2008-01-15: The Core


Logan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Within all people is a driving force, an emotion or memory which makes up the core of their being. Be it guilt, or hatred. Peter finds his way to his brother. Or does he?

Date It Happened: January 15, 2008

The Core

Fort Lee, NJ - Pinehearst Research

It's late at night, so late it is in fact early. All is not necessarily well.

It's entirely dark in the medical observation room, although no one is observing, and it's dark enough that Logan can't see the walls. The sound of his own breathing seems to fill the space he knows is bigger than it currently feels, but it's the darkness that makes it seem smaller. His breathing takes on a pained edge, a palm slapping down against the tiled floor, fingernails gripping for purchase and finding none.

The pain is immense. No morphine tonight, time to get off that, and looking back, this seems to be an incredibly bad idea. He'd only wanted to go to the bathroom, which had gone fine, and then halfway back across his own room, it hit him, and then the floor hit him when he'd collapsed. Sprawled there, feet away from his bed, Logan rests his forehead against cool tile, and shivers.

Breathing comes in wheezes, more out of panic and pain than injury. Equipment hums, despite not being connected to anyone, monitoring anyone. Maybe he can just wait here for morning to come, for someone to check up on him.

Check the yellow pages. Check the god damn yellow pages. Peter's been near physically kicking himself since the woman with wide arms brought up that single thing. It should have been obvious. Instead, he'd been relying on maps and pins and trying desperately to figure out just where his brother might be at any given time, and failing immensely. Things go a little better with the right map in hand. At a convience store in Fort Lee, he bought a map, specifically of the city, as zoomed in as they had available. Using the empty bathrooms, as it neared the early hours of before dawn, he leveled the pin, and made one last attempt— the image.

Black. So dark he can't even see his brother's face. But he knows where he is. The pin goes down. For a change, he gets an exact location— the connection feels much stronger. Maybe he just needed to be closer? With little to view of the interior itself, and only a rough idea from the map, he takes his chances, closing his eyes as he's knelt down in the locked bathroom stall— and vanishes.

The quiet gets some interuptions, and additional set of lungs inhaling sharply, as he appears knelt on the floor. As he straightens, electricity sparks to his fingers— both a threat, and a light source, strobing a blue glow into the room, alighting the invisible walls, the equipment… and the person in the room. Face down. On the floor. "Nathan?" The shock (no pun intended) makes the electricity dispell.

Logan doesn't even register the breathing - it could well just be his own, sped up, who knows, he doesn't care and can't concentrate. But it's the crackle and snap of electricity, the abrupt flood of blue-cyan light that flickers for only a moment. A small sound sounds from the back of his throat, flinching away as if expecting an attack of some kind— and then the familiar sound of Peter's voice cuts through the room, and it all goes black.

Maybe it was a vision. It could well be. But he can hear the breathing, and Logan knows a moment of churning resentment when he realises his wayward brother has in fact appeared. Finally, he breathes out a, "Peter?" in reply.

What information that crackle of light gives Peter is that his brother seems to have collapsed, dressed in hospital pajamas although these are mostly obscured by the towel robe he wears, feet bare. Very much a patient in whatever this place is. His hands slip against the floor as he tries to push himself up, breath coming out in hisses as he does so.

"Damnit," Peter says, frustrated at the lack of sparks that rise up between his fingers in the shock. There's another ability he could use at this moment, dark vision, but— his brother doesn't exactly look at his best, and he can't spend the time getting his mind right. "Stay still— Don't move— I'll find a light switch." From where he's standing, he looks around the room, unable to see the walls, but he'd gotten a brief glimpse of the door as he cast his eyes around, in the strobing flashes of blue energy. Light switches are near the door usually, right? Right.

"What happened? Why— what is this place? Why are you in a hospital?" That's what it looked like… Or medical lab at least. He makes his way to the door, feels it against the wall, and feels around. One side finds no light switches— the other one, jack pot. A few flicks and the room starts to light up, ceiling lights coming on.

Once he can see, he's moving to his brother's side, kneeling back down. Being a nurse might actually come in handy for his brother, for a change.

As the lights come on, Logan squints against it. Everything has been switched off at this hour - outside, there's only low glows to guide the way to the bathroom, and he's been sleeping. Rolling onto his back to perhaps make things easier for himself, he watches blearily as Peter comes to kneel next to him. He knows only frustration. Scheduling is important. Timing, plans, things going the way he intends them to. Peter appearing in the middle of the night was not in his plans. If he had've asked Nathan, perhaps he'd be less surprised.

He answers none of those questions, a hand reaching up to grip Peter's arm, clenching a little uncomfortable around he sleeve. "How did you find me?" he demands, words a little slurred around the edges.

"I've been looking since I found out you were missing," Peter says, moving a hand to rest over the one gripping his arm. "I couldn't figure out exactly where you were until now. This is Pinehearst, right? I got the name from Suresh— he said that people from this Biotech firm rescued you from whoever was holding you— experimenting on you. You and Niki. Is she okay? Is she in another room?" That makes him look over his brother further, examining the extent of the damage with readjusting eyes. He should be able to heal him—

"I can heal you… then we can get out of here, get you home where you belong." And then he can come back for Niki, undoubtably. Always a wrench in plans, Peter.

The damage isn't immediately visible, all beneath the white undershirt he wears under the open bathrobe, although through the fabric, there's the outline of bandages along his belly, spreading along a vast portion of his abdomen and torso. Nothing is bleeding, at least, clean white hiding less than attractive scarring. At Peter's words, Logan shuts his eyes and rests his head against the tile. Calm. Calm. "You're gonna slow down," he says, voice almost a growl. His tone softens. "You're gonna heal me and then we can talk, okay?"

Logan's eyes open again, vision clearing up a little, adjusting to the light, lifting his head a fraction. He attempts a smile, but it's fleeting. "When I was rescued, the man who had kidnapped us put a detonator in me. It went off but I was here when it did, surrounded by doctors. It would have killed me otherwise. I'm recovering." No immediate damage, in other words. "It just hurts, is all."

"…so this isn't a dangerous facility holding you against your will?" Peter asks quietly, sounding quite confused that this would be the case. Why hasn't he called? Why haven't they called? Contacted his— wait, they did. Heidi said that she got a phone call, one she thought was a dream. There's a moment of hesitation, especially at the horrific story he's been fed. A detonator. The great fortune that he'd been rescued and brought to medical doctors, who kept him alive.

"I'll fix it," he does say, before closing his eyes and tightening his hand over his brothers. The woman who he got the healing power ate dinner with him recently— he has far more memories to focus on than he'd ever had before. And she even told him a bit of how it worked, what it fixed. Trauma only. A detonator going off inside a man's body would certainly qualify… heal the damage, repair the organs, the muscles, the skin…

It's not gonna give him back a spleen, but the healing wounds from both the trauma and the operations that ensued begin to knit together. Logan relaxes as the pain ebbs away, hand loose in Peter's. This will make things both harder and easier. Harder because he can't feed Nathan the excuse of comas and medication for the black outs he experiences. Easier because now that he doesn't need medication for the pain, there will be less moments that call for such excuses. His thumb brushes over Peter's in a wordless, attempted gesture of thanks, before letting go.

"I'm not here against my will," Logan confirms, rolling over onto his side, and then slowly does it, getting to his feet, shamelessly using Peter to lever himself up. Once on his feet, he runs his hand over his stomach, the skin no longer painful to touch beneath fabric and bandage. "I was here out of necessity for a while, but no. They rescued us. Me and Niki. We're okay, Peter."

He moves to sit on the edge of his bed, head tilting to the side as if to loosen the muscles in his neck, before finally meeting Peter's gaze for the first time. Only for a few moments before instead studying the ground, trying to collect himself, to make this situation fit into the grand scheme of things.

Willing to be a physical help in getting his brother to his feet, Peter actually faciliates it by moving his arms and standing up slowly— He'll even help him toward the bed, until he's comfortably off his feet. He nods, reaching up to push his hair back off his forehead as he listens to the explaination, the assurances, but by the time he's done, the confusion's set back in. His hand drops, the hair falls onto his wrinkled brow.

"Why haven't you called? You or Niki? Heidi's been worried— I've been worried. I can only imagine how Micah must feel without someone to give him a cover story— I don't even know who's watching Niki's son." Or the ward that she'd taken in either. The questions… The ones that probably don't help make the situation better.

Logan's eyes narrow a little as Peter brings up, indeed, very important issues. Important to some, anyway. He'd been told that Heidi had been fed information that explained his disappearance and hadn't given it another thought. A far cry from Nathan, who in the midst of drug hazes had thought of little else. Logan was the opposite, never mind someone else's family. He doesn't touch on that issue, however, hoping to curb it. "I'm sorry," he offers, laying on the patience he doesn't feel. "I'd been told things had been taken care of, I thought it would be best if— I dealt with everything on my own for a while. Niki too. It hasn't been easy for either of us." Pause, then he offers, "I'll be home soon."

It's the apology that throws Peter off guard. He blinks, looking into his brother's face, and there's a look of trust forming in his eyes, trust that his brother is well meaning. The sorry, though— that still surprises him, and makes him grateful at the same time. A hand reaches out to touch his brother's shoulder, squeezing the fabric of the labcoat. "It's fine. You can't come home tonight? Heidi'd really like to see you— but I can at least go and tell her you're really okay, and that you'll be home soon…" He hesitates at that last part, though, cause it's probably clear he wants to take him home now… "What's going on here? Besides the bomb— Niki wasn't hurt too, was she? Do I need to find her room?"

"Niki is fine," Logan reassures Peter, a little guardedly. His tone is final. "Whatever this guy did to me, he didn't have time to do to her. The only thing she had to worry about was flushing all the drugs out of her system, but she's okay." He hesitates, then his hand drifts up to cover Peter's, a hint of a strained smile. "Trust me. I…" He removes his hand, pointedly glancing towards where a little analogue clock ticks away on a bedside stand. "Look, it's really late. I should at least notify people here before I check myself out." Certainly no husbandly worry from him, waving the issue away with words. His tone is light, perhaps too much so, mistakenly trying to just put his brother's mind at ease. "I'll take care of it tomorrow."

"I'm glad she's okay— and I'm glad you're doing better now," Peter says, though he's not particulatly happy with the fact he wants to stay until he checks out. "Mohinder said they had a woman who… he thought she teleported, definitely used an ability. So— I'm guessing they won't be too upset that you've miraculously healed overnight…" That brings up another problem. He looks in the direction of the door, the lightswitches— then any windows that might be visible. "These people deal with people like us, Nathan… They might not have the best intentions in mind…"

It's not the most reassuring room. There's a glass screen that looks into a different room, one rather similar to this, although there's a few to the outside world too. Nothing one can open, but it's there all the same, covered by curtains at the moment. "Correct, they know about people like us," Logan agrees, a little impatiently. "But they sure did have better intentions than the man that kidnapped Niki and I. Ever had a spinal tap without anesthesia?" A twist of a smile. "He didn't treat us like people. Like the Company only ten times worse. Here, I'm pretty sure I can walk out the door any time I want." His hands drift up to clasp Peter's shoulders, in a familiar gesture of comfort. There's a hardness to Logan's gaze, however, but considering the hour, he could just be tired. "I don't need rescuing. Okay?"

The mention of the other man, the spinal tap without anesthesia, and other such things, makes Peter's eyes drop away again, toward his brother's chest rather than his face. The hand remains carefully placed on his shoulder, but it doesn't squeeze now. "I wish I'd been there to rescue you from that," he says, not even sure exactly what day it had happened on, or where he had been— watching Sylar— looking for Sylar. One of the two. It's no excuse. "Are you sure you don't need me here? I could stay— until you're ready to leave? You and Niki both."

Logan can only smile a little at Peter's expression of guilt, hands squeezing in a more reassuring gesture. Hell, if Peter had been there to rescue him a little sooner, perhaps, even with the detonator, he wouldn't have— manifested, is maybe the word. "No, that won't be necessary," Logan says, hands sliding off Peter's shoulders once more. "You've done all you can for me, it's appreciated. As for Niki…" A pause, considering how to handle this. "Let me talk to her, okay? She's doing fine as she is without anything else screwing up that equilibrium."

The niceness from his brother might be throwing him even further off guard. Peter's eyes shift back up, a blink or two. He can't help but nod in understanding that he's not needed here, that he's helped as much as he can. But the mention of Niki causes the confusion to slide in. "Equilibrium…" Jessica troubles again? Something else…? There's a lot he probably wants to ask, but… "I'll go. I'll at least send Heidi a message, let her know that you're coming home soon— that you're alive and well." Not as well as he believes, though…

"I'll do that," Logan confirms, quickly. Something he probably should have checked up on, but, details. He considers something, studying Peter for a moment, before saying, "Alive and well. That's how I want her to see me, Peter. Do you understand?" His voice is a little soft, meandering. "You weren't around, you didn't see… See what it was like when she saw me after the explosion."

His eyes glint a little with something - something less dead than his usual look. This is coming from somewhere more genuine. "The pity that she tried to hide. The pain she suffered that I couldn't do anything for. Imagine if she had found me like you did tonight, without the ability to fix it all up with a touch. I would rather her worry for a few days and be angry at me than go through something even slightly like that again." A smile, detached. "Okay?"

How would it have been for him, if he could do nothing? But it's something else about that which makes Peter's hand finally drop away, the deep seated guilt swim in his eyes until he can't even look directly at his brother. The explosion. Him. The damage he'd done to his brother, that he wallowed away from for four months— hiding in a cell in the Company because of what he did. What he was too weak to stop. The damage had been reversed, through no doing of his own. How did Heidi look at him? He didn't see it either.

"I won't tell her how I found you… or what happened to you before you came here. Yours to tell her when you get back." No need to make her worry much more than she already has. Alive. Well. Just hadn't been able to call again until now. That might be enough. Enough to give her something to hold onto until he's home again. "I'm glad you're okay, Nathan," he adds, finally looking back up. "I'll… be waiting for you to come home," he adds, moving out of touching distance with a step back.

Logan's hands come to rest on either side of the bed on which he sits, that initial churn of resentment he had felt at Peter's first appearance suddenly surging back tenfold once his point is made. That little sliver inside Nathan that had hated his brother for what he had done, smothered out by love and disgust at himself for even feeling that way, is more than a sliver for Logan.

It's his core.

"Okay," he says, shortly, mouth suddenly rather dry. "I'll be home before noon and I'll leave a message on Heidi's phone as soon as I wake up." The reassurances are offered smoothly, but with masked desperation. Just go. "Thanks for finding me."

"I'm just sorry that it took me so long," Peter says, that guilt and regret carrying in his voice as he closes his eyes. That silver of hatred is inside him too. Not directed at his own brother, but instead at his own weakness. If he'd been stronger, if he'd understood his own power better— it never would have happened. He doesn't say anything more, before there's a sound, like a cutting sound. A blink or glance away, and he'll no longer be standing there. The space he'd filled up when he appeared, emptied.

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