2008-01-26: A Rose By Any Other Name Is Not Nathan

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Following the events of Breakthrough, Peter drags Jack home to Trina.

Date It Happened: January 26th, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name Is Not Nathan


Jack and Trina's apartment, NYC.

It's getting toward the later part of the daylight hours. Still sunny, but the sun will start setting soon. In winter, that's still pretty early. There's no sound when someone rudely appears in the middle of the living room. Two people, technically. One is sitting upwards, knelt down beside a second man. The much taller man, who happens to have a place in this apartment, has his head freshly bandaged, but it still looks as if he's been in a small altercation. Bruises mostly. Nothing severly damaged. The other man barely looks scratched, though his clothes are ruffled. Peter's bringing Jack home. He's unconscious— but it's better than when he brought in Mr. Danny Walsh.

It's true, Jack is taking a nap. The scratches and bruises on his face are a testament to the conflict, and they stretch down well below the collar of his t-shirt.

For the keen observer, there's another familiar set of marks on his arm. Tiny holes left by spike tracks.

Trina's got her head in the fridge when Jack gets dragged home, nothing but her denim-clad backside visible at first. There's a mumbled sound of victory as she backs up, followed soon after by the crisp crinkling of plastic bag. When the woman turns around, however, there's a shriek, followed soon after by the sound of breaking glass, foaming beer, a thicker jar hitting the floor and surviving, and spilling tortilla chips.

Tostitos-brand, for the curious. Accept no substitutes.

It's only a moment later, with her hand still clutching tightly a bit of beat up black tee shirt over her heart, that the motorhead leans her darkly-tressed head a little towards the duo with kohl-lined eyes squinting and forehead crinkling. "Peter?" With the counter between them, she doesn't immediately catch sight of what's on the floor. That's why she starts cautiously rounding the island. "High holy hell! You scared me to death. What's the…" Then her eyes open, and she's dashing towards the second man on the floor. "Jack!"

And there went a glass. Peter grimaces as he opens his eyes to look up and spot the woman. Now that he's looking at her, there's more than a hint of drying sweat in his hair. Almost as if he'd been working out quite a bit and has finally taken the time to cool down. "Sorry— I couldn't really carry him to the apartment." He's a big guy… There's a glance down at him. "He should be okay. I bandaged the worst of the injury. He hit his head. But…" He glances down at the man's arm, grimacing a little. "I think he's involved in dangerous things still."

Whatever Peter says at first is lost, Trina's eyes only for her lover. Nearly skidding across the floor as she throws herself down to collect Derex in her arms, she is barely containing hysterics. "Jack, baby? Honey. C'mon, sugar." Then she looks up to Peter as she remembers herself. Danger? Did she hear the word danger? No, that can't be right. "Thank you for bringin' him home. What… What happened?"

"Trina, it'll be okay…" Peter says, putting his hand on her shoulder as she gets upset. There's no blame for her upset, though. The hand and vocal tone are attempting to offer some comfort. And then she asks what happened… "He— there's kind of a— my brother's going through something difficult right now and we're not in agreement with his actions. But he basically tried to kill me. Would have killed me if I couldn't teleport and heal myself. He called on Jack to clean up the mess…"

There's a hesitation, because he's not sure how much further he should explain. "Jack injected me with something. To help my brother. But I don't think it had the effect he expected… All his injuries— I caused them. I couldn't control my abilities very well because of whatever he stabbed me with." There's a pause. "And I was a little mad that he stabbed me in the back…" Might as well be honest.

Groan. Head hurts. Pounding. That's the first sensation Jack feels. He opens his eyes and the light stabs into them viciously. There's a familiar, soft-but-yielding presence surrounding him. Trina. He can recognize her scent.

The next sensation is nausea. It's been far, far too long since his last fix. The muscles in his abdomen clench in a fair imitation of rigor mortis as he fights to keep from vomiting. Then the shivering starts. One of his hands clenches against his fiancee's arm spastically. The other digs and slides toward his pocket, already searching for relief, though he's not fully conscious.

Trina stares at Peter as he speaks, looking more than a little distrusting as she cradles Jack's head and shoulders against her chest protectively. There are several blinks, and then she slowly shakes her head. "No. That can't be right. He… He wouldn't do that, Pete. There's gotta be some kinda mistake." It's a mere breath later that she feels her beloved jerk to life, and then there's the clawing and the reaching for his pocket. Her face falls as confusion and denial turn into something else entirely.

She moves to grab his wrists, fully intending to cross his arms over his chest in attempt to immobilize him. It's all she can do to keep herself from breaking into tears. "No. Oh, Jack. Nonononono." Her head drops to catch one of his shoulders under her chin, murmuring softly in his ear. "You're okay, baby. You're okay." Her blue eyes lift then, looking up to Peter apologetically. "I'm sorry. Just… Just let me get him under control, and then let me take a look at you."

"Could be he never really liked me… but I think there's something else behind this," Peter says, as he notes the way she tries to hold him down, keep him from reaching into his pockets. He left evidence behind— because in this situation he saw no need to try to hide Jack's secret from his own girlfriend. "I made sure the police didn't go to where he was— that's why I bandaged him up, brought him here." And dumped Logan off in the middle of Central Park, left an anonymous tip and leaves that for his spin-doctors to explain. Better than the two men found in a nearly destroyed foyer, with one of them heavily drugged up.

"I'm fine, Trina— I was a little— I'm more or less okay now. I had a little time to wind down." And some of his abilities firing off might have helped it pass more quickly— even if they made things very dangerous for starters. "My brother isn't exactly himself right now, and he might be influencing Jack a little." He cautiously looks at Jack. "And I don't think he took care of his… situation… as well as he thought he could on his own." He sounds fairly calm— though his voice retains a mild quiver, and his tone is barely above a whisper.

As soon as Trina starts to fight him, Jack jerks the rest of the way into wakefulness. His eyes flicker open again and then narrow to tight slights in an attempt to block out as much light as possible. His brow furrows and his mouth presses into a tight, unpleasant light. Unfortunately, for all his muscles, right now he doesn't have the strength to fight back. Yet. He's too sick and too weak and he's been conked on the head too many times. "'M fine," he insists raggedly. "Lemme go. C'mon."

Wearily, unwillingly, he sinks back against Trina's chest. "Don't listen to him. I believe Nathan. Peter killed somebody, and then he tried to kill his own brother. We can't trust him anymore."

For her part, Trina is doing a pretty remarkable job of keeping it together. "Jus' sit up on the couch, Peter. I'll getcha a cup of coffee. Won't take me more than a few minutes." And then Trina's eyes turn darkly towards the man in her unyielding arms as she holds him against her torso and kneeling knees, her eyes narrowing into slits of an entirely different sort. "Yeah? You're a hell of a one to talk about trust, Jack Derex. You promised me. You lied to me. What the hell' you put in your veins this time? And Peter." She indicates their guest with a jut of her chin. "You stab him like he said?"

There's no immediate protest from Peter on the man's accusations. In fact his eyes slide away and he straightens off the floor fully and goes to sit on the couch, as the lady of the house instructed. There's room for arguing, and he doesn't take it, settling into a seated position and leaning forward, arms resting against his knees. Looks like he'll listen and stay out of the way, eyes on the two of them. There's regret there. Hasn't even been a year and things are already on a dark path, much like the path he saw when he really got to know the woman here.

"Damn right I stabbed him. I'll do it again as soon as you gerroffame." Jack's growling and struggling resumes, now fueled by anger and cravings working side by side. "He tried to kill my best friend! His own damn brother! He beat me up and you want to get him coffee?"

He slumps backward again, but this time there's nothing resigned about it. He tips his head back, looks Trina in the eye, and whispers, "Let. Me. Go."

Trina goes back to curling tightly around Jack as the fighting starts up again, waiting until he's stopped struggling as she sets her to affix Jack with a particularly unamused expression through the errant strands of black hair that are falling into her face. Then her eyebrows lift as she takes a deep breath and braces. "No. Jack, you ain't thinkin' right. It's jus' that junk you're throwin' in your veins. Pete wouldn't do that. He wouldn't hurt Nathan." Looking back up, there's an imploring expression. "Tell him, Peter. Tell him you wouldn't."

"He's not— I did hurt Nathan, but I didn't— it wasn't what I intended to happen," Peter tries to explain, looking up at them, specifically Trina, with a kind of quiet pleading, hoping she'll understand. She's one of the people who would, though he'll not directly say why right now— not here. "I did… kill someone…" he says, that pain tightening his eyes. "But I didn't mean to, I tried to heal him, I tried to fix it— I even tried to change that it ever happened… I couldn't take it back." Even telling the man's son to use his time travelling to get him out of the office at the wrong time failed. "I did not want to hurt Nathan— and certainly wasn't trying to kill him."

It's getting harder to think. Harder to breath. Close to gasping for air, Jack resumes the futile struggle toward his pocket. "Haven't you ever heard the saying, 'Cold turkey, dead turkey?'" With his brow deeply furrowed and his eyes pinched shut in agony, he tries another tactic. "Please, let me have this. It hurts. It hurts so much."

"And don't listen to him, baby," he snaps, his eyes flashing open to glare at Peter. "Nathan wouldn't lie to me. The kid's gone bad."

It would be easier to just let Jack have what he wants. That's why Trina can't. She looks to Peter, even as she struggles to keep her lover where he is and away from the needle hidden on his person. Her expression softens, and then her lips press into a very tight line. Yeah, Petrelli. She knows what you're getting at. She gets it. Or at least, she thinks she does. If it was anything like her experience, then she knows how positively horrific that must of been. Unfortunately, she can only hug one man at a time, and Derex called dibsies a long time before this moment.

She closes her eyes, and then presses her lips against Jack's ear and the side of her head against his head. "Jack? Jack, listen to me. Where'd you get the drugs, baby?" Maybe part of the answer lies there.

The look is returned, and for a moment relief flashes by Peter's eyes. Soon replaced by guilt as he looks back down to the floor in front of him. "Nathan wouldn't lie to you normally. That's why I tried to tell you that my brother isn't entirely himself right now." The tone is whispered again, tension on his forehead as he keeps his eyes down. Only one person can be comforted at a time, and he's not trying to get in the way of that. Then again, he isn't up and leaving just yet, either.

"It doesn't matter where I got them!" Jack shouts, growing less coherent and rational by the second. "I need them, baby. Please. I can't be like this. I have to protect you."

It's difficult. Very, very difficult. And painful, especially in his present condition. A single, crimson tear leaks from the corner of one eye as he relocates a sidearm from his desk drawer at the Den. With a shaking hand, he levels it at Peter over his fiance's back. "Nathan seems more like himself than he has in a long time. He's helping me. He's protecting himself. You're the one who started acting weird."

Unaware of what Jack's got hanging out by her shoulder, Trina just tries to hold her fiance close. He's yelling at her, however, and her shoulders pull in a little closer to her body. Her head is nestled against his, her voice low as she tries to cajole him back into a sense of calm. So she can put Jack to bed and then go to rip off Nathan's head and shove it into a particular orifice (that may or may not rhyme with Cass) for reintroducing this horror into their lives. "Look, baby, I don't know what's goin' on. But we'll get you clean again. Gimme what you got and lemme get rid of it. We'll get you to bed. You don't gotta worry about this…"

"I won't argue that I'm different than I was a few months ago— but look at yourself before you start pointing fingers," Peter says as he gets to his feet. "You always struck me as much stronger than this— you seemed like a man who wouldn't need drugs to make himself strong enough to protect the woman he loved." He glances toward Trina. There's some biting tension in his voice, perhaps insulted by being told what he was. "I won't tell you what to do with yourself, Jack, or your problems. But I am going to help my brother. Cause I know he's not himself right now." There's a small pause before he adds, "And I won't let you get in my way."

Most of his attention is on the man of the house and not his fiancee, but after he says his 'threat' he looks at her, a grimace showing up, crunching his eyes together for a moment. There's a flash of concern, or maybe guilt, before he follows up with, "I'll do my best not to hurt you next time." Cause he seems to know there will be a next time.

Jack shakes his head briskly. "Get out!" he roars angrily. Though much of what he'd replenished was expended by jacking the gun, his strength is starting to return. Enough that he can lean up and clutch Trina to his chest just as she holds him to hers.

"By God, I'll do whatever I have to do to keep you from hurting anyone else. I'll pump myself full of that shit if that's what it takes." He pauses and takes in a deep, calming breath. When he continues, his voice is icy and distant. "This is the last time you get to walk away. For old time's sake. For Elena. Next time, one of us won't walk away at all."

As Jack twists in her arms, finding a way to get his arms free enough to bring her close, Trina finds little comfort there. He's yelling terrifying things, nursed by the darkness of chemicals pulsing through his veins. She pulls away just enough to crack open her eyes and see the gun that he's somehow gotten his hands on. Taking a slow and careful breath, the woman reaches up to curl her fingertips in front of the muzzle of that pistol. "Peter," she offers at last, nervous to breathe, lest Jack's drug-addled temper be tempted to do something profoundly stupid. "I… I think you' better jus' go. I'll owe you that cup of coffee." Because sending him out of here on drugs and without a cup of coffee is far better than sending him out of here in a body bag.

"Before you throw your life away shooting up, maybe you should try find out exactly what happened from someone who didn't shoot me in the back of the head when I was leaving after just talking to him," Peter says, actually with some anger creeping up in his voice. Perhaps even bitterness. After all… his brother shot him. In the head. When he had turned around to walk away. He looks at Trina, the anger shifting a little. "Sorry. You don't owe me anything." He still sounds tense, which is why it's a good reason he closes his eyes and disappears, teleporting back out the way he came.

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