2007-07-22: I Drove Her Away

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif

Cameo Appearance By:

Elena_icon.gif

Summary: Peter meets with Ramon to talk about the Niki situation, and ends up telling him about the Elena situation after a few drinks. He drove her away. And he's the only one who can fix it. Too bad she can't take calls right now.

Date It Happened: July 22nd, 2007

I Drove Her Away


The Den of Iniquity

Brooklyn. Not as far out of his way as people might think. After meeting his boss and her boyfriend in the morning, Peter spent much of the day still within this portion of the city. First part was spent shopping. Second part looking at his phone. Finally, as businesses start to go into a lull, and evening's close, he dials a number. None of the numbers he was staring at for a long time. Instead it's a certain father. A brief message is all he needs to leave. Mr. Gomez, he needs to talk. Could he meet him at Jack's bar, the Den of Iniquity in an hour? Excellent.

An hour later (actually about twenty minutes early), the young Petrelli brother sits at a corner table, already starting on a glass of something on ice. Slowly. So much going on in his head. The biggest part, though, would be guilt. Over multiple things. But considering who he's meeting, nothing stands out more than the guilt over a certain girl with gold flecked eyes.

Ramon decides that showing up to the dive bar in his new Mercedes is asking for trouble. And showing up in his new suit is asking for trouble. So he shows up in jeans and a white button up shirt just like he might always have. "And here I thought we were going to play pool," the man rasps, as he slides in and orders a Corona with lime.

Dressed down is the way the day seems to be. Peter's in darker colors, though, mostly blacks even with the summer heat outside. A pair of sunglasses even rest atop his head, as has become rather common the last few weeks. "No— I need to ask you for a favor." 'Business'. Either to deal with than the topic of the man's daughter.

Ramon sits up and forward. Because he owes this man. He's more than ready to return any favors. "Name it," he growls. Not at Peter—he's just growling at whatever perceived threat might be lying beneath said favor. If Peter needs something from /him/, and not the other way around, it's an obligation he takes very seriously.

"Nothing— that dangerous," Peter tries to assure, even as he downs another glass. Compared to the last favor it might be tame? "I'm… trying to help someone. She's— lacking control of certain areas of her psyche. And— it makes her dangerous and I was trying to use telepathy to help her— somehow. But I'm not very good at it. Sometimes I couldn't even hear her thoughts, much less what might be under them. So I thought maybe— you'd be better at it. Or could at least teach me." Because right now he sucks at that. There's a reluctance in his expression, though, a worry he seems to have over asking for this favor. Or more accurately, who he's asking for help, considering…

"Which would you prefer me to do?" Ramon asks. He looks at the reluctance and drains his beer. "Another," he tells the server roughly, looking up at the ceiling for a moment. His mouth twists into a sharp, grim line, and then he looks at Peter again. His single eye bears an odd expression. There's no anger, there's no censure at all.

It might be humorous that the older man's drinking beer, when Peter happens to be taking gulps of scotch. Beer isn't on the top of his list. "Not sure— I trust you to do a better job than me." Now, he's avoiding eye contact. He really should have just asked over the phone. Downing the remainder of his glass a lot faster than he probably should, he too asks for a refill, and suddenly says, "Think I ruined things with your daughter."

Ramon suddenly looks startled. Then, oddly, relieved. And even odder still, for one moment, a little weirdly choked up. He then looks disgusted at himself. A lot of those walls have been sandpapered off him lately, making his face a lot more readable. He pulls in a long sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiff of air, like he's really congested, and chuffs. "How'd you do that?"

Glancing up towards the older man, Peter can't help but grimace a little. A change from who he'd been— and he doesn't even need to ask why. He knows— "Because— we had a fight. I said something… I shouldn't have said right before she was left for Spain." There's a pause, before he reaches for the glass again, and stares at it instead. "Didn't even get to tell her that I— was considering buying a ticket and going along. Or anything else I wanted to tell her…"

"Start from the beginning," Ramon grunts. At least he's still nice and taciturn? "Having a fight with Elena isn't hard. You just open your mouth and say something she doesn't want to hear. So that doesn't tell me much." Not that his darling chiquita fights with him, but he's /dad/. He remembers, though, /Catalina's/ fights. And she was…about like that.

There's another grimace. The beginning. Would that include how he's been in love with her for months? Or just how the fight started? Peter makes a quick decision on where to start. "She got a letter from MIT. They offered her a full ride." Which— she probably didn't want her father to know about yet. "She'd had it for a while and never mentioned it to me— said she only told Jack about it. So she might be mad I'm telling you now." Grimace. "But she's mad at me anyway. I— told her she— wasn't going." Again with the grimace. This time he accents it by taking a drink.

Ramon stares at Peter for a moment. And then? The right side of his lip starts to quirk upward into a sort of a smirk. Amusement dances in his single eye before he can hide it by looking away. "I see," he says gravely. "So." He pauses and says, "Lemme see if I can get this right. You couldn't bring yourself to say the truth, which was you feel like you're going to die of thirst without her, and can't bear the thought of her leaving, and your world would be miserable without her, so you instead did what all of us men do," he takes another long swig of his beer, "Which is act like kind of a prick and step all over her pride until she pushes you right back. That about size it up?"

Taking a rather deep drink from his scotch, Peter isn't sharing the same level of amusement. Even if her father has it pretty much right. There's even a small nod. "Not exactly— we argued a little— she yelled at me for being upset about something she did before— before I was ever in her life." And in retrospect, he can't fully blame her for it. "But I'm in…" Grimace again. "I was in her life then— she could've mentioned if she was even— considering accepting it. Instead of— was so relieved when she was staying in the city instead of moving upstate. I was in her life. But I said something that— I told her that we could go back to living seperate lives…" Again with the grimace. A miserable sound follows, and he still can't make eye contact. "Didn't mean it…"

"You're a man who can fly and you're worried about distance?" Ramon shakes his head. "If you didn't mean it, you didn't mean it, boy. Swallow your pride, call her up, and apologize. A lot. Or fly out there with flowers and say something like, 'wow, I just realized I can fly and MIT suddenly doesn't seem so far away.'" It would have seemed a lot farther before Ramon came into enough money to fly to MIT every week if he wants to, and frankly having her that far away from the danger doesn't really upset him at all. "How bad do you want her? Bad enough to fight for her? Or just a little, so that you might feel bad a bit that you pushed her away but can basically go on? Is not having her like not having water anymore, or is it like not having Coke anymore?"

Oxygen? Water? What is it like without Elena? Considering this is the metaphor he's already used, Peter doesn't need to think long about it. "Without sunshine." And people without sunshine grow extremely depressed and miserable. Grass would fail to grow, they'd run out of food, and oxygen. He glances up for an instant, and then looks back down before downing his drink. Downed, he can respond softly, "She deserves better."

Ramon just snorts. "When I want sunshine, I open the fucking window. I don't sit and angst about whether or not I deserve the sunshine." He leans forward and puts a finger in Peter's face. "I've seen you face down shit that nobody should have to handle, so if you love my daughter, you have no authorization to be a chickenshit. Suck it up and get her back."

There's a noticable flinch and Peter reluctantly looks back up at him. "Somehow going into a situation where I might die's easier than this," he admits finally. "And don't even know if I can anymore. She's— in Spain… And… Eric…" Is there with her. Cue the lighting in the dive suddenly seeming to dim a little. The waitress mutters something about brownouts. But it's not a brownout…

There are two men who Ramon would trust with his daughter. And Elena's off with the other one. Hooo boy. His mind does some rapid computations, and he grunts, "Eric, you, that's her choice. You've already fucked up once trying to assume and make her choices for her. Why you gonna go and do it again?"

"Might be better for her if she chooses him," Peter can't help but say, even if… assumptions are what got him in trouble. This is more a matter of have little confidence in himself as a person. Something he should have gotten over by now, but certain obstacles have kept that from happening. "It's her choice. I still don't want her to leave. But I know it's her dream. She told me about it weeks before— how she applied and they didn't offer her enough to afford it, how it was what she really wanted…" Flying, teleporting— there's lots of ways he could get around her being far away. That doesn't make him less scared, though. "I don't— know if I'll be okay if she chooses MIT or— or Eric— but if she's happy then…" She deserves to be happy. And safe would be nice too. But… "I'll try to call her. I just don't know how I can apologize over the phone."

Ramon just grunts and says, "She ain't gonna go to no MIT." He sounds less than worried about this. Eric now, Peter may have a run for his money on his hands, but Ramon isn't going to say that. "I know my daughter. She got pissed because you pushed her, not because she has a burning urge to go to MIT."

Those lights are still dim. And in some ways are getting dimmer. The waitress is really looking up at them with a grown. Not a sign of powerloss, but it sure looks like one. There's a nod. It's funny— he's rarely pushy. For some reason he was that morning. Terrified she would leave, upset over not being told— especially upset that someone else had been told about it instead… it escalated into a difficult situation. Which caused another difficult situation. "I didn't think she'd actually leave."

"She doesn't like conflict," Ramon says as he finishes his beer, leaning back at last. "She has a temper, but she doesn't like conflict." He looks a bit sour. "In addition, I raised her to be polite. If you threw her out of your house, she was going to leave your house. To /not/ leave your house when you made your wishes clear would have been rude. I know this is hard to compute when she was screaming at you at the top of her lungs, but there's rules. There's fighting, and then there's being given a clear dis-invitation."

"Threw her…" Peter trails off, looking towards is empty glass. Now the lights brighten again. There's something very different going on in him than before. The jealousy has moved to another area. "That wasn't what— that's how she…?" He hadn't even thought that's how she took things. No wonder she left. He slumps in his chair and ends up covering his face with a hand. This is his fault. "I made her leave." Rubbing that hand over his face, he moves to stand up.

"Isn't that what I said at the beginning of this conversation?" Ramon snorts. As he stands up, he says, "Hey. Not to break up the romantic issues here, but who exactly is this person whose head I'm going to go muck with, and how do I find them?"

Already reaching into his pocket for something, Peter blinks at the question, suddenly reminded, and reaches into the other one instead, opening his phone and flipping through the phone book— and pausing for an instant one one name, before moving on. "Her name is Niki Sanders…" With the number pulled up, he pauses for a moment and suddenly a small notepad and pencil just appears in his hand. Handy that. He's turned in a way that no one else could see it. The number is written down really quick, along with her name. "I'll try to set things up so we can meet with her together…" That would mean not leaving for Spain right this instant, though. And he has a few other small things to deal with first too. Maybe he could call and leave a message at first, and then go there later?

"Alright," Ramon says. "We'll go together and you can fill me in on the way." If Peter hands off that number he'll take it though, just in case there's a crisis. "Go ahead and give her my number in case there's an issue." Pause. "Just understand that when it comes to er, fixative mucking…that's not exactly a polished science for me." The word yet is hovering in there somewhere.

If he can get a grip on 'fixative mucking', as he calls it, maybe he won't ever have to kill again.

"Honestly I just— I was starting to get deeper but I'm not sure how," Peter admits again. Telepathy is one of those powers he fumbles around with more than not. Dangerous. "Usually I can just catch surface thoughts, or send some of my own, but that's all I've ever done with it— and I think this requires something more… evasive. I'll explain when you meet her." Though he knows she's partially uncomfortable with sharing her crazy with everyone. Or having people… muck around in her brain. Man, he can't leave right now… Sticking the phone back into his pocket, and the pencil and pad into his back pocket of his pants, he pulls out what he was originally reaching for. His wallet. The waitress is glad to take money plus tip, and he tries to pay for Ramon's drinks as well. "Thanks." Part of him is surprised her father didn't seem totally against him. Eight years older. Daughter slept in his bed the night before the incident (even if nothing happened). And he's a Petrelli. The woman he dated, her father wanted to shoot him head…

Ramon is absolutely not going to let Peter pay for his drinks. He had been focused on other things, but he takes out cash too. Now if the waitress is smart, she'll just run off with both and never return and get a serious tip. "Any time." Whatever his reasons for being for the idea of Peter with his daughter, as is typical, he keeps them to himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~

A little after stepping outside of the bar, Peter pulls out his cellphone again. The air is warm, and bordering on humid. It might rain again tonight. If it does— it will remind him of that night— and other nights involving rain. Other regrets and sources of guilt. Trying to push that away, he thumbs through the list of names and numbers, going first to Niki's. He should call the blonde woman. Let her know he spoke to the telepath he mentioned— give her contact information, find out a day she can join them.

But he doesn't dial. Instead he walks down the street, dropping the sunglasses over his eyes to block out the already setting sun. He makes it down the block.

He should call for a cab.

That makes him thumb up another level— towards the cab company he has saved— and then he thumbs higher until…

He doesn't even know if her phone works in Europe. What time is it in Spain? Middle of the night, by his estimate.

If there were a way to make it go straight to voice mail, he probably would…

—-

Somewhere in Spain, a cellphone….doesn't ring. Her jPhone isn't exactly wired for international calls, or receiving calls while in another country. But there was no way Peter would be able to know that, and neither would she, considering she wasn't all that great when it came to technology either. But after a few rings, there is a prompt and a voice:

"Hi, it's me," says the cheerful voice on the end. "You know what to do!" Beep!

—-

That's the same message she had before. So cheerful. It starts to make him smile almost instantly. But he can't smile too much yet—

There's a slow breath. Peter doesn't jump to conclusions that she's avoiding his calls this time— though he wouldn't blame her if she were. Somehow he hadn't seen what he said in quite the light he does now. He never really blamed her for leaving when she did, but he hadn't understood why. He took it as… she didn't really want to stay. He should have known better. "Elena— it's Peter."

He hopes she doesn't delete the message instantly. There's so much he wants to tell her. Cass and Lachlan's mindwipe. The conversation with Ramon. What's going on with Niki. He tried to share so much with her, but right now… the most important thing to share is this. "I'm sorry."

Get the important part out first.

"I never meant for you to leave, and I'm sorry."

Another deep breath, this time it shakes a little. He starts to duck deeper against the wall of a building, to block some of the sound from the street.

"I want you in my life. No matter what you choose to do, I'll support you." Even if that includes choosing someone else. "There's some things I need to tell you in person— so when you get back home— you can visit me if you want to." Her choice. To forgive him and give him a second chance.

"I miss you… and I hope to see you again soon."

There's a pause, as if he's hesitating to end the message, before he finally does, hanging up his phone and closing it.

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