2007-03-31: Glimmer Snuffed Out

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter gives Mara hope. Mara doesn't have the heart to tell him it won't make any difference.

Date It Happened: March 31, 2007

Glimmer Snuffed Out


Secret Location is still Secret

Early morning on the last day of March and there's a knock on the door to this posh apartment that the older Petrelli set the young cop up with. This time, Peter doesn't wait for her to crash or fall down, or even ask who it is. "It's Peter. I've brought you some breakfast again. Are you awake?" This time he got the breakfast only for her, not even bringing a coffee along for himself. "I brought waffles last time, and you upset me with some of the promises you asked me to make." Luckily, posh apartments means that rooms are situated quite far apart, so even though he's speaking up a bit, it shouldn't carry to her neighbors.

The door opens and Mara smiles at Peter, dressed in the purple nightgown she wore at the hospital. "Hey. You're on the ball, huh?" She steps aside to let him enter the room before locking up behind him. "You really are too good to me, you know that?"

"This time you got eggs, scrambled, with cheese. And sausage. And some toast," Peter says, stepping deeper inside. "You'll have to tell me how you like your coffee specifically next time. Or what breakfast meats you like. I just asked for the whatever was most possible." After all, he didn't cook this. "I could cook for you next time, too. Elle loved my hash browns." No comment is made on the nightgown, nor do his eyes wander. He's a perfect gentleman, it would seem. "You seem to be walking better. You want this on the bed again?"

"You can have the sausage. I'm more of a bacon kind'a gal." Mara shrugs. "The eggs are spot on, tho'." When he asks her if she wants breakfast in bed again, she actually pales a little. "No, I think I'll eat at the table today. I've… spent a bit too much time in the bedroom lately, I think." Just a bit.

"I'll just throw it away. I don't really eat meat," Peter explains when she offers him the sausage, moving towards the table to set it down for her, along with the coffee, which is fairly plain in comparison to some of the blends that could be done. Still hot, though not piping hot. "I can understand that. The room they had me in at the facility didn't have much besides a bed to hang out on, and it wasn't as comfortable as yours." Pulling off his coat, he settles it on the back of a chair and sits down. "I'm working on some plans, Mara. I've already talked to Nathan about them, but— I wanted to talk to you too."

"Sure." After Peter gets the meal settled on the table, she's still waiting at the door. Mara waves him over with a quiet sigh. "Could you…? It's so much easier if I can just lean on someone. These crutches are killing my arms."

"Sorry," Peter apologizes sheepishly, moving back over to the door to help her back towards the table now that his hands are unburdened. The first step to helping him with his plan, though… would be to practice certain things. Abilities. And considering what he needs to use most against Bishop— he's deciding now to use against a friend. "So how do you normally take your coffee?" Simple questions should keep him from getting anything he shouldn't hear…

"Black, unless I'm getting something fancy from Starbucks." Mara recites the order in her head without really thinking about it. Venti caramel mocha, quad shot, soy milk and whip. "Although I've been known to take cream if the coffee isn't strong enough." With Peter's help, she makes it to the table a bit easier than she would have on her own, setting the crutches aside after she sits down. The bedroom. Jesus Christ, just what he'd need is another vision. "So, what's your plan?"

The first part comes through simply, and Peter settles back into his chair once she's sitting down. The second part— that makes him frown faintly, but— he shouldn't jump to conclusions, right? Right. "In the simplest version… I'm going to be working with the Company. Not as a direct agent, Bishop is going to give me a branch, a satellite company. With funding and exchange of information. We'll have protection from them, those working with me, and they won't have to worry about a bunch of independent loose cannons running around trying to save the world in ways they can't keep an eye on."

Is he nuts? That's as good as sleeping with the enemy. …Oh, wait. "Are you sure that's such a good idea, Peter?" Mara frowns faintly in return, taking a sip of the coffee he brought for her. "I mean… From what little I've seen of the Company, they aren't folks we want to be messed up with. Certainly not anybody we want to owe anything to." After what they've done to Ed, I can't trust any of them.

"I know. But what's the alternative, Mara?" Peter asks, frowning faintly at some of what he's hearing. He /is/ sleeping with the enemy— or at least a former enemy. The tension starts to show on his forehead from concentrating on the mind reading, but at the same time… it could be dismissed by the topic. "Should we just worry constantly about what's going to happen if we step the wrong way? That they'll bring in the Haitian and turn us into shells of who we used to be? We can't fight a war on two fronts— We can't stop what's coming and worry about the Company at the same time. And how are we going to without resources? Do you expect Nathan to give up all of his life savings to fund saving the world? We don't have training, we don't have money. We don't have information. All we have is each other."

"Having each other is better than a bunch of backstabbing sons of bitches who may /still/ swoop in and make us shells of who we used to be." Mara tries to keep the bitterness out of her tone, despite the subject matter. "Look, it's not the worst plan ever. It's a hell of a lot better than the plan the NYPD came up with to try and 'trick' Gray into screwing up." I'm going to shoot somebody in the goddamn face for that plan. Honest to God. "Are you all right, Peter? Maybe you should eat something?" She nudges her eggs toward him a bit, concerned.

"No, I'm.. I'm okay," Peter says, rubbing his forehead. Just a little longer. Maybe he should try to do this in a way that's less obvious? Running the hand over his hair, he leans forward to look at her, trying to relax, while still maintaining the connection. "If they do that, though, Mara, there's no way I wouldn't know about it. If Bishop betrays the deal, then he'll lose us as possible allies. We'll go back to being independent and possible dangerous to his causes. I'm already going to have Nathan look over the contract before I sign it, and Jane too. Two sets of lawyer eyes should catch any loopholes. And… if nothing else I can make sure he's telling the truth every time we meet."

"There's a /contract/?" Mara actually looks impressed. Jesus, thought of everything, haven't you? Wait. Telling the… "Peter!" The woman's jaw drops in surprise, she's absolutely upset. "You're- Are you-" Get out of my head RIGHT NOW.

And this would be exactly why Peter doesn't use telepathy enough to be any good at it. The hand goes up towards his forehead and he tries to draw back, "I'm sorry. I need to practice this or I won't be able to when I meet up with Bishop over the contract. All you were thinking about is what we were talking about. I didn't…" Standing up, he reaches to pull his coat off the chair. "I'm sorry."

"Peter, if you wanted the practice, you could have asked me. But listening to my thoughts… I'm supposed to be your friend. You can't just /do/ that." Mara closes her eyes and pinches the bridge of her nose. Definitely don't tell Peter, dammit.

"Sorry," Peter says, looking rather ashamed as he shakes his head. "I'll leave. Do you need help back to the door so you can lock it up?" There's really not much else he can say to this, nor does he particularly want to defend his reasoning anymore than he did.

"Sit your ass down, Petrelli." Spoken like the detective Mara really is deep down underneath all that fear. "It was a good idea, okay? If you'd told me, I would have been projecting and that probably wouldn't have been good practice. I'm just… I've got stuff on my mind that I'm not quite ready to share just yet, that's all. I've been pretty doom and gloom lately, and you don't really need more insight into that than you've already gotten." And there's a few other things he needn't know.

"That's why I kept you talking. I— I really wasn't getting much beyond the conversation," Peter explains softly, though he does sit back down in the chair, looking rather… browbeaten. He doesn't even take off his coat, but he does reach into the interior pocket and pull something out. The picture. Again. "When you're finished with breakfast— I wanted to show you something."

Mara nods once. "I'll eat quickly," she assures him. 'Pleasantries' out of the way, she does actually eat fast. She's probably not eating as often as she should be. "I'm sorry I snapped at you."

"It's okay. I deserved it," Peter says, shaking his head and looking rather displeased at himself. "You were right. You're my friend. Shouldn't have invaded your privacy like that." Though somehow he thought it'd be less bad with her, considering he thought he'd already invaded her privacy enough with a hospital vision off a gin bottle.

"Do you want more practice?" Mara raises her eyebrows, taking the last bite of her eggs and pushing the rest of the food away. "I don't mind, really. I'll just be careful not to dwell on the things I'm not ready to talk about yet."

"No, it's— I'll just do what I should have done. Go to a public place and try it around strangers." Peter says, shaking his head and leaning back, folding his arms across his body— almost hugging himself kind of gesture. "Would rather you just tell me when you're ready than find out when you're not." After all, it must be something she specifically wants to avoid talking to /him/ about…

Carefully, Mara gets to her feet, balancing on her crutches. "Okay. Couch." As if saying the destination might make it closer, easier to get to. She slowly, but surely, makes her way to the sofa and eases herself down onto the cushions. Then, she shifts to stretch out across the length of it so she can prop up her injured leg. "All right, Pete." She waves him over, gesturing to the unoccupied space. "Let's see what you've got for me."

Standing up again, Peter picks up the picture and carries it over, turning it so that she can see it better. It's obviously a surveillance photo, taken of his brother. Looking rather similar to how he looked just recently, in fact. "The first day Elle came back, she used to watch me for the first few months, but then she— left for a while. The first day back, she gave me this picture. To let me know that my brother had been healed. It was the first time I'd been given anything besides pills, clothes or food in their facilities. Without this— I never would have agreed to escape. I probably wouldn't have fallen in love with her." To be honest, he didn't need to give all this background, most likely, but he's not sure what she'd see if she touches it, so he wanted to give her at least some context.

"Is this gonna be payback for the gin?" Mara raises a skeptic eyebrow to Peter and then reclines fully on the couch. "Hit me." She holds her hand out, waiting for him to let her actually touch the photograph.

"Is this gonna be payback for the gin?" Mara raises a skeptic eyebrow to Peter and then reclines fully on the couch. "Hit me." She holds her hand out, waiting for him to let her actually touch the photograph.

"It shouldn't be anything like that," Peter explains, passing the photograph close enough that her fingers can brush it. And when they do…

There's a pristinely clean cell. White stone walls, florescent lights, and a single small bed. The only other things in the room would be a table and chair, a toilet and a shower off in a cut out corner to the side. Laying across the bed would be a young man she'd recognize instantly, even if his hair is just a bit longer than it is now. Hand rest above the pillow, looking down towards the same picture she'd been shown not too long ago. No one else is present, so the emotions hanging in the air could belong to no one else.

At first guilt lingers, guilt of having caused so much harm. But that guilt doesn't carry the most weight. In fact— the most powerful emotion is overwhelming relief and /hope/.

If this could happen, then anything is possible. Maybe they'll forgive him. Maybe he won't have to stay.

There's a sound of a key on his door and brief alarm follows, and he shoves the picture under his pillow, which happens to also have a book under it.

Tension begins to fill the air. Something is happening. But as soon as the pillow pushes down over the book and the picture, and the door opens, the vision ends. Short and sweet.

It's nearly half an hour before Mara opens her eyes again. "Peter?" She pushes herself up into a sitting position carefully. Hey, this isn't where I passed out. This is my bed! And he had better not be passed out on the floor somewhere, dammit. She blinks several times, trying to bring the world back into focus.

Peter's definitely not passed out on the floor. He's actually sitting against the wall, facing her, watching as she wakes up. As soon as her eyes open, as she'd been placed on her side just in case— he is a nurse, after all, he starts to sit up. "Sorry. I didn't expect you to be out quite that long." He didn't realize how long /he'd/ been out most the time. "You okay?"

"Yeah. Yeah, m'fine." Mara smiles widely and holds both hands out. "C'mere, you." She looks a little emotional, but in a good way.

Standing up, Peter ambles over to the bed and reaches to take her hands, not seeming to be worried about her emotional responses. "I hope it wasn't something too bad. I do think she kissed me around the picture once, but…" That doesn't feel like something that would represent the item itself, right?

"I didn't see any of that, but thanks for the warning." Mara pulls the younger Petrelli in to hug him tightly, clinging to him like a drowning victim to a lifeguard. "Thank you. Thank you so much."

"Guess you got what I wanted you to get," Peter says after a moment, when she's still clinging tightly to him. With his arms wrapping around her, he returns the hug with just as much strength, even petting her hair a bit. "Couldn't think of anything else that'd been mostly positive. You're welcome. Ever since I realized what you could do… I'd wanted to show you something… that isn't painful." There'd been hints of pain, yes, but that could hardly be the primary emotion.

"I feel like… I don't know. I feel like things aren't so goddamn hopeless all of a sudden. God, this is better than alcohol." Mara gently tugs Peter down to sit next to her and then plants a kiss on his cheek. "You really are far, far too nice to me. Really. If… God, if you had any idea the things-" She stops and closes her eyes tightly, just leaning into the man again. "Forgive me."

"They're not hopeless," Peter says, continuing to touch her back as he settles down beside her, careful of her knee, even as she plants a kiss on his cheek. That's chaste enough, but— "Hey, don't. It's okay, Mara. Whatever it is— it's okay." And he doesn't even need to be told, really. There's so much it could be, and he doesn't want to guess. "I need to leave soon. Need to figure out how I'm going to run a company— if the contract is even worth signing." He'll hope it is. "Wanted to stay until you woke up at least. Will you be okay?"

"Yeah, I think I'll be okay." Mara nods, slowly disengaging herself from Peter with a fond stroke of her fingers through the back of his hair. "Just help me get back to the couch so I can watch my soaps, yeah? Your brother's supposed to be dropping by later." And we are sooo not watching 'Passions' again.

"Of course," Peter concludes, wrapping his arm under hers and helping her up, so that he can get her settled on the couch for her soaps. "Guess that's the bad part about being in a hospital, huh? You got hooked on soap operas." Once she's settled, he gestures towards the door. "Say hi to my brother for me." And since he's coming over… "Think you'll be okay with just the doorknob locked?"

"Yeah, I think just that lock'll work." Really, if Gray's coming to get her, a door isn't going to stop him. "Hey, Peter?" Mara tilts her head to one side, suddenly serious. "I just… Thank you for everything." I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. "I mean it."

There's a small frown, as if he's catching some of the undercurrents of her thought patterns. Peter's not, the connection broke off a long time ago, but— it still seems an odd form of seriousness for a thank you. "I know you mean it, Mara. And you're welcome." Though he may not be entirely sure on what all that's for. Moving towards the door, he opens it, locks the door knob and then adds, "Take care of yourself. And keep my brother out of trouble." And then he leaves, closing the door behind him.

"I can't make that promise, Pete." Mara says to the empty room. She lays down on the couch and stares at the ceiling. "I'm so sorry."

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