2007-10-05: Consequences

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After getting felled by Thomas the Lawn Gnome, Elena runs upstairs to find Peter. He's suffering from the consequences of the night, both physically and emotionally.

Date It Happened: October 5, 2007

Consequences


Guest Bedroom - Petrelli Mansion

(For Elena's Arrival, See: GNOME VENGEANCE Warning for non-seriousness)

Upstairs. In the shower. Have at.

That'd been what she was told. The shower's been turned off already by this point. The whole thing is going to need scrubbing down— more than just a few sprays from a bottle to clean that mess up, and a pile of bloody ruined jeans, underclothes and a sock (only one) rest on the floor in the bathroom. Peter's not made it to the bed, where the clothes are yet. He's holding onto the door frame leading out of the bathroom, sopping wet and wearing only a white towel, that's just barely secured on him. There's a mixture of pale and flushed— paler in some areas, redder in others. And he didn't make much effort to dry off when he exited.

It's his arms and legs making the walk difficult. He's still shaking, and much more tired than he's been in days now. There's no way he's missing out on sleep tonight— it's going to be necessary. But he needs to figure out how to make it five feet to the bed without falling down.

Heartrate increased as well, eyes widened, he's more stunned than he'd been even after the incident near the cafe.

—-

She was so angry she could kill him. She would kill him but he's had enough of that today. Elena storms up the stairs of the mansion like a raging tempest, stalking down the hall and gripping the bag she brought with her with a viselike grip. Thoughts rush through her head, a million miles per second. What she would say. What she would do. How many things she would throw at him for not listening to her. Her jaw is tense, her shoulders stiff, her eyes flashed and her teeth ground against one another behind lips set in a grim, determined line.

She was going to kill him.

The door throws open, the thing slamming behind her as she tosses the bag to the side. She was expecting him still in the shower. She was going to ambush him, and cheat, and get him while he was vulnerable. But then her eyes fall on him, pale, wet, barely dressed, and so exhausted he could barely stand up.

And alive.

The most important part.

Her anger drains out of her completely, having latched onto it with a tenuous grip to keep herself from freaking out over how close it had been. Now that she's actually looking at him, it slips away completely. Replaced with a wave of relief so strong it threatened to drown her. Whatever she was going to say, whatever she tries to say, is choked at the back of her throat as she staggers over to throw her arms around him tightly, and not let go for a while. He was drenched, but she didn't care.

—-

There she is. Peter looks up at her rather wide-eyed, but he too has a tinge of relief on his face. It doesn't take too long before she's on him, hugging him tightly. His grip gives out on the door frame, and his legs start to bend, leaning against her as he drags them both down to sit on the floor. Leaning his head against her shoulder, he closes his eyes, and tries to breathe steadily, the smell of her a good contrast from what he'd been having in his nose most of the night.

"Sorry…" he murmurs softly against her. Over all, he looks very shaken, but physically all right (of course), with the exception of showing signs of weakness and fatigue, as well as… ragged hair. Almost as if the ends of his hair got burned off. He's going to need a haircut to even it all out, but it'll grow back. It's just hair. But it should be no surprise right now that his body hair is pretty limited.

"I'm okay…" he adds, insisting quietly. Whatever's wrong with him, though, the physical differences besides the hair, it seems a little different than an overload.

—-

She used the same bodywash most days - something vanilla-y with a hint of honey. Since Peter is bigger than her, and heavier than her, when his knees start to give out, Elena's dragged with him on the floor, sitting heavily on her knees while he keels over on her. Her grip tightens - both out of reflex and the fact that she wants to. Her eyes squeeze shut, something muttered in Spanish escaping her lips - it's done absently however, as if she doesn't really realize what she's murmuring until too late.

She shakes her head once when he murmurs that he's sorry. "What…what were you thinking?" she asks. Her voice is a little shaky, but she stubbornly tries to mask it. "I told you…I warned you you shouldn't…how am I supposed to…."

Not like she could talk herself but this was different. Whoever that woman was, she won't hesitated to kill children, much less a grown man. She takes a deep breath, and pulls back a bit, so she could look him over.

"Are you going to tell me what happened?" she murmurs, her jaw tightening a bit as she smoothes a hand through his ragged hair. He needs a haircut to even things out a little bit, but physically he looks alright. He was still shaking though, so she wraps her arms around him again.

—-

If the Spanish is understood, it's rather unlikely at this point. Peter's eyes are closed and he holds on to her tightly, sprawled on the floor as he is. The towel has lost it's tentative grip and falls open, but that shouldn't be much of an issue for the two of them. Though the door IS open, so… "I was just— going to watch her— see… see what she was up to— stop her if she was hurting people— but she… she collapsed the building and…" And he saved her.

There's a wince. Never before has he regreted what he would consider an heroic action. She murders children and women— he should have left her to die when the building started to go down on her. That's what he keeps telling himself quietly, but… he doesn't think he could have done it like that. He'd even healed her— the one ability that he's actually rather proud of having, used on someone who killed him. Twice.

"I'd rather not— I don't want… not right now." His hands are shaking still, stopped only when he grasps at her clothes and pulls her tighter. "I love you." It may seem a rather sudden and random confession, voice rather weak and pained, but he'd done the same to his brother— probably would have said it to Heidi as well if she hadn't left to call her.

—-

He doesn't really have to continue that story for her to understand what could've happened next. After all, the woman, assumedly, was still alive so it's not like Elena can't make the logical leap that her boyfriend helped the person who tried to kill him. That only causes her to curl her fingers more securely over him, her head sinking further against his shoulder. He smelled clean, at least, blood and acid and the charred, burned chemical smell washed off him. She doesn't tell him it's okay - because it wasn't. He could've died. Or worse, psychologically traumatized from coming back alive, only to be killed again. Painfully.

"I don't…why didn't you…?" Why didn't you listen to me? It wasn't as if she was trying to prevent him from saving other people. But he kept her close because he believed that she could save him. In that regard, she couldn't fail - and she probably wouldn't forgive herself if she did. Granted, her pride wouldn't let her tell him how scared she had been getting the phone call.

His bare state despite everything would've made her blush, but the relief and frustration of the moment prevents that. She squeezes him tightly - she couldn't breathe, almost, with the way he was gripping her - and she actually slammed the door behind her when she came in so no one would be seeing this. But she pulls away a bit, her hands reaching out to cup his face. "Y…you're shaking…" Her hand smoothes his hair back again, even though there's not much to do that now. "You…we need…I should put you in bed, you're not well, you're…"

—-

Psychological trauma? That could well be part of it. Going from heroic acts — which he's generally proud of — to being killed in such a way that he's rendered completely helpless… twice… and then when his most important person showed up, he actually had to tell him to shoot them both. Peter's not sure that his brother will ever forgive him for that. Nor is he sure he'll forgive himself for letting her get away. Hopefully whoever his brother texted will find her and lock her up.

"I'm sorry… I should've… should've listened. I just— wanted— to fix something, to do something right…" It's a good thing she slammed the door, really, because he's probably not going to be able to get the towel back on to make it over to the bed. He might end up having to crawl at this rate. Three deaths in a row definitely had a psychological effect— being rendered completely helpless while she killed him… that too. Only time he's felt similar to this would be when he was in the future, when all hope had been lost. And she'd been there for him.

"Need… help," he finally admits, trying to get up on his feet with much failure.

—-

"Okay…just. Just hang onto me," Elena says, taking a deep breath and summoning her added strength as she gets up and pulls him up with her, one arm slung over her shoulder. He was practically dead weight. She couldn't really imagine what happened to him, and 'pretty bad' didn't really cover it. So when she finally gets him up, she moves to the bed, stopping by it so she could forcibly yank the covers back and gently sit him down on the edge of the bed. Yelling could come later, maybe, if she had the heart to - not when he seemed so broken already. She hoped he wasn't that fragile.

She exhales a bit when he's finally there, drawing the covers on him and rubbing a shoulder so that the friction can warm him up a bit. She was suddenly exhausted, having run around all day, to running the rest of the way when the cab couldn't make it to the Petrellis' front door. She pulls the blanket up higher on him, perched on the edge of the bed. He didn't want to talk about what happened - maybe later.

Her eyes lower, and she shifts. "I know what happened the other day," she tells him simply. "I already stopped by Cass's place to let her know. We can talk about it later…all of this later. Just…I know you want to do something but you can't just…" Her jaw sets. "I'm glad you're alive," is said softly. Her shoulders sag a little bit, a testament to her relief, and her exhaustion. But she's still moving stubbornly, and she probably won't rest until he's asleep.

—-

Not completely fragile or broken, but it's been less than two hours since he died three times in a row. Not to mention tortured for a time between the three. Peter's probably going to recover, with strength of others, but right now he's definitely vulnerable. The fact he's not even attempting to defend his actions should be the big indicator. Once he's on the bed, he lays on his back and looks up at the ceiling. He shouldn't be having his eyes open, but— he does. It's something he's grateful for, because he knows what she did to him the second time she killed him… She'd melted his eyes out.

"Regeneration… is pretty powerful," he finally says softly, still looking up at the ceiling. The acid might have even made it to his brain for a moment— which could have been really dangerous for him. She could have melted straight through his head, which he knows would have killed him. She must not have gotten whatever it was that he needs to regenerate, though, because here he is… alive.

"I'm sorry… that I scared you." She doesn't need to tell him that she was scared, he knows how he'd feel if someone he loved had done this to themselves… even with the regeneration. If Claire had done this, he would have been scared and angry both. But… There's a hint of an unspoken question in his glance away from the ceiling to her.

—-

"And you're lucky you have it," Elena says, her jaw still somewhat tense, the tick present where the end meets her neck. "I told you about this before, about being too cavalier with your life with the knowledge that you have a power like that." She looks away then - it had been at the breakfast right after the quarantine. The morning when things started changing between them. She wished he listened to her more often, especially when he was being serious.

When he apologizes for scaring her, she looks away. Her hand grips the blanket over him more securely, pulling it up on his neck. The warmth might help, soft sheets, a safe place. She doesn't want to admit it, but he knows anyway. "You should be," she tells him quietly. The fear of losing someone you love could be downright suffocating, after all, especially one who still dwelled on her mother's absence.

She falls quiet then - she was too sensitive to his needs to go screaming railing mad at him. Not after what he'd been through. She wasn't that cold, and while her future self was different and had no qualms kicking him while he was down, she did. If he has a question, her preoccupation over his state, worry, relief, and exhaustion makes her miss it. If he wants it answered, he'll have to ask her. But she does ease away from the bed so she could get him some water. At least, in the ready.

When she returns, she sets a bottled water on the bedside table next to him, and sits back on the edge of the bed.

—-

"I wasn't going there to try to die," Peter says softly, now defending himself just a little, but it's weak. He'd really had every intention of just watching her until the building started to collapse. If she'd had a person with her, or if a bystander showed up, he probably would have done more, but he wanted to watch her, make sure she wasn't going to hurt anyone— he hadn't expected the building to nearly fall on her, which caused his instinct to rescue people to kick in.

It didn't end up good for him. He'd even healed her. Which is not something he's exactly willing to admit right now.

With the covers up, he stays quiet for a long time while she goes to get that water, and he's still staring upwards when she returns. Only when she's sitting on the edge of the bed again do his eyes shift. "…She recognized me," he says finally. "She took my wallet— got my name. And she recognized me. She said that… that the Company talked about me. She thought she might be able to get released if she killed me." Now his voice cracks, just slightly, and he takes in a slow breath. "Elena… my address… it's listed in the phone book…" He's not sure she knows this about him, but… It's true. He hadn't been that cautious about his place of residence. It's how Claire was able to find his apartment when she ran away to New York.

So he has some legitimate reasons to be worried. Not just for himself and his things, but for her. She lives next door.

—-

She's busy tending to him, Elena pressing her fingertips in a light, delicate touch over his forehead to bleed out the strain and relax him a little using what his own body had. It was more natural than pills or medication of any sort. She doesn't have to touch him, but she knows her touch is comforting so she does it. As he fixes his eyes on her, she lets him continue to talk as her eyes roam over him, making sure he was okay. She was still somewhat in work mode, right now all of her energy is being spent taking care of him.

The story unfolds - at least a little bit. She nods when he defends himself, but she doesn't respond to it. She could argue so many things - he could've called Noah who would've dispatched agents there while she was doing something. He could've done other things. But she doesn't dwell on that. She concentrates on making him feel better, at least physically.

Though when he mentions his wallet, his name, her dark eyes flick back over to him. "I'm not scared," she tells him firmly. "I know I should be, but I'm not." In fact, she's more angry than anything else. She also knows her father's got two guns and one of them wasn't registered. But it's clear on her face that she's not going anywhere. Her hand slides down from his forehead to cup his cheek. "I'm not made of glass, Peter." She gives him a small smile - sincere despite its exhaustion. "I'll be okay." She leans in to kiss his forehead tenderly.

—-

"Elena, it doesn't matter if you're made of steel against her," Peter says, a soft sound in his voice as his eyes close finally. He may not be indestructable when it comes down to it, but he's one of the only ones who could have gone through what he did and still come out kicking when it was all said and done. He'd managed to keep her from burning his head off, but that's about the only defense he could manage— and that hadn't been easy with her wrists excreating the acid, melting his hands as he tried to hold her, or the motions she'd made against his body as he lay helpless…

"I'm scared," he finally admits, reaching up to take her hand off of his face and hold onto it. Scared of losing her, scared of facing this woman again— he doesn't want to die— he hates feeling helpless, or powerless. And he knows the whole thing had been his fault. It's always his fault.

He doesn't know what to do, but he knows what he should've done now. She's absolutely right. And there was a question he wanted to ask— he'd hoped he wouldn't have to. "Elena… are you… still…" Nope. Can't quite finish it.

—-

"I said I'm not scared, Peter," Elena says simply. "As in, not scared of the prospect that she might try to visit you or knock on my door because she knows your address. Just because I said that doesn't mean I've an overinflated view of my chances of survival against something like that. I probably won't last very long." She was a practical person, she only fights it out when she's forced to, she's very comfortable with running in the other direction. She doesn't want to be a liability, to those she loves and those around her. These days all she really can do for them is stay out of the way. Unles they become unreasonable, like her boyfriend.

Though she relaxes when it looks like Peter's learned that this way isn't the way to go. She lets her hand be taken, squeezing gently. "After what you've been through, of course you would be," she says quietly, and somewhat tiredly. "But that's alright. Sometimes Fear is necessary to keep oneself alive. The only time it gets bad is if it gets in the way of what has to be done."

Though at the question, she inclines her head. She pulls her hand, and therefore his as well, towards herself. Her other hand, warm from the heated room, moves over his hand grasping her own, fingertips absently tracing the skin over his worn knuckles. "….am I still what?" she asks softly.

—-

"That… that's the reason why you shouldn't… In this situation you are made of glass. And that isn't making me feel any better." Peter looks more upset, actually, because she just outright admited that she wouldn't stand a chance if she came for her, or came for him while she was with him. Especially since he's not sure he could protect her. Maybe if he got the first blow in, kept her from touching him. He could hold her back with his mind, maybe knock her unconscious… but if she touches him again… he doesn't think that will work. The very thought terrifies him, and he can't really think of a reason why she wouldn't be afraid. It makes him more scared…

What has to be done. Holding onto her hand, even in his shaking fingers, he pulls it down against his chest and keeps his eyes closed. She won't even know that there'd been a hole in his chest where his heart rests— that she melted her way inside him and burned out his heart… it grew back, but he's not sure how well it grew back at all.

When she asks the question of him, wants the full question, he shakes his head finally, "Nevermind— it's silly. Just stay with me here tonight… please."

—-

"I'm not going to do anything crazy, okay?" Elena says, watching his face shift into an agitated expression, her free hand coming up to smooth his hair back a bit. "I promise. I'm not going to worry anyone anymore than I have to, and you know me, most of the time I try to stay out of trouble." He's a little addled, and more than a little paranoid. He was exhibiting signs of the classic post-traumatic stress that comes with the sort of encounter he'd gone through. But she tries to be soothing. "I know you're only trying to protect me, but you have to trust me when I say I'm not about to get killed either." And even if she was scared, it's not like she could show that to him now. He was scared enough, and addled. Someone had to be strong between the two of them and right now it has to be her.

She blinks when he shifts his hand to the middle of his chest, feeling his heartbeat pound against her fingertips. She has absolutely no idea what the root of his terror really is, by all rights she just thinks that the woman messed him up so crazily that he wasn't thinking straight. She's not being dismissive, really, of his fears - it's just that he needed rest and it didn't help him to feed his terror all the more by telling her she was frightened and freak out over the mere possibility that the woman will go after her just because she lives in the same building. She gives his hand a solid squeeze.

"…okay," she says. "And I wasn't going to leave you tonight of all nights anyway." She gives him a slight smile. "You know you never need to ask." She shifts closer, leaning over him so she could kiss his mouth softly. "I love you. I'm…" She swallows. It was hard to talk all of a sudden. "….I'm glad you're alive."

—-

Post-traumatic stress would be a good description. Sylar's the only one who ever made him feel anywhere near that helpless, but he'd at least been able to attempt to fight him. All the other times he'd died in the last half year— they'd either been not the fault of the person who did it (multiple personalities) or an accident or extinuating circumstances. This… was very different. And three times in a row probably has something to do with it. But manner has more.

Just trying to protect her. Peter's not doing a very good job of that. He can't even protect himself right now. But he does keep his eyes closed and hold her hand. Only when she leans over him, kisses his mouth, and says the words he'd been trying to ask her to say, does he open his eyes again. He needed to hear that. As evidenced by his forehead lifting up to nudge her own, and the brief kiss that follows. It doesn't last long, because he has to let go of her hand and cover his mouth. All of a sudden he has to cough. Acid still in his stomach or lungs maybe? He's never been killed this much, or killed that way— it's possibly just that.

And he's tired. "I'm glad… that you're here." And that she still loves him, despite everything.

—-

She pulls back when he coughs, Elena rubbing his chest a bit to help things along. She feels tired now, for some reason - but she had been running around all day. Save to make him feel better she has absolutely no idea what to do next when most of the trauma is psychological. She's not her father, she can't just dive into other people's minds and help them fight their internal demons. Still, she watches him as his eyes flutter closed again. And if she knew that he had to ask if she still did….she probably won't laugh, but she wasn't exactly in the habit of just ditching people she cares about just because things get heavy.

Protecting her was a joint effort. Elena wasn't one to sit idly by and let other people defend her honor or otherwise. If she has to fight, she will - but right now there's really no danger of that. Though when he tells her that he's glad she's there, she nudges her nose against his own. "Wouldn't be anywhere else," she tells him, sliding away from the side of the bed so she could step to the side and start undressing. Not completely, however - she pulls off her hoodie, and slides her jeans down her legs so she could fold them neatly and set them to the side.

"Get some sleep," she tells him, looking over her shoulder, pulling out her ponytail and setting the claw clip down on the table. And then she'll join him on the bed, sliding under the covers and wrapping her arms around him to warm him up further. "I ought to, too." Her eyes close. "Did too much today I think."

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