2008-03-23: Cheating Time


Church_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif FuturePeter_icon.gif

Summary: The time traveler drops into an office to offer information.

Date It Happened: March 23, 2008

Cheating Time

Church's Office - Brubaker School

Lee is hanging around Church's office keeping him from going to an important secret meeting at his important secret job by helping him with one of the kids. She likes Lee, and as she flounces to the door, Lee summarizes their meeting to her: "Life isn't fair, you can't just get whatever you want all the time by cheating, you have to work hard, put in the effort or else nothing you make is going to hold. That's why you passed the test by looking at someone else but bombed out on your project. All right?" "Yes Mr. Jones." she sniffles. "Thank you Mr. Jones. Thank you Mr. Church." Lee holds the door for her gallantly. He does have a heart.

Speaking of cheaters… while the door is held open for one child to leave, someone else slips inside. There's no easy way to notice him, other than a brief brush along her arm as he slips by and deeper into the office. Peter remains invisible, his eyes watching the student, the man holding the door open, and then shifting to the one whose office this is. Inhaling slowly, he waits. Can't speak up, or appear, until the student has left.

At first, Church wasn't all too keen on the idea of being kept at the office. It didn't take long for him to decide to impress upon yet another student the importance of hard work and the fact life still remains unfair. Disregard the entire reason he is here being 'cheating' in the first place. He sticks to his chair as the girl leaves and Lee shows her out the door, lifting a hand and smiling as she leaves. His own attention is soon being diverted to the clock on the wall, which reads as making him at least half an hour late for whatever he had to do after school. It makes him irritated that he is late, but in the end there's not much he can do about that.

Lee tilts his head to Church as he closes the door. "O'Donnell would have chased her right out of school. Her parents' money doesn't have big enough numbers in the corners." he quips. He completely misses Peter's entrance, naturally. "I thought you had office hours today, are you supposed to be somewhere?"

The student is out of the door, it's firmly closed behind her. Does he need to be somewhere else? "I hope stay a few minutes longer," a rough voice suddenly says from the middle of the room. It's barely recognizable as the same Peter they know. Raspier, harsher, but still having some of the same whispered effect. The color begins to fill in, sliding down from head to toe as he appears in the corner of the room. He should not be here. And such a display of ability right in front of two people? Tacky. Nevermind he's dressed like he got caught in a SciFi Distopia movie. Long black coat, boots, and a deep scar right across his face that shouldn't be there. Black hair is even slicked back, out of his eyes. He is a friend of the gel companies.

"I was supposed to be-" Lawrence's sentence is cut short by another voice, and the sinking image of a man inside of the office that certainly did not walk in. If this were somewhere else, he may not be as jumpy, but here at Brubaker- Church has an initial reaction of leaping to his feet and taking at least one step back towards the filing cabinets.

The strangeness of his dress is forgiven, but the scar on Peter's face is like a target for Lawrence's eyes. This isn't right, Lee Jones' presence be damned. Perhaps in a bout of disillusion, or perhaps confidence- the agent lifts his arm and points his hand at Peter, thumb and forefinger in the shape of a gun. Is he joking? "Don't move."

Lee is so startled by Peter appearing that he's jolted into a burst of nervous laughter at his appearance. "Peter? What the hell happened to your face, it looks like you ran through traffic." he joshes. He explains to Church more out of trying to cover up his jitters than anything else: "Peter's got mind abilities that can make us think he's not here, he was probably here the whole time. Hey, you know, you can't tell anyone about what was in that student conference. She doesn't need the grief, and anyway it's confidential." Clearly Lee's propensity towards telling the worlds most powerful people that they are doing everything wrong is already well-established even in this primitive time period.

Finger gun? Peter's eyebrows raise, but he doesn't look particularly impressed by the finger pointed at him. Or maybe he already knows exactly why the finger is being used at all. What it means, what it doesn't mean. "It's not what you think, Lawrence," he says, looking at him carefully. "I never did thank you for those copies of Watchmen. They were very informative." It's said in the same whispered tone, before he looks away from the threatening finger and toward Lee again. The only movement is a nod, though. "I only caught the end of it, but what happened in here, stays in here. Though I doubt that will be true for my part."

Church keeps his hand where it is, eyes on the man who is Peter Petrelli, but can't possibly be Peter Petrelli. But of course, he has to be one of the few that can travel through Time and Space.

"Of course they were informative." Lawrence's voice softens just slightly, but his eyes are stuck. "That's why I gave them to you." The hand at his other side flexes in and out of a fist, and only then do his eyes flicker to Lee and back to Peter. "Damn straight it's not going to be true." He's lucky that Church hasn't reached for the panic button on his cellphone by now.

Lee says, "Oh, you guys know each other? Well, that saves a lot of repetitive exposition on my part." Lee, always concerned for narrative consistency, looks at Church weirdly and is about to say something, when Peter addresses him and now he has to look weirdly over there and then Lee looks weirdly back, and elects to trample right over all the weirdness and say, "You intentionally inflicted that overrated 'Watchmen'pile of crap on him…" And then to Pater: "… and you're actually thanking him for it? Please tell me you're just being polite, or I'm through the looking glass here! By the way, Lawrence, 'through the looking glass' is from a real book, look it up sometime."

"It gave me an idea of your point of view, but it doesn't mean I agreed with it," Peter explains, looking at the man for a long moment. Considering certain things, that particular graphic novel struck more than a few cords with him. Especially considering what he'd nearly been used to do. In one future. Not the one he's from, but in one future. "We know each other. He's a friend of my mother," he explains to Lee, keeping his gaze shifting between the two. His gaze is hard, and his eyes settle on the other man quietly for a time. There's so much going on here. "Your outlook on things has always been refreshing, Lee, but I imagine you're going to yell at me in a moment."

There's almost a hint of a smile. His eyes shift back to Church. "I'm from four years in the future."

"The time has come, the Walrus said, To talk of many things- Of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax- Of cabbages, and kings- And why the sea is boiling hot- And whether pigs have wings." Lawrence recites almost on cue, eyes darting quite menacingly over to Lee in a silent challenge. His voice, however, seems to be wholly directed at Peter. "It's not entirely my point of view." The hand lowers only slightly, brown eyes leering past it at the younger men. The future is all well and good, and Lawrence is more than ready to hear the words, but Peter's use of present tense nags at him. Is. His voice is hesitant.

"I know. Where you're from, do we- do we get her back? Safe?" It goes to show- that when you raise a guard dog all the way from a pup, there's always going to be someone whose feet he will curl up at. "What do you want?"

Lee replies, annoyed, "In a moment, how about right now? You're here from four years in the future. Well, that's just great! Don't you have better things to do four years in the future than come back around and bug us about things that probably won't even happen now that you came back and stepped on a butterfly or made Church late for his spinning class, or whatever?" He then looks back at Church weirdly. "Who, his mother? Did something happen to his mother?" That's the only 'she' we're talking about here, right?

Lee is at least entertaining the notion, even in his sarcastic way. He has learned not to say 'that's impossible' or 'prove it' or anything like that, at least.

"Why would I come back if I didn't want to change something?" Peter simply asks, looking at the man. It's a question that he doesn't need to answer. Hypothetical in nature. The answer is obvious. He wouldn't. Time travel isn't something to be done at leisure. There's always a purpose. "My mother was kidnapped, by my father. Who's… powerful enough to make it very difficult for anyone to find her, much less get her back. So powerful that…" He hesitates. When he speaks again, the train of that part of the conversation has jumped tracks. "My mother isn't the only one whose future is in jeapordy. I'm already taking steps to make sure she gets back safely. But I need your help for that. Once I know exactly where she is, I need someone to distract my father. Someone I can trust to do the job right."

Saying nothing, a few seconds pass before Church takes a breath of air in through his nose. He doesn't answer Lee, allowing Peter. As for what Peter says- there's no asking for Lawrence to help, because he already is. At the ready, in any case. "It's not easy to distract a man with a thousand eyes, Peter. Or stop a man with a thousand fists. You know that I'm already doing what I can. Even if what I can do right now is awful by my own standards." The agent growls it out, lips thinning and finally, his hand drops the rest of the way.

Lee says, "It took you four years to work out what happened to your mother and you decided to a junior high counselor about it? I mean, I personally would have taken a couple of extra days and picked someone better to come back and tip off, like, uh, oh I know! Someone who knows something about kidnappings." He combines an ignorance of Church's secret life with an instinctive denial that anyone could possibly have an interest in Lee. Clearly it was Church Peter came to see. He looks weirdly at Church again: "Uh…is there something I'm missing here? Like, say, 'I called the cops and put in a missing persons report' or 'It's a good thing we know his demands so we know what the guy is after'."

"That's why I'm going to give you information, Lawrence. Things you can't possibly have access to. Things that will help you. Locations, information about who you need to focus on, everything— everything I can give you," Peter finally moves now, shifting to look at Lee, reaching into his pocket to pull something out. It looks very much like a pocket watch, but as it flips open it seems much more complex. More dials than any one watch should need to have. And the dials are moving. Far too complex. "I'll leave in a few minutes, but Lee… not everything can be solved through legal means. Have the police been able to do anything about what happened with your parents? There will always be injustices, always be something to fight against. Always be laws that need to be passed, always be changes that need to be made. And your struggles are important. The mountains you climb today, you'll need to climb for years to come, whether you see them or not."

It's like Peter came back to hand Church his own Pandora's Box. Not that there haven't been several already. Lawrence watches Lee, almost amused that he still only sees a counselor. When he turns his gaze back to Peter, he does make a visible attempt to lift his chin to get a better look at the watch. "When will I get this information, Peter? And- is it wise for me to tell them about you? Or should I be doing my regular bullshitting about where I get things?" Only now does a smile creep across the older man's features, turning the square shape of his face crooked with a flash of white teeth.

Lee keeps his mouth shut, looking suddenly uncomfortable. The reason the cops couldn't do anything with his parents is because he himself protected his parents from the police when push came to shove. It's his fault his psycho parents are still out there running around endangering people, potentially himself and his sister and his friends, when the police could have had them locked up in twenty minutes. All Lee had to do was pick up the phone, and he didn't. "Well, duh." he rejoins, weakly, the awkwardness of the riposte making it almost an acquiescence. He seems embarassed that Peter travelled back four years and the only thing he had to say to him was 'good work, keep trying'. He had pretty much assumed that it was going to be something terrible. It wasn't. "I mean, okay. I will." he mutters, near-speechless. To Church, he says, encouragingly, "Tell them you looked it up in a book. Wait, who?"

There's many dials. Some have numbers, like the hours or the days of the year, but there's other dials that just have symbols. One dial even has Cyrillic— another Sanskrit. From the distance he's at, it's hard to tell exactly what everything might mean, where all the hands are pointing, and what that means. He snaps it shut after a moment and looks back at Chruch. "It's up to you. I could force you to keep it in this room, but I'm not going to do that. I'm leaving it in your hands. But I can assure you that we have the same enemy— the same goals. And you don't want the future I come from to happen… anymore than I do." The more that's changed, the better, he seems to say. "In a couple days. I'll leave a flashdrive on your desk. The password to access the information on it will be the name of the other book you left with me." There's a pause before he looks back at Lee, putting the watch into his pocket again as he steps forward and actually touches the other man's shoulder. I have more to tell you later. But I can't tell you here. Still a telepath. Even if time travel has been added on now.

Lee is befuddled enough that he actually keeps his mouth shut and just nods, still uncomfortable, but he doesn't give the game away.

"If it was enough to make you come back in the first place, you're probably right." Church relaxes visibly, eyeing Lee towards the end. Some 'splaining to do, soon. He doesn't ask Peter which desk- it would only add to his straying from story. Lawrence rests a hand on the back of his chair, steadying himself even when he hadn't realized the uneasiness of both feet. Oh yeah, one more thing. "Nice watch, Peter." It sounds almost like a joke, but it isn't. That was interesting, and just one other thing along the line he'll have to see into.

Lee appears to just listen at this point, his brash bravado having been completely derailed by his expectations jumping the track.

"I spent a year building it. It should be nice," Peter says in a rasped voice, letting his hand drop away. "It'll be on your desk sometime around three thirty in the afternoon, before the weekend if at all possible." That should give him an idea of when he needs to be sitting there, waiting. "I'll see you later." While his eyes are on Church, he may mean them both. Likely does.

With those words, his eyes close. Instead of disappearing from top to bottom, he just disappears all at once. The time traveler has left the building.

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