2008-02-03: Heart Of Stone


Peter_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: Things are never easy in the best of circumstances. Throwing in abilities makes everyone a little more crazy.

Date It Happened: February 3, 2008

Heart of Stone

Lower Manhattan (West) - Alley

Day three, and still Jack-Free.

Katrina Mah has definitely had better looking days. Her hair is twisted up behind her head with an elastic band, ends pointing out every which way without regard to order or balance. Her eyes are lined in a flaking bit of mascara and eyeliner, and her dried out lips are splotchy shades of natural rose and painted red. She runs one hand down the front of her rumpled jeans as she sits on the hood of her Ford Mustang that is currently parked up an alley littered with garbage that somehow missed the nearby dumpster, a cigarette in her other hand. With her wool-lined denim coat left at Jack's since his head happened to be on it at the time, she's layered a thick grey sweatshirt underneath a black leather jacket.

Breathing still hurts, like a betrayal of her feelings. Like somehow she should have died the moment she moved out — the moment she thought about moving out. It certainly would be easier. Instead, she keeps on breathing. Keeps hurting. And every time she thinks about it, she has to fight the urge to cry. She spent the whole first day just sobbing. She can't afford to cry any more.

She takes another deep drag from her cigarette before using it to start lighting another. She exhales the breath slowly, sending the white, toxic cloud up towards the grey Manhattan sky.

Perhaps it is fortunate that he looked for her during a cigarette break. The slick map of the Manhattan area gets a pin hole pushed into it. Previous attempts came up dry— this time, Peter got a good look at her. The car, the alley, the cigarette. A good look and a location. The two combined are enough to leave the map behind on the table top and walk over to a long white coat he has hanging by the door. After this last month, though, he's running out of coats. That's why the white one plays a stark contrast to his usual black. Eyes close and he teleports, moving without moving, from one place to another. His girlfriend's apartment to the nearby alley.

Where he appeared may not easily be in her line if sight to start, but he doesn't leave her waiting too much longer as he walks up. Before, he'd looked very strained, jaw tight, lines around his eyes. It looks as if he might have gotten a much needed emotional rest in the last few days, though, because some of the visible tension has washed away. Helps that when she left her boyfriend, his girlfriend happened to come home. The reunion may have done wonders for him.

"Trina?" he says once he's close enough to the car, to the woman in the car.

Crystalline eyes shoot up at the sound breaking the relative silence of her retreat, and a hand subconsciously comes to pull her jacket closed by grabbing the fabric up into a fist held against her throat. It takes precious seconds for Trina to recognize the man who calls to her, and her blue eyes narrow into thin slits. "I don't know how you found me, Pete, but—I swear to God—if you're here to rub somethin' in, you better just turn around. I ain't got the patience for it today." It's a kitten's threat, made more of sound than intent, but it's there all the same.

"I'm not… here to rub anything in, Trina," Peter says, a confused tone finding ways into his words. "I was trying to find you, make sure you were okay— make sure that…" The concern slips back in, almost naturally. Concern and possible tinges of guilt. He had left Jack pinned under a ladder, drugged up and coming down off of it, using his ability and trying to kill him. When he teleported out, he'd been in a lot of trouble. His personal safety had been jeopardized to a point where he wasn't sure he could defend himself against the attacks. "What happened?"

The hand that holds her leather jacket so close shifts a little, twisting the collar. Trina doesn't immediately reply, choosing to study Peter suspiciously instead. She makes no secret of that wordless, frowning inspection, a foot taking to bouncing and setting her whole body a-jitter with the nervous motion. Then, finally, her head shakes softly as her fragile, brittle facade cracks as she offers a shrug and a hollow, half-hearted attempt at a chuckle. "I don't know what happened. Guess it don't much matter now. Jack's on his own."

Moving in even closer, Peter's eyes drift down to the alley floor, until he's close enough and meets her eyes again. There's understanding, but he has to look over her. Check for hurt. She had been good at hiding it in the past, but he's got more of a medical eye than her boyfriend did— he might notice something. "I'm not going to tell you what to do— you're your own woman. You can make your own decisions. And Jack should've known better— he shouldn't have gone back on those drugs for any reason. Not with everything that's happening. Not with…" He pauses for a moment, taking in a slow breath. "But I think we can get him back. The man that— that you loved and that I respected."

Peter can look all he wants, but he won't find anything. Trina takes another drag of her cigarette, and then shakes her head as she lets out the puff of smoke. "You don't understand, Peter. If he's on what he made it sound like he's on? This ain't like before. This isn't him back on something. This is worse. Much, much, much worse. This is what I was trying to keep him from." If Jack wasn't lying about that, too, anyway. And then the tears come. All of her body language, however, is screaming for Peter to keep his distance. "He's not going to listen to you or anybody else. But you wanna try?" Her cigarette bearing hand flits and sweeps in front of her with a strange, vaguely heraldic gesture. "Be my guest."

While he sees no injuries, Peter does see that she would like him to keep his distance. And he doesn't. He takes a few more steps closer, hands moving from pockets of his coat as if he's tempted to reach out and touch her shoulders. Though he never does make it quite that close. "I am going to try. And I am going to get him back." Determination. Commitment. It's not just about Jack. "Everything— everything— it's all connected. What's happening to me, to my brother, to Jack… They can all be… fixed. You weren't able to protect him from it— because he was trying so hard to protect you from seeing what he was becoming."

Then again, maybe that's him. He avoided his family, his girlfriend, most of his close friends… to try and protect them from what he saw happening to himself. "I'm not saying it'll go back to how it was before— or that you should ever forgive him for what he's done to himself… But I know how much you mean to him. I know this. You might be one of the only people who would give him a reason to make himself stronger than what he puts into his body. To make himself back into a man that you can stand to look at."

When Trina exhales her next breath of poison, she drops her head to avoid throwing the stream of smoke right in his face. She shakes her head again. "He made his choice, Pete. And it wasn't me. It wasn't ever gonna be me." There's a smile that twists her lips, the battered vestiges of a brave front. "And that's… It's okay. It was a good run. We did alright. It's just the way things go sometimes. And that's okay."

Lie. Lie, lie, lie.

The important thing, however, is that Trina is trying desperately to settle herself into the fact until it's truth. It's the tremble in her voice that gives her away. Pulling her legs up, the brunette drops them off the side of the hood of the red car so she push herself onto her feet and reclaim valuable space between herself and Petrelli. She takes the opportunity to smash the spent cigarette underneath the ball of her foot.

There's so much that he likely wishes to say, words that could come out… But Peter remembers a request made by the same woman, half a year ago— two years in the future. The least he can do, though… As she gets down and moves away, his eyes follow her even if his feet don't. "It's not okay." It's a simple way to call her on her lies. "Jack loves you." Also plain and simple. As he continues, though, his voice gains a bit of force. "If the time comes when his body stops playing tricks on him, when the addiction stops telling him what it needs rather than what he needs— If that happens he still chooses drugs over you? Then he really isn't the man that I knew. The man that I respect. Or the man that you fell in love with."

"Stop it, Pete." Trina snaps, lifting her head to glower at the taller man with a new frustration. "If all you wanted to do was tell me how much Jack loved me, then you can go. I told you I don't want you rubbin' this shit in my face. You think I wanted to leave?" Peter is making this harder. The thin brunette does not take it well. "And if you tell me he loves me one more time, I swear to God, I am going to make you eat your gawddamn teeth. Don't you get it? It doesn't matter if he does or not. If it doesn't change anything, all it does is hurt. So. You got a choice, too, Pete. You can stop sayin' the 'L' word, or you can just leave. You, Elena, everybody. You can all leave me the hell alone."

Then, the rambling just starts escaping her lips, accompanied by a fresh attack of hot tears that finally make it past her eyelids, further decimating the day-old eye makeup on her face. "All of you people and these stupid abilities that just fuck everything up. All I wanted was him. Everything in the whole world, and all I ever wanted was him." A hand comes up, moving to cover her face. She looks ugly and weak, and she hates it more than she could ever hope to communicate. "Just… just leave me alone."

The words, and perhaps the tears, do keep Peter from advancing again, and keeps him quiet throughout her entire justified ramble. His eyes even shift away, hinting toward guilt at what she had to say. He doesn't look like he's wanting to argue with her. Still, he takes in a slow breath and looks back up at her, letting her cover her face, try to hide herself. Opening up his coat, he pulls out a handkerchief and steps forward, politely diverting his eyes even as he holds it up. One he grabbed with one of those abilities. "These abilities that mess everything up… they can also fix things. They can make things better. These abilities that we have… they help people, they can help us get Jack back." He's able to keep himself calm, but he steels himself for further reaction, "If you don't still want him… and if you have somewhere safe that you can go to… I'll leave you alone."

Trina looks at the handkerchief, and then peels her hand off of her face to look back up at Peter. She doesn't take the cloth, choosing instead to take her sweatshirt and pull its cuff far enough over her hand to use it instead. "I ain't a charity case," she finally decides on. "If you can fix Jack, good on you. He needs to be fixed. But don't do it for me, because I can't promise anything. Far as I'm concerned? These abilities are a curse. They make everyone just a little more insane. And between you and me?" She leans in close, as though sharing a highly confidential state secret. She whispers. "World really didn't need any help with that." And then she pulls back, blue eyes fixed on Peter with a calloused deadness and half-painted mouth hanging open just a little. Once she's got a few more paces between them, she reaches out to jerk open her car door. She's suddenly lost the urge to remain parked here.

"Stay safe, Pete. Folk tend to trample anybody when they're runnin' scared."

The unaccepted handkerchief gets placed into his pocket. Peter does respond softly to her, even as she jerks the door open. "You aren't a charity case, Trina. You're a friend." Though she has no way of knowing just how often he'd spoken to her, or how he might have decided they're friends and not just a casual acquaintance. The danger with time travel. He knows a part of her that she hasn't even been. "And you're right. There's very little I can think of that abilities have fixed… that the presence of the same hadn't caused in the first place." A few things, though— "The world would be better of without them. But the world isn't without them. And wishing them away isn't going to make them go away. Neither is running or hiding. All I can do is make sure I use what I have to help, and to stop others… Because I know what happens when I don't." People die, for one. Looking at the car, he shakes his head and starts to back away, "Good bye."

"If you're really a friend, then you'll give me some space. Good luck with the messiah complex, though," Trina quips back with a sharpness, although the first part does have a note of softer sincerity in the undertones. She honestly doesn't know what to do with the self-importance thrown her way. Honestly? She doesn't really care to answer it right now. She has more than enough problems to deal with; she doesn't need to try to also figure out Peter's. Then, after a quick turn of the engine, her Mustang starts and she eases it out of the alley with a pair of fingers hanging out the window in the frigid winter air.

Peace, yo'.

If she bothers to glance back through that window, or in a mirror, the peace sign isn't at all returned. Instead Peter's jaw sets mildly and he closes his eyes, vanishing straight out of the alley way and disappearing from sight. The same way he came, the same abilities that she hates. After a year and a half of definitely not normal, he's wondering if he would even know what to do with himself if he found some kind of peace.

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