2009-12-30: Make Them Safe



Date: December 30th, 2009


In Lena's nightmares, Peter tries to steal the blame for the situation she's found herself in. He promises help but she may already have a plan on how to get herself out.

"Make Them Safe"

Lena's Dreaming Mind

After being returned to her cell, Lena immediately fell onto the hard metal of her bunk and dropped into an uneasy and not at all restful sleep. Sleeping is, after all, a method of escape…unless one's subconscious decides that dream therapy involves working through nightmares to purge the stress of one's waking life.

So as the girl drifts from shallow slumber into an REM state, her mind conjures up a dreamscape straight from her current captivity: Lena in a slate grey room, handcuffed to a chair and decked out in a baggy orange jumpsuit. Electrodes have been fixed to her temples, black wires snaking away into the shadows that hang heavy in the corners of the cell. Tammy stands beside and behind the girl, one slender and elegant hand perched on the brunette's shoulder. The pair of them are looking through a plexiglass window into a dimly lit room, where a line of people stand with their backs against a wall marked for various heights. It's a police line-up, composed of those people in her life that she's come to care for. Her roommates, the members of Team Awesome, Tiago, even her family stands there with their backs against the wall, their faces marked with the signs of recent beatings and their eyes glaring accusations through the glass at the girl in the chair.

"Is there anyone else, Miss Grey?" Tammy's fingers flex against Lena's shoulder and the teenager gives a whimper. "Is there anyone else you've forgotten? I want names. Give me names, gives me addresses. I knnow you aren't telling me everything."

"No! I swear, I swear there's no one else. Please stop. Please. Please just stop I swear to god."

But the denial earns a disapproving shake of the head from Tammy. She points…and a young boy in the other room crumples to the ground, eyes gone blank and glazed. Lena screams.

Dreams can also be a mode of communication, at least for a select few people. When the phone number didn't answer for quite some time, Peter decided to search through alternate means. With her being in the room when they rescued Tracy, and the likelyhood the room was bugged, he knew he had to check on her. Doing anything else wasn't an option. Three attempts found nothing, the fourth, finds her mind.

An unpleasant dream to enter in. The screams dig at him, but as he parts the walls and opens up her dream, he starts to try and take command of it. Dreams should be good. They shouldn't be this horrific. Especially not when it must be his fault that it has become so. She wouldn't have been as involved as she is if it weren't for him.

"Lena!" he finally yells, looking around and seeing the people on display, the horrific sights… Changing it completely is difficult, but things begin to dull, mist clouding what the poor girl shouldn't be forced to see. "What happened— it's… are you…" He doesn't finish. No, she's not all right. How could she be, with nightmares like this.

Unlike everything else in the room, he's dressed in dark blues, with a badge on his arm and writing. His paramedic uniform decided to default when he entered the dream this time.

"Bobby! Bobby, wake up! Oh god, no!" In the manner of dreams, the glass disappears, Tammy disappears, the line of those with hate in their eyes all disappear. Except for the boy, and his body is soon lost in the mist. Lena squirms and struggles against the cuffs keeping her pinned to the chair, only to find them gone. She falls to the floor, hands and knees, and peers dazedly up at Peter. There's no recognition in her eyes, not at first. She sees the uniform, and despair tries to have its way with it, and the influence the man has on their surroundings. Pale mist grows darker, and uniform flickers back and forth between paramedic and a black suit.

Lena holds a hand up to him, warding Peter away. "Please no more. Please no more, please? Don't…just kill me? Tell her to kill me I don't want to do this anymore, make it stop, make it…" But as the brunette sits back on her heels, choked from pleading, something flickers in her eyes. She hesitates, squinting at him through tears. "Pete? Pete, are you…what are you…? Did they get you too?"

"You're going to be okay," Peter says, moving closer to her, but keeping his hands spread wide in a gesture showing he won't attempt to touch her. "I'm not here to hurt you, I came looking for you. You didn't answer your phone when I tried to call and…" He's glad he used pay phones in this case, and not something that could be easily traced. But that doesn't change the situation. "You're dreaming. This is a dream and I'm in it. I'm— do you know where you are? Is this what's happening to you? They've captured you?"

This is his fault. For a moment there's a glowing light coming from his hands, a visible sign of his guilt, whether she knows it or not.

"You're going to get out of this. I promise. You're not going to die and they're not going to get away with this."

Lena slowly climbs to her feet, scrubbing the back of her hand over her face to wipe away the tears. She looks confused as she tracks him with her eyes, before looking around at the fog-shrouded room. "A dream? This is…no. It isn't." The denial brings a flash of concrete grey through the mist, the walls of the cell closing in again before fading away. On her bunk, outside of the dream, the girl shifts uneasily, turning over before growing still again.

"They…Tiago. They're going to execute him. It's my fault. And I told…they made me tell. They…they…" A breath is hitched in, and she swipes at her eyes again. "He wanted us to run away but the lady…the lady lied, they grabbed us. We're…I don't know where we are, Pete. It's…New York, maybe? There's guards everywhere and…and they beat us, they hooked us up to machines and it burned and I told. Everyone. They're going to get everyone. They're going to do it again until they get everyone, I have to die."

When she looks up at him again with red-rimmed eyes, sniffling, Lena seems confused again. "Are you real? What are you doing here, Pete?"

"I'm not sure exactly where you are, but— I'll try and find you," Peter says, grimacing. He doesn't dare reach out for her, when he spots his hands glowing as they are. He doesn't trust himself to touch her, even if he wants to. Not after everything she's been through. "What's happening to you may not be a dream, but I am. It's one of my abilities. I— I know who I am now, and I'll do what I can to help you. I can warn the people you told, if they're not already in hiding, they can be."

If only he could promise that he could get her out of there— but doing that will be difficult, when he doesn't know where she is. Maybe he can help— he'll certainly try. "What they're doing, we're fighting it. This kind of thing shouldn't happen to anyone."

Her eyes drop to those glowing hands, eyebrows knitting together as the confusion deepens. "You're real," she repeats, without the intonation of a question. "What's wrong, Pete? You remember? You got your memories back? That's…that's good but what's wrong with your hands?" If this is just a dream, surely there must be some meaning behind that glow. Lena's frown deepens as she reaches out…and then draws her hand back. Her shoulders hunch up around her ears, and her hands tuck into the opposite armpit. It's a dejected posture. Defeated.

"Sydney…they know we were living with her, the address. Dex. Gene, Rebel, Randy…Randall. He's Jade's boss. And Tracy, your…your friend. Just the names. But they're…they're going to do it again. Until they get it all. And I can't…" She pauses, sucking in a deeper breath and scrunching her eyes shut. "Just make them safe, okay? I'm going to…I can't stop talking. When they…when she hooks me up to the thing, it…it's electricity, it…it doesn't stop till you tell. You can't stop it. I haven't told them about Eric, or you, or…but I will. She said it could kill us. I want it to, you know? But make them safe, Pete."

"Don't worry about it," Peter says, closing his fingers down around his hands and pulling them closer to him. They slowly stop glowing, the heat disipating. "I feel bad. You're involved in this— and I feel like it's partially my fault. You helped me get Tracy out of there and they probably caught you in her apartment. It was probably bugged." It probably isn't as much his fault as he's trying to put on himself, but that's just who he is. If it could be at all his fault, he thinks it must be.

"I should have done something more to protect you from this."

Jaw tightens and he looks around a bit. "Can you show me the woman who's doing this?"

"No." It's a quiet contradiction, given as Lena sinks back to the floor and curls her arms around her knees. But she's not trying to reassure the man; looking up at him, there's no smile on her lips, or in her eyes. "No. They wanted Tiago. He…it was my fault. I introduced him to someone and they went for her and he…they killed some of the guys. The hunters. So it's my fault. They think we're all…all murderers. All of us. For being born this way. She…she says they want to find us all. To watch us. To raise the kids so they…they don't hurt anyone. We do hurt people. I have. I can. It's my fault."

And as Lena wraps herself up in gloom and doom, Tammy makes another appearance. Summoned by his request, the woman steps forward out of the fog, a small cool smile on her face, a folder tucked into the crook of one arm. Every inch of her is trim and elegant in a black suit and skirt combo. "Dr. Lansing," the teenager volunteers. "She's a shrink."

"They're wrong," Peter says, wincing at the decription. At least his hands have stopped glowing, allowing him to reach out and touch her shoulders, kneeling down in front of her as he does this. She's trying to make herself smaller, and he can't help but want to shield her. From things she's already suffered. "They don't understand how wrong they are. They're going about this all wrong. All they're going to do is create the very monsters they think already exist…" Because no one would have needed to attack agents if they hadn't been trying to take people unjustly.

"Dr. Lansing. A shrink that tortures people?" he shakes his head. "I'll try and stop this. I'll do whatever I can to get you out of this. Until then…" He looks around. Suddenly the dream changes, becoming a beach, with the sun streaming down, a breeze, the sound of waves. He can't save her this instant, but he can create the escape that a dream should be in this situation.

Lena's shoulders tense under his hands, her mind rejecting the reassurances as it can't reject the reassignment of the dreamscape. She doesn't look at around at her new surroundings; her eyes fix on his, full of loss and despair. A beach doesn't solve betrayal. "Just make sure they're safe, okay? It's…if you can, tell them I'm sorry? I didn't want to. She said…she said we have forty-eight hours till it happens again, so there's less chance of heart attacks. Or brain damage." For the first time, her lips curl in a smile, and it isn't a pleasant one. Small, faint, bitter.

"I haven't told about Eric yet. That girl, Alexandra. Felix Ivanov, where his wife and kid are hiding. Gene's friend Bert. And Syd…they think she's normal, but I'll probably tell that part too. Jade's with Sydney…make sure they're safe and tell them I'm sorry." Lena reaches up, reversing her earlier rejection by setting a hand over Peter's. It's safe here, in a dream. So she gives his hand a squeeze. "Don't worry about me, I maybe figured a way out."

Beach doesn't solve a lot. "Lena, it isn't your fault. It's their faults. They're torturing you," Peter says, perhaps noticing her acting much as he probably would in this case. They'd have a difficult time getting more out of him. He's died more than any one person should, so pain doesn't quite have the same effect. Any brain damage would be fixed as soon as he got his power back. "I can heal you, just like I healed myself. When we get you out of there… You will get out of there. Just don't do anything reckless, okay?"

He's most worried cause of the way she talked about dying. That's not an option. "Where does Sydney live?" Ivanov. He knows him. Eric… "Eric Walker?"

"You wouldn't tell them, if they tortured you. Gene wouldn't tell them. Gene wouldn't have been caught. I fucked things up, Pete." Lena remains stubborn on this point, going so far as to frown at the man for daring to try to change her mind. But she gives his hand another pat, before letting it fall away to curl around her legs again. "If you can find us…I don't know if there's time. Two days, she said. All I've seen from the windows is the sky. And seagulls," she adds, listlessly. "Eric Walker, yeah. He bought the townhouse for us, so we could move…it's in the East End. Between 85th and 86th Streets. Jade should be there too."

"Gene's been caught before. So have I," Peter says, continuing to touch her, even if it's just dreamhands contacting her dream body. It feels real enough. "I'll warn them. If you've been missing a while, they probably already have taken precausions. If not, I have places that they can stay for a while." His home isn't trackable. Only a select few people know his name. "You'll get out of that place. The people who did this will pay."

But things might have to get worse before they get better. He'd like to wish they'd never get worse. "I should go. I need to try and warn people. Just hang in there."

Lena isn't so far gone in despair that the prospect of him leaving doesn't sting, shown in the widening of her eyes. For just that moment, in a dream, she'll push herself up from the sand to hug Peter with desperate strength, face pressed to his shoulder to hide that she's crying again. "Tell them I'm sorry, okay? Tell them I didn't mean to, I tried not to. Tiago too. He only did it to try to keep them from hurting me more. And…and tell Syd and Eric and Gene thank you. And Jade. She can have my guitar."

The hug gets returned, eyes closing. Peter wishes he could just teleport her out from where she is, right to him, but his abilities don't work that way. All the power in the world, and he still can't do simple things like that. "It's okay. You're forgiven." He never blamed her at all, but she blamed herself. "We'll get you out of here as soon as we can. Just please… be careful. Don't do anything to hurt yourself. I just got my memory back. We haven't even really met yet." While he starts to disappear from the dream, as he pulls out, he tries to hold on long enough to keep the dream pleasant for her. It may not work, but he's trying.

"You just wanna get high again." Maybe it's a good sign that Lena can let him go with a joke, pale and poor as it is. She even fights for a smile as her arms fall away and she steps back from him, closer to the water. She opens her mouth to say something else. But then a metal clang echoes over the beach, the sound of a hatch opening and a tray connecting with concrete. The brunette startles, glances over her shoulder and then she's gone.

Back in the cell, Lena opens her eyes to peer without comprehension at the dinner that was just shoved through the slot in the door. Then she closes then again and rolls over to look at the wall, her hands folded beneath her cheek.

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