2010-04-02: Be Careful

Starring:

Angela_V4icon.pngDaphne_V4icon.pngPeter_V4icon.png

Date: April 2nd, 2010

Summary:

You know it's serious when you're meeting the guy's mother.


"Be Careful"

Funhouse - Peter's Safehouse

As evening wears on, one of the newer… boarders… of the house has chosen the end of the table to eke out some moments to herself. Most of Angela's moments here are kept to herself, but this time she is out in the open and hasn't bothered to turn on the light above, creating something of an unintentionally spooky silhouette. The New York Times is folded in front of her, a pen looped over the page which faces up: the crossword puzzle. It's half-done; the woman's focus is downward on her coat, draped over her lap. Slowly, she pulls something out of the pocket and pensively turns it over her hands.

The creepiness level of the room is at about its highest point when that's all blissfully interrupted by a change of the breeze. She may want to hold onto that paper a bit tighter if she can, because Daphne whisks into the room in the way she does best, appearing at the other end of that table laden with a good number of bags wrapped in other bags and all hanging from her skinny arms. "Okay, bums," she begins shouting into the darkened wasteland of the house, "Your food's here, you can all thank me with a generous ti— Jesus!" Which is the gracious description she gives the moment of revelation that there's somebody sitting at said table.

At the shouting, one of the bums actually does come downstairs. It's actually a little late in the evening for dinner, but likely no one in the house will say no to a meal when it's been delivered at break neck speed. Still, it's not the meal that draws him down into the kitchen/dining room area, but the voice. Peter's dressed casually, rather than in clothes that would mean he's going out. Which— could mean they're not technically talking to Peter. It could be a clone of him. How are they supposed to know? They all seem like him, cause they are technically him… maybe better not to get into specifics. Either way it's a Peter walking into sight. "No, that's my mom," he says with a laugh. Not Jesus at all! "Where did you get a newspaper?" he has to ask of said mom, glancing over at her with a tilt of his head.

The paper — which is now all aflutter and teetering on the edge of the table thanks to the speedster's sudden appearance. Angela doesn't yet bother fetching it, instead holding on something else in her lap. She regards the young woman, dark gaze rife with scrutiny though she smiles not a few seconds later. Still; it's a touch superior. "You must be another one of the … houseguests," she says with a lilt. Daphne immediately seems to earn disapproval from Angela if her expression is any indication. "From the store," she answers Peter matter-of-factly with a small, more sincere smile on seeing him. Yes, she ventured out. "With change from my coat, like a vagrant."

That Peter could be a clone and not the real Peter creeps Daphne out in a manner she's expressed to him before — would you want to crawl into bed with a copy of your boyfriend, being forced to wonder what other activity he found more important to do with his actual body? — which lends explanation to the squinted gaze the Peter-esque thing coming down the stairs gets. She has plenty more of it to spare, however, when it comes to eyeballing this Angela creature. "No, I just wandered in," she returns plainly for that haughtiness of which she will have none. "You know, if you hate your pennies so much, I'd be glad to do any of your old lady errands. I'm kind of awesome at it." She's so sweet, too. Flexing her wrists forward deposits the take-out bags onto the table; the whole time she eyes Peter, and she could either be looking for support or expectantly waiting to be told to back off.

There's a moment where he might be about to have just told his mom that she needs to be careful. But Peter catches himself. She's older than him by many, many, many years, and obviously was careful or she wouldn't be sitting there doing a crossword. "I can bring a newspaper back every day if you want one," he says instead, offering to do the gopher work. Even if Daphne or Claire might want a change of pace to get out and about. He'd rather do it himself, keeps them out of potential danger.

A house full of women, and he's taken it upon himself to protect all of them. And with Nathan gone, it's back to a house full of women. And him, of course.

"Mom, this is Daphne…" And she wants to run errands. "Or she could fetch the newspaper for you every day. Or anything else you need, too." But from the glance at the tiny speedster, he's wanting to add in something along the lines as: Please be careful if you do.

"I'm sure you are." For her … generosity, Daphne earns a brief glare from Angela, though her creasing lips remain poised in a smile. She looks tired, beyond all that, but not so much that she isn't herself. She dismisses Daphne for a moment and answers Peter, instead. "Maybe. Next time," she says. "I just needed to get out." Is that not what nearly got her caught and flown here in the first place? But like Peter said, she is many years older. "Don't worry. I was careful." She whisks the newspaper from its precarious pose and sets it neatly in front of her again. It's actually too dim in here to even see clearly — and she doesn't have her reading glasses.

"Hey, Mom," Daphne chirps when Angela is introduced as such, clearly having no other name to go off of for the much, much older woman. Since she's being so dishonorably discharged from the conversation, the speedster takes to opening up one of the neatly labeled containers, and strolling around the table with chopsticks poised. She finds herself conveniently close to Peter — close enough to hip-check him. "Yeah, come on. She was careful." A defense that could just as much be about giving Angela a break as it is about giving everyone else who happens to go outside of the house a break by proxy. It became clear very early on that, recovering or not, speedsters don't do stuck-in-only-so-many-rooms very well. Unceremoniously, and without regard for Angela's dismissal, she points the chopsticks at her and clicks them together. "And what's that?" You know. In your lap.

"Hopefully this'll all be over and everyone can get out as often as they want," Peter says, trying to sound optimistic, but not quite there yet. It's hard to be optimistic when they've failed to make any real victories. Yet. And he totally got hipbumped. Is he not allowed to worry??? "Hey, it's not like I'd— I know she was careful. She's here."

As he says this, his hand goes to the smaller girl's shoulder, keeping her a little closer than necessary, almost a half hug. The Petrellis touch a lot, but something about this reaks of closeness that… well… is more than just touching. And he doesn't pull away, even as the girl questions his mom. What's what? he seems to ask, as he tooks toward his mom.

Angela, so still by contrast, tracks the nosy speedster's movements with her eyes. Daphne's closeness to her son is also duly noted by those eyes, a veritable checkmark on a list of notes. Or an X. Hard to say. "Nothing you need to be concerned about," she replies to both of them, tucking the possession back into the pocket of her coat. She folds her hands on the table neatly atop the unfinished crossword puzzle, lacing fingers between fingers, and plasters on a thin and insincere directed precisely at the petite object of Peter's affection. "Lemme ask you, Ms. Millbrook, how is life on the run treating you stopped working for my husband after his timely death? The second one, that is."

For a few short seconds there, Daphne is happy to be close, but then it's this physical touch that might betray to Peter her sudden tensing at his mother's sharply aimed inquiry. The hand that was going to rest along Peter's side curls away and resumes hold on her chosen take-out food. She bristles quite well, her head tilting to the side in a knee-jerk reaction to the darkly shaded, faux-indifference that plays out on her face. "Actually," is quipped, "I'm not really feeling the difference." Some pointed stabbing happens into the little cardboard box of Chinese.

His father. There's a bit of a tensing in the way he's holding her, much like the tiny thing tenses. Peter's not used to talking about his father, or what happened at Pinehearst, but this is the second time that it's come up, and he can't help but look at her for a moment. Did he not know? It's very likely… There's a slow inhale, before he says, "We won't always be on the run. There's going to be a way around this. Somehow." If he didn't know, it seems he's trying to let the fact she may have worked for his dad slide. It would have been before he met her (the second time).

"Only this life doesn't pay as well, am I right?" Angela's smile stretches into a facsimile of something knowing and understanding. "Well I sincerely hope your days of stealing things that you really shouldn't— " Smile quite vanished from sight with no trace of ever existing, the woman gives Daphne a rather pointed look. " —are over." Rising to her feet, she makes sure her coat is folded securely over her arm, plucks the folded paper and pen from the table, and, calmly enough, marches toward the pair. Of course, it's only Peter who she truly approaches, leaning up to peck his cheek and give him a cavalier pat-pat-pat on the shoulder. "I'd be careful with that one if I were you," she murmurs quietly in his ear before her plan to take her leave resumes.

Past all the posturing and the attitude, Daphne's struggling to not look any more affected than she is. But she's already wilting, her food losing interest as she dabs at it less enthusiastically. So engrossed in her own personal thoughts, she doesn't have time to feel suspicious over motherly whispers; possibly, she would feel that way anyway, even without muttering and warnings watched. Eyes downcast, she worms her way out from under Peter's arm as soon as Angela seems far enough out of sight. "Who're you kidding?" She tries to joke, with all the bite and none of the pep, "That's all I do." On the run? Even if not for her life, it's still all anyone's ever asked of her — all she's been good for. Quickly, she strides to the table to shuffle things around importantly and perhaps escape.

Everyone's leaving and there's tension. This is not good. Peter looks at Daphne, as if to quietly ask what his mother meant by stealing things she shouldn't— what did she steal for Pinehearst? And then he looks back at his mother, as if wondering why she's giving him that warning— did she have a dream? It's a lot of looking from one woman to the next for a few moments and he doesn't seem sure of what to do about what he's hearing. This is one of those moments where they'll probably both be gone before his mind figures out what to say.

She isn't quite gone yet, Daphne, but she's well on her way. Having shoved her own helping of food back into the take-out bags, she glances expectantly over with half-hidden eyes at what is a silent and yet gaping Peter. A flash of resignation and expectation crosses her face. "Yeah," she says, "That's what I thought." She may have given him little time to get over his mother also vanishing, but by the speedster's counter, his silence has already chosen for him. "I'll be upstairs." Which is code for: I'm about to become an extremely fast blur going by you.

"What…" Peter says finally, but he's not sure exactly what to do. He'd nots aid anything cause— "I didn't know you were working for him," he finally says, hoping that she's not already gone by the time she does. Did he? If he did, he had forgotten it. "But it doesn't matter. A lot of people worked for him." Niki worked for him, his brother, Gene. A lot of people did. "And I was working for Alpha Protocol for about a month, and you guys haven't kicked me out of the house." The house is his, and he had amnesia. But he's sure there's some people who might take one look at his history and want nothing to do with him. She's certainly seeming ready to run off.

Oh, look, she's still here. Daphne's poised enough to run, but that fact that Peter opened his mouth seems to have stalled her in actually moving. "Well… it's not like it was exactly my proudest moment," she mutters, "I don't really have a lot of those." This seems to be one of those 'it's not you, it's me' moments, as the former Pinehearst employee remains too apprehensive to really look him in the eye. So accusations are definitely off the table. "You brought us to this house, Peter," she admonishes, not angrily, "Can't exactly fault a guy for being a little brainwashy once or twice. Three times, though, and that's it. I mean it." A shy glance. A shy, okay let's laugh this off glance. A shy, okay let's laugh this off and please take my topic-change and don't say anything about me glance.

Three times and he's in big trouble, huh? "I'll have to avoid the third time, then," Peter says, moving a little closer to her before she speeds off upstairs, and reaching out to pull her closer instead. No running off now, not until he gives her a kiss atop her forehead, feeling her puffy hair tickling at his face. "You did steal something dangerous," he mutters softly, breath warm against her face. Whatever could he be talking about. "My mom will just have to live with it."

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