Date: December 23, 2009
Peter goes to spend his birthday with a friend and her young child, who happens to be the face of everything he's fighting to protect. Also, Cass' Floor Count may have just gone up!
"Face of the Future"
Cass and Lachlan's Apartmert
It's been a hectic couple of days for Cass. Though she wants to be a fulltime member of a rebellion and help save Peter and a million other things every day, when it comes right down to it, she's a parent first. And her parenting has required her to be home a lot with Abigail. The poor girl came down with a fever and wouldn't sleep through the night. While she and Lachlan would take turns staying up with her and staying with her during the day, Cass felt like it was her duty as the one with medical training to stay with her the most. Wildly swinging between worried out of her skull and patiently zen, it seems like the worst is over and finally - finally - the girl's fever has broken and she's on the mend. She's tried to keep in contact with everyone that she has wanted to, but she knows she's falling behind, which makes her anxious even beyond the worry of taking care of her family.
Even with Abby feeling better, that doesn't mean that Cass feels comfortable leaving her, though, and so she's remained at home even a few days after the scare to keep an eye on her daughter. This is the benefits to owning her own store and making her own hours - the ability to stay home during an emergency should she need one. Abby remains sleeping soundly in a bassinet by Cass' side while she does research on the government. Papers and copies of old newspapers are spread about the kitchen table as she tries to document where someone may hide hundreds of people with abilities without the people finding out about it.
There's one person who hasn't been in contact with Cass for many months. A person who didn't even remember the woman until just recently. For some reason, in this day, he's decided hers is the apartment that he's visiting. There's always choices, and Peter can think of few places he'd rather be, when it came down to it. A shimmer is the first sign of something wrong. Teleporting into an appartemt is always dangerous, especially after months of no contact. He had to make sure she was still there— so he teleported into a hallway he remembered, and then went invisible to look around.
The relief can't be seen at first, but it's still there, in slight, when the invisibility drops as he raises a hand to knock on the wall. It's not the door, but it's better than nothing. "Hey, Cass. How's Abby doing?"
Peter. Cass has thought about him constantly for the months that he's been missing, trying to think of ways to free him, help him, save him. It's like he's always been there with her even though he didn't remember her. While she is used to his teleporting into her apartment and other private places when the need arises, his showing up here, now, makes her feel like this is some sort of surreal otherworld. She hasn't been sleeping much lately, maybe she's dreaming. Maybe this is some sort of alternate reality where Abby is completely better and Peter is as well.
At Peter's greeting, Cass stares at him, slightly open mouthed, unsure of how to take his presence here. The last time she talked to a Petrelli, it was Nathan (as Brayden) attempting to apologize for actions he didn't remember and explaining Peter's absence. Now, with the very topic of conversation standing in front of her, she doesn't know what to do or say. He's there, standing in front of her, looking at her with what looks like relief. Abruptly, she stands. "Peter?" She stares at him, hard, as if trying to look into his very being, trying to determine what this could mean. And then, with as little warning, she dashes across the room to all but fling herself into his arms. "Oh, Peter. I was so worried about you."
There's a sudden surprised sound from Peter, but then the flinging of arms is returned as a tight hug. "Sorry— I didn't mean to worry everyone," he says softly, keeping in close to the woman that— even barefoot is taller than him. Not by much, luckily, but it still counts as enough of a difference. "I'm fine now, though. Memory intact and everything— though I'm not intending to advertise it to everyone, so that Alpha Protocol thinks I'm still… not confident with my ability." It gives him some advantage. With this, he tries to pull back, so that he can see her better. "Have you been okay? Lachlan and Abby as well?"
Cass can't help herself. She's been worried about him. The tight hug could be crushing to anyone other than Peter, but she allows him to pull back when he wants to. She can't quite believe this and is almost disbelieving. "I know." Peter would never do something like that intentionally. "I—I won't let anyone know." Other than Lachlan, of course, as the Scotsman and the bookstore owner don't have many secrets kept from the other. "Unless you let me know." She takes a deep breath, attempting not to tear up to see him again. "Lachlan's fine. His normal self. Abby gave us a bit of a scare the past week or so with some sort of sickness, but she's better now. She must have Lachlan's constitution. She'll start swearing and drinking any week now." Her laugh is a little weak from surprise and worry, but still genuine. "God, Peter, it's so good to see you. I just…I can't even begin to…" she trails off, or she'll just repeat herself.
"I'll let some people know, the ones I think really need to know," Peter says quietly, keeping a small distance now that they're seperated. There'd always been a bit of a distance in the last year and a half. More than that, too, because they disagreed on some points. And because he became a murderer. In a way, he wishes he were still the naive and insecure young man he'd been just a week ago. "I'm glad the three of you are okay. I was worried. But— just be careful. Especially with Lachlan. I know he'll do anything to protect Abby and you. Alpha Protocol may not be after you directly, but…" He trails off, then asks suddenly, "Do you know what today is?"
At that, Cass nods. She'll just be safer than sorry. The last thing she wants to do is jeopardize Peter's safety so soon after she just got him back. Though she knows their ideological differences have kept a bit of distance between them - and she has always been an ideological person - he is still the godfather to her daughter and one of her closest friends. There is very little that could change that in her mind. "Me too." She doesn't know what she would do were Lachlan captured or worse and if they took Abby from her, she would be a wreck, there is no doubt about it. "I don't have an ability. I'm sure I'm just a nobody to them." It's Lachlan that she's worried about.
The question catches Cass by surprise. She hasn't really been keeping track of the days since Abby was sick, but she blinks at Peter and tilts her head slightly to the side. "It's the day I prove I'm a terrible friend." She smiles sheepishly. "I didn't get you anything." To her defense, she thought he was still in the clutches of the government. "I could bake you a cake if you've got the time." Her smile is a bit sly, but she means it. If he wants a cake, she will make it for him. Instead, she reaches for another hug, attempting to close that symbolic distance between the two of them. "Happy Birthday, Peter. It's really good to see you again."
There's a sudden laugh from him, one of those deep breathy laughs he often would do when someone says something unexpected. "You remember, at least, that's more than I was even expecting," Peter says with the lopsided smile remaining on his face as he allows the distance to close into a hug again. "I didn't expect any presents, though I do want to play with Abby for a bit. Honestly she— kinda reminds me what I'm fighting for, you know?" A symbol of a future he fought to stop, and a present that he's working to perserve. Even if everything else he expected to try to hold onto has begun to slip away. "I might beg to stay on your floor tonight, too. It's a long story, but someone stole my bed."
Cass is one of those people that can surprise people every now and then. Most of her views and thoughts are well known to those around her, but then again once in awhile she says something that she's been keeping close to the vest. Peter's birthday isn't exactly one of those, but she's good with trying to surprise her friends and family. "You're welcome to any time, Peter. You're her godfather, after all. I'm not exactly Christian or anything, but I did want to give my daughter a few moral guideposts and a sort of extended family." And Cass certainly does know what Peter means by that. Abby is her entire reason for getting involved in rebellion, in attempting to find a better future, to continue with what she's doing. She wants a better world for her. She raises an eyebrow and then smiles again. "You're more than welcome to it. We've got a couch you're welcome to. Though I'm certainly interested int his long story." The woman leads Peter back over to where Abby rests in her bassinet.
"You don't have to be Catholic or Christian to want an extended family," Peter says, moving closer to the tiny baby and reaching in to touch her hand with a couple fingers. So cute and sweet, he can't think of any better symbol of the coming changes they'll need to endure. While he attaches himself to her tiny hand, he explains softly, "I got hit by a bus." How is this a GOOD thing? "I was saving a woman about to get hit, but I couldn't control my speed enough to stop the momentum once I pulled her out of the way. I ended up getting hit. But she did something, or the bus might have done it, I'm not sure— I got my memories back." Painfully. And died again, but that is beside the point! "And now she's sleeping in my bed and decided it's her home. She's… not all there. At first I thought it was shock, but… Anyway, I'm not going to kick her out."
"But a Godfather and Godmother is typically Christian." At least as much as Cass knows about it. She's never been very religious - strangely enough for someone who owns an occult bookstore. Or, maybe that's not so strange. The sleeping baby gives a bit of a gurgle and grasps and clutches onto Peter's hand in her sleep. She's peaceful now that she's feeling better and doesn't put up any fuss. For the moment, she's the perfect little angel to signify the future of the world. Of course, Cass knows better when she's fussy and demanding - that she's a little girl who needs protection, but is a person of her own.
"You got what?" That doesn't sound like a good thing to Cass, honestly. But if it got his memories back, she's glad. Sort of. "Are you okay?" She frowns, she doesn't like the sound of that. Even if he can heal, getting hit by a bus is painful and she hates the idea of her friends in pain. "I—I guess not?" She doesn't know what to say. "You're welcome to stay here as long as you need, Peter. If you want to bring the her over so I could see if she's okay, you can do that, too." She can't promise anything, of course, but she has to offer. That's how she is.
"She's fine," Peter says, keeping a hold on the tiny girl and using an ability to make sure any viruses that she might have have built up antibodies by this point. Children need to get sick for that, he knows, but it doesn't mean he can't use an ability to make it as painless as possible. Too bad he couldn't have done that a few days ago… "She can heal like I can. Not exactly like I can, but— she can heal." He's not sure how it works, but there it is. Keeping his hand down near the girl, he doesn't want to leave yet. Not while she's so peaceful. "I'm fine, though. I know who I am again. Even if there's things I wish I could forget, there's more I needed to remember. Like you, and Abby, and… everything that's important to me."
"O-okay." That makes sense to Cass. Sort of. A healer isn't out of the realm as possibility as Cass has seen Peter grow back a hand as well as come back from life threatening injuries. If this woman is like the other one, then she'll believe Peter. "I meant for her confusion, as well, but I trust you." Obviously. Having Peter back is good enough for Cass for now. She smiles when she sees him play with Abby and relaxes her shoulders, leaning softly against the table where she was working before. "You are who you are because of your memories," she says confidently. The woman Cass is now wouldn't be here if it weren't for everything she went through before. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind certainly taught me that. And.." she takes a deep breath, "no matter what, I'm glad you're back. That you're…you. I didn't know what I'd do if I didn't have you as a friend." She's glad that she never saw him when he didn't remember her. The thought if it crushes her.
And to think how many times he's died and came back… Peter would rather not go into thos situations. "I don't think it would have been very comfortable for either of us. I was— rather awkward without my memories. Didn't understand my abilities or my place. Though honestly if I would have met you early on, you probably could have helped me get a better grasp on them then I did." And then he might not have gotten hit by a bus! But that is for another time. "I'm glad too. So it's okay if I stay the night here? I will leave by teleportation so if I'm being watched they won't see me come or go. I do have a lot I need to get done. I need to make sure that this doesn't become a war— that those like me… that they don't declare war on those like you. I've seen how that ends up." And he didn't like it.
"I don't know. I can't…" Cass doesn't know how to put it the proper way. "I don't know if I could hit you with a bus, metaphorically speaking." The woman gives her friend a bit of a smirk, but it's laced with sadness. She wasn't the one that helped him remember. She wanted to be. For now she'll just be content to have him back. She certainly would have tried whatever she could have to get him back. "Of course it's alright. I'll get some blankets and pillow for you." And she'll also give Lachlan a head's up as to who will be sleeping in their living room. "I'll make you a cake, too. I'm pretty sure I have the ingredients, actually. Maybe not the icing, though." As for a war, she frowns. "I don't like thinking of it in those terms. We're all still people, Peter. Just because you can fly doesn't mean you're suddenly a different species. It's like…it's like races. I guess it can still be a war, an attempted ethnic cleansing…but I want to believe we're all still similar." She did train him, after all, and he has saved her. They can work together. It's not about having abilities or not, it's about who they are as people.
"We may not want to think that way, but they do," Peter says, rather serious as he speaks. It has become an ethnic cleansing, and it could go the exact opposite. "If we want to just be people, then we have to make sure that it doesn't escalate. That people with abilities don't declare war or take revenge on the government for this. Otherwise it will just get worse instead of better. I don't want it to become us versus them, or them versus us, or us and friends versus everyone who disagrees. What I need to do is make sure that retaliations are kept to a minimum. While still trying to free those who they've captured." And it's not going to be easy. Finally, he pulls his hand away from the baby. "A cake sounds good, even without frosting."
Of course Cass realizes that not everyone thinks like her or like Peter does. There are bad people in the world, and people who are reactionary. She reads about it in the newspaper, and she sees it on the street. Hell, she knows that if anything happened to her or Abby, Lachlan would attempt to take an eye for an eye. And she doesn't want that to happen. "I'll help any way I can." If that means helping free people, then she will, if it means preaching peace, she will. She grins at Peter playing with a baby and decides they've had enough serious talk for now. This is reunion and it deserves more happy, mindless conversation. "I'm going to start getting things ready, then. Why don't you keep an eye on Abby and make sure she's got everything she needs?"
"I'll let you know what I need when I know. A place to keep people when we free them, somewhere to take them for healing and bandages— that should be enough for now. Bat Country is probably already on their radar thanks to— certain things, but if you can contact Rebel, he might be able to set you up with facilities under a different name." Likely even right here in the city. Peter knows keeping them together may be one of the only things they can do. But also give a place that could be assured save. Where they could go to if needed. "I'll be here— Just being able to spend some time with her is enough of a birthday present for me." The tiny little face of the future.