2008-03-29: Stage Set


Niki_icon.gif FuturePeter_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif Ando_icon.gif

Summary: Niki hands over some information to Hiro (and Ando); tensions exist between two time travellers. The stage is set for a plan to go into action at Pinehearst.

Date It Happened: March 29th, 2008

Stage Set

"Jessica's" Apartment

New York City

The hour is late, and the apartment, the very same one Niki took Hiro to after their … last meeting, appears on first glance to be empty. It's quiet. There are, however, signs of life. Lamps here and there lend feeble attempts at lighting the wide open space, their yellowish glow a bit more uneasy than warm. A silver laptop sits, closed but with but a faint blue power light on, atop the glass coffee table. There are a few glasses lined unevenly on the counter.

And the bedroom door is open. It's several minutes short of the arranged time — not that there's a clock anywhere in the entire apartment. It lacks such small but important details of furnishing. "I really don't get what's so bad about blood that can heal," Niki is saying to … someone from inside the bedroom. Her back to the empty loftspace, she's just now starting to haul a black tank top on over nothing else (save for jeans).

Not alone in the bedroom, either. Sitting in a chair near the bed happens to be a slightly older Peter Petrelli, facing her without any real sense of shame. There's nothing that he hasn't seen before, right? Dressed in black jeans, he's wearing only a thin white undershirt, a sight that would strike Ando as familiar, especially coupled with the partially healed slash across his face. Two black rubber bracelets sit on his wrists instead of watches and a long black coat is laying over the back of a nearby chair, along with a dark shirt he can pull over. "Because the blood belonged to an innocent person," he responds raspily, eyes on the blonde woman and her black tank top.

Hey presto teleportation out in the street. And, for once, Hiro has brought Ando with him. He's been tentative about bringing his friend along in recent times but he's recently come to realize that he can use all the help he can get. This looks like the place … at least, it is the address he was given. He doesn't really remember arriving here, being only partially conscious at the time, and he left via teleportation but … yep, this should be it. He glances over towards Ando.

"<Remember to grab on so we can teleport if I give the signal.>"

Ando nods an affirmative, glancing around the area as though expecting something to pop out that would require Hiro to give the signal. Okay, there's nothing, really. Stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jacket, he looks to his friend. "<Why here?>" Having not been along for the last bits of adventure, he's on the clueless side.

Meanwhile, up on the 18th floor… "But that person's okay now, right?" As the shirt is pulled down along the curve of her sides, Niki just tries to make sure she understands all of this reasoning, all the push to get that regenerative blood. So it's a principal thing? "If it heals, what harm is it gonna do for them to test it — except for patching Logan up every time he gets in trouble."

"If you were an seventeen year old girl, who was locked up in a room, with tubes in your body draining your blood for storage, would you be okay afterwards?" Peter asks, mood darkening a little as the topic continues. "It should have never happened in the first place, but I can't go back and change everything. The least I can do is make sure that the blood isn't used to assist with Pinehearst's experiments." As he continues, he shifts to stand up from the chair, walking over to a forgotten garment on the floor. A bra, and walks over to hand it to her. "Are you sure you want me to be here when they arrive?" He still has time to leave, right?

"<This is where she took me last time,>" Hiro answers, holding open the door for Ando to walk through as they head towards the elevator, "<I think its a safehouse that Pinehearst don't know about or something. I think she'll help us.>"

Once again, Ando nods and dutifully keeps his eyes peeled in case of trouble. On to the elevator, up to the 18th floor, and then to the apartment door. Knock-knock, time's up.

Niki swiftly reconsiders her offhand attitude about the current subject matter, guilt and understanding flashing over her features. Peter's explanation might even be enough for her to feel bad for ever questioning it. Focused in her head, she takes the … lost article without much thought. "Why not?" Knock-knock. No time to answer! Niki looks over her shoulder out the bedroom door, tosses the undergarment onto the bed (no time for that, either) and jogs to the door. She looks through the peephole, sways back on her heels, hesitates a second, unlocks and opens it up.

As she just tosses the bra onto the bed, Peter's eyes shift there for a moment, before he moves over to the door frame of the bedroom to watch as she opens the door. Why not? There's probably a few reasons why not, but he doesn't state them. He waits in silence, but at least he stays visible. If rather tight-jawed, with lowered eyebrows and a walled up look in his eyes.

"Hello," Hiro says once the door is open, glancing over towards Ando before turning his attention fully towards Niki, "You wanted to talk to us?"

Niki is not wearing a bra. Ando knows this because his sexth sense is tingling. However, he has the decency not to ogle too much and actually manages to take his eyes upward, where they go from Niki's face to what's behind Niki. Namely Peter. Scarred-face Peter. With the shirt. Ando suddenly clutches Hiro's shoulder. Hard. No, not really time to teleport, but …

"Hiro." And… that… guy from the internet. What's his real name again? Niki's eyes narrow ever-so-slightly on Ando, then outright squint. It's not that she's surprised to see him — okay, no, it is — but she's never actually seen these guys at the same time. "Yeah. I know where that blood you're looking for is. Come on in." She steps aside, pulling the door open wider as she does to let the pair into the sparse apartment…and gives them a better view of its other occupant.

The shirt, the muscles, the scar, the slicked back hair, the black rubber bracelets, the dark look in his eyes. It certainly would be a familiar sight, but Peter doesn't really know that, beyond comic books and possible conversations in the future. As he's spotted by Ando, he gives a tilt of his forehead. "Ando. Hiro." A quiet greeting, before he continues to hang in the doorframe to the bedroom. Niki had been the one to invite them, or at least one of them.

"<I see him,>" Hiro murmurs quietly, glancing back towards Ando before speaking in what he hopes is authoritative voice to Niki in regards to the Different Peter Petrelli, "You are working with him?"

Why is PeterFromTheFuture here? And what blood? And ah-ha, there is Niki's bra on the bed behind PeterFromTheFuture. Ando has still got it. He offers a quiet "hello" to Peter, but stays quiet for the answer to Hiro's question.

Niki, still holding onto the inner handle of the door, starts to lift an eyebrow as she looks from Hiro and Ando to Future Peter and back again. "Is… that… gonna be a problem?" she says with just as much defensiveness as bewilderment. "It's okay. He's on our side."

The walls stay up, a rather stern and distancing look that the woman whose apartment this is would only be used to in their few fights. There's tension there. Stepping out of the doorframe, further into the apartment, Peter looks over the two Japanese men and says, voice raspy. "Pinehearst is as much my problem as it is yours. I figured Knight would have mentioned I was here by now."

"She did," Hiro says quickly, arms crossed over his chest, "But you're endangering time being here. You could cause a rift." He glances towards Niki, answering a question with a shake of his head, "Not a problem. Where is the blood?"

Yeah, endangering time. But Ando casts a sidelong glance at Hiro before muttering under his breath, "<If he's here to help, that can't be so bad.>" Really.

Niki ushers the pair further into the apartment so that she can shut the door behind them, locking it securely. …not very securely, given the kind of threats they all know are possible, but so far, this place remains insignificant on the radar of places like Pinehearst. As far as she knows.

"They're keeping it in the basement," Niki answers, walking to one of the two armchairs in the place and sitting on the edge of the white cushion. With a few little waves of her hand, she gestures for them to come closer. She twirls the nearby laptop around to face her, opening it up.

"I know I'm taking a chance being here, but it's a chance I have to take," Peter says in the same tone, moving across the room to sit in one of the chairs. The lamp light is dim here, casting shadows across his face, on the curves of his body. There's something stubborn in the set of his jaw, something even more tense as he's questioned on the safety of it. This Hiro wasn't the first person to question his traveling back in time as a valid form of fixing the future.

Hiro nods his head although he remains quiet for the time being, turning his attention to Niki and the intelligence regarding the healing blood. To Ando, he simply nods his head. Maybe he's right.

Ando also moves closer when Niki beckons, curious to see what she's got. Take that as you will.

Niki leans on her knees toward the laptop as she waits for it. The screen springs to life and a message box in the bottom right corner informs her, 'Niki, you have 2507 unread messages!'. She ignores the reminder, navigating to another document, one of many, many. White lines mapped on blue, squares and circles and numbers and letters…

The coveted floor plans.

"It should all be right there," Niki says, tapping a manicured nail in the middle of the screen, a room named 'BR AREA 6'. "There's usually more security the further down you go and around the labs. It's where they hide the good stuff— " Or bad stuff. " —so it's tighter."

In his seat, Peter doesn't move to stand up, but he does follow the three people with his eyes. Better if he doesn't see the floor plans, for the moment. Less likely to be tempted to interfer if he knows less about this particular thing.

Hiro nods, memorizing the location as best he can. As tight as the security might be, it doesn't amount to much when he can just freeze time. BR AREA 6. Okay, he can do that.

"I see."

"What kind of security?" asks Ando, also studying the floor plans with great scrutiny. Analytical stuff: that's what he's good at. This interests him.

Niki leans back, the blue glare from the laptop screen fading from her face. Her hands go to her knees, pushing down with a stretch of her arms. "Guards, cameras, doors with crazy security you need an key card with special access to get through, else it'll make this horrible noise— " So her super spy attempts have not always been so stealthy, okay. Niki waves a hand dismissively. She steals a quick glance at the quiet man in the chair, then looks up at Hiro with a curious eye. "Not… that it matters, right? You can just 'stop time' like you said and teleport."

"You also have to be careful of telepaths, especially my father," Peter finally speaks up. It's almost added off-handedly, but it has the same hint of dull anger that had been in his voice all those years ago when he brought up the same subject. Before he got locked away in Level 5. He'd already been bitter over his father, but adding on the fact that… well… the man he's addressing has other issues involving the father figure in his life. The one the man in the chair murdered.

Hiro nods his head once more. As much as he might have to say, Hiro keeps it all to himself. There are plans to be made, yes, but he does not want to talk about them. If there are telepaths, it is better that as few people as possible know what he's got up his sleeve. Will he stop time? Will it be a daring daylight raid on elephant back? Nobody knows.

Not even Ando, who also remains silent, glancing at Hiro. Telepaths. He has no idea how Hiro plans to go up against a telepath. Maybe Rochelle is involved.

Niki knows a little something about keeping plans close to her sleeve, but the quietness of her Japanese guests is unnerving. She steals a glance at Peter, momentarily unsure. She shuts the laptop with a sharp click. "Just stay away from the cameras."

The glance seems to make Peter even more tense. After a second, he stands up, moving away from the chair he sat in and going back in the direction of the bedroom. Where his black shirt and coat are located. Perhaps he's intending to leave, as he might suspect he should have before the two arrived. Instead, he hesitates midstep and turns around. "If I could have gone back even further, I would have, Hiro."

"I don't want to talk about that," Hiro says flatly, shaking his head when Peter speaks. That said, he looks to Ando, "I have a plan," and then to Niki, "But I cannot tell you in case they read your mind." He can tell Ando, but he'll have to wait until later.

Ando nods, gaze shooting to Niki. If they can read her mind, this meeting has probably already put her in some danger, hasn't it? "What if they read her mind and find out about this?" he asks. Putting his hands into his pockets he adds, "Too bad we cannot erase minds."

Niki gets to her feet as well, although she doesn't go anywhere once she's up. She turns to watch Peter, and moves around the chair, but lingers at its side opposite the visitors. She tenses up on Ando's last comment. "Then let's just hope they don't read my mind." She's miraculously avoided it so far, but she doesn't exactly have a record of stellar luck. This span of luck might run out any day.

"If they read her mind, there'd be a lot worse things to worry about," Peter says, actually glaring at the Japanese men, his shoulders stiffening. Something about this situation has made him even darker than he had been before. "I wasn't warning you of telepaths because your plan might be ruined before you execute it, I was warning you of telepaths because they might be able to keep you from stopping time. Or they could turn the two of you against each other."

"Not if we move before they know what we're doing," Hiro answers defiantly, "You can't think when you're frozen in time." Now it is his turn to stand up and he does so, looking towards Ando, "<Time to go.>"

Turn them against each other? That seems rather absurd. Ando would never betray Hiro, no matter how many times they've differed in opinion. He's about to tell Peter this when Hiro makes that announcement, and he nods to his friend, shooting Peter a stony frown. Then he glances to Niki and bows. "It was good to see you again."

It's unsettling to Niki, hearing about the things Peter seems to know mind-readers are capable of, knowing she's in a building with at least one on a regular basis. Peter's intensity and tension draws her closer, rather than the logical reaction of farther away, putting her near his side almost protectively. "…Yeah, you too," she tells Ando, somewhat distractedly … but smiles, all the same. "Be careful," she says to both.

<Keep an eye on him,> Peter says, in suddenly perfect Japanese, including the right accent and inflection. Which one he's talking to is up for debate, before he vanishes into the bedroom and walks over to where his shirt was discarded earlier.

Hiro glances towards Ando, silently recalling news of a warning from earlier. Hmmm. No, Ando wouldn't do anything bad. A nod is given to Niki before he reaches out to put a hand on Ando's shoulder, concentrating and teleporting away.

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