2007-03-22: General Freaking Hospital

Starring:

Ed_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif Matt_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Visitors come and go from Mara's room over the course of the day. (OOC Note: A lot of crap happens. A lot. Really. This scene took ten hours.)

Date It Happened: March 22, 2007

General Freaking Hospital


Mount Sinai Hospital

Shortly after Nathan departed her room to make his phone calls to inform his family of his whereabouts, Mara was prepped and taken off to the OR for surgery to repair her shattered kneecap. The damage wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it's still fairly extensive. She won't be walking for quite some time. The afternoon following, she's recovering in her room, proof of the extent of her injuries and the measures to repair them hidden beneath blankets. This suits Mara just fine, really. Morphine is a wonderful thing. Pain still exists, but it is something distant and oddly separate from her. It's as though it simply does not matter. She's trying to focus on a daytime soap opera on her tiny television. With the volume as low as she has it, it's hard to tell if she even realises that the entire thing's in Spanish.

It's early afternoon when the soap opera on the tiny television starts to reveal love triangles and deceptive marriages, and also when Peter shows up at the door, a mild knock before he peeks inside, "Detective Damaris?" he asks, making sure this is the right place. He'd been stopping by the hospital for a few reasons. Two gunshot victims, to be exact. One a friend he met once, the other a young woman his brother informed him about. She's far enough into recovery that she's allowed visitors who don't qualify as family, so he stopped by to check on her first, for his brother. "My brother Nathan told me you got shot."

"Peter Petrelli?" Mara turns off the television entirely, turning to peer blearily at the young man visiting her. "So you're the one who all the fuss was about. You appear to be in one piece, eh?" She manages a small grin. "Please, call me Mara…"

Yup, that would be who this is. Sure, Peter got away with not being recognized at the store this morning, but that's not the case today. Stepping into the room, the fact he's carrying a small plastic container with vegetable slices and ranch dressing shows he didn't come empty handed. "Mara." That works. "But all this fuss? I'm guessing you met my brother through a mutual friend. Short Japanese guy with big cheeks?" Setting the vegetable tray down, he adds, "The nurses said it would be okay for you to snack on something. It's still storebought, but better than jello."

Peter isn't the only visitor that Damaris is getting today. As Matthew Parkman comes down the hallway toward the injured detective's room, he's talking into his cell phone. Screw hospital rules about turning them off. But the more Evil Looks, and Evil Thoughts, he gets from the nursing staff, the quicker he is about wrapping up his phone call and turning off the device before he reaches the door. It frames him, dressed in trousers and a button-up in addition to his medium-weight jacket. He's here to see Damaris, but when Matt sees Peter, well… "What's it with you knowing people I know, Damaris?" he asks, his eyes focused on the senator's brother. "I thought New York was supposed to be a big place." What the eff, small world after all? The shock causes the metaphorical volume knob to be turned up a bit.

"Believe it or not, the Jell-O here isn't half bad," Mara admits. "But that looks /really/ good right about now." Peter gets an appreciative nod. As the woman sits up, she sees her second visitor. "I'm just good like that, I guess, Parkman." Damaris can't help but smile when she sees her fellow detective. "Good God, are you ever a sight for sore eyes." She means it, too. What did they tell you? She asks the question without verbalizing.

Glancing back, Peter spots the visitor and straightens in surprise, almost as if he's starting to lean backwards. All of his meetings with this particular man had been rather brief, but he walked away with something from it. "Parkman," he repeats the name, thanks to memory, and the reminder from the young Detective on the bed. "I hadn't expected to see you again." Especially not considering the last time he'd seen the man.

"Ditto," Matt answers Peter, his eyes squinting. This is certainly a trip. But Damaris had made a comment, and then asked a question without asking it. He glances down at himself before he slips all the way into the room. "What? I didn't think I was holding a mirror. You're the one who got shot." (And you're the one who blew up,) he projects to Peter in his own voice. Look! New trick, and the ability to have two conversations at once.

"Well, I dare say you do look a damned sight better than I do." Mara has to admit that. "Apparently my knee is in pieces." This is only a topic to be discussed of with any hint of amusement due to the quantities of morphine in her system. "Or was? I'm not sure. I /think/ they glued it together or something terribly technical like that. There may be pins involved. I'm really far too afraid to look."

"This time," Peter responds out loud to what Matt said, hinting towards the last time he'd seen him. The whispered mental voice in the back of his head did take him by surprise. (That's a neat trick…) he ends up thinking, before actively projecting back. (I survived. Glad to see you did too.) Stepping back out of the way, he ends up walking over to a visitor's table, where something got knocked towards the floor. "Better than a stomach wound, at least. Or a chest wound. Or both," he pointedly looks toward Parkman, before he kneels down to see what's laying on the floor. Oh, one of the nurses must have dropped her badge…

Parkman gives Peter a small smirk back before he nods. (Three bullets to the chest isn't as bad as being a bomb,) he answers before he does the same for Damaris, but verbally. "What the hell is wrong with you ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time, huh?" he asks, and as chiding as Parkman's words are, they're delivered more gently than any other reprimand he's ever given the other detective in their time as equals.

It is a badge on the floor, shiny and silver, but it isn't a nurse's. The name on the magnetic name plate reads 'Detective K.L. Damaris.' As soon as Peter's fingers brush over the surface, it hits him. Like a ton of bricks.

The air is thick with emotion. Mara's arm has been captured in a painful vice grip by Sylar. She's on the outside of his cell, and he has his grip on her from within. Peter can practically taste the fear, the anger… the hunger. He's going to kill her, and he isn't going to feel an ounce of remorse. She's going to die, but he's not going to get what he wants from her. Superiority.

"I don't care about Nakamura." Sylar's arm extends through the bars of his cell and for a moment, it looks as though he might be about to let her go. "I only want one thing."

"Scream for me."

Violently, Mara is jerked forward, her face smashing into the bars of the cell with enough force to make them rattle.

Pain explodes. It isn't Peter's, but he can feel it all the same. He's outside of it all, but he can feel it. But mingled with it all is elation. Satisfaction. It's difficult to separate whose emotions are whose.

Mara cries and she grunts. Her lower lip is split where her teeth press through. But she doesn't give Sylar what he wants. It's exhausting. And while the detective tries to look brave, Peter can feel that it's taking every ounce of willpower not to give in. Not to scream. "Never. Again." She manages to lift her head and spit a mouthful of blood into the serial killer's face.

"SCREAM!"

Sylar is only rewarded with the mixture of blood and saliva as it hit his face. After darting his tongue out to taste her on his lips, he pulls her in close. It would be terribly intimate under any other circumstance.

I have won. It resonates from both side of the conflict. Neither can win, but neither can lose. No matter the outcome, they will both be disappointed. Or dead.

Sylar's close enough that the detective can feel his breath on her broken and battered face. "Now why would you do a thing like that?"

Then nothing. Complete unconsciousness. Dreamless sleep. Except for those emotions. They linger, even in the black.

"Peter! Peter!" Mara tries to sit up straighter, craning her neck to see the fallen man easier. "Parkman! Get him on his side!" Despite never having seen it happen, she knows immediately what's happened. She can feel it in her gut. "Don't crowd him, though. He's going to be freaked when he wakes up."

Parkman may be used to odd behavior from Peter Petrelli, but when the man falls, his eyes widen. And then Damaris is…ordering him? "What the fuck did you do to him?" he asked in a harsh whisper as he scrambles over to position Peter as directed. He asks the question verbally, but at the same time, he starts to listen not only for any deceit Damaris may be hiding, but any clue from the unconscious Peter as to what happened to him.

Oh, he'll be freaked when he wakes up, that's for sure. But right now, Peter's just laying there, able to be moved however they see fit. For at least a minutes… maybe longer, maybe less. Right now he's out like a light, though.

"It wasn't me! …Kind of." Mara's at a loss for how to explain what just happened. "He's pulling a Damaris," she knows that's what the department's been calling it. Dammit! Peter, wake up. Please wake up. Don't be like me. Please don't be like me. "He's fine. I'm sure he's fine." He's got to be. Do you hear me, Peter Petrelli? Your brother is /never/ going to forgive me if you go into some sort of coma.

With an anger not unlike what he displayed the last time he was with Damaris in a hospital room, Matt stands up and leans over the bed. "Dammit, Damaris. /What/ did you /do?/" And then, thinking that it she might be avoiding the question out of fear, he repeats it. In her head and at a volume that's an attempt to drown out her panic. /Focus,/ detective!

Mara's eyes get wide and she shrinks back from Detective Parkman. Stay away from me! I didn't do anything! She doesn't even bother verbalizing her protests. She knows he can hear her. He should know by now that she knows. I swear, I didn't do anything!

(What do you /do/ then?) Matt rephrases, not wanting to give away the fact that Peter can do it now too. That's pretty obvious. But Matt doesn't wait for an answer - not to say that Mara can't provide one. "I need a nurse in here!" Matt booms out. STAT!

"Sylar!" Peter yells out as soon as he comes out of it, hearing the voice calling out, the same as in the vision. Scrambling onto his back, he slides across the floor as if trying to get away, eyes wide and surprised, darting around, as if trying to catch sight of something in the shadows. Inside his mind, all that seems to be going through him is that same name he yelled out, repeated. Along with wondering what just happened.

"Grab him!" Mara shouts. "He'll fuckin' hurt himself!" She would know. "There's nothing wrong with him that a nurse, or any doctor, is going to figure out." Unless that doctor is Suresh. Damaris' gaze fixes on Peter, wide and fearful. He's saying the S-word. What did he see? What did he see?!

Okay, maybe not a nurse. As soon as Matt hears that name, he's back in the room and looking wide-eyed at Peter. Damaris' voice snaps him out of his brief trance. He moves over to Peter with surprising speed in order to try and restrain the smaller man. (Peter,) he projects, (you're alright. Calm down. Sylar isn't here.) Unless he can be invisible or something…and even then, he'd have to mask his thoughts so Parkman couldn't hear him.

Breath unsteady, Peter still stares at the two wide eyed, confused, but the voice in his head, and the woman's face draw his attention back to the here and now. "It— I saw— what…" he says out loud, blinking and looking back and forth between them. (He's not here now… but he's free… He's out there somewhere…) he sends back towards the telepathic cop.

"Matt." It's rare that Mara uses Parkman's given name, but there it is. "If he saw… If he saw Gray…" She takes in a deep breath and finally, she just blurts it out, "Something bad is coming. I've felt it for days. Please, please, go check on Molly. Personally. I won't feel close to all right until I know you've seen her and know she's safe."

But Matt doesn't let go of Peter for a few seconds. "Molly's…" in school? Hell, what time is it? Matt can't place his surrogate daughter, and that's disturbing. But it's not nearly as disturbing as the fact that Damaris is the one prompting him to care about his family. He stands up, but he pauses and stares the other detective down before he leaves. (You stay the fuck away from Mohinder and Molly, Damaris. If you put them in danger because of your mistakes… you'll…) but as the negative thoughts pile up in Matt's mind, images take over for the lack of words. His concentration in projecting throws these images into Mara's head. In her mind, Matt draws his pistol and holds it to her head, suddenly much closer. But it's gone in a blink, as if it weren't ever there to begin with. Unaware that he's even done this, Matt gives up putting his threat into words, even mentally expressed ones, and storms out of the room in a controlled panic, pulling out his cell phone once more in an effort to locate his little girl.

Focusing his attention towards Mara, Peter murmurs softly in response to her words, "Something is coming." Something big. Something involving Sylar and the end of the world. Mentions of Molly, though, confuse him, as he still fights to catch his breath, and stop looking like he's a skittish animal backed into a corner. He doesn't notice the mental responses from Matt, though he may notice the woman's reaction to it…

Mara flinches and pulls away as the image enters her mind. "Don't!" she begs. But… It never happened? Oh God. I'm losing my mind. Am I losing my mind? He's… gone? Damaris rakes her fingers through her hair.

Still on the floor, still backed up against the wall, Peter starts to regain his breath and composure, running a shaky hand over his short cropped hair, almost an identical gesture to what she's doing, ironically enough. "You were with Sylar," he finally manages to say, "In my— in the— dream I had?" Was it a dream? He's not completely sure what happened yet. "You were— refusing to scream— you spit at him…" And the emotions were so intense even when he pulls his hand back and looks at it, it's still shaking.

"I don't call him that," Mara says gently, patting an empty space on the bed next to her. "Come here, Peter. Let me explain what just happened to you." She speaks to him like she would a confused child. Is it a little condescending? Maybe. But she would have liked to have had somebody there to calm her down and tell her she wasn't crazy after her first vision, no matter how patronising.

It takes a few moments for Peter to be able to stand, legs unsteady, hand against the wall. Once he's on his feet, though, he manages to wander closer to the bed, and settle down against it. "It was you— wasn't it? Your ability? I absorbed it." He may not know what she does, or how she does it, but he can draw that conclusion when she's looking at him with a patronizing glance.

"Yeah… It was me." Mara reaches up to brush a strand of hair away from Peter's face gently. "Don't tell Parkman. I've… Just don't tell him. Please." She looks almost sad. "I didn't even think about the fact that you absorb abilities until you hit the ground." She presses the back of her palm to Peter's cheek like a mother checking for a temperature, brows furrowed. "You're coping better than I did my first time," she commends. "I am a Psychometer. I touch objects tied to strong emotions, and I have a vision. I blackout. That's what happened to you." She studies the man's face intently. "Tell me exactly what you saw, please. If you can."

Less strands of hair to brush away thanks to the intervention of Elle's scissors than there would have been, but the tactile gestures aren't shied away from. "I won't tell, but— you know he can read minds, right?" Not telling a telepath isn't as easy as it sounds. "I've had… visions before. Not like that, but…" The few he'd had before— "You were with Sylar, he was— reaching through the bars of a cell. Wanted you to scream for him… Slammed you against the bars, but you— you didn't scream. You spit in his face." From the look in Peter's eyes, he's impressed by what he'd seen.

Mara visibly flinches when Peter says the name. 'The S-Word.' It bothers her. The whole retelling, brief and toned down as it is, bothers her. "That's what you saw," she nods, it's a sort of confirmation. "But… What did you /feel/?" That's the real intriguing bit in Mara's mind.

Hand raising up towards his face, as if he feels ill, Peter tries his best to recall all the memories, all the feelings that flooded him at that moment. "Fear… pain…" The first two words are whispered, and more words follow slowly after, one at a time, as he thinks of them, "Satisfaction… elation… pride… anger… hunger… and… victory. It was confusing. Couldn't— didn't know where they came from."

It's Mara's turn to look ill. "You felt it. You felt /him/. P- Peter-" She cuts off and stares down at her hands, which are now trembling in her lap. "You felt the excitement, didn't you? Did it… Did it feel good? Did it feel /right/? Even though what you saw was making you sick, did it feel like… it was how it was supposed to be?"

Him. Sylar. Even if she doesn't like that name for him, it's the only name Peter ever knew him by. Well, after 'That Guy'. That guy would almost be easier to deal with right now. Looking pale, he keeps his hand near his mouth and stays sitting up, "Yeah, I guess… But it also felt— like there was no victory. Victory without victory… Stalemate." That's the best word he can think of it for.

The woman cracks. She absolutely cracks. Mara starts laughing and crying simultaneously. She covers her face with her hands, trying to hide her breakdown. "That's it. That's exactly it! Oh, Peter. You /understand/ it!" Well, he doesn't understand it any better than she does, but they're both on the same playing field now.

Intermixing laughter and tears, Peter slides off the bed and stands, "Hey— yeah, I understand." Except he still sounds confused. And looks it, too. The paleness on his face, the way his hand still shakes when he reaches out for her, all of it gives away his own lack of steadiness. Putting his shaky hand on her shoulder. "It's— it's okay."

Mara tips her head to one side and presses her cheek against Peter's hand. "I've seen… terrible things. I've seen what Gabriel Gray can do." So that's what she calls him. "I've seen what he did to Chandra Suresh. To Isaac Mendez. I've seen it and it scared me." She swallows audibly and then takes in a deep, steadying breath. "I've seen it, and it /delighted/ me." That part clearly disgusts her. "I've seen all of it. I've seen it and I've- I think like him." Her eyes settle on Peter's. She's scared of what she's admitting. Scared of herself.

With her so terrified, Peter can't help but continue touching her face, turning his hand so that he's cupping the cheek even. That's her gift. To look into the past and feel the emotions connected to that moment, even those emotions coming from that man. Sylar. Gabriel Gray. There's definitely sympathy crossing his face, before he reaches out with his other hand and pushes the bangs off her forehead. "I don't think that you— think like him. So much as you understand /how/ he thinks, how he feels… You're still… you. You're not him." The hand that shook not too long ago has steadied, and the one pushing against her bangs dips lower, brushing at the tears on cheek with the back of his fingers.

"I've looked at people," Mara whispers hoarsely, craving the reassuring touch of Peter's hands, trembling under his fingers, "and I've wanted to cut their heads open and take their abilities. Take what's /mine/." The tears don't stop, sliding down her cheeks and over his fingers. "But it isn't mine. It isn't mine, and yet I feel this sense of entitlement. It makes me sick." She pauses. It's horrible, everything she's saying, but he has to know. He has to understand. "I look at you, Peter Petrelli, and I know… If I could just take your ability, your gift to take the gifts of others without resorting to murder? I could beat him. I could be un/fucking/stoppable." She shudders, the breath coming in a terrified sort of sigh past her lips. "But that isn't me, is it? It wasn't me before I knew who Gabriel Gray was. Is it me now? Have I changed? Am I changing? I challenge him. I /keep/ /coming/ /back/ to him, because I want the challenge he presents to me. Worse than I feel this urge to take your ability? I want his. Everything he has. I want it. I want it /all/."

It's inside her hospital room. She's on the bed, with Peter standing beside the bed, practically leaning over her, touching her face. The outburst surprises him, and might be loud enough to alert the nurses and have them tell the guest to leave for disrupting their patient. If she were his patient, he probably would. But right now… The surprise and shock settles into determination, and his hands shift to cup her face more firmly in his hands. "Detective. Mara. I could feel you. In the vision. Felt what you felt. Him too, but you— I felt you so much more strongly. I'm sure that was you. You are not him. What you've witnessed of him— if it was anything like what I just went through— it's powerful. For a few minutes— I was so lost in it, I couldn't shake it. It— I can still /feel/ it. But what I felt showed me determination. A woman who wouldn't give him the satisfaction of screaming. And a woman who wouldn't give him the satisfaction of becoming like him. You're a better person than that." He sounds so sure of this, and he's known her less than an hour.

The journey through the hospital to Mara's bed is now a mostly familiar one. Nathan walks it, moving past doctors and patients and visitors alike, almost phantom-like in that no one really notices him and he doesn't notice them back. It's been a long… has it been 24 hours yet? Probably. Maybe less, but the important thing is it /feels/ like 24 hours. However, his attention is caught at the faint sounds of voice coming from Mara's room as he approaches. He pauses before he can step into anyone's line of view, listening, although he misses most of the words. Just recognising the voice. He steps into the doorway and leans against the frame, watching his brother and Mara without announcing himself.

Mara looks so childlike and so fragile, with wide eyes staring up a the younger of the Petrelli brothers. "I- /Peter/." The breath catches in her throat and she doesn't know how to respond. She turns her head to drop a brief, featherlight kiss against his palm. "If anyone else had… had said that to me, I wouldn't have listened to a bloody word of it. But you've… You've felt him. He's overwhelming. He's /suffocating/."

"He is," Peter says softly, letting his hands fall away from her face, after he gives another mild touch under her eyes across her cheeks. "I'm sure if I'd seen all of his murders, I'd have a harder time reminding myself of who I am—" What he'd seen was a single incident, one without a full victory on either side, but one where he felt both of them, not just one. "Maybe you should look at happier pasts more often," he adds as he straightens up.

"Or brighter futures." Nathan steps inside, once this suggestion is made, looking from Peter to Mara, who gets a nod from Nathan. His clothes are changed, indicating he's been home at least once. To Peter, he says, "Didn't know you were swinging round," as he moves to the other side of Mara's bed.

Mara's eyes are so sad, and her smile just as much so as she watches Peter. "It doesn't work that way." It's spoken as a warning. When Nathan speaks up, it startles her from her dark thoughts and she howls as she disrupts her healing leg. Once she's recovered from the shock, she forces a smile. "Nathan. I was almost beginning to think you were going to abandon me to horrific soap operas."

"Maybe you just haven't looked for the right things, yet," Peter adds, giving a small hopeful smile towards the detective, before he turns to face his brother. All of a sudden the confidence seems to disappear, or at least some of it does. He tugs lightly on the sleeve of his shirt, fidgeting rather obviously. "Yeah, I— decided to drop by, bring her a vegetable tray," he gestures towards a plastic storebought veggie tray with ranch dressing dip, a nice snack for someone stuck eating hospital food.

Nathan's hand drifts to Mara's shoulder as she cries out in pain, a fleeting attempt to be calming that's quickly withdrawn. "The soaps aren't so bad after a while," he tells her with a half-smile. "Kind of lost track of them, though." At Peter's explanation, he and the veggie tray get a glance. It's one of very vague amusement. The kindness of strangers, and all that. "In case you couldn't tell, Peter's the thoughtful one. How you holding up?"

Oh yes. Very thoughtful. Peter earns himself a genuine smile from Mara. "I'm… Do you want honesty? Or do you want the answer that'll make you feel less bad for me?"

"And my brother is an asshole," Peter gives a glance across the bed, specifically her knee. He'd been careful when he sat on the bed with her, and when he'd touched her face. For that very reason. Course she did it to herself, but he can blame his brother. "I can leave you two alone, though…" he adds, moving as if to get ready to leave.

"Don't leave on account of me," Nathan says, taking a second to pointedly look at Peter, expression bemused, before he adds, with a dismissive shake of his head: "Stay, Peter." He moves to draw a chair closer towards the bed so he can sit down, looking back towards the injured woman between them. "Honesty's your best bet."

Mara watches the exchange between the brothers with interest. She files her observations away to think on later. For now, she has a question to answer. "I'm scared to death that I'll never walk again," she confesses. "It wasn't good, Nathan. I can't even bring myself to look at it."

There's a pause, where it looks very much like the younger brother might just walk out the door, after giving some kind of excuse about how he has places to be. It wouldn't be a lie, either. But… Peter looks towards Mara when she speaks of the worry about her leg. From the look of things, he can sympathize, even if he wouldn't have that worry himself. After a pause, he looks towards his brother and asks a question he's wanted to ask— since he saw the picture he still carries in his pocket. "Nathan. How did you get healed?"

Now Peter gets another look. It's one of disbelief and, well, murder. Perhaps an abrupt and strange reaction, but there it is. "Time and place, Peter," Nathan says, tone clipped. "Did you have to…" He trails off, and looks to Mara, before wearily rubbing his face with both hands.

Well things just got awkward, didn't they? "It's okay," Mara says quietly. "You… You don't have to say anything around me. I understand." Family matter, of course. She turns her gaze to Nathan and gives him her best brave smile. "Just sneak me in some fucking gin and all will be right with the world." See? I can joke. I must be all right.

"There's a reason I'm asking this right now and right here, Nathan," Peter says, looking at Mara, specifically at her leg. "She really could be looking at at least a limp the rest of her life." They know how physical therapy can tear a person apart emotionally, even if they can recover from it. He won't go into this by bringing up his wife, but the implication is there. "All I know is this is the second person in two days I've visited here in this hospital with gunshot wounds. If there's some way to help them…" It's the murderous look, the weary rubbing, and various other reactions that finally make him trail off and shake his head. "Never mind." He shakes his head and starts moving towards the door again.

The gin joke goes unnoticed. Sad. Nathan is too busy willing Peter via the telepathy he really doesn't have to stop talking. Stop. Talking. Okay. He keeps talking. There's really nothing to help it now. Nathan lets out a sigh. "Claire healed me," he says, sharply, mostly to get Peter's attention back. "Her blood was able to fix everything." He decides Mara deserves some explanation, at this point, and he says, "I was burned, badly. Not long ago. She… my daughter has the power to regenerate." He addresses both of them, now, although Peter is fixed with a glare. "I can't guarantee that she'll do this for me, for Mara, for anyone I just point her to. So I didn't want to say anything. No hope is better than disappointment. But yeah, trust me, it crossed my mind and I've been trying to get into contact with her."

"Stop talkin' about my fuckin' leg, ya fuckin' tosspots! Jesus Christ!" Mara snaps finally. "If you can do something about it, then /do/ it. Don't just talk about it. And don't sit here and /pick/ at each other on my account. B'God, no!"

Having been on his way out, Peter's paused at the door to the hospital room that the detective has been put in, glancing back towards Nathan as he speaks. There's definite surprise on his face, as well as something more thoughtful, that then flickers and changes at Mara's words. Some shame, embarrassment as well as mild confusion. "I just— wanted to help. Maybe I can." But— he's certainly not sure about this. "Probably wouldn't work." But wait… "You've been trying to call her and she hasn't answered?"

As Peter stops at the door, he might become aware of an eavesdropper. Well, not so much, since he probably can't hear anything. Haggard-looking and smelling faintly of cigarette smoke, a man with short blond hair waits at the door. Once or twice he's peered in through the glass, but he's been biding his time, pacing up and down the hallway like a caged cat. When Peter comes to the door, he stops and pauses, trying to look subtle about his lingering routine.

Now, Nathan looks slightly uncomfortable - both thanks to Mara's outburst and Peter's last question. At least this draws out some of the pissed-off-ness, and he goes back to looking tired. "I left a message," he says, and then diverts. "Maybe you should talk to her about this instead, she responds better." He looks to Mara, and gives a shrug. "Just don't want you counting on me for something I'm not sure I can arrange."

"I'm sorry. I don't mean to shout. I'm not well." Mara shakes her head. "But you knew that already." She cranes her neck to peer at Peter. "I'm sorry. I really am. Thank you for everything you did for m- …Is that Ed?"

"I'll try to talk to her," Peter says with a nod, before he looks back towards Mara and frowns for a long moment. "I— I'm sure you'll be back on your feet in no time. Be careful if you do smuggle gin in here, though. The nurses will probably take it away to the doctor's lounge." He's grateful for having met her, and he wants to help her, but he's not sure he can do that here. Not noticing the lurker at all, he only does when his attention is brought to someone behind him. "I see you again, Detective," he gives her a smile, before he glances at his brother briefly, a hint of an incline of his head, and then he heads out into the hallway to make room for this 'Ed'.

Ed's gaze lingers long on Peter Petrelli. It's a sort of level, gradual stare. "I'll wait 'till you're done," he says, and flashes a badge. "Police business." He doesn't look into the room. He seems, instead, to much prefer the hallway.

Nathan watches Peter leave without much acknowledgment, before his attention is caught up on someone new. The words 'police business' don't escape him, and Nathan nods towards Mara, speaking quietly. "I can try get rid of him if you want… or you know him?"

Company! Company! Company! Come on, Peter. You had to have picked up something from Parkman. Watch your back! Outwardly, Mara is calm and collected. She reaches out to take Nathan's hand with a coy grin. "C'mere, you." She starts to drag him toward her so she can press her lips to his ear. For all the world, it looks like a sweet nothing she's murmuring. "Company." She could be wrong about Edward Boone. Really, he could just be an FBI man, but… Her luck has not been the best as of late. "Run."

"I'm on my way out," Peter says, nodding his head towards the badge, not doubting him, so much as worried about certain things off in the distance. Far away. As he doesn't hear the warning whispered to Nathan, he just turns and walks towards the exit to the hospital. If there's any urgency in his step, it's because he's worried about something else entirely.

Ed stoops to pick up a small leather bag that he's left by the door, pocketing his badge. "Yeah, great," Ed says, bluntly, before stepping past Petrelli and into the room proper. And there's Nathan. His bag sort of hangs at the end of his arm. He shrugs at Nathan. Two trains passing.

Rock. Hard place. Nathan wasn't kidding about Mara attracting the bad guys, it seems, and he untangles his hand from hers as Ed walks in. He doesn't do as suggested and hightail it, however, and instead nods to Ed. "Something we can do for you?" he asks, polite if guarded.

Oh no. Nathan, don't. It amazes even Mara that she manages to keep the panic out of her face. "Ed's a friend," she insists gently. Her eyes settle on Agent Boone. "Police business? You're here to see li'l ol' me?" Damn.

Ed looks at Nathan, and then to Mara, and then to the both of them. Well, that's how it is, then. "… No, not really. Funny story, Detective. I don't figure your Lieutenant got the chance to tell you." Detective, not Mara. "You got your job back." Somebody made good on a promise. Unzipping that menacing leather bag, Ed produces a modest bottle of gin with a little envelope taped to it. "To tide you over 'till you can start doing it again. Don't take too many painkillers," Ed says, and sets it on the table. "That's all. Didn't mean to disturb," Ed says, and grabs for his bag.

Nathan cants his head to the side, then casts a look to Mara, speculative. One can hear wheels turning if one listens hard. "No, you're not disturbing anything," he says, with a smile towards the stranger, one that's turned to Mara. "I'll see you later, detective." Obviously he's come to some kind of conclusion, and is now taking heed of Mara's advice, heading for the door.

"Don't go." The words slip past Mara's lips before she realizes what she's said. She's driven by the knot that's growing in the pit of her stomach. "I could use the company." To her credit, she doesn't wince at her own choice of words. "Nathan," Mara smiles faintly, "I will call you later. I promise. Say hello to your wife for me?" That was more for Ed's benefit than anything else. It's not what it looks like. It's really, really not.

Ed doesn't take his coat off, but he sort of lingers a little longer. "You probably need your rest, first off. It's a pretty nasty wound. I just figured you wouldn't wanna twiddle your thumbs here sober," he explains. "Visiting hours are up, anyways. I just flashed a badge, that's all."

Calling wife. Another item on the list of things Nathan has failed to do and should have done by now. He doesn't wince, exactly, although looks like he wants to. He nods once to Mara, and is gone, disappearing out the door and around the corner to do something maybe responsible for once.

"Don't leave me here by myself," Mara pleads softly. "I'm going out of my skull. I got my knee blown /apart/. Ed… Getting my job back isn't going to do me a damn bit of good." Hazel eyes are sad, begging. "Just stay for a little while. Please?"

"Yeah, sure," Ed says, and sits himself down in a chair at the bedside. "Anyways, you've got a job again. Just in time to start collecting disability," he adds, helpfully. Well, kind of, anyways.

Mara laughs in spite of herself. "Good timing, truly." She makes grabbyhands for the bottle of booze. There's an enveloooope! "You gorgeous man. How did you know I wanted gin?" She beams.

"That's what they teach you at Quantico, y'know," Ed says, and unscrews the top of the bottle. He takes a slug and passes it over. "If you die of a drug reaction I was never here," he explains, helpfully.

"It's just a little morphine," Mara takes the bottle and tips it back for a long drink. "Oh, /God/, that's good!" She passes the bottle back. "I'm glad you came."

"Hey, that's what partners are for," Ed says, with no audible disdain or irony in his voice. Which is nice; he sounds ironic and disdainful when he says 'hello', so it must imply extra sincerity. "So. How'd you get hurt?"

"Some bastard decided to mug me. I don't think he expected me to fight back. He shot at me a few times. When he actually hit me, he freaked out and ran." Mara shrugs. "I have all the luck, yeah?" She reaches for the bottle again.

"Yeah," Ed says, and watches the bottle tip back. His voice sounds kind of non-plussed. "That's… pretty crazy. Some people, you know?" Ed says. He doesn't ask how bad it is. He doesn't need to know. "You alright?"

"No," Mara answers truthfully. "If I walk on my own again, it'll be a miracle. I'm hoping for a nasty limp. It's about the best I can hope for." You know what will fix this? More gin. Yes.

Ed nods, to himself. "Sucks," he says, with absolute sincerity. "I'll finish the job for you," he says. "I'll kill him. Unless you walk again. So… yeah." Which Mara may not view as a good thing, but if so, well, then that's too bad for Mara. It's happening either way.

"Just don't dump whatever you use to do him in." Mara can pull a vision from it. That'll be just as good as being there. "Say, Ed?" Damaris tips her head to one side and regards the agent curiously. Morphine and alcohol are both starting to make her sound a little absent, lending an airy quality to her voice.

Ed doesn't reach for the bottle. It's for her, after all, so she can spend the night in a happily baked sort of place. Somewhere far away from a place where the licks just keep on coming. "What is it, Detective?"

Detective? That draws a frown from the woman. "Why'd you go profiler on me?" Mara fixes a skeptic gaze on Ed.

"You asked," Ed says, and reaches into his coat to produce a metal flask. See? He's always got a back-up supply. In case of emergency, break dignity. "And I was drunk."

"So was I." Mara leans back on the bed and stretches her arms up over her head. "Not as drunk as I pretended to be, yeah, but still." The bottle comes back to her lips for another drink.

"Yeah, I figured," Ed says, halfway distracted. Probably deep in his own thoughts. "Anyways, you asked, so, there you go. Far be it for me to keep a lady from her heart's desire." And, maybe, because he's a jerk.

Mara turns half on her side, careful to keep her lower body immobile. "I think it was a defense mechanism." She grins, "I don't think you knew what else to do. I don't think it had a whole lot to do with my asking."

"Yeah," Ed says, neutrally. Something's different about him, and it's not just the awkwardness of the situation. He's disengaged a little bit. Taken a step back. And it's something… else. Something a little more than that. "You should have joined the FBI, with a brain like that."

"Maybe I was just waiting for my chance." Mara smiles sadly. "I'm sorry I freaked out on you. I get disoriented after I have one of my spells." She bites her lower lip, watching Ed closely. What are you thinking?

"Hey, it was a freak-out kind of a thing that happened," Ed says. "But, listen. I'm pretty sure I don't have a weird power. I still believe you. I just… I just don't think it's me, you know? Something weird is going on, but I don't know what it is, and maybe it's a little bit of wishful thinking on our parts. I'll find out, but maybe all I'll find is that it's nothing. Just paranoia."

"Don't distance yourself from me, Ed." Mara's part serious, part pleading. "We can do this, but we have to work together. You know we do. We have different pieces of the puzzle."

"Yeah. Very different pieces," Ed says. "Listen, we're not breaking the band up. But I'm going to have to do a lot of the legwork from here on in. Pardon the expression," he says. He doesn't laugh at his own joke, though. "We're partners. It's going to take at least two of us to take him down."

"Partners… I like that." Mara lifts her bottle and has another drink, sinking a little deeper into her pillow. "You know, since I've got a gin and morphine cocktail going, do you think you can forgive me for being a little bold? And asking what's probably a stupid question?"

Ed drinks. Here it comes, whatever it probably is going to be. Ed certainly doesn't seem particularly bold. "Go for it," he says. He should probably brace himself.

"Is it because I would have taken you back to my place and shagged you?" The question is somehow terribly casual. As if it doesn't bother Mara. And, on this combination? It probably doesn't.

Ed takes a drink. Well, it could have been worse. "Yeah," he says, with a matching sort of casual, level tone to his voice. "Yeah, probably."

"Would that have been so bad?" Mara grins, but her eyes move to the ceiling. Subtle defenses. She's not watching his face.

"No, I don't suppose it would have," Ed says, still looking off into the distance. "But I guess that's part of the problem." Ed is silent for a few seconds before he shuts a door and locks it. "Anyways, it's a moot point now."

"Yeah." Mara mutters, "Hard to shag a cripple." Ye gods, how I love thee, gin. "Sorry if I- No, I'm not sorry. I would have been more sorry if I hadn't given it a shot. I /am/ sorry if it made you… uncomfortable."

"Hey, two trains passing." The words 'maybe after Sylar' sneak into his mind, but he quashes them. Nip this one in the bud, Ed. "I'm gonna take a hike before that murse comes in to yell at me. Get some rest, alright? You're gonna be answering a lot of phone calls from me."

"Ed?" Mara finally caps the gin bottle and sets it aside, sitting up. "Are you… completely on the level with me?" She doesn't wait for his answer. "You suspect you see the future, don't you?"

"Yeah, I am," Ed says, picking up her question even though she keeps speaking. "And no," he adds, honestly. "I don't."

"You gonna call me crazy if I say I suspect it?" Mara shifts a little uncomfortably. She thought for sure…

Ed looks at Mara. "You're crazy," he says, with a lop-sided grin. "But so are lots of things, these days."

Mara opens her mouth to add something, but no. She's not quite loopy enough to admit that she sees the past and the future. More specifically, that she's seen /his/. "Humour me. Keep a journal of your strange dreams if you don't already."

Ed stops where he is, and thinks about it for a few seconds. "Alright," he says. "Alright, I'll do it. Special delivery for you, detective."

"That's my good boy," Mara muses. "If I gave you my keys, do you think you could get me something from my apartment and bring it by tomorrow?"

"Depends on what it is," Ed says. "And how much trouble I can get into for bringing it to you."

"I should say there won't be any trouble." Mara looks a little sheepish. "There's a photograph in a frame on my coffee table. I'd like it if you could bring it over." It's likely she's going to be here a while, and she misses being surrounded by pictures of her family.

"Yeah, I'll bring it," Ed says, before ribbing Mara. "Pussy," he jeers, before stepping forward to get his hands on the aforementioned keys.

"Says the man who's not getting any~" Mara teases in return. She reaches into a drawer in the bedside table and fishes out a keyring with a single key on it. It's on one of those brightly coloured key chains that displays the owner's name. The key is tossed to Ed. Perhaps unexpectedly, the name is on the key chain is 'Kay.'

Ed grabs the keys and looks at them. Well, whatever. He pockets the key and heads back for the door. "I'm taking off. You catch some z's, alright? I'll start mixing god-knows-what with your gin if I have to."

"You wouldn't," Mara eyes Ed with a skeptical air before she seems to decide that yes, he would. "All right. Just this once."

"Good," Ed says, before he pulls the door open and steps outside. He shuts it, knocks once to signify his passing, and leaves.

Ed walks down the hall in the dim lights; the hospital is closing. He fetches his cellphone and hits a speed-dial number. Ring, ring. Ring ring. He speaks in a hushed whisper as he hits the stairwell.

"It's Boone. … Yeah, I've decided. I'm not coming back in yet. There's still time. Meet me at the safehouse in half an hour. I just finished getting some real sleep. … Damaris? No, that won't be necessary. … … Leave her be. The memories, too. … … You heard me."

"Everything's under control."

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