2008-05-16: Promises To The Muse


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Summary: After a few relayed text messages, Peter stops in to find out what one of them meant. And for a change he isn't vague. Not when it comes to Novak Garibaldi and Elisabetha Belmont.

Date It Happened: May 16, 2008

Promises To The Muse

Kory's Apartment

The last few minutes, phones have been sending messages back and forth. Short text messages. A few moments after the last one was sent, seconds after it was read, instead of another message, there's suddenly someone in a room who hadn't been there a moment before. Peter stands, with his scar casting shadows across his face, dressed in dark jeans and a simple white undershirt that shows off the muscle tone he'd gained in the last few years of his life. "How did my mother's maiden name come up in someone else's dream? And what did you mean by… Thanatos?"

Kory is apparently destressing. There's a song blasting from her mp3 player through her awesome stereo system. It's not even in the front room, but Cibo Matto's distinctive sound is clearly audible. Kory has her cellphone in her hand, but is dancing and singing along at the top of her lungs:

"What's up, B? Wasabi!
I'm searchin' the city for sci-fi wasabi!
The start button has been pushed already
Obi Wan Kenobi's waitin' for me
— * AAAAH!"

Kory jumps, dropping the phone and clutching at her chest in startlement. "Hello to you too," she manages, wryly, and hits a button on a remote sitting on the arm of the computer chair to kill the music as she stares at Peter. "Now…what were you saying?"

"Sorry," Peter says, standing there a little surprised as he glances at the woman who'd just finished dancing and singing. He really should knock sometimes, but then again… he can't help but show the hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. Just a hint. "I was asking how my mother's name came up in someone's dream… Her maiden name at least. And what you meant by… Thanatos. That's the… personification of Death. Twin brother of the personification of Sleep."

Kory raises her brows. Well, look at that. Mister Gloom and Doom is smiling. Sort of. Well, for him, anyway. "I was looking in the dream of somebody who made me curious. Thought maybe if I just did some silent observation fo his dreams, he'd give me information that might be useful to us." She nods, "Well, yes, I know the mythological Thanatos, but somehow I don't think that's what was going on here. This dream involved the formula. And helping his daughter…and stopping some sort of pain. As for your mother? She was younger. Looked maybe as old as you are now —" as opposed to how old Peter-from-the-future looks, aged before his time. " They had some kind of past. Plus…they're looking for Sylar. Not Gabriel. Sylar. So — you know, I was sort of alarmed at the possible connections."

Sylar. Thanatos. A man and his daughter. Any hint of a smile vanishes the longer that she speaks of this dream and the man who it might have belonged to. Something about the topic has brought tension to his neck, tightness to his jaw, and something much darker into his eyes. Peter doesn't need to hear that much more on the matter if only because… "You're talking about Novak Garibaldi and his daughter and student Elisabetha Belmont. I am aware of their… situation. I had hoped that they only became the way they were in my time because of what happened then, but if he's already dreaming of the things that…" He trails off, but not before something very deadly flashes past his eyes. "They're extremely dangerous. Elisabetha's ability— as far as I can tell— brings death and decay. And she's under the delusion that by destroying all life, she'll destroy all suffering."

"Yes, that's him. I thought maybe if I dreamwatched, he'd give away what he's doing for Pinehearst," Kory confirms, expression going alarmed as she sees the tension shift into Peter's body and attitude. "It's okay, Peter…" she starts, but then he goes on to describe more about the scientist and his daughter. Kory was on her way across the room to comfort him, and she pauses, stunned, as he describes their goals in the future.

"Well…" she says, on a rather bleak exhalation. "That explains what he meant about ending the pain. And why he dreamed about cracking the globe in half." She finishes her walk across to Peter and gently rests her hands on his shoulders. "It sounds like they're — not wrapped too tight — as my dad used to say. And it sounds like something's really off kilter if they think that death is the only way to end suffering." She shakes her head in annoyance. "For crying in the mud, do they not read Buddha?!" Her tone is frustrated, but quiet as she rubs Peter's shoulders gently. "Maybe I've caught it early enough to steer them away from it?" she offers, hopefully.

The hands on his shoulders don't soothe away any of the visible tension, really. Peter almost seems as if he's steeling himself for something he doesn't necessarily want to do. With his white undershirt shaped as it is, her hands actually touch bare skin. "I'm not sure you can ever truly catch these things early enough. I'll have to talk to my mother. See how she knows this man. If he's involved in these things then there's a strong possibility that… Maybe I should take care of this now." Take care of it. The way he says it shows he's not thinking of giving them a smack on the hand. His hands move up so he can grab her wrists and lower her hands down from him. "So that your Peter won't have to."

"Peter…just because you think this may solve your future, what you've asked me to do," Kory says, letting him take her hands. "…that doesn't mean you have to slice off another piece of your soul to help it along. Let me try to get through to them first before you do anything drastic." She pauses, and leans forward so he can see her face, "Please."


"Better my soul than his," Peter says as he continues to hold her hands, looking quietly into her face. There's that look again, but he doesn't push her hands away, or move back. Not yet. "If you think that you can talk to them, I won't stop you— but be especially careful." Shifting his hands so he's actually holding them against his chest, he takes in a slow breath. "The future— your future— needs you. He'll need you."

Kory meets Peter's eyes. "I will," Kory assures Peter, and there's a determination in her. A sort of silent promise under her words. "I'll be careful. Particularly given around somebody who makes things rot." She shudders a little. "Not for nothing did I get a degree in psychology. Maybe I can reach them." She frees one hand as she comes around front of him, and touches his cheek gently. "I know you believe you'll morph into a different person, but I see no good reason to cause you any more pain until the timestream aligns itself better." Gloomy, dismal, and hopeless or not, he's still Peter Petrelli, and Kory's instinct is still to help him, and protect him from his tendency to take on more burdens than he can safely hold up alone. "You trusted me to assemble the people on the List. You're trusting me to save the future. Trust me here as well."

"You don't know everything that I've already had to become," Peter says in the softened whispered voices as he finally lets go of her hands so he can step back, putting some distance between them. She doesn't know what kind of man he had to turn himself into in the last few years. What pieces of his soul he cast aside, which ones he ripped out. "I'm not worth saving, Kory," he says, before adding on, simply, "But I'll trust you to do what you can."

"Don't say things like that!" Kory whispers, earnestly as he slips his fingers away from hers. She extends her arm so as to stretch out that moment as long as possible. "I may not know everything you've done, or had to do," she admits. "But I know that at heart, you're still the same man who's my dear friend. The same man who only wants to make the world a better place."

Her eyes grow suspiciously bright as he tells her he isn't worth saving, but she murmurs, "Thank you," in response to his agreeing to trust her. "I'll keep you in the loop and let you know if you really do need to…" she doesn't voice it: 'take the nuclear option'.

Still the same man. Peter can't help but cast his eyes away from her, even to the point where he glances down at his hands, almost as if to ask himself… would she still say this if she knew, really knew? Who he was, who he became… and all the terrible things he had to do. The longer he thinks about it, the more he thinks she actually would. That's just who she is. "I'd like to have messages about what's going on, especially about this." Because of what he might need to do to insure that the two never complete their agenda…

"I'm glad you told me about this, Terpsichore." That last is said without the smile, but there's something in his tone that might actually be a joke.

"All right. I promise I'll keep you in the loop. Anything I know, everything I know — as soon as I know it." Kory nods earnestly. "This whole thing is too important. I know how much is at stake. Not just for you, but for all of us. I told you I won't let you down, and I won't."

Kory arches a brow at the nickname, then half-lids her eyes at him. "Clever you," she says quietly — is that a faint blush on her cheeks? It is. "I hadn't even showed anyone the tattoo yet. And of course. No secrets between us. Didn't we promise that a long time ago?"

"I know about your tattoo, but I called you my muse long before I did," Peter admits, though he'd like to be smiling about it. "That particular nickname is because I teleported in on you dancing." And thus the Muse of Dance and song came to mind rather quickly…

Of course the promise also got brought up. No secrets. And he's been keeping quite a few of them, and unfortunately… "I can't keep that promise. I'm sorry. Not about everything. But I do remember… and I sincerely wish I could tell you everything." And there's some secrets that he could share, personal ones, that he chooses not to. Like the reason he is watching her mouth more carefully than he might have otherwise… "I should go, though. I'm sorry I interupted your song and dance."

"Music helps me think. Dancing…well…" It burns off tension and excess energy so she's not always fidgeting or pacing, since she barely needs to sleep at all now since Sasha.

Kory is silent for a long moment after Peter confesses he isn't able to hold up his end of the promise. "I believe that," she says to him, expression still warm under the concern. She bites her lower lip in momentary introspection before she shakes her head. "It's all right," she tells him. "You know you're always welcome here." A significant change from the last time she saw him. She's had time to see how high the stakes are. "Don't be a stranger, okay?" As usual, her affectionate nature asserts when she has to say goodbye to him. "And be careful. You don't want to be yanked off the board too early." Temporal paradoxes are no fun for anyone.

That is a significant change, one that Peter notices as he tilts his head to the side. But instead of asking what changed her mind, he accepts it. It's a change he probably needed right now… "I'll take care of myself. That I can promise." It doesn't mean he won't disappear eventually. He'd not come here to save himself. He came here to save the man who hasn't had to become him yet. Closing his eyes, he vanishes the same way he appeared.

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