2007-08-22: DF: Paris for Two


DFKate_icon.gif DFPeter2_icon.gif

Summary: After missing each other and communicating only in notes for two or three days, the unhappy couple finally run into each other again and attempt to discuss the state of their marriage.

Dark Future Date: August 22, 2009

Paris for Two

Petrelli Hideout

For a change, the Hideout that only two people in the whole world are supposed to know about actually has a masculine presense inside it. The doors are securely locked, the windows closed. There's a pile of newpapers spread out on the table, much as there had been after the train accident. This time, nothing seems to be popping out at him. Peter hasn't seen any signs of an attack in weeks. Not since the first one. What is he up to? Was it just a message and nothing more? Did he get captured and they don't know it? No, the government would have harped on that like nothing else, especially after their President was kidnapped under their nose. Even with the rescue. There's a smell of coffee, even if he doesn't need it, and something baking in the stove. He hasn't cooked in ages.

Even the wives of freedom fighters need to shop once in a while. Kate returns from her mid-morning excursion with two simple paper shopping bags, one white and one striped in alternating shades of pink. She's actually surprised to discover her husband home. "Peter?" She pushes the door closed with her foot and reaches behind her to lock up without turning around. She knew it was him even before she got inside. She always knows when it's him. "What are you… doing? Are you baking?"

The longer she's in the room, the more it smells like… cheese… pasta… tomatoes… Lasagna, most likely. Peter's standing in front of the table when he glances towards the door, hair pulled out of his face and looking rough in the face— most likely didn't shave. That's pretty common these days, though. "Yeah— cooking. I know— I haven't done it in a while." There's a lot he hasn't done in a while. But it's said in one of those ways that seems on edge, worried that she might— she's bruised. He frowns, his expression sharpening. "What's that?" He'd known she was okay through notes, but they kept missing each other. The notes had been it.

"It smells delicious," Kate notes quietly, setting her shopping bags on the counter. Her brows furrow quizzically, "What's what?" When she realises he's scrutinising her face, she reaches up and gingerly touches her cheek. "Oh. Katrina Mah happened to me."

What's what? An eyebrow raises, right up until she explains it. Oh. Well. Peter nods slowly to that, a hint of a glower in his eyes. "The Saints sure have been busy. Freeing Oreos. Kidnapping the President. Rickrolling the city. I'm almost afraid to ask how much they lost when the government rolled in to take him back." There's a lot that he'd like to know, however… "Sylar's laying low." He stopped calling him Gray a long time ago. That's his wife's thing. He'd rather consider him inhuman by giving him his preferred name. "Too low. Makes me wonder what his next move will be, exactly."

Kate frowns. "I don't know. I… have no sympathy. They aren't the decent people I thought they once were." The next topic of conversation causes Kate to flinch. "Please don't use that name. You know how it affects me." Funny how they both have very different reasons for the names they choose to use. Calling him Gabriel Gray keeps him human. She might have a chance against a human. But against the monster that uses that name? She doesn't like her odds. It's a matter of what gives her the most optimism.

"Neither are we, Kate," Peter says with a grimace. There's no promise that, should they capture a member of Homeland Security, like it's leader, that they wouldn't have done something just as gruesome. "I use that name for the same reason you can't. If he's a monster, I can kill him. You insisting I treat him like a human is the reason I hesitated when it came to killing him." It's the same reason he doesn't use the names of those in the government. They're the people he's fighting. They're the ones he needs to kill. Yet he's probably learned and remembered the names of every civilian or detainee who's died in any of his attacks. "I'll try to get a hold of them. Even if you don't care what happened to them, I do."

"I do care. I just… It's easier to pretend I don't. I don't understand them anymore. It's harder to deal what what I don't understand." Kate sighs softly and finally crosses the room to join her husband. "I saw Nathan yesterday." She isn't sure that's the best thing to say, but… "He's found Heidi."

"I understand them," Peter says with a shake of his head. "And part of you does as well." It's just hard to admit it. With her right next to him, he reaches up and touches her face, looking at the bruised cheek idly. It's likely he wants to fix that, but he doesn't just yet. Perhaps giving her a chance to stop him. And his hand stops as she mentions Nathan. And furthermore as she mentions Heidi. "I should have known you'd go to see him already," he mutters, a bitter tone in his voice. His hand drops. "Wouldn't he have always known where she is?"

"No," Kate states defensively, "Logan blocked him out entirely. Nathan never knew where to find Heidi." She folds her arms under her chest. "He's your brother, Peter. I don't care if you punish me for keeping his secret, but don't punish him. He loves you still."

"He was my brother," Peter says, pulling away from her and walking back into the kitchen area. The baking isn't near done, yet, but he still checks on it with a glance. In some ways, he's just avoiding looking at her. "So I guess this means you really saw Nathan. Then maybe it's a good thing he was kidnapped, if it made him stand up and be the man he's supposed to be. And who says I'm punishing either of you?" There's a hint in his voice, there, that says if he'd wanted to punish them… things would probably be a lot worse. "He's the President and I'm a wanted terrorist. What do you want me to do? Walk up to him and ask for a pardon and say 'sorry about everything, let's fix it now'?"

"Uh, yeah? Kind of!" Kate throws her hands up in the air. "He's not that man that's fucked up our lives! The least you could do is give him a chance. That's all I'm asking. Just… talk to him. If you decide you don't want to speak to him ever again, then fine. I can go in ahead, clear everything out… No one else would have to know." She leans against the table with almost a pout on her bruised face, "This is important to me, Peter. And don't you give me that look. You could have found him. Instead, you chose to blame me. Don't tell me you aren't punishing me for not telling you about Logan sooner."

"I'll talk to him," Peter snaps at her, obviously unsettled about how she's talking to him right now. "But I don't want you to have anything to do with it. We grew apart long before the war started, and before things got bad— and you know exactly why that was." It hadn't all been because of the man who took over the reins for his brother. Not it at all. "And what exactly were you doing to me this last— year? that you've known about Logan? Wearing a mirror around your neck? Filling our home with them? Meeting with him constantly because of some false sense that it would help me? When the one truly useful thing that you knew about my brother… you kept from me."

"Because I was afraid you would just kill him!" Kate shouts. "I thought if you thought it was just Nathan, and that you could somehow redeem him, that you would let him live. But if you knew there was somone else, you would just kill him. Like he tried to kill Jessica Sanders, even though Niki may have still been in there."

That makes Peter shake his head. There's a couple reasons he might have killed his brother in the past, and all of them had to do with direct pains against what's his. Her almost exclusively. "Jessica Sanders killed me once. I don't know if I ever told you that." He'd died so many times it's almost impossible to count. "And you know what I did? I worked with Niki— I forgave Niki for what she did— and I tried to help her. I would've done the same for my brother." There's a pause. "What did he do to you that would have made me kill him? Besides sending you that vision."

Kate is quieted quickly. She drops heavily into one of the kitchen chairs, resting her elbow against the table and burying her face in that hand. "I don't want to talk about it, Peter. I told you, a message is only effective if you let someone send it." She swallows uneasily, "Please don't ask me again."

"Instead, an undelivered message can slowly eat away at someone. As it is." Peter shakes his head and moves to begin pulling down plates and silverware. May as well set the table. "Just the fact that you can't tell me… says enough." The more they've talked, the more his mood has darkened. "I didn't stick around until you got home to punish you. But maybe that's all we can do anymore. Punish each other."

"I've never tried to hurt you, Peter. I…" She lifts her head from her hand and looks over at her husband. "Here, let me do that." She rises to her feet and takes the plates and flatware from him. "I met someone a while ago. He… reminded me of you. Of how you were when we first fell in love." That's even almost the truth. Some lies do need to be told, sometimes. Only when the alternatives are worse with the truth. "And I told him about us. I told him about how I'm falling apart, and you're the only thing that keeps me from eating a bullet. The only thing that forces me to hold on to my…. sanity. The only reason I have for anything." She sets the table carefully, making every dish and utensil straight. "I told him that you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and that I love you more than anything. I meant it." Her eyes carry so much sadness and regret. "I don't tell you that nearly enough. I love you, Peter. More than anyone else in this whole world."

There's a long moment as she takes over setting the table, and tells him all of this. Peter's quiet. There's only so much that he can say to this. But maybe… it's what he needed to hear. Some of the harshness smooths away, like a rock getting covered with a few layers of silk again. "You say it enough. Just sometimes… I have a hard time believing it." Insecurity, and all. He raises a hand up to rub over his face, before he lowers it and looks at her. "You're the most important thing to me. If anything happens to you… whatever's left of the man you love dies with you." Because all that's left is there because she is. It's not a good thing to admit. "I'm glad you changed your hair back. It reminds me of how you looked when we first met."

"I was hoping you would like it," Kate confesses. She reaches out and rests her hand against his face, rubbing his cheek gently with her thumb. "If I ever lost you… I would lose my reason to live. I was so scared you were going to throw me out. …Are you going to throw me out?" The apprehension in her expression says that she truly believes he might.

There's a long exhale, as if Peter can't quite believe that she would need to ask that. "Would I be cooking you dinner if I were?" he asks softly, before he steps forward and wraps his arms around her. The stubble on his cheek may have been rough against her fingers, but it's probably even more so against her cheek. "No." He answers the question for her, since she seems to still believe it's a possibility.

Kate's arms wrap tightly around her husband and she buries her face against his shoulder, heedless of the stubble that scratches her cheek as she brushes against him. "Oh…" She sniffles softly, trying valiantly to hold back tears. "I thought that my life was over and that we were heading for divorce and- I can't lose you, Peter." Dinner can wait. It's hugs and reassurance time now.

"I know…" Peter responds softly, closing his eyes. There's a hint of something in the tension of his arms, before he finally says, "But you said…" He trails off. He can't quite finish. It's not bitter and angry, just hurt, pained and insecure. It is time for reassurances. And she's not the only one who needed them. "I'm not looking for a divorce. You're life isn't over yet."

"I said I love you more than anyone in the whole world, and I meant it." Kate's tone is firm, even if her voice shakes a little. "Come on, buster." She pulls back and drops a kiss on his cheek. "Let's have some dinner. Then I'll show you my new dress." She smiles and kisses him one more time before sitting down at the table.

There's a small nod. Peter turns around to glance at the oven. There's no burning smell, which is a good sign, but the digital timer shows that he should probably take it out. He turns back to look at her, running his fingers through her hair and leaning in to kiss her forehead first, and then her lips. "I love you, too, Kaydence Petrelli." It's rare that he'd use her full name. But he does. Then he pulls away to retrieve dinner.

Kaydence Lee sighs happily. "Let's take the rest of the day off." From what, exactly? Well, everything, of course. "I think we're overdue for a date night, love." Her lips twist upward and part in that famous - or perhaps infamous - gappy toothed smile.

There's a pause as Peter sets the dinner down on the counter to cool. He looks back at her quietly. "I have an idea." It's a simple idea, really, but as soon as he says it— everything changes. Dramatically. Their clothes change, the room changes. There's a breeze. And they're on the viewing deck of the Eiffel Tower at night, the stars flickering in the sky. The table even changes, steel wrought instead, to match the design of the tower, and a second table to stand in for the counter. A complete, exterior illusion. He's had years to practice. He's dressed in a suit, complete with a bow-tie, looking cleaner shaven, and she's in an elegant dark purple dress. "Let's eat." It won't last forever, but for a moment… they're in a completely different world.

Kate gasps and looks around them in shock. If he'd been touching her hand, she'd have thought he actually transported her. But this is just as well, and just as good. She smiles and blinks back happy tears, content with their own little slice of the world for the first time in a long while.

This is much safer than teleportation. A date out in the world without ever leaving the safety of their home. Peter brings the food over, and settles into chairs, also steel wrought and designed visually to match, but much more comfortable. "I knew you always wanted to go back to Paris." They'd only visited very briefly—

Briefly in Paris, and briefly in Mexico. Their honeymoon was only a few short hours, but it crossed both off her list of places she wanted to see in her lifetime. "Do you remember how I drank all that champagne and begged you to take me flying? And I threatened to climb and subsequently jump off the Eiffel Tower so you would have no choice?" Not that she's proud of that, but she is laughing. "Sorry about that, by the way. At least that beautiful song came up and you convinced me to come dance again." She reaches across the table to take her husband's hand, "I miss that. We never dance anymore. We never laugh anymore. Do you ever… Do you ever think about just packing up everything and just leaving?"

There's a hint of a smile, lopsided and amused. Peter squeezes her hand gently. "I remember. And it wouldn't be a good idea to attempt it again. It'd be a short flight." Considering they're still in the room, technically. No way of telling that, from everything else. The only hint that this is out of place at all… is the lack of people and noise from the city. No one at all exists in this world except them. "Yes. Yes I do. Maybe… maybe it'd be best if we left somewhere. Disappeared. Just not yet. Not quite yet."

"After… After you've talked to Nathan." Kate hates to spoil the moment, but she needs him to know it's important. "He needs to know you don't hate him. Then… then we can just run away. Just you and me. Maybe we'll find someplace safe. Nice. And then maybe we can…" She just smiles and shakes her head, enjoying her thoughts. "Just the two of us."

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