2007-04-09: Lending a Hand

Starring:

Cass_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary:

Peter shows up at Cass' apartment, and she and Lachlan give him a bit of help in thawing out and regenerating his hand.

Date It Happened: April 9th, 2007

Lending a Hand


Cass' Apartment

It's not long after dawn. In fact, it may only be at the very brink of dawn. The sun's just beginning to cast a gray light along the horizon, shining through the buildings. This time of day isn't out of place for the young man at the door… but he's not knocking on this door for any form of training, or personal talk. The knock is firm, his right hand being used for the job, since his left— well— the wrist of his left arm is hidden in his coat still, wrapped in a towel from his apartment. Painkillers do very little for the residual pain, just as the nap did almost nothing for the exhaustion painted on his pain face. The knock might have come earlier if he hadn't fallen asleep. At this point he's just glad he woke up.

Dawn, as Cass had told Peter earlier, is not a time of day that she usually sees. In fact, as far as she's concerned it might not actually exist since she's never actually observed it. And so, at this hour, the bookseller is asleep in bed. Still a little nervous about having been broken into before, the knock wakens her with a sort of jerk. Sitting up, she blinks sleepily and looks around in the faint dawn light. Did someone just knock? Quietly, she slips out of bed, grabs a robe and belts it firmly before sneaking out into the living room and flips on the light. Then, she pads over to the door to look through the peep hole. Seeing who it is, she quickly unlocks the door and pulls it open. "Mr. Petrelli! Hi! Are…you okay? Were…were you supposed to stop by and I forgot?" However, the man doesn't look well and she's automatically worried. "Come in, come in."

Because he's not had to worry about people or things breaking into his apartment lately, Lachlan's not nearly as wired as Cass. He sleeps right through Peter's knocking and the bookstore owner's leaving the bed in which he lays (for ambiguous reasons) on his stomach with one arm dangling off the edge and the other curled up beneath the pillow. Soft snoring can be heard. Bonnie somehow snuck onto the bed in the middle of the night and is already at the door when it's opened and answered. She gives Peter a few curious sniffs, tail wagging slowly. O hai thar.

"..No, we— I need to…" Peter sounds as bad as he looks, voice weak, drawn out, and deeper than it'd been even at his guiltiest. "Thank you," he finally manages in the same deep and whispered tones, moving into the apartment, with his right hand pressing firmly against his left arm. Even the way he walks seems weak, but he's on his feet, able to move a few steps into the apartment, before he tries to continue, not totally coherent, though sounding as if he's trying to be. The dog actually gets a grimace, because he can imagine how he must smell to the poor creature, and he doesn't hear the snoring just yet. "Sorry, Cass. Didn't know where else to go… didn't want to go to the Company… normal hospital wouldn't understand… couldn't…" Yes, he's having a difficult time. Grimacing, his voice breaks, the pain actually tensing his throat into a higher pitch for an instant. He presses the arm closer against him. "Need your help."

Immediately Cass has gone into super worried mode. It's easy to see that Peter is in pain and is weak. Letting go of the door - where it will shut on it's own - she rushes over to put a supporting arm around him and then to guide him to the couch. The doorway that hides Lachlan sleeping is glanced up, but then dismissed. It might be better to fix this without waking the Scot. "Hey, it's okay. I'll help you. What happened?" Can't Peter regenerate? Is it a painful process for some reason? She has no idea how long the process takes or what he has to go through in order to fix wounds. But…he's supposed to be the indestructible man. He's come back from the dead twice! "Here, let me see."

Snnnnngk. Hrrrrrrrnk. Snnnnnnngk. Hrrrrrrnk. Lachlan is still sleeping, snoring quietly and faithfully. Ah, to be able to sleep like twenty tons of bricks.

Bonnie is not sleeping. She's still following around the other two people, trying not to get in the way while at the same time being /in/ the way. When the duo approaches the couch, she bounds up onto it to sit beside Peter and snuffle at him even /more/. Snwuffsnwuff? Something's wrong with Strange Manperson. Bonnie can /tell/. Her nose pays particular attention to his jacket and what is hiding therein.

More than twice, actually. But some things don't work out like others do. "Sylar," Peter says as soon as he's settled down onto the couch, hesitating quite a bit on removing his arm from the safety of the coat. "Went after Mara… Damaris… The Detective. Managed to get there… delay him a while. So she could escape. But he…" The grimace breaks his expression again. Looking towards the bedroom, now he hears the snoring, and he visibly flinches, before looking towards the dog. "I'm sorry… I probably shouldn't have brought this to you…" He can't help but feel guilty. But as he already said. He didn't know where else to turn besides the Company, and… they both know how that would turn out. A card they could use against him when it came time to bargain, if he bargains. Hesitation remains, before he pulls his arm out of the coat. Wrapped in a towel as it is, there's no mistaking the fact that… his arm is far too short. The hand is missing, and a good chunk of his wrist as well. Some blood on the towel, but nowhere near enough for the apparent injury.

"Sylar?" Cass gasps, already thinking the worst. "Oh God." She knew that he was a murderer, but seeing what he's done to Peter is enough to re-evaluate all the admittedly detached ideas that she had about him. "It's okay. Honestly, Peter. I went to med school. Let me help you. I'd rather you be here than with the Company." Where he might actually be treated by her father. She doesn't even factor in the idea that he's intruding with Lachlan sleeping in the other room. Bonnie is given a very stern look. "Bonnie. Sit." All the jumping around is not going to help Peter. Though she was expecting something serious by his demeanor, seeing a much shorter version of an arm than should be there makes her pale considerably. Okay, so she went to med school and that /should/ prepare her for all manner of injury. But, once again, it's something totally different to study an injury and another to have it right in front of her. For a moment she looks a little faint, but she puts a steadying hand on the back of the couch and pulls herself together. "Okay. You need to lie down. Keep your arm above your head." Her voice is weaker, but gathering strength. "Is…is this something you can regenerate? Or do we need to find your hand? Somewhere?"

When she's told to sit, Bonnie obediently sits. On the couch. Next to Peter. She watches Cass expectantly, tail continuing to wag slowly, her expression rather clueless. Ah, ignorance.

Speaking of ignorance: "Snnnnngk. Hrrrrrnk. SnnnNNNGK!" There's a soft grumble as the snoring is interrupted, then the sound of movement in the other room. After that, a sigh, then silence. Snoooooze.

At least Peter doesn't protest much when she tells him to lay down, giving a hint of a nod, before he shifts to settle back onto the couch. If she went to med school, than she's far advanced in medical field than he is. Even he knew he needed to lay down, but… "Last time it got this bad— went into a coma for two weeks," he admits softly, a warning to her as he settles down, letting the arm stay up. Even with the grimacing, he starts to unwrap the… stump… so that she can see. "Don't know. Never tried. But— not a clean— it's frozen. Froze my whole hand." And as soon as he says that, the 'stump' comes into view. Jagged broken edges as opposed to something clean like a cut. Even if the ends have started to warm, they've turned black. Any sign of the blood on the towel has vanished. "Froze it— and broke it off… Don't know if— if it will heal." And from the tremor in his voice, there's more than just pain behind his responses.

"Good dog," Cass tells Bonnie absently as the dog listens to her commands. Positive reinforcement and all that. Peter's laying back and lifting his arm above his head. Okay good. Plus, there's not as much blood as she would have thought this sort of injury would have. Also good. In a qualifying sort of manner. "A coma." Oh man. "Well, you're more than welcome to go into a coma here…but I definitely would take you to a hospital. Just warning you. So, if you want to stay hospital free, you should stay conscious." Though she's talking mostly seriously, that's said with a bit of a weak smile. Being shown the /rest/ of the wound, however, when Peter removes the towel to reveal gaping jagged edges of flesh test Cass' own ability to stay conscious. That looks incredibly painful. And gross. "Jesus." Gripping the couch again, she takes a deep breath. Keep it together. "I…I'm gonna need some help for this." Already she's making for the bedroom. "Lachlan!" she calls out loudly enough to wake him up. "Wake up!" But she's not in the bedroom only to wake him up. She's grabbing pillow cases and towels. Not waiting for him, she heads right back out into the living room. Holding out a fresh towel, she moves to wrap it around the bloody arm. "Here. We'll….we'll figure this out, Peter. It'll grow back. Or we'll find your hand and stitch it right back on. It'll be fine."

More tail-wagging from Bonnie when she's praised, but she does little else. She's a good dog! Peter laying down on the couch earns him a look from the dog and more tail-wagging. Hihi.

It's probably a good thing Lachlan is in a lighter part of the REM cycle when Cass comes yelling into the bedroom, otherwise it would take some shaking and perhaps small nuclear explosions to rouse him. He jumps enough to get halfway onto his hands and knees, startled into a groggy (but awake) state and then lets out a groan and slumps onto his stomach once again, shielding his head with his arms. Mrrrrrrgh. Five more minutes. "The bloody hell're ye shoutin' 'bout?" he huffs, voice muffled by pillows and arms. But there's no response. Cass is gone, taking a bunch of things with her. Hrm. After a few moments of clinging to the hope of sleep, curiosity and concern drag the Scotsman out of bed, and he soon appears in the doorway dressed in nothing but a pair of purple-and-black boxers. Upon spotting Peter and his injury, he blinks once, twice, three times, scratches at his jaw, and mumbles something to the effect of: "Fuck. D'ye lose somethin'?" His eyes start casting about as though in search of the missing appendage.

"Might grow back— if part of my brain could grow back, this should too…" Peter says softly, still grimacing with guilt as he looks over towards the bedroom door she yelled into. Lachlan. Honestly that's one of the names he has not heard before, but he doesn't seem at all surprised that she might have a boyfriend who stays over. Must be a boyfriend, as she's walking around in a robe, and he's obviously in a bedroom. Roomate could be possible, though. "Healed when piece of glass was removed— might need to… clean it." He says with a flinch, with that the only real idea he could come up with considering his nurses training. Maybe the frost impedes healing— stops the regeneration process. If this could even regrow a hand and all the bones, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and skin… The appearance of this Lachlan draws his eyes away, and somehow almost makes him smile. Which might well be a huge feat all by itself right now. There's at least a hint of it, tugging on the corner of his mouth. "Hand. Not here…" That would be what caused the quirk of his lips, that then turns right into a grimace of pain, again. It shouldn't still hurt, should it? Maybe it's trying to heal and that's why it hurts… "I'm Peter," he adds on, voice nearly a whisper. "Sorry… to intrude… on your morning."

"Lachlan, Peter. Peter, Lachlan." Cass gets the introductions out of the way quickly. Almost immediately, she's got instructions. "Do me a favor, Lach. Take two of those pillow cases, rip them up and put them in the microwave. Doesn't have to be too long. They just need to be warm." Back into medical knowledge. Yes. She can handle this. "Then, grab a pot from the cabinet and put some water on to boil." Got all that, Nurse Deatley? Back to Peter. "I'm just going to treat your frostbite and hopefully that'll make things…uh…grow better?" This is all a new form of medicine to her and she's just taking stabs in the dark. "Wait…your /brain/ grew back?" That's something she'll have to ask him about later. "No, honestly, stop apologizing, Peter, or I'm going to throw you out. Your /hand/ is off. I think we can deal with waking up a little early."

The assurance that Peter's hand is not lurking about somewhere in the apartment seems to relieve Lachlan a bit — because walking around an apartment early in the morning and stumbling across a severed (ripped off? Torn?) hand is really not cool. Not before he's had his coffee, thankyouverymuch. He bobs his head at the injured man in a grateful sort of way, but then he's getting instructed. Still groggy, he doesn't hesitate in leaping at the opportunity to be helpful. "A'righ'." Cass is Way, Way, Way Smarter Than Him, so she must know the wisdom of nuking ripped-up pillowcases. Personally, that's something his mother told him /not/ to do when he was a boy, but hey. Cass is probably Way, Way, Way Smarter Than Mom too. The Scotsman disappears into the kitchen, taking the aforementioned pillowcases with him and exerting some effort in ripping them as he goes. There is soon the beep-beep-beepbeep-whrrrrrr of the microwave, then the clatter and clank of a pot and running water, the click of the stove, and so forth. A short pause, the microwave door opens, and then a sharp yelp of pain. Lachlan reappears in the living room bearing the large strips of fabric — on a potholder. "Bit hot," he mumbles in explanation as he presents them to Cass.

…This is going to hurt. Peter can tell already. Already in a decent amount of pain, he can't help but wonder how things would feel. At a time like this he'd almost be tempted to just ask it to be quick and clean, a sword to the arm, or something. But— she makes sense. If it doesn't heal the way he hopes, treating the frostbite would be the way to start. For a moment, it almost looks like he's about to apologize. For apologizing. Which would get him thrown out. So— no, he doesn't do that just yet. Instead, he focuses on another topic. "Piece of glass in my head. Fixed when it was pulled out." So… pieces of his brain repaired themselves, at the very least. Maybe not growing back… but it's close enough. "Might need… something to bite down on," he does warn finally, glancing towards the kitchen, where the Scot had toasted his fingers and brings the towels there. Yes, this is going to hurt.

"Um. I have some aspirin," Cass tells Peter lamely. That's so not what he needs right now. He needs morphine. Or something even better. "Thanks, Lach," she tells the Scot, though she can tell that it's much too hot for what she intends. "Uh…want to grab the aspirin for Peter? And some water? And maybe make yourself something caffeinated?" Unfortunately, she can't see his expression for about to apologize or she would make a joke. But, it's probably a good thing that she doesn't see the grimace of pain he's about to be in. Grabbing the potholder of fabric, she tosses the whole thing in the freezer and closes the door for a few moments, hoping that a quick jolt of ice will bring them to the temperature that she needs. Burning Peter's arm off is /not/ going to help his wound. It will only make it worse. "That's…well, that's reassuring. I think. The brain is /much/ more complex than a hand." Having given the fabric some time, she reaches in and tests it. Yes. Not burning. Just warm. Yanking them out, she heads back over to Peter. Holding out one of the towels not being used yet for something to bite down on, she reaches for his hand. "I'm really really sorry." Because, yes. This will hurt. Peeling the towel back, she carefully and as gently as she possibly can, wrap the warm fabric around his frozen stump.

Aspirin. Caffeine. Right. Lachlan sets off once again on a Quest. This time, he shows up carrying a bottle of aspirin and holds it out to Peter — until he realizes that, uh, well … Peter is lacking a second hand. Opening a childproof cap is probably a little bit /difficult/ without two hands. "… s'ry," he mumbles as he opens the bottle himself and dumps out a pair of little round white tablets and hands them to the injured man. No water. He's not quite that considerate. Peter may just have to dry-swallow. Then, the Scotsman is moving back toward the kitchen to start the coffee, just as Cass moves in with her Warm Strips of Pain. As he starts clattering around with the coffee machine, he clicks his tongue, and Bonnie comes bounding away from the couch (where she has remained patiently seated this entire time). "Sit." She sits obediently near the cabinet at Lachlan's side, though he doesn't look at her once.

The aspirin won't do very much, he knows, and even though he looks at the twist cap bottle with an odd glance, Peter seems forgiving for a moment before he takes the pills and dry swallows it. Right now… he'd just about take anything. "Guess we… can count this as our practice… for regeneration," he murmurs right before she gives him the towel to bite down on. Eyes clenching shut, he holds onto her, as if that might be the sole comfort right now. Can't help but wish that a certain someone were here, though that may be too much to ask for, especially now. As soon as the towel is applied, he moves, clenching down even more on the towel, a hint of a cry breaking through as he tries to bite it back, muffle it so she doesn't get in trouble. His face remains pale, paler than normal, and his good hand clenches tight, until the knuckles go white. Yes— it hurts. And it doesn't stop there. The aspirin does nothing. And even when she'll have to replace the towels, it only gives him a few moments to breath harshly. It's amazing that he's able to stay conscious through this pain, considering how weak he already happens to be.

"Thanks Lach," Cass repeats, giving the Scot the ghost of a smile for all of his help. "Yeah. I'll count this as a class on that." Because there's no way she's going to put him through this again if she can help it. But, then, she's wincing as she's inflicting what she knows /must/ be a lot of pain on Peter. If it weren't obvious on his face. There's no apologies that she can think of that would mean anything to him right now and she knows this is helping him heal. All she can do is make sure that the compress stays warm and wrapped around him properly.

But Lachlan has some more help up his sleeve … er … in his ba— er. Lachlan has some more help. Somewhere. As he watches Peter squirming and wincing and being in general pain, he flinches and grinds his teeth sympathetically. Screw this; the boy needs /painkillers/. And much as the Scotsman doesn't want his shadier dealings to get /anywhere/ near Cass, he doesn't like watching Peter in pain — or more specifically, he really doesn't like that Peter in pain makes Cass feel bad, and so he'd like to help that not happen. "Look, uh," he intones, rubbing at the back of his bare neck with one hand, "'ve got some leftover painkillers from when m'face was busted up. Can run ta m'partment an' grab 'em if y'like." Sure, it's a bit /belated/, this offer of chemical assistance, but better late than never, right? The Scotsman's already heading to the bedroom to get the rest of his clothes — which happen to be the tuxedo from the night before. Wow, he's going to look ridiculous being out and about this morning half-dressed in a tux.

The towels alone facilitate some healing. When she removes them to give him even a hint of a breathier, there's less blackened areas, and some blood starting to seep through again. No real hint that it has begun to regrow completely, but… there's definitely progress. Peter opens his eyes for a moment, lets his hand loosen as he seems to realize he might actually be inflicting pain on her, and does his best to settle down. Meditation practices? They're hard to consentrate on right now. Too much pain. And the aspirin may not be enough, but prescriptions morphine pills that Lachlan brings back… they might do something. Eventually. Unclenching his jaw so that he can take the vicodin pills, he looks towards the door, a hint of apology through the pain in his face, before he settles back for the next round. The more the black goes away, the move blood starts to show on the towel. The angle means most the blood will get on his coat and clothes, but some may threaten the couch eventually. Hopefully… it won't get to that. The exact moment when the warming finally words can be told, because he suddenly gasps, losing hold of the towel in his mouth, letting out a yell he can't quite muffle… and they'll see a sight that few are likely to have seen, or will likely ever see… a hand regrowing from the inside out.

The pressure of Peter holding onto her isn't what's bothering Cass as much. It's the fact that he's in pain and there's not much she can do about it other than give him warm compresses and pray that his hand actually regenerates. At offer to get stronger painkillers, Lachlan is given a grateful, if brief, look to show that this is a /very/ good idea. She doesn't have anything to deal with pain of this nature lying about her apartment. With the ripped up pillow wrapped up and then pulled off, she takes a hold of Peter's other hand in a comforting way. It's okay for him to squeeze. Really. She'll cope. And she doesn't care about blood on her couch or carpet. That's something quite incidental to the sight of Peter /regrowing a hand/ in front of her. It's not even really gross to her. It's amazing. She's studied bones and muscles and how they attach to each other and now she's actually able to see how they /grow/ on a living human being. That's….amazing. Her mouth hangs open a little at the sight of it.

On the other hand (no pun intended), Lachlan has never studied muscles and bones, though he's certainly seen his fair share of them in life. Granted, he's never seen them /regrow/ before. Dressed now in an old, black Led Zeppelin T-shirt and a pair of jeans that he threw on once he reached his apartment (running around in a half-tux is just begging for fees later down the line) he stands nearby with a mug of fresh coffee and stares at this strange new phenomenon with no less intrigue than Cass. It's not fascinating in a medical way to him; it's just plain /awesome/. Oh, and Peter's in some pain. Sorry, pal. "Wow," he intones, impressed, "ye can see 'is veins growin'." Better than IMAX.

To them, the whole process might seem incredibly quick, and by a medical standpoint, it really is. But to the man going through it… it seems to take forever. As soon as the nerves trigger back into place, Peter shudders once, cries out again, and then clenches against the pillowcase in his mouth. Only when the skin has regrown, attaching without scar or major inconsistancy, does he relax. A fever he hadn't even been aware he had breaks, sweat beading down his forehead, but he finally stops feeling pain. Takes a few very long moments for his eyes to open, the regrown hand raised up to be looked at, fingers flexing as if he's surprised to see it. "…it did grow back," he says, almost sounding as if he's not sure he believes it. Still looks weak, still looks winded, but at least he's conscious. And has both hands.

The whole process is quite fascinating to Cass in a medical sort of way. It's a /regrowing hand/. That's something that doctors might kill to see. However what's catching her attention more is Peter's state. No longer having to worry about warming up frostbite, she lets the strips of pillow fall to the carpet. "You…yeah. It did." She sounds just as amazed. In the classic doctor/nurse/caregiver gesture, she puts a hand on his forehead just to check on that fever. She lets out a sigh of relief. "Let's not ever have do that again, okay?"

Huh. Miracle-Gro Man. That is how Peter will likely be remembered in Lachlan's mind for a while. He peers at the newly formed hand, watching it flex and move just like a normal hand, then he tightens his lips and pauses. "So, uh," he finally manages to utter once there's been a sufficiently quiet pause. "How's it feel?" It's asked in an almost childishly timid tone. In fact, the Scotsman looks as though he's fighting the urge to reach out and touch the new appendage.

"…tingly," Peter has to admit softly, checking his grip as well as wiggling his fingers. Not something he's going to recommend going through again, but… he knows he /can/ now. Pushing himself up on the couch, he reaches out with the fixed hand and touches Cass' shoulder first, and then offers it to Lachlan. Sure, hand shaking usually happens with the right, but at the moment… the left seems most appropriate. "Thanks. Think— think one of you— could help me back to my apartment?" Voice still weak, he sounds better than when he first entered the room. /Somehow/. But still sounding exhausted.

Cass gives Peter a weak smile. "At least you can feel it." Look on the bright side! It's a lot better than a stump. Just like Lachlan, the storekeep feels the desire to touch his hand to check to make sure that it's real. When Peter puts a hand on her shoulder, she reaches up and puts a hand on top of his for a moment. Yup. Real hand. "You can crash here for a bit. You just regrew a hand and sound exhausted. Trekking about New York is probably not the best idea right now."

Seeing as he is left-handed, Lachlan doesn't seem to care when Peter extends his off-hand rather than the right one. He does have to shift his coffee mug from one hand to the other, however, in order to give Peter's a firm shake. Huh. It really /is/ a real hand. Not computer graphics or made from putty or anything. The Scotsman can't help but grin, because that is just /damn cool/. At the mention of apartments and crashing, he switches the mug from right to left again and adds, "'R if ye really wanna get back ta yer place, I can take ye. Dog needs ta go out anyway." She does, too. They all just woke up.

"Think… it'd be best to get back to my place," Peter says, looking down at his hand again. He'd done this a lot in the many months, but never quite like this. Instead of something dangerous or destructive coming out of his hand, threatening people, it's a marvelous experience. Moving to stand, he wabbles a bit, before he's fully on his feet. "My apartment's not too far. And… should call my brother. Let him know I'm okay." And then sleep the whole freaking day. Cause that's what it feels like he needs. "…can't thank you enough, Cass." … Now, whoever investigates the loft fire at Mara's building and finds a frozen /hand/ at the scene… well… they can't point it back to him. He's got both again.

Cass doesn't put up a fight for Peter to stay. It's not exactly like she has any control over where he goes. She nods and reaches forward to steady Peter when he wobbles. "Woah there." See, this is why she thinks he should stay for a bit before heading out. But, as long as Lachlan is going to make sure he gets there safe, she'll be okay with it. "You're welcome, Peter. I couldn't have just left you to bleed in my hallway, could I?" To the Scot, she affords him a grateful smile. "Thanks, Lach. I'll get some breakfast for us?" It's a question mostly because she's asking if he'll be heading back here after escorting Peter back.

"Whoa." Lachlan also reaches out a steadying hand toward Peter when he wavers. However, even after Cass has released him after the other man is stable, Lachlan's hand goes out to land on Peter's shoulder. Just in case. Don't want to wind up carrying him all the way back to the apartment (because the Scotsman doesn't know where Peter lives, and he needs the guy conscious to give directions). He only leaves Peter's side momentarily to look for Bonnie's leash, which is snapped onto her collar. "Yeah, tha'd be great," he replies to Cass, grinning. He's coming back, definitely, because he has nothing to do for several hours yet /and/ he's got /a lot/ of questions. With that — one hand on Peter's shoulder, the other wrapped around Bonnie's leash — the pair depart. The sooner they get there, the sooner Peter can pass out.

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