2008-06-02: Band-Aid

Starring:

Angela_icon.gif Claire_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After much alone time, a prisoner in Level 5 receives a band aid and some advice. As well as gets to make a request of his own.

Date It Happened: June 2nd, 2008

Band-Aid


Level 5

Level 5 is far from a happy place, but little can be done about Peter's whereabouts now that he's here. It's the safest of the Company's facilities, particularly for someone with his abilities. Even if the man in the cell doesn't look like he has any plans of escape. The blocky, unhospitable walls are as impenetrable as ever, but he's been given more than the other … captives. A better bed. More pillows. Books. A dim lamp. Favouritism, for a reason.

The captive's mother comes down the corridor, her stately form obscuring the LEVEL 5 on the wall as she walks past with a cell phone to her ear. As she drifts past, a wiry, muscled, dark-skinned man bangs on the wide window of his cell, raging; across from him, Maury Parkman sits still and glares with glassy eyes, projecting a look of hate, blame and betrayal, perhaps misplaced, at the Company Director. But Angela Petrelli breezes past all of them, and Maury can stare all he wants; he can project nothing but his displeasure. No telepathic hallucinations for anyone down here.

"Well, I know you understand how things work," Angela says into her phone as she nears Peter's cell. Behind her, distant footsteps, doors opening. She turns to make a 'come along' gesture down the corridor the way she came before turning to look into the unfortunate square of a room her son has been delegated to by circumstance. She doesn't miss a beat of her phone conversation, however. It sounds important. Even dire. Certainly full of warning. Granted, so does everything that comes out of Mrs. Petrelli's mouth. "Remember, you'll have to be more careful when his mantle falls to you."

Wide, blue eyes taken in the scenery about her as though the owner were nothing but a rabbit. It's not as though the Company's 'accommodations' are really all that startling, but the blonde teenager who comes trotting down the hall to catch up. The black boots she wears command a far less fear-striking rhythm than the beautiful designer shoes her grandmother wears, a pale echo of the regimented and no-nonsense thing that comes before her as her herald.

Tugging her light denim jacket a little tighter to herself and hunching her shoulders, Claire eventually finds her place right at Angela's heels and there drops back down to a brisk walk to keep up. Her ponytail swishes against her back as she continues to shift her gaze cautiously from one side of the corridor to the other. She doesn't interrupt whatever important conversation is occurring, but that doesn't mean she's not listening.

In many ways, the nicer bed has been appreciated. When he sleeps would be one of the few times he feels normal. The dreams have been good lately, with a sense of happiness upon waking, even if he never quite remembers why. He suspects, considering all he knows about dreams and the workings of them, but he never knows for sure. If only he had more people to talk to who weren't criminally insane and sociopathic.

Sitting on the bed, with good sheets and extra pillows, he's wearing the drab gray clothes everyone else wears, hair long and hanging into his face, with a rather thick stubble on his cheeks. At least Peter's shaved a few times the last month, but the stubble always gets long before he does. Hair hangs in his eyes as he squints down at a book brought by one of the visiting agents, until he hears the sound of footsteps approaching, the hint of his mom's voice. The book is pushed closed while he raises his eyes to look through the glass. At first he remains seated, but then another figure moves into sight and he slides off his bed, blinking in surprise. The book, forgotten, tumbles out of his lap and impacts the floor softly. Probably a lot louder to him than it is to them. Just like he can't really hear the words his mother speaks.

An older fellow, a Company agent, or… is that medical staff? His attire is that of a utilitarian nurse's… follows behind Claire, pausing by the door to Peter's cell, remaining quiet.

The phone call ends without fanfare, and in contrast to the business-like tone she was using a moment ago, Angela smiles to Claire. "He'll be happy to see you. I've kept it a surprise," she says, glancing back into the cell. She nods, subtly but firmly, just once, as if to say: 'you're not hallucinating'. She gives a quick, looping gesture to the accompanying employee, who is swift to enter the door code and go through the security rigamorole to grant access. "Take your time. I'll be upstairs."

Meanwhile, the employee is the first to enter — and indeed, he's not just accompaniment. He walks in to administer Peter's dose of medication. Angela holds her hand up halfway through. "That's enough," she orders. "Remember, what we talked about." Angela says to Claire; she squeezes the teenager on the shoulder, lingering while she stares pointedly into the girl's blue eyes… and she leaves them be.

Claire's lips turn upwards, a tight and small smile finding root. There really isn't anything else to say: Angela's word is law and there is no question of that in her tone. She stands at the doorway, looking in and watching the employee do whatever it is that he's thinking he should do. She stands… and waits, youthful and puppy-like exuberance tempered by the sobriety and weight of the situation.

It's Peter. It's Peter, and he's right there.

The catch of those manicured fingers upon her shoulder, however, is enough to draw Claire's mascara-framed sapphire gaze back up to the Petrelli matriarch and pull her briefly from the excitement that threatens to make everything else disappear. There's a nod and an anxious push of her smile to reiterate her intent on complying, barely even getting that unspoken affirmation over and done with before whipping her head back around as though Peter might dissipate while she's looking away. And then the Bennet girl waits. She waits for the stranger amongst them to vacate the room to have her opportunity to finally, finally see her uncle.

For the first few seconds, Peter really only has grateful eyes for his niece. There's a few people he'd like to see visit, but this one seems to be making up for all of it right now. There's a hint he might even be about to thank his mother before she leaves, but the nurse coming forward with syringe delays him too long. The most that comes out of his mouth at first, instead of a hi, is a sudden 'Ow'. Needles aren't something he's going to get used to, leaving him to rub his arm in the spot while the man steps outside to give him and his niece at least a semblance of privacy.

With his hand still touching the sore spot of his arm, while his eyes stay at the doorway, until he can see his niece better. There's a hitch in his voice, as if he's not entirely sure what to say, or how to say it, so all that manages to come out is, "Claire…"

The petite blonde has to step aside to let the unintroduced employee back out of the cell, but that is the only thing that causes her to hesitate. "Peter!" Once Claire hears her name, she's rushing down the few steps into the holding cell and dashing to him. She doesn't care that he's scraggly, stubbly or ill-kempt.

Slender arms move to wrap themselves about the elder man's waist, strong and fast, the side of her high-cheeked face moving to immediately plaster itself against his chest and eyes squeezing tightly shut. "Thank God," she breathes at last, pale pink lips only marginally crunched by the way she bearhugs him. "It's really you."

Of the few things he's had to do in this cell, working out must have been one of them. There's a distinct feeling of muscle under his otherwise slender form as he wraps his arms around her, eyes closing. Even the lingering pain from the stab in his arm fades a bit as he can wrap his arms more tightly around her. "Who else would it be?" Peter asks quietly, voice vaguely raspy as he pulls back enough to try and look at her. "You look like you've grown since I last saw you," he comments, hands moving to her shoulders as he studies her.

It's been some time since he's seen her in person. Since before the whole mess. The dream walking barely counts as having seen her, since the hug could hardly be considered real. "I missed your birthday… You're eighteen now, aren't you?" Even if he's not sure what date it is, he knows he missed her birthday.

"Yeah," Claire replies, sheepishly allowing herself to be pried away, pulled back and studied. It affords her much the same opportunity, her head tilting and sending that blonde ponytail of hers dancing behind one of her shoulder blades. "Fully legal and everything." There's a dip down of her gaze, only for it to quickly come back to find her uncle's face even if she doesn't lift her face back up just yet. "New York, look out."

And then there is a strange void in her brain, thoughts unable to pierce the sudden calm and relief that has momentarily taken over the room. She doesn't know what to say. 'How are you?' is …yeah, no. And many other questions suffer from the same disease, wholly feeble and inadequate to even begin to broach the situation.

"Still can't drink or gamble," Peter says in one of those classic ho-hum ways that someone might do to dash a young woman's hopes. "Though you can drink if I take you to London, or Paris, or one of those other places that has a much younger drinking age. Not that I think it would work that well for you…" He trails off, well aware that she may not know her own alcohol tolerance. It's one of the few things that he's discovered, but that doesn't always work. His abilities fluctuate a lot more than hers— and he lost her ability all together recently.

That's not even including the injections that keep him from accessing any of his powers. At least accessing any of them normally. There's some colored marks on the wall of his concrete cell that gives hints that he might have taken a crayon to the walls a month ago. Who knows exactly how they turned out, though…

Even if she doesn't ask it, he can. "How have you been?"

Claire's eyes roll upwards as she puts on that brave face, her brilliant facade smile kicking up into full fear as her head softly shakes. "Oh, you know. Failing out of school. College looming. Strange women walking into my dreams, telling me that you sent them." Her eyes stop their arch in one corner before plummeting back down to Peter. "Except, you know. It was only one woman. And it wasn't exactly /you/ who sent her." The smile fades, a whuff of breath escaping her lips as the start of a chuckle that never really forms. A shrug seeks to mask the failure. "Things are getting kinda crazy out there."

"I'm sorry," Peter says with a grimace, pulling his hands away even though she's putting on the brave face. Might be because he knows that her failing may have little to do with her actual want to commit to school. There'd been so much happening to her that he'd be surprised if she actually completed her senior year at all. First time they met he tried to tell her it got better after high school. But apparently all it can get at this point is better. One woman in her dreams. There's a cautious glance up at the camera, and the open door, before he moves to settle back onto his bed. The drugs haven't started to have their more troublesome side effects, at least, but there's still a slow process to things. "I don't… I should be out there," he finally says. "I should be helping. If— " Kory. He could ask about her more directly, but… As far as he knows the Company isn't aware of her, and he's not about to say things that would make them more aware. "What did you mean it wasn't exactly me?"

Claire's lips twist up into a curve of half-apology as she subtly moves her back to face the camera after a glance. He's gonna have to hear about it sometime, right? "Well, it's you," she replies in little more than a whisper. "From… From the future." There's a sudden look of 'oh, crap', that comes over her features at that — plain as day to see. "The… The world isn't gonna get sucked up into some weird void because you know that the other one exists, right?" She shakes her head to dismiss the brief foray into uber geekdom — blame Zach for that one — as she trudges ever forward with new seriousness. "Dream Girl shows up with a messages from Future You. And, kid you not, Angela shows up the next day, talking about getting the family back together. I don't know if she missed the memo, but family reunions haven't really been goin' so great lately. And I'm supposed to find Niki Saunders." She levels those blue eyes on Peter's face, all amusement gone. "I mean, things have gone kinda crazy."

"From the… future," Peter repeats quietly, looking away from her for a few moments. No, no one's mentioned that yet. It's a new thing to him. There's a long look in his eyes, one that's not meeting her eyes at all. Focusing on a corner of the cell, in fact. Will the world implode? "…I told Hiro about his future self telling me to save you— and the world didn't get destroyed." In fact, as far as he's concerned, that one moment saved the world, it certainly saved her world, so it was a good thing. But this… "Mom wants to get the family back together and she's keeping me locked up in here even…" he trails off, running his hands through his hair. "You needed to find Niki?" he asks, finally meeting her eyes again. "Before I got locked up here… Niki was trying to help me with… with my dad. And— and Nathan."

Claire's lips press into a thin line as her jaw sets. Nathan. Right. That. Well. That's just spiffy. Not.

The blonde girl grows visibly more rigid, blue eyes narrowing. Several breaths flow in and out of her lungs before she has the courage to venture words again, still low and hushed. "How long? How long is she— Is she going to keep you here? You're her son." Finally, her eyes drop to Peter's arm before glashing back up to catch his gaze. "Dream girl, she said that… future you told her that Pinehearst has a formula that gives people powers. And there's a bunch of people that he's starting to get all pulled together to stop them. Angela's saying to trust her. So."

There's a smile that finds its way to her lips once more. "I don't know half the game plan. Just tell me, can I trust Angela?" Because Peter? Claire knows she can trust him. Everything else builds from there.

"I honestly don't know," Peter says, shaking his head from where he sits upon his bed. He scoots back a bit more so he's up against the wall, putting as much distance between himself and that camera on the wall as possible. Dream girl. Formula. Trust Kory. "I trust the… the dream girl— but I don't know if you can trust my mother. I don't know how long I'm going to be stuck here. I think I could leave now. I can't really learn to control what I got from… what I picked up if I can't even feel it."

The drugs may just be delaying the inevitable, not teaching him how to work around it. "I was controlling it fine until my mother got kidnapped— until I witnessed it. Felt everything she felt, everything my… everything my dad felt while she was taken. I lost control cause— this happened days before and they knew and no one told me." There's force to his voice, though the volume itself remains whispered.

"Just like no one even told me you were taken. I was sick of it. How am I supposed to help anyone if people don't tell me when it's needed. It's not like I'm impossible to find. I could have saved you. I could have gotten you out of there. I could have done something…"

"Hey." Claire's hand stretches out, reaching to place a palm along Peter's stubbled cheek. Look here. Pay attention. "I'm out. And I'm telling you what you need to do." Pulling her hand down, she wags her index finger betweet them. "You and me, we're in this together." And then, as quickly as it sprung up, the Bennet steel melts into something far more like the young woman that people think they know. "I'll find a way to get to Niki… Somehow. Get that whole ball rolling. You just… Just try to figure out how to get out of here. We'll figure the rest out as it comes."

Then, at last, her eyebrows lift, crinkling her forehead. "Does… Does that sound like an okay plan?"

The touch on his cheek seems to snap him out of it, eyes widening a bit when he looks back. Thanks to being perpetually lonely and bored, and drugged constantly… Peter's not entirely his usual safe, but that starts to come back out again as she touches him, as she says they're in this together. Not alone. "I wish I could tell you how to contact her. I… I really don't know. You might be able to… if you could get my cellphone… I don't even know where it ended up. It might still be in my apartment." He did tend to leave things other places. "Or maybe … dream girl knows."

None of these things are sure fire, but there is something that she wanted him to do. Figure out how to get out of here. "I'll see if I get let out— see if I can talk mom into it. If not…" The injections will make faking his dosage extremely difficult, if not impossible. Chances are… He'll just have to figure something else out. "I'll try to get out of here."

"Okay. So you do your thing, and I'll take care of… the other stuff," Claire repeats, just in case there was any confusion. Wait. That didn't really make things any less confusing, did it? No matter, she's doing her best to act like it did and that somehow turning her loose upon the world is a GREAT PLAN. Because it is.

Hush, you nay sayers, hush!

It is in that supreme feign of confidence, that she flashes another wary grin. Hands get plunged into her pockets as she rolls forward on the balls of her feet. "Is there anything else that you need done?" Another shrug, full of a seeming youthful innocence. "Supergirl's still taking orders for today."

It could be a lot worse of a plan, that's for sure. "Supergirl?" Peter finally asks, a hint of a smile tugging onto his mouth as he shifts to fully stand up again. If she's asking for requests, he actually does have a couple… some small, some a little bigger. But the ones he ends up asking for… "I could use another hug." It's quiet, but it's the truth.

"And if— it's okay if you don't, but if you see Elena… I know you don't even really know her. She lives in the apartment across from me, though. She— I guess I'd just want you to tell her that I miss her and… hopefully I'll be out of here and will be able to see her soon."

Claire's arms stretch out once more, taking Peter's waist back into their adoring grip. She's short; it's the easiest place to get a good hug hold. Settling her head against his chest, she continues. "If it's really important to you, I can try to get to Elena. No promises I'll be able to catch up to her before you bust outta here, but I'll try." That's something at least, right? Somthing to hold onto? And then, for just a moment, the Bennet girl closes her eyes and just tries to enjoy hugging her uncle. Still her hero, even now. It may have to last a while.

"Thank you," Peter says when his eyes close and he leans down against the top of her head, to press his nose into her hair. "And I'm not sure I'll bust out," he says in a softer voice, as if concerned about certain people overhearing them. It's not exactly the kind of thing that should be admited to in prison! Which is pretty much what this is. "But I'll make sure that I get out. Somehow." And in a way that won't release dangerous terrible people out into the world. Like Mandy Larson. Or even Kellie. Most of the others in the place he hasn't spoken to, but he'll assume he's the only one here that shouldn't be. At least for the moment.

"I'm glad you came, Claire. I missed you."

"Missed you, too," comes the entirely expected reply. There's an extra squeeze as Claire clings on, committing the moment to memory. Even here, Peter's presence seems to make everything else just make more sense. Everything seems right. "If you take too long, I'll try to come back," she whispers. And then she pulls away at last, tugging at her white shirt and denim coat. Once she's all arranged, she turns that pale gaze of hers back to her uncle in all its doe-eyed wideness. There's sincerity there, and a sadness. She doesn't want to leave him here. She doesn't want to, but there is no choice. "Don't take too long, okay?"

And then, like ripping a bandaid off a tender wound, Claire promptly turns on her heel and makes way towards the door with her poker face well in place unless there is anything to stop her.

"I'll… I'll try not to," Peter says, watching her walk out the door. There's nothing to stop her. Her uncle doesn't even say more than that, though he does pace a bit to move up to the glass that looks out, placing his hand against it as if he wants to step through. In theory, he could have. Once upon a time. But he's not 'He Who Falls Through Walls' anymore… Now he's he with a sore arm and no powers.

The nurse who works for the company makes sure the door is closed and secure before he'll lead the young woman away.

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