2007-11-15: Phone Calls To Heaven

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter calls Elena on the anniversary of her mother's death with an idea. Thanks to his efforts, she manages to speak to her mother as she does every year without being in the cemetery itself.

Date It Happened: November 15th, 2007

Phone Calls To Heaven


Over The Phone

Early morning in a graveyard. The sun's barely had a chance to rise, and the whole area has only been open to the public mere minutes while a young man with a vace of freshcut flowers walks around quietly, looking for a gravestone that he never got to see. Peter only has an idea where she's buried, not a definite location— so finding it takes some time. The sun's well up over the horizon when he finally stands in front of the one he'd been looking for. Elena's mother. Catalina Gomez.

Kneeling down, he puts the standing vace in place on the gravestone. "Nice to finally meet you, Mrs. Gomez," he says softly to the grave, as if the person whose name printed on it could hear him. "I'm the man who's in love with your daughter— I don't think she's had time to tell you about me, but…" This is weird. He's also the man who's defiling her daughter by some definitions, but he doesn't say that.

Still knelt down, dressed warmly enough that the crisp morning air doesn't bother him too much, he pulls a phone out of his pocket and starts to dial a cellphone number.

Somewhere far away a phone rings with a familiar ringtone.

Surprisingly, Elena is awake. She's bundled up in the sitting room, zoning out at the morning cartoons. She should go back to bed, but she's been forcing herself to a more normal schedule slowly, but surely. Her eyes are half-open, watching Tom chase Jerry around her screen. Old school, but she appreciated the classic. She sinks further into the cushions, propping her feet up on the dinner table.

A hand comes up to grab the orange juice off the table next to the couch, and take a quiet sip. It made her feel better, but she felt so weak these days it was almost impossible to get out of bed. She couldn't help but stifle a yawn with her fingers, and sets the glass down again and shifts to make herself comfortable. Finally, she picks up the remote and changes the channel. This is when her red jPhone rings. She lowers the volume, and takes her phone in her hands.

"Hey, handsome," she tells him softly, sinking further back into her cushions. "What are you up to today?" She checks the time. Still early. Then again she knows he doesn't really sleep much these days thanks to Sharon's power.

Two powers that have similar capabilities— and similar need to sleep less. With all his other abilities requiring energy, he doesn't have it quite as easy, as the other abilities he possesses tires him out quite a bit, he still ends up sleeping about four hours a night most the time. This would have been one of those few nights where he didn't.

Peter had a lot to think about— and he's not used his abilities too much. Might need a nap after this, but for now, he's fine. Voice vaguely tired sounding, but not as tense as the last time they spoke briefly, he responds simply, "Talking to your mother, actually." He settles down into a more comfortable position, still knelt, but closer to sitting.

"It's the fifteethn, so… I brought her flowers. I don't know what you usually bring her, or what she'd like, but I picked white roses and irises— they're fresh cut." He looks at the flowers, reaching out and touching one of them, a white rose, before he asks another question, "Where are you right now?"

"…you're…in the cemetery?" Elena asks, slowly sitting up from her chair. "I…." She had absolutely no idea. The mention was in passing, something to illustrate what Peter should try to do during the first year anniversary of him almost blowing up New York. She hadn't actually expected him to visit Catalina on her behalf. She swallows a little bit. "…you got her flowers? Yeah…those are good. She loves purple…" Noting the irises. At first, she's so stunned she can hardly believe what Peter's saying.

But then she couldn't help but smile. "Did you tell her who you were?" she asks, forcing down a cough. She closes her eyes for a moment, but she presses on. "I….hopefully you didn't have a lot of trouble finding her. We tend to keep her resting place pretty neat, and clean. Tends to be pretty bare during the winters though…"

Catalina's gravesite is, indeed, impeccable. There are a couple of votive candle holders flanking it, to be it whenever someone visited.

She rubs her eyes. "I'm at the sitting room," she tells Peter. "I…Peter you didn't have to visit her for me."

"I know I didn't have to," Peter says in the same light tone, plucking out one of the roses. He'd specifically asked for one more than they usually place in the bundle of flowers, just for this purpose. As he'd done before, though she can not see it this time, he kisses the pedals lightly, and then starts to consentrate. Somewhere in the sitting room that isn't usually molested— one of the small tables, with a few pictures on it mostly, ones of him, his mother and brother—

After a few moments of silence, he says, "The table with the pictures on it. I figure you need another one by now… and you can consider it a gift from both me and your mother." There's a quiet moment, so many questions he hadn't answered yet. "I told her a bit about me, but I wanted to leave most of it to you."

There's a pause, he pulls the phone away, putting his hand over it to muffle his voice as he adds to the gravestone, "Oh yeah, my name's Peter Petrelli." He'd forgotten simple things. And also the fact that, well, he needed to distinguish. More men than him are in love with this woman's daughter.

When he puts the phone back to his mouth, he adds, "I'm going to lay the phone on the gravestone… so you can talk to her— tell her all the things you wanted to. You can hang up and call me back when you're done, okay?"

She looks over, and smiles when she sees the white rose resting on the table. Elena shuffles out of the couch, walking over slowly so she can take it from the pictures, and looking at them for a moment. Finally, she brings the blossom to her nose, and takes a whiff, pressing her lips lightly on the petals because she knows he's kissed them. "You're sweet, thank you so much," she murmurs at the phone. "I have it in my hand." She moves back over to the couch, and sinks down slowly, heavily.

"Just a bit, huh?" she says, though she smiles at the gesture. She couldn't help it. He was so sweet. And while she's never done this before, it was a little unusual, but the solution was so simple she had to wonder why she didn't think of this before.

She waits for Peter to set the phone down by the grave, and she continues. "Hi Mama, it's me. I'm sorry I couldn't see you in person, so the phone will kind of have to be a proxy for me. I'm glad you've finally met Peter…I keep meaning to bring him around but things got a little hectic. He's really…he's good to me, Mama, and we love each other. I hope you'll approve."

There's a small smile. "Manny's doing good. He finally quit the gang. He said he wants to set up his own auto body shop one day, and just work on cars and make an honest living out of it. Luis is doing well in school, and so is Juanita. We've all been pretty good - Papa just got this amazing new job. We don't have to worry about money anymore. I know you always worried about it, but all of that is fine now. He's Chairman of the Board for Evosoft, so his salary's more than just pretty good. He got the family a house upstate. It's awesome, I'll show you pictures one day. Abuela is busy having the yard landscaped so the house can have a decent garden."

There is a pause, and she continues. "Papa recently asked this nice woman to marry him. Her name is Desiree Russo. She has twins of her own…you would've liked her, Mama. And I know you wouldn't have wanted Papa to be lonely now that you're gone. She's a good soul, and she's saved a few members of this family several times. And she makes killer cupcakes."

"I try— but you deserve it," Peter says in response to being sweet, specifically to her. She does deserve it— now especially with things look bleak between the virus and now the possible outbreak among the meatpacking plant just as she feared it would. This is going to be as close to good as he can give her right now— so he does. As promised, he lays the phone down, not trying to listen in on what she says at all. He can hear the mumble of her voice, but not make out any of the words. If he'd wanted to easedrop, he could have— could have done this with the speaker feature— but some conversations are private, and this is one of them.

He moves to sit down more comfortably beside the gravestone, and waits.

There were others. How Nadia had died, and how she was worried about Jack. How she would need to find a new roommate. She also tells her mother that she's sick, but Peter and Cass were working together to help fix it. All in all, Elena tells her almost everything - just like she would've done if Catalina had still been alive.

Finally, the next words are in Spanis - about how she would love her always, and that she would continue praying for her soul.

Elena hangs up then, and leans back further into the couch, closing her eyes momentarily. Finally, she flips her phone up again, and dials Peter's number like he asked.

There's a lot that needs to be told, and Peter does nothing at all to rush her, or make her do things any more quickly— not that she could see him not shifting or pacing. When the phone does click off and call back, he stands up, stretching his legs a bit as it is needed now, and answers, "Hey." It's kind of awkward the way he says that, not exactly sure how to handle this since he just let her have a phone conversation with someone up in Heaven. Stretching his legs a little, he starts to move some away, glancing at the chapel, which had been the only way he knew exactly where she would be buried.

"Did you have a nice conversation?" There's really little else he could think to ask, honestly— though part of him wants to go on and ask about what she talked about, what she said about him… but his question seems safer and less intrusive.

"Always," Elena tells him with a small smile. "I told Mama almost everything when she was alive. Would just sit in the kitchen table and nibble on what she made for merienda, and talk about my day. School, work, friends…I'm sorry I couldn't be there to introduce you to her in person though, but I'm glad you took the initiative. She would've liked that, I think. She teased me all the time about getting a boyfriend in high school but I never…." There's a pause, and she sighs. "I wish she could've met you. And all the friends I met this year. I think you would've liked her."

"Merienda?" Peter asks quietly, trying to make the word sound the same as she did and failing. Don't speak Spanish, sorry. He only knows a few words, really. Like hello and thank you and… the normal stuff. Ay Dios Mio? Yes, that too. "Since I know you take after her, of course I would have loved her— I just hope she'd like me." Especially considering he's corrupted her eldest daughter. He knows that her father would probably be very unhappy with him if he knew everything that the two of them were doing. "I put a card on the flowers in case your dad comes in after me— just so he'd know they came from the two of us and didn't wonder where they came from," he adds.

"It's kind of a snack - in the afternoons usually," Elena explains to Peter. But when Peter says what he does about her mother, she couldn't help but smile. "Who told you that? Papa?" Probably during their talk while she had been gone from Spain - he hasn't really talked to her father at all lately. Then again it wasn't like their schedules were conducive to random get-togethers. "I'm sure she would've, Peter. Papa likes you." They can't just tell him about…other things. But generally Ramon approves of Peter. "If he didn't you'd be hearing about it by now, believe me." At the thoughtfulness, she chuckles. "Thanks, Peter. I appreciate it."

"You'll have to make some for me when you feel better so I know what it is," Peter says in response to the merienda. "Or buy it for me, whichever. I already know you're good at cooking, so you can just skip that part and buy it if that's easier for you." By this point he's starting toward the gate, eyes quietly drifting back toward the chapel. The whole place looks so different from the last time he'd been here— one of the biggest examples of how different this time is from the one he visited. The sight of the place should make him happy— instead it makes him sad, a tone that carries a bit in his voice as he continues.

"I think your dad told me, yeah— but you might have mentioned it too, I don't remember." No, he's pretty sure her dad told him— especially when they had that particular conversation, where he explained why she reacted the way she had. "I know he likes me— I think we would have done more than heard if he hadn't…" That, and the one lunch they'd had with him— it seemed like he expected a lot more to be announced than 'did you talk to Benjamin.'

"I'm just glad I could do this for you— it's not much, but…" There's a deep breath, where he steadies himself, sounding a little closer to normal. This isn't a sad moment, he shouldn't be sad. "Were you surprised?"

"I will," Elena says with a small smile. "It's what we call the meal between lunch and dinner. But one day I'll drag you back home after your shift at EB and make you some." She can detect the sadness, the melancholy - it was understandable. He was always an empathic creature, the fact that he was surrounded by graves and a chapel probably carried with it hints of past grief. Then again, she doesn't know about the future, or what had happened there. She just figures it was his usual empathy kicking in.

"I know. He feels bad about it still," she tells him. "But I think with so much time having past, and with all of this going on….if we all get cured before thanksgiving…" She hopes so, anyway. She'd like for Peter to spend some time with her family during the holidays. Even if he has his own family to celebrate them with, at least just a little. "I can hope, right?" Despite the news about Burnstein and the meatpacking plant. She's never touching deli meat ever again.

"I was. I didn't think…." There's a pause. "It was actually pretty clever. I can't believe I didn't think about it before. But yeah, I was surprised. I…I just mentioned it in passing. I didn't think you'd remember." But he did, like aways. "Thank you for doing this for me, Peter. I really, really….I love you," is said. Because she's repeated her thanks enough this conversation.

"Oh, see how much I understand right now— I've been up all night this time," Peter admits with a hint of a ligh, sounding a bit embarassed, but— that sorrow turned into an awkward sound at least. That's more normal sounding. "You can hope— and I'll be hoping with you. Speaking of a cure— I do have to get moving. I have to talk to the manager at the meatpacking plant still. I'm going to invade his office this morning and try to talk him into contacting the CDC— normally if I can." If he can't— she knows the other option, and he hopes she doesn't disapprove of him considering it as much as Cass seemed to…

"I'm occassionally clever, but it was that, or kidnap you from the house. But even if we have some ideas on how it might spread, I don't think either of us want to risk it." So, using the phone seemed the next best option. "You're welcome. I love you too."

"You are?" There is a pause. "Be careful, okay? I…" Elena falls quiet for a moment. "Peter, I can't…I lost my powers. I can't do what I do anymore." It was taking its toll, she didn't want to worry him, but she had to tell him that much. "Let me know what you find out, okay? Keep me posted. And if there's anything I can do…..anything at all, let me know." A small smile quirks upwards on her mouth. "Go get 'em. And not just occasionally, you've had a lot of very good ideas lately. I think you might be a pressure player after all, Peter Petrelli." The last is a tease, broken up by a cough.

"Alright, get to it. Stay safe. Call me." And whenever he says his goodbyes, she hangs up.

There's a long pause on his side as she mentions her loss of powers. Peter even stops walking for a moment, closing his eyes. It's progressed that far now— all he can hope is that fixing it, curing this, doesn't make them all lose control. Mostly for Evelyn's sake, more than the others— even if Elena lashed out and caused a lot of pain, she wouldn't normally kill people or destroy half a city.

"I'll keep you posted, I promise… and Elena? We will fix this." He promises that too. When she hangs up, he puts the phone away and rubs his hands over his face. Pressure player? Maybe not. But he's going to try.

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