2008-02-21: Good Timing


Peter_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Peter goes to tell Trina that Jack's not dead. Trina shares more than she's intended to. Stupid hangovers.

Date It Happened: February 21, 2008

Good Timing

Trina's Hotel Room

Early morning. There's always been a little noise outside, from the parking lot or the street, or in another room, Peter checks the slip of paper a few more times to make sure he's going up to the right door. Each number is counted off in his head, until he reaches the right one.

The bruising on his neck and jaw is visible, from where Jack did his best to strangle him, heaviest where fingers dragged at the moment he forced the man off. A slight limp in his walk gives sign to other injuries, but those are covered by his clothes, a sweatshirt, pants and a coat to keep out the chill of a New York not-yet-spring season.

The piece of paper is put into his pocket, right next to the keycard he'd been given, and he raises his hand to knock on the door. Knock and wait.

After McAlister left to go grab a few things, Trina started working through a splitting headache to pack up the hotel room that she's called home for two weeks. It's got her all kinds of nervous, preparing to leave without Jack's clearance. But, really, that's what this is about. It's about doing what she thinks is best. About thinking for herself again instead of cow-towing to an addict, even if she loves him. He's sick. He's not thinking right. She has to do the thinking.

When the knock cuts across the room, resounding in her head with the concussive power of a hammer, she casts a curious glance to the door. Then the slender brunette makes her way silently to it and opens it without unlatching the security chain. What she sees on the other side is not what she was expecting. She slams the door shut. "Go away, Peter!" she calls through the door that she slams her back against, blue eyes sliding up to the ceiling as she frantically tries to figure out what to do. Why is he here, anyway? If Jack shows up while Peter Petrelli's at the front door… Oh, that would be beyond bad.

The door being slammed shut in his face would make him look startled, if she could see it. Peter jumps a little, staying straighter, but not tall by any means. "Wait!" is the most he can get out before she tells him to go away. His hand rests on the door as if the tactile contact might mean something there. It doesn't, but it does allow him to feel the additional weight. She's leaning against the door. "Trina, listen. Jack sent me to give you a message, okay? I'm not here to cause any trouble, I promise."

There's a glance down at the lock. He could open the door on his own, but that would… "He gave me the address," he says, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the slip of paper, not the key, and sliding it under the door. "I've slid it under the door. You can see for yourself, okay?"

Trina stands with her back against the door for a good long few moments. Then there's the sound of her sliding down the door to get to the piece of the paper, and then pushing herself back up along with it. "You better not be lying, Pete," she calls out through the door again in warning. And then it's… it's Jack's writing that she sees on the page. Jack's horrible, horrible chicken scratch, etched on a scrap of paper. She swallows. Hard. "I'm gonna open the door," she finally decides aloud. "Swear on all that's holy, you try anything, and I'm gonna… do something nasty. Got it?" Trina Mah. Master of the thinly veiled threat.

She doesn't wait, however. Instead, she sets her shaking hand to unlatching the chair and opening the door.

"I won't try anything," Peter says, lowering his voice to more normal tones when she opens the door. He looks rough around the edges, that's for sure. Slightly battered, though that's minimal at best. "He wanted me to tell you that he loves you, and he's sorry." It takes a second for him to realize that might sound a little dire, so he quickly adds, "He's okay. He's… in a self-imposed rehab. I'm going to be checking on him and making sure he sticks to it and gets clean."

There might be more to the story. There's a hesitation and a practiced sound to 'self-imposed rehab' that gives the feeling of a lie, or an omission of something important. "I don't have to stay if you're uncomfortable with me being here," he adds, subconsciously rubbing his wounded neck. His voice is a little hoarse still, but that could be the chill.

Trina, in her ripped up jeans, has one arm crossed over her torso in order to tug nervously at the bulky grey sweatshirt she wears. She sniffs once, sharply. "You… You can come in Peter," she finally allows, nodding — more out of nervousness than a conscious attempt to encourage Petrelli to listen to her. The battered nature of Peter doesn't really seem to phase her. She's got a hangover she's nursing, after all, and life with Jack has only further calloused her to the sight of such things. "S'good timing. I'm… I'm just packing." Turning away from the door, she goes back to shoving her clothes into a duffel bag. "I'd offer you something to drink, but all I got is scotch and water, and I don't think you want either one of those."

"Little later in the day and I'd take you up on that scotch," Peter says softly, closing the door behind him and even pulling the chain into place against the door. Eyes shift to the bag that she's packing, somewhat surprised. "Are you moving to a different hotel room?" The nervousness attributed to her demeanor may be why he keeps his distance, standing near the door, and even putting his hands back into his pockets. He has the key still, but he doesn't offer it over just yet. He'd intended to return it to Jack, once he was fit to leave the… isolation.

"No, Pete." Trina shrugs. "I don't know why Jack put me here. He wouldn't tell me. But… But that's okay, I guess. I know he did it to protect me. But I don't need to be protected. Not right now. Not by him." She shakes her head and shoves more items in.

"I'm going to home. To our apartment. And I'm cleaning it. And maybe he'll come home to it. Maybe he'll stay there this time. If… If you could tell him that's where I'm gonna be, I'd appreciate it." Another sniff, and then the dark haired young woman turns to look at Peter with both eyebrows lifted. "'Cuz he probably told you not to tell me where he is, right?"

"Yeah, it's best you don't know where he is," Peter says, having glanced away while she spoke. It's very likely he's embarrassed for his part in the destruction of her apartment. The fish especially. Whether he was defending himself or not, he'd gone to the apartment when invited. He should have known it would be a trap, but he'd hoped it wasn't.

"I'll make sure that he knows where you are," he adds, before pulling the keycard out of his pocket and holding it out in her direction as he moves closer. "He gave this to me. If you're going home, neither of us will need it anymore." He pauses for a moment before he adds, "He wants to get better before he puts a ring on your finger."

Trina frowns, sighs, and stretches her hands out for the card key. Best she doesn't know? Hmph. That's so good of them to decide that for her without a consultation. Again. Yeah. Everyone's trying to protect her. This is stupid. "I'll turn it in," she offers at last, shoving it into her back pocket once she has it in hand. "Tell him I hope he's better soon. That I'm goin' home, and I hope he's better soon."

Then she turns back towards her bag. It's an excuse, though, so she can feel the bump of jewelry under her sweatshirt unobserved. She knew she he'd want her to wait. She's glad she did. "Are… Are you okay, Pete? I got some ice in the mini-fridge if you need."

Everyone's trying to protect her? Peter's just watching her from the new perspective, looking at her as she turns away to pack. He's unaware of what the ring meant, other than that she would know what it did. "I'll tell him. It's up to him to take care of it, but your hope might help him when things get dark." Because they always get darker. She can't say that she'd been one of the brightest parts of a dark time in his life. Considering the situation, it's harder to keep her wish to never mention it.

"I— I'll be fine. It's just bruising. If it were much worse I could get it healed. By the same person whose ability helped me heal you. But it's not bad, really." And in some ways he might feel he deserves a little pain in this case. He broke her future husband's nose and beat him quite a bit until he got him locked up in a cage… A little bruising isn't that big a deal.

"Your ability— I know you don't like to talk about it— but I think it saved my life earlier this month."

"Yeah," Trina chuckles wryly. "My fantastic ability." Then, a pause. She looks over her shoulder, blue eyes narrowed as she considers Peter with an inscrutable emotion dancing across those features. "What you do mean you think? Do you know how to use it?"

"I don't know what your first experience with the ability might be, but… I know it's what saved me the first time," Peter says, thinking on the moment when he had been confronted by a man whom he couldn't stand. "I don't remember what happened when I crashed, but I can't think of any other way I could have survived than if your ability saved me." Again. Twice in one night. Kept him from losing all his abilities, and saved him when he crashed into an IHOP after recklessly jumping off the roof of a building.

"I know how to use it a little… Not as much as… some of my other abilities." Or as much as her future self did.

"You had a lot better luck," Trina admits after a long pause. There's another sharp inhalation as Trina turns to look at Peter, arms crossing over her chest. There's a defensiveness there as she spits out disdained truth. "First time I used it? I sent a guy into a tree. Cracked his head right open. Second time didn't go so much better." A self-deprecating chuckle as Trina ducks her head sharply to take in a better view of the floor. "If I can control it enough to not use it… That's all I need. Ain't worth people gettin' hurt, you know?"

"You could also control it enough so you can protect yourself in case something happens," Peter says, keeping his voice soft due to knowledge this is a sensitive topic. She hurt people with her ability. Killed them. Based on how far he threw Arthur away, he could imagine how someone else might have been hurt in a different situation. It must have activated to protect her in a time of desperation.

"You would also be able to protect other people too, probably. Your friends… Jack."

"I… I could kill Jack, Pete. My friends. I've have killed other people." Trina sighs, dropping her head. There's a deep shame there. A dark spot upon her soul that cannot be erased by any work of man. "I tried to figure it out. Tried to make it happen. I can't figure it out. I ain't smart. I'm dangerous." She looks back up to Peter, brow furrowed. He's lucky Ali was here last night. She's all cried out, and now there's just quiet resignation. "I'm a timebomb. It's a matter of time before I screw up again. And knowing my luck? It's gonna be Jack that's there. And the way I'm gonna get to say 'hey, sweetie, thank you for loving me' is by smashing his skull against a wall. I risk him all the time and God only knows why he puts up with it. So please forgive me if I… Well, if I don't sound like sunshine about it."

Something about what she says almost seems to want to make him laugh. It isn't that she said something funny. There's no humor in the sound that comes out of his throat. It's a hoarse gasp. Peter moves closer instead of keeping his distance, reaching out to put a hand on her arm. "Trina. Believe me. I understand what you're talking about. More than…" he trails off, looking down. "I know you're afraid. And you have every reason to be. It's your choice what you do with what you have, but maybe there's other things you can do with your ability. I know you could…" He grimaces. Another thing he can't tell her about. "My abilities are dangerous. I've… hurt people. Things I can never take back, that can never be fixed. But I try to help people. Your ability helped me."

Trina looks at the hand on her arm, and then looks up at Peter. Her blue eyes are little more than slits as she searches Peter's face, dropping her voice to little more than a whisper. "Are you willing to risk your life to teach me how to use it? 'Cuz I don't know whole lotta people would be in a big hurry, when a possible side effect of a bad training session is a terminal case of dead."

That's a tough question. For a moment, there's a genuine hint of worry in Peter's eyes. The bruising on his neck almost seems to stand out. After a breath, his hand tightens on her shoulder. "If it can teach you to use your ability and make you less afraid of it… then yes, I'm willing to take the risk." Will he survive the risk? If she loses control during the lessons, it would just mean… "I have a friend who can heal, much like I healed you. I can give you her phone number— or we can invite her to be there in case anything goes wrong. We can take precautions, we can be careful about this. This is your ability. Yours. It should not control you the way it is."

Trina caught that worry. She sighs and shakes her head. He almost had her. He almost had her ready to believe that this would be okay. It's… It's not gonna be okay. "Don't sweat it, Pete. Just… Just tell Jack what I said, and we'll call it even. I don't wanna hurt you. And I don't want anybody else knowin' about my freak factor, okay? That guy with the glasses was creepy enough," she mentions off-handedly, waving a hand in the air.

"Trina," Peter says softly, letting go of her arm so he can grab the hand she's waving around in the air, should she not stop him. "I've died over a dozen times in the last year. A weeks ago, that changed. I can die and not come back. That terrifies me." He's being truthful, as much as he can be. "I'd gotten used to being invincible." Those bruises, the pain of falling off the building. "If you're willing to try and learn, then I will take the chance, all right? Listen to me. You don't have to… what guy in glasses?"

That wasn't the part of the conversation she was expecting him to focus on. Trina blinks as her hand gets caught, and she looks at Peter blankly in her surprise. "I dunno, Baxter or something? He… He knew some stuff. About me. Offered me a job doing… I don't know what. I'd never seen him before. He gave me a card. I don't know what I did with it. I was gonna tell Jack, but…" There's a helpless shrug. "Jack was too sick. It doesn't matter. He hasn't bothered me here. Anyway. Look. Maybe once Jack comes home, alright? Right now, there's just too much goin' on."

A job. People with abilities getting a job offer in this city? Never good. Peter lets go of her and straightens a little. "Okay— once everything is settled with Jack we'll talk about this again. By that time it may not be a problem at all." It still might be, depending on how things go in the next few weeks, if things went well, like he hopes they did. Certain things involving a man in glasses who may or may not be the same one they're already talking about. "Can I see the card?"

How did he know she was lying about knowing where the card was? Trina blinks again, and then pulls out the paper clip bound pile of licensure, cards, and cash out of her back pocket. She sorts through a bunch of them until finally she picks the one out that she wants. There! "Bennet," she corrects herself after a glance at it. "I dunno how I got Baxter out of that." At the end of a straight arm, she holds out the card to Peter. "I told him to take a hike. Why? You interested in for a guy like that?"

Maybe he didn't know she was lying and just hoped she could find it if she looked? Peter watches her expectantly until she supplies the card and he reaches out to take it. Bennet. "Not really, no." In some ways, it's a relief that the card didn't read Pinehearst on it. In others… He hands it back. No words of advice, though she must already have her own decision on it. She did tell him to take a hike. But she also kept the card, it would seem. "I know you can take care of yourself, but if you need anything… you can call me. My phone's on. If you go to voice mail, I'll do my best to call you back quickly." He pauses, before adding, "I promise I'll keep an eye on Jack. Make sure he knows you're waiting for him to get better."

The abrupt shift in Peter's demeanor isn't lost on Trina, but she takes the card back. She shoves it into the pile once more, clips it together, and pushes it into her back pocket. "O-okay." She sniffs and then looks back up at the dark haired Petrelli in front of her. Slender hands are shoved in the center pocket of her sweatshirts as she shrugs. "If he changes his mind about me not seein' him, though, tell him I'll be there?"

"I'll tell him. Maybe he'll agree to a phone call at least. Just hearing your voice might help," Peter says, trying to find some kind of compromise. There's understanding in his eyes. He can imagine what it'd be like to be separated from the woman that he loves, even if it's for a reason. They've been separated more than once in the past, and likely to be again someday. Even a phone call would have been welcome. "Good luck moving back home," he adds, pulling away in the direction of the door. "I'm sorry for my part in what happened to it…"

Trina watches Peter take those first few steps and, for a moment, she turns back to start wrapping up the process of throwing clothes in her bag. But then she looks up. "Hey, Pete? Wait a sec." Without further ado, the young woman picks up at a trot — black hair bouncing against her back — and moves to throw her arms around Petrelli's neck to give him one of her special brand of bearhugs. "I forgive you," she murmurs once she's got a good hold on him.

The first words are enough to get him to turn around. But he's caught by surprise when arms suddenly fly around him. Acutely aware of the bruising on his neck, the fact that it's a hug and not a strangle allow Peter to ignore it. Arms wrap around her in return, and he looks over her shoulders to the wall past her, blinking a few times. It's surprising. Does she even have an idea what all he might need to be forgiven for? The dead fish. The battered boyfriend locked in a cage. The secrets he can't tell cause a she that she should never be asked him not to. "Thank you," is all that comes out, voice still hoarse.

There. That all done, Trina pulls back and shoves her hands back into her sweatshirt's pocket. "You're welcome," she shoots back. And then gives a little nod as she rolls up onto the balls of her feet near the hotel room door. There. Better now. "I'll see you soon. Just be careful, okay?"

"I will," Peter says, though he knows he could use some help in that. He's just the type to throw himself into things without thinking half as much as he should. Even when he tried to think about it, he still nearly got strangled and was pummeled by a man nearly half a foot taller than him. "You take care of yourself, Trina." He turns away to touch the chain, pulling it away from the door. When his hand drops to the doorknob, he smiles lopsidedly over at her, "I think you have a better track record than I do, though." A dozen lives or more later, almost everyone has a better track record than him.

A corner of Trina's mouth curls up, tomboyish in the way that pulls so unevenly but never quite becoming a smirk. One of her worn boots grinds against a spot on the beige specked industrial carpet that this hotel picked out, and then her shoulder rolls up into another half-shrug. Her head shakes softly, sending those straight and dark tresses dancing about her face and shoulders. "Season's not over yet. Still got time to catch up. I'm still waiting for the Big Game."

"I wouldn't want anybody to get into half the trouble I have in the last year," Peter admits, a hint of a laugh in his voice. There's a moment's pause as his hand stays on the doorknob. "Actually I wouldn't want them to get into about any fraction of what I've gotten into the last year." Jumping off of buildings, dying multiple times, getting pincushioned with steak knives… "Since you're going back to your apartment, I have a few things to return. I'll probably do that when I stop by to let you know how Jack's doing." Those pin cushiony steak knives, and all. After he disinfects the hell out of them, of course. The doorknob turns and he opens the door to leave.

"Always welcome there," Trina assures. And then there's a slow rocking of her body as she rolls up onto the balls of her feet and shrugs again. "I… I know Jack would say the same thing if he was… You know. Not sick. So. Um." A bright smile, hesitant, breaks out onto her face. "See you in a couple days!" A glance down to her bag, and then back to Peter.

She rolls up onto her feet again.

And bites her lower lip.

And waves.

…Damn it, she always sucked at goodbyes.

"I'm sure he will say that when this all ends," Peter says, grinning at her. "I just hope I'm invited to the wedding." Again. There's something about this that causes humor to sparkle in his eyes. He'll just hope it doesn't involve a run away bus, a bunch of guys dressed as nuns, guns and people getting killed. A nice simple wedding would be a good change from the one he was involved in in the future. "Bye," he says, catching the awkwardness of her wave and returning it with his own small one as he heads out the door and closes it behind him. The autolock clicks into place.

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