2010-01-17: Rain (Phantasm)



Date: January 17, 2010


In the hospital, Lena sings to Peter. His dreams aren't getting any brighter.



Hospital rooms are small and sterile, the light harsh, walls a cold green and bare but for blood pressure gauges and electrical sockets. This one at least has a door that closes and a curtain to pull around the bed when doctors or nurses enter to check for vitals or shake their head over the mystery of Ethan Campbell's unresponsiveness. The rails have been set down on his bed, and a plastic vase of hospital gift stores flowers placed on the table beside it. There's a card too, the clown on the front looking sad, with a thermometer sticking out of his red-painted mouth.

Lena has the look of someone who's been here for awhile. She's still wearing the clothes she threw on the night before, black jeans and a fuzzy white sweater "borrowed" from Sydney. Her hair is flat and mussed from spending the night in the chair in the corner, and the heavy liner she uses on her eyes is smudged. The vigil, which has really only just begun, continues.

The young woman sits on the edge of the bed, one leg tucked crooked up on its side, the other dangling to the floor. Her guitar is in her lap, balanced with the strap over one shoulder, but Lena doesn't play just yet. She's watching the man under the pale green blanket and white sheet; a nasal cannula runs from his nose up over his ears, and there's an IV in one arm. So far as she can tell, he hasn't moved since being placed here. Finally, Lena tucks her chin down and slowly begins to tune the guitar. Strings are strummed, pegs are tightened. And over those aimless notes, she talks.

"I dunno if you can hear me, Pete. The doctors said maybe you can…they don't know what in the hell's going on. I don't either. If you'll wake up again, why you're not awake. This isn't right. I know it isn't right but I don't know what to do and…and I don't know who to talk to about it." Her lips twist in a small, bitter smile. "I guess maybe if I talk to you enough, you'll wake up just to tell me to shut up. You think maybe you could do that?"

Lena's voice trails into silence and she glances up, hair swinging around her face while she watches for any sign of a reaction in the man.

The rapid eye movement probably remains the most baffling thing about his unconsiousness. People in comas don't dream like that. And even people who sleep longer than the normal timeframe of the human body don't have rapid eye movement that's nearly constant. Sometimes his eyes don't even seem all the way closed, but there's movement behind the lids, a rolling of the cornea back and forth.

Because Peter Petrelli is dreaming.

The city isn't the same as he's used to. Stores are closed, the streets are empty. It's often that way in the later hours of evening, but it seems to be that way all over. The stores must still get business during the day— but things are different. There's signs he'd never seen before that begin popping up everywhere.

Tagged Not Allowed

Report Any Suspicious Activity

Humanity Stands Strong

Don't Let Them Into Your Home, Buy The Detection Alarm Today

He doesn't understand it, but he's seen it everywhere. There's one in a store he stands in front of, running his hand over the sign. It's advertising a phone application, a portable sensor. There's An App For That! An app for what? Identifying those who've been tagged, it seems like.

Suddenly the world resonates, a loud pitch of a wail, that shatters the window he stands in front of, throwing glass outwards and into him. Shards tear up his face, dig into his flesh, and knock him down. Someone runs out of the store, wearing a mask over her face, with only her mouth exposed. She stops to look at him, and then runs onward, as the shards of glass slowly expell from his body.

The sirens follow soon after, and he has to run away again. Alone.

In the hospital room, the silence drags out. Even Lena's guitar falls quiet. There is no siren, no crash of breaking glass. She listens to the sound of his breathing and watches Peter's face before stirring with a sigh. "You've gotta wake up, Pete," she tells him softly. "We can't do this alone, without you here. I don't know how to help you."

Then her fingers move, the strings under each humming to life with slow, deliberate chords. They're deep and heavy enough to fill the little room.

"Okay then," the girl says in a voice that's gone tight. She's blinking too quickly to be doing anything other than fighting tears. If talking won't work, he'll have to listen to her singing. And she can sing, in spite of Jade's teasing. Softly, with a husky voice, but that suits the song, and it suits the mood.

o/~"Take a photograph,
It'll be the last,
Not a dollar or a crowd could ever keep me here,

I don't have a past
I just have a chance,
Not a family or honest plea remains to say.."

The world never remains constant. Suddenly Peter finds himself in a subway, hurrying away from something. He doesn't quite remember what it was he was running from— he always seems to be running. The people are scared, and don't speak to him. They don't want to speak. They don't listen.

A flicker suddenly catches the corner of his eyes, a young woman who hadn't been there a second ago appears. Dark hair hangs down her back, tangled in bead work and scarves. Blood runs down her arm from a gunshot, she falls to the concrete and grabs at the wound, trying to hold in the spreading redness.

"I can help you," the dark haired man says, hurrying over and kneeling down, reaching out for her. "Calm down, you— I can help you."

"NO! Don't touch me!" she screams, afraid, horrorfied. "It's too late to help me!" Suddenly she's gone, flickering out of sight as if she hadn't been there.

Peter tries to reach after her, and catches nothing. Only a small smear of blood from the dripping can be seen. It's too late to help.

"Rain rain go away,
Come again another day,
All the world is waiting for the sun."o/~

Lena's voice lifts with the chorus, higher and purer than before. The tears have been pushed back though her eyes close briefly as the words come. Then she dips into a lower range again, head tilting and fingers flying easy over the strings.

o/~Is it you I want,
Or just the notion
Of a heart to wrap around so I can find my way around

Safe to say from here,
You're getting closer now,
We are never sad cause we are not allowed to be."

It is raining, when Peter finally makes his way back up to the top. Why the subway was mostly empty of people, he doesn't know. A city full of people who need help, who need to listen to him, and they seem to be nowhere in sight. A can kicks off down the street at a distance, as if someone had hit it with a foot as they ran by, but he sees no one.

Where are all the people he needs to help? It's as if the world wants him to feel alone…

As he walks, distance shifts quickly, as if each step carries him miles. He doesn't recognize where he is right away, not until he sees the rows and rows of flag poles. For a second, he sees the flags that should be hanging there, but when it flickers again, all he sees is the poles, as if they'd been removed— or from the scortch marks visible on the metal, burned.

The United Nations Headquarters. The building should stand tall just past the rows of flags, but all her can see is the rubble, fallen in on itself, as if the building collapsed. It reminds him of things he'd seen years ago—

A siren sounds again, a searchlight lands on him. He didn't even hear the helicopter.

"Surrender or we will open fire!" a voice calls down.

Lena opens her eyes and gazes at Peter's face, the lines that should be relaxed in sleep but are not. Pain stamps her expression, enough of it to crackle through her voice as another breath is drawn for the chorus and refrain. Her knee nudges his, beneath the blanket, a little push that begs for and doesn't receive a response. And throughout, the guitar continues pouring out the heavy melody, her hands strong and sure where her voice and mind aren't.

o/~Rain rain go away,
Come again another day,
All the world is waiting for the sun.

To lie here next to you,
Is all that I could ever do,
To lie here next to you is all,
To lie here next to you is all that I could ever do,
To lie here next you is all…"o/~

There's no time to really surrender as the rain soaks into his clothes. The searchlight catches the particles as the fall, but for a time it seems as if they've slowed down, like the whole world has gone into slow motion, frame by frame. The helicopter blades become more visible in the dark. And Peter can see the bullets leaving the mounted weapon long before they strike near him. The pavement gets torn up, as bullet fragments bounce off.

He could teleport away.

The world seems to flicker. Suddenly there's people in the streets around him, with signs.

No More Tagging!

They Are Human Too!

Those bullets that tore up the pavement suddenly seem to rip through the crowd. Peter doesn't even notice it's not raining where they are— His hand goes up, anger pulling his eyebrows down. The helicopter starts to scream, metal crackling, and then it veers heavily off. Toward the rubble of the building. It follows Peter's guiding hand, until it explodes in a ball of small fire.

The people he'd been trying to protect lay dead all around him. He hadn't even seen all of them fall.

"o/~Rain rain go away,
Come again another day,
All the world is waiting for the sun.

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day,
All the world is waiting for the sun,
All the world is waiting for the sun,
All the world is waiting for the sun."o/~

Lena's voice cracks again on the last line, interrupting the end, but the notes of the song dance through to the finish. Then the guitar is set aside on the foot of the bed, leaving her free to crawl up beside Peter and tuck head to shoulder. Her fingers pluck at the top of the blanket before making certain it lays smooth over him. She lays still after that, gazing at the closed door.

There's no sun here.

As the fire burns, Peter can't help but look around, him, noticing now the faces of people he knows. Faces he recognizes. So many of the ones laying dead have been friends in the past. Near family. Loved ones.

The rain doesn't seem to touch their bodies, but they touch him, masking the tears that fall from his face as he looks at all of them. Some of them are just children. When he raises the hands toward his face, he catches sight of the rain hitting his hands. It's not water at all. He didn't notice in the dark.

The world shifts again. But it remains night. And his hands stay soaked with blood.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License