, she can't help but sigh softly, and close her eyes. She's a little relieved, maybe, that he's not going anywhere. Elena had been bracing herself for the wave of guilt and regret that -should- be drowning her at the moment for what she had done and let herself do, but….it hasn't. God willing (hah hah), it never does. She was too sated. Too content. Too….damned lazy.

Though the sated part might be a little speaking too soon. "Breakfast…?" she asks fuzzily. His mouth was sliding up her shoulder and towards her neck. "….isn't it my turn to…" She's silenced at some point, her arms curling around his neck. Plans for eating much of anything despite the fact that she's starving at this point fly out the window. Senses are heightened again. The haze lifts a moment, thankfully, so she can sort of remember the entirety of it this time. The morning only serves to sharpen the images of memory from the night before…

Moments pass in silence afterwards. Elena absently stroking the ridge of Peter's spine in an absent fashion. She would talk, but she has to catch her breath. It was always been difficult to breathe when things ran away from them, especially now. She buries her face where his neck meets his shoulder, curling her arms up so one set of fingers rested over it.

"I love you," comes the quiet, raspy sigh, her eyes flickering open to look at him.


Her eyes open a little further, lifting her fingertips. Red splotches. They stained her fingertips and the gap between her thumb and index finger.

Is it her turn? Peter's honestly lost track— and he might have to clean up the kitchen just a bit before he can cook anyway. The fact that they actually have light to see by might help keep things from blacking out a little— even then, all he's aware of for the moment is the two of them. And that's all he'll probably be aware of for some time unless an outside force pulls him back. The dog could do that, but she's asleep, even through this. She's just as lazy as they are, it would seem— even if they're definitely not sleeping.

As things settle back into silence, he leans forward against her shoulder, resting his forehead there for a long moment, breath slowing. Only when she speaks does he try to return it, a hint of a smile in his whispered voice. "I know you do— I knew you did before…" It's one of the many things he didn't really need to be told— but at the same time… he really, really, needed to hear it. "I love you, too." It's returned again— before he'd been saying it with no return, said it so many times the last month he doesn't think he could count them if he tried—

And he's grateful— happy— for a moment that darkness doesn't even exist anymore.

But like all things… When she pulls her hand back he lifts up to look at her, blinking. He gets this feeling something's off, all of a sudden— but… when did she get red on her fingers?

At first, he could almost look like blood, but really— he knows better. He's seen blood enough times to know it doesn't really look like that. But it does start to pull on his senses, tugging him into reality. There's a smell he hadn't noticed before— something not them. Paint.

"….did you cheat and read my mind…?" Elena murmurs absently, kissing his temple. His body temperature is elevated - though that's no surprise considering. But she rolls the red, splotchy fragments around her fingers even as she continues to hold onto him, waiting for him to catch his breath and feeling hot, jagged bursts of it trying to calm down against her shoulder. But even as the smell hits Peter's nostrils, Elena's realization hits her. Her fingers weren't sporting specks of blood, it was paint. Dried blood looked black, even under the light. The substance flecked on her skin was vibrant red - and smelled synthetic.

"Paint….?" she murmurs out loud. The confusion in her voice can't be denied. "Peter…" She shifts underneath him, pressing both hands on his shoulders so she can push him off and roll him on the side gently. She hadn't seen it - it was hard to see his entire body when… but once she manages to roll him over and sit up a bit, the sheets tangling around her further, she could see it. Streaks of black. Yellow. More red, criss-crossing over his torso. What the hell? Did they crash into his paint supplies? It couldn't have happened…he keeps all of that in his…

Dark eyes move across the room, to the open closet door.

"….Peter when did you…?"

"No… I just knew," Peter responds softly to the inquiry on if he cheated. Maybe once— but that had been with her future self. Even if so much of what happened had been a weird sense of deja vu for him— it had it's own unique twist. She told him she loved him. That had been the rock that began the avalanche. Something that hadn't happened before, in the future— or the past—

But there's paint. For a long moment, he just blinks at it, then glances down at his own body, his arms, his hands, his chest… He shifts away enough to see the splotches, the smears— there's even one across his cheek, and his neck— as if he'd touched his face afterwards. He can't see that, but it's there. Much more of it on him than on her, which would also be evidence against just crashing into his paint supplies.

When she looks through the open double doors of his room, toward the closet that should be closed, his eyes follow too.

"…I…" What.

There's definite confusion in his voice, followed finally by a simple confession, "I don't remember…" There's only one way to find out. Shifting off the bed, suddenly more awake than before, he stops to grab a pair of shorts from his dresser and put them on. She's seen everything already— but it's not his style to walk around his apartment undressed. Though from the lack of paint on any clothes… he'd done that earlier in the evening… or morning…

Once he's covered, more or less, he steps into the living room, carefully wading through fallen books and decorations— only to stop when he sees two canvases resting against the wall. One's turned away from him.

The one he can see shows fire. Lots of fire— sillouettes of people in the fire, looking as if they're standing up against it, or trapped by it—

It was on her too. There was more of the paint on him than her, meaning whatever happened… Elena shakes her head to rid herself of the fuzziness. Her eyesight clears, seeing the colors streaked over his skin and looking down on herself to realize that she hadn't come out of it unscathed. And then, the memory returns. She vaguely remembers him leaving her in the middle of the night, to the kitchen. She remembers the light flickering open in the dark room before she closed her eyes again…..she didn't know when he came back, but when he came back all she could remember was…

She would joke about him being possessed by the Spirit of Mendez again. She'd seen it happened before, but there was something a little more ominous about it this time. Whatever he paints, save for the two things she knows, they were all pretty dire. The fact that he didn't remember, it was just…

She pulls the sheet to her chest as she gets up, watching him get partly dressed before moving towards the living room. She says nothing, not yet, but she does grope around on the floor and pulls on….well, his undershirt from the evening before. It was cold, and it still smelled like rainwater, but she pulls it over her head. He was bigger than her, and outweighed her by about forty pounds or so. The hem pulls down to her upper thighs as she swings her legs off the bed and moves to the disaster area that was his living room.

The canvasses certainly wasn't there before.

The fiery painting isn't one she recognizes. It was new, and she squints at the image. "….I…don't…" She doesn't recognize where this is happening. "Is this anywhere in New York…?"

There had been a painting of a fire— but he's pretty sure that one had already happened. Peter had been with the Company when that occured, they'd moved from from one facility to the one at Kirby Plaza— and there'd been mentions afterwards by Elle of her home burning down— the building they'd first met in— but if this is a painting it should have been taking place in the future, one would think… It's rather odd, really— he's not sure what to think of it, even as he moves forward and kneels down in front of it. "I don't… know." Wherever it is, it's inside— there's a hint of walls and ceilings in the layout— but at the same time…

Wasn't there a girl who could use fire that everyone had been concerned about at one point or another? And why did this happen now?

Too much good at once— apparently there must be some kind of balance. Moving closer to the second canvas, leaning away from them, he turns it over so that they can both see it.

A familiar face. Blonde hair visible, pale eyes wide and staring visionlessly— a line of red sliced through her forehead, the angle making it look as if the top of her head might not even be there anymore— and a tall shadow casting over her as she seems to fall towards gray floor. It's almost as if the point of view comes from the source of the tall shadow standing over her.

He doesn't even remember sitting down on the floor. Letting it sit there, leaning against a chair, he falls back onto the floor and just stares at it. Shock. The shock will likely fade into something else fairly quickly— but for now— shock.

"….this is going to happen at some point but….I don't recognize…" Elena says, still looking at the picture where everything is on fire. The connection to Kellie was the furthest thing out of her mind, considering it's happened so long ago and the fire could've been caused by -anything-. And she didn't even know where this happened. She tries to scrutinize the walls, the halls. Was there anything to indicate what sort of building this was? How many people? Were they dead? She pulls the long sleeves up further on her elbows, pushing her hair away from her eyes as she scrutinizes the painting. She's so focused on it that she doesn't even realize Peter's moving towards the other canvas.

It's only when Peter drops heavily that she turns around. Her eyes drop to him first, and then the painting. The other painting.

"………." There are no words. She knows that face. She's been electrocuted and later on hung out with that face. She takes several steps forward. Was that…. weren't they just talking about this last night? "What….that….is that…?" She can't speak in whole sentences. It had been a discussion. Last night had just been a DISCUSSION. Not…

She reaches out to touch Peter's shoulder. "Easy," she says softly. "We don't know if this….this hasn't happened yet." This can't have happened yet. Can't. They have time to stop this. Right? Despite what happened between Elle and him, this can't be easy for him to see. He's seen Cass's corpse on canvas. Now, he's seeing Elle's.

Last night had been a discussion— neither of them had outrights aid it, but they both thought it. Sylar had electricity— which could very well mean he killed the young woman they both know— and that he'd loved at one point. Peter had wanted so much to save her when he knocked her out and took her with him that night at Kirby— but things changed so dramatically, he can't even describe it. The person he'd fell in love with changed— her memory played with— and the fact that he couldn't save her broke him down in ways he still can't quite get a handle on.

The sight of this hits him harder than Cass did, actually— for reasons he's not sure he could explain. Their relationship has been over for months— he hasn't even seen her since he broke things off, and persuaded her to be okay with it. But he's not the type to just forget— or let go— even on something that failed— something that'd been doomed from the start.

When she touches him, she'll feel his shoulder stiffen, even pull away slightly. And then he does pull away all together. He stands up, and turns towards the bedroom, wading through fallen items once again, and going to his dresser, pulling out clothes. Part of him wants to curl up and cry— another part wants to find something to numb the pain, but the part that's acting— the part that already saw one painting come true when he could do absolutely nothing to stop it, even when he'd been right there… the part that survived a month in a terrible future that tried so much to break him— this part is grabbing clothes, getting dressed.

"I can't let this happen." One step closer to the future he doesn't want to see— and someone he loved dead. All of which he can't let happen. "I have to go— talk to them— warn her." And then… "I have to stop him."

It may be because he loved her once. And it also maybe because Sylar did it. It might also be the fact that in the future, Sylar managed to acquire Elle's power, which meant that the future he and everyone else was trying to halt wasn't halting at all.

Part of it stung, when he pulls away, Elena watching him make a beeline to his room. Glancing at the paintings, she sets her jaw stubbornly, and….she doesn't move after him. She turns around to walk to the other side of the apartment. And when she comes back, she has a pair of pliers. These, she uses to break the staples holding both canvases in place, so they can be rolled, stuffed in tubes, and carried for transport. She knew what he was going to do already. He can storm to Kirby Plaza and blather all he wants about what happened, but it didn't change the fact that whoever he intends to talk to, he's still going to have to -see- it.

With that done, leaving the canvases deframed to be rolled later, she follows after him. She closes both doors behind her - because if yelling is going to be involved, which she half anticipates might happen, she doesn't want to disturb the dog. "I won't stop you," she says. "From going to the Company and talking to them. I'm coming with you." Because no matter which way he swung it, Peter was unstable and he wasn't thinking clearly. "And yes, you'll stop him - but IN TIME. You told me he killed you once. The last time you faced him here, he took your hand, and the most recent time you fought him, you almost -died-! Even with my help. You're not ready."

Fear grips her, not by what he's saying, but the tone. Especially the last. Was this how it happens? He mentioned in the future he jumped to, he died sometime in 2007 fighting Sylar. Was it because of this? Because he sought him out after what happened?

The doors are closed just as he finally pulls a shirt over his head. Peter chose one that doesn't button up, because it's faster that way. A black shirt with something on underneath. He didn't even think to take the paintings with them— he'd planned to take pictures of it and take those, but she's right— the physical evidence will speak louder than even a picture of it. Mr. Bishop will take it seriously, he's sure— or anyone else who happens to be there when he arrives.

"No, I don't— " The protest begins, but it also cuts off as his eyes catch her. There's something haunted in his eyes— something she may have only seen a few times in passing— something about the past, the future— the things he saw there— the things he didn't even want to share in detail. They're all coming back. It's not stopping, is it? Being with someone else isn't enough…

"You can come with me," he gives in, without much argument. Doesn't have to like it, though, but he can argue the last point as he finds a pair of tennis shoes to put on. "That was in the future— he had regeneration. He doesn't have regeneration. I know why I failed last time and I won't make the same mistake again." He knows what happened. He'd hesitated. He didn't want to kill him— he hadn't thought he'd be capable of it— he knows he doesn't want to become that. But if it stops everything, if it keeps all the bad things that man will cause from happening— then maybe he can become something he's not sure he's ready for.

"He's not immortal. He can die. I've seen it happen."

Of COURSE being with someone else wasn't enough! Elena's told him that several times - even her future self has. The right string, the right thread, needs to be cut. Stop the storms, you stop it all - that's what Desiree told them, and she has no cause -not- to believe her at this time. She moves around the bedroom, pulling her clothing off the ground, what she can manage to find anyway, and jerks his shirt off her body so she can start getting dressed herself. Why the hell does this always seem to happen after…

"Yes, you do," she answers stubbornly, jerking on her jeans and standing up to button them. She snatches her hoodie up and shrugs it on top of her tanktop, zipping it partway up to ward off the cold waiting for them outside.

"Yes, he can die, but it took -someone else to do it-." She spins around then, facing Peter. She's still barefoot, her shoes are outside somewhere. "You died when you faced him some time during this year, remember? You almost died when you faced him -again- in the future. He killed you once already, and when you were defending Detective Damaris, he -took off your hand-! Don't you think that maybe, just -maybe-, all of this is telling you that someone ELSE is meant to end Sylar's life?! It could be anyone, maybe someone we haven't met yet, but I don't think it's meant to be you, Peter!"

She shakes her head. "I'm not saying all of this just because I'm invested and I'm one of the last people in the world who wants to see you tangle with that monster. I'm saying this because that's what history is telling -me-. Do what you have to in order to stop him. Do what you have to do to get in his way and make sure he never gets what he wants. But if you take a life, even his, there's no going back from that."

A month ago he would have said the same thing she is— Peter would have agreed with her. Even after all that happened, he'd never outright tried to kill the other man. Only once did he really try to kill him— and that's when he thought he would die too. It was more to take him with him, rather than commit murder. But things have changed. "Maybe history's trying to make me ready to do this," he says stubbornly, tying his shoelaces and standing up. He could start storming toward the door, grab the paintings and go, bu the does wait— he said she could come with him. But this isn't an argument he seems quite equipted to have right now.

The last time they argued like this, he blew up his balcony— he lost her for a month— or two years by another calender. And he's not ready to lose her again. Not now. Especially not now.

"We can talk about this later," he says finally. He doesn't need to go after him right now. Right now they need to get these paintings to the Company and warn them. This isn't how he'd intended to meet with the Company at all, but he needed to talk to them, see them. And this is just as important as keeping the young woman who happens to be a tornado out of their hands. Though that's pretty important to. He just had never been in love with that girl— so it's less of an emotional drive.

"I'll get the paintings ready to move," he adds, moving to open the doors.

"History is telling you that -nothing good- comes out of you trying to kill him," Elena's voice is firm, her stubborness clashing hard against his own. Deep down she was so scared she was practically choking on it, but she grinds it down hard with her own formidable willpower. But her eyes narrow, and her body is stiff. She remembers the last time they fought - while they clashed many times in the future, she's only fought him once here. It seems to be happening again, but while she's struggling to keep her own rationality, it's difficult when one is this emotionally invested. She knows he's determined, but while he has it in his own mind that he can't lose her, at the moment it felt that he was far away from her reach. He was pulling away, not just by touch, and while she's still got the line with how tightly she was hanging on, it was cutting deep into her palms.

But she's stubborn.

She lets him go get the paintings, her teeth clamped together tightly. She spins around to go to the bathroom, the door slamming shut - a little harder than she intended. She does have a temper after all, but she's determined to work with him. She was his girlfriend now, but before that she was his best friend, a partner, someone who helped him get through the bigger bumps in his life. She taps onto that role now, slamming whatever hurt back away behind metal doors and locking it securely so she can do what needs to be done.

When she emerges from the bathroom, she's washed her face….well….looks like she sunk her head into the shower for a while because her hair is wet, and pulled back. She's also brushed her teeth, she grabs her shoes and stuffs them on her feet, and moves to the living room. She hasn't said anything, not yet, but she's focused on clearing out a pile of mess in the kitchen so she can try and find something she needs.

She finds it, the Casio watch armed with the GPS device by Gene. She straps it on her wrist. Moving to her bag, she rifles through it, and pulls out a black….what is it. She checks it, still with narrowed eyes. It's no gun, but it'll have to do. If anyone tries to grab any part of her, he'll get hit by a faceful of mace.

Not like she needs any weapons. But the longer she can keep the magnitude of her abilities under wraps the better.

There's a couple of tubes in the close that Peter digs out, spraying something on the canvases and taking a few digital copies of them on his cellphone before he rolls them up and slams them down into the tubes for easy travel. He doesn't like this— he doesn't like this at all. And from the slamming bathroom door, she doesn't much like it either. Things had been so good last night— so good this morning— and this had to go and happen. It's like destiny is trying to remind them that they're still in a tunnel, and even if they're blinded by the light at the end, they're not there yet… It's not over. The darkness still surrounds them. And they have a lot of fighting before they'll get to rest.

He is pulling away— and he doesn't even really realize it. Unfortunately… someone in the future taught him to stand on his own, to rely on his own strength, to fight his own battles. And that lesson is ringing just a little too loudly right now. He doesn't bother to arm himself, but he does grab a carrier bag to put the rolled up paintings into. He'd never even considered showing them the painting of Cass— or Elena— but this is different. This is Elle.

While she's finding her mace, he gets on the phone and places in a call for a taxi— they'll need one, and he doesn't have the patience for hailing one. The poor dog will have to wait, even if she's up now. He does have half a mind to fill her bowl with food, and make sure she has water— but for everything else— she'll have to wait. Unless…

No— he said she could go. With the call made, he pockets his phone and looks at her for a long moment. No breakfast for them.

She ignores the look, and concentrates on what she's doing. She pulls her own bag over her shoulder. It's but a satchel - she takes care of removing anything but her money in case she needs it out of it. The mace goes into her back pocket for easy access. She even cracks her knuckles to loosen up her fingers. Elena focuses on work, despite the fact that her pride is smarting from his pulling away. She'll stew and rail at him later, or she'll spend the night at her own place. Either way, something more important needs to get done.

She props her foot up on a seat, and tugs tightly on her laces to secure them. She checks her phone, sets it on vibrate, and puts that in her front pocket. She hears, somewhere, the call to get a cab - which was practical, considering it still looks dismal outside and they'll get to their destination faster that way. His gaze is heavy on her, but she doesn't address it still. She does take the time to crouch down and scratch Snowy's ears. The dog had always been sensitive if things got heavy between them, she at the very least would appreciate the comfort.

He's still looking at her. She straightens up and throws him a look. Feral glints of gold can be seen at the dark irises. Her jaw is set stubbornly. She's not just NOT HAPPY, she's angry. Both at the situation -and- at him. It was an easier emotion to cling on than hurt. She had been good enough for comfort when he needs it, to mope at, to sleep with - in both senses of the word this time - and when things got really dire, and important, he just—

Whatever. She can deal with it.

"What?" she grates hoarsely, snatching up her belt from the living room floor and clasping it around her person.

It's almost funny. The thing that he's doing that has made her furious— is exactly what really hurt and upset him that she'd done to him in a future she doesn't even remember. Typical, isn't it? Peter doesn't know for sure how to deal with this, but at least his expression is softening by the minute. He wants her there— he just doesn't want her to be hurt because of him— he doesn't want the Company to use her as leverage, or to abuse her in any way.

When she grates at him, he seems to realize just how really angry she is at him. Looking away, he shakes his head, glancing over the fallen books, the mess in the kitchen— everything. All products of an emotional outburst neither of them could control or avoid any longer. How badly will this emotional outburst be, when they can't contain the anger or the hurt anymore?

The argument may have been avoided, but as he moves to grab the door, hoping that they're both ready enough, he says in a whispered tone, "I won't be doing this alone. I know that." She won't let him do this alone— and she's not the only one. So many people have reminded him that he's not alone since he came back— that he needn't fight all on his own— that he has people standing with him. "When I go to stop Sylar— I know I won't be alone. And maybe you're right— maybe it's not my job to kill him. Maybe it's just my job to slow him down." That's how Lachlan killed him.

The softened look blunts her anger some, but she doesn't let go of it completely. Stubborn Elena is stubborn, and Stubborn Elena is furious. But as always she's shelving it all away to do what needs to be done. She'll support him, be there, protect him if she has to, if she can, but that didn't mean she liked where he was going. Not by a mile. And despite the words, despite the fact that he knows, she knows him. The last….it was almost a year. The last several long months that bound her to him also made herself extremely attuned to him. She knows what he's thinking before even he does.

And much like her father, she's not one to let it lie.

"You say that but the moment the opportunity presents itself, you'll forget it," she says, her voice hard and unyielding. In so many ways, she was a complete opposite of how she was in that dark future….but at the same time several aspects of her that were so fundamental exist in both versions. The blunt, sharp, straightforward truth tossed into the air to take tangible form, for one.

The soft look makes her want to hug him, whisper those three words. The truth of the matter makes him want to punch him in the face and stalk out. Instead, she heads for the door. She's ready to go.

"Someone has to kill him, Elena," Peter says, gripping the doorknob tightly for an instant. She read him too well— she knew that the way he is now, if the opportunity presents itself, he's not going to hesitate on killing him— he'll try his damnedest to do it— just like he did when he grabbed onto the man's clothes and pulled him off the building with him. His death was pre-determined in a painting much like his ex-girlfriend's is now— but he figured it would be worth it to take the man with him when he did die— Only he didn't die. Neither of them did.

"If I have the chance and I hesitate— he might kill me, or you— or Elle— or Claire— or Nathan…" In the future, this man killed so many people he cared about. "I'm not going to let him kill me or the people I care about anymore." There was one other moment when he nearly killed someone— he would have continued to try that if her own father hadn't finished the job for him. He'd thought she was dead— killed by Carter— and in that moment, he could have killed him.

Will she still be able to love him if he becomes what he nearly became there? Will he be able to look at his own face in a mirror?

There's a shake of his head, and he opens the door, makes sure the dog stays inside, and begins to head down to wait for the cab.

"Perhaps, but what makes you think you're that guy?" Elena shoots back. "You might be the most powerful person in the world but that doesn't give you a right to just -decide- that. Just because you've seen what you did, know what you did, doesn't mean that it's up to you and all up to you." She doesn't know about Carter, his soul had been saved by her father sacrificing his own just so he wouldn't have to. And if he told her that story it would only cement what she had told him earlier. That history was establishing, time and time again, that every time he tried to kill Sylar, the results would be disastrous. It started with Claire, and then later when the man killed him the first time. "And you're right. He -can- be killed. But so can you."

The last is choked out. It can't be helped. Being emotionally invested had been something she had tried to avoid when it came to him because she knows how he is, and that his Destiny was too great. That plan, however, had been left in pieces the last few weeks.

"So don't. Doesn't mean you have to kill him in turn. Especially when you know you're not ready, when you're still struggling to control what you have. When there's so much we don't know about— " She takes a deep breath, and exhales slowly. Instead of continuing on, she spins on her heel, and stalks down the hallway. Not like she was going to leave without him - not when he has the paintings - but to keep on talking was to get angrier.

Will she still love him if he did? Probably - much like how History's trying to tell him about Sylar, her own tells her she's not one to just un-Love anyone. But the person who he becomes -after- such an act. That's another story. Her heart belonged to -this- Peter. The line gets a little blurry when it

Oh, she went there… "This has nothing to do with how powerful I am," Peter raises his tone, obviously angry that she'd even bring that into this at all. But— Now that they're in the hallway and… Damnit. He reaches after her as she stalks down the hallway and grabs her arm, pulling her back to his room. They're not leaving yet, because she had to go there— The door to his apartment opens again and he pulls her inside, slamming the door behind him. He can't believe she went there. And this isn't an argument they can have in the middle of the hall, or in the stairwell, or the elevator, or on the street, or even in a cab. The cab might have to sit there and wait until it drives off now— because if she wanted to get into an argument, she pulled the right card.

"I know it's not all up to me, Elena! I just said that!" He yells, finally losing his controled whisper. The poor little white dog that had already been aggitated by all of this disappears into the bedroom, probably hiding under the bed where she's not supposed to be— but he's not about to blame her for this— he's not even paying attention when he turns around and looks back at her.

"If it's a choice between killing him and letting him go free to kill again— I'm going to kill him." Is he ready for that? No— is anyone ever really ready for that? But he knows he can't handle losing people he loves to him all over again. He went through it enough in the future. He can't do that again.

She's grabbed - this has happened before, but only in the future. This has -never- happened before in 2007, so Elena's eyes are wide with shock as she's dragged back into the apartment and the door slamming shut. She stares at him for a while, her arm still held in his grip, even as he yells at her over the thing she shouldn't have said - or the thing she said because it had been true. But after that…after all that… her eyes narrow at him, and she jerks her arm forcibly away from his grip.

"Does it?" she challenges. "Where the hell, then is all of this coming from? The root of it. From the very BEGINNING that's all I got from you, from the moment we met! Your duty! Your responsibility! If it wasn't what you can do that made you believe that, where the hell did that come from then?! And don't even tell me you've never tried to do it on your own because you take so much on yourself. When things go wrong, you blame yourself, no matter how far removed! If things fall apart, it's your responsibility somehow! You might be able to separate all of that from one another, but from what I see, it's all connected! What is it now? Just because you feel like everything's your fault when something goes wrong that you get to decide who goes after him too?!"

She jabs a finger in his direction. "You KNOW, but there's a difference between knowing and acting on that knowledge. Look me RIGHT in the eye and tell me it won't suddenly slip your mind when the opportunity presents itself! And now you're making up your mind when you KNOW you're nowhere near CLOSE to ready but when the right moment hits, you won't remember that either! You're…"

She takes a deep breath. "You're NOT THAT SORT OF PERSON! You're not the kind of person that'll just END SOMEONE. -Especially- when they're down. Other people might be able to pull that off because they're already callused in some way to have the capacity to, but NOT you. So when you say you'll kill him, that you won't hesitate, how do you know? It's not happening in front of you RIGHT NOW. You can't make and shouldn't make that conclusion so READILY!" Not easily. Readily.

The anger doesn't bleed away even as she counters his argument, yells at him, tosses in new sentiments that prove at least to a point that what he'd said had been bull. Peter knows that she's hit something— something he may not have even realized had been there. He'd still insist that his powers have nothing to do with his duty other than they act as a way for him to fulfill what he needs to do, but… she's right. It really does have everything to do with his abilities. "Because they're all I have, Elena!" He finally yells in frustration, giving up on this charade, turning away and stalking deeper into his apartment to set down the carrier bag with the two tubes sticking out of it.

"You didn't know me before. I would've given them up because of how much they could hurt people— but without them I can't help people either. They're not even mine…" He's often said this— all his abilities come from the strength of someone else, the strength of his connection to them. They're not his strength— even if he fought Sylar alone, he wouldn't be fighting him alone… But that's not what she means. Not what she means at all. "I can't just stand here and do nothing."

Doing nothing is what will happen if he stops taking responsibility— if he avoids his duty— if he rejects his abilities. That's what he'd done for four months, and look what good came of that— nothing good at all. Except that he got to meet all the people saddled in to rescue him, when he'd allowed them to hold him in the first place.

"I HAVE to be that sort of person, Elena! If I hesistate and don't kill him, he'll just keep coming back— one of these days he will kill me. He'll kill you. He'll kill Nathan. Claire— all of you. He won't stop unless someone stops him. And if killing him is the only way to stop it then I HAVE to be able to do it."

There is silence, for a long, drawn out moment when Elena breathes in deeply to try and regain her composure. But it's too late. Once it's snapped, it was gone. She remains by the door - which was dangerous enough in itself, and Peter knows her tendency to just storm out and leave him to his devices when he's being particularly bullheaded. Especially when he says the wrong thing. Not out of lack of love for him, but her father had been right to say that while she had a temper, she hated conflict. Especially when it was between her and someone she cared about immensely, like in this situation.

But at least he isn't telling her to get out of his life.

"I'm not TELLING YOU TO DO NOTHING!" she rages. She'd throw something but this was his place and despite her status in his life, she had no right to break anything of his. "I'm just telling you not to decide so freely that you'll be the one to just END someone's life no matter how monstrous he is! Didn't you hear me earlier?! You say you have to be that sort of person. You say you HAVE to be able to kill him when you come across him again. But I told you before and I thought you got it but it might not be up to YOU. You're the one who believes in Fate! You're the one who believes in Destiny! All through the battles you've had with him, they all ended up in some sort of disaster! Are you telling me you can believe in EVERYTHING - lack of coincidences, being able to stop this from cutting the right thread, but you can't believe something that's been proven in front of you time and time again?!"

She shakes her head. "You're not a killer!" she blurts out. "You're NOT. HAVING to and BEING ABLE to are completely different things!"

"I HAVEN'T DECIDED THAT!" Peter screams back at her, a good distance between them now, but neither of them are storming off and leaving just yet. "I know that other people are more capable of killing him than me! I'm NOT saying I'm the only one who can do it. I'm saying that if it comes down to it I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO DO IT. Because it's worse if I don't." He points off to the side, there's nothing there to point at, he's just making a gesture. She's lucky that none of his abilities are firing off— they may be all that he thinks he has that is of value to anyone else, but they're not reliable even then.

"It hasn't been a disaster every time I fought him! The first time I saved Claire's life. The second time I saved Mohinder Suresh! And then I saved Mara. And in the future he died. The only disaster is when I lost control of my abilities and blew up, but that hasn't happened since then! It's been almost a year, Elena. And I haven't lost control like that again!" Not that badly, at least— he's lost control in smaller ways, but never that bad.

"But every time I didn't kill him— he came back. That tells me something to. He'll keep coming back. And someone has to stop him. It doesn't have to be me, I KNOW THAT. But if I keep hesitating it may never end."

"OH REALLY?" Elena shoots back. She's not buying it in the least. "After taking EVERYTHING ELSE on your shoulders, or at least stubbornly attempting to if it wasn't for everyone trying to watch out for your stubborn ass, do you honestly expect ME, AFTER ALL OF THAT, to believe you haven't?!" She clings desperately to her anger, because if she doesn't she'll feel it - Fear, slipping through the cracks. "AND I'M TELLING YOU YOU'RE NOT A KILLER. And in those successes when you fought him, who got to pay for it in the end?! YOU did. You might be okay with it, but it might be permanent this time JUST LIKE YOU TOLD ME when you were stuck in 2009! You said it yourself, this time period is crucial. This time period is sensitive! Don't you think maybe all of this is the reason why you're DEAD in two years?!"

The building blocks of the future he saw were in place. She already told him that in the first days when he came back. Cass and Lachlan were engaged. Nathan was seeing someone else in the mirror. They found Evelyn unmolested, but that might not last. There's a monster in the Company. Who's to say that this wasn't part of it? After everything this probably -was-! All they've changed so far, definitely, were alerting Evelyn to the fact that she might be in danger and things between the two of them. ………and with the rate things were going, it might not last. She LEFT him after all, though Peter never told her why. He said she went to MIT at some point, but he didn't say when in the past it happened. Maybe the downspiral was leading up to that too, and if Evelyn gets messed up, and she leaves, and he dies, and Sylar's left to assume his identity…

It was hard to push back the fright. She's struggling with it, but to admit to it is to admit…

She turns away from him, raking a hand through her hair. Her hand reaches out to grasp the doorknob, twisting it brutally to the side. To open it. To get the hell out and leave him to his goddamned devices.

But she doesn't, her fingers slipping away after a moment. She leans on the door instead and takes another deep breath.

"How do you know that?" Peter asks, still keeping a distance between them, not quite yelling this time, but definitely with an emphasis of sorts. "How do you know what I am? What I could become? You don't know. I don't even know. What I do know is I can't stand by and do nothing— and the only way to stop him would be to kill him. Someone has to. And I can't control what anyone does except me." Which means if it comes down to it, it might have to be him because then at least he'd know it got done. Will it kill him? Permenantly? Is this what happened? He doubts it. There's too much that happened in the future that dictated this decision—

But she touched the door knob. And started to turn it.

It's like watching history repeat itself again. Except this time she didn't leave. At least not yet…

All the anger drains out of him pretty fast, he turns from he, walking towards the bookshelf, through the books that spilled, the items on the floor. For a moment it looks as if he's very tempted to start beating at it, kicking it, punch it— something… but instead… he turns away and just goes down, kneels on the floor, lowers his head. There's even a soft sound, wounded, so quiet it's almost not audible. After a moment, he sits back on his books.

"What am I supposed to do?" he asks helplessly, not even looking up now.

How does she know that? Elena falls silent at that. In a way, he was right. How did she know? She wasn't psychic. She wasn't a telepath like her father. She wasn't a precog like her would-be stepmother. "I told you. I'm not telling you not to do anything. But not doing anything and believing you have to do -one thing- aren't the same at all, Peter. It's not." She turns her head away from him, fixing her eyes at the Abe Lincoln stain on the side of the wall. She doesn't really say anything for a while. She hears him moving around. Shifting. She doesn't know he's sinking down on his knees until after, when he says the last.

She pushes away from the door, and walks over to where he ended up. She reaches down and picks up a few books, moving to set it on the nearest table. What was he supposed to do? She bites back a comment about thinking about killing people - truth be told, like him, she was more tired than angry. Though at the very least….with the paintings rolled up, with volatile emotions bled out and thrown all over the place in abandon, they can talk, at the very least, rationally.

Sort of.

She moves to take a seat next to him. She doesn't touch him yet, but she's close enough to denote their intimate relationship. She wasn't sitting away from him like they were strangers, or even just friends. "You," she says quietly. "Are going to see someone in the Company that won't throw your ass out into the street the moment you open your mouth. You're going to show whoever it is the paintings, and you warn them about the fire, and Elle being in danger. That might prompt the next step." She exhales a breath and rubs her eyes.

"Might be better to stick with the things we know and the things we can actually do for now."

The argument wasn't getting anywhere— and now all the determination to do what he thought he needed to do has fallen away— because he has no idea what he needs to do anymore. The confidence has disappeared. Peter's not even sure he'd been right in the first place. Does this mean he'll hesitate and avoid killing Sylar if it comes down to it? He has no idea— he won't know until it happens— until the opportuinity presents itself, but once again… he's left feeling rather empty and lost. At least when he thought he had to kill him he knew there was something he could do— now he's left not knowing anything at all. Except what she tells him to do.

"Noah… Mr. Bennet. He— he'll listen." Still doesn't tell him what to do about it in the end, though— still doesn't point him in the right direction.

His hands come up and over his face for the moment. In a way he's hiding, but there's so much he's not sure on. She pushed so many buttons— and he pushed back. But at least she didn't leave this time. The outcome isn't favorable, though. "I don't know what I can do…" he says softly, whispered voice rather exhausted. "I don't know what I'm capable of…" Now he's not even sure what he has to do. Other than just… fix things, stop things from happening. He just doesn't know how.

"The future… taught me that I had to be stronger— more independant. That I had to rely on my own strength…" And he's been trying to do that, bit by bit. But now… she's sending him an entirely different picture. "I don't want to do things on my own, but I thought I had to be strong enough so that I could… if I had to… Strong enough to actually protect people on my own…" Something he'd tried to do many times when he had to— Something he's never been particularly good at, but if he's the only one who suffered for it it doesn't seem so bad.

And she almost left him.

Why was he so anxious to get to the end? That was the part Elena had a hard time understanding. Wasn't every attempt to save the world a journey? It was the one thing that movies and videogames and TV shows got right - no one gets the answers all at once. The hero has to do one thing first before it leads him to another piece, and another, and another, until he gets to the end when he fights the big boss and actually saves the world, and by then he'll have everything he needs - which is the thing Peter clearly does NOT have at the present moment. When he names Claire's father, she nods once. "Alright. That's who we'll go see."

She shakes her head. "I know we don't have a lot of time but at the same time there are some things you can't force. Maybe you're not meant to know all of that right now, you don't have all the pieces still." She pushes her hair back from her eyes, and glances down at the books strewn around them. About what he says, about what he learned in the future.. "I won't disagree with all of that. It takes a certain sort of personality to bear the things you do. But you were talking about killing someone, Peter."

She rubs her face and exhales a breath. She turns slightly on the floor so she could look at him. Her eyes lower and she sighs. "In the end…." She closes her eyes. "It sounds so…stupid and ridiculous but in the end I don't think it's just your abilities that'll save the world. Your heart's…got a lot to do with it too. If you break that…if you lose yourself like that…"

Her hand moves to touch his wrist. She doesn't pull his hand away - not yet. "One step at a time, okay?" she murmurs softly. "Don't force it."

Looking at his hands, Peter takes in slow breaths, and then murmurs softly, "I don't want him to hurt anyone else— I want to stop him once and for all…" That shouldn't be a bad thing. He's barely human— he's a monster. But… She's right. He doesn't have the personality to bear it on his own right now. Even if he thinks he might be one of the only people who could be capable of doing it. Even in the future he'd needed to be part of it. Lachlan couldn't have killed him if the man hadn't stopped to gloat before killing him.

"My abilities might destroy the world…" he adds, still watching his hands, almost as if he's expecting them to do something that they shouldn't do. They're just normal hands— nothing out of the ordinary. "Almost did."

What the world really needs is heart. That's what someone said in a dream— it helped him step up to try and fight Sylar again— to face someone he didn't think he could stop… But… he was wrong. Peter wasn't the one who saved the world— not in the way that he'd made it sound. The love shared between him and his brother— that's what saved the world that time. It hadn't been him.

"But they'll all I have to offer." It's something he didn't quite understand until they started arguing. In some ways he doesn't even like his abilities— but when people need something, he always turns to them to try and help— because they're all he really has. Except what she just mentioned. His heart. His abilities are so connected to his emotions and connections to others— that they're still part of it.

The hand that touches his wrist is glanced at, before he leans against her, closing his eyes. "I don't know how much longer I can keep making this up as I go…"

"You might be able to stop him but I don't think you're the one meant to end him," Elena says softly. "Maybe you're the catalyst, not the solution in the end. You take on so much on yourself…it might be hard for you to see that but you shouldn't deny the possibility either." She glances down at his hands when he looks down at it, and she looks away on one side. "Well. So long as you have my powers maybe that won't happen." He mentioned he used an aspect of her ability to keep a newly absorbed power from going haywire, uncontrolled. Maybe he could do it again, train at it. That's what sucked about not knowing the full spectrum of this phenomenon….they touched upon a secret, but neither of them know it.

That's what saved the world that one time. Love did, not Death. Elena was trying to get him desperately to see that, and not just out of fear that he would die if he went on the path he was now, but because she sincerely believed it. Out of her Faith, and personal conviction. In many ways, it could be naive. But she had seen her father triumph over something bigger than him because of his love for his family and if he could do it, Peter most certainly can.

"That's not true." Because it isn't. In fact with how her theory works, whenever she sits down to actually put it on paper, -what- their abilities become when developed seem based on what had been around them growing up. If Peter had grown up to be selfless his entire life, dependent on his connections with other people, it naturally became the source of his power. "By the very nature of what you have, you know that's not true." When he leans towards her, she exhales a breath, curling her arms around his shoulders and holding him there. "And you're not making it all up. The pieces find you eventually if you don't find it. Look at this, this happened in the middle of the night….hell you don't even remember it. Even if you don't know what to do -something- will always come up. The next step. You're -meant- to wait sometimes."

"That's not… that's never what I said. I know I'm not the only one who can— I'm not even sure I'm the one who has to," Peter says softly, still looking at his hands, shaking his head. He'd tried to argue this before, but they were throwing each other around in circles, neither really hearing what the other way saying, but… "If we're fighting and I don't have a choice and I still hesitate… he'll kill me. I can't rely on someone to save me every time he beats me." He never intended to outright murder him— it would have been self defense, or defense of another either way. It's not like he plans to shoot him while he sleeps, or anything… In a way, killing him would be as much an act of love as of death… Just like her father had ended up having to kill Carter to finish things.

Still, even when she denies what he says, he just shakes his head, countering it without real argument— because he doesn't know if he can believe her, but he's not got the energy to throw out why that can't possibly be the case.

"I can't keep waiting. I have to do somethig. Maybe once we talk to Mr. Bennet… I'll have an idea what I need to do." Because right now that's the extent of the plan. Talk to Mr. Bennet— warn the Company about Sylar. The fire— he's not sure if it's connected at all, but— that too.

To justify it that way would end him in a dangerous road, and a path she's not sure she can follow. Elena shakes her head at that. "I'm not implying that you lay down and die either, Peter. It doesn't change the fact that you're not ready for that." And he may never be ready for that. That and she doesn't even know if he CAN not hesitate. It's fine and good to think you know how to do something, but to actually do it is different - that's what she had been trying to tell him on top of everything else. When the argument fizzles and dies however it's clear they're still disagreeing.

But at least no one left, and no one was rejecting the other. His weight is against her and she's doing her best to hold him up.

"That's what I was trying to tell you earlier," she sighs tiredly. Wasn't that what she just said? Go to the Company. Talk to someone who won't throw him out (Bennet), then figure it out from there. "All I'm saying is there will be times through the course of this entire thing that you have to sit tight. Right now we have -something- to do. Something precise and definite. Of course we should do that."

"I know I'm not ready," Peter says softly, not really disagreeing with her so much anymore. He'd thought he was, until she yelled at him— and now he's not sure anymore. That picture, the threat that he'll kill someone he once loved— the knowledge that in the future he will kill people that he loves— he thought that would be enough to make him ready. Not strong enough to really handle it, but ready to do it when he had to. Now… he's not so sure anymore. At this point, he won't know until it happens, it seems— because he's not going to get any reassurances— he's not even sure she'll stay with him if it turns out he is ready and capable of it…

"I know that's what you told me earlier— I'm agreeing with you," he says softly, voice tired, and now hoarse. "I'll give him a call— set up a place to meet and talk…" He shifts to put his hand against the bookshelf behind him, moving to stand, while he pulls the phone out of his pocket. He'd been in such a hurry originally he didn't even bother to clean up— though he really should. Pain still smears his cheek, and various other parts of him.

But he's not thinking so much about his personal appearance. That's the furthest thing from his mind.

She nods, and stands up from where she is. No, he's not getting reassurances of that. Not from her. She'll support him, be there when he needs it. She'll throw herself in front of him to save him, everything - but she won't reassure him of his capacity to kill. To do that would be to stoke something that may very well end him. Elena's role perhaps, in her perspective, was to make sure there were enough points for him not to lose himself because who he is now was so integral to what he could do. To disconnect from that may very well drive him to his death. She hopes in the end, even if he doesn't understand that now, he'll understand that later.

"Okay," she says quietly, letting go of him and turns to head to the bathroom so she could get some cold water in her and clear her head. "Let me know what he says." She'll let Peter do what he needs to do, but in the bathroom she can run some water and splash some on her face. It'll rejuvinate her, a little bit - fighting him was always so bloody exhausting.

The urge to cry suddenly was overwhelming. Her hand comes up automatically to clamp tight over her mouth to muffle the sound, leaning against the sink and squeezing her eyes shut as she gives into the ice-cold fear of his slaughter coming true for just a bit. Just a little while. But it passes when she grips the cross hanging from her neck tightly, taking another deep breath and splashing her face with ice cold water. Drying it up, she turns on the other faucet to get the warm water going, and dips the edge of a towel into it.

He'll probably still be on the phone when she heads out of the bathroom, but she'll lift the edge of the towel to gently rub the smudge of paint she sees on his face.

Holding it together, Peter might be wanting to cry too, but he can't let himself break down just yet— even if he nearly did when he'd sat down next to the bookshelf— right on top of some of his books. But he didn't. When she arrives from the bathroom, he's still on the phone, setting things up while being noticably vague. Peter's not sure how much he wants the other man to know until they meet up— especially since a Company Man's phone is more likely to be bugged than even his is. He wants the Company to know, but he wants the Company to find out in a way that he trusts a little more than most.

When she approaches to brush the cloth along his cheek, he seems to be wrapping things up, a hint of a nod coming from him, even if the person he's nodding at really can't see it, then he says in the thick voice, "That works— I'll see you then. Thanks."

The call ends, he hangs up the phone, and looks toward her as she cleans off his face. There's a long pause, where he should probably tell her the plan… but then he shifts, moving forward, and wraps his arms around her, buring his face in her shoulder. "I love you," he mutters in the whispered tone, still harsh, but only because of all the yelling that happened.

She manages to clean off his face. "….people'll wonder on the way there," is all Elena says in explanation, her eyes sliding to the side when she says it. But he ends the call, she keeps cleaning his face off. Not like they were in the best shape of their lives waking up in the morning as it is. As it stands, perhaps the fight had been a blessing in disguise - it certainly calmed him down. Sometimes exhaustion was the only way to do it, as he's proven many times.

She blinks when he draws her in. In a way this was a far cry from their last big fight, when she had stormed off and he destroyed a huge part of his apartment. Her arms fall on her sides, stiffening a bit - not because she was rejecting the sentiment, but more of an instinctive reaction to steel herself before she cried on him and clung to him and blubbered over how much he scared her earlier. In the end, however, all she does is sag against him, wrapping her arms around him and squeezing tight. So tightly she wasn't even aware of it. It was the only indicator as to how much he scared her earlier. But her voice is quiet.

She kisses his cheek tenderly and buries her face where his neck meets his shoulder. "I love you too," she says, closing her eyes and gripping the back of his shirt between her fingers.

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