2007-05-12: Love to Change the Future

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter assures Mara she's done the right thing and shares with her his experiences. The two bond over alcohol and heartache.

Date It Happened: May 12, 2007

Love to Change the Future


Peter Petrelli's Apartment

Right about now… Peter wishes he had a full time job. There's only so much time he can spend in a day going over a few things when he doesn't work. This time, though, he's dialing a number, listening to ring, get transfered over to voice mail, and instead of leaving a message he hangs up after hearing the beep. Closing his eyes, he leans back for a few moments, before looking back up to flip through the pictures stored on his phone. The whole time his puppy wags her tail, waiting for her turn for attention. It'll be soon, right?

Luckily for Peter, fate seems to be on his side today. There's a knock on the door. Visible through the peep hole in the door is a head of blonde hair, facing away from him. It's not, perhaps, the right shade of blonde or the proper cut to be anybody he'd recognise immediately, however.

Closing the phone after he's paused a while on the digital picture of a painting, Peter puts it into his pants pockets as he approaches the door. Snowy follows with her tail wagging. At the blonde hair, he frowns briefly, before unlocking the deadbolts, but leaving the security chain in place as he opens the door enough to look and speak out. "Can I help you?" There's a bark, and the white fluff ball peeks out behind his leg, trying to see through the crack of the door.

The woman turns. "You had your first vision when you touched my name badge." If the freckles and the hazel eyes weren't enough, the accent should clinch it. She's playing off of the times he used to visit her. After all, he should want to be just as careful with her as she was with him. "I come bearing gifts." A paper shopping bag is held up, accompanied by a hopeful look.

That's a surprise. There's a long pause, as if it takes him a while to process what just happened. And the puppy doesn't quite need to process. All she knows is there's someone at the door who sounds nice. So she gives off a soft little bark that pushes him out of it. "So I did," Peter says, nudging the puppy back with his foot, and closing the door long enough to undo the chain and open it again. Though when he does that he has to bend down and pick up Snowy before she runs over to check out the new person's feet. "Come on in." His voice is soft, withdrawn, as if she's caught him at a time when he's exceptionally tired.

"Is this a bad time?" Mara steps into the apartment all the same. "I could just leave my gift and go." She looks almost wary. If he's exceptionally tired, then she's the walking dead. There's dark circles under her eyes and it looks as though she may have been crying earlier. It's hard to say, however. She absently rolls her shoulders, shifting the floor-length leather trench coat that hangs off her frame, matching her boots, buttoned once over a violet tank top and a pair of black, flared jeans.

"No, it's fine," Peter says, waiting until she's inside enough so he can close and lock the door again. Just in case. He always locks up. Nathan has a habit to forget to even close the door if he doesn't do it. "Just— wasn't expecting you. Thought you were still in hiding. It's been a while." With the door closed, he puts the puppy back down. An American Eskimo, minature or toy breed, so tiny she could easily be held with one arm, fluffy white fur, pointed ears, and blue eyes. "What'd you bring me?"

Mara sets the bag on Peter's kitchen counter and starts pulling items out. A bag of ice, a two litre bottle of 7-Up, and then a bottle each of peach and strawberry schnapps. "We're overdue for some socialisation, I think." Once her gifts are deposited on the counter, she crouches down and holds her hand out toward the puppy. "I see you haven't been too lonely."

"How's the knee? You seem to be walking better?" Peter asks, watching her move as she pulls out the 'refreshments'. It shouldn't surprise him, really, but it does cause some amusement. "Haven't been lonely, no." The puppy, curious as always, moves forward to nose at the hand, tail wagging happily, "That's Snowy. I got her about a month ago."

Mara shifts her weight, her coat sticks out a bit awkwardly. "Well, this is the most I've walked without it. The… what? Five steps I've taken between the hall and your apartment? My doctor would scream at me." Snowy earns herself some scratches behind the ears. "She's adorable, Pete." A few more moments of affection before Mara rises again, reaching inside her coat and retrieving her cane. "It was something I decided I had to do," she explains, gesturing to the bottles on the counter. She has yet to smile. She seems almost hesitant.

"You thought you had to buy me drinks?" Peter asks, looking towards the bottles on the counter, and the back to her. "Why don't you go sit down," he gestures into the living area, where the couch and various chairs are. His entire apartment, as she's seeing it for the first time, is very much a personal place. Lots of items that must have personal significance. Maybe she shouldn't try touching anything here! "What do you prefer? The strawberry or the peach?" He's going to make drinks for her, it sounds like.

"You mix them together, silly. It's called a Fruit Brute. A splash of each and the 7-Up." Mara reluctantly moves to the couch, having a seat. "It wasn't that I had to buy you drinks. I would have been fine with /you/ buying the drinks. I just felt the need to drink /with/ you." Hazel eyes watch Peter's movements in a manner somewhere between curious and intent.

"Fruit Brute, huh?" Peter says, grabbing two glasses from the cabinets and dropping the ice in. It's early in the day to start drinking, but… A splash of each— on top of the ice, he drops in a generous splash, then fills with the 7-Up. The ice gets put into his freezer, before he carries the two glasses through the kitchen and where she's sitting. "Why'd you think you needed to drink with me? Don't think we've ever been drinking…"

"That's why we needed to do it. I'm trying to do things I never had the chance to do…" Mara takes the glass with a gracious nod, taking a drink of the sweet liquor. "So… Let me see." She sets the glass aside and holds out both of her hands to demonstrate.

That's something Peter can understand, so he nods, taking a drink of his own drink before he looks at the offered hands. From the look on his face, he doesn't quite understand. "See what?"

"Let me see your-" Mara presses her lips together and frowns faintly. "Your hands." She finishes her thought.

There's some reluctance, before Peter puts the drink down and holds both of his hands forward, avoiding actually touching her for the moment, "Did you talk to Nathan?"

"Yeah." Mara takes Peter's hands and turns them over in her own. "Jesus. You can't even tell, can you?" She looks up, meeting his eyes with a sad expression as she lets him go. "I never got to properly thank you. So… thank you. For saving my life."

"Yeah— can't tell at all," Peter says softly, taking both of his hands back. He's not sure she knows which one got snapped off at all. "If I were more of a scientist, I'd take my fingerprints and then try it again, see if they've changed. Actually— I think my finger prints are on record somewhere." So they could find that out anyway. "You're welcome," he says, hands reaching back out to wrap around one of her own.

Mara's eyes get wide when his hand wraps around hers. "What are you…" Her look turns quizzical as she glances down toward her knee and then back up to Peter. She can feel it, but she can't. It's hard to explain. The telltale sensation is really the absence of that dull, throbbing, constant pain.

Releasing her hand, Peter settles back with a sigh, feeling a little better about things than he probably should. Her doctor is going to be confused as hell if that worked at all. "Picked up a few new tricks while you were gone. Just wish I'd've had that when you first got shot."

"What did you just…?" Mara withdraws her hand and gingerly pokes at her knee. "Oh, /Peter/." She takes his hand again to draw him into a hug, planting a kiss on his cheek. Her throat is tight, straining her voice with the effort she exerts not to cry.

The hug is returned, his eyes staring off past her shoulder. Snowy doesn't know what all the excitement is about, but she sits there and wags her tail, mouth gaped open. Peter pulls back and touches her cheek lightly, as if checking for tears she's trying not to cry. "You're welcome. Now you get the fun job of explaining to your doctors why you don't need the cane anymore."

"You kidding? They're gonna think there's something strange about the women who spend time around you Petrelli boys." Mara leans into the touch on her cheek as he wipes the dampness of the tears that have spilled despite her best efforts. "I think I'll… keep up the act for a while. The department will ask too many questions otherwise." She leans in to kiss his cheek one more time. "You're my hero, Peter Petrelli."

The whole— hero thing makes his eyes divert as he pulls away, glancing back towards the drinks he poured. "The department?" Peter asks, "You're going back to the department?"

"You don't think I should?" Mara picks up her drink and sits back, stretching her leg out in front of her experimentally. No pain. Holy… "It's all I know. I don't exactly have a trade skill. I've never… done anything else."

"Guess so, but— isn't it dangerous? What if — what if Gray comes after you again?" Peter asks, looking genuinely concerned. "Nevermind— you probably have thought about that more than me…" She's got more reason to be worried after all. "It's not exactly a bad idea, just… I'm worried about you."

"Maybe being around a bunch of cops with guns is exactly where I need to be." Mara shrugs. "It's about… It's about making a stand. Proving I'm not afraid of him." Even if she is. "Hiding away forever is like letting him live." And besides, I've got extra protection.

"Alright," Peter says, unable to fight her on this issue, quite honestly. "I'm glad you're back," he adds, raising the drink in her direction, letting the ice tink against the edge. "Just remember you can call me if you need to. Any time of day. Doesn't matter." And she should know good and well he'll fly out there and get himself killed to save her.

"It's good to be back. I've missed you." Mara raises her own drink in return before taking another sip. "I… I thought you should know, Pete… I decided that it's over with your brother." She watches Peter intently, gauging his reaction.

There's a twinge of surprise, eyebrow raising briefly. "I understand…" And from the sounds of it he's sorry, but— at the same time it might have been expected. Perhaps in an attempt to not ask about it, Peter adds on, "You know, I was pissed when you just upped and vanished after I worked so hard to keep you alive. Though I understood why."

"I know you were. So was Nathan. I was surprised he didn't punch me in the jaw when I showed up at his door this morning." Mara falls silent immediately after finishing that sentence, almost as if she's holding her breath. "Don't tell Heidi." Obviously. "Listen. It's not just that, Peter. It isn't just… I- Crap. How do I even begin?" Another drink to try and calm her nerves. Help her find words. "It started with the visions. I'm sure Nathan told you about… about the visions I would get from his wedding ring."

There's a small nod, though Peter flinches a little as he's told to keep a secret. There's something about secrets that doesn't seem to sit well with him. He takes a longer drink from his 'Fruit Brute' before he glances back at her and nods, "Yeah— he said you saw that he'd be getting a divorce."

"I've had that vision twice. The first time, at the bar, when I was just demonstrating… I saw the argument. I saw that it was coming." Mara looks away uncomfortably. "And… The second time, he asked me to see if anything changed. So, I had the vision again. And… And I saw I was the cause." She looks vaguely ill as she admits that. "I knew his marriage was going to end because of me. Ten minutes later, I slept with your brother." She doesn't let that hang too long, lest Peter end up with mental images or something horrific like that. "But… I've done a lot of soul searching since I went into hiding. And I knew I couldn't… couldn't let it happen. So I decided to end it, but I didn't tell him. When I went to see him today, I had the vision again." She lets out a shuddering sigh that could be relief. "No divorce."

"I'm sorry, Mara," Peter says softly, not really sure what else to say. In a way, he might have a disappointed look on his face, but at the same time… "It must be hard for you. I know you care about him." There's a pause, and he leans forward and puts the drink down, standing up and walking back into his kitchen, with a white puff ball following him the whole way. Reaching into a cabinet, he grabs one thing, then pauses for a few moments, before he grabs something else. A coffee mug. Bringing them both over, he holds out the first item he grabbed, a bottle of gin. Easily recognized. "Guess you can have this back now." He'd kept it all this time.

"Keep it," Mara says quietly. "I don't need any reminders of my fuckups." She rakes her fingers through her blonde hair and closes her eyes. "I do care for him, Peter. That's why I did this. Because I can't break up his marriage. He may think he feels something for me, and maybe he does, but I know it's nothing compared to what he feels for his wife. And your nephews deserve better than the broken household I would cause." A shiver runs through her as she covers her eyes with her hand. "Sometimes, I wish Gray would have killed me."

"Don't say that, Mara," Peter says firmly, giving her a hard look. He lost a hand (even if it grew back) saving her. He has absolutely no intention of letting anyone wish themselves dead. Putting the bottle of gin down, he holds the coffee mug instead. "I was in love with a woman who was seeing someone else, you know," he explains. "She was beautiful— strong— independent— successful. I was in love with her for almost six months before I even hinted at it." This story may seem out of place. "When I did, she said she was seeing someone else. In fact, the man she was seeing was Isaac Mendez."

The name sends another shiver through Mara and she looks up at Peter finally. "Isaac Mendez," she repeats. I know how he died. I know how Gray killed him. The story does seem sort of out of place, but Mara thinks she knows Peter well enough to know he's going to tie it in. She wipes some tears from her face and swallows back the lump (and maybe a little bile) in her throat.

There's a slow breath, and Peter seems to stare intently at the coffee mug, one he hasn't used since— well— "She broke up with Isaac, because of his drug problems— painting the future— crazy talk, right? And I'd quit my job recently. I'd been her father's hospice nurse." That would be how they met, apparently. Taking in a slow breath. "The night we saw each other after that— I told her I was in love with her. Had been since we first met. We kissed… and slept together." There's a quiet somberness to him as he explains this, and he doesn't look up to catch her reaction just yet. "This is the coffee mug she used that morning. I've tried to get a vision off of it dozens of times— wanted to see— to know if— if I meant more to her— as much as she meant to me— instead of just a nice guy who came along when she needed to be with someone."

"You're a nice guy who's come along when I needed you." Mara reaches out to wrap her hand around Peter's, but not touch the mug. This is personal. It's his. She won't try unless he asks. "What do you think? You knew her well, didn't you? Did she seem like the type who would hop into bed with a man just because he seemed to come around at the right time?"

"No," Peter says softly, keeping the mug to himself. There's moisture apparent in his eyes and he doesn't look up right away. "But I know she still loved him," he adds, glancing up at her. "And he still loved her. I'm not saying— my story is similar to yours, Mara. Just that— even knowing it was wrong— even knowing I'd hurt her— I still loved her. And I still do. It's okay for you to be in love with Nathan. Love shouldn't be something to create shame. You love him enough to know when to let him go. Something I should've learned with Simone."

"Don't. Peter, don't." Mara's hand moves up to the man's shoulder, squeezing reassuringly. "You just said it. Love shouldn't create shame. And it shouldn't create regret." But here they are, regretting their loves. "Tell me I'm doing the right thing. Because I feel like something inside of me is dying."

"I got her killed, Mara," Peter says, looking up at her. His expression remains somber, but he shakes his head. "Isaac shot her. He was trying to shoot me." That's a different kind of shame all together. Not because he loved her, but because he failed to protect her. Does he even need to mention that the fight they were in had half been about the Bomb, and half about /her/? "Yes, I think you're doing the right thing. Just like I know I'm going to need to break up with Elle soon. I just don't know how I'm going to do it."

Mara doesn't know quite how to respond to that. So, she responds the only way she knows how. She wraps her arms around Peter and pulls him in to rest his head against her shoulder, stroking his hair. "I'm so sorry. I had no idea." She kisses the top of his head lightly. "It wasn't your fault. You know that, too, don't you?"

"Yes, it was," Peter says, though he leans into the hug, closing his eyes as he does. He's not had enough to drink to make it through this moment easily, so a hand finds it's way up to his face, to cover his eyes and face. "It was my fault. He was trying to shoot me. Because I was going to destroy New York, because he thought I'd stolen her away. And because /I was invisible/. Invisible, running around his loft throwing things at him. Making him turn around until he was so confused— that he shot the first thing he could see."

"That was his own fault, Peter." Harsh as it is, Mara believes it's the truth. "Don't make me march down there to find something to get a vision off of so I can tell you that it was his own fault for shooting wildly." She hugs him tighter, one hand staying in his hair and the other stroking her thumb over his cheek soothingly. "The future isn't set in stone, right? You and I have both proven that more than once now. I'm sure it was harder for him to see that, and it's a tragedy that his ability caused his short-sightedness, but it wasn't your fault."

"He only shot wildly because of what I was doing," Peter says, moving a little away from the hand, or at least far enough he could look up at her while he shakes his head. He's not going to get rid of this blame so easily. "You know what the worst part is? Her father… Charles. He was the only one who believed in me. I had a— a vision— a dream— I don't know— the night of Nathan's election. The night I blew up. It was like one of your visions, like I was watching something in the past. It was the day I'd met Simone the first time— The day I started working for him. I know it wasn't just a dream— but I saw things I couldn't have witnessed— saw Charles speaking to my mother. They knew about the bomb— and he believed that I— that— that I could save the world. This man believed in me. And I got his daughter killed." Somber sounding or not, there's definite emotion in his eyes at this point.

Mara kisses the top of Peter's head again. It's all she knows how to do. Touch and comfort. "He believed in you despite it all. She wouldn't want you to blame yourself." Just like she knows he doesn't want her to blame herself for what happened to him.

Except nothing permanent happened to him. The hand he lost came back. Nothing else bad happened. Peter pulls away fully now, standing up and rubbing a hand over his face. "Anyway— I think you made the right choice. I hope you find someone who can love you back as much as you deserve." And someone not previously entangled.

Someone like- Don't finish that thought, Damaris. "I doubt that will happen. I've spent my life running away from love, Peter. What just happened with your brother is exactly the reason why." She reaches for her drink and tips her head back until she's drained three fourths of it. Not nearly drunk enough for this. Not nearly. The tears that start falling again prove this. This time, it's more than just tears she can't hold back. She starts actually crying. Sniffling and sobbing and the whole nine yards.

With her crying, Peter steps over to the bookshelf and opens up a small wooden box. In a girl's house, someone would think it's a jewelry box. In his house? It's apparently a handkerchief box. He pulls out the one on top and steps over to sit back down beside her. With rims around his own eyes, he places it over her hand, and says, "It'll be okay. Love isn't something you need to run away from. In the end… love's the only thing that matters." He learned this from a dying former jazz musician.

"Love doesn't mean shit," Mara spews bitterly as she takes the handkerchief and presses it to her eyes. "I always fall in love with the wrong people." Judging from just how upset she is, Nathan certainly isn't the first. Though she's vowing he'll be the last. "For seven years, I avoided it. Seven fucking years and then I meet Nathan goddamn Petrelli and think everything's somehow going to be better this time. Of /all the people/!" I'm not even angry with him. I'm angry with myself. "How /thick/ can I get?!"

"Love isn't always smart," Peter says softly, looking towards his hands for a few moments. "But— love did give you something in this case. You're alive. We were able to save you— because you loved him, because he loved you… Even if things don't work out— it's better that you had it." They wouldn't have been as close if she hadn't loved his brother. She wouldn't have called his brother despite the terrible fight— which yeah is what drove her to go home in the first place. But maybe it needed to happen that way in order to change the future.

Mara turns away from Peter long enough to punch the cushion of the couch. "You're right. You're absolutely right. I mean, let's take stock here. I've been shot… twice in the past three months, stalked by a serial killer, thrown up against the wall telekinetically by said madman, disappeared without a trace, and I still live to tell the tale. And on top of everything… I can walk again." She wipes at her eyes again with the handkerchief. "I'm sorry. I didn't come here to scream and cry. I came here to see my friend. Smile. Laugh. … Do I fuck everything up, or what?" She crumples the cloth in her hands and rests them in her lap.

"I was depressed before you got here," Peter says with a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. "You didn't fuck anything up that wasn't fucked up to start." Did he just swear? Twice? Is she a bad influence on him? There's a small sigh, and he checks his watch briefly, and then he looks back to her. "I'm glad you came over. It's really good to see you again— though I must admit the hair's throwing me off a little. What made you pick blonde?"

Mara watches Peter check the time and frowns faintly. Does he want her to leave? "I'm glad I did, too. Wallowing in my own misery in my apartment wasn't going to do me any good. I'm sorry I dumped it on you, though." She smirks when he comments on her hair colour. "You just gave the reason right there. You didn't recognise me right away, did you?"

"Not when your back was turned," Peter admits with a hint of a smile. "But as soon as you turned around and spoke, I recognized your eyes— and your freckles." He says it in a fond way, before taking her glass and heading towards the kitchen to freshen it. With a few dash of schnapps and 7-Up, it's actually stronger than before and he adds a bit more ice. "So are you under cover with the NYPD or is the blonde hair so he doesn't spot you as easily in a crowd?"

"The latter." Mara finally gives him that gap-toothed smile, taking the glass graciously. There's still that hint of sadness in her eyes, but her spirits are brightening. "I'm still on leave, pending a psych eval. We'll see how that goes. They kind of think I'm crazy because I… /get/ Gray." She shrugs. "I can't help it if I know he removes people's brains to steal their abilities. How am I supposed to explain to my lieutenant that I see the past and the future and that's why I pass out at crime scenes? How do I explain that Parkman is so damn good at getting confessions out of people because he can read their minds? It's just… not something you can explain to most people." She takes a long drink from her glass. Oh, it's stronger. "Peter Petrelli, you are a saint."

"Not a /saint/… but I try," Peter says with a smile, settling down into his seat. "You can keep that," he says with a nod towards the handkerchief he handed her. It's simple, really, but it's definitely got her tears on it now— and it's something for her to hold onto, if she needs to. There might even be some simple memories attached to it if she digs deep enough. "As long as you keep your head together and remember who you are— I'm sure you'll do fine. And at least you won't have to limp around on a cane during the physical tests after you stop faking it."

"It'll be nice. Real nice." Mara stretches her leg out again, marveling at the way it doesn't… pop or strain or just cause her to scream. "I don't think I can ever thank you enough for this." She takes another drink. "I've got a new phone now, by the way. Make sure you call me, any time of the day or night, if you ever need anything. Even if it's just somewhere to crash. Someone to talk to because you don't want to be alone. Anything. Really."

Picking his phone out of his pocket, Peter blinks at the picture still displaying on the window, and thumbs to the phone book, where he checks Mara's entry. "Same number as before, or did you get a new one? I'm still on the same number— but this is my third phone." It looks it, too. They get nicer and nicer. Maybe he'll get an iPhone next… "I'll give you a call, yeah— if I need anything." Which these days is getting more and more likely that he'll need something— but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll /call/.

"Same number." Mara fixes Peter with a serious look. Which one of them is the telepath exactly? "I mean it, Pete. I know you don't like to worry people, but I'll seriously kick your ass if I find out you didn't call me when you could have used help, or a friend." She raises her dark brows toward her lighter hairline. Got me?

"Right, okay." Peter says. But at the same time… he could use her right now. But he's not sure he wants to dump everything that's happened in the last month or so on her shoulders just as she got back. "I've got a job," he says finally, letting the phone close since she's got the same number. "I'll take you by some time if you've never been. I'll be working there in a couple days. I'll give you the address. Ever heard of Enlightenment Books?" That's not a nursing job!

Mara's eyes widen. Oh, this is just /too/ perfect. "Oh, yes. I would /love/ for you to take me by!" That's some enthusiasm all right. "I've never been there. I've heard it's got quite the… interesting selection!" She tips her head to one side, biting her lip as she grins, "I might be looking for some temp work until the department takes me back. Maybe you can put in a good word for me with your boss?"

"I can try, yeah. As long as you promise not to set fire to the store, or set off the sprinklers." Peter says with a smile, finishing off the rest of his now watered down Fruit Brute. He's not sure how ell his boss will take people he brings in these days. Not does he ask what the enthusiasm is about. He's actually surprised she's never been there… "I'll give you a phone call when I'm sure what day I'm working and have you drop by."

"That would be awesome." Mara downs the last of her drink and sets the the glass down. "You are such a rock star, sweetie. Thanks." She leans over to hug her friend tightly. Alcohol makes her clingy, it would seem. "Let me know when you've got a day off. I'll swing by to pick you up and you can help me furnish my new place. It… It's really very clinical." She leans back again and sweeps her gaze around Peter's apartment appreciatively. Not entirely unlike the sanctuary her bedroom used to be. "It needs your touch, I think."

There's a laugh, and Peter glances around his cluttered and /extremely personable/ apartment. There's not a single space that eyes can go that don't have a personal touch. "I'll certainly help you out with that, though I warn, it will require shopping." He hopes she has money.

"I got a nice bonus check." Mara smiles winningly for a moment. It promptly falls off her face and she has a distinct look of 'uh oh.' Dumbass. Don't tell him about the money! He'll wonder where it came from. "Anyway," she attempts to recover, "I've got a bar or two to go drink dry, I think. I promise I'll call you if I find myself about to pass out in a dark alley and need a lift home." She rises to her feet, instinctively putting weight on her cane and blinking when she realises she just… doesn't have to.

"I'll show up in a cab," Peter says, giving her a hint of a smile. He doesn't use the family drivers if he can help it, though they tend to be faster than a cab. He doesn't have his own car, though, so someone else driving is required. Does he suspect the 'bonus check'? No. Not right now. Snowy sits up from the place on the floor she laid down on and looks at them move towards the door, as he undoes all the locks and opens it to let her out. "Be careful, Mara."

"One of these days, Pete, I'm gonna have you take me flying." Gotta compare, after all. Mara's grin is devilish at that declaration. She stops at the doorway, pausing to rest one hand on the side of Peter's face and lean in to drop a kiss on the other cheek. "I promise. You do the same, hon. Take care of your brother for me, too. Somebody's got to." She turns and heads down the hall, zigging and zagging almost lazily as she swings the cane around in a slow circle. Miracles do happen.

There's a smile and a nod, "I'll do both," and Peter closes the door after seeing her walk twirling the cane. It's his puppy that makes him close the door, before she darts out after. "No— leave the nice lady alone." Fluffball. She's a friend, though! Snowy wags her tail at the door.

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