2007-07-30: Duck


DFPortia_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Manuel_icon.gif

Summary: Ramon comes to the orphanage to find Portia. They talk, she reveals some information about Peter Petrelli, and they head back to Ramon's penthouse. Manuel shows up and after the two teens talk, he reluctantly agrees to let Portia help.

Dark Future Date: July 30th, 2009


Outside Kitty's Orphanage

The outside of the orphanage doesn't really /look/ like it should be an orphanage. Nice large chainlink fence, old abandoned looking warehouse. The sixteen year old girl, however, happens to be on the way out. Portia Maddox steps out from the inside, shutting the door behind her while pulling the hood of her duster up over her head. Even if she was visible, she didn't always like it.

And there is a big shadow standing right in front of her.

Actually no. Ramon was simply standing in the shadow, but his sillouhette rises up out of it. His car is idling next to said shadow, and he steps out, rasping, "Portia." He looks extremely out of place in his nice suit, or perhaps simply extremely film noir. His good eye is scrunched in concern.

Big shadows are scary things. Especially for jumpy teenaged girls. Portia blinks in surprise, managing not to look /too/ startled. She swallows, giving a nod after a moment. "Ramon." She pauses. "The suit looks good."

"You should come home, Portia," Ramon says quietly. "I'm going to find your mother. Please stop wandering out here where it's not safe." Whereas he takes a harsh, snarling tone with most people, his tone with Portia is the same even tone he always took with the family after his marriage. Maybe even gentle. Loving, because while he has no idea where he stands with Portia, he knows where Portia stands with him, and that is as far as he's concerned, she is his daughter.

"You really think she's okay?" Portia murmurs after a moment. She looks back over at him with an actually hopeful expression. "I'm alright out here. People can't find me unless I want them to. Well, or they break out the heat sensors." She rubs her arms a little. "If you really want me to, though… I'll come home."

Ramon grimaces at the word okay. "I'm going to find her," he repeats, opening the car door. "No matter what. And yes, Portia, I want you home. I worry about you night and day." His good eye tightens with the strain. "We're family. I can't leave you out here to struggle. I can provide, materially, whatever you might want or need…please." He's not a man who says please often. "Just come be safe."

The teen isn't one to protest. Not when someone says please, not like that. Portia nods after a moment. "If you want, I'll come." She murmurs, moving towards Ramon. "I'm sure if anyone can find her, it's you."

Ramon looks away, his face twisting for a second into an expression that looks uncannily like a man who is about to cry. He doesn't. He puts an arm around Portia and escorts her to the front seat, then closes the door behind her. He smells of alcohol, not exactly a poster child example for safe driving habits. He seems to realize it seconds later, opens the door again, and hands her the keys to the Mercedes. "Here," he says gruffly.

The young woman isn't about to cry. Portia's done that too much over Desiree already. Not right now. Not in front of Ramon. Someone has to be the strong one. She can be for him, and when she can't be strong, she's got Manuel. Taking the keys, she looks over at him. "You drove all the way here like this?" She gets back up and moves around to the driver's side.

Ramon makes this grunted noise. "My chauffer was at some barbed wire orphanage." He flops himself into the passenger seat in disconsolate fashion. "Don't scratch the Mercedes." He /always/ says that when someone else drives it.

That actually causes a smirk. If there's anyone who's actually a safe, not-crazy driver in the family now, it's probably Portia. She starts up the car, buckling up and carefully checking her mirrors. Once they're actually on the road, she lets out a breath. "Peter Petrelli's here. From two years ago."

That causes Ramon to start. He stares at her and says, "Repeat that again? From two years ago?" His voice takes on a rasp of…something. She now has his full, undivided, and not even grouchy attention, fixed on her like a laser sight.

Portia glances over at him, but her eyes are mostly on the road. "Exactly what I said. Peter Petrelli is here. The Peter Petrelli from two years ago. He had no idea what his brother's been up to. He's trying to fix everything. All of what Mama saw."

"Where is he?" If there's a chance, any chance, that this can happen Ramon has to be there, helping. "Is he trying to figure out what goes wrong? Is that why he's here?" Can Peter really fix the nightmare? Something like hope blooms in his eye for the first time in a long time.

"I saw him at the zoo. I told him about Mama. He said he was gonna fix it." Portia continues her driving, letting out a breath. "He wants to figure out how to fix it. He asked about the storm and everything."

Ramon is quiet for a long, long moment. He expels a long breath and says, "What does he need from us? Anything? At all?" He looks over at her. "Surely he told you something he might need us to do." His voice is quite hoarse.

"He didn't say much. He's just finding out what he can. He had to leave the zoo because he was afraid of.. well, running into himself. He didn't ask for anything. He isn't sure what to do." Portia sighs. "He's going to be sticking around the zoo occasionally though, so you might try looking for him there." She looks to him for a moment. "I think he can do it, though. It's really him from the past. He doesn't believe that his brother could do any of the stuff that he did, he doesn't know about the storms.. didn't know anything. If I see him again, I'll tell him to talk to you."

Ramon nods his head slowly. "If you believe him, I believe him," he says simply. Family loyalty. He leans his head back into the seat. "I can't hold out too much hope though. I can't even imagine exactly fixing it would do. So I'll still be dealing with the realities we have."

"He might be able to help you find Mama, if nothing else." Portia murmurs, signalling before turning left. "There isn't much left to hope for around here, and I think that's Peter from two years ago. Unless Peter somehow got a haircut and shaved and hit his head hard enough to forget the past two years. I'm thinking time travelling is a /little/ more likely."

Ramon's lips quirk into a smile. "It's a measure of our world that we find that /more/ likely, not less likely." He rubs the back of his neck slowly. "Some of your instruments are at home," he says quietly. "I would like to hear you play, if you feel up to it."

Portia can't help but smile at that. "Yeah. I guess it is a measure." She comments before the girl's expression turns a little more somber. "I'll play if you want.. but I have to warn you. Sound like her, now. Sometimes I'll hear her when I'm singing." She sighs.

Ramon just nods, and is quiet for a moment, and says, "But you sound like you too. I've missed you, kiddo. I know that—well." He struggles visibly to try to find words to say. "I know I'm not easy to talk to or deal with."

"I know." Portia murmurs. "And.. I'm sorry if I've been distant. It's.. weird without Mama. Hell, it's just weird in general. Half the time I'm not sure if I should just live the entire rest of my life invisible." Turning another corner, the car arrives and she puts it into park.

"I don't think that would be healthy," Ramon murmurs. At this point he's bought a penthouse in the city, because the country house, pristine and untouchable as it is, is too painful just to rattle around in. He keys in the security code and opens up the door for Portia like a gentleman.

"Maybe not, but it's an easy way out." Portia murmurs, stepping inside and then handing Ramon the car's keys. "Are.. you doing okay otherwise? I mean, other than Mama and all."

Ramon points them at the car and hits the button to lock it up, and then he puts them away. "The easy thing to do and the right thing to do are … " He grimaces. He can't deliver this sort of fatherly advice when it ends up striking at his own conscience like a red hot branding iron. "Just don't do it. It might have an unexpected genetic effect," he says gruffly.

"You're probably right." Portia murmurs at that, but she nods. "I just use it whenever I'm out.. don't want to get into any sort of trouble or anything, but it's useful to see things."

"When you're out and when it's useful is not the same as forever and ever all the time," Ramon says quietly as he hits the elevator button. "You'll go mad the other way." He's still not one to talk. "Just fade away. You have to keep some time where you connect with others."

"Kind of hard anymore." Portia murmurs. "People have changed in the last two years. No one really trusts anyone and everyone's so hard and rough and.." She shakes her head. "That's what hits me the most about Mama being gone. If there's anyone who would have still loved everyone and not changed.. it's Mama."

Another guilty grimace from Ramon. He fixes his eye on the lights hitting the elevator panel, up and up and up. "She would have," he agrees. "I trust you," he says after a moment's silence. "I hope you can trust me too."

Portia leans back against the elevator wall. "I do trust you. If there's anyone left to trust around here, it's you, and Manuel, and Elena. You can always trust family." And they were her family. The only family she had left.

Ramon's Penthouse

Ding goes the elevator, opening up onto the luxurious penthouse that, Ramon reflects, Dezi actually probably would hate. But the house is waiting for her return. Portia's instruments — Ramon keeps buying more of them for her whenever he sees them — are out in the front room.

Stepping out of the elevator, Portia smiles a little at the instruments. She hasn't really played in a while, but Jane pointed out a few things in the last few days.. she can't really let it get her down. She has to continue, if for no one but for Dezi. "Jane thinks I should still play, too. She says I'd be letting everyone else win if I didn't."

They're up in this penthouse that Ramon has bought. The country house is still out there, waiting. Everything there is waiting. So Ramon bought a penthouse. But he'd have given all of his children access codes and keys. He could say something poignant about making beauty and heart and soul. What he says is, "Right. So give the bastards the finger and play something."

Penthouse or home? Penthouse or home? Manny figures his father bought the penthouse for a reason, and staying out in the country isn't exactly to Manny's liking. And so, to the penthouse he goes, probably dressed in just the right kind of attire to get stared at as he enters: a grease-stained white beater, a pair of jeans that have holes TORN in them, not pre-cut like he saw earlier…'Car clothes,' as Manny would undoubtedly call them. Punching in the code his father gave him, Manny spins his keychain until the right key comes up. "Now," the teen murmurs to himself, "what fuckin' number was it…?"

"Yeah, it is kinda like that, isn't it?" Portia moves to pick up a guitar, testing the strings carefully. "Ali's out there doing underground radio stuff, too. It's kind of neat. Broadcasting the truth about what's going on out there." She grins. "I remember when I wanted to be on the radio. Maybe I can be."

There's security cameras inside, and Ramon looks up to see his son fumbling. He walks over and just opens the door to let him in. He's seized with the sudden urge to embrace the kid. So of course what he does is grunt a greeting.

Of course, it's the door right in front of his face. It always is. He tucks his keys into his pocket again, nodding lightly to his father—standard fare for the Gomez men, really. When he steps inside, Manny has one of the few shows of emotion he has anymore, padding over and wrapping an arm around Portia's shoulders. It's brief, fleeting, but there's a hug for the younger girl.

Glancing up as Manny enters, Portia smiles a little, leaning in to the hug for a moment before she looks back over at him. "Hey. You okay?" She eyes the jeans and greasy shirt. One can never be too sure anymore if that was cause he was working on a car or if he'd been /run over/ by one.

They had that brief shining time they talked. Ramon grimaces and says, "I have to make a phone call." He'll go into the next room, close enough so that he can hear Portia play if she starts up, but far enough away to give the kids their space, to erase the hard awkwardness that has suddenly hit the room.

Manuel smirks a bit. It's a joke—somehow, Manny kept his humor in all this, but a poorly judged one, "You should see the other guy." That said, no scars that weren't…ya know, already there exist on the young man, he shows no signs of a fight or any kind of injury. Just…a bit greased up.

"Bet he looks like a wreck." Portia teases, glancing at the strings of the guitar as she tunes it before she sets it down. "Good. I'd hate to hear that you got into any trouble without telling me."

Manuel smirks a little, taking a seat on the closest thing to him that he can sit on—in this case, a table. Despite his confrontational nature, the younger Gomez male just grins a little, "Would I do that to ya?"

The guitar is lovingly set out of the way as Portia smiles again. "Besides. Safer to go out when you have someone watching you back." She lets out a breath. "I was telling Ramon that I found Peter Petrelli. Peter Petrelli from two years ago. Gonna fix everything, he says."

Manuel snorts at the mention of the name 'Petrelli.' Even if it is the one NOT in office, "Kid, you're watchin' too many movies. Even if you /did/ meet a past version of him, two years ago, the guy freaked cuz I thought he was datin' Elena. You think THAT guy can do anything?" Yeah…Manny's faith in most people is gone. He looks around, a thought occuring to him, "Where IS Elena, thinkin' of it…d'ya know?"

Portia shakes her head. "Haven't seen her. But think 'bout it. If he can time travel, who says he can't fix it? Peter's got a lot of abilities. Anyways.. he's trying to stop it. Ramon wanted to help him."

Manuel closes his eyes and shakes his head. He hates it not knowing where his sister is; he hates it worse when no one else knows. Folding his arms, Manny shrugs, "Think what you want, kiddo…"

"Yeah." Portia murmurs. "Guess even if it's not true it's still nice to have something to believe in. Even if it doesn't pan out." She lets out a slow breath. "I wouldn't worry about Elena though. I'm sure she's just taking care of something."
/She's always taking care of something…/ Manny admires that about his sister; she has that ambition needed in a time like this. Manny doesn't; Manny prefers to do things in the biblical way. His siblings are dead…the men who killed them need to pay. Shaking his head, Manny looks over at Portia, "Suppose so…"

"Sure you're okay?" Portia watches him with a serious glance. She glances at her guitar for a long moment. "Thinking I'd play some music, maybe. Just to have something to do, you know?" She sighs. "Wish I could be more helpful with everything."

Sternly, Manny looks over at Portia and just says, "No." He knows the girl wishes she could help; he knows the girl wishes there wasn't a war, though. And there is. And Manny's not willing to watch his family fall apart any more because of it. Pushing his grown hair from his face, Manny lets out a sigh, "I hate this…this sitting around. There's things I could…should be doing…"

"Then why the hell don't we go out and do them? Elena's not the only one who can take risks." Portia looks back over to him. "What've we got to lose? I sure as hell don't have anything left."

"WE," Manny starts, "don't do anything." He just looks at the younger girl, his eyes showing no acquiescing. "Find a way to help, Portia. Find a way to encourage or something. You're not going with me." He knows he's going to upset the girl; he's already prepared for it, "And nothing you can say changes that. You're not going out. Got me?"

Her gaze flickers back to him. "Manny, you can't just go off and do stuff on your own." Portia gazes at him seriously. "I'm not weak. I can help you. No one'd be able to see us."

The elder teen just stares at his step-sister, an expression on his face that would make his father proud. He's not about to let up here, "No. No, no, no." Manny knows that the younger girl COULD help. It's not that he doesn't think she could. It's that he's not going to let her. "I don't care about being seen, Portia. /That/ isn't my worry…" Manny sighs, running a hand through his hair to get it out of his face again, "I'm not letting my family fall apart any further. I already lost two siblings; I'm not losing another. So you're NOT coming."

"You can't just keep me out of the way. I'm gonna be out there, like it or not." Portia insists. "The question is, are you going to be stubborn or are you going to take me seriously? If I help you, then we'll both be /safer/ than we would be if we were out there separately."

A scowl passes over the face of the young man, cupping his face in both hands for just a second before both go over his head. Manny mutters something briefly in Spanish, shaking his head and murmuring, "You're just like her, I swear…" He stops and sighs, "I'm not ignoring what you can do, Portia…I know you CAN help. I don't WANT you to. I don't WANT you out there. I don't WANT you to be in danger. I don't WANT you to be in the line of fire." Another little flurry of Spanish, something about Elena and Portia this time.

Her gaze turns sour, glancing back to Manuel. "I'm not just like her." Portia murmurs. She doesn't look happy at all. "So I'm supposed to what? Sit here? Pretend like my brother and my mother aren't /out there/ somewhere, possibly dead, possibly not? I'm just supposed to sit here and twiddle my thumbs when half the time I'm so scared I don't know how the heck we're going to even make it." She looks frustrated. "I just don't want to end up /alone/ from all of this."

Manuel smirks a little bit, "You argue just like her…" It's not meant to be a jab so much as a joke, but the connotation probably doesn't lend itself to what Manny intends. He sighs a bit, though, knowing he can't stop the younger girl even if he wants to, barring taking the time to make her unable to walk for a while, something he's unwilling to do. His eyes roll, the argument unable to continue, "Fine…" It's said with a kind of protectiveness, the elder teen obviously unhappy about it, "…But if it so much as LOOKS like a fight, you take cover and you don't come out until I tell you. Hear me?"

"Absolutely. I'm not stupid." Portia murmurs, looking back at him. "I'm not about to let you go off and get killed either. You have much better chances with someone watching your back." She smiles to him.

Manuel smirks a little bit, rolling his eyes, "When you live through a car bomb, a serial killer's attack on your family, and a war like this?" Manny doesn't have to finish the sentence—he's not afraid of being in the war, even in combat. And that he's still alive is just a testament to Manny.

Portia glances back to Manuel. "It only takes one mistake to have your whole life gone in an instant." She murmurs, looking back to him. "And I'm going to make sure that I'm there in case you slip up. You won't have to worry about it."

Manuel snorts a little bit, crossing his arms over his chest as he gets up to his feet, "You're so adament to see what I do? Fine…" He moves toward the door, notably grabbing a long, black coat as he does so. "First lesson in Battlefield 101."

"Alright, and what lesson would that be?" Portia asks, studying Manuel. "I'm more than willing to learn." She glances at him.

"Duck." It's his only reply as he pulls the coat on, pushing open the door and heading out of the penthouse, back into the real world…back into the war.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License