2007-10-02: History Repeating


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Summary: Peter and Elena stop by as the harbingers of doom, but try to fix it by talking about solutions.

Date It Happened: October 2nd, 2007

History Repeating

Sanders-Dawson(-Hawkins?) Residence

Queens, New York City

She knows he didn't sleep. And it wasn't out of worry….though it might have been half that reason, Elena knows that there was something unnatural about his insomnia the night before. She only knows this because she had been awake for a good chunk of the evening half-expecting Noah Bennet to barge through Peter's door to yell at him. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

While she's never been to Monica's place before, she knows the address. Monica was officially part of Dance Corps now and the members were required to give some contact information to the team camptain. So after classes, she meets with Peter, who's actually been to Monica's place before, and so they make their way to the Dawson-Sanders residence. She knows why Peter wants to visit, after all. When they arrive, it's around five in the afternoon, and she lets Peter handle the doorbell while she waits a bit behind and on the side, hands slid into her pockets and looking around absently.

The whole not sleeping thing actually got a little annoying. After they both calmed down enough to actually sleep— he found himself not tired. Which meant Peter laid in bed for a while before finally getting up, going into the front room to play with his dog, and then listen to music on his iPod. He hasn't just sat around and listened to music in a while— also took the time to clean, rearrange books on his shelves, and change positioning of some of the statues and other things. All as quiet as possible so as not to wake someone up. But now they're not trying to sleep— obviously. Or listen to music on his iPod.

This residence is fairly known to him— he visited a few times after dropping Niki off one time. Reaching up, he presses on the doorbell and waits, a rather restless look to the way he shifts his weight around. Fidgetty. Nervous. All that.

In complete and maybe even shocking contrast to the nervous energy on the front step, the door opens only several seconds after the doorbell rings to reveal the smiling face of Niki Sanders. She's mid-laugh, which might have something to do with the cordless phone in her hand, flattened to her chest while she sees to the visitors. Compared to her usual state(s) of mind, she's practically glowing. Straightened blonde hair frames her unusually beaming features, the hoop earrings behind it swaying after her apparent rush to the door.

"Peter— " Niki's eyes narrow slightly on Elena, trying to place her. "…and… Elena, right?" A curious, questioning look is given to the both of them, though her smile doesn't fade; she gives them the universal 'just a minute' gesture with her pointer finger and brings the phone to her ear. "Someone's at the door. No, it's fine. I'll see you later." Another rare laugh. "Love you, too. Bye," she says before hanging up and telling her unexpected guests, "Um. Hey…?"

Oh god. The svelte, older woman actually looks happy for a change. Sure she smiled on occasion in the last couple of times she's seen her, but this was the first time she actually saw Niki Sanders beaming and happy. Why? Why did she always have to herald bad news, either by herself or with someone? It almost wasn't fair. Did she become some sort of Harbinger of Suck over the last few months?? "Hi Niki," Elena says with a sheepish grin despite said nervous energy eminating from her, one hand in her pocket while the other one flashes a v-sign after slipping out of her pocket. Probably to denote her age too, considering she's not even into her twenties yet. "How are you doing? I…uh….Peter wanted to talk to you and….is…Monica around?" She has Dance Corps stuff for her too, as well as a schedule. But her first concern is actually the dream. Peter will field that, since he knows Niki better, but while she's here, she'd like to see Monica too. She hasn't actually seen the young woman since the dance auditions results had been posted up on campus.

It's true. Peter wanted to talk to her. As soon as he sees her, though, there's a slow inhale, almost a gasp, and it's almost as if his eyes are wider than normal. And he can look at things pretty wide eyed at times… He doesn't say anything at first, almost as if he's stunned, or not sure what to say, but once Elena asks the question about her cousin, he moves forward and tries to hug the older woman. They're of a similar height, so it won't be completely awkward— though it is sudden and probably unexpected. They might have touched more than a few times in the past, but hugging still wouldn't have happened often— without trying to catch her falling off a building at least. He doesn't even explain why he's doing this. She'll have a chance to protest. And even if she doesn't, there's a moment's realization and he pulls back, "Sorry— I just— sorry. I— you and Elena have met?" Somehow he missed this fact.

"… You know Monica?" That comes as a surprise, but why should it, these days. The blonde eyes Peter, giving him a rather odd, wondering look due to his expression even as she shakes her head, explaining, "Nah, she's out with Micah. They should be home soon, tho-ooh " Niki doesn't quite get the whole sentence, or the whole oof out before she gets the wind knocked out of her — not forcefully, she's made out of tougher stuff than that despite appearances. Peter's sudden hug just takes her off-guard. It was, well, sudden. She doesn't protest — in fact, she squeezes back and keeps her hands on Peter's arms afterward, regarding him with a hint of worry after he pulls back. "…hello to you too." As for Elena, she answers, "Yeah, she'd come by Enlightenment sometimes. …Are you okay?"

"Mmhm!" Elena says with a nod and a more cheerful smile. "I met her at NYU while she was windowshopping for colleges around here. Since my boss just recently established a charitable foundation for young people so they could afford living expenses and education, I gave her contact information so she could apply for a scholarship. We've been hanging out ever since. She's really cool, she got in our dance team too but…uh. I haven't told her that yet. I was kind of hoping to see her today so I could." She slides her hands back into her pockets, and blinks when Peter moves in to hug her. It was understandable, after what he saw (and prevented her from seeing it). Her smile softens a touch - him being the big fluffy sap he is. And when Peter asks her the same question about Niki, she nods. "A few times. Um….the first time I met her it was pretty embarrassing considering Drake was being a little insane, but…I've run into her a couple of times since then."

Though he does pull out of the hug, Peter doesn't retreat entirely from the touch, his hand lingering on her arm for a moment. In some ways it's just to make sure she's still there— what he'd seen in the dream had been horrific, even worse than most of the stuff he'd seen in the future that he travelled to. "Yeah— sorry— I'm fine. I just…" He looks back toward Elena. In some ways it's a relief that Monica and Micah are both out, because this… is not something he wants to talk about in front of her son, or the nice girl who taught him to juggle. Or her husband, for that matter, but he'd be more likely to be told… "Well, it's— nice that you two actually have met, I wasn't sure you had. Niki— Elena's my… girlfriend." It's said with a somewhat sheepish voice, eyes glancing down. Now his hands finally move away. "I— we need to tell you about something. Vision of a bad future kind of something. We might want to sit down…"

Niki gives Elena a slightly awkward smile - she remembers the first time they met, too, with her seemingly fanatical friend, but Peter's serious tone waylays her from any more mention. The realization of Peter and Elena's relationship brings about a fleetingly curious look to the younger woman, and Niki, maybe unconsciously, lets go of Peter's arm. "I thought you already went to the future," she says, stepping back and aside, against the open door, to let the pair into the home that lies behind her. Her smile fades, a hint of it lingering unsurely. "What, there's more?"

Well, it was new. Truth be told given she's never had a relationship before, Elena is still getting used to it. At the sheepish look and the look of realization on Niki's face, her own expression looks a little sheepish. "Uh. Yeah," she says, rubbing the back of her neck. There's a little tinge of pink on her cheeks, not just because of the introduction but also because she remembers the press conference too and the embarrassing questions posed there. "And he did it's just….it wasn't physical this time. He gets glimpses of them in dreams too. Except something happened the other day that made me and a bunch of other people in the vicinity got sucked in so whatever he was dreaming, we shared it and…we saw you in it. And your son…Micah?" She's never met Micah, and doesn't know Niki well, so the indication that Elena had been there no matter how fantastic or weird the tale she's telling the older woman might actually be true. "But yeah…" she says softly, the mostly-cheerful/somewhat sheepish expression fading from her face. "There's more."

"I've had dreams before. I think I mentioned them to you once. How I dreamed I was the bomb? Actually saw you in the dream, you and your husband and your son— before I ever met you?" Peter looks over at her quietly, before he moves to find a seat. There's just some things that he needs to be sitting down for. And this is one of them. Bad future. "Yeah— we all had a dream. I'm not sure how it worked exactly— something made a bunch of us lose control of our abilities. And my dreams combined with someone who could walk through people's dreams, I think." That ability would be useful for his helping of Niki, but— that's not the point. "There were these people— bad people— like Sylar or— or worse. Use their abilities to hurt others. And I don't know if it was metaphorical or… your son— Micah— one of them was attacking him— and you saved him and— and she attacked you instead." From the grave look, he's not lying, but it's hard for him to talk about, voice tensing. "She's a real person. Not just a dream. Cass had mentioned her to me. We're pretty sure she's recently escaped from the Company."

"A bunch of people… had a dream… about the future…" Niki, nodding every few words as she watches the two closely, is trying to follow along. Give her a second. "…and me and Micah were in it." Okay. She shuts the door, following into the modest living room where she sits on the edge of an armchair's cushion, leaning onto her knees. That bright smile is definitely gone now; lines of worry harden her features the more she hears. "A dream like you have. I'm— sorry," she says, holding her hands up and sitting straight all of a sudden. "This is a lot to make sense of all at once." Niki hones in on the most important part of what she's heard so far: "Are you saying Micah could be in trouble?"

She wants to say otherwise. Tell the woman that her son'll be okay. Because she's seen the otherwise happen enough to her father. But the younger Gomez does nod quietly. When Peter sits down, she leans on the wall next to his chair, feeling too restless to actually sit. "Whoever she was," Elena says softly. "She was killing you both. She…made it a point to come after your son first. And then she moved to kill you both. At least…that's what it sounded like. Peter….wouldn't let me see what happened but it sounded really bad," She sounds a little embarassed saying this. If she was involved with this sort of thing, she should be able to take it all in. She wasn't a child. But Peter and Cass seemed to be like-minded about that sort of thing, Cass wanted Elena left behind too when Peter went to pick her up from the liquor store so she didn't have to see the bodies. "She can burn things….melt things. I think Cass said acid." She describes what Mandy looks like slowly, having seen her before Peter forced her to look away.

"Maybe, I'm not sure," Peter says, wincing a little. It's never easy to say that someone's son might be in danger. "This never happened in the future I went to. I'm pretty sure that— Cass is scarred for life— I wasn't able to heal it— and I know she didn't have those scars in the future." Because he carried her dead body back to the base, and he would've noticed the remnants while he was looking for a vein to try and poke. To give her blood. And he's sure that at least one of the areas that were scarred weren't completely destroyed in the bomb, but he can't really say that. "And you definitely were not— that didn't happen to you. Or Micah. I think when I came back I changed things so something different is happening…" Like her knowing her husband is alive, him hooking up with Elena, and now this. "We can still fix things— and I intend to. She's…" He gives a description of the woman, fairly brief, but… "She melts things with her touch, like acid, not like heat." And he definitely doesn't notice a lurker.

Niki takes this in slowly. There's a sure-burning fury building up inside her, definite glimpses of which can be seen in her blue eyes; where they were sparkling several minutes earlier, now they're dark. It's an anger that's all her own, however. "I won't let her get anywhere near my son," she says through nearly clenched teeth. Is that the same determination to protect Micah that got her killed in the vision — gets her killed in the future? "What do we do now?" Rather than a question borne out of helplessness, she's focused. Doesn't matter what hoops she has to jump through. If it can stop that part of the future that saves her son, she'll do it.

"I don't know," Elena says softly…there's a determined expression in her face, the sort of indicator that spells out that she does intend to do something. Something that'll have to wait until she's done babysitting her siblings and future step-siblings for the weekend and come home the morning of the 5th. "We've been warned that the Company's agents're a little antsy. There was a fire, they were attacked, and these people they were holding escaped. So they're all pissed off and a little trigger-happy. If anyone else tried to find or capture these people, they might get caught in the crossfire or…just get hurt. They all look pretty dangerous. But at least…I'm just treating the dream like a warning, use whatever information that's in it to try and use it for protection. As it stands….it's better to know what's coming and what to watch out for. I was…actually hoping Monica is around too so I could tell her to watch out for the same woman. She tells me that she hangs out with your son a lot, so…" So Monica might be in danger too, and she won't be comfortable until she at least tells her friend to watch out for a crazy woman that melts things with biologically generated acid.

While he's very serious and quietly upset, tension showing in his jaw, eyes and forehead, Peter's able to keep his voice from cracking for the most part. He does nod, though. Girlfriend isn't sure what to do, he's not completely sure either. Though he has a few ideas— ones he's not really planning to explain. He rubs his hand through his hair, the anxiety covering up a lot of what's going on, the danger that he might end up putting himself in. As she said— trigger happy agents. Cross fire. But he's not the type to sit around and do nothing, no matter the danger. Especially when this is something he caused. "We can keep an eye out for them— there seemed to be two others attacking people. I don't know what one of them does, but the other cuts people without needing to touch them…" They're described, if rather poorly. He got a much better look at the woman in the dream. "In— better news— they captured Sylar the other day. So— hopefully we won't have to worry about him anymore." Captured, but not killed.

"There was— another fire?" Niki sits back in the chair, but there's nothing relaxed about the pose. Touching her hand to her forehead, covering half her face, she drags it back through her hair. There's a moment of thought, her jaw set, before she says decisively, "I'm calling Monica right now." The phone fell to the wayside earlier; she grabs it where it lies between herself and the arm of the chair, fully intent on getting her cousin-in-law-once-removed and her son home ASAP.

Relief washes over her face when Elena watches Niki pick up the phone to call Monica. A brief smile is directed to the lovely blonde's direction, but it's halfhearted at best and a little weak, but she can still do it somehow. When Peter leans over on the chair and runs a hand through his hair in quiet frustration….she doesn't detect just what's going on inside his head. That talent belongs to another member of the Gomez family. But while Niki is making the call, she reaches out, touching Peter's shoulder gently and giving it a gentle squeeze. "Yeah," she answers Niki's question. "There was a fire….Peter actually painted it before it happened or while it was happening. We don't…really know but when we asked about it, we were told that it had already happened." She had thought that the fire was connected, but not too closely connected really - she didn't know that the fire had been at Primatech itself until she saw the papers the next morning and later Cass's visit corroborated the story.

PHONE: The other end answers, "Hello?"

"Yeah— another fire. Pretty sure it was caused by the same person, too." Peter leans into the hand on his shoulder, welcoming the touch, and even reaching up to put his hand over her own and keep it there. "We weren't sure where the fire happened exactly, but there was— another reason to contact the Company, to make sure that… I painted something else. That seemed to be some kind of a… not as literal painting, I guess." Cause the person in the painting isn't missing the top of their skull, but the serial killer really did have an ability just like hers. It leaves a lot to question… It's good that she's calling Monica, though, something he nods about, quieting so that she can talk.

Niki dials a number and curls stray blonde hair around her ear before putting the phone to it. "Not literal?" she asks as it rings, not understanding. "I was there— the first fire, I was there." She trails off when she hears a voice on the other end; it's not the voice she was expecting, obviously, if her sudden blink and slight tensing are at all telling.

PHONE: Niki says, "Micah? … Where's Monica?"

"…first fire…?" Elena wonders softly. She hasn't heard about any fires. Save for the fire that decimated the Foundation's headquarters in the city, she doesn't know of any related conflagrations outside of the one that Peter painted. She would've let go of his shoulder already, but with his hand on hers, that makes it difficult…and he needs it. She shifts, away from the wall, perching on the arm-rest of the couch that Peter is sitting in. Her hand tightens its grip on his shoulder, her thumb rubbing a small, soothing circle on the knot she finds there. "What happened with the first fire…?" But the question trails off when Niki tenses and gets ahold of her son instead. Wait. What about Monica?

PHONE: Micah's voice responds back over what sounds like a large crowd. "Mom? We got separated in the crowd at The Secret Lair. They're having a sale on comic books!"

"No, I mean— I painted two paintings. The second one doesn't seem as accurate," Peter explains softly, still holding her hand, but looking up at her for a moment. He'd mentioned the fire paintings before, he's pretty sure— "I wasn't there the first time— well…" He technically was. But he got moved rather suddenly. It's kind of a long story, but he has a feeling that Niki knows more about it than he does. There's a narrowing of his eyes at the phone conversation, but he listens, waits.

PHONE: Niki manages a small laugh — attached is relief. "… Well, that's great! But— do you think you can find Monica for me? I want you guys to come home soon."

The relief in her voice and the sudden laugh was…well. Relieving. When Peter looks up at her, Elena's face is still somewhat confused when she looks back at him. But she's not going anywhere, perched where she is and waiting. "What fire…?" she murmurs to Peter softly, trying not to disturb Niki as she speaks to her son.

PHONE: Micah says, "Uh…I think so. We got separated while I was looking for issue 12 of Iron Man. But I found it. When I find her we'll catch the subway home."

PHONE: Micah gives out a very low grunt, likely from bumping into someone. "I think I see her, mom. Over by the DVDs. I'll tell her soon as I get to her."

"At the Company— their headquarters before," Peter explains, keeping his voice down. "It was Elle's home for almost her entire life— I was moved pretty fast during the whole thing, they must've thought I might escape. I don't remember much about it— but that's why I was in Kirby Plaza instead." Otherwise, he would've been in Primatech, it would seem.

PHONE: Niki says, "Thanks, sweetie. Try not to get outta her sight again, okay? Stick together. I'll see you in a bit."

PHONE: Micah says, "It's just a comic book store, mom. She sees me though. We're gonna go pay and then hop the subway."

PHONE: Niki is a touch stern as she replies, "You know what I mean, Micah."

PHONE: Micah's voice loses some of it's excitement. "Yeah, I do, mom. We'll be home in a few."

PHONE: Niki seems a little reassured, at least. "'Kay. See you later, baby."

It's hard not to hear mother and son interact - Elena's trying not to hear the conversation out of politeness but it's rather hard when you're both in the same room. She can't help but feel the slightest tugs of a smile on her face. She nods to him then. "She mentioned that," Elena tells Peter quietly. She and Elle had a talk about her past before. "So they moved you…." There's a pause and she exhales. "They really did know we were coming…" she says softly under her breath. She hasn't thought about that night in a while.

Niki hangs up the cordless with the push of a button, letting it fall down to her lap in her grip. "They're on their way from the East Village." She pushes to her feet, walking to the other end of the room, toward the kitchen, under the guise of putting the phone back — but really, she doesn't much feel like sitting still anymore.

There's a hint of a smile— just a hint— in the corner of his mouth at the phone conversation. Peter likes to hear her talk to her son. It's touching in a way. Even in the future, when Jessica mentioned her son, she seemed to soften. "That was a few weeks before the night in Kirby— but yeah, they knew you were coming after me and moved me then too," he explains, shaking his head a bit. "I was more aware of what they were doing then, though— I'd been off the drugs for a couple days." Thanks to Elle. Since Niki's off the phone, he looks back at her. "What happened at the first fire?"

"I see…." comes the quiet response. The loose ends were tying up from the past. What she didn't know before, the spaces were filling up relatively fast. When Peter addresses Niki about the fire, she looks up. Elena watches Niki as well, when the woman puts down the phone and moves around to the kitchen so she could replace it there. She doesn't move from her spot, in fact she hasn't really shifted positions since perching on the armrest so she could keep her hand on Peter's shoulder without straining her arm. But she's listening intently….and at least Micah and Monica'll be back soon.

"I guess someone escaped from one of the levels underneath — torched the place. We barely got out, there was just … so much smoke and fire," Niki answers, lingering near the stand where she returned the phone. "To be honest, I didn't really know what was going on." She glances off to the side, thinking back to those days. "Seems like so long ago," she adds quietly. "I guess history repeats."

"Sounds like," Peter says, releasing her hand finally so he can rub his hands over his face. It's not good news. So many pieces of a puzzle all point to the fact that they'd never even caught the woman who escaped with the fire— the woman who attacked Elena in Central Park, burned a handprint into her back. The woman who attacked the Company yet again and got at least two— pretty sure three— people freed just like her. And now they're keeping Sylar in the same place, he bets. "It was a long time ago. Over half a year." And they still haven't caught her. Just means he'll have to make sure that the same doesn't happen with Ms. Acid Hands.

"If it was caused by the same person who did this other one, it fits doesn't it," Elena says after a pause. "She seems to know her way around the Company holdings pretty well." Either someone's been feeding Kellie information, or she had been an inmate before. She's leaning more towards the latter, since she had been mad as hell when she was holding her while trying to burn Rainer and the two women who had been with him. She sounded angry. She called Rainer Daddy. What had been weird before sounds so dangerously common now. And with what Niki was saying, over half a year…it fits the timeline. She had been held hostage by Kellie sometime in February.

Niki moves back toward Peter and Elena, but turns, restlessly walking around the living room until she comes to perch on the arm of the chair she'd claimed before, opposite the couple. "What're we gonna do now, just watch? Wait?" The concept doesn't seem to sit well with her, but neither does the alternative. Niki's familiar with the rock and hard place.

Sit and wait. Watch. Peter grimaces a little at that, looking down toward his hands, before he shakes his head. "We'll come up with something to do— we were told it was best to lay low— and hopefully the Company will get their act together and actually have them locked up somewhere sooner rather than later, but…" If not… he might just have to go and do something about it. It's in his eyes— he's not hiding it as well this time.

Well she's not looking directly at Peter as Elena's still watching Niki, so she misses it. Though if she knew, there'd probably be a whole lot of yelling going on. "Unfortunately," she says quietly. "If the Company has been holding them for months, years, they've probably studied them, profiled them, know their past haunts and former associates, information-wise they're better equipped grabbing them." At least she hopes they're that competent anyway. Sylar escaped them before. They were already attacked once. The Company's got a poor track record of losing the people they capture. And she's clearly disturbed by it.

'But…' Niki recognizes the train of thought Peter has jumped on, and she tries to catch his eye for a second, acknowledging it without saying anything. "I know they've done some…" she trails off, temporarily, trying to think of a phrase— "…sketchy things," she decides on, "But— you're right," she tells both of them. "I can't see them letting those people run around for too long if they're as dangerous as you say they are. …then again." She can't help but roll her eyes, vaguely self-deprecating there for an instant.

There would be yelling if the girlfriend noticed, so Peter's probably relieved when she doesn't. However, his eye is caught, and he stares back for a moment before looking away, almost as if he knows his personal resolve to do something about it is reckless and dangerous. He probably does. But that alone won't stop him. "I'm sure they're doing everything they can to track them down and find them. And we'd probably never know what they do— cause that's how it works." Not much of a secret if everybody knows. And the other problem is… he looks towards Elena. There's a pause, almost as if he wants to say something, send something, but he can't quite. Finally he rubs his face and looks back at Niki. "Give them time to round them up. Hopefully they'll get that done fast."

"Then again they've failed so many times keeping the dangerous people that they capture and it's people who don't know they're coming that pay the price." There's a sudden flash of temper there, something much more personal. Elena suddenly stands up from the armrest of the couch without thinking about it….and blinking after when she realizes she's suddenly standing. She exhales a breath, raking a hand through her hair. "That's the problem too. They don't…want to tell anyone these crazy bastards are running around doing whatever-for. When Peter looks over at her, she looks at him - but she can't quite get what he's saying. He'll probably tell her later when they're alone, but she does give him a bit of a smile. Later.

The (…much) younger woman's sudden temper prompts a flash of surprise as Niki watches her get up, but their sentiments nearly parallel. Nearly, but not all the way. There's somewhere they veer. Wait— calculated escape? Something about that notion makes her uneasy and she rolls a shoulder back. "So, maybe they don't stop them," Niki starts to challenge, watching Peter's face closely, her eyes ever-so-slightly narrowed. "If nothing changes and everything keeps going exactly the same… stop me if I'm misunderstanding the whole window into the future thing."

"I'm starting to think that the Company may not be the best people to handle these types of situations," Peter says, looking down towards his hands. "If I'm right about how the visions work— things going exactly the same will cause the same outcome— steps to change things might alter it completely. Everything I've done since I came back… some of it is still a danger, yeah— but big changes have already been made— and small, but important ones too. Like you and your husband. And…" And him and Elena. "Maybe the dreams telling us not to lay low. But I don't think the Company would allow us to warn people about them, even if we go through offical circles, like the police or… or Nathan."

"I don't know," Elena says softly, rubbing her face. "But someone in the Company has a very bad track record of letting a few of the dangerous individuals they keep in out…wherever the Company corrals them so I don't know if they didn't just let them go, or they legitimately escaped." She looks over at Niki. "I'm glad he's alive, Niki," she says quietly. She didn't even know DL had 'died' a while back until Peter told her, she vaguely remembers the tall, imposing African American man she had encountered with Niki the first time she met her. "And no, they wouldn't. And if we did…" Noah would get pissed and they'll be completely out of allies within the Company structure. Peter knows that. "…the consequences could be pretty bad. Collaterally." As in, their families.

Niki gives Elena a small smile in the midst of this, along with a quiet, "Thank you. So am I." But the topic at hand has most of her attention, drawing it away from her recent happy not-quite-ending. "…Warn people," she repeats Peter unsurely with a mounting feeling trepidation, turning her head away and watching them bohh sidelong. "Laying low was part of my deal." With the Company. That goes unsaid, implied. "How could you warn people about them without giving away what they can— what we can do?"

"Seems to be the deal they're giving everyone," Peter says with a shake of his head. But some people are more prone to listening and actually following such a deal. More prone than him. "I guess there's really nothing we can do. But— they warned people about Sylar when he was loose— the police had been looking for him, even had him for a while. But he'd been powerless at the time, so that might've made the difference. I just— wish that it would be more about prevention and less about damage control." He'll think of something. Or— maybe what he's already thought of will do the job. But he can't quite tell them that.

"I think with Sylar they didn't have a choice. Dangerous didn't even cover him. They needed the help of local authority figures with him," Elena says, looking at Peter. "He was beyond the Company's local resources here in New York, I think. Though honestly I don't know how they were able to prevent the fact that he's…not…quite normal…" And not in a psychological way, but an evolutionary way… "From getting out in the public. I can understand why the Company wouldn't want us broadcasting our special talents though. Otherwise….we might end up getting hunted too." She shrugs. "The President is constitutionally allowed to enact measures against forces that pose a clear and present danger to the American public after all." She rubs her face. "I hate to say it but maybe the only thing we can do is either nothing, or be cooperative with elements of the Company that we trust. If there is any. Anything we hear, anything we see, we notify them."

This talk of prevention, of planning, the logistics and hows and maybes of stopping the so-called bad guys and the Company from this angle and all of it — it's a world Niki has not stepped foot in. Until now. Now everything is connected. Sitting there a little overwhelmed, she folds her arms, wrapping them about herself stiffly. "All I know is, I don't think going public is a good idea. I just don't want those people who escaped to do something terrible that we can't stop," she says plainly. "If that means cooperating with the Company, I'll do it."

No. Peter shakes his head and finally starts to stand up. It's pretty obvious he doesn't like the idea of working with anyone in the Company at all. "If we don't have a choice, then we don't have a choice— but unless I have real reason to trust someone there— I don't think I will again." He'd tried that before— he dated a Company agent for months, after all— and he's not really willing to go there again. Even when he'd almost signed a deal with them months and months ago. "Think we still got some choices right now, but working with the Company in any way tends to come at too high a price."

She doesn't like it either, but what else do they have? What options? If Peter had them, he certainly didn't tell her about it. Elena is already standing but it's clear that Peter is about ready to go. She'll be supportive, however, in whatever he decides to do - to a fault. No killing people. Before she does, however, the young Gomez opens up her backpack and takes out a purple folder. This she walks over with to Niki. "It's getting late," she says apologetically. She wants to stay so she could talk to Monica too, but… "But when Monica comes home, could you give her this? It's um….info and schedules for practice. She auditioned for the school's dance team last week and she got in. I wanted to tell her the good news in person but…" She's not here.

"Maybe you're over-thinking this," Niki says with a tiny shake of her head. As the others make motions to leave, she slides off the chair to stand as well. She takes the purple folder from Elena, smiling for the bit of good, mundane news for Monica. "Sure thing."

"Yeah— I over-think a lot of things," Peter says, agreeing quietly. Maybe it's time to act without thinking again? Probably not the best message to take away from things, but… "Sorry, I didn't mean to rush you— you can stay if you want, I'm just getting a little restless," he says to Elena, looking a little worried when she says she wanted to tell the young woman in person.

"No it's okay," Elena says, smiling back at Niki, and then at Peter, giving him a shake of her head. "I'll come with you," she says softly, giving him a serious look. She doesn't want him to be alone right now, not with his worries. She grabs her backpack, shouldering it and moving for the door with him. "Thank you for listening," she tells Niki somewhat shyly. She doesn't know her very well, and this was probably all too big and too wrong to hear all at once.

Niki sees them to the door. "Thanks for… telling me," she replies with an unsaid 'I guess' tacked on the end. At least she's a little prepared. Knowledge is power, or something. Sometimes the dark just feels safer. She slips past to open the door for them, tucking the folder under her arm as she goes; it's a few shades darker than her shirt, as it happens. "Be careful," she says, addressing Peter more than the young woman she barely knows.

"I wish I could give you better news than that all the time," Peter says, glancing up toward the ceiling for a moment. Of course he's referencing the fact that he got to give her good news (with bad timing) in the form of her husband still being alive. But… "I'll be careful," he adds, giving her a long look. She knows. But he'll survive. Maybe not live, but survival and living are two different things… "You be safe too— and take care of Micah." Of course she will, but—

She takes a step outside, and Elena'll wait for Peter patiently. It still flies over her head that her boyfriend intends to run off and get himself killed in the process of enacting some sort of vigilante fantasy, but the less she knows about that, the better off they'll both be. Of course, that probably means arguments are set in the future, but that was par the course. They didn't fight

"Yeah, I wish," Niki agrees, but manages a smile that's actually pretty resilient, all things considered. "You don't have to worry about that," she assures Peter on the subject of taking care of Micah. "I will." There's a moment's pause where it seems like she's going to add something else, something important or meaningful or time sensitive - she's poised to speak - but she just steps aside. "'Night, you guys."

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