2007-03-14: Peter Petrelli's Right Outside Your Bookstore


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Summary: Nathan takes Peter by his apartment to pick up a change of clothes and some personal belongings, and on the way back they walk around East Village and stumble upon Jane playing the guitar.

Date It Happened: March 14, 2007

Peter Petrelli's Right Outside Your Bookstore

AKA. Segues and Sopranos

East Village

At the moments when she's spoken of by people inside Enlightenment Books, Doctor M. Jane Forrest is somewhere else in the East Village, sitting on the sidewalk near a building. She's got her guitar out and is playing with something close to her normal skill. The headaches have gone, all that remains of her ordeal is the occasional craving and twitches from hands which so recently shook severely. The music she plays is bluesy metal, a piece she apparently wrote herself. The voice, at mezzo-soprano and currently with a Janis Joplinesque rasp, sings the lyrics. "Brunette canary's course, took her through the dark. But she made it out alive. Brunette canary wrestled the demon drugs down, broke their hold, though it nearly broke her. She woke up surrounded by pills in Jersey swill, somewhere south of AC, that's where canary's course commenced."

The journey over to his apartment gave Peter a lot of time to think, catching up on some exchange of information. Some important, some not. Most important would be why he'd allowed them to hold him for so many months, and the drugs they'd had him taking. No cure coursing through his veins right now, but at least he's not glowing bright red every so often either. With a backpack thrown over his shoulder, containing a few items of clothes, a book or two, and some other personal possessions from his apartment, the two of them walk around a bit more, delaying in their return to the house. "They didn't give me much to do, or many people to talk to. The medication— had side effects. Really didn't care much about anything…" Hearing the voice singing from the street, though, causes him to glance, trailing off in what he'd been saying.

"I think you just have to be careful," Nathan is saying as he walks long beside Peter. Hands buried in his coat pockets, Nathan is more put together than he has been for a while, chatting casually despite the occasional serious topic that surfaces. "Or find something else. Either way, I don't like the idea of you needing anything from them." Now, he too hears the voice and spares a glance towards the street musician, only to glance again and pause his walking. He considers something for a second, just listening, before glancing at Peter and veering away, towards Jane.

Much as Nathan now looks more put together, so does Jane. The woman's face is gaunt and a bit on the pale side, but she looks much better. Clean now, in fact, her hair brushed out and washed, fresh clothing being worn. It's jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, all mostly dark, with a white Y on the front. Near her a backpack rests, and the open guitar case next to the small amp. Haunted eyes scan the street as she plays, in them the fresh memory of that Brunette Canary's Course she's singing about.

"I know. I can handle it," Peter says to his brother, sounding oddly confident. A few months ago, he wouldn't have been, but someone told him that he could do it— and he's certainly going to trust in their word even more than his own ability. "The last few days haven't been too bad." Powers come when he tries to make them… most the time. And there's been no fainting spells, or loss of consciousness. And only one or two abnormal uses of ability. Nothing disasterous. As his brother moves off, he follows, reaching into his pocket for some smaller bills that he picked up in his apartment. Looks like he's preparing to tip.

Nathan comes to stand mostly out of the line of sight Jane happens to have, hands clasping behind his back as he listens. Glancing towards Peter taking the bills out of his wallet, Nathan quirks a small smile, and tells him quietly, "This is one of the people I dragged along with me to come get you." There's far more to explain there, probably, but Nathan steps forward before Peter can inquire if he had wanted to. "Miss Forrest," he says, louder, to get her attention.

Her eyes spot the man first, just ahead of him speaking to her, and they widen. It's him, the former Congressman who visited when she was, well, such a mess. Embarrassment colors her face, because she knows he knows, and Jane isn't proud of herself for it. "Dr. Petrelli," she replies, getting to her feet and holding her head high. "I did say I wouldn't be like that the next time we met, and… here I am. Clean. I made it through hell and fought off all the cravings."

"This is…?" Peter asks in surprise, glancing at his brother, and then looking towards the young woman… who calls him 'Dr. Petrelli.' What? There's a great deal of confusion painted across his face, looking towards his brother in a 'what is she talking about' sort of way. "You— play beautifully, Miss Forrest," he says politely, after a few moments of confusion. Dropping the small handful of dollars he got into the case, he looks between them a few times. This has hints of something he's heard of before— but that doesn't make it easily understandable.

Nathan shrugs a little at the title of doctor. It's a formality he's unused to, and like before, he amends it to, "Nathan. Just Nathan works," he says, glancing to Peter and back to Jane. Her explanation gets an awkward smile. "I'm glad for you," he says, simply, then swivels a fraction to indicate Peter. "This is my brother, Peter. Pete, this is Jane Forrest."

"Nathan," she replies. "Jane works for me, too." And she turns to face the other man, moving the guitar around behind her. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Petrelli." Her right hand extends to shake his if he'll take it, and eyes scan the face. It's now time her own confusion registers, she remembers Nathan commenting she helped him, helped his brother, though she has no idea how or when this allegedly happened.

"Peter's fine, really," he responds with a shake of his head. This isn't the first time that someone who was part of the 'rescue party' tried to call him by a title. But the confusion and everything else doesn't quite fit right. After a few moments, he remembers something Claude said once. Memory hole and a souvenir. Stepping forward, closer, he takes the hand and holds it firmly, "It's really nice to meet you," he says, looking cautiously towards his brother. The confusion remains, but… "Are you doing okay?"

As the only person here who knows what's going on, Nathan is oddly subdued and quiet, almost observing the interaction between Jane and Peter. He let's Jane go ahead and answer Peter's question, as he takes out his own wallet, pulling some crisp notes from it and letting them flutter down into her guitar case. It's a generous tip, but not overboard.

"Peter," Jane replies softly, shaking the hand as he clasps it. Her skin is smooth and soft, like many women have, but the fingertips show signs of calluses. Guitar consequences? She studies his face as the question is asked and wanders through her own thoughts, trying to place it, to figure out what Nathan meant by helping them. These thoughts, and some of her misery when she endured cold turkey, are in mind and potentially detected by telepathy. "I am now," the woman answers. "Just had a few really rough days. Your brother says I helped you, but… I'm not sure what that means." Better than being only thought of as a recovering addict, anyway, she thinks.

Again, glancing towards Nathan, Peter isn't sure how much he should say, especially since she looks just as lost as he does. Finally he looks back at the young woman, and has an idea of what to say, "Until a few days ago I was in a— facility. They were trying to help me. But thanks to you I was able to leave. Thank you." It's an honest, if undetailed account of things. His hands are a lot more delicate, without the obvious signs of calluses. It doesn't feel like he does much physical labor. "I'm sorry your days were rough. I hope they get better soon."

Nathan seems satisfied, now, in a roundabout away. "Told you," he says to Jane, lightly, then extends a hand to her for taking in a parting shake, his other then covering the back of her's. "Call me sometime, we can talk over coffee about how your crusades in intellectual property rights," he adds, almost giving her a hint that yes, they have talked before.

"Oh," Jane replies, thinking it over for a moment. Jim, that sponsor guy, did say she'd been in rehab and left, claimed he was worried about her. She's still angry he refused to meet her when the cold turkey started and hasn't called him since, she hasn't got a face with the name, but what he said remains. Facility… had he been in rehab too and she helped him get the confidence to leave, to face the world again? It's what makes the most sense to her. "You're welcome, Peter," Jane states quietly. "I don't really know how I came to get addicted, hadn't messed with drugs my whole life, but somehow I did. And I fought free, so the days are already getting better." And judging by the song they found her playing, she's turning it all into her sound, which is edgier than Nathan would remember from that day at Central Park. And she faces Nathan when he speaks, surprise registering at what he says, followed by another comment to Peter. "I'm not just a guitarist, I'm a lawyer too."

In a manner of speaking, yes, Peter'd been taking drugs for five months, and only recently stopped. If there were any side effects of withdraw, though, they don't seem to be causing much problems. Maybe the regeneration he'd gained from his niece kept them from happening at all, by correcting the inconsistancies as soon as it could act again. But still— the more she speaks, the more he looks saddened. A dog died trying to save him, and now this woman's life got turned upside down. A lawyer and musician. "I used to be a nurse," he manages a soft response, hand going up to push over short black hair. "I— need to figure out what I want to do now that I'm out." And— he should have plenty of time to figure it out.

"We can help each other, Peter," Jane solemnly offers, "talk to each other if it feels like we might relapse, y'know?" She turns back to Nathan, remembering his offer about IPR, and answers him with gratitude. "I'd really enjoy that, Nathan. Thanks so much, for that, and for coming to visit. It was the only human contact I had through it all, and really helped me hold together, make it out the other side." Her words are sincerely spoken, the lawyer/guitarist clearly believes every word.

Perhaps now the analogy is carrying on too long for Nathan's comfort, and he glances sharply at Peter, uncomfortable. His brother, of course, is not a drug addict, and to stay silent is to confirm to Jane he is, but the truth is too confusing. Jane gets his attention once more and again, his smile is weak, but it's there. "It was the least I could do," he says, gripping her hand before releasing it once more. "I'm glad I could clear some things up for you today," a slow nod, "good to see you back on track."

The analogy might have insulted him more than it actually does, but Peter looks towards Nathan as he gets uncomfortable, and he just says softly, "My brother was just telling me that I didn't need the medicine anymore." Medication, after all, can become an addiction. That might make him look a little better. At least legal, in case his brother's still worried about his image. "I'm glad he was there for you, too. I just— wish I could help you as much as you helped me." Why does he look so guilty? Nathan knows why, but the person the guilt is directed at probably doesn't.

She sees the guilt on both of their faces, but in her current state, after her experience, she misreads it altogether. Jane herself isn't proud of it at all, to have fallen like that, and to have anyone know it, but it is what it is. She fell, picked herself back up, and they know. "It's all good," the woman offers, with her face shifting into what's probably the first smile it's shown in several days, "we won't speak of this with anyone other than the three of us." She doesn't want it known any more than they do. And apparently not any further tonight, as she's shifting topics. "Thanks for the tips, guys," she enthuses. "Always happy to have an appreciative audience."

"Always happy to listen," Nathan says smoothly, repocketing his wallet. "I'll be seeing you, Jane." There is a tone of sincerity in his voice, something that's not often there. He waits for Peter to make his goodbyes before he makes to leave, glancing around them with some caution.

"Thank you," Peter says very softly, almost in a slightly different pitch than his normal voice. It sounds odd, at least, but still his voice. "I'll try and see you again soon. I'd love to listen to your music again," he says, glancing back towards Nathan before he begins to move that direction, hefting the back pack up on his shoulder a little more firmly. And as soon as he's got his back to the woman, his brother gets to see the full force of the guilty look.

"Good night, Nathan, Peter," Jane replies, as they begin to move off and she resumes playing, happy to do so for the first time in days, her hands had been shaking so badly during the worst of it. Her eyes watch them depart until they're gone off into the distance, with her sound fading as they leave earshot.

Nathan doesn't look much better, although he covers more. He casts a rueful smile at his brother and for a little while, the two walk in silence before Nathan speaks up. "I don't know if she's ever touched drugs in her life," he says, quietly, talking beneath the general sound of streets and conversation around them. His words are matter-of-fact as he explains. "But she, at least, thinks she does now, and she remembers nothing about me or what happened."

While his brother might be rueful in his smile, Peter certainly doesn't share the same feelings. There's no smiles going to happen right now, as he glances off towards the buildings as they keep walking. "Trying to save me did this to her." He's not completely sure what it is exactly, but… "I'm so sorry, Nathan. If there's any way to help her— if Elle knows of anything— I'll try it." That hint of an odd tone carries in his voice, still. "You and her were friends before this?"

"The Company did this, you didn't, don't be silly," Nathan says, voice barely above a mutter, but he nods at the rest of what Peter has to say. As for the strange pitch in Peter's voice, Nathan glances towards him is curious and speculative, even as he continues. "I guess I owe her that, too. We can talk to Elle, I want to know about this whole… memory wipe thing the Company does. Maybe they can reverse it." At that last question, Nathan glances at Peter. He's not typically good at friends, after all, and he shrugs. "Yeah. We were friends. But don't go reading into that, it's not important. We'd barely known each other for more than a few days. It's not about a friendship, I just owe her the truth."

Shaking his head, Peter doesn't seem to be too accepting of it not being his fault on this. It wouldn't have happened if they hadn't tried to rescue him. The Company can just make someone forget entire friendships. Important events. "They never tried to do that to me," he admits, voice low in volume, but gradually raising in pitch. It sounds rather funny, really, not that he's noticing much. "I didn't accuse you of anything, Nathan." Nothing wrong with having friends. The tone's pitch finally starts to level out, lowering back down as he continues, "I met one of the people on the rescue party, the other team, not Hiro's. Elena Gomez. She told me that the other team got away, but a dog was killed. I guess… been hoping that would be the only thing that was lost trying to get me out. She mentioned a friend who'd been with you and Hiro— I'm guessing that was Jane." Will Elena blame him for what happened to her friend?

"That was Jane," Nathan confirms, pulling his jacket a little tighter around him when a brisk breeze blows through. "We got separated, back at the facility, only saw her again when I got out. I don't know where Hiro is. But Jane was a mess, you'd think she really was a junkie. The Company are good at what they do, you have to give them that." Then, he pauses his walking, holding out a hand so Peter stops as well. "We all knew the risks," he says. "We all knew we could get killed, going in there, or captured, or whatever. It's a choice not all of us made - some people didn't go for that reason. No one blames you, Peter."

Oh, the hand stops Peter, but he literally runs into it for that to happen. Glancing down at it, he processes what's being said with the same absent, self-blaming look, before he glances up the arm towards his brother's face. "You shouldn't have sent them in there after me. I'm not— I'm not worth people getting killed. Not when I very nearly killed all of them half a year ago. Elena didn't even know what happened, what they were risking their lives for exactly. No one died, but Jane…" That might as well have been some kind of death. "Her career, her life might be ruined— all because she tried to help me." No one needs to blame him for him to blame himself.

Nathan drops his hand, taking a step back as he registers what Peter's saying. But really, it's nothing he hasn't thought - apart from Peter's worth - and it shows. "It's my fault," he says, agreeably, even if that's not entirely what Peter meant. "I got everyone into this. Hiro was the ringleader who made it happen but I'm the one that convinced him to do it. I'm the one that drew Bennet in only so he could turn on us." All of this is said very flippantly, in contrast to the guilt Peter wears so plainly. "So cheer up," he adds, not without irony, before he continues with more sincerity. "But you're welcome to help me set some things right."

Far behind them now, and still playing, her music remains edgy from the recent ordeal, but thoughts of having helped Peter come to mind. Jane's fingers still as she ponders it all, and the smile returns, although slight. She's got confidence returning, building from making it through cold turkey and coming out without sliding backward. Whereas days before one of John Lennon's darker pieces was on her mind, now one of Harrison's songs emerges. She begins to play it, loudly and with feeling. "Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right. Little darlin', it's been a long cold lonely winter. Little darlin', it feels like years since it's been here…" Instrumentation continues where the tune calls for it without her voice, but that resumes where needed. "…Little darlin', the smiles returning to their faces. Little darlin', it seems like years since it's been here. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, and I say it's all right."

Cheer up. Peter looks into his brother's eyes as he tries to take away the burden of guilt. Unwilling to truly blame Bennet, though he knows they'd been betrayed somehow, based on how often he'd been moved around. "Guess the most I can do is try and make sure getting me out of there is worth it," he finally says, reaching up to touch his brother's arm, as he glances back towards the woman. Her song, on top of his brother's words, actually bring a hint of a smile to the corner of his lips. Just a hint. "So what's she do? I don't see you bringing a guitarist-lawyer in on a break-out unless she has an ability."

The hint is enough, and Nathan relaxes a little. He didn't fail at breaking his brother out just to have him emo all over the place, now did he. Nathan glances back at the musician. "Other than thinking rationally enough for me to put some faith in her?" he asks, rhetorically, and he recalls Jane's own explanation of her powers, which makes him give Peter a brighter smile. "Let's just say she's a real screamer." Oh hey look, we're walking again.

Yup, they're walking. And Peter's giving Nathan an incredulus look. "Nathan," he says plainly, suddenly having this strange thought. "I think you'll get along well with Elle. The two of you have a remarkably similar sense of humor." Especially when it comes to sexual innuendo. As long as they don't get along too well. He's got enough of an inferiority complex where his brother is concerned.

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