2008-01-30: Family Allegiance

Caution: contains Season 3 material

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif Haitian_icon.gif

Summary: Peter asks his mother about his father's death — or lack thereof — and they have … a mostly civil conversation about the stormy future.

Date It Happened: January 30th, 2008

Family Allegiance


After learning about Charlotte's ability, Peter can't help but think this would be a lot easier if he had that— he certainly knows his mom's name. Instead, he has to follow a complicated two step process. If she weren't in NYC, it would be even more complicated. If that failed— he has a phone number he can call. Luckily, he doesn't need to. With the location ascertained, he closes his eyes and teleports. Today, he took the time to shave. He's even wearing a fairly nice outfit. No tie or anything, but dress jacket and shirt. His bangs still hang onto his forehead.

Location ascertained. Angela Petrelli pinpointed — she's somewhere in Manhattan, downtown. Business district. Easy enough to teleport directly to.

But that's not what happens.

Yamagato Industries

Manhattan

A shove, as physical as it is mental, comes up against Peter, a strong, invisible barricade somewhere in space in time during that split second before he's meant to appear exactly where he wants to. A brick wall made of absolutely nothing — nothing, that is, except power. Negation.

A busy floor of a productive business is not the most clandestine place to appear out of thin air. Unfortunately for Peter, he's suddenly surrounded by workers in a well-decorated, busy wing of an office building. Chatter, both in English and in Japanese, fills the air as phone calls are fielded left and right. A few people look up and blink at the arrival, wondering how they missed his entrance. One such person is the young woman at reception nearby, at a desk that flanks a corridor of office doors. Blink. Blink.

YAMAGATO INDUSTRIES — large, bold black lettering decorates one wall, softly lit. Beneath it is what appears to be a small shrine to Kaito Nakamura with framed pictures and flowers.

That's never quite happened before.

Peter stands in the middle of a busy office building. He does blink a few times, but luckily thanks to his dress, he doesn't look completely out of place… minus the fact he definitely does not understand the chatter of Japanese. It's the people who spot him, the ones who are blinking that make him quickly recover to say a soft, "Uh— I was looking for…" he doesn't finish. There's a picture framed in flowers, a sign giving the name of the business.

That stops him in his words, mouth partially open as he stares. For the second time he's come to Yamagato uninvited. Both time seeking answers to questions. And the last time…

Eyes slide shut and he takes in a deep breath. Okay… It won't be the same.

When his eyes open again, he tries to speak once more, "Is Angela Petrelli here today?"

Realization dawns on the face of the receptionist. This guy is actually here for a purpose other than to stand there looking lost. "Yes," she answers readily. "Mrs. Petrelli arrived … just awhile ago. She's retrieving something from Mr. Nakamura's office." A glance down the corridor. All the doors are dim save for one, which bears the telltale sign of life, a light.

"Thank you," Peter says in response, not even waiting for permission to go ahead before he walks straight down the hallway. There's things he needs to find out, even if it has to be here, of all places. The only thing that slows him down would be another glance at that picture. Even just seeing his face makes breathing a little difficult. Short of physical restraint, he'll go straight to the lit up door and knock.

Inside Kaito Nakamura's office — his name is still emblazoned on the door, although that will no doubt change soon — Angela stands facing the view of Manhattan. The blinds are drawn in on either side, leaving a sliver open that basks half of her face in light, half in shadow. Her arms are folded over the dark brown suit jacket she wears; strands of pearls sit between the lapels. "Le temps s'epuise," Angela speaks quietly, pensively, in what she believes to be privacy.

A moment before Peter's knuckles can touch the door, it opens. The tall, expressionless figure of the Haitian bears down on him.

Angela continues to speak in perfect French: "… si seulement Nathan n'avait pas interrompu ce jour." In the midst of it, she turns on the sound of the door opening, and her thoughtful eyes land on Peter. A nod is given to her current confidant. "It's okay. Let him in."

French. Peter can't help but press his lips together into a thinner line at the use of a language he doesn't really understand. He made out a Nathan in there, and one of the words seemed close enough to English that he might have understood it— The presence of the man he's only heard referred to as 'The Haitian' or 'That guy in Bob's Office' gets a look. He's deteremined. But if this man is here— maybe he doesn't have to worry about doing anything to his mother at least. "I need to talk to you," he says, looking past the tall dark skinned man and to his mother.

Boxes are stacked neatly along the walls, and most of the dcor has been stripped away. It lacks the power it once had.

The Haitian never takes his eyes off the visitor, save to glance at Angela. Back on Peter, suspicion — carefulness — sneaks into his otherwise neutral face. He obeys, however, silently stepping aside.

"Then come in. Talk," Angela simply commands.

The office might have once looked somewhat similar to the one he kidnapped a certain man straight out of. Not identical in the least, but a similar feel— a feel that's been packed away in boxes, much like he's sure the man himself has. Thanks to him. Eyes drop toward the floor, that guilt lowering his eyebrows as he moves past the man and closer to his mother. Peter has to breathe a moment before he can look back up. "I need to ask you about dad."

The Haitian makes sure the door is shut, then returns to his post. Watching, listening, but unobtrusive, a shadow on the wall.

Angela does not appear surprised in the slightest. In fact, her head tips up in subtle increments, acknowledging, as if to say: I knew this was coming. She turns her back on Peter — a bold testament, perhaps, to her trust of the Haitian … or her son? "Whatever it is you think," she begins to preface, "it's probably true."

Turning away from him doesn't seem to be too much of an issue right at this moment. All the tension around his eyes has to do with a sudden burst of tiredness (he hasn't slept much the last… couple of months) and genuine distraught over the lies all collapsing around him. Peter runs a hand over his face. "He didn't die. Gabriel— when he told me about Bishop, he told me what happened, why he thought we were brothers before I captured him." Captured instead of kill. It might not have been only because of the brother thing, but that had played a part. The guilt shown, the request to die, that had been further deciding factors. Those were real. "Even Nathan… Nathan said he saw him."

The woman's back is impassive, of course, and since she's as still as a statue, her body language says nothing. If only Peter could see his mother's face, though, he would see when and where the surprise hits. Not at the statement that Arthur is alive; not that Arthur told Gabriel he was Peter's brother… but at "Nathan". Her widening eyes don't only express shock, but fear. By the time she turns around, it's gone. "That's the rumour, isn't it." Oh, but she knows. That much is obvious — and it's meant to be, otherwise she'd be denying it quite more than this. "Do you remember, what I told you about ghosts?"

While Peter is good at reading people sometimes, he can't read what he can't see. When she turns around, the shock doesn't even really register with him, but he does start to move closer, crossing some more of the distance. The curiosity coursing through him seems far more normal than recent. He doesn't feel like he'll do anything to get those answers he doesn't get. At least there's that. The shadow in the corner seems to be forgotten for the moment. "I remember. You said you tried to get me put away to protect me. Why would dad want to manipulate Gabriel into killing Bishop? And why would he— what happened two years ago?"

"What do you think happened?" Angela's eyes narrow on her youngest son, subtly attempting to weasel out his knowledge. It wasn't a rhetorical question, not a snap although it certainly came close. What does Peter know? What has he been told? The woman's poise regal and shut off, her arms still folded in statuesque stillness as Peter shortens the gap.

"I don't know what happened. But— I know that he was in a bed when Gabriel saw him. Paralyzed," Peter says, giving what he remembers of the explanation. It had been confirmed when he tried to jog his brother's memory as well. The details the same, even if the details are vague. "And that… you might have put him there."

"Yes," Angela answers. A single, tight word. She's not proud of the reality Peter drudges up from the past, but guilt is not one of the emotions that weighs on her face. "It was me, I poisoned him, those years ago. I killed your father." She turns her head parallel to the straight line of her shoulder, just barely able to glance out the window behind her. "Or I thought I had."

A small glance is made in the direction of the shadow in the room. Not due to suspecting anything from him, but because Peter's feeling a little worried about drudging up family secrets in front of a man he barely knows. And maybe because he can't really look directly at his mother after she admited something like that. There's more quiet breaths before he looks back at her, setting his jaw. "Why? I'm not… ignorant. I get that you were probably both involved in the Company. But what happened? Why would you kill him? Try to."

"There's a lot about your father you never knew. I kept the truth from you and Nathan." Angela says. Just as there's a lot about herself that she never admitted; lately, Peter is seeing glimpses of reality. "Just as he kept the truth from me for many years." An apologetic, almost wistful smile creeps along Angela's lips as she looks on Peter, a rare sadness behind her eyes. "Now that we know he's alive, you deserve to know. He was going to kill Nathan. He lied to me, forced me into the dark. Your father had… has… great power. If he's in play now, there's a war on the horizon. I think perhaps it's already begun."

Reality— and a lot more. Peter moves even closer, perhaps because of the hint of sadness in her eyes— and the confession that he tried to kill Nathan. "Heidi's accident," he says softly, thinking back to the event that she's probably talking about. Linderman and their father. The "heart attack" happened just after Nathan talked him into giving the deposition against their father and Linderman. Just after the accident. They were going to turn on him. In a legal way. "A war— a war that never should have happened. This isn't what— or maybe it is. Maybe this is part of what made the future I saw so terrible." Maybe it played a part and no one realized it. Or maybe it just never came up. People gave their own versions of what happened. But it's changed now. Because of things he did… He could ask more on this, make accusations, instead… "When was the last time you talked to Nathan?"

Angela nods as if she has no doubt the terrible future — the one Peter saw, or another — could be connected. Emotion still lingers in her eyes, the woman's regularly powerful veneer ever-so-slightly tarnished. If there's anything she fears, it's being controlled once more by Arthur. "Not since he became Senator," she answers. "He's a very busy man these days."

A slow inhale, Peter looks over at the Haitian, and then back at his mother. "Half a year ago… I went to the future. Two years into the future. I don't know how everything got the way that it did… but people with abilities were in charge. People without were sent away to camps. Or in hiding. The President… was Nathan Petrelli. And he was the one who put them there." Since she wasn't surprised, maybe the Company knows all of this— he's aware of at least one leak of information, but he's not sure if all of it made it to the Company's ears. "Only it wasn't Nathan who was the President. Or who ordered all those people sent into camps. It was someone else. Another… personality. I know the Company has dealt with Niki Sanders— it's similar to what happened to her." And the reason he's bringing it up… "It's happening now, mom. Even if things are different… it still happened."

"I suspected this day would come." Angela sounds confident and defeated all in the same breath. "So many things have been set into motion…" The matriarch steps closer to her son, a hand venturing not to slap his face, this time, but to touch the very same spot. Dark eyes lock onto his under brows that grow heavier, more stern, more serious by the moment. "You have to understand why I've done the things I've done, Peter. I needed to see the man you've become. Whether you're going to be a soldier or a casualty of war."

"You do realize you very nearly started two wars by doing what you did?" Peter asks, his attempt to remain calm breaking for a moment as some accusation comes through in his voice. "I don't even know if you went through with your threats or not." He looks over at the Haitian, aware that he's not sitting in a cell with Elena, erasing her memories, but… there's still anger. Frustration. When he looks back at his mother, he adds, "The other personality is working with dad. And he's already tried to kill me twice. I'll do what I can to stop him, help Nathan take control again— but…" There's a pause. "It would better if we're not both fighting two battles."

"I know what you must think — that I'm a monster. I've made a lot of choices I regret. They weren't always the right ones," Angela admits. "But we've both made some bad decisions, haven't we?" she asks pointedly. "They've brought us here, haven't they." Her hand becomes more firm on Peter's cheek, along his jaw. "Poisoning your father — that was the right choice. He must be stopped, and if some part of Nathan is with him, then a division between you and I will do nothing but make this family crumble all the faster. I've lost Arthur, I may have lost Nathan; I can't lose you, too." A ghostly flicker of a smile comes and goes. How allegiances change, these days. "Elena is fine," she says suddenly, dismissive, and with a sharp glance to the Haitian. The hand drops to Peter's shoulder. "Her memories are intact. She's awfully powerful, your sweetheart."

The hand that lands on his shoulder is glanced at, but Peter doesn't pull away, or try to shrug it off. There's even a hint of a relieved smile, tugging on the corner of his mouth. Memories are intact. Certainly a reason to be relieved and happy there. "I don't agree with a lot what your Company does; how your Company does it. Or even the reasons you claim to do them," he says, that determination setting into his jaw. He may be tired thanks to the Haitian, but he's stubborn as ever it would seem. "But maybe we can— at least come to a truce."

"I would like that." Oh, to have Peter not look at her like she's a terrible person for once; Angela certainly seems sincere, something almost like hope in her black-rimmed eyes. "We're not missionaries, we never claimed to be. Trust me when I say whatever your father has planned will be more grand in scale than the Company ever was." Perhaps if New York had blown up as planned, that wouldn't quite be so true, but now is not a pertinent time to bring that up. "It's only a matter of time before he comes after me."

"I've heard the sales pitch his people are tossing about— it's a lot nicer sounding than yours," Peter says, keeping his eyes on his mom, voice almost whispered. "But since he's got Logan on his side— I don't believe that what he's telling his people is any more true than what you try to tell me." Great good, and all that. Perhaps it's the idea that someone would be sent after her that makes his hand raise up, returning the touch she has on his shoulder with one against her opposite arm. "I'll get Nathan back. He's already fighting it, and I'm not going to give up on him." A reassurance, likely for the both of them. "Put Elena somewhere nicer," he says after a moment, for some reason not asking for her to be released. There's probably a reason why— a reason that just happens to involve her Not-Uncle— not that he can explain that situation. "And promise me that she'll stay safe— and you won't have to worry about being at war with your entire family."

Peter's words are heard and acknowledged, but all sentiments are spared comment save for one. "You could have demanded her release," Angela, ever perceptive of detail, points out with narrowing eyes. "But you didn't. Why?"

This is when Peter's hand drops. He doesn't respond right away either, looking away from the narrowed glance if feeling the scrutiny. There's a few moments when he seems about to answer and doesn't. Finally he gives a mild shake of his head, barely visible, and pulls away from her hand. Every answer he could give to that is selfish. "Then release her. Let her go back to her life. I just want her to be safe." And he doesn't want her to see what certain people in her life have turned into. Including, most likely, himself.

"She'll be as safe as we can arrange." Angela drops both hands down to Peter's arms, a searching gaze looking him over — her version of fretting is more critical than a typical mother hen's. "I'm still worried about you," she says, taking a moment to smooth down the shoulder of his jacket. "Pay me more visits. The Haitian here will give that mind of yours a much-needed break. You look terrible."

"I'm fine," Peter says, despite the fact that he looks like he really wants to lay down and take a long nap. The longer he's been in the room, the more tired he looks. Emotionally as well as physically, though the physical fatigue is what's getting worse. "If Elena would like to be let go, then you probably should let her go." It seems the longer he's thought on it, the less sure he is about what he wants to do about it. "You don't need her for bait anymore." Little does he know they actually grabbed two people— he's had no reason to try and contact Kitty yet, so has no idea she was taken as well. They haven't exactly told him.

"I'll give the order to release her myself." Angela, trying to sew a seed of trust in what is, probably, a barren wasteland. Stepping back, she looks around the desolate office. "Now if you'll excuse me … I'm going to pay my last respects."

Last respects… That's something that makes Peter full the rest of the way away, turning around and starting toward the door. "I'll stop by and talk to you again sometime… let you know if I find out anything about what— dad is up to." He has theories, and he might have the ability to find out. But if she's going to pay respects to the man he murdered… he shouldn't be here. And teleporting out is out of the question. He looks at the Haitian for a moment before making the rest of the way to the door. "Be careful. If you really think you're in danger… be careful." The repeated bit probably was meant for the both of them.

Peter's mother returns the sentiment. "Stay safe, Peter." She turns, once more, to face the window. The sun is slightly lower in the sky now than it was when Peter arrived; her face is no longer half in shadow when she looks out on the city.

The Haitian breaks his trend. A rarely heard voice is given to Peter, inflected with a rich accent. "Godspeed, Peter Petrelli."

Without another word, but a nod of acknowledgment to both, Peter opens the door and heads out of the office building, avoiding looking at the picture on the wall this time. He won't teleport away until he knows he's far enough out of range— and out of sight as well. He'll know, because he'll stop feeling tired when that happens.

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