2007-06-21: Future Not So Bright

Starring:

Heidi_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Cameo:

Elena_icon.gif

Summary: Peter gets home from work and talks to Heidi about the future and the problems facing her now, after the Advent files were found.

Date It Happened: June 21, 2007

Future Not So Bright


Petrelli Mansion

Where's Heidi? MISSING, IT SEEMS. Except she's not. She's just on the couch, buried under two rottweiler puppies, an Eskimo puppy, and a cat. The TV is on, still playing a movie for the kids, even though Simon and Monty have wandered upstairs by this point, leaving the remote out of their poor mother's reach. She should be asleep, since she hasn't slept much since the revelation that there could be a killer after her, and so she looks /dead tired./ That means she's putting up with the animals piled on top of her in favour of getting the remote to turn off the Transformers. Besides, at least watching this, she can sort of try to understand why her kids love Optimus Prime so damn much.

He's actually pretty cool.

Caesar creeps his way upward toward Heidi's face, so he can stick his nose in her ear and sniff. Who knows why they do that, but Heidi snickers anyway, muttering something and trying to push the pup away. This wakes up Spica, the pure Russian Blue, who's decided she's much more of a dog than a cat now. After all, she hangs out with the boys, and she has a new BFF named Snowy, who's perfectly sized. When Spica stretches, Snowy wakes up, whines, and also creeps toward Heidi's face, where blue eyes meet blue. "Peter'll be back soon. Promise," she says, finally sitting up so she can reach the remote on the table. Hah! Now she could turn the TV off, but then it'd be too quiet in here…

And every noise lately is making her jumpy.

The security system is even set. Thankfully, it's just inside the door, and Peter should have the code. At the very least, it'll give Heidi a little warning before some psycho comes barging in, trying to kill her and her sons.

—-

The sound of the alarm requiring a code might be heard even if the door unlocking isn't. Punching the code in quickly, so as not to cause alarm — either of the family or of the police, Peter steps fully inside, before making sure the door is securely locked. Once all is taken care of, he pulls the carrier bag over his head and shoulder, and lets it drop on a nearby chair, and he starts towards the sound of the television in the downstairs living area. And— sees a pile of animals and his sister-in-law. Immediately upon stepping into the door frame, Snowy sees him, hops down and runs over to greet with a healthy bark.

The white girl doesn't mind her new cousins at all, or her close grooming that happened the same day she got brought here instead of his apartment. Only her tail retains all of it's fur, making her look like a little white fox. She's also happy, very happy to see Peter.

"Hey. …Transformers?" He says with a laugh, looking towards the television. "I'm guessing the boys got bored with viewing number seven hundred…" As they often do! Bending down, he picks up Snowy and holds her close, while she wags her tail and makes attempts to give him welcome-home dog kisses on his cheek and neck.

"How you doing?"

—-

That the door opens does put Heidi's mind at ease, because she wouldn't expect a killer to just mart through the door. Plus, she can hear the code being punched in, and so she relaxes considerably. It's gotta be Peter. This is about the time he'd be getting home, anyway.

Heidi pushes the puppies and cat off of her as Peter arrives, brushing away animal hair at the same time. She doesn't much mind it, really, because she's the one who started the whole animal thing by bringing home a kitten. Still, it does get all over the place, doesn't it? "Yeah, they insisted. I think they found something else to do five minutes in." Hopefully that doesn't involve, say, jumping off the roof. They've talked about it, but Heidi has refused to get the ladder out of the garage for them.

"Mm. I'm tired," she says honestly, smiling despite that. "Feeling better, though." It doesn't make sense for her to be this worked up, because if this guy has been keeping tabs on her since before Simon was born, he could have literally gotten to her any time, and he /hasn't./ Still, just knowing is enough to put her on edge. "How was work? Is Cass back yet?"

—-

"I didn't see either of them bailing off the roof, so I'm guessing they're not trying to fly," Peter says in an amused tone, glancing towards the upstairs, with his puppy in hand. The puppy thing with him could actually be blamed on Elena, not Heidi. He wouldn't blame either of them, though. She's a sweet dog. Settling down on the couch next to his sister in law, he lets the puppy go to wander around, but she chooses to sit on his lap and put her paws against his chest and look up at him. And wag her tail.

"Good. Hope the boys haven't been wearing you out too much." He hasn't been around to help (and protect) as much as he'd like to be, but he has to work if he's going to have money— his rent isn't paying itself. Unfortunately.

"It was okay. Had a couple weird customers, though." Running a special interests store always comes with weird customers. "Had one guy come in, wander around for about thirty minutes— and then he finally came over and asked if there were any books with nude artwork." He'd already known what the man was hunting for, mostly because he read his mind — to make sure he wasn't there to cause trouble. But it still struck him as amusing. If there'd been a girl at the counter, the man would have turned around and left without his book of half-naked fairy women.

"And yeah— she's working again."

—-

"One day, they're gonna try it," Heidi says with a smirk, looking behind her to make sure the boys aren't in hearing range. "Sometimes I think they /know/ about Nathan." Because the both want to be able to fly, because they think it's the coolest thing ever, and Heidi would be the first to admit that it really kind of is.

When Peter sits down, Heidi slides down the back of the couch until she can rest her head againt the back of it.

"Nah, I've been wearing myself out. I just need to stop worrying about it; I know it's not just going to go away if I do, but the fact is, sitting here thinking about it isn't doing anything for me." Heidi always thought of herself as a sensible person. She's quick to smile, quick to forgive, but she's wondering how she can keep this up when everything seems to be hitting her at once. Perhaps a small vacation in August will help, when they do something for her birthday. Birthdays are nice and normal.

And… she can't help laughing when Peter tells her about Nude-Artwork-Man. "Well, considering where you work, that doesn't surprise me." It's a neat store! It's just that it attracts some… people. "Glad Cass is back. Thinking about her, I just wonder if… It's just not fair, you know?" Tilting her head to the side, she looks at Peter. "Why bad things happen to good people."

—-

"I hope not," Peter says, shaking his head a little from where he sits, the puppy trying her best to climb up his chest to his face, and ending up standing on her back legs so she can nose at his chin. "Think it's more… kids love the idea of being able to fly. Bet if you asked an entire room full of kids what they'd like to do if they could have any… power… they'd probably pick flight." It makes sense, right? It seems to to him.

"You could have taken a vacation," he reminds giving her a look— but he still won't press the vacation, thing. He'd never intended the suggestion to be like the last time she was sent away. At least she'd know /why/ she had to leave, this time. But— "But it'll be okay, Heidi. I mean— I'm here. And there's a lot of people looking into this. We'll catch the guy before he does anything." And while he might not be able to kill him… he doesn't think Mr. Gomez shares that particular weakness. After what the man did to his wife, he can't really step in to stop him, either.

"Cass'll be fine, too." At least for now. The city had been nearly in ruins in that painting. He's pretty sure they'll notice that happening and have plenty of warning to figure out what happened to Cass to prevent it.

—-

"That's a good point." Beat. "I probably would, too." Seems the only person who wouldn't is the person who can fly! Silly Nathan. Heidi can see where he's coming from, though… Out of everything he could have been given, the ability to fly probably helps him the least. It was really wonderful the night he took her to the sky, though… Something she'll never forget, despite the fact that they've hit a severely rough patch in their relationship at the moment.

Looking away, she nods a bit. But… "I can't do it. You know me by now. I can't just run away from something like this. I mean, for all I know, that's what he could be waiting for. I get away from you and Nathan, Elena, Mister Gomez — the people who can /help me,/ and that's…" … "That's something I shouldn't even be thinking about. But trust me, I've been going through a whole bunch of scenarios in my head." It'd be easy to hide. So /very/ easy.

The smile she offers at Peter's promise is half-sincere at best. "I just wish I knew that everything would be all right. I don't want… I just think it wouldn't be fair for the kids to have to talk about their mother in the past tense. Does that seem selfish? It's for me, too. I don't want to die."

—-

Except his ability to fly not only saved New York, but also his brother— because causing such devestation would have destroyed everything that made him who he is. Nearly did even when the only one he hurt had been his brother. That his brother's wounds were removed… that might be the only reason he can still smile as he does occassionally. Peter removes his hand from his puppy and reaches over to touch his sister-in-law's arm.

"You're probably right, actually… sending you away wouldn't stop him from going after you. He found all the others— here— at least we can protect you. And you know where you are. Not sure how many people he can control at once, but surely he can't do many— you'd have a better chance getting to someone who can help you here." When she knows the lay of the city, knows what stores she shops in and can run into and be recognized. With her mind hopefully secure from suggestions, it should be a lot safer. But it doesn't necessarily ease her worries.

"You shouldn't want to," he reassures, moving his hand down towards her wrist. Snowy's missing the affection, so starts to settle down a little. Another nap wouldn't hurt! Curling up, she starts to paw at one of her ears. "Not right now— when you're ninety or something you might have to accept it, but you're not even halfway there yet." Part of being a hospice nurse is accepting the inevitable. But that doesn't mean he has to accept it until the person happens to be really old. Unless they're sick young. Dying of illness isn't half as tragic as murder.

But how can he prove it to her? There's a hint of worry twisting his face, before he finally asks, "The boys still have colored pencils down here, right?" he glances towards one of the desks, where the boys things sometimes get stashed.

—-

"I know I'm right," Heidi says, smiling again. She's joking - mostly - but she's glad to have Peter admitting it. She isn't going to vanish, because that would do more harm than good, especially if she's missing her family and friends. If she's in the next town over, the next /state/ over, she has no way to be in contact wit them all the time.

Heidi turns her hand over so she can take Peter's wrist, as well. The contact is comforting. "It's not about accepting it. It's just that the odds— " …might not be so against something happening, not when it's possibly pre-meditated. It bothers her that someone could possibly have her on a hit-list, just because she needed a little help to have children. The others in the file… It was all the same. Maybe some right-wing religious fruitcake who disapproves of anything except the 'natural' way. Even so, it was just a little push in the right direction.

"Ah, yeah, they're on the floor in front of the TV. She gestures in that direction, where a box of twenty four pencils is sitting among some crayons and a Scooby Doo colouring book. "Taking up art?"

—-

Or— there could be more reasons why those women are targetted. Peter can't be sure. In many ways it bothers him even more to think of the boys, and the Gomez kids as targets than it even does his sister-in-law. Not that she means less to him. Children… they should come first. He doubts she'd give him a bad look for thinking of her children first.

With the colored pencils pointed out, he shifts the sleeping puppy aside, who gives him a foul look and then curls up against the pillow instead. Walking towards the front door, he picks up his carrier bag, and then walks over to the pencils. "Not— well, I don't really draw, or paint. But— you saw my painting." He gives a small shrug, as if vaguely worried. "I only did this one other time, successfully, but— it doesn't have to be with paints." Which is good, because he doesn't HAVE paints on him, and he doubts the boys have paints, and she hasn't taken up painting last he saw.

Just please don't let him draw her laying in blood… he couldn't handle that right now.

Sitting down on the couch again, he sets the bag down at his feet and pulls out a small blank sketchbook. From flipping through the pages, he's mad a lot of bad attempts to draw in the past. Mostly in regular pencil, instead of colored. With the pencil box open, and the animals sleeping or minding their own business, he picks out a black pencil to start with, and begins sketching. Right away, it's like his hand moves without him knowing what he's doing.

Figures start to form. Standing figures both, which is a lot better of a sign. After a while, he'll reach for colors, also without any real control.

Unlike painting, he's not unaware of what he's doing, but his hand is definitely moving as if someone else happened to be behind it.

—-

Oh, that's right. That awful painting of Cass… It's hard to believe that Peter actually painted it, considering the fact that Heidi's never known him to be much of a painter. No one in the family is, really. Heck, Simon and Monty still barely have a grasp on colouring in the lines. Or, say, making things the colours they're supposed to be. Scooby Doo, for example, is green. Velma has a blue face. Fred is bright pink.

The look she gives Peter when she realises what he's going to do is… well, she doesn't tell him not to, because she's damn curious about what her future might hold. But she also doesn't want herself or her boys /dead/ or in danger. This will either put her mind at ease, or cause panic. Either way, she watches as the drawing appears on the paper, looking up at Peter now and then to make sure he's okay.

Art takes awhile, but Heidi sits on the couch the entire time. At one point, Spica comes searching for attention, then leaves again to go play with the puppies. The noise from upstairs is surprisingly subdued; perhaps the boys went to bed without prompting, but more likely, they're plotting their next crime-fighting mission. It's not until Peter finishes that one hand reaches for the paper, pulling it down so she can see it better.

It's an abandoned, dilapidated building. There are a couple windows there are obviously broken, while two people stand quietly in the foreground. Maybe they're talking; the woman has her arm around the man's shoulders. It takes Heidi a moment to figure out that she's looking at a drawing of herself and Peter. He's scowling, slicked-back hair in a very short ponytail. Dark clothing is covered with dirt, though it's hard to tell considering the medium. It takes another second after that for Heidi to realise that the black haired woman is herself, because she's so /scarred./ She, too, is scowling, one blue eye looking in Peter's direction while the other stares blankly ahead. It's blind. Old lacerations down one side of her face and one arm are healed, but extremely apparant.

Mirroring her image in the picture, Heidi frowns, looks up at Peter, and shakes her head. She doesn't want to doubt his ability, but… this doesn't look good.

—-

Future doesn't look so bright this time, does it? Using mostly the darker colors, what Peter ends up finishing when he finally puts the last pencil down, makes him frown. Not quite as bad as the scowling man in the picture, but definitely on the way there. Has to be /at least/ a year from now, if that's his hair. It will take that long to get— that long. But still… The sight of his sister-in-law all scarred bothers him a lot. But— she's alive.

"Well— according to this you won't be dying next week." That's some relief, right? He'd hope so… but at the same time… "The building— it might be the same future that Cass… that her painting was in." It's one they're already trying to stop, so maybe as long as she sticks close to them and avoids jagged objects to the face, she'll be fine?

"If it is— then this might be after the tornado." He'd explained all the paintings when he showed her Cass', after all. "Isaac— that's the painter— a lot of people say only one of his paintings didn't come true, but that's not completely accurate. He painted a lot of the bomb— dozens of them— on the floor, on canvas, in his comic book. Me exploding, even. And they changed." Well, him exploding didn't, but him exploding while standing certainly did.

And they saved Mara. But he can't add that one on.

"We can still avoid all of this. But at least you know you'll live to see it when we do."

—-

Yeah, this is just scary. Though Peter looking on the bright side does help a little. She's alive, whenever this is, but it looks like it's at the cost of happiness. So Heidi's torn between relief and worry. Besides, if the future can be changed, there's nothing saying it can be changed for the /worst./ Heidi could still end up—

"Uh," she says, still at a loss for words as she reaches out to take the drawing, if Peter lets her. She's sorely tempted to tear it up, hide it, /something,/ but she fully realises that doing anything detrimental to the artwork isn't going to change what happens. Maybe… They're just having a very serious conversation, and everything's really /just fine./ Doubtful, considering the setting, but Heidi can look on the brightside, too. Maybe someone's renovating. Maybe it's halloween.

"Well, at least I can stop worrying so much," she says, forcing a smile that really doesn't look all that happy. As long as she neer walks into a dilapidated building like this one, she should be fine, considering she'll need to do that first before she kicks the bucket. The words 'thank you' are on her lips, but she can't say it. Thanks for drawing this horrible future? Doesn't seem right.

It might not happen, though. She'll hold onto /that/ thought, in hopes that the future will be a whole lot nicer than what Peter's just drawn. "So, you haven't done a lot of those. I can tell. I mean, Simon and Monty could have done better." Now? Now she's just teasing him.

—-

"Don't stop worrying entirely, though— still need to be careful, and— stop things from getting that bad." Peter's not sure, but things do not look happy in that picture. Definitely not time to let down their guard. Honestly, he's just glad it didn't show anything worse. So far Elena's painting is the only one he doesn't think is entirely terrible… Sure, her stripping might not be top of her list of things to do before she's thirty, but at least she'd been smiling, and looking happy— If someone's happy, what does it matter what they're doing for a living? Course it could have all been an act…

He's reluctant to give over the piece of paper, wanting to keep it in his blank book for the moment. It's one of the few he's successfully drawn. So hopefully she won't be insulted when he tries his best to pull it back and close the book shut— especially when she insults his drawing. "I'm just glad it wasn't stick figures." Because it very well could have been! And still told the future!

But at this point, as he starts looking indignant, his phone rings. Sounds very much like his ringtone is a song of some kind, but from the few notes that play, it's not easily recognized. Shifting to pull out his phone, and flip it open, it's apparently a notification of a text message, rather than an actual call.

There's a pause, before he uses both thumbs to type something and send it back, keeping it open as if he's waiting for a response.

—-

"I know, Pete." Things have been bad for Heidi before. That accident that left her crippled - she never saw that coming. Who would, though? She could feel as safe as anyone, and something bad could still happen. No one anticipate they'll be run off the road, no one thinks that their husband could fly out of a moving vehicle. Still, Heidi, like most women, has a little bit of vanity to her, and she certainly doesn't want to see herself looking like /that,/ let alone knowing what must have happened to cause it. She does let Peter take back the book, though she might try to steal it from him in the near future. After all, she's /in the picture!/ she can lay an honest claim to it! It's nothing she's going to take to Michaels to get framed or anything, but maybe there are some clues in the drawing as to what went wrong…

"I was kidding, you nerd," she says, in typical big-sister voice, which she reserves for Peter. Also reserved for Peter is her being nosy, which she is, and leans over to see what's going on in his phone. She can read quickly… Hopefully quickly enough to see what it is before he snaps it shut.

—-

If Peter were meaner, he might snap it shut fast, but he does kind of glance over at her as she leans, giving her a 'nosey' look. But it doesn't seem to bother him enough to turn the camera away. He's waiting for a response, after all.

Since he's added her to his phone book, there's no doubt who he's getting text messages from. It reads like this:

ELENA: I have the Sinai files.

Are you okay?

ELENA: Yes, we were careful. <3

Good.

Since his sister in law is leaning like this, he glances over to explain, "It's about the outbreak thing— not your problem. Elena's got her hand in everything. But— they're all important, so…

As he waits for anything else she might send his way, meeting times or places, for example, he looks over at his sister in law and asks, "Why— why did you go to a clinic? Were the two of you having… problems? Is that why you waited so long to have kids?" Five years might not be a long time to /some/ people, but since she didn't work and she wasn't in school? It had seemed odd at the time— but he'd been a tween and teen in those years, so he hadn't really wanted to think about his brother having 'the sex' anyway…

—-

Because she is nosey. And she's also tempted to steal his phone, though her supposed maturity gives her /just enough resistance/ to avoid doing so. After she reads the messages, which don't make much sense in their context, she leans back again to give Peter a little privacy. It's Elena, after all. Also, Heidi resists telling Peter that Elena /loves him,/ because that's none of her business, but oh /GOD/ is she tempted. Silly kids.

"Not my problem? That's mean." Still, teasing. But that makes her a little worried, because that whole outbreak thing put Nathan in the hospital for no reason, and the only contact she had with him during that time was a phonecall. And she's about to demand clarification when Peter interrupts that train of thought entirely.

Cue a blank stare as she tries to figure out what to say. She'll never be able to stop looking at him - at least in some capacity - as that awkward young teenager she knew when she and Nathan got married. Telling him the truth seems… Well, embarrassing, in a way. But he's an adult now…

"/I/ was." She looks away, jaw setting during the long pause that follows. "We knew we wanted children when we got married. I just kept telling Nathan I wasn't ready, but… I'd been trying from the start. It just wasn't… You know, it's hard to talk to you about this." Insert awkward smile here.

"I didn't think we'd be able to have children unless I did something about it. So I did. I just never told him. It was… I don't know, maybe a year later, before Simon was born."

There are reasons she didn't tell him. First, because she didn't want Nathan to think less of himself, and second… Maybe Heidi herself has a few insecurities that have been nagging her all along. What would Nathan think of her if she could never have children? Luckily, she didn't have to worry about that after Simon came along.

—-

"It's okay— I just…" Peter seems embarassed that he's even asked, honestly. It's not his place to ask, and it's not her place to tell him either. It's something that she still needs to talk to his brother about, but with the Senatorial Campaign and all… his brother doesn't exactly have a lot of free time. Life for the boys and Heidi will change dramatically if he becomes a Senator—

But that would be better than all of them dying, or something worse.

A ding makes him look back at his phone, reading another new message.

ELENA: NYC Pub. Lib. 3:00 pm tom. Can't keep it with me

Using his thumbs, he makes a quick reply: Will be there. Keep safe.

And then he closes his phone.

"I'd never say you shouldn't have done it, Heidi. I adore the boys— and couldn't imagine what it's be like without them." And if she hadn't gotten pregnant without that? Then he's glad she did it. End of story. Even if now it might have put her and the boys in danger. They wouldn't exist without it, and she wouldn't have had 9 years of happiness with the children.

—-

She'd intended to keep the secret buried forever, if she could. It wasn't something she had to tell anyone, because she never imagined for a second that it would be the reason she's bing targeted by a killer. Still, even though Peter's drawing isn't very pleasant, at least it's reassuring in that she's still alive in it. Heidi isn't going to let down her guard, but she's not going to spend all her time worrying about her children and herself now, either.

She'd die for them. It's just good that it won't come to that. She hopes.

There's a lot ahead of them, too. "I signed up for self defense classes a couple weeks ago. They start the beginning of July, so there's that, at least. I've been running. Trying to, you know… do something." Since she was kidnapped, it's been kind of a worry, but she's not the type to just cry 'poor me!' and hide. No, she'll face this head-on if she has to. She just doesn't have to like it.

With the Transformers video long since ended, Heidi finally turns it, and the DVD player, off. "Listen, Pete. I know you want to fix things. Make it so that this— " She pats the book, "Doesn't happen. But you have to take care of yourself, too. You're one of my best friends. And… I don't know what Nathan would do if he lost you." It seems like a complete 180 in conversation topics. Maybe Heidi did that on purpose, but she just has a feeling that something about those text messages could be bad news.

"I should head upstairs," she continues, standing. "I think I can finally get a bit of sleep."

—-

"Self-defense classes are a good idea," Peter has to admit. Honestly, he could use some of that too! He hasn't done much in the way of learn how to fight. Of all the many abilities he can use, not using them usually would end him up very dead in most situations he gets himself into. "Just remember part of self-defense /is/ running away." Fleeing is a lot of it, actually. Make it so you can flee, but then do the fleeing. Which is one part of self defense he is actually okay at. It's when he tries to stay in fight he gets himself killed— and unfortunately if anyone else is in danger, he's the stay and fight type.

Which is why her comment actually has some need to be said. "…I know. Not sure what I'd do without him, either." The brothers need each other… in more ways than one. And it's not a one sided need, either. It's something they share… just for different reasons.

"I'll go up too, make sure the boys keep quiet and go to bed." With that, he'll grab the remote and start turning things off, and putting things away— and soon he'll make his way upstairs…

Likely he'll end up playing with the boys rather than sleeping, but that's the way of things.

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