2007-06-08: Screaming With My Mouth Shut


Peter_icon.gif Portia_icon.gif

Summary: Just after the rally, Peter and Portia, both invisible, run into each other in the park and are quite surprised. Portia gives an invisible performance and manages to convince Peter of her lies.

Date It Happened: June 8th, 2007

Screaming With My Mouth Shut

Central Park

One would think the younger brother of a budding Senator would like crowds more. Not the case. Just before sunset, after the speech, much of the eating, and the photo ops, Peter snuck off into the park for some time to himself. Best way to insure time to himself? By being invisible. Dressed in a suit, with his hair slicked back, he would look rather out of place for someone sitting by himself on a bench, if anyone could see him. The only indication that anyone's even around would be the flock of pigeons nearby, pecking at bird food that he's tossing towards them. Bird food in the form of enviromental safe confetti that might have been used for the outdoor rally.

One would think that being invisible would ensure time to yourself. At least, that was sort of what Portia was hoping as she stumbled into Central Park, invisible, backpack on back and guitar case lugged along with her. Really, she wasn't expecting too much but to get away, and as soon as she's in the park, she stops to take a breather, leaning against the case and taking a quick glance around her.

Also believing he has time to himself, Peter throws another small handful out to the pigeons, who don't really mind the invisibility as much as people do. They seem to know he's there, despite the lack of sight. Even if he hadn't been tossing food to them, they'd probably know he's there. However, he's also glancing around every so often, looking for people, keeping an eye out for anyone who might try to sit on him thinking there's an empty bench— and he sees a young girl with a guitar case, and his eyes stay on her long enough to show that, yes, he sees her.

There's eyes on her, and Portia can feel it. She nearly falls over, clutching to the guitar case as she manages to keep her balance. She stares right back, a sort of a gape on her features as she watches him stare back at her. She isn't sure if she should turn away, or run, or something else entirely.

As she stares back at him, Peter frowns at first, then suddenly sits up, as if he realizes something. For a moment, he visibly hesitates, before running a hand over his slicked back short hair and standing up. The last of the bird seed is dusted off his palm for the pigeons. "Hey. You can see me, can't you?" His tone is surprised, light, nearly whispered, but still loud enough to reach her where she's clutching her guitar case.

"You can see me." Portia states, the guitar case gripped tightly as she looks back towards him. She makes no move to approach or retreat, but she's still aware that he definitely sees her. She blinks for a moment, realizing that he seems surprised too. He couldn't possibly… no. That would be too strange.

The mutual surprise makes Peter give a lopsided smile, straightening his jacket and suddenly looking to be worried about his state of dress. Before he had no reason to worry if his jacket had been sitting wrong. He continues to approach, but stops at a good distance. "Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you." There's a sheepish quality to those words. "How— how long have you—?"

He doesn't look so bad. Portia doesn't have any reason not to trust what Peter is saying, but she's still a little weirded out by the fact that he can see her. No one, other than her brother, had the privledge of knowing about any of this, and the fact that he was able to just see her, much less also seem to be invisible, that was all a little surprising. She eases her grip on the guitar case, but not by much. "I-It's okay. I mean…" She trails off. She's not sure what to say, or how to answer. "I don't know."

"Been about a year for me," Peter says, able to keep up a hint of a conversation, even with her nervousness. "Was just escaping the rally," he gestures in the direction that the party would be, with some sounds of it carrying this far into the park. The only thing really visible at this distance is the ferris wheel they'd brought in for the event, still running slowly in the background. "You play?" he asks, pointing towards her case. There are a few people in sight, stragglers, walkers— but people generally only pay attention to what they can see.

A year. A year was a long time. In a year, Portia herself had been able to accomplish a lot. It was a life-changing sort of year. "Couple of months.." Portia replies before she glances back in the direction of the party. "Rally?" It seems she's a little more than oblivious, but she gives a quick nod. "Oh, yeah. The rally." She murmurs, and her gaze quickly darts to the guitar case. This time, there's a genuine smile. "Yeah. I do. Trying to be a singer. I'll make it big."

There's a nod. Couple of months. Invisibility might be one of the easiest abilities to pick up, so mastering it wouldn't take too much. Though considering her age… Peter hesitates visibly, tugging on the cuff of his dress jacket. "Bet you will," he says, a hint of a smile tugging on one corner of his mouth. A flawed smile, by the look of things. "Come out here to play?" Mysterious background music?

It's one thing for a teen to have the ability to turn invisible. It's another for a fourteen-year-old girl to /feel/ invisible to the world. Portia's gaze remains on Peter. And Portia isn't dumb and there are certain things that she doesn't miss. The bit of a smile doesn't escape her, and it causes an odd look to cross Portia's features. "It wasn't why I—" She stops herself. No, she didn't have to explain why she was here. She lets out a breath. "Yes." She states after a moment, sudden and almost jarring. And without another word, she sits down on the grass, moving to take her guitar from it's case.

At her sudden statement, jarring as it is, Peter's eyebrows raise just a touch, before he glances down and away, fiddling with the cuff of his jacket again. "Sorry," he apologizes again, but moves a little closer to the grass and kneels down, as if intent on listening. "Not used to running into people who can see me when I'm like this either."

If Portia notices the fiddling, she doesn't pay it too much heed as she checks her guitar, making sure it's properly tuned. She takes a quick glance around, almost nervously. She takes a second, then starts to play. The tune is upbeat and fairly interesting, with a little bit of a chick-rock feel to it as she plays. She hasn't quite gotten to the lyrics yet, instead just playing. A glance goes out carefully around the park to see who might be listening before she glances to Peter, and then quickly back at the guitar.

A small audience. There's a few people who seem to hear the music, but most dismiss it as a radio, or maybe sound from the rally. A homeless person might even think the air is playing music for them. Though there's at least one who hears and sees her. Peter's expression settles into a lopsided smile, calmer than some of the smirks, and he listens, even paying attention to her hand movements. He stays quiet now, letting her play.

Having played a little of the song and observed a little of the reactions around her, Portia takes in a breath. Now she's getting serious about it. The breath is released as she starts to sing, fingers still playing on the guitar's strings.

"Spitting fire back and forth now
Times have changed in just a few months
Neighbors complaining from the fights and
Why can't things be the same…"

Attention on her hand motions more than not, Peter glances up to her face when she starts to sing, finally settling back to sit on the grass to get more comfortable while he listens. Some people may hear, but don't bother to look, or if they do, they don't go searching for the source. The pigeons coo not too far away, still pecking around for bird seeds that got missed before.

And Portia doesn't seem to mind. People don't investigate, and she's able to continue her invisible concert without an interruption. She shuts her eyes for a moment as she sings.

"And maybe i'm just a little bit cautious
Of what i'm gonna say
When I tell you I can't live this way.
But i don't know what to expect from someone who's so insane."

The invisible and almost private concert continues to make Peter smile faintly, though his eyes move back to her hands, watching how she plays, as he listens to the lyrics. He doesn't want to be the one to interupt her, as long as there's no need to stop someone from investigating. With her eyes closed, he does look away from her hands to glance around to make sure no one's approaching.

Portia's voice continues to carry the song as she plays, fingers moving along the guitar. It's the song she knows best, the lyrics that had been swimming around in her head for so long for so long. She hadn't planned on performing it first in the park, nor invisible, but something much more grandiose, like performing for some record company so she could hit it off. Still, the lyrics are enough to bring her fully into the moment, and the girl sings, quite passionately, as she gets to the chorus.

"Why can't I get through the night
Without another fight
I'm tired of the hurting
Is it really worth it?
Am I all alone again?
Cause I am kinda feeling like I'm screaming
With my mouth shut
When it's really open."

There's a sound of a exhale from the young man listening in. Sharp enough and with the tone that it could be considered a hint of a laugh. It's more surprise than laughter. If her eyes open, Peter gives an encouraging nod, wanting her to continue, but then he straightens up a bit, glancing behind her. There's someone approaching now. Maybe finally investigating the noise.

Taking a moment to look up, Portia catches Peter's nod, fingers continuing to play their music as she sings, adding another verse to the song. If she's aware of anyone approaching, she doesn't show it, still singing away.

"The only noises in my head
Are consumed of your voice
From all the pain and hatred
How long can you kick somebody down
Before a foot breaks?"

Lips pressed together, Peter weights the risks of the approaching person before he finally stands up, making a gesture towards the girl and finally making a sound to interupt, "May need to stop the concert. Attracting an audience." There's a regretful tone to his voice, but at the same time he's cautious, keeping his voice down.

Looking up, Portia catches Peter's gesture and her gaze slips quickly around the park. Seeing that there's a bit too much potential for discovery, she stops playing, moving to tuck the guitar back into its case, ready in case someone gets too close. "It was nice while it lasted." She murmured.

As the sound cut off, the man who'd been approaching looks confused, glancing around as if to figure out where the sound came from, and where it disappeared to. The whispered tones of speaking don't carry near as much as the strings of a guitar, and the singing. "Yeah," Peter repies in lightened tones, offering a hand down to her. "You're really good. My name's Peter. Peter Petrelli."

Portia glances for a moment towards the man investigating before she looks back to Peter, accepting the hand once she sees it's offered. "Thank you. I'm Portia Maddox. I'm.. sorry if I startled you earlier, too. I've never really met someone else who could do something like this.."

"In that case I likely startled you more, Portia," Peter says, the smirk growing on the corner of his mouth again. "Actually have met others who could go invisible." More than one, actually. While one he doesn't think would be a threat to a girl, the other… "Not as alone as it seems." Once he has his hand back, he gets to fiddling with his cuff again, hesitating on something. "Starting to get late."

"Guess you're right about that. Not quite so alone." Portia remarks, though she makes a bit of a face when he mentions how it's getting late. She reaches to make sure her guitar case is shut and latched. "Guess it is." She admits, after a moment.

"It's interesting. Had my first guitar lesson just a few days ago," Peter mentions, glancing towards her guitar case and her checking it's latched. That'd be why he'd been watching her fingers, trying to go off of his lessons, and compare her style to the person he learned from. He glances at his watch to check the time. He could get back to the rally now, but… "Anywhere I can walk you?"

"Oh! Well, I'd like to see you play sometime, then. It's only fair." Portia insists. "It's a lot of fun. I really enjoy it." She watches him look at his watch, and that little frown that was there at the mention of the time reappears. "Oh. You don't have to do that. I haven't entirely decided where to go yet anyways."

"Long as you don't expect me to play well," Peter says with a smirk, not dismissing the idea, even if— well… The smirk does fade at her mention of not even deciding where to go, yet. "You do have somewhere to go, right? Don't mean to— you're a little young to be out on your own. Even if you are invisible."

"Oh, of course I have somewhere to go." Portia lies, quickly. "I just haven't decided if I want to head back there just yet. Besides, I'm not /that/ young." She shrugs, nonchalantly. "It's okay if you don't play well to start. It took me a little to learn anyways."

There's a nod, as Peter accepts what she has to say about a place to go to. In fact, he actually looks relieved. "That's good." But, if she wants to hear him play… "Going to need a way to contact you if you want to hear me play." There's a pause. Asking a young girl for her phone number could be taken the wrong way. Opening up his jacket enough to reach into an interior pocket, he pulls out a pen that he carries. "Got something I can write on? I'll give you my cellphone number."

Nodding after a moment, Portia reaches to fish into her backpack.. which also happens to be stuffed with some clothes as well. She soon finds a binder with some paper, and pulls it out, offering it to Peter. "Okay, sounds good."

If he hadn't believed what she said so thoroughly, the clothes in the backpack might be a clue. But Peter does believe her, so he accepts the binder and writes down his name again, in case she's forgotten it, and a phone number: 283-1407. "There you go." And then, as if just to be polite about it, he asks once again, "Sure you don't want me to walk with you anywhere?"

"No. That's alright. I'm.. not sure even how far the walk would be anyways." Portia insists, accepting the binder back as she tucks it into her backback. "I'm sure you're pretty busy anyways."

"Came out here to escape being busy," Peter says, glancing back towards the ferris wheel just visible in the distance. There's a lot of busy over there… And he should technically be mingling and making his brother look good. "You should take a cab if you think it's too far. Do you have money for one?"

She might be good at lying, but it's a lot harder to lie when you have to actually come /up/ with something to say for the lie. Portia blinks for a moment, visibly unsure of what to say for a long moment before she rubs the back of her neck with a hand. "Um, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I'm not really being expected at home anytime soon anyways." That one's not a lie, at least. Desiree wouldn't be expecting her. Not in the slightest.

If only he knew she was Desiree's daughter. That would cause quite a shock, considering he knows the woman. Then again, coincidences seem to follow him around. Peter frowns, visibly worried with her hesitation, even when she tells him not to worry. "Guess you can take care of yourself," he says softly, eyes shifting away as he tucks the pen back into his coat. "It was nice meeting you." He's hesitating again. But not to the point he's going to push his worry any further. "The rally should be going on a few more hours," he gestures that way, to give one more option. "If you want to waste some time before heading home."

Ah, an alternative. "Yeah, maybe I'll do that. It sounds like a fun idea." Portia agrees, looking around for a moment before back at Peter. "It was really nice meeting you too. I hope whatever you were trying to escape from doing doesn't keep you /too/ busy." She smiles, genuinely.

"I'll just escape again if I have to," Peter comments, smirking lopsidedly again, before he gives his hand a small raise, nearly a wave, in her direction. If she goes to the rally, she'll at least be surrounded by people, while being invisible also has advantages. "Don't forget to call me sometime." If more to make sure she gets home okay, than to embarass himself with a guitar. With that, he turns away and starts to fade back into visibility. There may not be a change for her, but he he turned around, he wouldn't be able to see her anymore.

"Okay, I will!" Portia calls after him as she watches him head off. She remains where she is for a moment, watching him until he heads off before she moves, picking up the guitar case and slowly heading off to who knows where.

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