2007-08-25: DF: Closer

Starring:

DFPeter_icon.gif DFJessica_icon.gif

Summary: Torn up over the death of his friend in the twisted future he's found himself in, Peter seeks out somewhere to forget it all. He might not be in the right place.

Dark Future Date: August 25th, 2009

Closer


S*Y*N Club, New York

Late night is everyone's favourite time to come to a place like this. Not that it's not active any time of day but night's when it all comes to a head. Sin is most comfortable late at night, and so is S*Y*N. It's the perfect place to forget about the world. In a corner near the bar is a small television screen streaming the news, but nobody cares. Even if it wasn't muted, the music would drown out the day's headlines.

Steady, rhythmic, and decidedly iniquitous, the music drives the atmosphere deeper into vice. Nine Inch Nails, if anyone cares. Closer. They probably don't. Flashes of light strobe from the club area now and then, but overall, the main zone is dimmed. There's a crush of people around the bar. The air is hot. One of the main attractions is on stage midway through a performance, getting to know the metal pole in a languid dance in criss-crossing black lingerie and tall, slick black boots. Long, golden blonde hair. There's a silver trenchcoat-like article on the catwalk that's been shrugged off. She's pretty damn hard to ignore, but her face is turned away from the club. She could be any girl.

After the explosion earlier today, there's a lot to take mind off. Though it might have been easier if Peter'd remembered to change his clothes and shower before he left the safety of the Phoenix Rising Towers. Most of his wanderings were done invisible. It's the lights that draw his eyes first. The most he's seeking is a place to sit down and… he can't forget. That won't happen. But maybe something will numb the failure, and he can't lean on the people he wants to lean on most. The noise attracts him second. Loud. Drowning out the white noise that keeps wanting to ring in his ears, drowning out everything else.

Slipping inside the doors, he looks around, the invisibility sliding off. He can't exactly order a drink invisible. The clothes he'd worn earlier have burn marks in various places, dried blood in others. His arms and legs are covered in it. His hair even sticks up in random directions from flight, and clumped together with dried blood. Only his hands and face are anywhere near clean. Tears that he rubbed off doing the job of cleaning. The main attraction on the stage earns his eye— like every eye in the house, and he starts to make his way towards the bar.

Is history doomed to repeat itself, even here: another time, another possibility, parallel? Not exactly. As the hands of the woman the underlit catwalk climb up the pole, she tosses her head and a swathe of blonde slides away from her right shoulder. There, on the revealed bare skin, is a stark black symbol, a telltale marker. Jessica. What's more, she looks over her shoulder during the seductive moves that seem to come as easily as breathing. The blue eyes that stare, half-lidded, around S*Y*N have a dark look to them, not by the weight of someone who hates what they're doing, but by a general evilness. She's watchful. Sharply so. Jessica's gaze catches on a certain face at the bar and, during a slow twirl, she almost halts. With Peter all sombre and messy like that, though… it's hard to tell which one he is. Even so, her eyes narrow and she smirks.

It's not easy to get a drink with the music so loud and most of the eyes up on stage. Luckily, the bartender has seen this show enough times he glances away long enough to take an order. Peter points at a bottle more than anything else, and is poured a glass. Scotch. Once the glass is in hand, he looks up towards the stage again, long enough to see the face of the woman. The tattoo doesn't tell him much, he hasn't yet learned about that, but he knows what he heard when he healed her. Niki's gone. Which would make the woman up on stage… A slow drink is taken before he moves away from the bar, trying to find a place to sit, or lean. The bloodied man noticed the smirk, but does not return it. There's no smiles left on his face right now. Finding a place to lean against the wall, he watches her. He even forgets to let the invisibility slide back in place.

Jessica's smirk stays exactly where it is. Though her sharp gaze pins Peter for a moment longer, she mostly keeps watch of the rest of the crowd; it seems casual enough, her overseeing of the club, her attention seamlessly split between guard duty and the skillful up-and-down and all-around movements around the stripper pole. Just ignore the healing gunshot wounds. She does a good job of covering them up - with cosmetics, that is, not with clothes. There's not a lot of that going around, and pretty soon, there's even less.

CUT SCENE BECAUSE HI NUDITY LALALA SEXY. A FEW MINUTES LATER!

With a dark blue kimono wrapped around her, and the same black boots with mile high heels (okay, not quite, but they make her stature towering nonetheless), the incognito head of the Syndicate winds her way through the club from a back room behind the stage. An overhead speaker announced her as "Niki" when she departed the stage with hoots and hollers, but it's obviously still Jessica when she makes her way, as if by homing beacon, toward Peter. "Didn't think I'd see you here."

All of Peter's attention shifts between stage and bright lights to drink in his hand. By the time the announce names the woman as Niki, his drink has unfortunately turned up empty. Holding an empty glass withsome melting ice at the bottom, he stays there for a time. He'll make his way back to the bar once everyone settles down. Or that'd been the plan until a kimono clad woman walks over to him. There's sadness in his eyes. Quite a bit of it, actually. "Coincidence," he responds with a grimace, drawing the glass back up to his mouth only to let it drop. There's just water now, and only the smallest amount. It hasn't had that much time to melt. "So this where you work?" he asks, nodding towards the stage. "You cover up the gunshots well." That should answer which one this is.

Leaning up against the wall right next to Peter, as if they're old friends, Jessica crosses her arms against the satiny, dark, reflective fabric of her robe and looks sidelong at him. Her only response to the question of where she works? A flicker of another smirk, barely that. Yeah. Something like that. "Practice makes perfect," she purrs, then lets a hint of a bright smile shine through, eyes sparkling gratefully in a way that looks more like Niki — but whoops, she's just kidding. "Wouldn'ta been half as easy without you!" The expression drops. Jessica inclines her chin at him and eyes him, and his clothes, up and down. "You look like you've been having some fun."

Even if it's faked, Peter can't even return it. She's looked at quietly, right up until she claims he's having fun. There's a grimace. "I was glad— that I'd been able to help you," he says softly, voice in deep and almost whispered tones. "But at the same time… I'm sorry I wasn't able to before." Though in a way, he's talking to the person buried deep down inside of her. The woman that he'd wanted to help— and apparently failed. Just like he failed his brother. Just like he failed everyone by not killing Sylar… Just like he failed Cass. Leaning his head back against the wall, he closes his eyes. Not yet. "There was a bomb. I'm okay," he finally answers the comment on 'fun', though his voice is shaking a little. It doesn't sound like it was fun.

As if Jessica was going to ask if Peter was okay, right? Blah blah blah help, blah blah blah sorry. She seems perfectly unimpressed and unmoved, watching him in a way that's almost bored, but verging on annoyed. "A bomb, huh?" She glances around until she finds one of those tiny TV screens. It's hard to see from here, but the main story does currently happen to feature explosions at a rally. "Sounds to me," she shifts against the wall, untying and retying the sash around her waist. "Like you're not cut out for this place."

"No," Peter says, though it's in agreement from the sound of his voice. "No, I'm not." That had never been the plan, to stay behind. Only one thing might have tempted him, but even that… she would never let him stay. She'd kill him if he tried. And now— now he doesn't even have that. Because how could he stay in this world as it is now? Without… A hand reaches up and he rubs at his eyes. They're mostly dry, honestly, but the implication is still there. "I'm going back," he says, even if his voice sounds a little hopeless. As if he's not completely sure he can. "I'm going back— and I'm going to fix this." The determination sounds weak, shaken, but he's trying to hold onto it.

The building's main music has switched gradually over into something more like electronica intermingled with rock. It's not quite so loud anymore, but it's just loud enough to still penetrate the bones.

"… God," Jessica looks Peter up and down again; her tone is scoffing, incredulous, not unlike she's addressing someone unworthy of having words. Or breath. "You'll spill your heart to anyone, won't you?" The woman's voice lowers a notch and becomes hard. "Tell it to someone who cares." So sue her, she's more callous to Peter's cause now that she's not bleeding to death.

"Niki would've cared," Peter says in the same tone, looking over at her. The hardened voice, the callousness… They aren't returned at all. But there's a hint in his eyes. That's something else he needs to change. This whole world fell apart… and in a lot of ways he can't help but blame himself for it. Blame the man he became. So many things link back to him. Even in the smallest ways. Pushing away from the wall, he starts to make steps in the direction of the bar. Someone else who cares. There's no one that can do that here. One more drink and maybe he'll take the advice and find someone who does.

"Right, 'cause she was some hero," Jessica counters, sharp with the sarcasm and almost laughing after Peter starts to head away, though not so far away that she's out of hearing range. She waits a few moments and pushes herself away from the wall - fluid, but abrupt. She follows a different route to the bar over the short distance, slinking around it instead. Result: she shows up in front of Peter where the bartender ought to be. She grabs a bottle of Scotch and pours it into a glass. For herself. She downs a drink and doesn't share. Some bartender she is. Jessica lifts an eyebrow swiftly at Peter, matching her devious grin. "Talk to your brother dearest lately?" Oh, casual conversation. How casual you… aren't.

"She could've been," Peter responds, before she move away from the wall. She knows the paths better than him, and people probably know to avoid him, but he still frowns a little when he sees her at the bar. Pouring a drink for herself. Reaching into his torn pocket, he pulls out somemore money that he'd been given by the Saints for this kind of situation and puts it down on the countertop. He'd paid for the last drink. He'll pay for the refill as well. With a little extra. The empty glass is set down as well. Talk to his brother lately? The problem with Peter, is he's really not in the frame of mind to keep a secret or dance around topics. "Yeah."

Jessica slides the money off of the bartop with a swipe of her hand, letting it fall somewhere behind the bar for the real bartender to deal with. The blonde expertly pours liquid into Peter's empty glass, out of the goodness of her heart, of course. "Bastard isn't returning my calls." She could be kidding. She's probably kidding. Because she's funny, ha-ha? The murderous stand-in for a bartender shoves the glass closer to Peter across the bar and winks secretively.

"Maybe he can't dial with a missing finger," Peter responds softly, no real humor in his voice despite the fact there could be a joke in that. "Wouldn't think you'd want to see him anyway. You said he shot you," he adds, as he takes the filled drink and takes a generous drink. He knows this isn't the best time to be drowning his sorrows in a glass, especially since his pinky finger is starting to itch. He promised. And he can't say this is a celebration, either. "Suprised you're not trying to stop me from going back. I'm not going to let you win over her— but maybe you do care about… your son enough." To risk disappearing in order to get him back? Is he actually trying to bond over a bar?

The last words from the man across the bar garner a flash of anger in Jessica's eyes, paired with something else. Something from the past. She picks how she replies precisely. First things first. "Shot you, too. Looks like we both got over it. He wasn't feeling himself." She takes a drink slowly, eyeing Peter over the rim of the glass. "Even if you save Micah," she glares darkly as she says the name. Would she risk disappearing? Jessica doesn't divulge her sentiments. This is not Share Time. "Get it through your head. You can't save her. She doesn't need saving. One day, she's gonna snap in two… three… four. If it's not me, well — just a matter of time."

"He wasn't feeling himself when he shot me either," Peter responds, looking across at her for a moment. They could be talking about very different things, here. Even if. Can he help Niki? Is she really a lost cause? At this point he drops down onto a vacated bar stool. Looks as if he's planning to stay just a little longer at least. "Just a matter of time… good thing I can learn to stop it." He punctuates that with a generous drink. This world, what isn't possible? Right now… he can't. He tried when the bomb went off. It hadn't worked. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I can't help her. That doesn't mean I won't try. If I can't save her…" His voice trails off, eyes shifting down to his glass.

When Peter trails off, Jessica just shrugs. She takes a drink as well, the remainder pooling away from the bottom of the glass and disappearing. After it's downed, she all but snorts at Peter. She steps back and leans forward on the bar, resting heavily on her forearms; from here, she looks skeptically up at the so-called time traveller. "If you're so hellbent on… saving everyone, what're you doing here drinkin' Scotch in the future?"

This would be one of those times he should share with someone who cares, isn't it? Peter looks up at her. "Because Cass died today." This woman knows Cass. The first time they really met, he had broken into the store to make sure Cass was okay. The woman laid there unconscious while she shoved him against a wall and proceeded to rip pieces of him out. "Because I can't go back yet. I don't know who was behind the war— how it started exactly. I might be able to stop that just… by stopping the storms, but… I can't go back. And I can't fix it yet." So he's opted to drink, rather than cry, it would seem. "Felt like a good idea at the time. Beats hiding in a room."

…Yeah, this would be one of those times. The blonde's expression doesn't so much as flicker when she receives the news of Cass's demise. Big deal. "… Right."

A well-dressed man of Greek heritage takes this opportunity to approach the bar; more specifically, Jessica. He moves behind the bar as well. Obviously, he belongs here too. After a sidelong and notably suspicious glance at Peter, he leans toward Jessica to tell her something quietly.

Standing up strong and straight, Jessica listens coolly, gaze fixed on the glossy black surface of the bar until the message is delivered. "I'll deal with it," she says with a certain air of authority which doubles as a dismissal, and the man, Costa, just nods and leaves. "Duty calls," she tells Peter with an oddly indulgent grin. She takes the bottle of Scotch, sets it out directly in front of Peter, proceeds to tap him on the nose in a mockery of playfulness — or tries to, anyway — winks, and starts to saunter around the bar.

Maybe it's the alcohol, but as she winks and moves away, Peter slides off the barstool and downs the last of his scotch. He watches as she moves away, waits a few seconds, and then slips into invisibility. The glass is set down on the counter, fading back into sight as he leaves it there. One of his easiest abilities, he can use it effortlessly, and he follows in the direction that she's headed. The worse that could happen is she'll kill him, right? Oddly enough, it might make him feel better right now.

Continued in… Poltergeists

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