2007-07-18: Another Plan


Niki_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter calls Niki to propose a new plan of action, one that includes less innocent bystanders. And invites her out to eat. Where they eat. And he starts to seem a little more normal, despite his strange life.

Date It Happened: July 18th, 2007

Another Plan

On the Phone

PHONE: You dial the number 283-3194. It begins to ring.

PHONE: The other end answers, "Hello?"

PHONE: Peter sounds a little less tense, but his voice is a whisper, almost less confident sounding, "Hi, it's— Peter Petrelli. I'm— really sorry about yesterday." There's sound sound of hammering in the background, as if he's near a construction site of some kind, though it doesn't sound like he's outdoors from the lack of wind.

PHONE: Niki, on the other hand, is surrounded by the distant sounds of a TV, more than likely a videogame by the music and general blam-blam-blamming. "Hey," she says, unsurely, but good-naturedly. "I'm not sure what you have to apologize for. You were trying to do the right thing."

PHONE: Peter almost sounds like he's laughing, or at least the exhale of air through his nose sounds close. "Trying." And from the sounds of it, he doesn't think much of his attempt. "Was wonder if… you'd like to try to do what we planned without them. Just us. Not sure Cass'll let me use Bat Country, but…" They pretty much proved it was more dangerous for those two than for him, anyway. The hammering continues for the moment.

PHONE: Niki is obviously walking to somewhere more secluded; the background noise fades, replaced by footsteps. "… Maybe … maybe it'd be for the best." It might be safer, and the others… well, they clearly have a lot to deal with.

PHONE: Peter says softly, still whispering in tone, but that could be for reasons other than lack of seclusion, "I'll have to think of someplace we can try to do that— but I'm sure I can come up with something." At this point, the hammering stops and he says, "Just a moment," and takes the phone away, saying something to someone, and then moving further away as the hammering starts back up and fades away. "Will you be free tonight or tomorrow? I know you have other things to worry about…"

PHONE: Niki says, "Well, I don't have anywhere else to be, if that's what you mean."

PHONE: Peter seems to hesitate a moment. "I was thinking of going somewhere tonight and— honestly I just want to get out of my apartment." That hesitation returns, and there's a hint that he's closing a door from the way things sound and the hammering fades off. "Would you like to have dinner? Talk about what we might need to do…"

PHONE: Niki seems to hesitate a moment herself, now. One moment, two, three… "Yeah," she answers, decisively agreeing. "Okay." Pause. "'Cause, I don't really understand what it is you're gonna do. All this mind-reading business? Kinda over my head."

PHONE: Peter seems to lighten up, tone wise at this point. Though for a moment he might sound relieved, until that levels out. "Honestly not sure how it will work either. Think it might be best we try it out before… it's really needed. I'll— do you remember the building that I flew you to after I caught you? The Deveaux Building? Figured we could meet there and then find somewhere to eat and talk." And that way it's almost neutral ground, too.

PHONE: Niki can't help but laugh, just a soft sound, almost incredulous; it's still strange, to her, to talk about things like flying so casually. "Yeah, I think I remember. It's near Central Park, right?"

Outside the Deveaux Building

The meeting time was made just before the phone call ended. Six Thirty in the evening, down on the ground. No reason to climb all those stairs just to get up to the rooftop— since that isn't where they're going to be eating anyway. Out in front of the building, Peter arrives a little early, stepping out of a cab, which he pays in cash, decent tip, too. The driver turns his light back on, and drives off, leaving him to step up to the building and look around for the blonde woman, or wait. He's dressed somewhere above casual, a set of sunglasses perched on his nose to block the sun that's still up from his eyes, and black seeming to be the color of the day. A black short sleeved shirt, black jeans, and again, he's left behind his carrier bag. Everything he needs hangs from his belt or rests in a pocket.

Peter doesn't have long to wait, as the woman he's meeting is just around the corner. Niki steps out of the shadow she didn't intend to be lingering in; the building is so tall, and people so small, beside it. Like Peter, she's a little above casual, but not by much; today, it just means a pair of trim grey pants instead of jeans. The vivid red of her sleeveless shirt stands out. Her hair is tugged back into a ponytail. "I wasn't waiting long— just so you know," she says as she comes to view on the sidewalk into the sun, smiling.

There's still something a little forced in his smile as Peter does see her. It's there, but something about it… "Glad you weren't waiting long— took a while to find a cab." Sometimes he really does prefer using his brother's drivers. "Hope it wasn't too much trouble," he says, meaning of course getting someone to look after her son so that she could do this. Again. "Used to work here," he points up at the tall building, "So I know all the good places to eat in the area. Anything you perfer? There's a deli, and an Italian restraunt— and a sushi place a little further."

"I was wondering what made this building so special, of all the buildings in New York City." Following the point, Niki looks up at the structure, the same smile still settled on her lips. If hers is forced, she does a good job of hiding it, this time. "It doesn't matter to me," she answers. "…well, maybe not sushi."

"The man who owned the building was my first patient— Charles Deveaux. He lived in the penthouse." And he tried to date the man's daughter, then he died, and then the daughter died. There's— yeah. A lot of stuff he could tell about that. Sushi isn't on the top of her menu, so Peter chooses, "We'll go for the deli. It's a little closer and it has pasta and a few other things too." Gesturing down the street, he starts the way there. "I did do some of my training up there— actually thought that… if we can't use Bat Country, we could use that." Pigeon Country?

"… The roof?" Even though she's still smiling, Niki gives Peter an undeniably incredulous sort of look. "Do you think that would be…" Um. Looking up, up, up at the building and holding onto her purse rather tightly, she winces slowly as she continues, "…safe?"

"It's bigger than it looks…" Peter says, glancing up at it. Thirty odd stories straight up and straight down, depending on the direction. "It's safe for me— I know that much. Might cause… Jessica to hesitate running away, too, maybe?" A lot more than busting through a wall might— or that's his theory at least. Maybe he's wrong and she'd have a death wish about that sort of thing. Even if she threw him off the roof, chances are he'd recover fast enough to catch up to her… "It's just a thought."

"That's if you find Jessica." Meaning… what? If it works at all? If it draws Jessica out? If he finds someone else? Niki is vague, and maybe on purpose. Her head still tipped back to look up at those thirty odd stories, a hand lifted to shade her eyes from the sun in lieu of the sunglasses she didn't bring. "It's better than nothing."

Raising his sunglasses up to look at her fully, Peter's got a surprised expression. If he finds Jessica… "Only other option I got is to see if there's an abandoned building somewhere— the further away from people, the better." But that's not likely to happen. At least a rooftop gives him a mild advantage, strategically. As he gestures to continue walking, she'll see that the street level deli he promised is not very far away at all. A business building that happens to have a seperate deli on the bottom floor. "There something else I should know about?"

"The roof is fine." Falling into step as a casual stroll beside him down the street, Niki looks over at Peter with a wistful, conflicted expression … summed up by another vague answer as she watches the sidewalk, instead. "I wish I knew." Bitter? Yes. Sincere? Yep, that too. But she does try to tell him what she can - wouldn't want to give him a completely unexpected surprise by accident. "You should know— it's not just Jessica. And there could be some," Niki shrugs one shoulder, "I don't even know about." Yet.

"Well— that just means I might come face to face with someone who hasn't killed me yet," Peter says in a voice that might be joking, but without the right tone for it. "It's okay— we'll figure something out. Better to know that ahead of time." When they reach the deli, he opens the door for her. The food is ordered at the counter, pasta and sandwiches both, along with salads, and there's many tables where they could sit outside of voice range of any of the other customers and the staff. "I'll pay— least I can do for taking up your time two nights in a row."

Even if it was a joke, Niki doesn't much feel up to laughing at it, it would seem. She turns about as soon as she steps inside the deli, then falls in beside Peter again. "It's okay, you know," she points out, shaking her head with a smile. "It's not like I mind."

It hadn't been very funny anyway. As they approach the counter, Peter reaches up to perch the sunglasses on the top of his head again. He already knows what he wants, as he used to eat here all the time a year ago. Not so much anymore, so now it's out of the ordinary. He'll wait for her to be ready to order. "Really? Even though I— make people's lives a little stranger just by being in it?"

Niki looks at Peter as if she's about to smirk, but holds it back while she steps up to the counter. It just takes her a second to decide, so she goes ahead and orders. An averagely healthy sandwich. The employee behind the counter gets a polite 'thanks!' before Niki's voice lowers to Peter. "Define stranger," she says, pinning Peter with a vaguely amused look after a roll of her eyes.

Stepping forward, Peter orders a pasta plate, one that specifically has no meat sauce. While he reaches into his pocket to get cash out of his wallet to hand over and pay, he glances in her direction and answers the question in a 'stranger' way than normal. Specifically… his mouth isn't even moving, but there's a mild whisper— almost like something said outloud, but she'll know pretty fast it wasn't. ~Like this kind of weird.~

Niki definitely does know pretty fast that it wasn't said outloud. Having caught his glance, she looks more sharply at Peter when he whispers-only to see that he's not. Or, well, his mouth isn't moving. Jesus—! The blonde gets her look of surprise under control and opens her mouth to reply, but at the last millisecond, clamps it shut, purses her lips, focuses on Peter with a very slight narrowing of her eyes. ~… My husband could walk through walls. My son… he's… something else.~ The woman's voice is fairly strong and clear without much background noise, if Peter can catch it. Maaaybe because she's somewhat well-versed in talking to herself in her head, in a more … complicated manner of speaking. ~Maybe we're all weird. But we're all just human, too.~

That is actually a lot clearer than most people. Some people actually give him a headache. The person on the other side of the counter, for example… he tries to keep his mind focused on the blonde alone. Peter can't help but tilt his head at her a moment as he 'listens' in for the time being. They don't have long to wait on their food, but he moves down to the pickup area and just watches her. ~Don't think I picked that up.~ There's almost a sad sound to his mental voice, as if it's a shame. If he had, he would have gotten to know the man better. "Thank you," he says outloud, when the woman hands over their food, along with cups to fill up for drinking. The sandwich is passed to her, while he picks up a fork for his pasta bowl.

… (Eating happens)

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