2007-11-04: The Aftermath Asylum


Niki_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: (Immediately following Repeat Offenders.) Niki calls in for refuge while trying to deal with the situation at hand. The lucky receiver of this phone call is the one reliable person Niki knows can't die on her.

Date It Happened: November 4th, 2007

The Aftermath Asylum

Sanders-Dawson-Hawkins Residence

Queens, New York City

Late afternoon. November 4th.

Niki wastes precious time by trying to find the telephone, only to find it on the floor of the living room of her family's home in Queens, in pieces. She wastes more time by running into her bedroom for the cell phone in her purse, another few seconds to dial while peeking out the window at her car parked in the driveway with two kids climbing into it, and yet another second leaning against the wall with a forearm thrown over her face as she listens to the rings — and during all of this, remembers to breathe.

Breathing is very important. As Peter Petrelli would probably inform. Currently in his apartment, he's stumbled upon a package that's out of place, and is currently looking down at a small card with something in a foreign language (Russian) and then English underneath. He can't help but smile faintly at it, when his phone rings. He's still smiling when he checks the number, recognizes it, and answers, voice a little brighter, a lot healthier, and definitely not as hoarse as it'd been the last time they spoke, "Niki, hey. What's going on?"

As it turns out, by remembering to breathe, Niki has opened a floodgate. The first thing Peter is likely to hear is a heavy exhale as she catches up on her breath, as if she just ran a marathon. It's all adrenaline-fuelled. "I didn't know who else to call," she says, no hellos, just instantly dire. Not staying still for long, she runs, audibly, into the living room. "I didn't— know who else to… trust. To trust… myself with."

That— that sounds serious. Peter blinks, the hint of a smile fading as he puts down the Russian/English thank you card and starts to move away. Toward the door. This seems like something he'll need to leave for, so he grabs a coat as he passes by the coatrack. "What's happened? Where are you?" The voice has suddenly been toned towards serious and deeply concerned, and he's trying to pull the coat on while holding the phone against his ear and listening.

Meanwhile, Niki looks desperately around the living room, searching for something… she launches toward a soft woollen throw on the sofa and snatches it from its cozy place. Nana, please forgive her later. "Don't go anywhere," she insists, kneeling. "I don't have time to explain. The kids are in the car and D.L. just disappeared and… I have to try and fix this." Niki winces, squeezing her eyes shut hard every time she blinks. She can do this. She wraps the blanket over a shape on the floor. "Are you still sick?"

"Don't go any— are you sure? I could be wherever you are pretty fast, Niki," Peter says, but he stops trying to put his arms through the long coat sleeves, and stops moving toward the door, for the moment. "No, I'm not sick anymore— I got cured yesterday. I was planning to call people once I finished getting a few things together and… what do you mean? Your husband is taking your son and… the other kid you mentioned? Why? What happened?"

"No, it's… D.L. didn't take them. He just— I don't know where he is. Something… bad happened." Understatement. "Things haven't been so great." Niki struggles with the awkwardness of what she's doing during her multi-tasking. "Damnit," she says under her breath through some commotion — some bumps and thuds — followed by, "Jesus— " She gets to her feet, holding onto one ankle of the woman who is laying dead on the floor. So… hey, understatement. "I need somewhere to take Micah and Cam."

This whole thing seems to confuse him quite a bit, Peter frowns, not understanding at all what she's talking about, but— "You need someone to look after your son and the other kid? Niki, I'm not exactly a babysitter and I have a lot that I need to be doing— but I can try to help you out if that's what you need. Do you just need somewhere to take them tonight?" He glances around. He'd not finished cleaning the apartment, but he could do that fairly fast. "You can bring them to my apartment. Maybe we can find somewhere more permenant after that…?"

Basement? Basement. Niki, with determination, takes solid steps backward, dragging the… body. She's in need of something a little more serious than a babysitter. "I know you're not a babysitter, I'm sorry," she says earnestly, guilty. "And I really don't want to put you in this position…" But? She's reluctant to explain. "It's just for tonight. Someone might come looking for us. They'll take away Micah."

"No, it's fine, I mean if it's just tonight," Peter lets his coat fall off finally, and starts to give instructions on his address. Not too difficult to remember, he hopes. But he doesn't know she's stashing a body right this moment, just that it sounds like she's exerting herself. "I'd give you somewhere bigger, but— the mansion isn't exactly safe right now. I guess we could meet up at Bat Country. There's more rooms there, but… My apartment's fine too. Whatever you need. I don't want you to lose your son, okay? It'll be fine."

"Your apartment's fine." Niki fumbles open the basement door, the phone pressed against her shoulder. "You have no idea what this means to me." This moment might be more heartfelt if she weren't about to hang up to carry a still-warm corpse down some stairs, oh God, how is this her life? "Gotta go."

"It's okay. You're welcome," Peter says, tone quiet as he takes in the moment. No idea what he's getting into with this— what happened— but… "You need help, and I said I would help you. Just get here quick. I'll try to make things as comfortable as possible…" He glances around the room. There's a lot of work to do, since he only has the one bed. "I'll see you soon."

With that, Niki flips the phone shut and tucks it away in her back pocket. In the silence that follows, she looks down at the body of the woman on the floor — Niki still holds tight, around one ankle, hating that it appears so careless. Her free hand clenches, her arm muscles contracting rigidly along with her jaw, her scowl. She slams her fist into the door she opened a moment ago with a little cry of primal rage. It swings into the wall hard and the wood dents and splinters where she hit it.

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