2009-12-09: Hiding In Plain Sight



Date: December 9th, 2009


After the close call earlier, Tracy and Peter talk about what life with a new identity means while wanted by the government. And also about Nathan. Among other things.

"Hiding In Plain Sight"

New York City

One teleport into Central Park and one cab ride later, things almost seem normal again. From afar. At the very least, the day has become much calmer after the sudden rush. The streets of New York are aglow with the decorations of the holidays even though it's not quite dark enough to be considered true evening yet. It's bustling, which is ideal for someone who wants to be lost in a crowd.

"I think the first apartment is around the block. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't stay in New York at all…" Tracy, one of those in the crowd, says as she walks along with Peter. She has her bag containing all of the belongings she brought with her over one shoulder, a little heavy to tote around but she does so without complaint. For now. In her other hand is a piece of paper rolled up like a scroll. "I have this whole new identity from Micah, but it's still me. Today could happen all over again tomorrow. Linda Johnson is Tracy Strauss. How long do you think we can hide in plain sight, Peter?"

"I don't know," Peter says as they walk along, looking around every few minutes. He's suspicious of everything these days, even when he has no reason to be. Dressed in a suit, he looks very much like a guy trying to make a good impression. Which is what he was trying to do. As Ethan Campbell, not Peter Petrelli. "I know deep down that even with the name, the person Micah's helping me become is still me. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to pull off hiding either, but I'm certainly going to try. I— I also need to think of a way to get my memories back. Then maybe I can figure out how to…" He trails off.

"Do things better. Cause they have to be stopped, before things get worse."

"Yeah." No kidding. Tracy tucks her head down, her chin momentarily disappearing beneath the vivid ruby red of the scarf she has wrapped around her neck. She doesn't keep her head down long, looking about every few seconds as well. She's quiet for a bit, contemplative — not at all peacefully, either. Though she walks in silent resentment against the government for awhile, her gaze is softer — by increments — once speaks again.

"What happens if it does end? It stops. How're we supposed to go back to our old lives when— we have two identities floating around? Like I don't have that problem enough." On that note, she slides a sharper, evasive glance at Peter and looks away. About that… never mind. "Maybe it's easier for you, but half of my job is the people I know. The networking. Linda doesn't know anyone."

"I don't know. I haven't exactly done this before," Peter says with a hint of a shrug, but he does understand what it's like to give up job and life in order to try and save the world. He did it once three years ago, but it seems a lot less of a time loss to him, still. It feels like yesterday. It feels like today. "Linda may not know anyone, but that doesn't mean you can't still use what you know. Maybe you can get a job were information is still important. Knowing who people are. You may not be able to be the one contacting them, but knowing about them might still… be important." He shrugs his shoulders.

"I asked your nephew to set me up with a degree much like my own, so I'm trying to get a job in health care. On Staten Island. So I can still use my knowledge but… there's tens of thousands of nurses in the general area. And a lot more male ones than people might think. It's not like they're going to put an eye on every single one in the country just cause I happen to have been a nurse."

Tracy looks over her shoulder as she listens to Peter, and as such, her response is delayed while she scans the crowd behind her. The crowd's as varied as ever, true Manhattan. It starts to thin out as the reach the end of the block. "Good. For you," she answers, and while she sounds… somewhat half-hearted over Peter's job possibilities, sighing thoughtfully — distracted by her own considerable issues — she does smile briefly at him. She taps the air with the paper and veers left and the neighbourhood starts to blend into more upscale. A few lofty apartments loom to their left. "I hope that you're right, Peter. 'Cause my plans don't include sitting around and doing nothing," she says, her voice veering into colder territory.

A moment later, however, Tracy guides the conversation into waters that sound normal, casual… "Have you spoken to your brother since he resurfaced?" …if it weren't for the fact that the circumstances are, again, anything but normal. "He's been in the news."

"Briefly," Peter says, looking back at the woman for a long moment, before turning his eyes back at the apartments that she's considering. What he'd seen will never happen with her, he realizes it. And the woman the might have happened with is dead. It's not an easy thing for him to deal with, especially when he only recalls snippets, and doesn't understand where they were supposed to be in context of things. "I need to get my memories back somehow. Then I can help him— I— he wanted me to focus on that, but I said I had to get you out of there first."

And he did. Which means he can focus on that. "But I'm not sure how I'm going to get my memories back. He said something about a telepath, but— I'm not sure how that will help. I'll figure something out. Sooner I know who I am and what I was, the more help I'll be to people like us." Or so he hopes.

"Well, let me know if you figure it out. Maybe, if you find a way to get your memories back, it'll work for me too." Looking up at the tall building beside them, high into the sky, Tracy comes to a slow halt. She doesn't seem to be in the biggest hurry to go apartment viewing, however. A curious look settles on Peter, critical. She doesn't miss much, and part of the man's phrasing stands out to her. "So your brother knows about abilities too," she makes a confident leap, smiling with assurance over her realization. If he told Peter something about a telepath, which is like a mind reader… "You know he's eyeing the seat left by Ivory. He's at least a candidate. He mentioned in the Times that he's looking for staff."

"My brother knows, yeah," Peter says, glancing over for a moment as he considers something. Perhaps trying to think of if he should spill his brother's secret. In the end, he decides not to. "He found out about abilities the same time I did, I think." He leaves out the fact he jumped off a building to figure it out, but… "If he takes up the Senator seat and you can get hired on as staff, what you know from working with Ivory could be of great help to him, I'm sure." And she wouldn't be used in the same way as she had been before… or so he hopes. His brother's not quite himself. And even if he was…

Okay. Maybe he's a little jealous at this idea.

Tracy buries her hands deep into the pockets of her coat and narrows her eyes in thought as she looks up at the building. Working for Nathan could be a boon, or… it could be a disaster. "I'll think about it. Reach out to him, maybe. See what he's about. The guy has amnesia," she says with a laugh laced with a scoff. "I can't believe he's even considering getting back in the game, but he does a good interview." She looks aside to Peter with a lighter expression, a smile. "Thanks, for coming with me."

"It's a good time for him to get back in," Peter admits softly, trying his best to hide the jealousy that continues to build piece by piece. The idea of her working beside his brother is bothering him a lot more than it should. "You're welcome. I'm thinking of renting a house on Staten Island, myself. That way if I need to hide people for a while there's plenty of room and no one's stuck sleeping on the floor." Or so he hopes. That's the idea. He tucks his hands into his pockets and looks back over at the woman. "The— the visions I saw. I don't think they were about you, anymore. I'm sorry." There's a pained look on his face, before he looks away again. Not about her. Doesn't stop that he wanted them to be for a while.

Tracy nods along up until Peter brings up the visions; glossed lips part more than they already have, as if she's about to interrupt him to say her own piece, but she lets him finish. Lines etch her forehead before she answers. "I figured, when someone in the building thought I was… someone… else. Niki. My sister. I— I didn't really know her. We looked so alike; it's an easy mistake." Tracy smiles — no worries — but twists her lips into a quick smirk a second later. "Besides. You and me? Yeah, I'm not so sure it'd work out." Snap. Joking, at least.. partly, the woman's smile brightens, amused, before she heads up the stairs to check out the apartment.

"Probably not," Peter says, though his hands shove deep into his pockets, and he follows along at a slow and awkward pace. He's not finding the joke to be funny, really. But he does understand it. "These apartments look pretty nice." Very much like what she probably deserves. And very different from what he would want.

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