2007-09-27: Foreshadowing


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter comes across Elena reading on the rooftop of their apartment building. More snippets about the future come out, including the fact that Elena almost dies by Sylar's hand in the future, and the horrifying conclusions as to how he managed to electrocute her. She makes her own confession.

Date It Happened: September 27th, 2007


East Centennial Apartments Rooftop, Somewhere in New York City

The night was clear, though 'clear' in New York was rather subjective. Still with colder months approaching, it's been a relief. Summers in New York were notoriously humid, the cold edge to the wind these days was refreshing, and actually makes her want to spend more time outdoors than the summer does. Winter, however, will probably be another story. She doesn't honestly know how she survived 19 years with the weather New York gets during the very cold months at the end of the year.

Clad in a pair of jeans and a shirt with a wide neck, so much so that one side of it falls off her shoulder, Elena curls up in the large, warm blanket she brought with her to the roof. There are several items there, a metal thermos full of warm, thick hot chocolate, a couple of bright, tall candles, and a book. She doesn't have a fireplace in her new apartment, so this will have to do. Her long, dark hair is pulled up in a messy twist, clipped to the back of her head.

Her jPhone chimes. Easing her glasses off her nose, she reaches out to grab it and flip the top screen. A single text message can be seen on it:

Where are you?

She texts back quickly with a thumb:

On the roof.

Clapping the jPhone shut, knowing the sender will probably be up in a few moments, the book is put away, dragging the thermos towards her and setting her glasses carefully on the novel. It was blue, with a cardboard cover, with slashes of white and red. The title, Catch 22, can be seen printed on the top.

On the roof? There would have been a response in a moment if the person sending the text message hadn't remembered a few things about his girlfriend. For one, she now lives in the same building. Which means her roof is also his roof. There is a delay in his own appearance on the roof, though the reasons may not be easily known. Peter had to put his coat back on, for one, and then avoid having someone join him up on the roof.

Someone meaning his dog. She'd been convinced when he turned toward the door to leave that it was going out with her time— it took a few moments to catch her and stick her back inside. And apologize to her. Roof is not a place to walk the dog, though.

He did not think to grab a blanket, though— which of course means they'll have to share. A coat should be more than enough for him. He's used to even colder winters than her, having lived upstate for portions of his life.

"Hey," he says once he catches sight of her, with her book and glasses on top of it. Not on her face this time, but they still earn a hint of a smile. Seeing her by candlelight, though… that's new, and has it's own little charm. "Reading on the rooftop?" he asks as he gets closer, settling down next to her, but avoiding sitting on her blanket as he does.

"Hey," Elena tells him with a faint smile, scooting over a little bit so he could join her on the roof. "Share?" She lifts up the other end of the blanket and he can move in closer if he wants. "Where did you go today?" she asks, inclining her head curiously. She'd been on campus with her study groups, and Evosoft earlier the day. She looks tired, hence probably why she was taking some R&R up where she is at present. Still, his presence, free and -out of jail-, was comforting.

She pulls out the thermos as well, and shakes it playfully towards her. "Got some hot chocolate from the cafe across the street too, if you want some," she says. "I couldn't explain it, I had a craving. How was your day?" Concern softens her features, dark and light playing over her face from the night outside, and the candlelight around. "Any word from Nate?" She knew they weren't talking, and that Nathan had been angry, and he came home with her that day depressed. But he looks like in better spirits today, maybe he heard from him.

Though she does nudge a little bit from her shoulder. "You were sweet to show up the other day at auditions," she tells him softly. "I know things were a little hectic this week…" They saw each other at nights but with his current situation with the law, it sometimes felt that it hadn't been enough since they've both been so tired they tended to sleep early.

The offered blanket gets leaned into, tugged around his shoulder to block the wind and keep them both warmer— and this allows Peter to put his other arm around her, and snuggle up closer. All of which are win-win in his opinion. There's been a few days since they've really had time to just sit down and talk— they'd seen each other, sure, but sitting down and talking requires time, and circumstances where they're both alone, yet not in complete privacy — as they tend to distract each other from talking— and not exhausted, as sleeping will often happen eventually.

Which is why he's surprised at her question. About Nate, not the offered drink. "Sure, I'll have some, but… yeah, I saw Nathan. We talked— I think his advisors think this whole thing might work to his advantage, which made him feel better. I offered to make a public statement— which is what his advisors want me to do anyway, so it works out." He just hopes that it's a statement he actually wants to make. He's not proud of punching the guy, though, so… "It's fine now. I was actually at an ice rink in town— with my niece. I think she's a little freaked out that I'm dating the ex-best friend of her ex-boyfriend."

With his arm around her, Elena pushes closer, resting her head against his shoulder and pulling the blanket further around them. She closes her eyes, relaxing fully. "I was thinking of visiting the family next weekend. It's been a while since I've seen them." She's not sure if Peter wants to come, but either way she'll toss it out there so he'll at least know where she'll be. "And I should come over and see Cass so we can start figuring out what to do about Gene." They haven't really talked - but sometimes words weren't really necessary. Her hand comes up to hand him the thermos, uncapping it for him before he does.

"That's good. But what sort of statement did he want you to make?" she asks, giving him an apprehensive look. "Are you going to have to reiterate that you have problems?" Peter DID have problems, everyone did, but his weren't really about mental illness. She can't help but frown. "If that's the case, I can see why it would be to his advantage. Nate comes off as pretty sharkish. If it comes out that he's being a big brother trying to take care of you, the public impression of him would soften a bit…" She sighs. "Not like I was -happy- hearing that he started all of that in the first place…"

But when everything's fine between them now, she nods. "Oh, you saw Claire today? That's nice, how's she doing?" she asks. And then she laughs. "Well. We teenagers are pretty weird about that sort of thing," she teases. Her hand comes up, gradually threading into his. "That was actually one of my bigger concerns about all of this," she muses. "The age difference."

"Until we figure out what's going on with the Company and Evelyn… I don't really want to be that far away from the city, just in case something happens," Peter says, flinching a little. She technically didn't even place an offer to visit with him, but that should avoid it. "If things are settled before the weekend, though…" There's a pause. There's more reasons not to go up there, the same reason he couldn't stay the night the first time. He knows she needs to get more of her stuff to bring to the apartment, and he's more than willing to help with that, but she has members of her family with abilities that they don't want him to have, and he can't exactly control when he absorbs an ability or not…

"Not sure what the statement will be, exactly. Whatever his speech writers think would be best, I imagine. I'll read it over and make some changes if it's… totally off the wall, though." He's not intending to admit his suicidal tendancies, or his depression, or all the other things that they could toss in. He's sure that they'll be informed that those subjects are off-limits in this case. "He didn't start it. I'm the one who jumped off of a building." So technically he started it.

"She… seems okay. She really enjoyed the ice skatting— she'd never been before, but she got the feel for it well enough. Probably need a couple more lessons before I'll let her skate without holding on to me, though." Luckily no tabloid reporters saw them, or they might have made unsavory comments about him dating yet another woman far too young for him. Not like he can explain she's his niece. But she has concerns… about that… With the two of them.

For a long moment, he can't really look at her, finally taking a drink from the thermos, before holding it back to her, should she want to put the cap back on. "Why does it concern you?" Eight years is a lot, sure, but…

"To be honest I'm a little surprised Papa hasn't been visited yet," Elena murmurs, looking off to the side a bit. "But I think if they know who to come after, they don't need to. Has she been checking in? Have you talked to her recently?" She wonders if Gene's heard from Evelyn - though if Gene has, he certainly would've let her know, wouldn't he? She doesn't know. But she does watch their hands for a moment, falling quiet again. That same feeling of being stretched too thin grows yet again.

Though when he says he doesn't know, and that he'll make changes, she nods. Peter, too, had his pride. "I know, but if there was anyone who could've kept it quiet, it was him," she points out. "I don't…had it really been necessary?" However this was about a year ago, she can't really get mad over something that happened when she hadn't been in his life, can she?

"That's good," she says. "You don't really see her very often. I'm glad you have been though, lately. Especially with what you told me about Sylar in the future." The more Claire keeps in contact with Peter, the better off she'll be, right? At the question, she shrugs. "A few reasons. Before all of this I thought….one of the reasons why I thought you wouldn't pursue anything with me was because I'm not even in my twenties yet. Figured a guy like you would want someone more mature. And then….you're tied to a public figure, a senatorial candidate besides. I know you don't like being poked and prodded and scrutinized, you're a private person by nature. I figured being with me ups the chances of unwanted attention too."

She falls quiet. "But that was then though. This is now. I couldn't just up and leave you even if I wanted to." She squeezes his hand a bit. "It's not….my way. And….I care about you too much." The last comes out a little awkardly.

"Maybe they don't know about your father yet," Peter says, hopefully there. His biggest worry if they do know about her father isn't them actually going after her father… it's them going after his kids. The Company seems to have a knack of getting to a person through their family. That's how they got to Noah, Claire— how they got to him for a while. They could keep playing that card, but they haven't yet. For reasons he's unsure of. But… "No, I haven't really spoken to her— I need to, though. Cass wants her to come in for a full examination— the blood that I gave her to test… it showed signs of something abnormal, but she couldn't really figure it out. Could be a virus, or could be something else all together." It's something they need to figure out, and possibly figure out fast.

There's something else there, though, but he's hesitating on mentioning it.

"Doesn't really matter now— it's done. I punched him for that back when it happened. Twice." Just so she knows he got what was coming to him, at least. He doesn't punch people often, but that had pissed him off quite a bit.

"That'd… been the furthest thing from my mind before this whole thing with the reporter." He'd honestly not thought about public opinion, or the poking and prodding that would be a natural response to a publicly recognizable figure dating someone who would be considered barely legal. "Most of my family adores you…" And the opinions matter more to him than the public. He's not sure how his mother would feel, and he hasn't really gotten the nerve to ask her yet, but… Nathan likes her. And his opinion is the most important of all. "The rest isn't any of their business. I'll just have to find a way to deal with it besides punching the reporter who brings it up."

"Papa doesn't seem to care," Elena confesses. "Which makes me a little worried. He should….especially with the way we've interacted with them before." She glances down on her kneecaps. "And especially when we've been warned that there's this…monster in the Company that's just lying in wait." She's told him about it before. After hearing it, she hadn't tried to contact the Haitian ever since. Perhaps it was for the best. Whatever happened, she didn't want anywhere near those people - even if Mr. Winters was there and even if the dark mysterious man had, so far, tried to help them with everything else.

When he hesitates, she looks at him, her features softening a bit in concern. "What is it?" she asks, eyes roaming over his features.

And then, when Peter confesses that he punched Nathan…she stares at him. "You punched him? Really?" she says, sounding surprised. Hell part of her might even be impressed. Peter always sort of struck her as a gentle creature, it's only recently that she's discovering that he's got quite a bit of a temper.

"I know. Like I said, that was then," she says, leaning her head back against the wall a bit. "And I like most of your family too. You know how much I love Heidi. And your nephews. If I'd have met Claire, I'd probably really like her too. Your brother ain't a bad guy half the time either - given the right mood he can actually be pretty hilarious." She flashes him a small smile.

Monster in the Company. That's probably the reason he's hesitating now. How much of a monster is it? What would that monster be capable of? And how bad will things get now that the Company knows of the young girl who's capable of destroying part of the city? There's a small nod, but he continues to remain silent on the issue for the moment, mostly because he'll deal with other things first. Like smiling faintly at having punched his brother. "Well— he did announce it in front of a lot of people, while I was standing right there. I waited til he was going to his car with his bodyguards before I punched him, though." And got slammed up against something immediately after. But he got his punching. Gentle or not— he's still got Italian blood…

"I'm sure the two of you would get along. When she's in college she'll probably want to try out for your dance team— that's pretty close to cheerleading, I think." Not said in a demeaning way at all, either. "Nathan has a good sense of humor— and he wouldn't treat you like he does if he didn't like you." The joking around actually is a sign of being comfortable with her…

There's another pause, before he closes his eyes and leans into her. She might not like what he's about to say… "I'm thinking of going to the Company before they grab Evelyn. Right now there's really nothing we can do if they try to take her… You know how rescue missions against the Company work out." She'd been on one. If someone within the Company hadn't broken him out— if he hadn't left on his own— "Besides this… monster that you mentioned… they should be after the same thing we are— not wanting this future to happen. Wanting to stop it. And right now the only people who might know enough about what's happened to Evelyn— about the virus she might have— they're all working for them. I just… don't know if it's worth the risk. Working with them to stop the future I saw… If it'll just create one that's even worse…" Not the best situation at all.

"…..well. I know it sounds bad but I'm actually a little impressed," Elena says, nudging him a bit and grinning faintly. "I shouldn't say things like that but I am." She glances back down, not helping the smile tugging up the corners of her mouth. "I honestly didn't really expect you to have much of a temper. You were…every time I hung out with you, you were always so gentle, you know. It was only until we fought that one day that I saw it." She shrugs ruefully. "I like it though. The fact that you have a temper. Gotta keep up with me somehow, right?" she teases him.

She grins. "Why is she thinking about going to NYU?" New York has a lot of colleges around, she doesn't know what Claire wants to do - she'll have to go to college eventually but she's not one to think that every single young person in New York would want to go to NYU. There was always Cornell and Columbia, after all - both great schools, and both Ivies….even if the Lions can be pains in the ass sometimes.

When he leans into her, and tells him what she says, she falls silent. She doesn't pull away at least, but she does relax when he tells her he's got doubts. What else could they do, really? She turns her head to brush a kiss on his forehead, but she pulls away to look at him seriously. "I can't trust that," she says. "A monster is a monster. I've no reasons to doubt what he said. I can only assume whoever he or she is, he's dangerous and the less we toss a bone in his direction, the better." She chews on her bottom lip. "Maybe….if you're serious about doing this, isn't there a way you could…I mean. What about Claire's father? Can't you talk to him?"

Impressed… "Somehow, it doesn't really surprise me… that you'd be impressed," Peter admits with a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. Just a hint. He's not sure he could even clarify what he means by not being surprised, though. It all goes down to the fact that her future self had seemed impressed with his training— and when he attempted to fight Sylar. Attempted to, being the key phrase. "You don't strike me as the type of person who'd want someone who couldn't stand up for the people he cared about." Stand up for her— or even stand up for himself. Himself is harder than other people, though. Temper or not. And she'd probably beat him around with her personality if he didn't have a stubborn side and a slow-boiling temper to match hers after a lot of shoving.

"I don't know where she's thinking of going— just saying she would probably be good at it if she did." He hasn't asked, and he hasn't really thought to much about it. It's her decision. Just been one of those things he thought of after watching the dance rehershal, followed not long after by a trip to the ice rink.

It's the Company that has most of his thoughts, though. When she pulls away, he almost shivers, even if she only pulled away enough to look at him. "I just don't know what to do, Elena." Part of him really wants someone, or something, to point him in the right direction and nothing has, yet. But he does know this… "I know we can't protect her— we can't stop them from taking her when they do decide to. We'll be lucky if they even let us remember that she exists at all. But I know… that the best scientists for this sort of thing are with them. And if we don't figure out what's wrong with her, then we can't stop it from happening." He doesn't like this at all, but if someone else gave him a better option, he'd probably take it. This is the only one he can think of right now. "Cass is wanting to go to her father about it. Him, or Dr. Suresh."

"I more like the idea that you stood up for yourself," Elena tells him with a small smile. "But you're right. I can't…really picture myself liking anyone who didn't defend himself or those he cares about if he had to. Not like I expect to be protected all the time, but….it's the principle, you know? A fighting spirit." She was used to being around people who were more for action than words. In a way, she was glad Peter fit that mold too.

When the subject goes to Claire again, she nods. "Well she seems like a good girl," she tells Peter with a nod. "You've only told me good things about her. Whenever I meet her, I'll be sure to let her know that. How long has she been cheerleading?" She doesn't know a lot about Claire, except for the small snippets Peter and Drake have told her before.

"I know. Truth be told, I'm stumped too. It does seem like we have very little choice, but if Cass thinks she can talk to her father…" She hesitates. "I just…I don't know if we can trust them. And Evelyn's too important to gamble with, you know? I don't know if there is a way to protect her without inhibiting her somewhat. But I know the Company's got an inner danger - it doesn't seem right to push her further -to- their direction knowing that." She pauses. "And I don't know who to trust there, either. Dr. Suresh's track record when it comes to trust isn't exactly the best, and I don't know Dr. Aldric. But Cass is intelligent….I may not trust the Company but I trust Cass implicitly."

Feeling him shiver, she reaches up a hand, pulling the blanket further around him, and moves closer, resting her head against his shoulder again.

"I get it… the principle," Peter says, tightening his arm around her just a little in emphasis, but… there's more to it than that. There will be more to it eventually. Right now they have enough, though. And he'll protect her when he can whether she wants him to or not— just as he knows she'll try to protect him. But… "I don't know how long she's been in cheerleading. I haven't really asked her." And they've only known about each other for less than a year… it'll be a year pretty soon, now, but even then… not long enough to know everything. Not with all that's gone on since they met.

"We're not gambling with her. Unfortunately they have all the cards at this point now. If they didn't know about her and her ability— what she's capable of— then we'd be gambling. Right now… I want to do this to keep them from just taking her and locking her up. Because they have no reason not to do that once they've decided she's a threat— and they know she is. They'll probably even make it sound like they're doing the right thing by her and the whole city— and even believe it." In a way they might actually be doing that… but as soon as they found out about her… they have nothing to keep them from taking her.

"I'm not planning to hand her over to them, or let them lock her away… I want to talk to them and see if they'll leave her in our care for now— let us handle her, while they help us figure out what's causing it. I don't even know if that will work. We don't have anything at all to bargain with, or offer them." As far as he knows. "I don't even have enough detailed information from the future to offer them in exchange. Unless they want to know who wins the Super Bowl." Which isn't the best exchange for this kind of situation.

The tightening causes her to be pressed closer to him than before, and Elena turns her face to bury more fully into his shoulder, taking a deep breath of the detergent smell of his shirt. Sure, she knows there's more to it than that - but she'll keep the rest unsaid. She nods at what he says about Claire, leaving the subject entirely when more serious things are brought up. As stated before, his worries tended to fuel her own. Now that they know who the Tornado is, it didn't help to ease their worries. It was typical really, the more they know, the paranoid they all are.

She nods slowly, but she still can't help the hesitation, the apprehension. "I know all of that, Peter," she points gently. "I know where you're coming from. I just….I know there's little choice, but at the same time I don't like it either. That's why I said maybe you should contact Claire's father, first….he at least knows you've been to the future. It might be easier going through him, than Dr. Suresh or Dr. Aldric." At least Peter's relations with Noah -seem- amicable. After all, they were both connected to Claire. Just as Cass should approach Dr. Aldric if she does decide to go ahead with it. It seems as if the question now is going to the right people in the Company about this.

But at what Peter says….Elena nods quietly, squeezing his hand. There's hesitation, but she has to offer. Because she wouldn't be her if she didn't. "Do you want me to come with you?" she asks softly. It was the same offer she made to Drake when he wanted to confront Claudine and Orion. She's a little leery of anyone she was close to facing the Company alone. She knows with Cass, Lachlan would -never-, if he knew about it and even if Dr. Aldric was Cass's father. It was one of the few things she had in common with the big Scot.

"I was in a cell for four months," Peter says softly, glancing away from her and towards the candles that supply the only really up close light. There's light from the city— from the sky above as well, but those candles are the only ones close. The fire has an interesting glow to it, casting shadows along his face. That stray lock of hair has gotten to touch his eyebrows now— soon it will be long enough to get into his eyes, if he lets it. "I don't know if I can talk to Noah, because he might find out that Claire told me. Unless I get better at lying— tell him that I'm just stumped and need help— pretend like I don't already know that they know…" That's about the only way he'd go to him. They'd have to go to Dr. Aldric or Dr. Suresh sometime, though— those two might be the only ones with the know-how to find out what they need to know.

But does he want her there? At first it's pretty obvious what his answer is. From the tightening of his jaw, to the darkness in his eyes, to the protective wrapping of the blanket around her… he does not want her involved there. Not at all.

"I don't… want anything to happen to you because of me." She should know that would be his answer, really— but it's not something that will be easily avoided. She's his girlfriend, publicly. She would be one of the many targets they could hold over his head to get him to do what they want. He can blame himself for Simone's death— what happened to Nathan— what Elle did to her— and there's other things— things she doesn't know about. Things in the future. One thing in particular he hasn't mentioned yet. It's that thing that makes him close his eyes and pull up against her..

Claire. Elena's jaw sets a little bit. Peter wouldn't have learned about the Company's knowledge if it wasn't for his niece, of course he'd want to protect her. At the same time… "Papa went to Mr. Winters, I don't know if that worked at all - in fact that might've been how Mr. Bennett found out. But nothing's happened that we know of. I don't know about Dr. Aldric or Dr. Suresh but maybe we can trust Claire's father - even if I know we'll have to come in contact with Dr. Suresh again eventually. This is his father's work, he's -the- expert. I don't know…" She doesn't know. This was all too big. She was nineteen, what the hell did she know? "If we had to pick I'd say…have Cass talk to her dad, if you're reluctant going to Claire's."

She watches his jaw set after she asks him if he wants her there. She watches him as he pulls the blanket around her more securely. Even if he's not looking at her, the fact that he doesn't like it rolls off him in spades. But when he pulls her closer, and closes his eyes, she drapes her arms around him. "If anything happens to me it's because of -me-, not you," she tells him firmly. "You can't take responsibility for my decisions, Peter."

There's a moment of silence. She turns her head to press her mouth into his hair, now that she's got her arms around him. "What aren't you telling me?"

"I'm pretty sure it was. There's really no other way they could've found out, unless they have bugs in my apartment, or your dad's house." Peter would honestly rather have the source been Mr. Winters, in that case. There's too much that has been said in his apartment— in her father's house— that needs to be kept private. Not just personal stuff, but also her siblings. It's not good that they know, but it's better if they know from that. "I do trust Noah— more than anyone else in the Company…" He just wants to protect Claire. And of the two… "It'll be Dr. Aldric if anyone, though. I don't trust Mohinder." Not after the incident while she was in Spain. Which he still hasn't told her about.

There's a serious shake of his head, even as he leans against her. He disagrees. "May be your decision… but I could still be the cause of the circumstances…" There's a difference between making a decision and being forced into a certain set of circumstances. What isn't he telling her?

For a long time it might seem he's going to keep not telling her. But finally he takes in a slow breath and says in a serious, and quiet voice, "Before I left the future… Sylar found me. Found out that I was there. Tracked me down and came after me— to kill me. Again. You… future you… you were with me." From the way his voice cuts off, and the shifting to press his face into her hair… something very bad must have happened. She has to wait a moment to hear that part— he needs to breathe. Even then, his voice is very tight when he continues, "He almost killed you… Once it was over… it was all I could do to keep you alive— to get you to medical help… At the most important time… I couldn't heal you. I couldn't even…" his voice trails off. He's trying to hide it with physical closeness— but there's tears.

Her siblings - she's worried about that too, hence why if it has to be bad hopefully it had been Mr. Winters. But this only came out until -after- Ramon talked to Benjamin, so who else could it have been? "Alright," Elena says, when Peter decides on Dr. Aldric. She absently rubs one of his arms, up and down, to try and warm him. "Why did anything else happen with Dr. Suresh?" she asks. She meant to ask - there were hints of it in the voice messages that he sent her back in July. About how things got screwed up. About how things got really bad. He still hasn't told her about all of that.

She shakes her head. "But if I chose to come with you, it would've still have been me. You can't take on everything by yourself." He knows this. She just isn't getting why he's being particularly stubborn about all this, until he presses his face into her hair, and falls quiet. Part of her is a little scared. The quiet was getting a little ominous. "…Peter…?"

Her body stiffens when he tells her, finally. Sylar. She had been there when Sylar came for him - and he couldn't do anything. Or at least, almost couldn't do anything. His powers failed at what he considers a critical time, and she couldn't help but….well. The feeling was indescribable. "…if you fought him, I'm not really surprised…" she says finally. "There's a point when your powers just won't…."

Her hand comes up to rest at the back of his neck. "That's not going to happen," she tells him softly. "You know me, I'm not about to become anyone's liability either. I'll be okay, Peter."

Yes he can take everyone on himself. But Peter doesn't say that, he just leans against her, keeps his eyes closed, and tries to block out the cold with her body heat. The shivers that she might feel have little to do with the cold, though… "It wasn't my powers— I could still… fly and use your ability to keep your body working— I just couldn't… fix you. And I couldn't stop him from attacking you when he did… He hit you with lightning…" Which might also mean, somewhere down the line, he killed his ex-girlfriend. Which horrifies him. He might have broken up with her, but that doesn't mean he hates her or wants her to be murdered— he still cares for her. He just realized, the hard way, that he wasn't going to be able to save her— and that they didn't work if everything stayed the way it was.

"You wouldn't leave me. I didn't even bother asking you to." He'd known she wouldn't leave him— but that just horrified him more… when she got involved in the fight. "You were already dying… he threw two balls of fire at us— one at me and one at you… I couldn't stop both of them." There's another long pause. "I stopped the one that would've hit you. If Lachlan hadn't showed up and killed him… he would've killed us both." Because he couldn't lose her— because he wasn't strong enough to protect the both of them.

"And I couldn't even stay with you until you got better…" She was going to live, yes, but she wasn't better… "The Company isn't Sylar— so you're right, this is different. I just can't… I don't want to lose you again." Even if she lived— in a way he still lost her. Which might explain, in a lot of ways, why he was so desperate to be with her when he got back.

The horrifying story unfolds. It was hard to hear that an infamous serial killer almost killed you by electrocuting you with an acquaintance's powers. Elena concludes the same thing Peter does, that somewhere down the line, Elle had been killed. The knowledge was just as scary as hearing that Sylar zapped her. When Peter squeezes close, there's little she could do but rub the back of his neck to try and soothe away the tension there.

Of course she wouldn't leave him. She wasn't the type to just run off when Peter was about to get himself killed - no matter what happened between them. It just wasn't her way. Her jaw sets stubbornly hearing it. Still, she gleans some satisfaction that Lachlan managed to end what so many people have tried to in the beginning. Out of anyone else in that dark future, Lachlan deserved the satisfaction.

But that did explain his desperation, and why he was clinging to her now the way he was. She pulls away a bit to look him right in the eye. "You're not going to, okay?" she says softly, trying to reassuring. "I'm not going anywhere. Not without a fight. That's the point of all this, right? To stop it all from happening."

Though she tries to look him in the eye, his eyes remain closed. Peter can't really look at her right now. Stubbornly, he leans back against her, ending up shifting his hold some so he can draw her up onto his lap a little— and kiss her. The distraction is more for him than her now. Something to keep the tears from falling— the knowledge that he left her behind in the future from hurting quite as much. Didn't leave her— he came back to her. That's what he'd told her. But that doesn't completely stop it.

When he stops for breath, he presses his forehead against hers, eyes still closed, and streaks visible on his cheek if she looks, but— even if his breath shakes slightly, there's no more to come for the moment.

"I know… I know we're going to stop that from happening… But what if something different happens because I… because I did all of this? What if I don't make things better— what if in trying to stop that future from happening something worse happens to you or…"

The voice trails off. "Sorry…" She probably wanted to meet up here for something sweet and romantic and here he was— bringing in a topic that made him so tense and upset that a few tears have fallen already. And if he keeps going on to it, he'll probably start blaming himself for all possible bad futures that ever happen… "We'll make a better one. Neither of us are going anywhere." If they can help it.

There is a blink when Elena is pulled up on his lap, but it does making blanket sharing a little easier. She would've said something further, but she's effectively silenced. Her hand comes up to cup his cheek, her thumb working the moisture away - she could tease him for crying over something that -hasn't happened here- but she's not insensitive, and to him it did happen. It was hard to say otherwise when you know someone saw it right before his eyes. She kisses him back, it's not a quick one, and she tastes the desperation fueling the sentiment. But she pulls away afterwards - not far, but enough so she could talk, and look at him a little bit. Her eyes close, though, when he leans forward to press his forehead on hers again.

"Then I'll deal with it. I'm not made of glass, Peter. And I can withstand pain better than most, hell if I wanted to, I can kill my capacity for it entirely. But I'm not going anywhere. You have to trust me on that, okay?" she murmurs back, her thumb still stroking his cheek a little bit.

Well….she wanted to meet up here so she could see him. Not for the purposes of being sweet and romantic - just to spend some time with him before she went to bed. He tended to be romantic anyway whenever they saw each other, so that went without saying. Though it's a good thing he stops. Otherwise she might have to punch him. So at the optimistic segue, she pulls back and nods. "We will. That's the point, right? I….can't just believe that no matter what you do, or I do, or everyone does, things'll automatically go to hell."

It did happen to him, which is exactly what he'd tell her if she made a comment like that. The time that he left may only live on in his memory, but it still lives on in his memory. Peter isn't one to discard what he saw there, or the people he met. They're as real to him as people he met last year and hasn't seen since— they're as real to him as Simone and Charles… and those he's lost over the last year. "I know we can change things— but you have to understand why I'm worried…" If they stop Evelyn from going off, but something else happens instead. There's so much that could happen… and…

"But I won't lose you." If they can help it. Will that be enough to make the future a little brighter? He hopes so…

When he finally opens his eyes to look at her, they're still serious and sad, but that dissolves into a quiet wondrous look— a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. "You're beautiful by candlelight," he suddenly says out of nowhere. It's weird the stuff that pops into his head when he finally opens his eyes to look at her again. "Then again… you're pretty in just about any light…" Or very little light for that matter. She's just pretty, okay? And he doesn't say it often enough.

Wrapping his arms around her, he pulls the blanket tighter around her, and leans in to kiss her cheek— then her neck… There's still that desperation there, too— a need for closeness and affection.

"I understand, believe me. It's not like your situation can be easily understood by people who aren't, you know, but I do," Elena says softly, thumbing his cheek in that same, absent manner. "Besides, you're always going to be a worrier. You were like that when I first met you." A rueful smile tugs up the edges of her mouth. "That's not going away any time soon, either. I just don't want to start thinking that this was all over before it began, you know? Not when some things are worth maintaining." She shakes her head softly. "Especially the last few weeks. I mean….you smile more, and you joke around more. I'd like to think that things're getting better already, right?"

She grins and nods at that. "Yeah, you won't. I promise."

The last, as random as it is, blindsides her. Elena can't help but feel her cheeks redden a bit, especially with the way he says it, and the way he was looking at her. She reaches out to touch his cheek again. "Well, if I wasn't at least cute I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be in this position," she teases. Though when he leans in to press his mouth against her cheek. "And you're also incredibly biased…" she says, slowly getting a little distracted when his mouth presses against her neck. "And…then…"

She gives up, turning to him and tilting his head up so she could kiss him on the mouth. "I love you," she murmurs against him, her voice absent - so much so she might not be aware that she's saying it at all.

In some ways— everything is over before it begins. Everything will have an ending someday— it's what happens between that's most important. Peter can't quite say that right now, though, because like her— right now— he doesn't even want to think about the end, even if, logically, he knows there will be one. One of them will lose the other eventually, or they'll lose each other at the same time, but eventually… it will end. Everything does.

He's kissing her, slowly, tenderly— when she says what she does. Absent as it is, she may not be aware, but he certainly is. As soon as it hits his ears, she'll both hear, and feel a shuddered gasp. "Elena…" he murmurs softly in response, before he pulls her up against him even more, and deepens the kiss. There's a fire there that hadn't been there— not just neediness, but something else all together. She's felt it from him before… luckily it doesn't come with a touch of her own ability. …Yet.

"I love you, too," he murmurs softly. After all they'd been through, both in the present and the future… she'd never said it directly. While he didn't leave not knowing how she felt— it's different to actually hear it. Even if he's not sure she meant to say it— she did.

The hands under the blanket start to shift. For the moment— he's forgotten that they're outside on a New York rooftop.

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