2007-08-27: DF: Milk and Hazel

Starring:

DFKate_icon.gif DFPeter2_icon.gif

Summary: Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less. Kate wakes up after the bomb that nearly killed her in Central Park, only to find Peter watching over her.

Dark Future Date: August 27, 2008

Milk and Hazel


Petrelli Hideout

Some days are quiet— others are loud. The healing hadn't been complete, but it did most of the work, washing away much of the damaged caused by the bomb. When word of the explosion at the rally reached his ear, Peter teleported there immediately and searched for his wife. She'd told him she would be attending. It took him some time to find her, his searching invisible, but she'd still been alive, and that's enough for him. It's been two days now, and she's still not woken up. The healing did as much as it could, but some things the body needs to take care of on it's own. Bandages have been applied where necessary, and she's kept comfortably in bed. Sitting beside the bed, in a comfortable chair, he watches her quietly, waiting. He can be as patient as he needs to be.

Suddenly, Kate attempts to sit bolt upright, screaming out her husband's name. She's silent the moment her surroundings register and she drops back to the bed, gasping for breath. When she turns her head to look at her husband, it's through only one clear, hazel-green eye. The other looks like she's ready to paint the future. The alarm is clear on her face. "Peter? Oh, no. You weren't hurt, were you?"

The first time he sees her eyes open, Peter can't help but look at her quietly, displeased at the sight. He probably already knew. Thumbing someone's eyes back to check their pupils is common practice, but he still doesn't have to like it. But that settles quickly. He reaches out and takes her hand. "I wasn't even there— I didn't show up til after. I found you, brought you back here— I wasn't able to heal you all the way, but— you're alive." And it sounds like that's what matters most to him.

"I could have sworn that I could feel yo- It must have been a vision. Telling me you would come for me." She shakes it off quickly and then reaches up to gingerly touch her face around her milky right eye. "Is… Is it still there, darlin'?" Kate's almost afraid to know the answer. She never quite gets close enough to the socket. It feels like it's still there, but she doesn't know what a missing eye would feel like, either. All she knows is that she's only seeing half of what she should be. "Is my face all messed up?" Her hands pull away. She doesn't want to know what it feels like if it is. "I was so scared. I didn't even have the… I knew what was happening, but didn't have the time to react. It just- All I could think was, 'I'm going to die, and I didn't get to kiss Peter goodbye.' And… I never saw it coming." She looks away from his face for a moment. "I mean, I've seen myself die in a lot of different ways. I go out of my way to avoid every one of them. I never saw that coming, though." She falls quiet for only the space of a second before adding in a quiet murmur, "Maybe Death has had enough with my cheating."

"I did come for you," Peter says, agreeing with her quietly. "I'll always come for you." It's a quiet promise, one he's probably made fairly often, but he's not been able to keep at times. There will probably be times he can't keep it again— but he'll always try. If he's able. "It's still there— your face is fine." There's a pause, before he points at one of the smaller mirrors on the wall. He knows she hates this ability, but he still uses his mind to bring the mirror closer, so that he can show her. It's not the most perfect sight, but— at least her face is still beautiful. Just one of her eyes, staring off, dead. "Maybe it wasn't meant for you," he says. "I should have realized what that rally was. I painted a picture of it two years ago… But I don't think it was meant for you. You didn't cheat Death— it just didn't come for you that time." The mirror is set aside, but within reach if she wants it. He wants to touch her hair first, pushing it off her forehead gently. "I talked to my brother— a couple days ago. You've been asleep most of it."

Kate's startled by her own reflection and she whimpers as she studies her face critically. "My eye… Shit, Peter. A couple days?" She's broken from her moment of horror and self-pity when the mirror is set aside. "I couldn't save her. I tried. I swear I tried. I just… couldn't get close enough to her to stop her." Which saved her life, of course. Survivor's guilt. No matter how many times she's the survivor, it never gets any easier. She decides it's best not to dwell on it, and instead opts for her husband's topic. "How did things go with Nathan?"

"It's okay. There's some things that can't be stopped, Kate," Peter responds, tension along his jawline. He probably did his mourning earlier— when he realized exactly what he was looking at. It's the way he is— but so is this. He's accepted it. She's alive. His wife. That's all that matters. "We talked— he's planning something. I mentioned that you wanted to leave, just the two of us— and he asked me to stay. Said that the country might need me more than ever soon… If it's okay with you, we'll stay here a little longer. At least until Nathan makes his move— until I know what I might be needed for."

"If Nathan's asked us to stay," she's somehow assuming that she's part of the deal, "then we'll stay. But if we don't like whatever he's got planned, we're out of here, right?" Her brows furrow with concern. Even if he isn't reading her mind, the flicker in her features shows she's afraid even her expressions don't look natural anymore.

"Yeah— or if I don't think I can do whatever it is that he thinks I can do," Peter says, getting off his chair enough to lean forward and cup her face, kissing her brow along the tension lines. "Don't worry— I told him I'd take care of you." Of course she came up— what else would she expect. He's not invading her mind, but he does pull back to see her reaction.

Kate props herself up on one elbow and reaches up to touch Peter's face… but misses her mark. Startled, she lets her hand fall away. Being half blind does funny things to depth perception. "Silly Peter. Of course you're going to take care of me. I never worry you won't take care of me. I worry more that you won't take care of yourself." She curls up on her side and asks, "Is he all right? He looked good when I visited him, all things considered… But, I mean… Mentally. How's he holding up?"

"He seemed— closer to how I remember him," Peter says with a grimace. Not particularly liking this topic. It's not something he's good with right now, but… He settles onto the edge of the bed, so he can rest an arm around her, play idly with her hair. "He's not the same— but— closer. I wish I'd noticed earlier— you shouldn't have ever had to tell me. I should've known." It's one of the many things he probably blames himself for. She once accused him of punishing her, but that's not half as bad as the punishments he probably inflincts of himself.

"Logan's crafty, Peter. He's been watching since you-" Kate winces. Since you exploded and blew your brother half to hell. "He knew how to trick us. He even tricked Heidi and the kids. They should have caught it long before either of us. I only knew when he told me. That's when I saw the hints." She cuddles up against Peter's chest and closes her eyes, one arm wrapped around him tightly. "I trusted him. I trusted him even after he slapped me so hard that he sent me sprawling to the floor. He was still Nathan to me. I could never see him as a monster. And he knew that. He had to prove to me that he was a monster." Her voice cracks and she hugs him tighter. "I never wanted you to have to see that side. I hope you never have to meet Logan. The man he is when he's not pretending to be your brother…"

"I have met him," Peter says, shaking his head a little. He still keeps his arm around her, still plays with her hair. He doesn't ask how he proved it— at this point he doesn't need to. She had told him not to ask again, as well. "He's the one I spoke to— after you told me about Suresh— and what he did to him. What he did to you. I— I didn't realize how right I was that night." He's a monster— both the brothers became monsters. "I should have noticed before Heidi and the boys. We're— Nathan and I used to be connected." And something changed that. Somewhere down the line.

"And then I had to go and fall in love with your brother." Kate pauses a beat, "And compound it by coming down to earth and falling for you." She rolls over to turn her back on Peter, though she doesn't squirm out of his grip. That's the last thing she wants right now. "It's my fault. Maybe you'd have seen it if it weren't for me. Maybe-" She falls silent and presses her face into the pillow.

"Self-blame is my job," Peter says, leaning over her, arm moving along her back, his lips touching her hair. "It's not just you— there was more involved." More that he probably can't quite admit to himself. Like all the many things that pulled him and his brother apart. "I was so busy trying to save everyone, that I ignored someone who mattered most to me." He said it before, he'll say it again. His sits up, his hand touching her back. "Come on. I'll cook you something to eat— you're probably starving."

Kate rolls over again and pulls Peter back down onto the bed with her. There's nothing passionate about it. It's desperate and needy and she barely gets her face buried against his chest before she starts crying. "Food can wait. I just want you to hold me." She knows she should be happy to be alive, and she is, but even that comfort can't stop her from wailing, "Oh, Peter! My eye!"

Pulling him back down shouldn't be easy, really, but Peter's allowing it. He's still dressed, though she's got a robe on and little else, but at least his boots were off— and he isn't wearing his coat. He settles down onto the matress beside her and lays back, pulling her up against his side so he can hold her comfortably. Rubbing along her shoulder and back, he lets her cry, allows the wailing. It's something he'll never be able to understand, though— he's died so many times, lost whole body parts— and none of it permenant. None of it stuck. "You're alive. And I'm here." That's the most consulation that he can give. That, and holding her, as she requested.

There are distinct drawbacks to living with a man who regenerates. The lack of true understanding is one of them. He will never have a blemish, scratch, or scar. On the one hand, it always makes martial spats interesting. But on the other, he'll never be able to realise what it's like to look in the mirror and have a dead eye staring back at you. Kate's sobs only subside when she's cried herself back to sleep.

Never blemish, scratch, scar— and possibly never even age. Never die. And die all the time. Peter continues to hold her, arms around her, hand moving in soothing gestures. He doesn't say much, just quiet reminders that he's there— He doesn't even move after she falls asleep on him. Food can wait— for now he'll just hold her.

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