2007-05-13: Bad News... And Good News... And More Bad News

Starring:

Heidi_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Heidi arrives at Peter's apartment to find him passed out. She gives him some news on Elena and her relationship with Nathan, then he returns the favor by telling her that NATHAN IS AWESOME. Oh. And also that they have to save the world again. Well, CRAP.

Date It Happened: 13 MAY 2007

Bad News… And Good News… And More Bad News


Peter's Apartment

The apartment had been empty for the whole night and the better part of the morning. By this point, Snowy has gotten used to her owner's absenses. Whenever someone came by the door, she'd run up and wag her tail and bark expectantly. But only once did the person stop and stick for a moment. She wagged, hoping they would enter. Instead they shoved a chew toy under the door in the form of an envelope. Luckily for Peter, he got home before she managed to really bite into it. Seeing the envelope, he set it aslide for a few minutes on the counter so he could take Snowy downstairs and let her do anything she's held all night while waiting for him.

She's getting a lot better at that. There's only a small mess on the kitchen floor that he needs to clean up. Sometiems she understands him a lot better than she should.

Settled on the couch after letting Snowy back in, he takes the envelope and opens it, reaching in to the card. As soon as it drops into his hand, he's unconsious on the couch. Okay. Note to others. Using psychometry might be a very secret form of information transfer— but it's also really tough on him.

Depending on her timing, he might be unconsious on the couch when she knocks on the door— and still unconsious for minutes. Might be a good time to use those keys he passes out to his close family.

—-

It started as a knock-knock on the door. She tried again, then again, just to be sure Peter wasn't home before leaving. In fact, when no one answers the door, Heidi just figures she can come back later… Except for the fact that there seems to be a little waggly puppy just on the other side of the door, and Heidi like puppies, like most people do, and can't resist letting herself in. Just for a few minutes, she says to herself. Peter won't mind.

Of course, as soon as she opens the door, she sees her brother-in-law slumped over on his couch, and it doesn't look as if he's just fallen asleep there. Worried, she hurries over to where he's lying, ignoring the card so she can gently shake his shoulder. "Peter?" she says, giving him a decent shove after the shaking fails. Her cellphone's in her hand, and she'd definitely /call someone/ if she wasn't worried about… certain things. Like, would they be able to tell he's a mutant just by drawing blood or something? 9-1-1 is dialed in, but Heidi doesn't hit the call button yet, instead setting it on the closest nearby surface so she can brace her hands on both his shoulders and give him another really good shake. If he doesn't come to after that, she's definitely calling for help.

…Maybe she should have checked to see if he was even breathing first. Yeah, that would make sense, except for the fact that she has no medical training at all. Common sense? Usually. Not this time, though.

—-

The vision wracks Peter rather heavily, flooding his mind with information and emotion, digging deep into his heart and burrowing into his mind. Visual imagry, thoughts, and sounds. Luckily for him, and the police, Peter pulls out of it just before she hits the send button. There's a sudden gasped inhale, and his body spasms once, not quite shaking, but jerking away. There's no way he'll know how long he was out. The dog wagging a tail at the base of the couch certainly can't explain.

When his eyes open, they look so lost and pained that one would almost think he might cry— until he realizes he's not alone. The eyes settle on Heidi and he blinks a few times. "What— what are you doing here?"

Sitting up some, he lifts his hand up, the unsigned, unwritten on card drawn up to glance at. Well, he doesn't have to ask where it came from. Though he doesn't know why she couldn't just call him.

"Is everything okay?" Does he assume people only stop by when they need something?

—-

/YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY CRAZY…/

—Her eyes seem to say.

Seriously, shocked blue eyes watch the young man as he sits up. Heidi backs off as he does so, standing and retrieving her phone so she can cancel the number before it's sent. What if he passes out again? Should she be asking if he needs help? "God, Peter, are you all right?" she replies to his questions, because she's /fine./ "You were unconscious when I got here. I'm glad I came in… I knocked, but you didn't answer." Then she figured she'd come in and see Snowy, who is adorable. "Do you need me to call an ambulance? Do you need to go to the hospital? What happened?"

She is a very confused and concerned older sister. Also, Heidi isn't going to bring up what she actually came to talk about until Peter tells her what's going on, or at least assures her that he's okay. She couldn't possibly know that the card caused him to pass out, because she never considered someone would have the ability to have visions through touching an item. Besides, it's so inconspicuous.

Probably the point, though.

Eventually, she does answer, though. "Everything's fine. I just came by to talk to you. But that can wait. D'you need some aspirin or something?"

—-

Older siblings are awesome things to have. Peter would never complain about someone looking at him with worried eyes, even if he does his best to dismiss it, shaking his head, "No— don't need to go to the hospital. One of— one of the abilities— I have. Just a little shaken." Not sturred. Okay, maybe sturred too. The visions are never easy to get rid of, the emotions lingering. The feeling at the end, the sense of loss— that causes a heavy burden for him as he tries to stand, and ends up falling back onto the couch. Yeah, still shaky. But—

"Really, I'm okay. Just— you could say it was kinda like a dream. Knocked me out for a few minutes is all. Sorry if I scared you." There's a long pause as he just tries to breathe, looking over the blue eyed woman quietly before he glances down at the tail wagging dog. She also earns a hint of a smile, "Yeah— sorry to you too." Even if he's not speaking dog right now, he'll still apologize.

Moving to stand up a second time has better success, he gets to his feet and walks over to his coat on the coat rack and pulls out a phone. The same phone as normal. He gives the universal sign for 'just a minute' before he thumbs through the phone book and clicks a name.

The phone rings. As expected there's no answer, but when it beeps this time, he doesn't hang up after hearing the soft voice. Instead he takes a slow breath, as if trying to brace himself, and speaks softly, "Thank you." There. It's done.

He closes the phone and looks back at the woman in the room. "Don't need anything. So— what brought you here?"

—-

One of Peter's abilities. "How many do you have?" Heidi asks rhetorically, eyes still wide with worry. She takes things like this seriously, even if she doesn't have a clue of to really go about handling medical emergencies, other than calling for help. Perhaps she should take a class on first-aid sometime soon. "Stay on the couch, I'll get you some water."

And as she goes to get water, she can hear him standing up, because that's what Peter does. Closing her eyes and forcing herself not to say anything about it, Heidi finds a clean glass and fills it from the tap, before grabbing Peter's shirt and dragging him back over to the couch. "I'm sorry. If you want me to get used to this, you're going to have to humour me while I figure it out. Here." Peter will find the glass of water held out to him. She's scowling by now. "Sit down, I'll tell you."

Heidi finds a seat across from the couch, seating herself, and making sure that Peter does the same. The worried air about Heidi changes to something close to uncomfortable - worry in a different way, perhaps, but something along the same line. "Well, a couple things. I can start with the good or the bad."

—-

As long as he got to finish leaving his voicemail and hang up, Peter doesn't protest too much about being dragged towards the couch and forced to sit back down and drink water. "Really, I'm okay, Heidi." There were clean glasses in the cabinets, most of them. He keeps his dishes clean. There was also, mysteriously, the presence of more alcohol than normal, peach and strawberry schnapps to be exact. Kind of a girly type of alcohol, but that's what he happens to be.

"Just— it's like I passed out for a few minutes. With flashes— day dreams." That's the closest explaination he can give her, and at least it's pretty close to the truth. At least he doesn't attempt to explain it's triggered by touching items. And may, someday, tell the future. Not today. But someday.

"Whatever you want to start with. Might as well go with the bad. I could use the cheer up after, I'm sure." Better to have the cheer up last. Less likely to make him go out drinking tonight.

—-

Okay, she can start with the bad, as long as Peter's sitting down, and seems to be relatively sane. The woman's hands wring briefly - Heidi's not one to worry, except when it comes to Nathan's younger brother. Since she's an only child, Peter's as close to a sibling as she's ever going to get.

So, leaning back in the chair, she takes a deep breath. "I went for a run yesterday. Actually, it was supposed to be a walk, but ended up — anyway, I ran into Elena in the park. She was pretty upset, Peter."

Normally, she wouldn't run interference like this, especially over things that could be equated to schoolyard arguments and young adult angst. But this… Isn't. This is different, because there's danger involved - very real danger. Pausing, Heidi backs her story up a little, eyes averting to the floor. "Elle came to the house the other day. I talked to her… She seemed like a very nice girl. A little odd, but she was trying. She worried me, though, Peter. I wasn't going to say anything, because I know you care for her, but then Elena told me what happened to her."

Following the brief intro, Heidi will explain what Elena said, adding in the fact that Elle showed off her ability to create electricity from nothing. Heidi saw it with her own eyes, and it scared her a little. "For now, Elena thinks it's best if you don't have contact with each other, until things calm down… And I agree with her, Peter. This isn't just something that can be resolved with words. Elle hurt someone. I respect your choices; I won't tell you what to do." She doesn't say it, but the hint is there - in regard to Elle, she won't tell him what to do, but she /is/ worried. "Elena says she misses you, but you have to let this blow over." Actually, Elena didn't say that last bit in those words, but Heidi's trying to pull her punches a little.

"After we talked, we went to the theatre to see /The Incredibles./ It… Wasn't quite the suspension of disbelief it was when I took Simon and Monty to see it."

—-

Yeah— that's the bad news all right. The more she talks, the more Peter slumps into the couch, looking at the phone in his hand quietly. How many times has he tried to call with no one picking up? How often has he wanted to call? But she won't pick up— and worst of all— negative opinions on his girlfriend are really not up there on what he needs to hear right now. A hand wrackes over his face, as if that'll make things better, and he sits back up. "Fine," he murmurs in a tone that sounds a little too somber. On anyone else it'd just be tense, but from him… he's not in his best of moods. There's a hurt aire about him, one that she doesn't see often. "I get it," he adds, flipping his phone open once and then flipping it closed again. The phone gets set down on his table. Bad news over.

"Haven't seen it yet, but I remember the boys mentioning it." That's how he would know the boys would probably think the super heroics of their family to be the coolest thing ever… But they'd have a hard time keeping it a secret. They're kids. They just don't understand the dangers.

Reaching to begin pulling the watch off from around his wrist, something to keep his hand and mind occupied and distracted, "So what's the good part?"

—-

Aw, Peter. Heidi would really like to go give him a hug. And since there's nothing stopping her… She gets up from the chair, steps aroung the table, sits next to him, and leans. She had to say something, but at least she now has the presence of mind not to add insult to injury— She's already said the important part. She knows it sucks, it was a horrible thing to have to say. And, the choice is still Peter's, because no one should demand that someone live their life a certain way if their of age, and while she doesn't always trust Peter to do the best thing, she /can/ trust /him./

If she's hurt by the abrupt dismissal, she doesn't show it, instead wrapping an arm around Peter's shoulders and giving him a hug before sliding back a little bit. At least this should be something that might make him laugh? Even if it's just a little?

"The other night, I asked Nathan to— " It still sounds silly, and Heidi brifly lowers her voice in that disbelieving way when she says " —fly." She laughs a little at that, looking to the floor. "I just wanted to see it. That's all… Just because I really wasn't sure what I saw — the first time. So he disappeared." She pauses to tell the story of how he just vanished into the sky - after catching his foot on the roof, the klutz - and how she looked for him and worried that he wouldn't come back. "Then he showed up behind me and just… Took me up."

—-

That's funny. The reason Peter's being withdrawn and dismissing is because he feels like he's been dismissed by someone he cares about. Whether she has a good reason or not, it can't stop hurting that it's okay to contact him about something potentially earth-shattering, but she can't talk to him about what happened. Personal versus global. He gets it. Global is more important. Whatever he's going through he'll just have to deal with on his own. And he can't even apologize for what happened to her. So the topic of flying? That's a lot nicer to deal with.

Removing the watch from his wrist, he starts to play with the settings, until he glances away and smiles ever so faintly. He took her flying. That is good news. "I'm glad you got to fly— did you enjoy it? Elle…" he starts, then trails off, shaking his head and focusing on putting his watch back on. "I hope you didn't get sick when he did it. It can be jarring at first."

And somehow just the mere mention of his girlfriend destroyed his mood again. Maybe because he feels he can't continue along this line of discussion with anyone. "I'm glad he showed you," is added after a moment, with his watch fully back on.

—-

Now Heidi just feels terrible. Even talk of flying can't really salvage this conversation, especially when Peter gets back on the topic of Elle. Heidi doesn't know what to say - she's supposed to be OLDER AND WISER, but in the big scheme of things, she's— Not much older than Peter, first of all. And second, she gets the feeling that he's a lot closer to the world than she is at the moment, given what he can do. "At least you know. At least she got a message to you. And listen, it'll pass eventually. Elena's a good person. She's doing this for more than just herself. Give her some time to think. It'll be okay."

Will it? Heidi doesn't actually know. It seems like it must, though. Things work out, they get better. It's all… balance of the cosmos or something like that. There has to be equal good and bad because the energy in the universe is constant. See, even if she didn't pay attention in FIRST AID 101, she remembers something from physics.

Honestly, Heidi's not sure anyone can't enjoy flying. "I was scared at first," she says. "Just for a little while, though." Lies. She held onto his sleeve the whole time, as if THAT WOULD SAVE HER. "It's fun. You sound like you've—" Pause. "You can't fly, too, can you?" Is there anything he can't do? She's… actually starting to wonder.

—-

"I said I get it," Peter says glancing up, shaking his head and trying not to go any further on that part of the conversation. No matter what, it still hurts. Right now he really needs people, but one of his best friends is not answering his calls. Not even to let him tell her what happened. Or sorry. Or thank you. It hurts. "I'll be okay," he adds after a moment, so she doesn't think he's completely bitter. There's no real bitterness there. She is a good person. He's sure she'd doing this for a good reason. Even if he feels like he needs her now. She's one of the few people who can make him smile.

"It'll be okay," he repeats what she says, agreeing quietly. But— will it? In general, yes, the universe corrects itself, looks out for it's own.

"Yeah, I can fly," he says with a nod, sitting up. Talking about this would be easier. He hopes it distracts her from returning to anything else they've already covered. "I— absorb the abilities of others. Ones I meet. Like Nathan or Elena. It's not totally stable, but… I have a lot of abilities because of it. Like the visions. And healing— Everyone else we've met— except one— only has one ability— maybe multiple uses of an ability— but not the same." So he's special for a special person. A super alien!

—-

Were Heidi the easily insulted type, she might be so right about now, because she did come by to actually try to help Peter. She understands, though… She's not the one he wants to talk to, and she's not the one ignoring him, either. Elena will come around, though, it's just that sitting around waiting, twiddling your thumbs as the world goes by isn't something anyone wants to do… Especially when it comes to friendships. She won't say anything else on the subject, though. She's delivered the message, and even if she feels bad about it, at least he knows why Elena's not answering her phone. It's because she's afraid.

Peter's explanation of his abilities earns a different reaction than when he first showed Heidi what he could do. She doesn't seem afraid at all this time. Instead, she quirks a smile, shaking her head, because he's /amazing./ And the capacity for Heidi to get used to it - she finds that pretty amazing, too, because she didn't think she /would./ "So there's only one other person you know who can do— what you do?" she asks, just to make sure. "I… guess I'm glad. In a way, I mean… I don't know what people would do if they could do anything." Seems like a recipe for disaster. She trusts Peter, though, but Heidi's known him for years.

Sitting forward on the couch now, she reaches for Snowy, scratching between the ears, all the way down her little back, and at the base of her tail. The blue-eyed Petrelli probably smells like cat, which she's sure the dog finds absolutely fascinating. "It's just hard to believe this was all going on right under my nose, I guess. And… I'm sorry for how I reacted when I found out. It really wasn't like me."

—-

"Not exactly like me," Peter says softly, glancing off towards the wall for a moment, almost as if he's trying to look through it. There's a hint of some tension there. Whoever the other person is— "I just need to meet the people with the abilities. Get to know them. The other person— he…" There's definitely some reluctance, before he looks back at the blue-eyed woman and shakes his head at what she's said about her reaction. "No— it wasn't unlike you. How can anyone know how they'd react in this situation, right? And you'd just been kidnapped. You had plenty of reason to be afraid."

There's so much he could say here, so much he could get off his chest. And with the two young woman whose names start with El being the only other thing he could talk about— he'd almost rather talk about this. No matter how uncomfortable the topic might be. The other one is worse. "Remember election night? When Nathan got hurt?" He asks, setting up the story. Of course she remembers, though. "He got hurt because of me."

So simple to say now— so easy. Even if it's anything but easy. "One of the people I met— a guy named Ted— had the ability to become… basically a nuclear bomb. I met him— and I couldn't control it. Not very well. Took all of my power just to supress it. Still takes a conscious choice to keep it in check now— but I lost control that night." At this point his eyes drop, a guilty look crossing his face. "Half of New York would have been destroyed if Nathan hadn't picked me up and flown me above the city."

—-

It's not hard to fill in the blanks, which means this other person with multiple powers must do something that isn't particularly nice to get them. Heidi narrows her eyes, pressing her lips together as little bits and pieces of the things Nathan did tell her return to the fore of her mind. It isn't necessary for Peter to finish, since it might be better not to know the details. If Peter doesn't like him, it must be bad news.

"It's important to me to apologise," Heidi says, smiling a little. "Because it seems like the fact that you two didn't say anything to me was… Well, justified. I wouldn't have told me, either." She should have been able to rein in that fear for the sake of her husband and brother-in-law, but her nerves were rubbed so raw by that point that she just couldn't do it.

One thing Heidi will never forget is how badly Nathan was hurt that night, and how he had to shove the proverbial crowbar between them just to get her to take the boys elsewhere. She nods, just before Peter takes the conversation in a direction she didn't expect it to go.

"…Oh god, Peter…" she mutters, hand raising to her chin, fingers lightly covering her mouth. Wide eyes remain focused, the worry returning to them when he explains Ted's power. At that point, Heidi still doesn't realise how bad it was, until Peter says that half of New York was at risk…

And that Nathan…

Hearing something like that is such an emotional kick to the stomach, that she has no idea how to react. There are tears in her eyes as she stares, fingers still brushing her lips… Before she just shakes her head. She knows Nathan can be selfless; she /also/ knows that he can be an ass. Normally, he's somewhere between the two extremes, but… To hear that he saved New York— But Peter— "You… He— Are you —" Obviously he's okay. "He did that? He — He did that?"

—-

That's one topic he'd rather avoid, yes. So there's another one to add to the 'Let's not talk about the "El"s" list. Add the 'Sy's too.

It's what Nathan did that holds most of her attention, and his as well. Peter closes his eyes for a moment, shifting away with that guilty look again. "Yeah— he did that." It's not bitterness, or anger. Just guilt. And considering what his brother went through for four months… who can really blame him for the guilt.

Standing up from the couch, he walks over to a small flat wooden box on his bookshelf. In a girl's apartment, it would be a jewelry box. In his… it contains folded, clean handkerchiefs. Opening it, he pulls one out, a white one with a blue lining, which he brings over to his sister-in-law.

"It was the only way to save the city without killing me," he explains softly, trying to keep himself composed while he does this. "The other way would have been shooting me through the head— killing me before I went off. And unlike the bullets to my back— that wouldn't heal, I'm pretty sure." Not a theory he's wanting to test, that's for sure.

Inhaling slowly, he continues, "I made him drop me. He refused at first— said that if I was going to die— he would die with me. But I wouldn't have died. I didn't die… I'm just… so grateful… that he was healed. What I did to him— that's why I was gone for so many months. Allowed myself to be locked up— in an institute— where they promised to fix me. Change me back. Make me normal. They didn't— but I learned to control it."

—-

To know what was going through his head at that point — Heidi would give anything for just a glimpse into that mind. Both Nathan's and Peter's, really. And despite the fact that so much damage had been done to one man, there wasn't one building in the entire city that was touched. No one heard about an exploding man or his brother - there were theories, of course. Meteors, comets, alien space ships, but this is just…

She can't help feeling /so much love/ for her husband at this very moment, it almost hurts. It's hard to pull herself away from her thoughts, but with a shake - a small tremor, really - Heidi succeeds in doing so, taking the offered handkerchief and pressing it to her eyes. It's hard not to just break down crying, but she succeeds. The silence is filled with sniffles, however, which she can't quite hold in.

She never knew.

"I never would have known what happened," she says softly, remembering his face after the fact. She'll never be able to get it out of her mind. "So many people owe him so much, and no one will ever—"

Heidi abruptly realises something, blue eyes finally focusing again as she lowers the cloth from them, and looks at Peter. She doesn't know what to say to him, except… "I'm not angry." Just so he knows. And it doesn't really even cross her mind to be scared of him now that she knows he's a walking atomic bomb. It just doesn't seem important to worry over And so she wraps her arms around him, pulling him close. "I'm glad you're okay."

—-

Honestly, despite all the guilt— he's proud of Nathan too. All his faith and trust and belief in his brother came together in one instant where he proved he would rather die than see everyone else die. Peter's glad that she realizes this, even if he feels bad for what he'd done. The mess was his, and he almost killed his brother because of it. "Nathan didn't show up for glory— or credit— even now that he survived, I doubt he would tell anyone what he did to save the city— save the world. Even if everyone knew about the abilities some of us have— doubt he would say anything. He showed up to save me— and because it was the right thing to do."

Reaching out, he touches the dark hair of his brother's wife and her face with his thumb, until she wraps her arms around him and pulls him into a hug. The hug gets returned, his arms coming up around her, his face pressed against her hair as his eyes stare over her shoulder. "We know. We know what he did. Me, you— Elena knows— others know— just not many. But we do. And I think that's enough." It has to be, right?

—-

How do you even describe the feeling you get when you learn someone did something so completely amazing like this? Heidi married Nathan because she knew what he was capable of, what he can do. The man loves with everything he has, but never shows it.

And Peter didn't want his brother to die. Heidi knew she married into this family for a damn good reason.

"I love you guys," she says quietly into Peter's shirt, laughing, drying her eyes on his shoulder. Sorry, Pete. She doesn't sit back after that, because while she's been aware for some time just how close she was to losing Nathan - and thinking Peter was dead - Heidi never knew just how close they came to locing everything. So she sits there for a long time hugging Peter, before she finally pulls away, allowing one hand to remain on his shoulder. "I think it's enough. He'd want to keep it quiet, anyway." How can the man with aspirations of a mighty political career and a goal of the White House want to keep the secret that he saved New York? Heidi and Peter both know; it's just not something they can put into words.

—-

"We love you too," Peter says plainly, running his hand along her back in a soothing gesture. It's difficult to explain how his brother could do what he did— but there's many reasons why. The same reasons he handed his sixteen year old niece a gun and told her to shoot him in the head. Some things are worth dying for.

"Yeah— it's enough." Holding onto her tightly again, the two might stay like that for many minutes. They both need to recover, though he's managed to hold the tears in. He won't say how much else his brother did— what else he would have sacrificed. And there's so much more they could talk about. Instead… "I want to show you something," he suddenly says, letting his arms drop as he steps away over to his computer on the desk, raising up the monitor and waiting for it to boot as he opens a drawer and pulls out an envelope.

"Last year— we were guided in what we needed to do by a painter. A man named Isaac Mendez. He had the power to paint the future. He— painted New York going nuclear. Him— and a man who could travel through time, Hiro Nakamura— helped us figure out what we needed to do to stop it. At first I thought I was supposed to stop it— but it turned out to be Nathan who needed to stop me." But that's not what he's showing her.

Pulling a few things out of the envelope, he steps forward and hands them to her. "These are digital prints of a series of paintings he did. Ones that haven't come true yet." He seperates them into groups for her. The ones denoting Sylar, the fire woman, the one with the disease, the ones with Hiro and Adam, which he doesn't quite understand. And then the Tornado.

"These— are murders commited by the man who steals people's abilities. His— he calls himself Sylar, but his real name is Gabriel Gray. Nathan and I— we worked together to stop him from killing someone— right around the time you came home. And then there's the tornado— which we're trying to stop too. You've heard of the tornado in the city a little while ago? That might be a minor version of this… and then there's this— the biohazard vial."

That's one he's worried about. "The hospital. The night Nathan and I got stuck in quarentine… I was worried because of this— because this might have been— what was happening. And… the vision I had, when you came in… It was about that. The incident at Sinai. Just like we stopped the bomb— we have to stop this."

—-

And so, here they are in this little nondescript apartment, somewhere within the huge city of New York, somewhere in the world, within the universe, and there's no fanfare or parade to announce the name of the man who saved the lives of countless people. In a way, she should have expected it would happen like that… After all, things happen every day that the general public isn't aware of, and once in awhile, one of those things must be saving the world. She just never expected it to be Nathan.

Heidi's beginning to see the sacrifice they've all gone through, why they kept her out of things, even though she could have been someone to lean on. It had nothing to do with trust at all - they were telling the truth.

Raising the handkerchief to her eyes one last time, Heidi stands and follows Peter. Despite the fact that she's heard some of the crazy things that people can do now, she still fixes him with a look of disbelief as he tells of the man who can predict the future through artwork. She looks at the images, though, brows pulling downward in thought. This is a lot to take in, but what right does she have to disbelieve what Peter is saying? Everything he's told her so far has been true.

Heidi gives the tornado a little extra attention before looking back up at her brother. Listening to him is kind of like reading a huge page of text with infinite information, and then having to summarise it in as few words as possible for the rest of the class. "So… something is going to go wrong," she says, "Unless— " her eyes return to the picture of the tornado. The words are on her lips - what can she do to help? But she doesn't ask them because she really does /feel helpless./ Instead, the briefest of quiet syllables escapes her, before her attention goes right to the floor. "You can stop it, though. Right?"

—-

"I think— this one's happened, actually," Peter says, pointing at the painting of the woman standing in the burning building. "The first facility I was held in burnt down a couple months ago— and a woman who uses fire like this had been helping Sylar— the murderer. Some of the others may have happened already too… These are the ones we're worried about right now." He has to glance at the stripper picture. Honestly it's not too different from ANOTHER painting he knows of— though this one seems to have less in the way of detail. He sets that aside. The ones he shows her are the obvious Sylar murders, the tornado, and the biohazard vial breaking on the floor.

"We'll stop them," he says plainly, trying his best to think of ways to do that. "But there's more— Since Isaac could paint the future— and I met him— I was able to paint the future too." With the computer booted up now, he clicks onto a folder and uses all of his computer savy to enter a password that he thought up. Simple really. Don't tell anyone. It's— it's a secret.

Anyway, the folder opens and he clicks on a file and loads up a digital image of a painting.

It is a massive thing, this painting: a landscape, desolate and bleak, with no blue sky or yellow sun. In their place, there are dark clouds obscuring natural light, and liquid shadows reach out like wicked tentacles over Times Square. Windows of skyscrapers are shattered, walls crumbling, but this is only half of the painting.

This is most decidedly not the Times Square with which anyone in the room will be familiar, for the wrecked buildings soon take a back seat to what is painted in the foreground. Disaster, destruction, misery. There are no cars, as the streets had been blocked off, as evidenced by barriers in the background of the painting; posters and banners tell of a rally, some citing propositions that will be unfamiliar to anyone likely to see the painting. What is most disturbing, however, is the audience of this rally.

The streets and sidewalks of Times Square are littered not with forgotten garbage but with the lifeless bodies of dozens, hundreds of people. The nearest of them lies with her head twisted at an impossible angle, blood, grime and brown hair obscuring most of her face, with lifeless blue eyes staring out from the canvas. What is visible of her face, though— gives away her identity.

"The woman in this painting is my boss— my boss at my new job. I painted this in front of her. She made me swear not to tell anyone about it… Heidi— I think that you should meet her."

—-

Heidi isn't sure why Peter's telling her all this, but it seems important. Something more people than just her should know. But who would believe any of it? Heidi does… Even feels a stab of anger as her eyes fall upon the images of Sylar's victims. How can anyone justify killing someone in order to take their abilities? Suddenly feeling extremely defensive of Peter, and Nathan, and Elena, Heidi honestly wonders what she can do to keep them safe. And her sons… What if her /sons—/

Oh god. No.

"How do you— " Paint the future, the woman starts to wonder, but stops herself as Peter opens the file.

Her first reaction is that this can't be what he meant to show her, since, in context, Heidi figured Peter would bring up one of the paintings he did. She realises, though, that she recognises some of the structures, and when the location clicks, Heidi's jaw drops. The chill she feels is particularly uncomfortable, causing the hair on her arms to stand up as she shivers. Maybe it's far into the future. Maybe this isn't immediate. She /hopes…/ Until Peter points out the fact that the woman in the picture is someone he currently knows.

Her heart goes out to this girl who's seen her own death; one hand reaches forward to touch the screen, brushing against her hair, before they draw back. Heidi is clearly horrified. "This isn't real. The— the future isn't…" It can't be written in stone. This can't happen. She can't see New York like this, because… it just can't happen. "Peter?"

—-

"The future isn't written in stone," Peter says, finishing the though, repeating the words his brother said before he saved New York. Words his niece had said to him, actually. But he doesn't know that. "I'm going to make sure this doesn't happen, Heidi— but— there's a reason I want you to meet this woman." Considering the horror she's had to see, he closes the file and lets it sit. The folder contains three other digital images though, with little thumbnails showing up after a few moments. The one she'd just seen. A smaller version of the one she'd just seen, and finally… another one. Completely different. But he doesn't open this one.

"Her name is Cass Aldric. She's not like us— she's like you. She doesn't have an ability. Instead… she's been training me. I know you're not a scientist or anything— but if Cass can help us save the world— if saving her is a key to stopping /this/…" Because surely that's what it must mean, including her in this image like that, of all the hundreds of people dead in the streets. "Then maybe— I don't know. Maybe you two can help each other. Maybe by virtue of being— normal— and knowing about us, caring about us— you can— do something capable of saving everyone."

Or is this just wishful thinking? "Anyway— I just want you to know what we're going to be involved in. It'll be dangerous— and Nathan'll probably try to send you away if we can't stop the tornado or— whatever happened in the other painting. But don't let him. I think you found out about this for a reason."

—-

In the midst of all this, Heidi realises something important. "Has Nathan seen these?" It's not because she thinks this has anything to do with him per se, but if he hasn't seen them and she's not supposed to say anything… Isn't this going against what she said to him? No more secrets. She's not supposed to keep secrets from him, just like she asked him not to keep anything from her.

Heidi turns away from the computer, running her fingers through black hair. A couple steps are taken toward the door as she processes what she just saw. The other pictures don't really capture her interest as much, now that she's seen the one. And besides, she'd rather listen to Peter, anyway, than see more paintings of dead people. It's haunting.

Unable to help it, Heidi chuckles, the sound humourless. "You know, I was beginning to think I was the one who wasn't normal," she says. In other words, it'll be nice to meet someone who can't Do Weird Things. She wasn't sure any more of those people existed in the world. "Just let me know when. I'd like to meet her. Don't know about saving everyone…" Her eyes wander back to the pictures Peter showed her, the ones she's got laid out on the desk now. Obviously, no one can save everyone.

"I'm not leaving again," Heidi says, her voice suddenly tense, almost angry. It's a tone very seldom heard from her - unless she's yelling at her boys. Then /sometimes./ "I told him that. He isn't going to do that to the boys again, and not to me. I have no reason to leave anymore." There are no secrets.

As afternoon starts to crawl onward toward sunset, Heidi glances toward the window. "I should go, Piglet," she says, reaching up to ruffle his hair. She's trying to act like she isn't bothered, but her eyes show it all. They look almost like they did they day they rescued her— disturbed, for sure, but determined. Now that she knows, how can she, with good conscience, let this happen and do nothing to stop it?

—-

"All except Cass' painting," Peter explains, looking towards his computer, and the other images, the digital prints. "I haven't shown anyone this yet— only the two who were there when I painted it and you have seen it." At least— they're the only ones who remember it. Elle's seen it too, actually. But she doesn't remember. Never will. And he hasn't worked up the nerve to show it to her a second time yet.

"You're not. There's a lot of normal people," he says, giving a hint of a smile, trying his best to hold that together. "And I know you're not leaving— Just— he probably will try again. And he probably won't be happy I told you all this, or showed you all this. I just though— if you know— if you really know— what was at stake and— what is at stake— then— I dunno. But you deserve it, right?" Deserve to know everything that's on the line. How much they fought— how much they tried. And what could happen next.

"Piglet," he repeats the nickname with a fond smile, reaching over to squeeze her shoulder, as his puppy looks around wide-eyed. "I'll let you know. And— we will stop this Heidi. We stopped it once. We can stop it again." And with that, he'll walk her to the door and let her out.

They will stop it. The future isn't written in stone. It's painted on a canvas. And a canvas can be altered.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License