2007-08-05: Here To Help


DFJessica_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter Petrelli's here to help, whether people want him to or not. And whether or not he actually should.

Dark Future Date: August 5th, 2009

Here To Help

Ruins of Hyde Park

The mansion that was once a lovely home to the Petrelli family is a mansion no longer; instead, it's a pile of rubble, half-standing walls and open ceilings. It's recognizable, but only if you know what to look for. There's a black car at the end of the drive, more expensive and slightly flashier than is strictly safe.

A siren sounds, far away, but otherwise, it's deathly still. In the shadows of late afternoon, early evening, the ruins cast irregular shadows over equally irregular ground. Shades of grey take over. Hyde Park looks like a warzone — for good reason. It was. Maybe it still is, here: a body lies amidst it all in the ruin of the Petrelli mansion, a woman in black jeans, boots and a dark violet shirt - with a nasty stain of vital red spread over the midsection. One hand lays on the wound — gunshot? — uselessly, while her other arm is above her head, over a mess of golden blonde hair. Her knees are off to the side together, where she fell. Jessica? Niki? Whoever it is, she's sickly pale. And she's not moving.

Invisible, no one who might be in the streets can see the blood staining the drab clothes that Peter borrowed a few days ago. They're definitely not looking their best, with three bullet holes in the chest, surrounded by blood. The blood has dried by now, but it's still very much visible… assuming he was invisible, of course. Finally leaving the rooftop of the Deveaux building, he's been wandering rather aimlessly for the last few hours, until he made his way to Hyde Park— the war zone. That's one place he hasn't had the chance to visit since he came here— his own apartment, his place of employement— but not the mansion that his family owned in the city. Not that.

The sight of the car makes him cautious, and keeps him invisible, as he approaches the ruins, wondering exactly who might be here. A second run in with his brother is unlikely, right? Who he sees sprawed amongst the ruins draws his eyes, the blonde hair catching his eyes first. He scrambles up through the ruins until he's closer— and is sure that he recognizes her. He'll probably be heard before he dissolves into visibility. "Niki?!" he calls out alarmed, moving the rest of the way towards her, stumbling through the ruins. And the gunshot holes and blood now visible too.

Peter would be heard before seen, that is, if he was heard at all. That doesn't seem to be the case. There's not so much as a twitch from the blonde on the ground. Closer inspection might shed a small ray of hope: faint breaths, coming in and out of her open mouth. Her chest rises and falls just barely, at slightly irregular intervals — like her breath might catch on one inspiration and not start again. Aside from the most obvious shot to her abdomen, there's a less recent injury to her left shoulder, bandaged, but seeping through. She looks distraught, even while unconscious.

As soon as he sees her state, Peter kneels down, aware that he's got no idea who he's really dealing with, but he'll hope it's the woman he's spent most of his time with— the hand rests on her hand, the one touching her wound, and he closes his eyes to try and gain the proper consentration for healing. He knows it worked, at least a little, but he's not sure it's enough, so he opens his eyes to examine the wounds with more conventional means, trying to see what he can do. Only so much he can do for gunshot wounds— he's not a trauma surgeon. Pressure on the wounds, slow or stop the bleeding… "Niki…?" he still asks outloud, even though she's unconscious.

There's still a long way to go… but whatever Peter did, it's enough, just enough, to give the woman's physiology a boost into consciousness. Barely. First, her head lolls further to the left, brow knitting softly. When her eyes open, they're filled with moisture, and their first attempt to focus is on a slab of cement, not Peter. But when she seems to realize there's someone there, she turns her head to look at him, confused. "…you're…"

"It's okay— you'll be all right," Peter insists, still pushing her hand against the wound with more pressure, while he shifts her clothes around with the other one. Where's the damage— that's what he needs to do— but this time when he tries to heal— He's pretty sure nothing happened. There's a mutter of frustration, but he doesn't stop applying pressure to the bleeding wound. He shifts a hand up to push back her eyelid a little forcefully. "You'll be fine, just don't move much. I'll take care of you." It's almost said as a promise, even when… he has to be able to fix something. But this world's left him so sick, and the holes in his shirt surrounded by dried blood definitely didn't help give him hope or good feelings.

Hazy blue eyes try to focus on Peter — and probably see a few of him, all equally blurry. He's only succeeding in making her more confused, but as realization, and then vivid memory of what happened to her, strikes, she makes a sudden effort to get up. She moves her arms, shoves the ground … and with a weak shout of "nnnh", falls back down. Still, she brings her knees up, as if to try again with her feet. In a minute. She wets her lips, her eyelids fluttering underneath a furrowed forehead. "…Nathan…"

When she tries to sit up, Peter shifts a hand to an unwounded section of her upper body and pushes her back down, "Don't sit up yet, please— I haven't healed you much…" He's still having a hard time doing much of anything right now. This world has tested his hope and faith in people— hope and faith in himself. And the name she speaks just makes things worse. "Nathan…" his voice trails off, and he looks down at the wounds in his clothes— that were in his chest not too terribly long ago. That might also be what's making healing so difficult. "Shot you too, huh…?"

Anger flashes across her pained features now. She's angry that she's in pain, that she's been shot, that she's been shot by Nathan, that she couldn't stop it— the list is endless. "Yeah," she manages to force out, hardly more than a harsh breath that happens to sound like a word. As the gunshot blonde looks up at her impromptu caretaker, her expression becomes wary, then softens. "Peter…?" she says, as if understanding for the first time who she's looking at.

Maybe it was the use of his name, softened, that finally helped him get it, but Peter's hand wraps around hers and he feels a much more powerful force of healing this time. Not enough to fix everything— but… hopefully enough. "Yeah— it's me. I know— look different— shorter hair— cleaner cut." Well— that last part makes him trail off and then he smiles lopsidedly, with a rather stubble heavy face. "Okay, maybe not cleaner cut, but I haven't exactly had much time to shave." Or a razor to shave with, or a bathroom beyond a public one in a still standing building. With no actual water. And they usually stank. "I'm here." And for a change, he doesn't feel that winded after a decent healing, even when he knows he should.

Resigning to flatten herself against the ground for a minute, her boots skidding across the broken concrete as her legs lower, the woman Peter knows from the past … or… some version of her, at least, lets out a slow breath. She touches her hand to her stomach, and though it still comes back sticky with more blood, it doesn't hurt so much to do it. "You … healed me," she says with some surprise— like she forgot. It's been a long time. She shuts her eyes tight and really does sit up this time, looking down at her bloodied, but less bullet-ravaged body. "Huh."

The hand comes away finally and Peter looks down at the blood still sticky there. It keeps him from running his hand through his hair, at least. "Yeah— enough that we can get you somewhere safe, at least." He glances back around the ruins, actually turning away from her a little. Too trusting, isn't he? The car is spotted. "That your car? I'm not sure if you're okay to drive yet— but I could drop you off somewhere…" But that car is really nice for this time— and this place. "You'll still need to rest and get cleaned up— bandages— something to eat. You still lost a lot of blood."

"…" The hell? It's Jessica who gives the unfamiliarly familiar man a long stare of disbelief — though, in this state, she gives little indication as to who she is. But a virtue of being sitting on the top of a powerful criminal organization is that Jessica knows the players in the city; around the country, even, and sometimes beyond. She's 99.9% certain that Peter Petrelli is a terrorist-slash-freedom fighter who is not interested in whether or not she eats, or bleeds to death. She gets to her feet with relative ease, all things considered. "…You're cracked out."

The Peter Petrelli who destroys trains also doesn't stop to heal anyone, really— not ever. It's not what he does. He'd leave her there to die. If not worse. But this one… he looks back when he's called cracked and flinches a little. "No— no, I'm not cracked. I'm just— not from around here. Remember— remember how I had so many abilities? More than— most…?" He glances around towards the ruins, finally getting a better look at it close up after he'd been distracted by a wounded woman. "Do you remember when I was trying to help you? On the roof of the Deveaux Building?" A long time ago to her, not too long ago to him. Or at least he thinks it's her. "I'm from… then. Two years ago. I'm… visiting." Wow, this always sounds so stupid. Didn't Jack warn him not to tell everyone? Well, apparently he didn't listen. And this is Niki, right?

Wait for it, wait for it-there it is. It clicks. It's visible in her eyes; they become clearer in that moment where she understands, not just that Peter is from the past, but that he thinks she's Niki. That Niki still exists. "Some vacation." Jessica's eyes narrow ever-so-slightly on the blood that stains his clothes, too. "What're you doing here?"

The bleeding seems to have stopped, or at least slowed a whole lot; the wounds have closed so as not to be so severe, at least. None of this is particularly obvious until Jessica tears the bottom portion of her shirt open in half to look. She moves experimentally, a curve and wriggle of her spine, a roll of her shoulders. "Hm," she voices, a smile actually coming to her face, pleased almost to the point of being smug. Almost. "That's better." She still needs medical attention. But she's tough. Wonder if it'll scar. Frown. Looking parallel her shoulder to Peter, she says, "So what doesn't happen? The crazy weather? The war? …The election?"

As she rips her shirt open, Peter actually keeps his eyes on her for a few moments, confirming things for himself, before he politely looks away. Still needs medical attention, but that is why he offered to drive her. He doesn't have anything clean to wrap her up with, or water to clean out the wounds. He does look back at her question, keeping his eyes on her own, rather than admiring the view except perhaps by accident. He's a nurse— he can be professional about this, no matter how attractive the woman, right? "Well… all of this?" He looks around. The ruins of his family home, the ruins of the city around them… "We stopped the bomb, Niki— we can stop this from happening too." We?

We, huh. Jessica's hands clench into fists are her sides, her features hardening. She looks away from Peter, glaring down some random piece of rubble - twisted metal and wall. "The world's at our feet," she says distantly and with a hint of cynicism, a repetition of Logan's words in her memory. "… You could save Micah." She shakes her head harshly and starts to stalk out of the ruins, her boots crunching underfoot. "No, too much's happened. This is a future you can't stop."

Micah… "Your son?" Peter suddenly looks sympathetic, worried and… god, who else was lost? He looks off towards the city. He can only imagine how many people died in the storms that happened, in the war that followed— in the rampaging terrorist attacks… Detentions, lawlessness… All of it. So many ways to die. Standing up, he follows after her, worried about her wounds, as well as the things she's saying. More than one person has doubted him. "My being here already changes things. It may seem like too much, but… I can do this. I have to." But there's a sound as if he'd love to hear someone back him up on this. "You believed in me before, Niki…"

One of the blonde's shoulders stiffens, and it's not even the one that was shot. Something Peter says seems to make her bristle. As her shoulderblade elevates, the fabric of her sleeveless shirt shifts and reveals a hint of a curving black-inked line on her skin. Jessica looks over her shoulder with an expression in her eyes that's practically unreadable, but dark nonetheless. By saving the world, does she cease to exist? "Niki stopped believing the day Micah was assassinated."

Niki stopped believing. Just like she realized something quickly, Peter does too. As she's looking at him, she'll see it. She's not Niki. She's either Jessica, or someone else, but she's not Niki. Shoulders lower, he lets out a breath that's distraught. "I'm sorry," he says, apologizing to someone who's not even there to listen. Niki's gone. "I guess I failed you." In what they'd been working on, and in what ever happened to her son. Like it's somehow his responsibility to fix everything now.

Jessica gives a soft snort of laughter, lifting her shaped brows. "Wow. You really are always putting everything on your shoulders," she scoffs. With a more serious moue, she half-turns back to Peter. "I was there to pick up the pieces. Like always. Who're you to say what needs fixing, anyway?" Her voice raises, bit by bit… "You can try to fix all this — good luck with that — but you could never fix Niki."

"She wanted help," Peter says, knowing that he's not talking to the woman who wanted the help. "She wanted help because of her son, because she didn't want to hurt people. And I wanted to help her." It looks like he didn't— but if it was her son that caused her to give up, then he can figure why… why she stopped believing. "I can keep trying to fix all this— and as long as she wants help, I'll do what I can to help her too." There's so much wrong, and so much he failed on in the world this became— but maybe he'll get a second chance.

Help help help help help. If Peter says "help" one more time… "You wanna help Niki," Jessica begins, starting to stroll away to what counts as an entrance. She looks over her shoulder again once she's reached the litter-strewn grounds of the once stately mansion. "Tell her… to keep Micah's secret safe." She resumes her amble toward the car. "And tell her to stay away from ghosts."

Keep Micah's secret— avoid ghosts. Peter can understand the first part, even in this day and age, but the ghosts doesn't exactly make sense— not entirely. "I will," he does say softly, watching her move on. That simple. There's temptation to help with the car, fix things, but he can't do that, can he? So instead, he looks up at the sky and ponders. Where to go— He's hungry. He could really use a change of clothes and a shave— and if he doesn't get some decent water, he thinks he might not make it through the heat of the day. There's only a few places he knows to go, but he takes off into the sky, leaving her to handle herself. This woman doesn't want his help anyway.

At the car, about to open the driver's side door, Jessica looks up into the sky with a dark frown on her face, rife with conflicted thought. Her stare to the clouds lingers for a while — not long, just a few moments — before she opens the vehicle and slides in to drive out of one warzone into another. Time to lay low until she pays Logan another visit.

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