2009-11-20: Can I Keep You?



Date: November 20th, 2009


Lena makes a new Best Friend Forever.

"Can I Keep You?"

New York City Public Library

The exterior of the New York City public library might be an impressive facade of stone columns and decorative arches, but once inside it is no different from any other building that serves the same purpose. The smell of many books, some old, some new, is unmistakeable. At this hour of the morning, not long past ten o'clock, there is also the echo of empty space, the rustle of old men reading newspapers and the occasional murmur of a librarian answering a question.

Up on the second floor, away from the banks of computers and long lines of tables for readers, Lena is wandering the stacks in search of some obscure text. She's still technically in disguise, hair blonde, sticking out in poofy waves around her head, wardrobe inspired some twisted preppy schoolgirl. There's a slip of paper in one hand and she references this against the signs on the end of each aisle. Ah, here!

She turns right and strides with new purpose down an aisle created by shelves twice as tall as she is. Saint Lazarus, here she comes.

Libraries are supposed to be quiet. And away from the computers and a majority of the people, it really is quiet. There's no sounds of people tapping their pencils against the table anymore, or even feet marching too heavily down aisles. It's quiet and calm, with books sitting silenting in shelves undisturbed— until suddenly it's no longer undisturbed.

There's a stumbling sound, like someone just jumped down off of a ladder or from standing on a shelf, feet hitting the floor with someone's full weight. And then a moment later a crash. One of the nearby shelves actually rocks, shifting bit, and then bouncing back. Books tumble and fall, a handful hitting the floor first. To call the sound a curse would be too tame, really. Damn can be said in Disney movies these days. But someone just muttered under their breath.

That someone happens to be a man, damp hair hanging in his face, like he just came in out of the rain, or recently showered. Dressed simply in pants and a undershirt, he doesn't look nearly dressed enough to be walking around New York City.

And he's barefoot.

A squeak might be heard from the adjacent aisle, the sound of someone young and female who's been frightened out of her wits and subsequently had her throat close as a result. A moment later, one blue eye and the top of that blonde head pokes around the corner and sizes up the source of the commotion. Lena emerges not long after, face a study in confusion, uncertainty and caution. Okay, and maybe a little concern but that's definitely at the end of the list.

"Jesus…are you okay?" Slow steps bring her near enough to get a better look at the man but not so close that he could reach her if he decides to get grabby hands. She leans forward a bit, head tilted at an odd angle. Frowning, of course. "Hey man? What…uh." The lack of shoes is noted and she straightens up to take a step backwards. Crazy homeless guy? Maybe!

There's few abilities that Peter's managed to master, and one of them could have come in handy, if he'd remembered it before the girl moves into range to look right at him. Turning invisible at that point would be counter productive. "I…" He starts, voice hesitant, whispered, and he looks down at his bare feet, his clothes, his hair. "I think… someone stole my shoes?" he finally manages, bending down to begin picking up the books that fell.

As he puts two back onto the middle shelf, three more fall off. They'd been tittering near the edge. He looks down at them as if they're slowly betraying him. The last time he randomly teleported, he ended up in the room of someone he knew. Who knew he had abilities. Now he's in a public area, with a complete stranger. He looks over at the shelf, catches sight of something. "I'm in New York," he says outloud without even realizing it, surprised at the words on the binding.

Lena is also looking at his bare feet, his clothes, his hair, and if were to be asked, the girl might admit there's something heart-breaking about that combination joined with the look on his face. Poor guy…wait, no! Her brows knit down over her eyes and no further approach is made. "Yeah, New York. That must've been some party, guy. I'm jealous," she remarks, forcing her voice into something wry and amused. Not leery at all, really.

After a brief hesitation, she bends to collect some of the books littering the ground near her feet. "You probably shouldn't use the library to sober up. I mean, it's quiet and all but they've got cops downstairs looking out for folks like you." Lena glances up at Peter again, angled to get a better look at his face. "You gonna be okay?"

"It wasn't…" Peter starts, but the sudden pain in his head throws him off a bit. The way he closes his eyes, squints, and touches his temple adds to the image that he must be suffering from one big hangover. In reality it's whatever's keeping his memories for the last three years fuzzy that's doing it. The headaches always seem worse after abilities are used. There's some scarring on his face, like he'd been in an accident in the last couple of years, but nothing too deep that stands out. Cuts, from the looks of things. This guy could have quite a colorful past!

If he had one scar for every time he died, he'd have a lot more, though. The pain passes, and he lets his hand drop away. "I should be okay. But— I should clan this up." Teleportation. The person he got it from had been a time traveller. "This may sound… do you know what the date is?" This really is adding to the 'wild bender' idea. But it's better than the alternative.

"You oughta sit down, man. You're looking really rough. Um…I might have some tylenol in my purse, if you need it." The fear response has worn off by now, leaving Lena capable sounding somewhat more sympathetic. That and curious. She spares him a last look before going up on her toes to slide the books back onto their shelves, not bothering with something as silly as proper placement. That's what librarians are for. "Don't worry about the books, I can…" Pause.

Date? Lena sinks back onto her feet and turns to face the man, forehead rumpling again. "Yeah, sure…it's November the twentieth. Two thousand and nine." The teen pauses a moment before asking, bluntly, "Look, are you a crazy homeless guy? 'Cause, I mean, I'm not a mean person but if you're just nuts, I'm gonna head back and look for my books, okay?"

"No, I'm not a crazy homeless guy— I just— had an accident recently and I don't remember things very well sometimes," Peter says truthfully, seeming genuine as he bends down and helps anyway. It's just a few books. A couple more handled by him shouldn't hurt. If he'd actually been doing drugs he'd probably be less confused looking than he is. "I didn't lose any time, well, not too much. I'm just not where I was… before." He knows he didn't black out, but that's the easiest explaination.

"I'm not homeless, though. But I guess I'll have to figure out how to get home without shoes." Hands suddenly go to his pockets. Yeah, figures. "Or a wallet." Or keys. Why can't teleportation ever work when he wants it to these days? If only he could remember how to use it.

"Oh…oh! Did you get hit on the head? That happened to me too, twice, and I had a hell of a time remembering some things after. Everything went all grey and fuzzy." Lena pauses, catching her lower lip between her teeth as she gives him another once over. "Yeah…where's home? I could…well. I've got some cash if you need a cab, but the shoes…oh!" A sudden grin lights her face. Inspiration of a devious sort. "Wait here," she urges him before darting out of the aisle.

There are small seating areas scattered around the second floor, nooks where a table and a couple of chairs are tucked away for those who prefer the peace and seclusion of this level. At one of these is the ubiquitous old man with newspaper. In this instance, the tweed-garbed gentleman has dozed off over his copy of the Times. Lena approaches quietly, taking care not to disturb him until she's near enough to press her fingers to one gnarled wrist. Then, unconcerned about the risk of the fellow waking, she drops to one knee beside his chair and starts to undoing the laces of his shoes.

This is why it's usually a bad idea to enlist the help of street kids.

"I have an apartment down near Chinatown… But I don't really remember what happened," Peter says truthfully, leaving out the fact he woke up a few days later when someone finally pulled the piece of metal out of the back of his head. And forgot another one in a less vital area of his brain. They've left it in there, perhaps cause they didn't know, or perhaps cause they have no reason to remove it. It takes a moment for him to process that she's darted off on him, with a mischevious smile on her face.

Despite being told to wait, he steps out of the aisle to follow, until he can see her. See her stealing a set of shoes from a business guy. Suddenly he's reminded of a certain homeless crazy guy who really liked pigeons. He steps forward, barefoot in a place that likely bans bare feet, but he doesn't make it more than a few steps, because someone left a newspaper sitting on a table. One with a picture on it. Of a face he knows quite well. He reaches out and picks it up, looking down at the image, as he stares at it. Pain starts to come to his head, distracting him from his moral obligation to tell her she doesn't need to steal him shoes.

The shoes are tugged from the old guy's feet and dangle from Lena's fingers as she stands up, turning to return to Peter…only to find him right there. The blonde startles, blinking rapidly at him, before his expression is noticed. "Hey…hey, man, are you alright? Here…" She approaches slowly and lifts a hand towards his arm. Contact isn't made but it's hovering over the sleeve of his t-shirt, as if she'd like to pat him in reassurance. Or to check for reflexes. A glance is shot at the paper but her interest in such things is fleeting at best. "Jesus…you really should sit down, you know. Cmon, there's a chair right here."

The guy on the cover of the newspaper happens to be the one and same U.S. Senator that she drugged in a karaoke bar. The one who sang up on stage, even. Peter looks back up at her after a moment, apparently in some pain from the way he's blinking, "You're probably right, I should sit down," he says, moving as if to sit down. "The guy in this… I thought…" Ivory said his brother would maybe be all right, even if the last memory he has of him had seemed sketchy at best… "You really didn't have to steal me shoes, but— thank you." The other guy looks like he has a wallet and a cellphone, and can take care of himself.

As he gets into the seat he reaches out toward her hand. Tactile contact has always been rather easy for him. Family, friends, casual acquaintances. Perhaps the hovering hand was taken as an invitation to at least make a brief contact.

The other guy is also letting out a god awful snore, his head tilting back on his saggy neck as he sinks into the unconsciousness Lena blessed him with. She ignores the noise as she sees Peter to his chair, hovering close enough now to tattle on her true level of concern. "Enh, you're welcome. They'll be big on you, but…what guy?" Another look is given the front of the newspaper, the picture that's summoned so much attention. Seeing it there, that night captured in black and white, is enough to distract the girl. She laughs out loud and reaches for the paper, forgetting for a moment two things: 1) they are in a library and should be quiet, and 2) she really should be careful about avoiding touches.

The fingers that press to the back of her hand provoke another jump, this one almost guilty. Her ability had been dialed down from "coma" to "yay party!" following the shoe theft, which means that Lena is treated to a most unfamiliar sensation. For the first time in three years, she gets to feel the warm tinglies as her body chemistry is altered. The girl's eyes lift to his face, wide and startled, the pupils dilating to an alarming level. "Wha? What…did you do?"

Touches don't usually cause that kind of problem, but in the world these two live in, things like this can happen. The hand pulls back and Peter looks at her in surprise, spotting the eye changes. As a trained nurse he knows what that can mean, even if he doesn't see the reaction often in people. And certainly doesn't expect his touch to do something like that. "I— are you okay?" he asks, looking down at his hand for a moment as if expecting it to be glowing or something. It's not. But there's… something very wrong with this picture.

Wrong? Oh no, there's something very right. It's been three long years of watching others get to enjoy the euphoric oblivion that Lena can provide, while she's stuck with unhappy reality. So when Peter withdraws, the shoes are unceremoniously dropped to the floor and her hand shoots out to chase his, seeking to grasp his wrist. "No! Don't…you're like me! Do it again, doitagain!" The words tumble out in a rush of delight, her face lighting with the same emotion. "Jesus…I'll pay for a cab and your dinner, you don't even know…I thought it was just me who could do that!"

It doesn't even occur to Lena, in her ignorance, that he might not enjoy the immunity she's suffered until now. Nor that there might be another explanation, other than Peter also being a walking drug lab. She wants a larger dose and she wants it now.

The longer they touch, the more that she gets. It doesn't quite work the same as her own. Or maybe it does. Peter could be immune to what he creates while she's immune to what she creates, but they're not immune to each other? There's a moment where he looks down at her hand, and then… something in his eyes changes. The tingly feeling follows her touch, and he suddenly starts to pull back. He's like her. She's like him. "Is this— is this what you do? You— you make people…" High. That's not an ability he's knowingly run into, but…

Normally he's not a fan of drugs, but normally he's not being made high when he thinks about it. This moment it feels pretty good. All the stress of the last month, with his confusion and lack of memories… "I— I'm not even sure what I'm doing. I just— I can do what other people can do. Is… This isn't dangerous is it?" Even while getting high, he's still able to be concerned.

"Yeah! It's amazing, isn't it?" Displaying none of his concern, actually bounces on her toes with the bliss of it, until one hop nearly undoes her balance. Peter's wrist is released and she thumps against the table, sitting on its edge and blinking blindly at the ceiling with that same loopy smile still fixed firmly in place. "God…it's no fucking wonder they can't get enough of me…I can do a lot of stuff but this one's the most popular, you know? Chi and I, we sell a ton of this stuff." With euphoria comes honesty, or simply a lack of care of how certain confessions might be taken.

It takes a moment for Peter's last question to work its way past the pink fog clouding her thoughts. When it finally does, Lena tips a smile that's both sweet and reassuring at him. "Do what other people do? Like…anyone? That's amazing too…don't worry. There's nothing bad about it, no crash, no bad trip. It just is." That's deep. "What's your name, guy? I owe you like a thank you card or something."

"Peter Petrelli," the man says honestly, forgetting for a moment that his last name happens to be plastered on the front page of the newspaper. Not for something he did, but for his formerly missing brother and the things that he's been up to around the city these days. At least not at first. "You sell this?" he asks, looking back down at where their hands are touching, and finally pulling away. What was he doing a second ago? Oh yeah, he's still barefoot. "I should… put shoes on." Suddenly he starts laughing, a soft laugh, that doesn't quite make sense.

"My shoes weren't stolen," he says after a few laughs, "I actually just left them in D.C.. I teleported without meaning to. Just… appeared here. There was an ad on the radio, about a library exibition, and I— guess I thought of this library, cause I've been to this one more than the ones in… I wish I had some control over the teleportation, but at least I didn't appear in someone's bathroom again." Is he rambling? Why yes he is.

"Shoes!" That's the funniest thing Lena's heard in awhile, or at least she behaves as such by joining in with Peter's laughter. His arm receives a light pat as she slides from the table and urges him to sit. "I'll get them, you're not looking so…mmm. You know, you need new clothes too," she adds, distracted by the feeling of the t-shirt under her palm. Its edge is caught and rubbed between her thumb and forefinger. "This is…is…no, not soft enough. Um." It's almost possible to see her mind working, trying to catch back up to the conversation. When it finally does, Lena releases his sleeve and sinks to one knee to reach carefully for the first shoe. With almost exaggerated slowness, because suddenly it seems to be allllllll the way over there.

"Fucking sweet, teleporting…I wish I could do that. But not like into bathroom's, 'cause that's just pervy. Wait!" She tilts her head back to peer at the man with wide, uncomprehending eyes. "Petrelli, oh my god! You're a perv too!" That sets off a fresh peal of laughter.

"This is a shirt I'm supposed to wear under a shirt," Peter says with a snicker, finding the whole thing very funny as well. And— oh hey, her hand feels good. He hesitates, though, looking at her face. She looks really young. And just called him a pervert! Well for a second he was thinking she was really pretty and that her hand felt good, so maybe he—

"I am not. I didn't teleport into her bathroom on purpose. I didn't even see anything. I could have, though. I can turn invisible too and I don't go spying on girls." Oh hey, she's reaching for his shoe… That's not his shoe, though, is it? It's a shoe she stole for him. And she sells her ability as a drug. "My brother's married. He shouldn't be hitting on teenagers."

Lena pats around on the ground, groping for the shoe until hitting it by accident and dragging it over. She's still giggling, chin tucked to her throat and muffling the sound of it somewhat while fussing with the laces. "You totally would spy on girls though, I bet. 'Cause I mean…what else is invisibility good for? And you're a perv. Pervy Petrelli. Petrellis! Both of you! That's a great name and you have really cute toes, you know? Okay, piggies, into the chute." She aims the shoe at his foot, poking at the toes in question to try to get them into the opening.

This is a classic example of the blind assisting the blind.

"Your brother is married? For real?" Lena's forehead has rumpled as she tries to concentrate on helping Peter into his new footwear. "Because he totally hit on me and Jade. I mean, she's really hot. For a girl. I think he wanted her number. Not mine though 'cause Tiago was being all grrrrrr…rrrr…" Cue another giggle. "What else can you do, Peter? I can…um. I forget. Fun stuff though!"

Piggies in the chute. That leads to move snickering, even if he wants to say he doesn't spy on girls very often. It— only happened a few times! "I think you would like the guy I got invisibility from. Though he is homeless. He likes pigeons but not people— He stole stuff and spied on people a lot," Peter says, looking down at his feet as they disappear into shoes. It takes a few tries, his little toe gets snagged once, but then it's on. "You're right, they are a little big." But he sounds amused more than anything.

What else can he do… His brother's a perv. Likes young girls who are almost the same age as his daughter! The one that he didn't even know he had. "I can survive getting a helicopter dropped on me," he says after a few moments. "And I can fly! And… a bunch of other things I don't remember. The helicopter dropping on me, I'm still alive but I sort of forgot the last three years…" The whole situation seems funny right now.

It's easier to deal with the second shoe, once the first has been managed. The laces are tied in a jaunty little bow before Lena reaches for the second and manuevers it into place. "Heeeey, I hate pigeons," she objects. "And I wouldn't spy on people!" Just drug them and steal from them. But she too is amused, taking no offense at all for being told she'd get along well with a homeless crazy. Her life is full of junkies, after all. The second set of laces are snugged up tight and Lena wobbles to her feet, reaching for the edge of the table to assist with standing.

"Jesus christ." Her eyes, blue turned black, blink slowly at Peter's face while she digests the other facets of his ability. "I was a big whiny baby about getting hit with a chair. A helicoptor, that's hardcore…um." Suddenly Lena's face twists into a frown and she shoots a look down at his feet. "You can…you can fly? Why'd I steal you shoes?"

"I probably shouldn't fly now. I can survive a helicopter, but I don't know if I could survive flying into a building at the speed of sound…" And right now he would be flying under the influence… Peter looks wobbles onto his feet. His eyes are a lot darker too, but they'd already been dark. It's difficult to stand up straight, so he reaches out and touches her arm. "You didn't have to steal me shoes— I would've walked out invisible. That's one of the few things I'm good at anymore— invisibility. I don't remember getting hit by the helicopter. But I think it hurt. Falling on a cab when the invisible guy threw me off a thirty story building hurt, though."

What were they talking about again? He's skipping conversations. And they're talking a little loudly. People are glaring at them in the library. "Hey, do you know where my brother is right now? I haven't seen him since… well I haven't seen him. I— who would hit you with a chair?"

"No?" Lena's expression falls into one of childish petulance. It's a safe bet she was about to demand a Superman ride. But she is resigned to loss, especially as Peter continues to distract with stories of his adventures. "That," she intones solemnly, "Is fucking harsh, dude. You need better friends. Like me and Tiago and Jade! We're super cool, you should totally come stay with us. Um. Except we're hiding so you can't tell anyone, okay? The government wants to steal my brain. Because it's special. Like yours! Yours is soooo better though…wait, what?"

She peers down at the hand on her arm before reaching up to link fingers with the man. The circuit of warm tinglies will continue! "I dunno where Pervy is, he sang Single Ladies at karaoke and then got dragged off by some chick. She was legal though! I think. Maybe. Cmon," Lena instructs, "We're sooo going to get busted here. Or…or…um. It was a drunk guy. I think…wait. Yes! The drunk guy. The Hulk and Fire Dude were before that."

"You wouldn't think it was better if you kept appearing places you're not supposed to be. I fell through a wall one time too," Peter says, thinking of all the mistakes he's made with his ability. Like the one time he nearly blew of the whole city, too. That wasn't… "The government wants to steal your brain?" he asks, thinking back on what she said and starting to move as if to walk out of the place. He reaches out and takes her hand, and suddenly they're… well it looks the same to them, but one of the people glaring at them suddenly sits upright and looks around. Where'd they go!?

"We're invisible," he says with a laugh, moving along toward the exit. "Are you sure the government's trying to steal your brain? Cause I work for the government and they're leaving my brain right where it is. They helped me get better from the helicopter too. Maybe I work for the good part of the government…" Ivory is a good man, and— someone said that Ivory couldn't trust some people in the… "Maybe there are bad people in the government who are trying to take people's brains, but the person I work for is working against them."

"Yeah, but you showed up here and now I'm rolling like crazy, so it's better." Logic, can't fight it. Lena skips along at the side of her new best friend forever, head swiveling this way and that as she adjust to the concept of being invisible. "Really? Are you sure, 'cause I can still…huh. What would happen if I ran into someone, would they fall over?"

Forgive her for being a little slow. This day has been a long time in coming. But it's left her cheerful, inclined to fraternize more than panic. Especially when Peter admits his affiliation.

He does earn a sidelong look, a glance that is as curious as it is intense. "Yeah I'm sure! They're loading us up onto trains and shipping us off, Peter, so you shouldn't laugh!" But please ignore the fact that Lena is still smiling. "They showed up at my apartment, they were totally going to kidnap me except I think I made her forget me. So now we're hiding. But I bet Jade wouldn't mind if you came over too, 'cause she's cool like that and she thought your brother was cute. For a pervy old guy."

"I was planning to try and go back to DC quickly— but if my brother's here in New York maybe I should stay for a few days and try to find him," Peter says softly, then suddenly decides to demonstrate what would happen invisible. He reaches out and hits some old man reading a book on the shoulder. The man drops his book, but looks around confused, seeing nothing. Hehehehe. "They would fall down!" he says, leaning in to whisper to the girl he's still holding onto.

"And they can hear us too, so shhhhhh. It's a library anyway." This whole situation is too funny. It wouldn't be funny normally, but right now it really is. "Do you think I'm better looking than my brother?" Not really an appropriate question, but it's what comes to mind first while they walk.

Lena has to clap a hand over her mouth to keep from exploding in a fresh round of giggles, little puffs of breath and sound escaping around her fingers. The other hand tightens on Peter's when she has to pick up the pace, walking faster towards the exit before that laughter breaks free and they're busted for more than just being noisy in a library. "Ohmygod you're so bad!" she hisses at him, through her fingers. "That was amazing." Because everything is amazing right now! Although it's probably true that Lena would have found that hilarious while sober, too.

Once they're almost to the exit though, escaping safely becomes less a priority. Lena instead stops and turns towards him, face screwing up in a look of exaggerated scrutiny. "Hmmm." Head tilts while he's given a once over. "Yeah, you're better looking than Brayden," she finally declares. "But you need to like, work out, 'cause you're too skinny. Oh, and get a hot accent. Can you do that too? Use other people's hot accents?"

"Brayden?" Why does the name Brayden sound familiar? "I'm talking about Nathan. He doesn't have an accent, he has a smarmy smile and talks to people like he knows everything— but he let me win at races when we were kids— and he build a treehouse with me, and smuggled dad's brandy and got me drunk when I was like… thirteen." Peter's rambling again as they walk towards the exit, looking down at himself. They can still see each other. Is he too skinny? "I used to be a nurse— didn't need to work out much for that. I work out more now, cause I'm in the government— the good part of the government."

Cause while other people may be bad, he knows that Ivory is in the right with this. Cause Ivory told him he was. "I don't talk in an accent either, but Claude did. He was all British. That's the invisible homeless guy."

Lena shows that no hurt feelings are intended by giving Peter's hand a squeeze, her smile returning full force. "Yeah, Brayden. He said his name was Nathan but he wanted to be called Brayden, and he did grin a lot," she observes with a giggle. "I kinda got him high too but then he sang Single Ladies, which was hilarious so it was okay, right?" Of course it was alright. And knocking over books being read by old men is funny too.

"He sounds like a good brother. I only had a little brother before I had to run the first time, when I was Caroline. That's why I'm Lena now, 'cause Chi says it like Caro-leeeeena. Isn't that pretty? He has the best accent ever." Lena gives a little hop to indicate that she is ready to proceed again, setting forth towards the cool New York morning that awaits them outside. "Why do you work for the government anyway, if you're a nurse? I mean…you're really awesome, and…and maybe you think that They are okay but I'm serious about the trains, dude. People are dying."

"I wonder why he's going by Brayden," Peter asks outloud, though he doesn't really find the situation to be funny. Even then, he can't help but laugh a little. It's a funny sounding name! It sounds like… Raiden. In his head he pictures his brother with white hair and shooting lightning out of his hands. It's a funny picture. It doesn't last long, though… "Lena is pretty. I like Caroline too. They're both pretty." But… trains. There's something about the situation that sounds familiar. He was on a train recently, wasn't he? "I've never seen people locked up— and I've looked around… Invisible even. You'd think I'd see people locked up…"

People are dying. "I should find out about this. If people are dying I should be helping them. That's why I'm there— cause I want to help people. I used to help people as a nurse, but… saving the world one person at a time just wasn't good enough. Especially not when I can fly and jump off buildings without dying and move things with my mind… And now apparently drug people. This isn't addictive, is it?"

Lena has no idea what Peter is laughing about but she joins in, forgetting that they're supposed to be quiet due to the invisibility. It's a beautiful day, she's high, has a new best friend and everything is just glorious. That's worth some genuinely light-hearted laughter. "Man, I wish I could do all that even if people do throw helicopters at you…hmm? Oh, yeah, totally addictive. Like, Chi, he can't go more than a few hours now or he gets really antsy. But you gotta get a lot for that to happen, you know?" She flashes that grin at him and gives his hand a shake. "Like, five or six times. So if you're gonna go off and fight the government you'll be okay. Unless you visit! And you should totally visit, 'cause maybe we could help. I'm tired of running."

The babbling fades into a temporary silence as the door is reached, Lena extending her free hand to push it open. And thus the library becomes the subject of various ghost rumors. It isn't long before the girl picks up the thread of conversation again as they emerge into the thin early winter sunshine. "What happened to your Claude guy friend thing? You talk about him a lot. Do you remember?"

"Addiction isn't good," Peter says quietly, looking down where their hands connect. But it feels good, and it won't give a hangover? He wonders how bad the withdrawal symptoms are, or if there's a way to lessen the dosage so it can be taken away without causing the withdrawal symptoms. He worked in medicine and these things come to mind, but they flit away quickly too, cause he's got other things on his mind, and his mind is kind of fuzzy too.

He laughs again. People look toward them without seeing them as they walk by, giggling.

"Claude disappeared," he says, then laughs. "Like— really disappeared. I didn't see him again. He was mad at me, even after I saved his life. I wonder if that's the part of the government— he was hiding from them, and they found us. Cause…" he trails off. "You know what, that story has a bad ending…" There's something about his expression that makes him look like a kicked puppy. "Who is Chi?"

Lena, without the benefit of medical training, is less concerned about the prospect. It's been too long since she was able to simply relax and enjoy a day, so Peter's opinion on the matter is politely overlooked…or not heard at all. The teen is humming to herself while she listens to the sound of traffic, and pigeons on the steps, and Peter speaking of Claude. She takes quick skipping steps to match the man's longer stride and uses her free hand to shade her eyes when the sunlight proves to be too much for her dilated pupils.

"Chi's my knight in shiny armor! He saved me from Jose and brought me to New York so we could be safe. I tried to make him go away so he wouldn't get hooked on me but the internet says men from Brazil are really really stubborn, and…and…oh, Peter." Lena stops again, and stops him, looking up into his face with open concern. The hand that had been shielding her eyes now lifts to pat gently at the man's shoulder. "Don't be sad. Don't be sad, okay? Hey…hey, are you gonna cry? Don't cry."

"I've never met anyone from Brazil. But he sounds like a good guy," Peter says, thinking back on the— wow the sun really is bright. He suddenly wishes he had some sunglasses. There's a guy walking by with sunglasses on, and suddenly they disappear from his head. From many steps away. The poor guy stops and looks around in confusion, but doesn't see where the sunglasses ended up. Which happen to be in Peter's other hand.

No, he's not crying. Especially since he got distracted by the fact he somehow got exactly what he wanted! "Oh— I just thought that I wished I had sunglasses…" They're really fashionable sunglasses, too! Not really macho or big, could easily be worn by a woman as well.

He looks at her shielding her eyes and then holds them up to her instead. "Here."

That's a first. Lena's forehead acquires new rumples as she tries to make sense of the appearance of sunglasses out of nowhere. Being light-blind means that she misses just where they came from, leaving the girl to look from glasses to Peter and back again before reaching out to accept them. Carefully. As if they might be mutant sunglasses from another dimension, bent on biting her nose when she slips them on. "Okay, I'm starting to think there's nothing you can't do. You wished for sunglasses and…seriously, Peter, can I just keep you?" The grin is almost immediate, once she's certain her nose is safe. "There, how do I look? You should wish for another pair! Or…or I could make you not high, if you want. Then…"

The sunglasses hide a certain devious light in her eyes, but with her smile gone speculative, it might be recognizable that Lena's something. "You said you live in Chinatown, right? You could totally fly me home on the way."

"You can make me not high?" There's a surprised blink. Part of Peter really likes being high, but at the same time the possibility of being addicted to her, and some of the thoughts that go through his head… it would probably be better if he wasn't high. "There are things I can't do, I'm sure, I just don't know what they are yet…" One of the many things he can't do would be to fix his own memory. Right now. Or find his brother. He'll have to figure that out soon, but maybe someone on the newspaper can help him out, or he could see if his brother's offices know where he is. He had a couple assistants. Maybe one of them knows.

"If you made me sober, I'd be willing to fly you home, yes— but I'd have to hold onto you. Pretty tightly. So you didn't fall."

"Well, sure! I figured out how to do a little while ago. It's not fun but you're clean after, you know? Of everything. It like…pushes the crap in your body that doesn't belong there to the surface so…um. You do get kinda gross till you wipe yourself off." Lena pauses to look around. Ah, there! A conveniently placed alley between two buildings. Clinging to Peter's hand, she draws him in that direction. Invisible or not, she doesn't want to take any chances about his control slipping while being purged.

"Okay okay!" she says once they're safely cast into shadow. "Could you…um. Maybe not use this one on me, after? Because flying is going to be a fucking trip, and I wanna surprise a couple people. I promise I'll hold on tight too, I won't freak out or squirm or anything."

The invisibility does slip while everything starts to purge from his body. Luckily he's not been doing much of anything except her own drugging ability. It still leaves him feeling slimy. The thin shirt gets a little sticky and cold, and Peter shivers visibily as everything leaves him. His head no longer feels foggy, but he looks down at his hands and puts his fingers together, feeling the goo. "You were right— it does feel kinda gross. I wish I had a towel." He waits. No towel appears. "I wish my abilities would work when I wanted them to."

That's the worst part of the whole thing. Instead he rubs his hands together, trying to get some of the things off. It doesn't work as well as he'd like, not as well as it would with a towel. "Do you think that's good enough?" Is he hold on-able? "I'm better at flying than the other stuff. So you don't have to worry about that. Where do you live?"

She's watching him closely, the sympathy visible even with the sunglasses blocking a good portion of her expression. "Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I haven't figured out why that happens yet, still learning it, you know? The lady teaching me said to feel the energy but…" One of her hands is flapped to dismiss the possibility that Lena's abilities could take the form of "blue energy". "Kinda hard when you're making people sweat ectoplasm. You look fine but god, you're going to freeze…"

The sunglasses are removed so the teen can offer the items over (as he'll be steering) and squint at him with concern. She isn't so high that the possibility that this might be a bad idea doesn't occur to her. "You wanna take a cab again? 'Cause I don't feel a thing right now but you're dressed kinda…um. It's all the way over by the East Village."

"I'm dressed like I forgot to dress before I stumbled out the door," Peter admits outloud, looking down at himself again. He is cold, but not quite as cold as he could be. The sunglasses and handed back. "Let me try something really quick— if it doesn't work, we can take a cab to my apartment and…" Figure it out then. His eyes slide shut and he waits a few moments, then grunts.

"Okay, let's take the cab, then I can fly you to your home, once I get some of my own clothes… and maybe a shower."

Lena is ever so agreeable, not in small part due to the mental image of how far a fall she might suffer due to the poor man's slipperiness. The observation continues, brows quirked up in anticipation of something amazing (what else is to be expected of this fellow, at this moment?). But when nothing is forthcoming…

"Right!" she agrees, once more filled with purpose. Like a hero setting out on a quest, she squares the sunglasses over her nose again and strikes off for the mouth of the alley, and the curb beyond. "Man, an apartment in Chinatown…that's gonna be so cool. We lived in the lower east side before, it was like crack central. But we had this amazing stereo system, the neighbors hated us. Taxi!"

"People would say my apartment is in Lower East Side, but I like to think it's more in Chinatown. It's on the right side of Canal, at least," Peter says, as if this observation is important. He's no longer drugged, so sounds less giggly and more focused, but he— "If I have some money I can pay you back for the cab ride too." Cause in his now clear mind, drugging her with a touch isn't nearly payment enough for a taxi cab in New York City. They can be kind of expensive sometimes, especially coming down from the public library.

"We're not invisible anymore," he adds, just in case there was any doubt. Especially when a Taxi pulls up to get them. The driver won't like the fact that he'll leave ectoplasm on the back seats— or more likely the person who gets in after them won't like it, but there's the cab. He moves forward to open the door for her, and will tell the cab driver where he lives. It does sound like it's in the block between Lower East Side and Chinatown.

Lena rewards the chivalry with a grin before she hops into the cab and slides over to make room for Peter. "Don't worry about it. The money, I mean. we got caught up on our deliveries for a little while, you know? And Jade's not charging us anything," she remarks, all innocence. Absolutely nothing in the conversation for a cab driver to take offense at, even if they are getting dirty looks for the oil smears left on the fake leather seats. The teen takes care to fold her hands in her lap after she's pulled a small coin purse from her skirt's pocket, avoiding further touching of the man. She seems distracted by the blur of light and color going past the window on her side.

"Mmm…you know…this is why we can't run. Look at this. This is…like the whole world right here. Forget Miami or Mexico or D.C. Why would anyone wanna live anywhere else?"

"I've wanted to come back to New York since I woke up," Peter admits, looking out the windows as everything moves by. He's not even drugged anymore, and it comes off as genuine honesty. "I've lived here my whole life, pretty much. We had houses other places, but— I liked it here best. Always something to do. Even in the big city you always seemed to run into the same people sooner or later." Things slide by as the cab moves, and silence follows for a time. Because silence always does.

"I was supposed to have some things brought to me from my apartment, but no one did it for me." And he doesn't even know why. There's a confused espression on his face. Someone should have brought him things sometime. He wonders why they didn't. Especially since Ivory said it was okay.

Ivo— There's something wrong with that thought, which he only realizes after a forced detox. He doesn't get to explore it long, cause the cab driver pulls over. The trip took a good amount of time, but between one passanger being drugged and distracted by pretty lights and the other one just being confused, it seemed shorter.

Sometimes silence isn't a bad thing. Lena does glance over at him, head tilted as if she were curious. But for once the teen thinks to keep her mouth shut, allowing Peter his thoughts, and herself the shiny lights. It's not an unpleasant trip. Once they pull up to the curb, she leans forward to pass the driver the fare and bids him keep the change before pushing her door open to exit.

"So everything's here? Why wasn't it in D.C. with you?" It's an absent question, spoken as she steps up onto the sidewalk with her head tilted back to study the building they've been brought to. "You know, I didn't think I'd ever like the north…I grew up in Miami. Sun, sand and palm trees." And gang leaders. But she digresses. "I always thought it'd be so grey up here…hey, do you got a key? 'Cause I'm not good with picking locks…that's Chi's thing."

"I'm not sure why my stuff wasn't in D.C.," Peter says, sounding rather confused. If he'd been working for Alpha Protocol, why didn't he have a room there? Why didn't he have his things there? Why didn't he even have clothes? And why didn't he question this situation until the young woman did? "I…" He knows where a spare key is, but that happens to be inside. He frowns for a moment and then squeezes his hand as he moves closer to the apartment's main door.

And suddenly that spare key that he was thinking about is in his hands. "I wonder how this ability works. Either I stole someone else's key, or I— have my own." They have to go up a bunch of flights of stairs to find out, but after a few minutes, they do find out.

And it unlocks his apartment door. 1407. The apartment doesn't seem to have been used lately. There's dust built up, and the heat has been turned down, making it cool inside. But the electricity still works, and he tests the water in the sink. "I'd offer you something to drink, but I'm afraid to open the fridge right now. No one's been here in at least a month." And the fridge could have a colony… "There's cups, so you can have some water if you want. I'll go get changed and cleaned up."

The confusion sparks another look from Lena, her eyebrows creeping higher and higher as the atmosphere changes. Even loopy, she can recognize the oddness. "Maybe you travelled a lot? Government people do that, right? God, that's a neat trick." The grin he's given is both impressed and intended to be reassuring, and curiosity over this apartment compels a brighter mood as she traipses up the stairs behind him. Her fingers trail along the walls as she goes, that tactile sensation savored, pleasure voiced in a tuneless humming.

"Dude, you should've hired a housekeeper while you were gone." It's an idle remark once they're inside, and the finger-trailing picks up a fuzzy rime of dust while Lena explores. She won't admit it but the girl's looking for music and a means to play it. Quiet isn't always a bad thing but too much of it right now is stifling. "It's cool! You go hose yourself off and I promise not to snoop through your cabinets. Probably. Maybe," she remarks, teasing aside a curtain to peer down at the street below.

The living room of his apartment has a whole stack of CDs. It doesn't take too long to find a iPod as well, and a couple CD players. Music seems to be one of the things that he likes, and he has many ways to play it as well. Peter stops off in his bedroom, behind two french doors, to grab some clothes. "My apartment's changed some in the last few years," he admits, stopping to look at some pictures. Of people he doesn't even know. But apparently he knew once.

He would like to look longer, but he takes the clothes and disappears into the bathroom. A shower can be heard a few moments later. It lasts for a good couple of minutes, until it shuts off, giving time to change. But she's left alone with his stuff for a while. And he's missing a memory. He may not even notice if a few things are missing.

He's a trusting fellow. On any other occasion, Lena may well have carefully tossed the place in search of spare change or better. But today's all about peace, love and happiness. By the time the hiss of water has cut off, classic rock has been cranked up on the CD player and the iPod has been appropriated to broadcast classical at loud volume directly into one ear. Lena's firmly of the opinion that if a little music is good, a lot of music is better. And the conflicting rhythms are amusing.

She can be found in the kitchen, trying to hum a mash up of the two melodies. Two coffee cups have been lined up on the counter, a couple of teabags dropped into them; they might be stale but flavored water is flavored water. Water from a pot set to heat on the stove is being poured into one at a time.

As soon as he's clean and dressed, Peter steps outside of the bathroom. His hair is still damp, almost wet even, but he's a lot cleaner looking, and without the ectoplasm that she purged from his body. "I see you found my tea and CD player," he says with a smile, looking over at the stack of CDs, which has grown since the last time he remembers listening to them. There's a lot of additional things in his apartment, and a few things missing. Big bookshelves, a television, DVDs… He stops to look at the TV for a minute, and then sees something else on the floor to the side.

A dog toy, of all things. He shakes his head. How much has he forgotten? Maybe if he hangs out in his apartment for a few nights it'll jog his memory.

"Let me know when you're ready to fly. East Village isn't that far away."

"Huh?" Not the most intelligent of answers, but Lena's a little distracted with juggling bobbing her head to the beat and preparing mugs of tea. She pokes her head out at him and gives him a grin. "You're looking better! Not bad, man. I hope it's okay? Apartment's are creepy when they're quiet, no offense or anything." When she emerges from the kitchen, mugs in hand, her gaze is still a restless thing; it courses over all of the same details Peter is taking in but attaches no special significance to them.

"Whenever you're ready, I guess." His tea is offered and hers sipped from, Lena's eyes following that look to the dog toy. Oh, dear. A dog toy in an apartment left empty for months…that's a mood-killer. "Um…yeah. I guess maybe you might want to get settled in, huh? You don't have to worry about it, I have enough to get back from here. But hey, you should give us a call sometime, you know?"

"I— yeah, I wouldn't mind getting settled in. I can always take you for a flight later on," Peter says, moving toward a post it thing near the door with a pen. He pulls off a sheet and the pen and holds it out. "Leave me a number. I'll probably need to buy one of those disposable phones, but I can give you a call when I do, so you can call me back. I need to stick around a few days to try and find my brother, and…" He looks around at his apartment. He wouldn't mind looking through it, seeing if he can find some phone numbers, find out pieces of what he's been missing the last few years.

It's worth checking out. "I promise I'll take you for a flight later, though."

The mention of Peter's brother teases at the girl's memory, as can be seen in her suddenly rumpled forehead. The tea is set down, slip of paper and pen accepted with a frown. "Yeah, sure, I totally understand. Your brother…Brayden." Her head bows over her hands as she jots down the numbers for her cellphone. "Um. You know, he's maybe like you? I think the lady that came to get him out of the bar that time he was hitting on us, she said he was supposed to be getting his memory back too. He called her Helen. Dunno if that helps."

With the number written down and offered back to him, Lena finds her smile again. "That's cool, don't worry about it, okay? You look like you're having a tough time right now and I totally know what that's like. I mean…I kinda do. Usually. Right now I don't give a fuck, and that's awesome. I'm gonna go find a party, I think. You be good, Peter!" Because she's certainly not going to be.

Peter makes no move to turn off the music. It seems like he doesn't mind it at all. With her phone number written down, he pins it up onto a punchboard near the door. For later. So he doesn't accidentally lose it. "Helen's a popular name, but it's also the name of his publicist. I think I have her number around here somewhere. Maybe she can tell me where he's staying right now." And it would make sense to try and call her. Who would know better than his publicist?

"I'm really glad I met you, Lena," he adds on, tempted to touch her, but not wanting to get drugged again, either. It's the truth, too. Even if it happened completely unexpectedly. "Enjoy the party. And be safe." Not good, but safe.

"Yeah, me too! You're awesome, Peter. Even if you do work for the government. Remember you promised not to tell about me, okay?" It's quite the change from her usual paranoia. This reminder is spoken cheerfully and accompanied with a pat on the arm that lands on his (thankfully) clothed arm. Lena is being considerate, all things considered. Peace, love and happiness do not always go hand in hand with searching for one's amnesiac Senator brother.

"Don't worry too much about me, I can kick some serious ass when I have to," she assures him by way of parting remark, grinning and crinkling her nose before pulling the door open to leave.

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