2007-03-18: How To Live With A Unicorn


Alyssa_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter stops by the bookstore to go looking for a specific type of book.

Date It Happened: March 18, 2007

How to Live With a Unicorn

Enlightenment Books

It's a typical day and the usual lunch hour, but the bookstore is empty. There hasn't been a customer for ages. Perhaps it's the weather, or that everyone's on their couches trying to labor through their new copies of 'Activating Evolution'. Whatever it is, Alyssa, employee, is alone.

"Oh, oobee doo~! I wanna be LIKE YOU!" Swooosh! Alyssa surfs across the store front, her rainbow toe-socks allowing her all sorts of sliding movement with just one awkward trip-up towards the end. Recovering, "I wanna walk like you! Talk like you! You'll see it's truuuuuue - shoobe doo - someone like meeeee— Shoebe, shoebe doo wee!" Arms flailing in their similarly rainbow sleeves, she catches her balance, hops two feet back, and dips down as if she's playing a marvelous guitar solo such as the one she's currently hearing in her head courtesy of some nicely placed headphones. The iPod responsible for this jingles about at the edge of her pocket, luckily secured by its pink carabiner or the party might've ended a lot sooner.

There's many places on the list of places he needs to visit… One wouldn't think the bookstore would be the one he chooses to walk into first. And what timing he has. The door to the store opens with a sound that likely would be heard if it hadn't been for the iPod and the singing. Peter stays with the door open for a moment, watching the young woman he met briefly at Starbucks flail about in an extremely amusing manner. Letting the door clothes behind him, he stands there for a moment, clad warmly in attire fitting for the weather outside, a long coat, scarf and gloves, a smile teases on the corner of his mouth. It would seem he's waiting to draw her attention, but not actually making any moves to interrupt her.

"Can learn to be SOMEONE LIKE YOOOOOOU, I CAN LEARN TO BEEEE! " Surfacing from the guitar solo, she's heading into the grand finale. She flings her head back, twists to the side, "SOMEONE LIKE— " Peter Petrelli! Alyssa's head screams the alarm above her music so many seconds too late so that she's stuck, frozen in half-dance, staring once more upon the face of the well-known other. "….. someone.. like…" The song has come to a close. And so has Alyssa's performance. Glancing awkwardly around the store, she then surrenders any semblance of poise and throws her arms up, letting them fall with a 'well there it is' smack onto her hips, "W-Welcome to Enlightenment Books! I'm your crazy helper today. What can I do to make things even more bizarre for you today?"

Well, it's not easy to become Peter Petrelli, and really— One is enough, as his brother might say. The trailing off of the singing earns a wider smile, one that does more than tug at the edge of his mouth, and he moves further into the store, politely glancing around instead of keeping his attention solely on her while she recovers. "Aly, right?" he asks when she's welcomed him, and seems to be more or less over what he'd just walked in on. It doesn't look as if he'd been offended, from the way the smile lingers on his lips. "Actually, I'm looking for a book…" There's a pause as he glances around the walls, eyes lingering on the decorations for a moment.

Alyssa is certainly not completely recovered but she's got enough composure to appear functional. To prove it, she clasps her hands in front of her and moves to where he is, keeping a breathable but probably less than sociably accepted space between them. His moving mouth suggests to her that she'd better raise one hand and yank on the headphones cord to get them away from her ears. "A book," she does catch his intent, "Well, fancy that. Uhh, you're at the right place!" His smile encourages one on her and she makes a grand gesture to the store, "Something specific or just wanna take a whack at ritual sacrifices over there?"

"Obviously," Peter responds with the smile still firmly across his face. A rare thing, really, but this is one of the few times he's not expecting a horrible event to arise. He's felt guilty enough for three people, that it can be put on hold for a few minutes for a shopping trip. "No ritual sacrifices, no. But— I know this is going to sound silly coming from a grown man…" He glances back towards her, looking mildly embarrassed, before he looks back towards some of the posters. "I'm looking for a book on… well… unicorns. You have posters of fairies, so I'd assume you have something on mythical creatures…" That'd been his plan when he stepped out today. Only he had no idea what kind of book store this had been until he stepped inside.

"'Silly'," she chortles scoffingly, "from the guy who just saw me Risky Business'ing it around here… with decidingly more clothes on," Which is good, considering the guy has a girlfriend. Also, just because it's good. Alyssa glances to the shelf closest to them and then puts a hand right on Peter's shoulder, making to try and turn him around to face the opposite direction, "Towards the window here are all your dragons, griffons, medusas and the like. If you see the Lach Ness Monster you've gone too far into reality." She gives a teasing wink and then skirts around him to get to the area first. "Sooo… uniiiiiiicorns," She's doing some sort of accent here, possibly an impression but she recovers her old voice to observe, "I wouldn't have pegged you as a unicorn guy. Maybe dragons or shape-changers."

The proximity doesn't seem to bother him, anymore than the physical contact. Should it linger for too long, Peter might toss a glance her way, but at the moment he's still smiling, even if it's taken a dive towards sheepishness. At least they both have reason to scoff at each other. Stepping up to the bookshelves she indicated, he glances to the side and nods. "It's not for me, really. It's— it's a gift." Pulling off the gloves first, he shoves them into his coat pockets, and then starts to unravel the scarf as he examines the rows and rows of books.

Various things are tagged in Alyssa's mind before she glances over and acknowledges that he's just said it isn't for him, "Ahhhh," she gives a nod of understanding, then, "Unicorns for a unicorn person, then. Let'see. Rumors? Or ones that don't seem to care about real-world rules?" Despite what he said, she still fingers a spine proclaiming its attached book to be about 'fortune-telling birds' and gives Peter a quizzical glance. She turns away to look around for a book to suggest but she's soon enough back on him and she finally cements the interest with a half-lidded stare. But she isn't sheepish, it's almost like to veil how intense her curiosity is. "Soo… they say some things about you."

"Doesn't need to follow real-world rules," Peter answers, the scarf loosened around his shoulders as his ungloved hands start to run along the spines of books, looking through the mythical creatures. Dragons… hydras… chimera… there's definitely quite a few to look through. He's not found one on unicorns yet when she adds the curious comment. Glancing over in her direction, the smile that he's had finally fades some, moving towards the serious expression he'd maintained through most of his time in Starbucks. "They do," he repeats, hinting towards a questioning tone, but somehow still coming out a statement. She'd been sitting in Starbucks with at least three people present who knew he was. Four, if Jane wouldn't have been mentally violated by the Company. But at the same time, as she'd been sitting with Jane, she might have been told something else all together. He doubts it, though, as she'd promised not to talk about her assumption that he'd been doing drugs. Or maybe she's a political fan, and she's aware of his 'suicide attempt' and subsequent disappearance. "What have they been saying?"

A conspiratorial nod follows his half-statement question and she glances about the completely bookstore, perhaps a little anxiously despite it's obvious safety. "Something about a kidnapping," Alyssa then admits, leaning a little in so her voice can lower, "I don't… really remember for sure and I'm not even sure I /want/ to know but… I guess I had to see. Since, it just /happened/ to be you and all. Oh, forget it. What am I saying? You're in here for /unicorns/, not a press release." She stands there and blinks at him a second, seemingly quite surprised at her own change of heart, but she soon enough jerks away, grabbing up the first book that is bright enough to catch her attention. Ah ha! It's a creature Encyclopedia, no wonder it stuck out, it's so big. Scooping the larger text into her arms, she thumbs through the sections and casts a searching look towards Peter.

"It wasn't a kidnapping," Peter explains cautiously, not wanting to give too much away since she just did a reverse of her questioning. However, she's still being quite nice to him, and… "But some people helped me out quite a bit. I owe them." Who they are— what they did— that might be explained later, but for now… "It's Aly, right? Elle'd met you…" he waits for some kind of confirmation nod, before he looks back at the bookshelves and keeps skimming book titles. Unicorns should be one of the more popular mythical creatures, but he's somehow managed to get stuck in trolls and goblins, which might be interesting under other circumstances, but certainly not unicorns. "Elle mentioned something about being 'special'… And this book store certainly seems to have more than a few special items." And finally, he gets to the unicorn section, so it would seem as he begins to look much more carefully at the titles.

Alyssa is one of those special items but she keeps her responses to measured nods and small smiles when he decides to offer up some information anyway. There's the lightest bit of a frown when he first clarifies about the kidnapping, though. If it wasn't so serious, then why the need for all that black mask rigamarole? Everyone /sounded/ so serious. But the discussion turns and, true to her one-eighty, she does not press anything he wants to offer. "Special, yes. I'm glad she's feeling better about it. She seemed so worried when she first came into the store," she flashes a strangely shy smile to Peter for this talk and then falls quiet when she notices his heightened concentration on the books. But it's /so/ hard to just be /quiet/. And she's supposed to be aiding people! "The bookstore can help with that kind of thing… if her…. or you….."

Oh, it /was/ serious… But kidnapping and imprisonment are two slightly different things when he was letting them hold him in the first place. Peter had only just decided he wanted to break out a few nights before they showed up. So it's different than kidnapping, but no less serious. He's scanning titles when she mentions something that causes him to glance over in surprise, a bewildered expression on his face, "She— seemed worried?" The expression on his face is one that doesn't seem to know for sure what's going on, at all. His hand has settled on a bound book, and isn't quite moving just yet. It's definitely a confusing statement, but there had to be a reason. He believes that she'd have a reason. Glancing back towards the unicorn books, he asks, "This bookstore can help? How?"

The door opens, and coming through is a woman with a guitar and backpack. She's known to both worker and customer, dressed as she usually is when out and about to play at random spots. Today, however, Jane's looking for someone in particular. Alyssa. Her eyes travel around over the books and toward the counter, looking for the one she came to see.

"Definitely worried," Alyssa responds, taking on a heavier tone to try to imitate when people are serious or perhaps very responsible. She twists so that she's leaning against the shelf, instead, her hands wandering to her belt-loops, "But it seems like everyone is. Or, like, surprised. She seemed, at least, very happy with what she could do. And she was certainly smiling at Starbucks, huh? I gave her number like she wanted to those who can talk to her, but I'm guessing the book did wonders to, uh.. come to terms… with what's going on…" The door has opened. Not only that but Alyssa is losing track of the whole train of thought. "There's people here," she finishes quickly, "Who can help those who were new to their powers like Elle— excuse me." She passes by Peter with a soft pat to the shoulder and moves into the main area where she can be seen.

Ah, that makes sense— maybe. Peter gives a small nod, thinking of some reason why Elle would walk around acting confused and lost about her powers. Because— she's probably one of the most confident people with abilities he's ever met. "She's definitely come to terms with what she's capable of," he confirms with a nod, pulling one of the books off the shelf finally, and nodding to the rest. "I'll have to ask her about that— or come and see them sometime. I could use some help as well." Though what help he needs… "Help again, as the case may be." The people here might have been the ones who already helped him. He knows he's not met some of them. Following after her, with book in hand, as she moves towards the main area, he glances and spots Jane. That guilty tinge reappears in his eyes, but he takes a few more steps forward, and starts towards the register. He has the book he wants, after all. And surprising enough, it's not Activating Evolution.

"Hey," Jane greets, spotting Alyssa first, and showing a quiet smile. "I wanted to tell you if you're free later we could maybe go try to find those folks." And she spots the man next. "Peter. Good to see you." Her eyes go from one to the other, spotting the book, and she adds "I'm sorry, didn't mean to interrupt." Nothing, apparently, was heard of the discussion about powers. She remains unaware they have any, or that either of them might know about her own as she moves to wander the shelves and let them talk undisturbed.

"Yo," Alyssa returns the greeting, grinning to what Jane has to say, "Awww, you'll let me come along?" She tosses the other woman a thumbs-up as she moves off and then Alyssa turns to see that Peter has followed and he's got a book, "Findin' something?" She questions, nodding to the book and then padding to the register counter. Whoooooosh, she slides around the bend once just to not let the whole sock thing to /complete/ waste now. "It'd be great to see you guys in here more often," she says, in a lower mutter to him when they're closer, "I know me an' my boss would do anything we could to help. In the, uh, not intrusive way. As far as I know." A shrug. This is starting to feel fun again.

"Nice to see you, Jane," Peter says as he drops the book on the counter. The book appears to be of the crazy variety. 'How to Live With a Unicorn: The Fantastic Guide to Keeping Mythical Pets' in paperback. A little over a hundred pages, it's not overly impressive, but it suites his purposes. And the cover happens to be quite nice. "I'm just shopping for a present, you're not interupting anything," he adds to Jane, trying to wipe the guilt away with a smile, before he looks between the two. Her boss… "I'll definitely try to stop by again when I have more time. I think I'd like to meet your boss."

She nods understanding to what Peter tells her, and glances back at Alyssa for a moment, replying "Yes. I'll call you later, okay?" And Jane's once again perusing the shelves. Memories come up, she glances over to the spot where she stood when that first dog whistle hit her ears, and thoughts of that event might reach the Petrelli brother through telepathy. 'I was right over there, that first time. God, I hate dog whistles. They hurt. I can't stop wondering if dealing with that brought me down.'

"She's an awesome lady," And not just because she's the boss and must be talked nicely about. Alyssa bounces a little on her heels and puts her hands out for the book. Once in her grip, she twists it around to examine the back where the price is listed. She reads it out-loud to Peter and then begins to work the old register. "If you want, you can leave a na— okay, well, a number like she did." Using one hand, she points to the piece of paper half-tucked under the register. A particular tick-mark in a long line of them is tapped towards, "That's Elle, there. She's in good unofficial book club company."

There's a mild flinch for a moment, a twitch, when Peter catches onto some of the thoughts practically projected at him. Luckily he's only catching one set of thoughts, so it doesn't wrack his brain quite as bad. Grasping the edge of the counter, he stays there a moment, until he sees the 'unoffical book' with Elle's name, and number. First, he passes over cash for the book, and then he picks up a pen and writes his name. Peter Petrelli. Followed by a number. "There you go. I'll look forward to hearing from your boss, or stopping by and meeting her sometime soon." Glancing off towards where Jane is, he's almost tempted to say something— but he's not sure how much he should… Or how much would be appropriate to.

Looking out the window still, with her mind wandering, the thoughts prominent to her from being about her manifestation, they might well seem louder than normal. Jane's recalling how a few days later she was hit by another whistle, and screamed, making a streetlamp shatter, then tested by breaking a glass bottle on purpose. It brings a quiet feeling to her thoughts, the inward humor of being the ultimate soprano, a real screamer. If there were only a way to handle shrill ultrasonic noises.

Making the transaction of counting his money and ringing up the register keeps Alyssa occupied enough while he is distracted off by other things. It isn't until she's got the cash does she gesture and then lean forward to bump at him with the remaining cash, "I'm more than curious to see how that book goes over, man. Leave a message if only for that, but I'm sure the boss would be glad for more. We could all sit in the back room and drink smoothies or something." Smoothies, see, will add an element of reality to what could easily become a really bizarre conversation.

The ultimate soprano. He caught that bit. Peter continues to look over towards Jane, expression rather tense, as if he's trying to squint to see her. That's not quite the case, but it looks like what he's doing. What? Glancing back, he tries to break contact, but it doesn't shut down as well as he'd like, "What? Oh, right— I'll let you know if she likes it." The change is taken and shoved back into his pocket, and the book placed in his hands. "I'd like that. I might need to pick up another book anyway." He adds, pushing his lips into a hint of a smile, before he glances back towards Jane again. Mmm. Yeah, he's definitely going to need to stop by her place and see her soon… But for now he needs to try to give a present to someone. Sliding his gloves back on, he makes way for the door, to head back to the Mansion.

"See you, Peter," the real screamer replies as he passes by her and exits, drawing her out of that trip down memory lane. Jane flashes the man a friendly smile, and turns back to studying the shelves around the bookstore. Moments later, after a last scan of the shelves, Jane too makes her way out. She did what she came here to do, telling Alyssa about deciding to look for those musicians, and thus departs.

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