2007-11-17: Proof of Life


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter calls Elena after her aftermath with Jack. She tells him a bit of what's going on with her nuncle, and in return, he tells her what's been bothering him after finding out the truth behind the virus.

Date It Happened: November 17th, 2007

Proof Of Life

Den of Iniquity + Petrelli Mansion, New York

It was cold, but she doesn't feel it. She might not have her powers, but the scare was enough to force her body to pump some much needed adrenaline in her system to keep warm. Tears accumulate in her eyes, but Elena rubs them away defiantly. Huddled somewhere at the back of the Den of Iniquity, she's seated on the back door's steps, quietly putting together the jPhone in her hands. The swipe from Jack had caused the battery cartridge to split off from the main body - but these things were built to last. Gene made sure of it.

She leans back against the wall, closing her eyes for a moment. She can't linger here, she has to go home. Nathan was going to get worried, and Peter was going to call at some point and she wanted to be home when that happens. But the shock keeps her body right where it is. The Jack she saw in there wasn't the Jack she knows. The man in the cage was savage, and desperate, and all he cared about was his next shot of morphine - which she refused to give to him. His screams telling her to get out are ringing at the back of her head. It happened mere moments ago, but it felt like a distant memory.

And she still doesn't know what happened to him.

Choking back a distressed sob, she shakes her head hard, and shoves herself to a standing position. She turns her jPhone back on and waits for the signal to take.

There's a bar somewhere in town. Peter promised quite a few years from now that he wouldn't drink anymore when things got rough, but— he failed today. There's a glass of scotch sitting in front of him, and this wouldn't be his first, or possibly even his last full drink. The alcohol courses through him, leaving him tired and quieter than normal, almost as if he might choose to lay down and fall asleep any moment right at the bar. That doesn't happen, though, because he's pulled out a phone.

The drink's been ignored for a time, and he thumbs through a few pictures first, looking at things during happier days. And quietly wishing that he'd taken some pictures in darker days as well. At least then he'd have something tangible… proof that he'd been there. Something besides the few things he'd brought back with him. And the bullet that killed him isn't something he's going to want to be showing people as a souviner.

Shifting the phone to his left hand, he finishes off the scotch before all the ice melts and waters it down, and then he shifts to the phonebook and chooses a name, a voice he needs to hear.

As he brings the phone to his ear, he lets it ring— and it clicks over into voicemail.

There's a pause. Even asleep she'd generally roll over and still answer…

He hangs up and tries again after a moment of silence. Maybe it was a mistake.

No, voicemail.

Again, he hangs up, asks the bartender for another drink, and waits a few moments. Again. And again. Four missed calls.

And on the fifth one, right as the phone would register four missed calls, it rings.

Her jPhone suddenly lights up. Peter's codename flashes on the LCD display and the fact that she had four missed calls in succession and it had all been from him. Elena closes her eyes a little bit, and unflips her phone so she could press it to her ear. "Hello?" she asks softly, turning around and slowly moving out of the alley. "Peter?" she croaks. "Hi…" She starts walking out of the alley. She didn't want to answer and reveal that she had been outside, but he had called four times already and she didn't answer, he was going to think something was wrong. The wind outside blows across the receiver.

"Elena?" There's a sound to his voice that's off, not exactly slurred, but a lot tireder than it should be under these circumstances. Peter doesn't tend to get tired often, these days, though he's most certainly tired now. Voice whispered and tense, the glass is laid in front of him refilled, and he passes more money over to the bartender before he asks, concerned. "Are you outside?" The sound of her voice, talking to her and not just hearing a cheerful recording, they already start to make him feel normal, unconsciously triggering her own ability and getting rid of some of what's numbing him, and making him tired, helping make him more aware of things again. Like the sound of air blowing along the reciever. "It— it sounds like you're outside."

"Yeah. I'm….I'm in Brooklyn." What. What the hell was she doing in Brooklyn? It wasn't the Petrelli mansion - it was considerably aways from it. "I…went…looking for Jack….he's…" Elena takes a deep breath, and wipes at her eyes. She starts moving, walking slowly out of the alley. "I'm headed home. I'm sorry I know I shouldn't have gone out but…Trina was worried about him and no one could find him so I…" Her voice cracks a bit in the end, but she shakes her hair. "Are you okay? You sound so tired."

"I'm not tired, I'm just…" Peter can't actually say it. He's been drinking. It wasn't her he made the promise to, and she may not even know about it anymore, but it's not the problem. Worrying about someone else lets him take his mind off the things he can't do anything about. Taking the drink he'd not even sipped out of yet, he slides the glass over to the working stiff at the bar with him and says, "Here, on me," as he stands up and moves away from the bar. "Where in Brooklyn are you?" As he moves, he already sounds more normal, the worry about her has allowed him to focus her ability to cleanse his system and let him react better. It's kind of a cheap way to get drunk for a hour and not have to suffer the consequences, but at least he's not going to be useless to her. That's really what he promised the other one. Not to make himself useless. "Did you find Jack? Is everything okay?" He doesn't sound angry that she's broken quarantine, though he does sound very worried.

He can drink so long as he didn't get so drunk that he forgets who he is and what he's supposed to do. Elena of the present was less hardcore than the one in the future. But she knows, she could sense the worry, and she blinks back a fresh wave of tears. "I'm…moving away from the Den of Iniquity. It's dark out," she tells him softly. "I'm…going to try and head home. I just….yeah. I found him. Sort of. It's not him. He's…" She closes her eyes. "He's sick. Not…like me sick but…I don't know what he did while he was gone but he caged himself in the Den and he keeps sticking himself with needles and I kept trying to tell him he needs a professional." She takes a deep breath. "And for some reason he considers Dr. Suresh his doctor. He…said some…" He told her to get out. Called her a little bitch. Said he was going to kill her if she didn't give him what he wanted. There's a pause. "It wasn't him."

There's a pause— in a way Peter immediately wants to go and help Jack, but at the same time— letting Elena make her way home weak? That's not exactly an option right now. He could try and go back and talk to Jack later— see if he can help, but she sounds shaken, as well as sick, so… Stepping into the bathroom of the bar, he finds a stall and doesn't lock it before he closes his eyes and teleports out. If anyone notices disappearing feet, they'll probably just mentally handwave it. It's a bar, after all. The phone cuts off for a moment as he switches areas so drastically, but it doesn't shut down the hall. "What direction are you moving in?" he asks, from where he appeared in the back alley, and then— "Wait, nevermind, I see you," he says, moving at a run in her direction, closing the phone when he gets close and tucking it away. "Elena? I can get you home— it'll be all right. I can come back once your home safe and check on Jack."

Looks like he improved his teleporation now too. Elena stops when he says he sees her. What? How? When she sees a dark blur running to her direction, she blinks at him, uncomprehendingly. It's been a while since they were standing in the same space together - unless one counts the dream, which she remembers bits and pieces of. She was even wearing the earrings - not really an occasion to be wearing them, but she felt like it today. The young woman looks up at him, her eyes bloodshot - she had been crying, but the tears are dried now. Half her face is covered up by the scarf she was wearing. She looks down as she digs her fingers into her pocket, closing her fingers around the object she finds there, and shows it to him. Her eyes are on it, like she couldn't believe it herself. "I had to take this from him before locking him back up again," she tells him softly. The syringe is capped safely, the clear liquid taunting the viewer.

It also helped that he can see in the dark now too— there's a lot of abilities he's gotten much, much better at, especially after getting them all back in full. Peter gets up close to her, an expression on his face that can't really be seen in the darkness by her, but his stance is tense. The syringe is looked up, and he reaches out as if to take it. "Do you know what's in it at all?" The first time they've been this close to each other— no walls between them. And to be honest he doesn't even seem to care. Much as she probably suspected when they forced themselves apart, he reaches out and touches her face, fingers brushing over the tears. Though assuming her nose isn't stopped up, she may smell the alcohol on his hands and breath. No amount of biochemical control can get rid of that.

"Morphine," Elena tells him softly, letting him take it from her gloved hands. "He's addicted to it. I don't know what he did when he was out but….he's dependent on the stuff. He knows it. He tried to lock himself up but he breaks. He needs to be looked at, but he doesn't want Trina there. And she's the one he needs the most." Elena would rub her face, but Peter does it for her, thumbing her cheek. The tear trails have dried - but it's clear that she had been moments ago. "Peter, you shouldn't…" He might get sick again. But she falls quiet, and yes, she does smell it. "…were you drinking?" It would be more accusing, but her tone is tired - she had no strength to pick a fight. She just wanted this over, done with so she can be well again. Get on with her life.

Addicted to morphine. Peter frowns visibly, and then nods, taking it and holding it in one hand, while the other one focuses mostly on her face, sliding to push her hair aside even. "It doeesn't matter anymore," he says softly, looking at her painfully. "I was in the meatpacking plant— I helped carry a man into an amublance who was a lot sicker than you. And there were others. I was standing with them for a few hours." And he hasn't mentioned Elle, yet, and the fact he road in a car with her while she refused to admit she's sick. He can't really explain that. "I'll do what I can for Jack," he says, tucking the syringe away into one of his wide coat pockets and then his hand shifts down to her shoulder— closes his eyes and they teleport together. This time right into the bedroom of the Petrelli Mansion. He really is getting better.

"Yes, I was drinking— no, I'm not drunk. Calling you made that go away. I wish I cold heal you…" he adds quietly, looking at her. To be honest he's trying just to see the little virus cells, and he can't even do that now.

She nods, letting the subject of Jack falling away for the time being, Elena closing her eyes when he pushes back her hair. And when he touches her shoulder - they're both suddenly back at the mansion. The suddeness of it catches her by surprise - but he could do so many things she shouldn't be anymore. The painful look is noticed, but it goes unaddressed. Instead, now that she was back, she slowly strips the jacket off her and sets it aside, followed by the scarf and the gloves. The only strength left in her was eyes - they still looked bright, at least. Alert. "No…it's okay. I…I need to call Dr. Suresh tomorrow to see him." She takes a seat on the side of the bed and she shakes her head. "Don't beat yourself up over it. You're helping heal us. And for someone without a doctorate in hard science, you're doing pretty good." She gives him a small smile. "It's good to see you."

She closes her eyes. "What happened, Peter?" she asks him. "You were tense last night, and you're drinking today. What is it?" She sags heavily on the mattress, rubbing her face and trying to sit up a little straighter.

"If you think Dr. Suresh would be better at handling it, you can, but Elena— don't trust him. I don't know why Jack ever would…" Peter says, shaking his head a bit. He still hasn't explained to her why he thinks Suresh is not to be trusted, but he fills that in pretty fast. "Cass, Lachlan and Niki all have a big gapping hole in their memory because they called Suresh. And if he ends up doing that to you too…" He trails off, shaking his head. It doesn't explain why, just what. He watches her, and turns away, looking at the room. If the factory didn't reinfect him, then he doubts standing in her bedroom will do the trick. He leaves his coat on, though.

He's turned away with her question, and doesn't look back yet. It takes a long moment before he says anything, jaw tightened. "I know where the virus came from— the second half. Exactly where— when now too. Kitty had a vision at the memorial in the park. Of the future. I guess I haven't changed as much of the future as I thought I had."

"I'm not acting on my wishes, Peter," Elena tells him quietly. "A patient has a right to refuse medical treatment, and also pick who gets to treat him. Jack picked Dr. Suresh, so…." She shakes her head. "Besides, he might not have spared Cass, Lachlan, and Niki, but he's never given me up to anyone. He knows about me. Maybe not what I can do, but he knows about me. I know you're right, before you say anything…but Jack specifically asked for him, so… I don't know why he insisted on him either." Jack kidnapped Mohinder. Why would he want to see him again? She watches him turn away from her, and she leans back futher so she's lying down, her head propped up by the pillows.

"So it came from the future you visited?" she asks, folding her arms on her torso, feeling fatigue suffuse into her bones. So it was his fault….he was thinking it. She knows he is thinking it. There's no logic to dispute it but it wasn't like he KNEW it was going to happen.

She waits patiently, to let him go on.

It's not as if he has the strength to argue with her about this. She's right. Jack has the right to choose who treats him, whether he thinks the man is trustworthy at all or not. Peter just nods slowly to all that she says about that, moving to sit on the egde of the bed, with his back to her. The tension in his shoulders is fairly visible, either under the thick fabric of the coat he's left on. "August 25th. Two years from now. A rally for co-existance between humans and Evolved in Central Park. We knew that's when it would happen. Even if the painting had been in Times Square instead— we still knew— the banners were the same. We weren't planning to go, any of us— but someone kidnapped Abby… Cass and Lachlan's daughter. Demanded a ransom. I knew because I was with them when they found out. They decided not to tell anyone else— because the note threatened her life if anyone was seen with them, or suspected to be with them…"

There's a small pause, he's shifting his hands around to look down at them. These are details he never really shared, other than to say that Cass did die. "I was invisible the whole time— right up until the bombs went off." When he died too. Another slow inhale and he says, "Kitty's vision— she described the banners. Freedom Now was the slogan. And she said she saw bodies, heard sirens— and that there was a vial that dropped and broke. Like the painting."

There's a pause. "One person is already dead from this… Because his sister lives in our apartment complex. Because I teleported back with it. You're sick. Nathan. Evelyn." There's a pause, as if he wants to insert more names, but stops himself. "And even if we find a way to save all of you…" He trails off, then suddenly stands up, looking back. "I should go. You probably need your rest."

He never really got into detail on this part. Cass's death seemed the most painful memory to him from the future, even if she was alive and well in the present. And decidedly not pregnant unless Lachlan decided to change that in recent memory. Elena remains where she's half-sitting, half-laying, watching his back. In this position she can't really see his face, and could barely see his profile. But she remains quiet as he talks, to let it out. She always preferred it when he spoke to her freely about what he was feeling. Sometimes it was the only way to read him, even if he wore his heart on his sleeve most days of the year. He was, however, somewhat closed off when it came to this.

"So the future you left is somehow still…" Still going to happen? Even after everything? The news was distressing, but strangely, she looks calm. Not exactly, perhaps. But getting there. Cass destroyed the painting, she's not about to let the future happen - not dying would be a good start on that. She watches him when he falls quiet again. However, when he stands up..

Her fingers lift upwards, curling gently on the cuff of the sleeve of the hand closest to her. He was wearing a coat, so he probably doesn't even feel his fingers, just the slight tug of someone at the fabric of his coat. "What aren't you telling me?" she asks softly, gently. She knows him. She knows him well. She can tell he's holding something back. Something painful, but she's not about to let him go off and lament over it by himself no matter how sick she was.

"It won't happen, it's just not fixed yet," Peter says with a grimace, trying to stay optimistic, hopeful, but in the end the most he ends up sounding is determined. It will be fixed. For us. But there's something else that's draining him of his hope and optimism, that makes him sound too tired to be really determined— and that's what he's standing up and moving away for.

What isn't he telling her?

"Elena— it doesn't matter. There's nothing that…" He trails off, that hopeless sound coming into his voice as he tilts his head back and glances up at the ceiling. "This house is in ruins in the future I went to. I stopped by to check on it once— I'm pretty sure it was bombed. I don't know if anyone was home when it was, if it killed anyone, but it was bombed." Was that when Monty died? He's honestly not sure at all.

"I don't have anything really tangable to prove I was there— nothing except a few paper files— flash drives that don't even work— the clothes I got at the Zoo, and the backpack that Jaden's mom gave me. That's all I have." There's reasons he's been quiet about these things, because it's awkward to talk about someone that he'd been with— even if that person happens to be her. "All I really have was memories— and the hope that the people that I… that I left behind… that things were changing for them. That the world was better. That my being there made some kind of… difference. That the ones that were still alive…" his voice trails off, tightening, and he looks away from her.

"It won't happen," Elena tells him, giving him a nod and hanging onto it because she has to. Because her mind can't accept anything otherwise. She winces, but she pushes herself up, swinging her legs to the side of the bed so she's sitting up, so she could look at him, watch him move around and move away from her. She hated it whenever he did that, even if she didn't have the strength to communicate it. She was never allowed to walk away from him whenever she wants to get away from him, why should he be?

She nods, and listens. So a bomb or something of the sort went off in the house - it could be a direct response to Nathan becoming a senator. Maybe Tim Crane went crazy and hired people to take him out and his family. But she watches him still, her gaze unwavering and steady despite being so exhausted she should be closing them. "You don't need proof when people believe you were there," she tells him. "And most of all of us who you told about your trip do." She knows that's not it, she's only responding to what he's saying.

When he looks away from her, she waits. Finally.. "You're afraid you infected them too?"

"I meant… proof for me," Peter says, shaking his head as if he's not sure she understood what he meant. But she knows better that it wasn't literal like that— and the fact that he glances toward the music box might give a hint. His apartment's filled with so many things that speak of the past, of small moments in time, it's no wonder that he's wanting something to hold onto to tell him that it was real. That it mattered in some way.

Not just that it mattered to him, though, that it mattered to those he left behind. Especially…

There. It's said. He infected them. But then again. "If not me, then Lachlan— or someone else who was at the rally. But I could have infected them— I probably infected…" he still looks away, eyes narrowing as he twists his head some. It's a gesture he often does when too hurt to continue. Even with that gesture, he's not crying— even if it sounds like he wishes he were. Voice too tight. "I made sure that— that she was okay before I left. That she was healing. That she wasn't…"

There's a pause, long enough for him to breath, and this time he does look back at her. "They don't have Cass to save them, because I failed to save her. And even if I can save everyone here who's sick… I can't save… them." You. Her.

She knows. She has to read between the lines a little bit, but she does. Elena folds her hands on her lap as she watches him glance about, everywhere but her really. So she knows it had something to do with her, or some sort of deep seated guilt he has trouble articulating to her because of their closeness. Hell, it could be both. And she knows what happens when Peter is grieving. His need for physical comfort shoots through the roof, and after the height of the fallout, the first thing he probably did was..

And then she understands, the reason why he can't look at her and the reason why it was so hard for him to talk about it. "Peter…" The intonation of his name is soft and quiet. She glances down on her knees, and for once she's not trying to make him feel better. It would do no good to be optimistic about -that-, and to give him false platitudes about how maybe the other her wasn't infected would be a lie. She was going to be a doctor. If she didn't accept that fact she might as well have been a creationist.

"Peter, I'm so sorry…" Because he was right. She might be argumentative, but in this case he was probably right. Because not only was Cass dead, but from how she understood it, the Company, the people who created the virus, was virtually nonexistent. And the country was turning into the brink of revolution, meaning the government scientists that it probably inherited from the Company would be trying to flee the country. She chews on her bottom lip, frustration welling inside her, because she -can't- tell him someone might be able to figure it out, because chances of anyone being able to are slim.

There's another bout of silence. She finds an anchor, somewhere, after a moment, and she looks at him. "Did you…promise her anything before going back here?" Because that's what she would do, if she had to say goodbye to him forever.

The fact that she doesn't try to console him, or lie to him— the fact that she apologizes to him… Peter's eyes drop away. Not just because he can't keep eyecontact, but because he actually crumples on the floor. There's really no other way to describe it. Knees bend and he ends up kneeling on the floor, arms dropping down to support his head as he bows down. Shoulders shake. This probably isn't helping her find an anchor, when he can't even find his feet to stand on right now.

If he's not crying now, he's certainly very close, by the sound of his strained voice. "I promised her a lot of things…" he says, still knelt down and with no attempts to get up. This muffles things, but she can still hear him well enough to make out what he says. "That I wouldn't drink myself useless… that I'd fix things… that I'd make them better… that I wouldn't let you… that I wouldn't give you a reason to walk away again." And that he wouldn't let her if she tried.

So many promises. So much of what brought them together started two years from now, with someone who probably got sick, lost her abilities, and died not long after he left.

There's a pause, before he says even more pained. "She wouldn't let me stay."

It was difficult to be jealous of yourself, especially your future self. It was especially difficult to be jealous of your future, and most probably dead self. Elena watches Peter as he turns his eyes to the floor and drops on his knees, though she doesn't take her eyes off him. She lets him grieve a little, not because she was a cold person, but because she knows he needs it. Because it was a natural emotion especially when it came to someone he loved. Knowing that he might have, though most probably killed her, probably did a number on him emotionally. At the same time, part of her didn't understand it… she was right there. She wasn't dead. At least, not yet.

She stands up from the bed, and walks over to him slowly. When she drops next to him, it's a little heavier than it should be, like a rag doll let go by the kindergartener carrying it. She watches him as he holds his head in his hands, and despite her illness, despite herself, she reaches out to curl an arm around his back, her other hand rubbing soothingly on his forearm. She doesn't say anything. Not yet.

"She wouldn't have. I would've….if I had to make the choice between keeping you and letting you go so you could save everyone, I would've chosen the same thing she did. And you knew yourself that you couldn't stay, no matter how much you wanted to. You were being true to yourself, Peter. You wouldn't…you're not the type to put your wants above the entire world."

She squeezes his forearm gently. "I don't know….what happened to her, or what's happening to her in the future while this is going on. But no matter what happens… you have promises to keep, Peter. I think if she knew deep down that you were doing just like she said….no matter what she'd be happy. No matter what she'd love you in the end."

She closes her eyes. "I know because essentially, she's me. Right?"

Under her touch, he stops shaking, as if that alone was enough. It's the last words she says, though, that seems to make him relax, his breath slowing down to normal levels.

"It's you… a you that could have been…" Peter says softly, finally moving to sit up. There's tears on his cheek, which he scrubs away with a hand, shiftint to turn to face her, without pulling out of her touch all the way. "I told… you… that I wasn't leaving. That I was going to you." His voice isn't as strong as it could be, or as happy. "I don't know how much I can… talk to you like you're the same person. You are, but— you don't remember it." Memory is important, it's why he couldn't just go around saying it was her the whole time— just a woman that she could become, one he loved—

And one who loved him right until the end.

"I know you cared about me. That you loved me. But I would have rather you been happy with someone else, growing old and… doing everything you wanted to do…" With Eric. With Jack. With the Saints in general. And instead he killed her.

"I know it's not the same. But at least you have an outlet, right?" Elena lifts up a hand, thumbing away a tear-trail with a gentle touch. "That all isn't really lost. Even if there wasn't a chance there, there's a chance here still. We could only….well. I can only pray that things wouldn't go as badly as we're all thinking over there. But that's up to God, or whatever higher power is up there. I have Faith, though, that people will endure. We're pretty resilient, you know? Human beings. And if we embrace it, we have such a huge capacity for everything. Love. Forgiveness. Mercy."

"I could only give you insight as to what she might think, but I'm not…I don't even call her 'me'. I do think of her as a separate person, even though the basis of both of us are identical. I'm not…trying to replace her. If anything she sounds more capable than me in everything else. I know it's hard, and I wish I could do something to alleviate the pain but even…I can't even do that anymore. All I can do is assure you that she loved you. Mainly because if I had to die, I'd like to go that way. Loving you." Unless they broke up but she's not mentioning -that- right now.

She reaches up with her other hand to wipe away the tears from his other eye. "I know," she tells him quietly. "I know." She cups his face afterwards, rubbing her thumbs gently over his cheeks.

"It's not lost… as long as I can save you," Peter says softly, looking into her eyes, though he's definitely getting more tears in his own. As she keeps talking, holds his face, he hesitates a moment, and then lifts his hands up to touch her right back, sliding his fingers into her hair, his thumb rubbing her cheek.

"You're wrong. She was older— hardened by a world that I don't you to ever have to see. The most important things… you're more capable of." That's pretty vague, but he lifts his second hand up, so he can cup both sides of her face. He's risking so much— and most likely he's very tempted to kiss her and risk it even more— but instead he does the closest thing he can, he shifts forward and nudges his nose against hers. Not a kiss… but the next best thing. Only problem is, he has to move away quickly before it becomes a kiss.

"She never told me. That she loved me." It's whispered, and should fill in the vaguness of a moment ago, before he adds on, just as soft, "I'll save you." Since he can't save her.

"You can, and you will. Besides, it's not just me. It's Nate too, and Evelyn….I'm sure you and Cass, you guys can fix us. I know it," Elena tells him quietly, with that same, stubborn conviction. "I know you. When people you care about are on the line….I don't know what it is. You're more determined. More stubborn. When there's something important that you have to protect, your drive is almost unbelievable, incredible. Peter no matter how much you break down over the load, the moment you start to do something about it after mourning it for a while….you go at it with all the heart you've got. I think that's amazing, and I think that's when you're your strongest self."

She gives him a small smile. "Hey, I'm not a little girl, you know," she tells him softly. He pretty much made sure of that a couple of months ago. "If I have to see something horrific I'll deal with it." Her face cupped between his hands, she watches his eyes. "Most important things…?" But he'll explain that later. When his nose nudges hers, she closes her eyes. She feels his breath, she knows they're dangerously close - this is what happens when they're in a room alone together. This was why they avoided seeing each other while sick.

"I think she couldn't because she knew you had to leave. Maybe she didn't want to tempt you further into staying," she reasons. But at the last promise, she nods, and reaches out so she could hug him around the neck. She can't kiss him. She can't bleed on him, but she can hug him. "I know you will. All of us. You will."

"I know it's not just you," Peter says, in the same whispered tones as he wraps his arms around her, returning the hug since he can't do much else. "You're just the only one here to promise. I'll save everyone— and I won't let that future happen." The one where he has to leave her. The one where he dies at the hands of Sylar, only to get replaced. The one where Nathan dies at the other man's hand. The one where Evelyn destroys part of New York. The one where Cass is killed by a bomb. Where Jack loses a leg. Where… so many bad things happened, and so few good.

And the good can happen despite all the bad.

There's a slow breath, unsteady, before he pulls away, forces himself to pull away. "I should go now, really— before I'm tempted to do more." Because— actually he already is tempted. But before he's TOO tempted…

"I love you, Elena," he says as he starts to get to his feet, offering her hands up when he does, since she's a lot weaker than he is. "Don't ever— ever think that you're not good enough for me… or that you have to replace her. You're you. And I loved her because she was you."

She squeezes him tightly - as much as she can anyway. It's pretty wimpy, considering how weak she was, but Elena tries. "Of course you won't, you promised," she goads him gently. And she is aware of all those bad things. Not just for those closest to him, but everyone else. Innocents. Little children and older people….that couldn't happen. She would like God gave him and Hiro the ability to do what they could just so they could prevent all of this. A lot of good can happen, they just need to take it from the bad.

She pulls away a bit, Elena's lashes heavy over her eyes, partly due to the closeness, partly due of her fatigue. Though when he confesses why he should go, she couldn't help but smile. "Addict," she tells him softly, smoothing back his hair and watching the stubborn curl flop back down before standing up.

She nods, and her smile is gentle when she replies. "I love you too. Be careful out there, okay?" Her lashes lower when he says what he does. "I…I know," she tells him. Well. Knows now, anyway. And with that, she takes a few steps away from him. Pressing her fingertips to her mouth, she blows him a kiss.

Despite the tears still present on his cheeks, even if they were rubbed away somewhat, Peter smiles ever so faintly at her response— the tease, and finally the kiss blowing. That especially would be something very sweet. It makes that hint of a smile more genuine, as he reaches up as if to snatch it, and presses his hand near his mouth, as if to accept it.

Childish. Teenage. But being with her has always made him feel younger than he really is, and not just because she's so much younger than him.

"I'll call you later, I promise," he adds, giving her one last promise before he lowers his arm, closes his eyes— and disappears in a strange shifting sound. Elsewhere in the city, his own apartment, he has to go lay down pretty soon after. Three teleports in one day?

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