2009-10-08: History Repeats



Date: October 8th, 2009


Peter pays his mother as she reflects on the past; plans are made to prevent history from repeating in another way.

"History Repeats"

Petrelli Mansion

Hyde Park, NYC

The Petrelli mansion is as immaculate as it always is; as it always was, in-between the wars its seen, the repairs that band-aid over the terrible things that have happened here. Aside from the touches of things that are new, hints here and there that time passes, it hasn't changed in many years.

Except that it has grown progressively more empty. What was once a bustling family home and setting for many a rich social gathering is now a fortress for one. In the sitting room, flooded with clean light from the outside world that shines in, Angela Petrelli sits on one of the couches, perched on the edge. A jewellery box, of all things, sits on the coffee table in front of her, and it's this that she is focused on. Ornate and old-fashioned, a relic of years past, it features a tiny dancing figure of a rosy-cheeked girl, her porcelain dress shaped to swirl in non-existent wind.

The first sign that the house isn't completely empty cones in the form of footsteps from the Foyer. None of the doors opened, no cars pulled up, so that limits the possibilities of the source of the footsteps. Peter touches the door frame as he gets up to the door, looking in on the sitting room where his mother is. Two years ago, the house had two boys, three dogs and a cat. Now there's very little reason for him to stop by at random. Except for his mother. Who he sees at times during the day.

Dressed in the uniform of a paramedic, he doesn't even wear a coat over it, having been able to skip stepping outside at all in his visit.

"What's that?" he asks, as his hand drops and he steps further in. "I don't remember seeing that before."

Angela's attention wavers, flickering to the sound of footsteps, but by the time Peter comes into view and speaks, she's already looking back at the jewellery box. "Hello Peter." she states evenly, unsurprised, flat. A restrained smile flashes across the woman's thinning lips, sentimental for an instant as she glances up, belatedly, to her son. "A relic. Nostalgia. I usually keep it hidden away. I open it when I want to remember." She takes the box into her hands and sits it on her lap. "To what do I owe the visit?"

The jewellery box, the small figure, all of it reminds him vaguely of the presents he bought Elena when they'd still been together. Peter'd had so many plans for that, music boxes for so many holidays… and he'd only given her a few. The thought is brought up, easily, because… "Elena's back in New York," he simply says, leaving it there as he moves across the room so he can drop into one of the fancy chairs. "When I was questioning the government guys— you said something. About this happening before."

Perhaps the penchant for certain gift choices runs in the family. On Peter's pronouncement, Angela simply raises her eyebrows. She doesn't answer his question, not at first, though her hands happen to grip more tightly around the jewellery box — protective. There's a long pause before she speaks. "The Company formed to prevent something like this from happening again. We were all very young then, but after what happened…" Something she's yet to precisely clarify. "…we knew we had to protect people like us from others and, of course, vice versa. This world is cruel to that which it doesn't understand. What it can't control," she says. "And it has every right to be. That's why we had to control it."

"Things might have been different if— if you'd just explained that to people," Peter says softly, looking toward the protectively held box. By people he mostly means like Elena, or even Cass. But Elena was the one who left. Mostly because of him having joined the Company. "So now you've lost control, and the government is trying to get some of their own," he surmises, looking up at his mother's eyes. There's tension around his mouth, "What happened before?"

"Please, by now, even with all we've tried to improve upon, you should understand personally that people will vilify us no matter what our intentions." Case in point. Elena. "What happened then…" Angela looks down, darkening. The woman hesitates with a dry mouth as she forms an answer. Dredging up the past for the good of the future. Even still, she remains vague. "We covered it up," she says sharply. "We made sure no one would ever remember how wrong it all went back then."

The matriarch's hand runs cautiously, affectionately over the ornate cover of the box on her lap. Gingerly, she opens it and touches the contents with a bittersweet smile. Gold chains, pearls, baubles, old combs. She lifts the piece containing the shiny knickknacks up to reveal the compartment underneath. "But history…" she reaches in to pluck a sheaf of aging papers from the box. Small, journal-sized sheets. She sifts through them, coming upon a folded paper which she unfolds and hands across the distance to Peter. "Has a way of repeating itself."

It's a sketch in faded pencil, depicting a sign.

Underneath, in Angela's own, neat handwriting, only barely less refined than it is in present times: Coyote Sands, 1961. Remember!

"Elena's mad at me, not the Company," Peter says after a moment, looking down at the box, and leaning forward as the compartment is revealed. History has a way of repeating itself. The small sketches, the handwriting, all of it catches his eye as he takes the offered piece of paper. "1961— you would have been just a teenager," he says quietly, that serious expression falling over him again. It's almost as if he's trying to picture all of that in his mind. "You never really talk about your childhood, and for something you want to remember…" he trails off, reaching across again.

Not to hand back the piece of paper, but to take his mother's hand. "I don't want— whatever is happening now to go too far. We can stop this, Mom. Fix it— I just need to know what to do."

Angela's hand curls over her son's with a squeeze and she smiles. It's sad, though, distant. "I don't know what I would have done without you this past year, Peter. What with Nathan, and the Company…" She slides the rest of the papers away and pats Peter's hand with her other hand as well before letting go. She carefully returns the jewellery box's pieces and shuts it with care. It's taken with her as she stands up, held like a prize she has no intentions of releasing. "By what scarce bit of information we do have, this so-called Alpha Protocol is going after people from all walks of life, so long as they have an ability. Now more than ever, we mustn't be divided. We have to converge. Do you still speak to Kory Alexander?"

"I needed to be here too," Peter says in a whisper, leaving his reasoning to the air between them. In some parts they're the same, in others… Leaning back, he lets his hand drop into his lap, as he nods to the question. "I still speak to her. Not often, but— I can contact her." In many ways Kory had been a closer friend than most, but they've grown apart lately, mostly cause of various jobs taking up much of his time. "Is that what we need to do? We need to come together?"

"Yes." It is perhaps ironic, then, that Angela moves away from Peter at this particular juncture in the conversation. She drifts to the door that enters into the gardens — well-kept by a gardener. Her eyes narrow slightly as she looks outdoors. Watchful. "Naturally, we can't be too obvious. Just reach out to Kory. Between the two of you, you've a powerful tool. Dreams are safe."

In a way it is ironic. Perhaps not in the way that his mother might think. Then again, irony is often one person knowing something the other doesn't. Like how dream conferences were originally discussed between him and Kory two years ago as a defense against the Company. Peter stands up, and looks across at his mother where she looks at the garden. "I think I know where you're going with that. I'll contact her— ask her if we can set up a conference of sorts in a place we won't have to worry about eavesdropping." Of an electric nature, at least.

As her son gets on the right track, the mother by the door tips her head down, dark bangs of her otherwise tightly wound hair brushing knitting brows. after a spell of thought, she looks over her shoulder at Peter. "You know, it might be wise if we begin to draw up backup plans. For us, for our family, people we can contact. Money, identities… passports…" While they still have time. Just in case. It's good to be prepared. "With Noah having gone AWOL on us," she says with a certain edge of bitterness, dismissive in the same breath, "I'm worried about Claire."

"I can find out what's going on with Claire," Peter says, frowning a bit at the change in subject, but it's something he's been concerned about himself, too. He's beginning to realize now might be the time to take some time off from his day-night job. Even if it's not what he wants to do. Maybe taking just one shift a day instead of the two or three he sometimes has. "I'm not sure how we'd get new identities or passports, but— I might be able to talk to someone about it. And I can get all my cash out of the bank. I lived on the run for a while." So he understands things about cellphones and cash.

"Good, good." As Angela moves back across the room to set the jewellery box on the coffee table, she gives Peter a smile that starts out almost amused. While it might appear patronizing for just a second, she actually laughs despite the dark subject matter and steps to her son to pat him briskly on the upper arm. "Oh Peter, you work in the Company now. You underestimate what the we're capable of." She brushes the sleeve of her jacket past her wrist to reveal the gold shine of a watch. "Well. I have to go meet with that infuriating recalcitrant schoolmarm teacher at Palisades. I hate taking the train by myself." Especially in recent days, but Angela's tone is light; they've made plans, they know what to do, now they have to wait on the next steps. "I suppose my busy son is too busy to keep his dear mother company…"

"I guess you're right," Peter says, though that doesn't stop him from looking a little skeptical about the resources of the Company. Not so much that he doubts them, but he always felt safer using people he knew for things like that. "I'd offer to go, but I have to find Kory and Claire." He says, backing up a bit. "And the schoolmarm seems to have a particular dislike for me," he tags on, smiling a little. "Do you think you can handle it yourself?"

Angela smirks in response. She is, after all, quite accustomed to handling things herself — but now and then, a mother can hope. "Of course, I can't give you marching orders and then expect you to do everything," she says and clasps the shoulders of her youngest and gives him a quick peck on the cheek. "Give Claire my best."

The clasping of shoulder is returned with his own clasp, before Peter steps back a few steps and smiles. It's not forced, but it is tired. There have been long days, and it doesn't look like they're getting any shorter. "I will— be careful, mom," he adds on, before letting his eyes close and vanishing from the Sitting Room.

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