2010-04-17: Phone Calls From Beyond The Grave



Date: April 17, 2010


Peter gets one, only it's not actually from beyond the grave.

"Phone Calls From Beyond The Grave"

Peter's Apartment

So much work to do. Just because his brother died, the world didn't stop moving. Peter stands in front of the mirror in his bathroom, running his hand over his unnaturally bald head, and staring at his reflection. No eyebrows. No eyelashes. No stubble. No hair on his head, or chest, or arms, or underarms, or anywhere else for that matter. And all thanks to a pick up he did this morning. So much to do, so little time to do it in…

But all the work he's done the last few days has kept his mind off one thing…

The most important thing in his life. Only when he slows down does it creep back.

And then the phone rings. Good, another distraction.

No ID on the number, nothing in his phone books recognize it, so he picks it up and answers with a soft, "This is Peter Petrelli."

There's several moments of silence on the other end of the phone; a hesitation of sorts, but breathing can be heard. Someone is there.

Someone unsure of themselves at this moment.

There's another moment's pause before a voice finally comes through, quiet, yet oddly self-assured. Warmly familiar.

"… Hey, Pete…"

With two words callers are normally difficult to identify, but in those two words, there's a sense of hope, of familiarity, and of something more.

Of all the voices that he expected to hear, that wasn't one of them. Peter's breath catches through the phone, and he stares at his own face in the mirror. His own very hairless face. "Nathan?" he asks through the phone, recognizing the voice, the tone, the way that… Even if it's just two words, it's two words with everything going for it.

"You died. It was— It was on television. Is this— " Was this mom's plan? She said she had one— why wouldn't she have told him. So many words want to come out. How does he even know the voice on the end of this line is real…?

"Yeah… it's Nathan," he answers quietly before lowering himself to a seated position. "And yeah, I— I died." He inhales a breath slowly, unsure of how to explain. "Or… almost died?" as the case may be. His eyebrows furrow as instinctively he puts his hand on his chest where he'd been stabbed only days before.

He twitches. Though the Petrelli family specializes in the extraordinary, Nathan is not entirely sure how to broach the rest of this conversation. Coming back from horrible things isn't a new thing to him, yet this time there's something odd about it. "I'm alive." There's a pause as his jaw tightens, "It's hard to explain, but one of the paramedics she… she brought me back."

A paramedic who can bring people back to life… "They did report your body vanished from the morgue," Peter says quietly, as he notices the first sign of hair beginning to grow onto his face, starting with eyelashes and eyebrows, a little stubble and a fine fuzz on his scalp. It all falls off a moment later.

"Don't take this the wrong way, but after— where did I get drunk for the first time?"

It could be a shapeshifter. It could be something. Very few people know the story of the treehouse, in their youth, when his older brother smuggled dad's scotch up to the treehouse and got is thirteen year old brother drunk in the summer.

"Yeah… my paramedic friend she's… kinda shy about her ability. It freaked her out when I woke up so… she hit me on the head with a bedpan…" Nathan rubs his head absently, a small frown edging his lips.

The frown turns quickly into a small kind of smirk. "I'm pretty much the worst older ever, but I know I brought you the good stuff— the scotch— to the treehouse." His smirk transforms into a reminiscent smile accompanied by a soft chuckle.

"Seriously. Worst. Older brother. Ever. I swear if Simon does that to Monty, Heidi would ground him for life." Nathan would just write it off as a funny story.

A choked sound can be heard, as Peter leans forward over the sink, eyes sliding shut. Tears fall down his cheek, toward the newly reappeared stubble. When he opens his eyes, he has eyelashes again, short hair, and eyebrows. Almost his old self. "Son of a bitch," he mutters into the phone, once he can. If Nathan's a son of a bitch, then he is too.

"I didn't know what— I guess now I know how it felt, when I suddenly sat up after you thought I was dead…"

Didn't know who he was going to be without him. The worst older brother ever, in some ways. But in others… "Does mom know?"

The choked sound is met with a small frown. Seeing (in this case, hearing?) someone come back from the dead is nothing short of emotionally exhausting. "I'm okay, Pete. I really am. Aside from the splitting headache." He realizes how much he sucks at this whole reassurance thing, deepening his frown, "I'm sorry I put you through that— she didn't really trust me right away…"

Nathan twitches at the mention of mom. "Mom knows everything even when we don't tell her. She set things up to go down differently," his tone edges on bitter. "But if you mean, did I call her? No. You're the only person I've called." So far.

It's the emotionally draining that seems to strike him, but it's not sorrow that has him crying. It's relief. Peter knows that's how it is, when he sees the hair growing back on his head. The woman had said he would only get it back if he found serenity… "I love you, Nathan," he says quietly, running his hand over his hair. Mom probably already knows, or will soon.

"What are you planning to do now? I might be able to fix some of the news report, but…" That's a lot of people who witnessed it. It'd be difficult to fix, even with his abilities. Without revealing that something very odd was at play here.

"I love you too, Pete," Nathan says gently as he slowly takes in a deep breath to exhale it just as slowly. He sighs heavily at the question as his face takes on a solemn edge. "I… I hate to say it but for the first time in my life I think I've lost faith in the government and what it can do. They weren't the ones that resolved everything going on; they were behind but not, selling people to enemies for dollars."

A pensive smile forms on his lips, "They captured me. Put me in prison without trial all because of something I can do. Forgive me if this is selfish, but I have no interest in being involved in a government that lets that happen under its nose, and I think, judging by the news there are bigger fish to fry and other differences to be made…"

"There's bad people everywhere, even inside the government," Peter says simply, now having experienced things enough to no longer believe in the best in everyone. "There were good people inside working to take them down, too. But I— " He trails off. He thinks his brother would be a better choice for a politician than most, able to do good, rather than bad—

But he doesn't blame him, either. "Do you need my help?"

"I don't even know if I could revive the career of a dead man," Nathan confesses with another sigh as he massages his temples. "And I don't even think I have the ambition in me to do it right now." It's a sad fact in a lot of ways. "I have a connection I made while I was in Ireland; an easy in. I think I'll be playing it dumb for awhile though to make what I'm proposing work."

He swallows and frowns, "It'll be awhile until I'll have much influence, after being gone for a good ten months my loyalty will be questioned… but I'll be in touch. I promise. And not just when I need help. I haven't forgotten who I am." Not again. Hopefully never again.

Something important, probably not safe. But his brother has now died once. And knows what it feels like. Peter looks at his reflection in the mirror, much closer than his own, without the need to shapeshift to look like himself. His brother won't hear the nod, but he made it anyway, "All right. I'll trust you to do what you need to do. Just… be careful. I can't lose you again." Not for good. He's been running on autopilot for the last few days.

"I'll be careful. And I'm not an amateur with these guys; they know me, I know them. It should be easy enough to do what I need to." Hopefully all goes according to plan. "And I have Noelle— the paramedic— with me. I'll be okay, Pete. You're not gonna lose me. Not ever." That's a promise he can't keep. Unlike his daughter and his brother, he isn't immortalish, but he means it just the same. "You'll hear from me in a few weeks when I can call again. I promise." Nathan manages one last thing before he hands up the phone, "I love you."

"You better not," Peter says with his eyes sliding shut and his head lowering even more, even if the voice on the other end is already gone, hung up. "I love you too, Nathan." The words are for the man who can't hear them right now, but thanks to a miracle, will be able to hear them later.

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