2007-08-05: Paved With Good Intentions


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Summary: Love is not a clock. You simply cannot take it apart just to see what makes it tick, and even if you could, you probably could never get it back together again… Kate and Peter argue, make up, argue, and make up again.

Dark Future Date: August 5, 2009

Paved With Good Intentions

Petrelli Hideout

The digital clock on the wall switches one number out for the next, a simple change of a few red lines, but Peter's not really paying attention to the time. Getting his hands on every local government approved newspaper along the line, he has them spread out to see what the damages will be. Lies all of them. Falsehoods. Of course they are, but it still makes his eyes narrow as he reads through one of them, describing the train wreck. Again. Most of the ones he keeps on the top— all talk about that. There's even pictures— though they just show the cars flipped over. No signs of the bodies they pulled out in their detainee clothes. Some'd even been handcuffs, probably terrorists they'd caught.

Kate's return home is quiet. No coat or scarf today - just a fine coating of concrete dust and a jug of milk. While her better half may be reluctant to cut his hair, it seems she might be less so. A large chunk of blonde locks is missing from the left side of her face. A little too long to be bangs, but not quite long enough to pull behind her ear. She seems surprised when she spots Peter. "Hey," she breathes quietly, with a faint smile. She's worried. The milk is deposited in the fridge before she approaches her husband to wrap her arms around his shoulders and drop a kiss on his cheek. She looks at the papers over his shoulder. "Does this remind you of anyone you know?" She tilts her head to one side. Never let it be said that Kate Petrelli can't make fun of herself.

There's no surprise at all on the younger Petrelli brother, who stands there reading another line of the train wreck. Three hundred. No exact numbers, no descriptions of where they came from— or destination. They make it sound like they were approved citizens, students, businessmen… he knows different, but can't do a thing about it. When she approaches, his jaw is clenched, muscles along his shoulders tight. He also smells like he's been drinking, when she leans in to kiss him. Hair still pulled back into a ponytail more or less, there's one large lock that's fallen out that hangs in his face. "Kate…" he trails off, as if unsure how to explain this. But the picture of a derailed train on the paper on top may do it for him.

"Peter…" Kate wrinkles her nose at the smell of alcohol but settles for nuzzling against his neck. "Don't listen to anything they say. You aren't a murderer." She drops a kiss on his neck and just holds Peter to her tightly. "You did a good thing, darlin'. They're going to have a really hard time transporting now. That's the important thing." Another kiss.

"They were detainees, Kate," Peter says with a flinch, pulling away despite her attempts to cuddle him. This often happens when there's an accident of any sort like this— "They're the people I'm trying to protect— to help— and— I didn't even have time to shift through and find the survivors and get them out of there. Should have made Infinite go." He growls at the fact he hadn't. Not because Infinite wasn't expendable— he is, but because of other reasons. He hadn't thought he'd be useful on this one, and it would tax his teleportation to do multiple jumps with three people instead of two.

"I needed Infinite here," Kate assures him. Reluctant, but understanding, she disengages from Peter. "Honey, you… You knew those schedules, backward and forward. There wasn't supposed to be a detainee transport at that time…" She backs up to rest against the wall, arms crossed under her chest. She presses her lips together and she looks nervous. It's a heavy implication she's dangling there.

"There wasn't supposed to be anything close enough to the sections I picked in the order I was going to them," Peter growls, pushing his hands down on the newspapers. "As soon as the attacks started they would have had enough time to slow down the trains and get them stopped before they reached what we'd already destroyed— they should have stopped all trains after the third attack at least. Why wouldn't they?" It doesn't make any sense, unless they wanted to lose their Homeland Security people as well as the detainees. "I planned it out for days— I rechecked the schedules two hours before— I even made adjustments based on…" The voice trails off and there's an angry sound and he suddenly shoves all the newspapers off the table and creates a mess for later. "This wasn't supposed to happen." Obviously.

"Because you were set up, Peter." Kate states the obvious, Southern accent thickening. "Darlin', take a deep breath and look at me." She pushes off the wall again, sauntering toward him. All business. "We have a leak. We gotta figure out how to patch it. Round everybody up and start probing some minds. Be subtle about it. We need to figure out how deep this goes. We need to figure out how much ground you and I are going to have to burn to keep Homeland from coming down around our heads."

"Fine— I was set up. That doesn't make this any easier to deal with," Peter grumbles, looking at the mess on the floor. There's really only so much he can do about this. "It might not be a leak at all— they could have just had the train keep going— or leave early— in hopes this would happen and it'd still be a set up. Or maybe they never scheduled it at all— and it was an accident." Shaking his head, he turns to look at her, jaw still tight.

"Do you really think your brother has some sort of holding pattern set up over the ruins of New York, just watching for me to be seen on the streets?" Kate purses her lips. Would you just listen to me? "Come on, Peter. He doesn't hate me enough for that. He's got way too much to do. And I would know if someone was tailing me. I'd have seen it by now. You would know by now. It sucks, but someone in our ranks - someone we trusted - is a rat. We need to find out who." You know it. I know it. "You figure out who it is, and I will take care of the rest."

"I'm not going through this. You could have messed up— and there's a lot of different ways to find people. It doesn't have to be a traitor— we don't have that many people left." Peter says with a growl, looking towards the papers on the floor. "What do you want me to do, cut everyone out but you and me? I don't even know for sure if we can trust Infinite— he's obviously stretching himself out quite a bit— and I don't think he's doing it for us."

Implying that she screwed up does not sit well with Mrs. Petrelli. Hands on her hips, she leans forward, jaw tense and eyes ablaze. "And what if one of our few people is responsible for all the ones that we've lost?" She frowns. "You've got telepathy at your disposal, dammit. Put it to good use."

"Don't tell me what to do," Peter snaps, actually glaring at her. "I don't read your mind, do I? Everyone has secrets. You do. I'm sure they do. I'm not going to violate them just because I have a suspicion that they might have turned traitor on us. Most of them didn't even know about half the missions we lost people except you. And I know you're not a traitor, even if you have the most opportunity to contact the government we're fighting against."

Kate actually stumbles backward as though he'd physically shoved her with that last sentence. She gasps sharply. All her anger is gone, replaced by hurt. She goes back to her position against the wall, staring at the floor as she tries to stem the tide of tears. She tucks her hair behind her ears, but the left side just falls in her face again, too short to pull back.

Not the nicest thing to say at all, but it's true. Peter doesn't soften just yet, looking at her for a long moment until the left side falls into her face. There's a sigh. "I have just as many reasons to suspect it was a set up by the government after my initial attack as I do thinking we had a traitor on this mission. And if we had to get rid of anyone— their blood will be on my hands, not yours." That's the most he can say about that. "But I'm not violating their minds. Not unless I have more than a suspicion. We're the only two who know exactly where this safehouse is, too." He's made sure of that one.

"I haven't told anybody, either." Kate wipes at her eyes, still unable to lift her head. "I don't trust anybody anymore. I need my solitude, too." Her voice is weak and trembling. "P- Peter." She holds her arms out toward him, not looking up. Hold me. "I need you."

There's a sigh and Peter moves toward, reaching up to touch her face, but close enough she could easily drape her arms around him, or hold onto him. "Kate… look at me," he pushes at her face, rubbing her cheeks with his thumbs. "I'm here— I'm as here as you want me to be." What she needs is one thing, what he needs… is something else entirely. But he can't really go into that right now, so he continues to touch her face, pushing her hair back. "We'll work something out— find a target that we can do together— just the two of us— no fear of traitors."

Kate's head tips up and she regards Peter with a sad smile. She leans into his touch and wraps her arms around him. Just the two of them. No fear of traitors. Just like it used to be when it was just her, him, and her visions. When the future was too dangerous to tell anyone else. "Peter," she murmurs his name as though it might keep him by her side forever. She presses her lips to his, needy and fierce.

The kiss is met, but with a different set of emotion behind it than hers. Peter's hands lower, moving from her face, and he lifts her up enough to slam her physically against the wall. It's harder than he would normally do, even, but he's upset, angry, horrified at what happened last night. The blood of hundreds on his hands. And some tension just needs to get released.

It's nothing Kate hasn't gotten used to over her years of marriage to Peter. She does grunt softly when he slams her up against the wall, but she doesn't protest. It's no different than the months that followed his killing of Gabriel Gray. Peter has never dealt well with blood on his hands. Kate got used to it early on. It's why she offered to deal with the traitor herself. She'll have bruises from this. But once he's calmed down, he'll be able to take the pain away. And even if he doesn't, if it heals her love? She can handle the ache. "I love you," she assures him between desperate kisses.

Desperate kisses and bruising touches. It won't be a gentle night— much like the times after he killed Sylar, when Nathan made his announcements and when he lost someone on a team that he actually liked. Peter's not good at dealing with these sorts of emotions, it would seem. And they get taken out on her. As the tension starts to fade, they're laying down in another room entirely, somehow made it into the bedroom, but they didn't quite make it to the bed. He gestures to pull a sheet down to cover them both up, and reaches to examine the damages, healing away most of the bruises with a touch. He does look better— and the healing happens a lot faster now that he's stopped looking like he wants to kill someone.

For a minute - always and only for a minute - she was afraid it might be her that he kills. Out of breath, but like a cat full of cream, Kate smiles faintly. "Amazing," she praises. It's a promise, too. She tips her head back and stares up at the ceiling, good mood fading slowly. They can't pretend the world is sunshine and roses. They can't afford to. "Peter…" She strokes his face gently. "We have to talk."

Reaching to pick her up some, Peter pulls her against his bare chest so that they can share more than the blanket, but also each other's body heat. And it brings her closer to stroke his face, too. There's a quieter expression on his face, softer, most of the anger and frustration gone, even when she mentions something they'd honestly needed to do for a long time. "Talk," is all he says, not threatening or pushing, an encouraging sound to it.

"Shoot…" She laughs quietly. "I don't even know where to begin. This… this isn't going to be easy. On either of us." Kate wraps her arms around Peter tightly, resting her head on his shoulder. "Just… hold me. And promise me you won't hate me. We need to discuss… No. I need to tell you the whole truth…" Wife leans back to look husband in the eye. "About Nathan."

Possibly not the best way to start a conversation about his brother. Peter flinches visibly when she looks him in the eye, expression beginning to move towards something cautious and worried— maybe even insecure. Promise he won't hate her. There's so much she could say after that about his brother— But he closes his eyes and leans his head back. "Tell me." It's really the only response he can give.

"The reason I've begged you so many times not to kill him… It isn't what you think. It's because…" Kate closes her eyes, gathering her thoughts. "Let's go back a bit. Rewind the clock a couple of years." She flinches from her own choice of words. "The mirrors. To begin with, it was just yours, and the one I bought. I wanted something that matched you, but was my own. And then came the night when you came home, and I was covered in blood and bruises. That's when I started adding more mirrors." She's sure he must remember that night. She wouldn't tell him what happened, no matter how many times he demanded it from her. But she hadn't lied.

That was some time ago, but he remembers. Peter might be aware she didn't lie, but omission and refusal to explain had almost been worse. It's something that always bothered him. Secrets— cover ups. "All right, I remember. The deal with Adam came after." He'd known it was a distraction, he knows it. And just like the last time he caught her cleaning the mirrors, things like that have always been a source of tension. Omission can be much worse than direct lies.

"You came home and the mirror was gone. I smashed it because I couldn't stand the sight of it anymore. But I kept that one piece." Somewhere in their new safehouse, her necklace is on the floor. "A man came to find me that day I was attacked, Peter." Kate's arms tighten around her husband again and she presses her cheek against his chest. "He knew where to find me and he knew that you were too far away for me to call. He- He left me as a message." In his arms, Kate trembles with revulsion. "I didn't tell you, because a message is only effective when it's delivered. And I couldn't let him win. Couldn't let him have a victory. So I kept it inside. I'm sorry."

There's no pulling back this time. Perhaps her timing for the conversation was good. The most she'll have that might be taken negatively is the fact he can't make eye contact with her. Peter also has a furrow of tension in his brow, and along the edge of his mouth. "You should have told me. Not talking to me about it… pushed us apart. And you know this." Just like… his head tilts back again, eyes remaining closed. There's that tension. The beat of his heart increases for a moment. Something's going on behind those eyes. Just like… "It's okay… You're telling me now."

"I know it did," Kate acquiesces. "But we're both made of tougher stuff than that. I knew you loved me too much to throw me out for keeping some things to myself, and I knew I loved you enough to… There is no enough with you and I. I just love you. That's just all there is to that." She smiles faintly, a much needed break in her confession. So's the kiss she leaves on his neck. She closes her eyes so he doesn't have to make eye contact with her and tips her forehead against his. "That man who came to find me - the man who hurt me…" Here it is. Don't lose your nerve now, Kaydence Lee. "His name is Logan." Damn chicken. At least it's another step closer.

"I think you overestimate our strength, Kate…" Peter finally says, looking up to open his eyes so that he can make that eye contact— just after she closes her own. His slide shut again. "We're both more than a little broken." She should know this— she's slept beside him. She's seen his moods, his anger— he's slammed her against a wall without touching her before, he's burned her arm— he's drank and gone into rages. And then withdrawn into silence where he could almost not even be reached. "Logan…" That's not a name he recognizes. "Who is he?" There's that 'and when can I kill him' sound to the question.

Kate opens her eyes and takes Peter's hands, drawing him to stand up with her. Blankets still wrapped around them carefully, she guides him to a full length mirror. "I could see him in the mirror." She touches the fingers of her right hand to the glass surface, keeping the fingers of the left twined tightly with Peter's. "Before I even knew who he was, I could see him. A glimmer. A flash. An echo of someone who couldn't exist." Kate watches Peter's reflection in the mirror now. "Sometimes, I hope I'll see a me who isn't me in the mirror. Because at least I know it's someone else inside of me who's crazy. But the mirrors don't lie. It's only me in here."

As they are approaching the mirror, Peter can't help but look at her reflection and frown visibly. At least his eyes are open. At least he's standing. There's no sign that he understands this. It makes some sense based on what she said— but it sounds crazy. "You're making very little sense here, Kate. What do you mean? You saw him in the mirror… you had a vision of him before he came to hurt you?" That would make sense, but it still doesn't answer his questions, now does it? "What do you mean?" He'll repeat it again.

One deep breath. Hold it. One. Two. Three. Four. Five… Kate's tongue darts between her lips and, finally, she speaks. "Logan is Nathan's reflection. Or, rather, Nathan is Logan's reflection now. I can't let you kill him, because it isn't Nathan that's in control. Nathan isn't the monster. Logan's the monster, and he's got Nathan hostage. It's why I've stayed close to him. So I can make sure Nathan's still in there." Otherwise, what the hell is she trying to save?

"Is he possessed?" Peter asks, maybe not quite understanding this. There's only a few possible explanations for this kind of thing, someone in control that isn't his brother. He's frowning into the mirror, at a spot over his shoulder, as if trying to see something else there. How did she manage to see a vision of a reflection in the mirror of someone controlling Nathan? "How long has that been going on? When did this happen? Was it before he left the message?"

"He's like That Awful Sanders Woman." Kate turns her back on the mirror now, eyes focused on Peter's face. "Logan has been there since…" Since you went nuclear and nearly took out New York City. "Before you and I. He's been there as long as I've known him. And I didn't see the warning signs. They didn't make sense, so I ignored them. Looking back, I can recognise them for what they are." At the time? Who would put those things together to make this puzzle? "Logan took full control after Monty died." To this day, she can't speak her nephew's name without her voice cracking with emotion. "I surround myself with mirrors because Logan hates them. And the mirrors don't lie."

There's a definite frown on Peter's face as he looks into the mirror. He's not liking what he's hearing at all. "You realize since you didn't tell me this, I haven't been able to help him at all," he suddenly pulls away, leaving her with the blanket as he stalks through the safehouse to find his pants— which are actually quite a few rooms away. But that doesn't matter to him, he'll walk all the way there. "You let me believe my brother hated me. That my brother had become a monster. When you could have just told me that he was sick."

"Because it wasn't what you needed to hear at the time!" Kate gathers up the blanket, wrapping it around herself tighter as she goes scurrying after Peter on his quest to recover his pants. "Because you weren't going to- Because-" Panic is setting in and Kate hurries on. "Peter, please!"

"Do you have any idea how hard it's been to fight against a man I spent my whole life admiring?" Peter yells, finally finding his pants and shoving them on, securing them in place. He's not leaving, but he's not turning around to go back to her either. "How much I hate myself for it?" The fact that he hates who he is shouldn't be a secret, but he hasn't actually said it before— "I thought he'd turned me into a murderer— betrayed everything that I believed in. And now you're telling me that I didn't even notice this was happening— as long as you've known him— seen signs I didn't see." There's a pause, the anger fades away entirely. "…He must hate me."

Kate's about ready to lose her mind. She can feel it. If he leaves… He can't leave. He can't leave her. He can't. He can't. Hecan'thecan'thecan'thecan'thecan't. She rubs her face with a trembling hand. He isn't leaving yet. Although he can leave any time he pleases. She can't stop him. "I only know because he held me down. He shoved me against the mirror and he made me see it. He had me fooled." To her credit, Kate doesn't reach out to Peter. She backs up against the wall. She has no right to touch him. "He doesn't hate you, Peter. Nathan's always been the strongest for you. Around you, he was more able to stay in control. With you, there were no signs. But Logan was able to slip in more around me. It was just… little things. Little things that I thought were out of place for Nathan. But knowing Logan, they're in keeping with his character." Now it's her turn to start gathering up her clothes. How did one stocking end up dangling from the ceiling fan?

"Even more reason you should've told me," Peter says, shaking his head and looking away into more of those mirrors. So many mirrors. "I wasn't there for him…" Now he runs his hand through his hair, which actually has been hanging long around his face while they talked— the ponytail got lost somewhere long ago, since she likes running her hands through his hair. "Now I know." But it doesn't change anything, does it? "And now it might be too late to help him."

"You haven't killed him yet. Nathan's still in there. I can… I can feel it." Kate gives up on the hunt for her clothes (does he throw them into black holes or what?) and instead hopes against hope that he'll still be in the living room when she comes back from retrieving a robe from their bedroom closet. "I saw him that night that you came home and found me drawing up that floor plan." She doesn't even raise her voice from the other room. She knows she doesn't have to.

Peter's still there, but he's now sitting down at the table, next to the newspapers that got knocked off. He had to put the chair upright again, but he's leaning forward holding his head. "Fine— he's still alive. You know I never actually planned to kill him until he… until he hurt you." And even then, he probably wouldn't have done it.

"That's why I knew the time had come to tell you." Kate boosts herself up in her silk robe to sit on the table in front of Peter. "I'm sorry. I was… possessed by some sort misguided sense of duty. I wanted…" The butchered chunk of blonde hangs in her face and she pushes it away with a still-shaking hand, only to have it fall right back in place. "I wanted to save him myself. I wanted to save someone for once. You're always the one that saves. Peter saves New York. Peter saves the whole world. And I'm just… The Bitch."

"I understand," Peter says softly, despite the flinching. But at least he's still here. He hasn't disappeared, he hasn't left— he doesn't look like he plans to, either. He just wanted to get his pants on. "We'll figure something out— but I can't promise I won't kill him if he hurts you again." Or if anything at all happens to her. "I understand it— I do. But my brother… he would rather die than see this world that that man has made in his name. I know— he was willing to die rather than see me explode in the heart of the city."

"I have to save him, Peter. I can't watch Nathan die." Kate slides off the table to instead seat herself in her husband's lap, cuddling up. She needs to feel him right now. If she's holding him, he probably won't leave. "I'm so sorry. Please…" He was yelling at her earlier. She screwed up and she knows it. "Everything I did, I swear, was only for the best." She pauses. "I thought it was only for the best."

"Sometimes you have to let go, Kate," Peter says, looking over at her again, even as she gets into his lap. He doesn't force her out, and he certainly can't leave now, but he does watch her face quietly for a time. "It's done. And I know now." But what can they do about it is the real question.

Kate closes her eyes and just breathes in the scent of Peter. No, I don't have to let go. I'll never let you go. "P- Peter? I…" She sits up, suddenly alert. She taps her temple. A signal they agreed upon so very long ago. "Listen." That damnable ticking. If he's in her thoughts, and he listens closely, maybe he can hear it, too?

Listen. Peter closes his eyes and slides into her mind, reaching for the internal workings that she gave him the cue to do. Tick tock. Tick tock. He listens to it quietly and then says, "Yeah… yeah, I hear it too." There's a long sigh and he wraps his arms around her too, and just keeps listening. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

There's nothing to compare to the relief that washes over Kate now. He can hear it. It's comforting and terrifying all at once. He can hear it, but it's only in her head. "I love you." She huddles against Peter, safe in his arms. "I'm sorry I'm not… whole." Hazel eyes shut heavily, only a small shudder betraying the tears she doesn't allow to fall. But as long as he's in her mind, he can feel the sorrow. The regret. I'm sorry you married me. Logan's right. You got stuck with a crazy bitch.

"You're mine… not his. I'm not sorry you married me," Peter says, reaching up to touch her hair, the rather rough cut that she has, and stroke it back away from her forehead. "I'm not sorry at all." They have issues, they have problems, but here they are— both hearing the ticking of a clock that doesn't exist.

Kate begins to cry. But for a change, these are happy tears. "Oh, darlin'…" She holds onto him tightly, grip only loosening when she finally falls to sleep.

The ticking doesn't stop. It just gets louder.

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