2008-05-03: Never Will Be

Starring:

FuturePeter_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif

Summary: "Mother" and "son" talk about the state of time and the future; love doesn't always equal trust.

Date It Happened: May 3rd, 2008

Never Will Be


Deveaux Building

New York City

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

The fact that anyone at all happens to be knocking on this door surprises the person inside. Peter's not asleep, because he never sleeps. Hasn't in quite some time. A lot of different things keep that from happening, but none of them allow him to rest his brain when he needs that. This is where all those books on meditation that he read when he worked in a certain bookstore had come in handy. Sitting on the floor, eyes closed, he hadn't been asleep, but he was shutting out everything and giving his mind some much needed rest. Such focus and consentration allowed him better control over his many abilities, and especially the ones most difficult to control.

Right now, it serves to help him focus on the remainder of his time. The knock pulls him out of it.

Few people should be aware of his presence in the room. Very few. Standing, he approaches the door, perparing to take on an unrecognizable form until he looks through the spyhole. There's a pause, allowing for more knocks, before the door starts to unlock and then opens up. Scarred and tense, he

Peter's mother is at the door, one hand raised midway through her last knock, clad in her typical fashion of a black ladies'pant suit and pearls. Present, past, future, she'll always be his mother, even though the dark look Angela gives her son of four years from now is even more aloof than it might be otherwise. And so recently saved through his machinations, no less. "How long are you going to keep this up," she cuts straight into conversation, saving niceties such as "hello" for people who require them. She steps toward Peter as if to brush past him inside.

The first words make eyebrows twitch. Peter shifts to allow her through, before he pushes the door closed and relocks it. Such a door is rarely used by him anyway, but he'll have to unlock it again to show her out. For now, she seems intent on staying. The room itself had been furnished when Hiro allowed him to use it. There's been little done with the place. A couple gutted clocks sit on a table, next to a pocket watch. Not nearly as easy to understand as a map, or even strings, it still carries a complexity that only a handful of people might be able to figure out. And he might be the only one of them who knows enough to do so. "As long as I have to."

Angela whisks into the apartment without seeming to give much though to its surroundings; or rather, the dcor bears no surprises for her. She comes to a stop in front of the table strewn with clock pieces and watch. "It's time," she begins, plucking an item of clockwork up and giving its hands — hour, minute — a casual eyeing. "To tie up your loose ends. You've been here far too long." Her eyes narrow on the clockwork rather than regarding Peter, becoming more critical. "You should know better than to put so much strain on something so delicate." You know, time. The universe. "I guess a few years didn't teach you everything."

"I understood what I was doing when I chose to come back," Peter says with a shake of his head, moving past her to the table where the clock parts are left splayed out. Just like time and the universe, he's picking apart a clock to create something new. Once again. Wouldn't be the first time. "Things haven't gone the way I expected, but I know what I'm doing. I saved you, didn't I?" he says, stern expression returned right back. Harsh, yet pointed words. She wouldn't be standing here, wouldn't even be standing at all as far as he knows, if he hadn't done what he did. "I have a few more things I need to take care of, but I already know my time is coming to an end. I don't need you to tell me."

Angela places the clockwork back on the table unscathed, only presently turning to face Peter, her hands clasping in front of her. "The future is better because of what you've done," she speaks the nigh impossible words; coming from Angela Petrelli, who rather frowns on tampering with time, the words are not commending. "Many people will live better lives because you came back. Myself included." Dark brows lift ever-so-slightly upward at her scar-faced son. "I'm not ungrateful for that. But who knows how many must die later for those in the here and now to live? There are two sides to every coin, Peter. You can't avoid the butterfly effect," she says, a harshness to her familiar tone. "Inasmuch as it doesn't matter now that your time is nearly up, I hope you realize that."

"I know there's a consequence to every action, mother," Peter explains in a rather impatient voice, even if his words might try to sound as if he's trying to listen to what she's saying. "You have no idea what happened in the future I've come from. The things I've seen— the things I've done… If hundreds of people have to die to make a better future for the majority, than it's worth it. And it's less than has died already." A very different man than the one sitting in a cell below the earth, refusing to try anything that might resemble escape. "You should understand that better than anyone, mother. You're the one who was ready to blow up New York to create what you thought would be a better future. I'm not doing anything near that— but I know there will be casualties."

"All of this would have been avoided if the plan for New York had been successful," Angela waxes nostalgic, for a moment, but the memories are not sweet ones by any stretch of the imagination, and she moves on from them quickly. There's more she could say; on sacrifice, necessity, casualties… But she lifts a hand, slicing it quickly through the air in dismissal. "The game has changed too many times," Angela says, a barb of blame piercing her words. "The future you came from might not have been if it weren't for you, but I'm sure you've long since realized that." His mother's eyes might be judgmental as they settle boldly on his, but they're also as knowing as ever. "I know what you're doing. Your list. You're pulling strings. To make sure the changes stay."

"It always changes," Peter says, that stubborn expression not fading in the least, but he turns away to face the table, with the guts of a clock poured out onto it. There's so many gears and screws it would be impossible to tell where they're all supposed to go. "Everything always changes. Including your game. But it's not a game at all. These are people's lives we're manipulating. Emotions, feelings, attachments. All of it. There's far more to it than you can ever understand. Even if your dreams." The dreams. Something he's known about a long time. Something he just learned about recently. Depending on which one she's speaking to. "Which is how I'm guessing you know about the list, and how you found out where I was staying. I'm putting the future into the hands of people who I know will take it in the direction that they should. It could be my trust is missplaced, but this is their future now." Not his.

"I understand more than you think," Angela corrects Peter matter-of-factly. She moves about the table, abandoning its reminders of time to approach the window — another reminder of time in and of itself. She brushes a curtain gently aside, looking out on the city. How many times has she looked out a window much like this one? "My dreams are changing, too, you know," she says without moving her steady gaze from the outside world. "They've gone from bad to worse to better. The seeds you've planted — with … help, the help of those youve pulled together, the sacrifice can be minimal. At least for a time. Hopefully that will be enough."

"If you understand than how can you possibly say that my destroying New York and killing millions of innocent people would lead to a better future?" Peter asks bitterly, following her with his eyes as she moves, even turning to face her. Seems there's some things even four years don't erase. Over five, counting how long it's been since he had that dream— or vision— or whatever it was. Since he nearly blew up New York City with his own weakness. Whatever future would have been created, he can't imagine it would be better than the one he came from. "It'll be a struggle. A fight every step of the way. I understand that. I'm just trying to prepare those who have to fight it next."

For now, at this moment in time, arguing a side, explaining her actions, proving her point to Peter … it all becomes unimportant. Angela knows what she knows, and for now that's enough. It often has to be. There are greater things at stake. Looking out the window, she allows the faintest of smiles, directed not at Peter and most certainly not at any of the things he's saying. It's faraway, reflective, and short-lived. "I know," she states simply, quietly, not quite so callous. "This is how it must be now. Butterfly effect and all." Her fingers trail down the rich drapery before she faces the time traveller. "And what of Nathan? Will you fight for him? Prepare him? Because you can," she says, her voice dropping to a nearly whispery level, eyes narrowing. "Somehow… you can help to save him from himself."

"Of course I'm fighting for Nathan— and trying to get him ready for what's coming next…" Peter says, voice grating mildly as he pulls away, reaching up to touch his face with his hand. It's a gesture that might well be trying to hide something. In fact it is. He's preparing Nathan for a selfish mission, after all… the one that may well be able to save him. Perhaps the only thing that will keep him from becoming what he wishes he never had to. "I don't know what more I can do that won't damage him beyond repair. I need him to be here when things settle." When he gets out of Level 5. When he needs him. "What are you suggesting?"

"I'm not suggesting anything," Angela says slowly as she follows behind Peter at distance. "You are." Cryptic, but that's what you get when you have a mother who has prophetic dreams and her son who's travelled back in time in the same room.

"I haven't suggested anything," Peter says in an unamused growl. Confusing and cryptic as these conversations might be, it doesn't make things any easier for him. And the more questions he has about what's going on, the worse things usually get. "You must have wanted to guide me in the right direction, so just say it. What did you visit to tell me about?"

An impatient frown crosses Angela's mouth and she cuts the distance short between them, stopping in front of Peter to carry on with that 'guiding in the right direction'. "My suggestion for Nathan would have been Company therapy," she admits, "I don't know what it is you can do to help Nathan, I imagine your repertoire is quite a bit broader than that my son in Level Five who, by the way, is only being kept there because having the both of you running around might turn the natural order of things on its head even more. I know that some part of you realizes what lengths you must go to for Nathan." She searches the man's eyes for hints of just that. "You're scared of breaking him; I understand. I'm asking you to take the plunge." A pause; there's something else. "I want to see him."

"I tried to suggest he go to you. It's his choice, not mine," Peter says with a grumble, frowning as he's made to blame for his younger self's continued imprisonment. Though he understands at the same time. It'd been part of the reason he chose this point of time above any other. The other him couldn't interfer with it, was out of the way. "Fine. I'll discuss it with him. As long as he knows the risks. And I'll have to talk to the other people involved first too." Heidi and Niki will need to know where his mind is going on this, what he's suggesting doing to the man in their life. He's guessing that his mother already has an idea. …And he may never get around to telling Niki, but Heidi or Nathan can pass the word on. "You don't know where to find him on your own?"

The woman slowly nods her grim approval before stepping back and folding her arms. "You don't think I know everything, now, do you?" Shocking revelation: Angela Petrelli does not, in fact, know everything. Hold onto your pants, the world may crumble. "Don't waste too much time." A knowing glance is given to the table that displays the clockwork and watch.

"I'm not wasting it," Peter says stiffly, though he doesn't get much else out on this matter. Not yet. "If you want to meet up with him, I can arrange for something. What do you want to see him for?" There's suspicion in his eyes as he looks at his mother, as if he fully expects her to take matters into her own hands, no matter what she just said on it. She's difficult to trust sometimes. And who can really blame him for being chief among her doubters even now? Even if he risked everything to try and save her. People can love someone even when they disagree with them.

You can love someone and disagree with them. Distrust them. A fair review of this family. Angela's answer is straight to the point. "Because he's my son." She gives Future Peter a look that dares a challenge. "And I haven't seen him for ages. Of course I want to see him. Besides, he needs family, at a time like this. At least family who can bear to look at him." That would leave poor Claire out, for one.

"You already said you'd rather be be in your care. If this is just a ploy to drag him off against his will…" Peter says, hinting toward a threat as he moves away from the table even further, putting somemore distance between them. Distance is another thing their family is known for, whether it's good or not. "I'd give you the address, but he couldn't even let you in if you knocked, and I'm not about to give you the key. I can take you there myself." And that way he can make sure she doesn't call the Haitian and drag his brother off where he can't find him.

Angela gives the time traveller a skeptical look, as suspicious of her "son" as he is of her; a long moment ensues that very much seems like it may end in I'm not going anywhere with you. Ultimately, she tips her head back in rigid poise, narrowing her gaze. "Very well."

"I don't have stay inside while you talk to him," Peter compromises, perhaps after just having the look for a while. "I can just take you there and let you inside, and then wait til you're ready to leave." Outside. Or inside invisible. There's a lot of ways he can wait and still keep an eye on the situation. Either way, he's not going to give her the opportunity to tell them where the building is located. Or possibly even know herself. Course there's plenty of ways this could backfire on him, but she only wanted to see him, right? He steps closer now and holds out his hand. "Do you want to see him now, or later?"

After Angela's own comment about not wasting time, it would only make sense that she take the hand offered to her: the option of now. There's a delay wherein she eyes it — that is not the hand of her son, it's older by four years, and she surmises that it's seen more battles. "I'm not going as the head of the Company," she tells him pointedly, nodding in an effort to convince him that she has nothing up her sleeve, this time. Her hand curls over his, grips, even as suspicious eyes remain suspicious. "I'm going as his mother."

"And did you come here as my mother?" Peter has to ask, squeezing her hand back before he closes his eyes. The answer to that question won't change anything about what he intends to do, as he pictures the space just inside the door of the apartment that his brother has been put to keep him and his alter ego hostage. The areas fold and shift, until they're both standing, exactly as they are, exactly where he pictured.

"You're not my son." Angela recovers from the trip from one part of the city to the other quickly, or perhaps she covers the disorientation well. She does hold on to her transporter tighter for a moment, but as soon as she begins to take in the details of her new surroundings, the loft apartment, her fingers uncurl and break away from him. "Not yet." She promptly begins to make her way further inside, away from the Peter of the future. "If we all succeed, you never will be."

"No, I'm not," Peter responds as their fingers break contact, pulling his hand back to turn away from her toward the door. Reddness briefly appeared around his eyes, before he turned away. It's quick work to unlock the door, before he says, "I'll be outside when you're ready to leave." And even before he opens the door, he starts to fade out of sight. He's not her son. And never will be.

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