2009-10-06: Grasping At Hope



Date: October 6, 2009


Charlotte drops in looking for Niki and Peter has to be the bearer of bad news.

"Grasping At Hope"

EMT Locker Room

"Aren't you going home yet?" a guy says as he heads toward the door. All the other people in the locker room have left, except him, and the man sitting on a bench, tying his shoes back on.

"No, I had the day off yesterday, and I asked to take two shifts today," Peter says, pushing back damp hair out of his face. It sticks into place as he stands to grab a clean shirt out of his locker. The last one's put into the wash to get the blood from the last shift off.

"You work too hard, man," he says, before opening the door. "Take care," he says, and then after a nod from Peter, he exits the locker room, leaving him alone as he straightens, pulling the clean white undershirt over his head.

There will be quiet in the room for a few moments. And indeed, the quiet extends even through the change in visuals. A bit of dust around Peter's head gathers, catching the light just so and sweeping behind him. It might just be a cross-breeze; nothing at all to be nervous or apprehensive about. But right behind him, the dust begins to form. In a matter of seconds, it has formed into the collective body of a petite woman wearing a crazy-patterened mini-dress, leggings, heeled boots and a scarf. Her hair is pulled up in a pony, and she wears large, dangly earrings. It is the form of Charlotte Corday, and one that Peter Petrelli has not seen for a long time. She looks around, earrings jingling softly as she tries to get her bearings.

Most often, it's Peter that suddenly appears in a room, so the sudden shifting of air, the appearance of a fresh mind, it catches his attention and makes him turn around to look. A surprised blink shifts some of that dust, as he turns back to the locker so he can grab one of his dark shirts with PARAMEDIC scrawled on the bck in white. He doesn't pull it over his head yet, turning back to see if the woman is still there. "Charlotte. It's been a while since I've seen you."

Once he sees her, and recognizes her, it makes things a little easier. Teleporting into a room can often cause problems. Like when she almost broke her nose in her own damn building with Gene earlier. "Hello, Peter," She murmers, tugging her dress down. It's a nervous tic, but she's not shy or coy - her trust for the man had severely waned and she's not sure what exactly to expect. "I'm sorry to bother you, is this a bad time?" All politeness.

A glance down at his watch to confirm the time, before Peter looks back up again. A damp lock of hair falls onto his forehead. "No, I got about ten minutes til I have to report for the next shift, and I can skip the hallway and go straight to the check in if I have to." The dark shirt gets pulled over his head, bringing it down, beginning to tuck it into his pants. "Far as I knew you'd left Pinehearst before everything blew up, so what's going on?"

Charlotte takes an idle step, not toward him, but more just in the general room, averting her eyes while he fixes his shirt. As is only polite. "Well, you know. I've been here and there," Getting into where she's been is a long story that neither of them want to go through. A hand comes up, briefly pushing her hair back behind her ear, just tucking that loose strand away. "Listen, I won't keep you. I just, I've been having some problems. I can't find Niki." The look on her face almost lets it leak that she knows something is wrong. "I found her sister, in D.C. which was….really, really awkward, but whenever I try to find her I get horrible headaches and nosebleeds."

There's a slow inhale, tension starts to show up on his forehead as Peter stops tucking in his shirt. "That's because Niki died," he says softly, sitting down rather than staying on his feet. "Her and D.L. both. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but— the boy staying with her at the time— he told me that it'd happened, and…" He trails off, voice tightening as he looks down toward the floor. "I'm sorry to be the one who has to tell you. I know you were close to her when she had amnesia."

For a moment, Charlotte just stares. Soon, her eyes drop, hiding the tears there. She sniffles, wiping her cheeks. "I kinda figured…I ain' never not been able to find someone, but….oh god…" She turns away from him, grasping one of the lockers and shwoing him her back. It's awkward watching people cry, he shouldn't have to watch her. "You said…you said Cam saw it? Poor kid…oh god, I've got to go and find him…"

"Yeah, it was Cam that told me about…" Peter starts, then suddenly hesitates, a blink of his eyes as he looks back up at her. His mouth starts to open, then he closes it, looking back down again. So many people he could ask her to teleport to… So many people that she says she can find, and if she can't find them, they're dead. "I— yeah, it's Cam that told me about them. I'm not sure how many people know. I'm sure it was verified by someone, but I haven't really… So if you can't find someone, they're dead?"

"What?" Charlotte asks, turning to face him. Her makeup is running a little bit, but she does her best to wipe the tears, to bite back the cries. She'll be crying soon enough. "Um…" sniffle. "Sort of. Sometimes. Most of the time, actually. Unless I got the name wrong, but I tried every name Niki said she ever used an…." She starts to cry again, but balling her hands into fists, she forces herself to stop. "S'why when I couldn' find her, I sorta figured somethin' was wrong but…I didn' wanna believe it."

A sudden shake of his head and Peter stands up, turning toward his locker again to dig around and find something. He pulls out a small travel package of tissues, some used, and pulls one out. There are times he brings them for accident sights, cause there's always someone, witness or victim, who needs it. This time he tugs two of the fragile white sheets out and holds them toward the woman. "I didn't want to believe it either. Niki… was a good friend. I hadn't seen her in a while and…" he trails off, eyes slidng away as he looks down again. Tension furrows onto his forehead, jaw tightened as he stops himself from asking. He wouldn't want to believe that, either.

"Was it Pinehearst?" She asks, taking the tissues almost sheepishly and wiping under her eyes. "I'll never forgive myself if it was Pinehearst. I just…I can't understand it…" She looks up at Peter, frowning even deeper. "I'm so sorry, this must be so hard for you. You two were friends, as I remember, you knew her so much better than I. I'm so, so sorry, Peter."

"No. Pinehearst was gone before— Niki left New York after Pinehearst fell… this only happened a little while ago," Peter reaches out to brush fingers against her arm, down toward her elbow. A light touch that doesn't last long, once she has the tissues in hand. "It was a natural disaster. An earthquake. Or— that's what it sounded like. It was no one's fault," he says, looking away again, turning to his locker and pushing some things back inside. He checks his pockets to make sure he has everything, going through the motions. Because in his mind it is someone's fault. She'd left New York for a reason.

"She would have called me," Charlotte murmers, mostly to herself as she looks down, nervously tearing at the corners of the tissue. "Something bad like that, she would have called me if I'd kept my phone, and I'd have come and it would barely have been a thought. Oh god…." A hand comes up, covering the young woman's face to hide her tears and perhaps her shame. "I am so sorry. And Cam…oh god poor Cam. Who is he staying with now, do you know?"

"I'm glad you left Pinehearst when you did— the things they did were horrible." As he'd tried to tell her. Even if it made it sound like his brother was the horrible force behind it… "Right now, Cam's staying at my place," Peter says, sticking pens in these pockets on his upper arm, before he finally closes the locker door. His face is controlled, as if he's fighting back his own expressions of emotion. Tension doesn't get fought back, though, it's there, wrinkling his forehead, turning his cheek and jaw pale. "I work so much that I'm barely there, but he's a good kid and knows how to take care of himself. I'm not too worried about him. But you might be able to help him. Micah— Micah is missing, and he didn't die in the earthquake."

Charlotte has no illusions about what is between then. "I know," she says in response to Pineheasrt, but she doens't go into it. There's relaly no need. "Would it be alright if I visited Cam? I'll stay out of your hair, I promise. And Micah, I'll look for him too." She assures the man, fingers tearing the tissue up with hard, quick nervous yanks.

"Yeah, you can visit him," Peter says, offering a slight lopsided smile, reaching down to finish tucking in his shirt. "Just try to knock before you enter so you don't startle him. There's some… problems going on lately that… It might be why Micah's missing. Be careful about your teleporting right now, too. I know they'd have a hard time keeping you, but— there's a new threat. Different than Pinehearst. Taking people like…" He glances toward the door to confirm it's still closed, before he adds on, "Like us."

Charlotte nods quickly enough. "I know. Since I've been back…." She shakes her head, tearing the tissue up until there's litlte left but confetti between her fingers. "Well…I've got a lot to make up for. I should let you be anyway. Got your shirt on and everything, you should probably be getting to work. I'm sorry for bothering you but…but thank you for telling me about this. I'll do everything in my power for Micah, I swear I will."

"Yeah, I should get going," Peter says, stepping over the bench and getting a bit closer to her once again. This time the touch on her shoulder and arm lingers a bit longer than before. "Thanks. If you find Micah— I'm sure it would make Niki happy. She… always cared a lot for her son. Probably the most important thing to her. Even if she's… He's still important to her." There's a long pause, and he looks at his hand. Then he lets his hand drop.

"I— Nathan's missing too. My brother. I don't really want to know if you can't find him, though," he adds on, letting out the topic he's been wanting to say since he realized what she could do. "If you can't find him, just don't— don't tell me. That way I can still…" Have hope. He doesn't finish it, but he doesn't have to. A few steps take him away, toward the door. "Be careful out there, Charlotte."

Charlotte nods, reaching out to catch Peter's hand when he talks about his brother. She gives it a squeeze. "I understand. I will. If you need me or anything…." Give him a number? That didn't really work last time. "Old Castle Pub is where I'm working now. I'm back to waitressing." The smile on her face, even through the tears then, is genuine. She's very happy in her job. "They'll get a message to me." And with that, she releases him, stepping back and starting to fizzle away.

"I will," Peter says, squeezing her hand back briefly as he watches her fizzle away. It's a different kind of teleportation to any of the ones he happens to have, with some benifits that his do not. And somethings that strike him as too much of a burden. Before she's faded completely, he's turned away to head out the door, a pensive look pressing on his overworked face.

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