2008-05-16: Lie To Me (Dark Future)


FuturePeter_icon.gif FutureCass_icon.gif


After Peter attacks Gabriel, Cass comes to find him so they can talk about the past. Hugging and making up may or may not occur (hint: it does not)

April, 2011:

Lie to Me

Battery Park

There's few places that Peter visits in public, even now. It's the sunset that he likes to watch, sitting on a bench looking out at the bay, watching the sun drop closer and closer to the horizon, painting the sky in colors with the hazy clouds of early spring. There's a quiet ticking sound in his hand, a pocket watch he's toyed together even without a work bench. No tools are needed when he moves the pieces with his mind. A few gears float just above the open pocket watch, twisting and turning, without going down just yet. Once he sees the sunset, he can finish… How long does he have left here?

On this particular dusk, Peter may not wish to stay long. There are still a few trees in Battery Park proper and while Cass and Peter may not talk as much as they had years ago, she still knows his regular haunts. Though most of the time, the long haired brunette attempts to shut off her own emotions and those around her to keep herself sane, she's opened herself up to everyone around her and is feeling what they are. This means nothing but a drain of her energy and her face is white with the strength of some people's fear and pain, but it turns out to be worth it when she finds the unique mixture of emotions that gives away Peter's presence. She approaches him from the clutch of slowly blooming trees. With a steadying hand, she takes a moment to gather herself again and to attempt to close off what she opened the floodgates to. By the time she steps forward again, her face is a mask of neutrality. "Peter," she says softly, though she's certain it will carry to him. There's a heaviness in her tone, an anger.

The heaviness of her voice makes Peter click his tongue briefly against the roof of his mouth. There's a uniquely determined feel to his emotions, something that seems to be like a great weight that he has to carry no matter what. A sense of loss. And determination to overcome. And under all of that, a glimmer of hope. A hope that rests in his hands alone, as far as he seems concerned. The gears spin downward into the casing, screwing into place and bringing up one more tick. There's so many ticks to his complicated pocket watch. So different from anything that's ever been built before. A pocket watch that will track events in time. All of time.

So that he can change things.

So that he can fix it. So that his hope is not in vain. "Cass," he finally says, once the gears are in place. He doesn't glance back. "You sound angry."

Hope. It's an emotion that Cass used to have in abundance. But, it's not a part of her these days. Mostly she's trying too hard not to feel anything, and that includes hope. Basic emotions, however, are hard to keep in check and while she's not letting her own seep out to affect others around her, she can't keep it from slipping into her voice. Eyeing the pocket watch, she moves a step closer, but still not too close.

"I can't imagine why." Hands clenched into fists, but kept in her pocket, she shakes her head. "You could have killed him." It's hard to kill Gabriel, near impossible, but there are still ways. And the thought of that happening brings a catch in her throat. "And here you are as if you didn't even care."

"I did kill him actually," Peter clarifies, closing the casing on the pocket watch and turning it around to flip the front open so he can check the time. It's inaccurate. He'll need to fix it. But she's close now, so he closes it once again and sticks it into his coat pocket as he stands, turning to face her with the scar digging into skin, marring his face. It cuts between his eyes, from forehead to cheek. Not one he had years ago, but one that hasn't healed, either. "Just like he killed me five or six times in the past. I've lost count of how many times I've died. Much less at his hands. I did what I had to. I needed to understand."

"Thanks for the clarification. That makes the whole situation better." Cass frowns and takes her hands out of her pockets. Instead, she crosses her arms across her chest and adjusts her chin upward to match Peter's movements as he stands. "Oh, so we're blaming him for his past now? I remember a time when you told me we couldn't do that. That Sylar and Gabriel were two different people and we had to treat them as such." As she's seen the scar many times before in the past, she doesn't take any exception to it. "Understand what? You alrady absorbed Gabriel's power. You've had it for years."

"I'm not blaming him, Cass," Peter snaps suddenly, her anger fueling his own. The frustration is clear as day. "And just because I absorbed his ability, doesn't mean I ever had it. I never understood, I couldn't use it the way I need to. I never did." There's a moment where he just looks at her, as if she doesn't understand a word that he said. "This has absolutely nothing to do with Gabriel. I just did what I had to to prepare myself for what I need to do. Gabriel will understand that when I go back and fix everything."

"So we're at the point where you don't care about the death toll to get what you want?" Cass' own anger fuels Peters and his merely manages to elevate her own. It's a spinning cycle and abruptly she attempts to break it with a shake of her head, replacing her own anger with wariness. "Your power is through empathy, not through force. You can't understand a power without knowing how it feels." There's a break of understanding that that's exactly what Peter had to do. Fear quickly replaces that. "Go back? To do what? This is what we turned into the last time."

"His power is through force. And maybe I couldn't understand how it worked until I figured out how he works," Peter argues her points, beginning to step away as the sun continues to set, splashing the sky in new deeper colors. While she tries to break the cycle, he's angry for reasons all his own. And her fear doesn't break through that. "It isn't what has to be and you know it. We all know it. We can fix all of this. I can fix all of this." There's a motion with his hand, as he waves it around toward the city. It may not be laying in waste, but it's still broken under the surface. It always has been. "What happened to you? It shouldn't have happened. You know it. I know it. And I can make sure it never does."

"So that's what it's come down to: force?" Cass' voice shakes with emotion. Most of them, bubbling up to the surface. "Fix it? Fix us?" Finally, she takes a few more steps forward. "Maybe we're not fixable, Peter. Especially not with force. Maybe you just have to let us be whatever it is we're supposed to be. Maybe I wasn't supposed to end up with this power, but I have it now and that's just the way it is. Why do you think you're alway the one that has to do all this?" She's trying to keep a reign on herself, keep herself in check, but it's hard. Especially around Peter.

"Because I have to," Peter says, taking another few steps away. There are many ways he could leave this area, but the way she's jacked up his emotions, it's difficult for him to settle on any of his abilities. There's only so much he's capable of right now. But he could still fly away, probably, as well as other things. Instead, he stays. Stays to yell. "I lost Elena, Cass." He yells, a fact she knows well. "I lost Nathan. I lost my mother. And you've seen what I've become. It doesn't have to be this way. And I have to fix it because it's all that I have." The determination to fix things, the hope that things can be fixed.

"I know you did!" Cass yells right back. "I've lost a lot of my life, too. You think I like what I do to other people now? What I've become? You're not the only one hurting. But, you know what? I've stopped trying to find some magical cure that will fix all our problems." Upset, she tones her volume down slightly. "Because that's what got us where we are today. Thinking we could take some magical pill and all our problems would be better." Instead of projecting her own emotions unconsciously, now, instead, she starts to simply turn up fear around her. For now, she doesn't feel it herself. She just wants Peter to, so that he'll be afraid enough that he won't fly away in anger, that he'll be rooted to the spot with it. So maybe he'll listen. "Elena's gone, Peter. I hate it and I miss her, but even if you go to the past, she'll still be gone here. Just like I'm still dead in that future you went to before, just like I'll always be like this for you. This is what there is."

The fear she pushes on him makes him shake, moisture rising to his eyes as Peter takes another few steps back. That's not fair of her, especially considering that his abilities are activated by emotion. Fear brings up one in particular. Especially this level of fear. This kind of fear. A reddish glow begins to form around his hands, a shaking that he can't quite control. "It isn't what has to be, Cass. Can't you see that? This isn't the world we wanted— this isn't the world that has to be. Why can't you ever just support me? Why can't anyone? I could have gotten what I needed without killing him if anyone would ever just— "

Cass knows the dangers and problems that she is facing by turning up Peter's emotions. She knows, just as well as about anyone how his powers work. After all, many years ago she trained him in them. Instead of toning down the power of fear, she switches to something else, just as strong. Sadness. It's a quick enough switch, that hopefully she'll save herself from a nuclear blow up. "I never supported you? Is that really what you think? That's all I did years ago, Peter. I tried to train you, I supported you, I asked you no questions when you killed Kaito, when you warned me about Pinehearst. And now you're saying I never did anything to help you?" Despite the glow, she moves forward. "How dare you insinuate that this is everyone else's fault but yours."

"Stop it— stop it," Peter says, as the sudden wave of sadness comes over him. How can she manipulate his emotions so easily? Why can't he grasp onto her power to keep it from happening? He stumbles backwards, hands still glowing, but changing to a crackling blue color instead as electricity dances off of and between his spread fingers. "Of course it's all my fault. Why do you think I have to fix it?" The sadness carries in his voice, turning toward desperation, even if he's no longer shaking with fear. Manipulation of his emotions is dangerous, and if he could only grasp onto one he wouldn't need to listen to this anymore. She's not the person he knew. That person disappeared. And it's all his fault.

That's the whole point. Cass is attempting to get him to stay in one place and listen to her. Something that he may not do now without her manipulation. Her powers changed her, that much is certain. "No. I want you to listen to me, Peter." The sadness is replaced with jealousy. She's timing the switches to what she knows of him in order to try and ensure that he doesn't totally overload his circuits, but also so that he hopefully doesn't hit her with anything she doesn't want him to. Of course, she's just as emotional, so not only does that feed into everything else, it's getting harder to steer other emotions. "This world isn't your fault. It's mine. I'm the one who made this Formula, I'm the one who got caught. What you did to Gabriel, what you're doing now that is your fault. You're not the one who can fix it. And I can't do it, now, either."

"I was caught too, Cass," Peter says, taking bigger steps backwards. The lightning no longer dances off of his fingertips, btt something else has begun to happen. Shadows in the area begin to expand and stretch, as if they're trying to get closer to him. The setting sun has already cast shadows quite a bit, but this is something unnatural in nature. The actions she's pushing on him are hardly fair at all, but he can't do anything to stop it. "It is my fault. I was caught up in it long before you were, and I let myself get logged away for months while the world fell apart. I should have saved you. I should have stopped Pinehearst. I should have done something." And instead he rotted in a cell, doing very little at all… Other than allow it to happen. "I gave up, and look where that got us. All I'm trying to do is go back and fix the mistakes that I should have fixed while they were happening."

"We were all caught up on it." The shadows stretch unnaturally around her and Peter and, much like the other powers she forced Peter to use, Cass doesn't heed it any mind. Though she remains on jealousy for a little while longer, she just shakes her head. "You can't save me, Peter. I'm not saveable. I think that's what these futures tell us. I can't be saved. Maybe none of us can." There's a shift, it's a little harder to steer emotions any more, as she's already worked up, but the next one she focuses on is a little more sinister. It's happiness, one that she's gotten quite adept at using on Lachlan. "You can't stop everything and save everyone, Peter. That's what I've been trying to tell you."

Sinister… The crackling, the drawing shadows, so much disappears as she toys with his emotions. The woman may or may not know exactly what buttons she's pushing, but Peter can feel it. Better than most. Everything along his skin tingles, like senses are heightened. Sweat begins to rise up on his brow as he moves even closer. "You're wrong, Cass," he says, voice softening as he raises those dangerous hands back up. "These futures— they aren't showing us what can't be changed. They're showing us what can. I wasn't alive in that future either. Gabriel had killed me. He'd taken my place. I don't want to save everyone. But I can save you. And her. And all the people whose lives were destroyed by my father."

Whether she knows what ability that awakens for Peter, Cass doesn't let on. The power, though, tingles on her own skin as well. She doesn't back away from him, it distracts her from switching emotions. Her voice isn't as angry, she replies with a sad shake of her head, "This future isn't much better." Despite the fact that they're alive in it. Everything is just as broken, though. "I don't think we're lucky enough to be saved," she adds. Drained, she just drops her power and her shoulders slump. She's said her piece now.

As her emotional stimulus drops, Peter continues to hold onto that particular ability as his hands touch her face, smoothing back her hair. The tingling will get worse for her at that point, even worse than with him. "You're wrong, Cass— this future isn't as bad, you didn't see it— you don't know." And as far as he's concerned, no one will ever understand the differences between this present and the future that he saw. Things were changed. Things were different. "It's not the same. And luck… luck has nothing to do with this. And I'm going to prove it to you. I'm going to make my own luck for all of us."

Forcing Peter's emotions like that took a lot of willpower when Cass was already a little weaker from absorbing the feelings of those in the park. Her defenses are down and maybe now it's just poetic justice that she's weakened to his own emotional manipulations. The tingling grows on her skin and she tilts her head to lean into his hands. It's true that she never saw the future where she was killed, but she knows this one well enough. She reaches out to put a hand on his own cheek. "Is it enough?" One person's luck, one person's future changed…is that enough to change everything?

Is it ever enough? The last emotion she triggered calmed him down quite a bit, brought that feeling of hope so much closer to the surface. The person the power she influenced to the surface may no longer be around, but that doesn't mean it wasn't enough to change everything about this conversation. It reminds him of her. It makes Peter think of the way she felt when he touched her face— when she touched his. He needs to feel that again, needs to protect it. Needs to make sure he never loses it at all. "It has to be enough," he whispers softly as he leans closer. She's the same height as he is, even taller in many situations, but he's just leaning in to press a stubbly cheek against hers, closing his eyes. "It has to be. Because if it's not… then what you said is right. It's no one's fault but mine."

It may not be. Maybe nothing is enough. But, that doesn't mean that Cass isn't affected by Peter's own ability. Her reasons for evoking that emotion were not in a friendly manner, but that doesn't seem to matter now. She closes her own eyes, just allowing herself rest her cheek against Peter's and to feel - something she normally keeps a tight reign on herself from doing. But that's both a blessing and a curse, as something jars her away from the peaceable encompassing atmosphere that's been created there. Whether it was a stray emotion from someone else or Peter himself, the damage is done. Jerking back as if physically hit by something, she just gives Peter a startled look and starts to shut down again. "I said it was my fault, not yours."

The jerk away makes his hands drop. Peter takes a few steps back, letting the emotions become, more or less, his own. Now he could leave. He could teleport away and avoid any further disruptions, but from the look in his eyes, there's a reason to hesitate a moment or two longer. The hand that could have proved so dangerous reaches up to push back a lock of dislodged hair, so that it sticks to the rest again. "It's my fault if I don't do anything to make it right. I know what I did to Gabriel was wrong, believe me. But if I do this… then that never has to happen. Ever."

"You might as well go back to the beginning of time. Make Hitler never rise to power, stop Kennedy from being assassinated." Cass' own emotions slowly tuck themselves away deep inside of her and she returns to the cold faced woman she was when she found Peter. "Even if you change it, even if it never happens, you still know you're capable of it. In any timeline, anywhere." She starts to back away from him, knowing that they're both susceptible to each other.

"Anyone is capable of anything at all," Peter says quietly, the happiness of the moment fading away entirely as a darkened look gathers in his eyes. She's right. No matter how much he changes, part of him has always been, and will always be a murderer. Just the same as Gabriel. The same as her. The same as the people he's trying his best to save. "Fighting against the terrible things we're capable of doing— doesn't that make us different from the monsters that we could become? I'll just have to make sure that I change things enough so I'm stronger when the dark times come around." Another step back, and he closes his eyes.

"I guess we are." Cass remains watching Peter, expecting him to disappear any moment. "But we're also our own monsters." Just like he'll have to deal with himself being a murderer, she'll always deal with her manipulations. She watches him close his eyes and step backward. Turning, she starts to walk off, only pausing when she reaches the trees. "Lie to me in the past, Peter. Tell me I'm still a good person."

Lie to her. That makes him open his eyes again. Peter had been planning to teleport away, but her words make him stop, looking up at her near the trees. He could tell her it wouldn't be a lie. Or that she's a victim. But he understands her horror at what she's become, because he feels it too. "Take care of yourself," is all he says instead, before there's a flicker, like a missing frame in a film, and he's no longer there.

It would be a lie to her. The last thing Cass wants is to turn out this way again. Even if she's a victim, it's not a way she wants to live. Whether she hears Peter or not, she doesn't turn around again, doesn't stop. Just like he's gone, she's drifted away, too.

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