2007-08-17: DF: The Difference Between Leaving And Going Back


DFElena_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif DFTrina_icon.gif

Summary: Peter finally finds out what the Saints did to his brother. And the fact that they let almost the entire population of the country (and the world) know before telling him. He's angry. Things get thrown around. And he leaves! Only to make the mistake of talking to Elena first.

Dark Future Date: August 17th, 2009

The Difference Between Leaving and Going Back

Phoenix Rising Towers

It's rolling into the evening hours, after dinner by most respects. Busy day all around for this group— just as most the days before, but that doesn't mean there's no time for lounging about for some people…

Like this, this is a sitting room of Phoenix Rising Towers— specifically the basement area. Comfortable couches, a nice flat screen television, bookshelves and other such things. Only one of which is getting used at the moment. Sitting on one of the couches, Peter has a notepad resting against his leg and he's apparently sketching, or drawing something, with a pencil in hand. Or trying to sketch something, at least. There's… stick figures on the page if anyone looks close enough. It's difficult to tell what they're doing, or whether they're supposed to be male or female, and he's frowning at it in frustration.

It wasn't supposed to come out in stick figure! He really just wanted to see what drawing the future in the future would look like— and this is what he gets.


Why is Eric here? Its because its his building! Kinda like how the guy in Braveheart kept saying 'Its my island!' but on a smaller scale.

A smile on his face as he strolls on through the door of the room, hands in his pockets. Oh he is still armed of course, but he seems to be in a mildly cheerful mood as he comes in. Nodding towards Peter a moment he grins slightly before turning towards the bookshelves to look around them all. Hrmmm. What to read, what to read.

…not a worry in the world he has right now.

…and later, later he can yell at Elena for being dumb, right now he'll find something to settle his mind.


Trina sneaks back into the Phoenix Rising towers without so much as anyone looking the wrong way. Where did she come from? SHE WILL NEVER TELL.

Heaving a deep sigh of relief as the engine is cut off in the van, the slender woman makes her way upstairs, avoiding the usual places that her teammates hide. By usual places, it is the kitchen that is implied. Rather, still dressed in her clothes from the last night, she makes her way to the living area. It isn't until she's partway in that she notices Peter.

Blue eyes turn to regard the time-travelling Petrelli, and then grow wide. And then Eric. "Oh." Must vacate. Now. "I… I didn't realize you two were in here. I'm… I'm sorry. I'll… go now." Trina seems to be growing only more jittery by the day. She doesn't like secrets. She really, really doesn't. Not like this. Not from allies and friends.


The notepad that Peter was sketching in is set aside when Eric enters, inclining his head a bit. There's been so few people in the Towers today— most everyone has been off doing something. Seems like everyone's filtering back. Maybe he should have cooked dinner today, instead of breakfast for no one. "Evening, Eric," he says, watching the younger man approach the bookshelf. The stick figures don't really help him at all right now. They don't tell him anything. Just a couple people in someplace. No one's even walking on air. No tie to tell him it's his brother, even.

And then fidgity Trina enters, and attempts to turn and leave. "You don't have to leave— this room's more than big enough for all of us, Trina." He says, not knowing why she's being so jittery around him. In fact he starts to suspect that maybe… something else entirely unrelated might be the source of this.

"Haven't seen you all day— and you missed breakfast this morning— are you feeling okay?" There might be something wrong with the woman… though he can easily understand it as busy. Elena didn't sleep last night— and he doesn't think she took the time to sleep all day, either— Not that he's watching her room or anything.


Eric turns to look towards Trina as well, smiling towards her with a half wave. He blinks though at her jittery nature. Raises an eyebrow. "…you alright Tri?" He asks, echoing Peter's words. Concern in his voice. Now…he does have suspicions about just where Trina might have been. Really though he isn't saying anything.

Reaching up absentmindedly he pulls a book off a shelf. The Art of War it is, and tucks it under one arm. "…and Evening, Peter…what the heck you drawing?" He asks with a slightly raised eyebrow as he strolls over to peer over the other young man's shoulder at the pad of paper. Seems that the pair are at least more relaxed with each other.


"I… What?" It takes a second for Trina to actually process what's being said. He's telling her to stay. Asking if she's alright? Oh. Breakfast. Which she usually never misses. Her lips curl upwards in a smile as she offers a nervous laugh. "Oh! Yes. Fine. Sleepy! I… think I'm going to go take a nap." And with that, the woman takes a few steps backwards and then promptly turns to make her way back out the door.


"I was trying to…" Peter grimaces a little when the other man looks at his pad of paper. "Draw the future. Didn't work out too well— I can't actually draw." But there was a guy who could paint or draw the future who could draw and paint, and he absorbed his ability— apparently it doesn't extend to actual artistic talent in some cases. The stick figures tell the future, but really, can anyone tell what that future IS?

There's a frown as Trina claims to go to take a nap, but he doesn't intend to call her on it. "Sleep well," he says softly, not wanting to keep someone from their sleep if they need it— he wishes Elena would take a break and nap sometimes— but… since sketching failed so much, he reaches to pick up the remote and turns on the fancy LCD flat screen television that Eric bought them.

"…still no word on developments in this hostage situation. It has now been exactly twenty-four hours since the President of the United States was taken hostage by Jack Derex…" There's more said, but the remote slips out of Peter's hand. Trina? You didn't have to say a word. The news and Jack already did it for you. A picture flashes across the screen, the President hanging from his wrists, a finger missing, the digit held in the unmistakeable hand of his captor. Again, more words, but at this point, he's not hearing a thing anyway.


"…stick figure future," Eric replies with a shake of his head. "…what will they think of next." He adds with a slight smirk. Though its not really mocking, just more teasing than anything else. He strolls over to a couch and plops down in it, opening the book to read. He dosn't even really pay attention to Peter turning on the TV.

…of course, when Peter drops the remote with a thump, Eric looks up…and stares. "…oh god Jack…you didn't…"


At the sound of the news announcement, Trina actually stops and turns her head. At the sight of Nathan hanging, her blue eyes slowly close. Well, they were going to find out sometime. Now the big thing is just to stop wanting to cry. "He did," she finally manages after a deep breath and reopening her eyes. "So you better figure out which side of the line you're gonna wanna stand on. Me? I ain't movin' from where he is. Y'all are just gonna have to decide for yourselves."


"…demands… ten billions dollars… twenty-four hours left… explosion took the lives of seven agents… Oval Office destroyed…"

Those words and many more are being spoken, but they kind of have to break through the white noise that seems to have taken up home in Peter's mind. They're no longer showing the picture, but that doesn't mean he's forgotten it. When the others speak, he slowly turns to them, first to Eric, then to Trina. Eric's response could mean he didn't know, but Trina's is unmistakeable. Suddenly the last few days makes so much more sense—

The television flips to an image from the Oval Office mock-up recording that Jack aired, and at this point, he can't watch anymore. Instead of picking up the remote to turn it off, he raises his hand and the television rips off the wall and flies into bookshelf. Well, that's one way to turn it off— but it also rips the cords out of the wall and breaks the bookshelf. "Did Elena know about this?" he asks, looking forwards Trina.


Eric remains seated, even as Peter throws his expensive TV though the even more expensive collection of books and the bookshelf. He raises one eyebrow, but bites back the quick retort that comes right to his mind. His eyes do narrow toards Peter though as he throws his hissy fit. "…you already know where I stand Trina, do you have to ask?" He dosn't take his eyes off of Peter though, looking deceptively relaxed. "…and you know, that /isn't/ your brother."


At the furious explosion of Peter's temper, Trina's bare, slender arms fly up defensively to shield herself. Her head most notably. However, no move is made to bring up her forcefields. Maybe she'd deserve it is part of her twisted form of thinking. If something were to go astray. To strike. To say that it feeds her bad places is an understatement. And then Peter speaks. The expression Trina tries to will onto her features is one of firm resolve. What worms its way into the crevices is grim acceptance with an underlying sadness. She is tired. She's suddenly so very, very tired. When finally she answers, the mechanic's voice is very, very soft, barely above a whisper. "She did."


He's not his brother. Peter looks towards the other man, glaring more than a little. But it's the words that Trina says that seals everything. That's all he needed to hear. There's a frustrated growl and his jaw tightens, hand going into his pants pocket and gripping at something in there a moment. "This isn't about who he is," he says angeredly, and then stalks towards the door. Which means he has to brush by the girlfriend of the man who's face caused him to throw a television into a bookshelf. All expensive, but Eric has money. Still, he makes no move at all to do anything to hurt her. That one outbirst was enough. That's all he needed to know. Elena knew. The whole time. The whole country knew. And they still didn't tell him. She didn't tell him.


"…actually yes, it is," Eric still manages to sound quite relaxed as he watches Peter try to stalk off. "You really think Jack would have done something like that to anyone else?" He shakes his head before he shrugs slightly. Go on Peter. Have you fucking hissyfit if you like. "This is what the world here is like. What Nathan made it all into, you don't like it…go finish what you were trying to do and change the damn thing." He adds under his breath, eyes closing as he shakes his head slightly.


Trina, against all conventional wisdom, gets in the way of the madman. "Wait. Please, Peter, wait." Jack is going to kill her. He trusted her to keep everything together while he was away. Elena keeps operations moving. Makes things work. Trina keeps things together. "You don't understand…" What doesn't he understand, Trin'? He's absolutely right. But the mechanic has to do the only thing she knows how. She has to try to mitigate damages here. Her hand stretches out, reaching for Peter's arm.


The hand that touches his arm gets jerked away from, but he does stop. Peter stops to run to Eric and yell, "You knew too. Everyone knew. The entire fucking country knew, and you still didn't tell me." How could this infraction be worse than cutting off his brother's finger? Somehow it is. Somehow it's a betrayal far worse. "Elena, didn't tell me. Even…" He cuts off, angerly turning away towards the door. "What else is there to understand, Trina? I get it, okay? I don't belong here. That's fine. But if…" His jaw tightens. He doesn't finish. He continues through the door, unless physically restrained.


"…not everyone knew Peter," Eric replies as he turn towards him and stand up. He faces him then and frowns slightly. "…what the fuck did you want us to tell you? That we kidnapped the president? Hell I didn't even know for sure Jack did it." He pauses again, still not yelling, still sounding calm enough. They didn't really tell him either, he just assumed. "No. You don't belong in this time Peter, you belong back in yours trying to fix the fucking hellhole this one has become. If you don't want to stay here I'm not gonna stop ya…hell…I doubt I even /could/ stop you, any of us could." He sighs, running a hand through his hair. Ugh. This little fit is only underlining the reason they didn't tell him in the first place. He opens his mouth to add something, then snaps it shut again. "…fuck it. You won't listen…" He adds before he turns to just sigh and lean against a well, looking…well…just plain old tired.


"Peter. No, that's… that's not it. You just…. you wouldn't understand." If he understood, then he would be just as fundamentally broken as the rest of this fucked up world. Panic is once again setting in. He… He can't leave. He's safe here. He's supposed to stay safe. He's supposed to stay safe so he can fix this. Trina's eyes grow wide as she tries to get into Peter's way once more with thin, calloused hands stretching out to try to block the way. "I'm… I'm sorry." Because no one else will step up and say it.


"Twenty four hours," Peter says, pointing towards the television that he smashed into the wall. "That's what the news report said." He'd been listening up to that point. "It… It doesn't matter." They won't understand why he's pissed off, and he can't comprehend why they did what they did. All he can say is, "Keep this up, and you're already no better than he is." Only Trina's small arm keeps him from stalking out. He pauses. He could easily slip by it, but he doesn't. The television (nice, flat screen, LCD) has been ripped from the wall and slammed into the bookshelf with an expensive book collection.


"…no better than he is?" Eric says quietly, and his eyes go just as hard as stone at that. "You throw that around like you know whats just what he did." He says quietly as he stands and takes a step towards the pair of Trina and Peter. "You can't understand, you were not here…hell…I don't understand entirely myself as I wasn't here for all of it either." A pause from the younger man. "They didn't tell you because they thought you would react just like you just did. He didn't tell anyone what he was planning." A shake of his head before he looks towards Trina, and then back towards Peter. "…if you knew exactly whats happened would you ever call us as bad as he is? You want to know what really happened? Why don't you poke around inside my head for a bit and then find out eh? Would that help you understand then? If it would go ahead and fucking do it." He just stares at Peter. "…but don't just run the fuck off because of this."


"He…" No. She won't say it. Trina slowly shakes her head. She won't move across the line that would separate her from Jack. The one that puts her closer to the monster that her honey's got locked in a cage. In her desperation, Trina momentarily loses track of Eric in the room, and his glance is lost on her. Instead, her gaze rests solely on Peter. "Jack really is a good man." A pause, then her head cranes in so she can allow her voice to drop once more. "I didn't want to not say anything."


"I'm not talking about what he did," Peter yells, since it seems none of them understand why he's upset at all. "Kidnapping, even— you've killed people in front of me. I know full well what you're capable of in this day and time. And I know what he's capable of too." He saw him shoot him down with a shrug, three gunshots right to the chest. He saw him capture Cass personally. It's not like he doesn't understand. But that is not what he's mad about. "If you would have told me, if she would have told me— I wouldn't be reacting like this. Instead I had to find out from a fucking television broadcast." He'd have been unhappy, possibly even wanting to deck Jack at least once just to feel better, but this… "Get out of my way," he finally says to Trina, reaching to move her arm and push past to go down the hallway again.


"…so your telling me," Eric says with a raised eyebrow. "That its not what we did that bothers you…its because we didn't tell you about it?" He just stares at him for a moment and then shakes his head. "…just…alright Peter." Maybe he'll think about what he's saying after a bit and come back. "Your welcome here then whenever you feel you need to come back…just…don't forget why you are here. No matter what the fuck you think of all of us, we still count on you too fix this hellhole that whatever has happened got us stuck in. That turned us all into things that you seem to hate right now."

She has…

Absolutely no idea shit hit the fan.

All Elena is engrossed with at the moment the elevators open up and she steps into the hallway outside the living area is what she's getting in her phone. It's cradled in her ear, and her face is tight with urgency. The LCD display on the null-black jPhone isn't visible, but if she ever turned it around and away from her face it would read that it was her father calling, and whatever he says on the other line is making her….well. A little wiggy. She hears voices, loud voices, but she can't concentrate on that now. This was important. This was disturbing. She turns away and starts walking in the opposite direction, to get to a quiet place. "What do you mean there's two of them?" she hisses softly over the receiver. "There can't be two of them, the only Evolved I heard that happen to is Niki Sanders…" She closes her eyes. Oh god. Was it true? If that's the case - part of her is horrified beyond belief. And part of her is relieved. She knows her father is relieved. She happens to share the sentiment…and she knows somewhere deep down, Jack would feel the same.


As Peter pushes, Trina doesn't fight anymore. Because of a secret. This is all falling apart because of 24 hours. Maybe this was destined to fail from the beginning. Maybe this world is so far gone that Peter's going to go somewhere else entirely, fading away from the world and leaving everything in its broken, bleeding shell.

His accusations cut deep, and though his shove is barely enough to get past her normally, she allows herself to stumble the rest of the way without a fight. Her black hair falls out of its sloppy knot of a bun, and she comes to appreciate the veil. Trina moves because maybe? Maybe they deserve to be left. Her voice rises after a moment, looking to Eric. He alone is going to get the benefit of seeing that strange half-formed expression, birthed of a dozen emotions and her failing effort to glaze over all of them. "Eric." That's enough.


"What you did still would have bothered me, but not— not like this," Peter says, checking over the young woman with his eyes to make sure the stumbling didn't harm her in any way. He hadn't even pushed very hard, but— what's bothering her isn't physical. But he can't feel too bad about that right now. "You two— I could forgive for not telling me. Even Jack." They don't know how he feels about secrets, no matter the reason. They weren't privy to certain conversations about how a person who lies, for whatever reason, bothers him and is not something he ever wants to be— how his whole life his family and the people he cared about have hidden important things from him, told lies to cover things up… But there is someone who knows. And when he gets to the hallway to turn in the direction of his room— there she is.

His fist clenches briefly. When it unclenches, he stalks down the hallway, straight to her, not paying attention to what she's saying on the phone, and grabs her arm. "I need to talk to you. Now."


Eric opens his mouth to say more, then snarls softly and turns his head away. "Fine," He says before he starts to turn away. His head snaps up when he hears the angry words from outside the hallway. One look towards Trina before he pops his head outside there and stares down the hallways at the pair.

Elena? Over her com? Would get the little comment of '…if you need me to shoot him just yell.'


And then, people are talking to her all at once. Elena is about to say something more towards the receiver, so engrossed with the conversation she was having when she feels her arm snatched up in a strong grip, and dragged down the hall. "Hey!" she blurts out, more out of surprise than in protest. She's forced to hang up on her father - and hopefully he'll understand, the important bits had been patched to her anyway and she's still trying to get a grips of what she heard. She tries to pull her arm out of his grip, but he doesn't seem to be letting go. A hand reaches out, in an 'I'm okay' gesture to Eric's head when he looks down the hall from them, but she does this over her shoulder. She doesn't know what's going on, but she's about to find out relatively quickly. "What is with you?" she hisses towards Peter. "I just heard something and now I have to go out again." She can't stay here. Not with what she heard. She has to act on it ASAP. And what the hell was he doing? Were him and Eric yelling at each other?!


Trina's gonna just go find an elsewhere to be. "I'll be in my room," she finally declares, turning on her heel and leaving. She needs to pull herself together, and it's not helping to be in here with the remains of a television and several shelves of books on the floor. "Come and get me if you need me."


Oh, yes, she's about to find out. Though Peter doesn't say a word until he gets her to the private rooms, pulling open the door to the room he'd been graciously granted by the host who… now has to buy a new television and fix the bookcase… and slamming it loudly behind them. Only then does he let her go. And only then because he's blocking access to the door. It's true that she's fast, but he's not going to budge right now— just as his grip didn't budge before.

Eyes dark with emotion — a mix of betrayal and anger mostly — he looks down the small distance in height between them. "How long have you known Jack had my brother?"


Truth be told, she thought he was never going to find out until they were done with him. But she should've. Elena got the wrong impression when Jack told her that he wanted to clear, only, certain people to know about this. The list did not include Peter. She didn't anticipate that he was going to tell the entire world 24 hours later. So when she's dragged into Peter's room and he slams the door shut behind him - and even has the gall to block the door with his body, she stares at him incredulously for a moment. For a moment, all she does is stare at him.

And then, her eyes narrow. Dangerously.

"48 hours," she tells him, growling low in her throat. "I didn't know what the hell he was planning until after he already did it. He kept us all in the dark." She takes a few steps away from him, squaring off. This isn't the first time she's been in this situation, if she's going to do battle with him, she's going to put some distance. "And I didn't tell you because I was told not to. If you don't like it, you're going to have to deal. Terrorists, soldiers, whatever people call us these days doesn't change the fact that there is a chain of command here and Jack is at the top. If he tells me something specifically, I do it." He's seen it. Whenever she goes out, she tells him. Whenever she makes a decision regarding field ops, he gives the authorization. She had absolutely no idea what the hell else he expected.


All of this doesn't seem to surprise him. Peter knew what he was getting into when he laid trust in a soldier. Commanding officers and all. But see— he could have forgiven that too. That's at least a reason to keep a secret beyond not trusting him, or believing in him, or not thinking he's strong enough to handle the truth. It's an order. It's not personal. Not for her. He might still punch Jack for it later, but it wasn't her. That actually lets some of the anger shift away, even though she's fighting right back. Soundproof rooms. They are thankful for them. They keep having yelling matches in this room especially.

And this time it's not over alcohol at least.

"Did you know he broadcast this whole thing to the nation already? Including his name and pictures of my brother hanging from the ceiling with his finger cut off?" Oh, he's not happy about that either— that disgusts him— but…


"Yes. I didn't know he was planning on doing that. He gave me the impression that we were just going to keep him to get information. And we are. I didn't think he would make demands but I should've expected it. After all. That's what we terrorists do." There is bitterness in the last, acidic. Elena is breathing raggedly, her eyes are turning a feral gold - not completely, but it's testament as to just how much adrenaline she's got in her system. How dare he grab her like that while she was on the phone with her father. Her father who was telling her something important and had huge implications and ramifications over everything.

"So yeah, I know it's been broadcasted. Again, not until after he did it. I read the news. I've read five papers a day by the time I was a teenager." Something Peter may or may not remember her mentioning. "Again he gave me the impression that he wasn't going to make demands even though I should've expected it. He told me not to tell a list of people. Some even belonging to the Saints. I didn't know why the fuck he'd tell me that, but tell the entire world anyway. I think essentially it's to monitor just who would know where he's being held. If you want to see him, you're going to have to talk to Jack, because I sure as hell don't have the authority to give that sort of permission."

She whips away from him, crossing her arms over her chest.


There's a hint of a flinch around his eyes, a wounding, really. As if she'd just slapped him emotionally. Peter should have expected that. She's not the type to remain ignorant. "So even after he announces this to the entire country— you still think… Elena. I found out from a television. And it's not like you didn't have a chance to tell me." There's been a lot going on between Cass' rescue and everything else— moving people, checking things out— the traitor who almost got her and Gene killed. All of it. He understands that. But… "You could've told me when I pulled you aside." Earlier.

It'd been brief. They hadn't done much talking. In fact most of what was said, he said. There had been a private opportunity to mention this, though. And that… THAT… angers him.

"I can understand you putting me behind the Saints. Believe me, I can. But when it's broadcast for the entire country— there's no excuse not to tell me." And he's not asking to see him. He wouldn't have asked her anyway. There's a lot that he's mad about. But he's not yelling right now, just speaking distinctly, with some harshness in his tone from raspy voice. That betrayal is back in his eyes, which are not changing color. "You know how I feel about people lying to me."


"What the hell do you want me to do, Peter?" Elena throws back at him. He might be talking distinctly, but she was shaking with the effort to not just outright yell at him. Her voice is changing pitch, rising just a bit as she spins back around to look at him and sweeps a hand to the side. "Did you honestly think I had the time to even fucking breathe today?! How the hell would you have reacted if I told you after the broadcast?! I bet we'd be having the same discussion we're having now! Do you know even know where I was?! I was at Benji's cell! Cass's suite! Dragging Prime out of his secret hiding place before he became goddamned suicidal again! I've been trying to reach Daphne all day and she's not responding, I have three nervous scientists wondering if their prison have been exchanged for another, a mole to find, and everything else that my father found out today and you suddenly think I have the brain capacity to tell you something I've been told NOT to tell you in the first place?! I haven't. SLEPT."

She rakes both hands through her hair. Now she's pacing, there's nothing catlike about it, like a little tornado raging around his room. It's a wonder she hasn't destroyed anything yet.

"And did I lie to you? Really?" She glowers at him. "I didn't tell you anything. I didn't make shit up about your brother. An omission, sure." Sound familiar. "But not a lie. If you're throwing that argument at me, why the hell didn't you ask any of the others that? Trina could've told you when it was public. Eric could've told you when it was public. Prime or Gene could've told you when it was public. You know why they didn't? Because we've been told not to mention it!"

She was tired. She didn't need this. She storms back towards him. "Let me out," she grates harshly.


"Oh, we'd be having a very different conversation if I'd found out from you and not a news anchor on television," Peter says, watching her move around the room and yell at him. He knows that she hasn't gotten sleep, because he tried to talk her into taking a break for some earlier. If he'd seen her in the hallway without having seen the broadcast, he would have probably done the same thing— even if she had all this work to do. Sleep is important. If she doesn't sleep, she won't get much done. It's one of the many facts of the matter.

But. But… she's the one screaming. And cursing now too. He remains in front of the door, watching her. She was told not to mention it. She omitted it. Why isn't he upset at anyone else for not telling him? They all had the same orders. Which apparently transend the boss telling the entire fucking country, which he doesn't understand logically at all. The answer to that is simple, "Because I'm not in love with the rest of them!" Okay, now he's yelling. "Because in the last two days that you've known about this— we…" God. They haven't really talked at all since then. There hasn't been the time. The only time they've had alone… was that one moment where he wrapped his arms around her and just held her— told her the same thing over and over— and then let her go when she told him to.

Just like she's telling him now. There's a pause, before he steps out of the way, or starts to. But while he does… "I'm leaving. You invited me to the mission briefing and when I thought I didn't belong there you said to me that I needed to know what was going on. That you wouldn't be doing your part if you kept me out of the loop. I think this was a pretty big fucking loop you kept me out of."


Something large and breakable is hurled towards the wall, smashing into glittering bits. Not at him, but on the far side.

"THAT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT I AM THEIR LIEUTENANT, PETER!" Elena loses it. Utterly. She squeezes her eyes shut. This was why. Why. WHY. She didn't want to even entertain any semblance of closeness emotionally while she was in this position and this was one of the many reasons why. "Did you honestly think that after two fucking years when you've been gone from my life, I suddenly have to start telling you everything?! That I'm required, no matter what my superior says, to tell you everything?! Because you're in love with me?! You told me to leave you and you come back and suddenly it ought to be the way it should have been two years ago?! I might have said that. I promised you I'd do everything in my power to help you get everything you need to know to change things back home. But not at the expense of going against Jack's word, something I thought you'd understand when I kept telling you my duties require me to put other things first! He had been there in the past two years. He pulled me out of the fire before it could kill me. And he helped me bury my siblings!"

The last slams home something she didn't even want to think about. They were gone. Luis and Juanita were gone.

She digs into her pocket and walks over towards him. She thrusts the object in his hands, breathing raggedly still. It's small. It looks familiar. It looks…..like a portable hard-drive. Kind of like the one she gave him in the public library, when it had been standing, two years ago.

"That's all I found out from Cass and Benji about the past today," she says tightly. "Take it. Go back and end this." She yanks the door open, and gets out into the hall. She's not going to stop him from leaving.

And maybe he'll finally know how it felt.


The yelling that she tosses his way doesn't make him change his mind. Oh, he understands, but that's not why he was upset. That wasn't the point. Peter gets all that. She's arguing a case that he'd already agreed with. He knows she puts the Saints first. He knows that she follows Jack's orders. He knows that the mission is more important to her than anything else— including herself and the few people not in the mission that she cares about— if she even loves him the way he loves her. Even after… everything… she hasn't directly said it. Never returned it.

It's something he noticed— but he tried to understand. She didn't have time to love him— but she had time to allow him to love her. And that might be the most he gets. That might be it.

It's her last argument that makes him look away, flinching a little as she walks over and shoves an object into his hand. No computer to read it on. Nothing to do with it. He'd have to take it back to the past with him and hope it still fits on a computer. Hopefully it's not some new fandangled external harddrive. However…

Go back and end this.

She's willing to let him leave, just as he'd done to her.

But after her arguments? He shoves the flashdrive into his pocket, right next to the important bullet, and stalks out into the hall after her. Not to leave, but to grab her arm yet again and pull her back inside and slam the door. Only this time he push her up against the door as it closes… and kisses her. Forcefully.


He was leaving. Good. Fine. And then maybe she can breathe and focus on things that need to be doing. She already didn't have a lot of time. Forced insomnia, exhaustion, surprise, and now this was firing up her blood like a molotov cocktail ready to explode. Elena might even have to step out and do some hunting of her own with her crew later just so she could blow off some steam. The roar of anger is loud and takes over her head like an angry beast, blocking out everything else but her rage and frustration. And it hurt. The pain was almost indescribable. The gall. How DARE he. To traipse back in after throwing her out of his apartment to expect as if nothing happened just because she allowed him to tell her everything he—

She hears footsteps behind her, but before she could react, it was too late. Her arm is grabbed. She's dragged back into his room. She lets out a cry, struggling and her feet actually -sliding- against the floor as she tries to pull free.

"No. No! NO! Let go of me! LET GO!" She rages at him like a tempest, the door shoved shut by her own back as he drives her into the wood and claims her mouth. She had been gripping his arm to try and pry him away but when her protests are only muffled by…what he was doing. Her fists fly up, trying to put some space in between them by pressing at his chest. She can't stay here. She wanted to be alone. The tears would be uncontrollable. She had to get away from him.

The struggling ceases after a few minutes. She was tired, the fight draining out of her. Her eyes close, her lips soften against his. Without use of her hands there isn't helping the single bit of moisture sliding down the contour of her cheek, from the corner of her left eye.


This is almost too forceful for him. The complaints she yells fall on deaf ears, though. Not because she doesn't mean them, she might just, but because… he can't lose her again. She's letting him leave, and he can't do that to her. If she loves him at all… he can't do that to her. Peter knows he needs to leave eventually, that's the one duty he has to put before her, just as she puts the Saints before him, but he can't just leave her now— Not over this. Not when… what she did isn't worth leaving for.

The struggles the first few minutes really weaken his efforts, but he doesn't stop. Pushed up against the door as she is— there's no escape. She has ever reason to radio Eric back and tell him to shadow-walk in and shoot him for this. She has every right to fry his system and make him feel unlimited pain.

And he's going to feel bad about this when it's done.

One hand is at her shoulder, the other supports her head, thumb against her cheek, so it's not getting slammed against the door like the rest of her body. Her lower body is pinned with his lower body, and her mouth trapped by his own.

It's when he feels the moisture against his hand that he finally pulls back, surprised. She—

"Elena…" He made her cry. That hadn't been his intention. It— it certainly settles down a lot of his determination. His grip on her shoulder loosens, he shifts away so he's no longer pinning her against the door, but he's looking into her eyes, and still has a hand on her head, half in her hair, thumb on her cheek.


After all those two years, he was still the only one who made her cry when he was still standing. Elena sobbed her eyes out when she thought Eric died. Hell, she cried again when she thought he died the second time. But Eric had never given her cause to cry while he was awake, laughing, and alive. Not in the years she had known him. But Peter….the two years didn't change the fact that she could still feel such a rage over him. That she could still shed tears over him for being so incredibly frustrating and being so….so….so damned PETRELLI.

She hadn't cried in a very long time. She was doing so well. Sure this wasn't really sobbing. She wasn't choking back anything. But the single tear was enough to break her record of…god. A year, maybe?

He pulls away finally, surprise etched in his features. He's looking at her, she could feel it, locked into her face and startled that she'd actually do something he knew she hasn't done in a while. Over him. AGAIN. But her eyes are averted, staring at the far wall. And while she's breathing raggedly still, her chest contracting up, and depressing in intermittent bursts against the bigger body pinning her to the door, she isn't saying anything. She can't. She won't be able to control it if she said anything. With her face somewhat averted, though somewhat titled because of the hand that's threaded into her hair on one side, the other half of her face has a thick lock of hair tangled against her cheek, the soft tendrils curling at the other side of her neck. And all she does is breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

God. She could be so damned stubborn.


There's a part of him that immediately wants to apologize for what he did that made her cry. Peter knows he shouldn't have— she was protesting— she didn't want to be grabbed or held, and he was certainly in the wrong to continue doing it. He just… couldn't lose her. Not yet. Not now. Not over this. Not with this feeling between them. Not without knowing…

The hand on her shoulder moves up to cup the other side of her face, forcing her to face him. She can close her eyes to avoid eye contact, but he won't let her just get away with this. Not right now. "Elena… I can't lose you." It's possessive. She's not his to begin with. She can walk away any time she wants— she's done it before. And…

Leaning forward again, he kisses the tearline trailing down her cheek, and continues until he's at the corner of her eye. "I love you." It's been said more times than he can count the last few days— even if it's never been returned. It's his to say. It's hers to return should she choose to.

Pressing his forehead against hers, he closes his eyes. There's something he needs to say. She might kill him for it. "I'm not leaving you, Elena." Didn't he just say he was leaving? Doesn't he have to leave soon? Isn't that the whole point?



Her eyes do close when he tilts her face to look at him, shutting them before she could see him. It was, perhaps, a last moment of defiance still left in her body. And god, could she defy. Elena had always wondered why she had been given the abilities she has. To take away pain as much as she could give it. To shield herself from hurt just so she could keep moving forward. It had been her way, powers or not, all her life. Maybe it just developed that way - a testament to her theory in the past that Evolved abilities weren't shaped just by the genes that carried them, but the actual -manifestation- of them were developed psychologically. By personality.

Unfortunately, there were pains she couldn't avoid. On top of the dozens of abilities he's managed to absorb, Peter also seems to have the ability to plow through those walls like a crazed monster trucker.

She could feel his lips moving over her face. The tenderness doesn't help. And neither do the words. She's fully aware she's never said the same back to him, and when she had, it had been in the past tense. Loved you. Wanted to be with you. Felt for you. What lies in the present now, she hides. Whether to protect him, or to protect herself, she didn't know anymore.

The weight on his forehead rests warmly against hers. She doesn't open her eyes. Not even when he tells her again. Not even when he tells her that he wasn't leaving her. Her hands twitch at her sides, having fallen limp earlier without her realizing it. But they do lift up. Fingertips brush on his cheekbone delicately - a touch so light they felt like a ghost's. And then, they drop to the corner of his mouth, where the dead nerves were - the unique quality of his lips that kept them lopsided when he smiled. It was a signature gesture, from her, every time he was close. Just as he rubbed his nose against hers before leaning in for the kill back when she was a teenager.

Her eyes are glassy when she finally opens them. She shakes her head.

"No," she finally says, above the lump in her throat. Even now despite being ensconsed in the arms of her past, she looks forward. "You have to let me go, Peter. To save me. To save all of us. To keep us all from degenerating like this, you have to let me go."


The touch to that corner of his mouth is remembered— she's been doing it since he mentioned the flaw. Part of him wonders if she could reactivate the dead nerves there with her ability— fire them to life— but at the same time… Peter doesn't want her to. It's so much who he is. It's part of him. When she does this, he moves back enough to look at her face, watch her eyes reopen, glassy as they are. He's looking right at her when she shakes her head, tells him no.

There's no flinch.

No sign of hurt.

He doesn't withdraw or look rejected.

In fact, he even smiles just a touch. He expected this answer. There's no way he couldn't. That's why he came here— To find out what's wrong so he could turn around and fix it. It's a circle, and if he doesn't keep moving, he won't get back to where he needs to be.

"No," he responds, shaking his head right back. That lock of hair is hanging on his forehead again. He leans forward and nudges his nose against hers— his thing. It's so fond. There's nothing but affection in his eyes now. All the negative emotions have gone away.

"I'm not leaving you, Elena… I'm going back to you."


…when the hell did he learn how to pull lines like that? WHO WAS THIS GUY?!

Then again, as Elena mentioned to him before, maybe he wasn't completely the Peter she remembered from two years ago. Something had changed. She didn't know what the hell it was, but at some point, between the point she walked out his door to here, something shifted. Another testament, perhaps, that the ripple effect so prevalent in most time travel movies and the like was still going. For the moment she……honestly doesn't know what to say, rendered speechless.

He looked so affectionate. So determined. Insistent. She almost felt sorry for the girl she had been back in his time. If she was going to run, hopefully she'll be able to run and fast.

Then again, the part of her that clung to the memory of him envied her too.

As he leans in to nudge her nose against hers, she can't help but close her eyes again. And then? She laughs. Her voice is a little hoarse, from all the yelling - a quiet thickness to it that isn't normal. Then again, she had almost cried and had been yelling at him. "….way to….abuse the technicalities there, chief," she can't help but crack. But the laughter fades, the smile remains. The fight drained out of her now, all that's left was the je ne sais quois in between.

She exhales softly. "…I'm tired."


Something has changed. Some weird kind of butterfly effect where, instead of the weather changing, he's changed. Seeing this world has tought him things— losing her taught him things to. But mostly this time— this world. And what she told him. In many ways, all he needed was a shove in the right direction, and she shoved him. Hard. Peter smiles more when she laughs, and calls him on the abuse of technicalities, he nods. "Yeah— I know. I cheat. You do too, though," he nudges his nose against hers.

She's tired.

"You've been awake for fourty hours." Or there abouts. He knows she didn't sleep last night— she hasn't slept all day. And he has a good idea when she woke up the morning before. Instead of giving her a chance to protest, he leans down enough to hook a arm under her legs and pick her up, like a damsel in distress, or a princess. And he carries her over to his bed. "Sleep. I know you have a lot to take care of, but… You need to sleep. Whatever it is— you don't have to tell me— I won't ask. You can do it better on a few hours sleep." And he lays her down on the bed. Yes, it's his bed. But— it's closer. "I'll be here until you fall asleep." He can be stubborn too.


She didn't mean to shove him hard in the right direction. All Elena wanted to do those first days of meeting him here was motivate him to change things. ………..she didn't really mean to encompass him changing things in other areas too. She wasn't thinking about that stuff, she was too busy being horrified that he was back in her life. And in the flesh. And not leaving for a while.

"…oh, now you listen to me," she murmurs, the smile on her mouth growing. It's half exasperated, but also half-affectionate. She could almost ruffle his hair at this point, he was being so adorable. Like a puppy that's…not…. letting her go to bed.

….in her own room.

She can't help the -squeak- as Peter picks her up. Again, a testament to his own strength even without Niki's abilities to help him. "Wh— what?! Are you crazy?!" Sleep? SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. PERISH THE THOUGHT. But…no that's not really why she's telling him he's crazy. "I can't sleep in your room! It's— it's— ! Peter!"

She would flail comically, but she might hit him in the face accidentally.

As he lays her on the bed, she continues protesting, her head hitting the softness of the pillows. "I…there's still…Papa called to….to…" Her eyes halflid, and close. "I need to…" That did it. Feeling the comfortable mattress and the soft down pillows. He was right. She had been running on forty-something hours without sleep, and her laying down had been too much. So almost from the moment he puts her there….she's out. Like a light.


"I always listen," Peter says, a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. And— hey, he can carry his older brother like this. Even without Niki's abilities. She's no where near as bulky. She's a little sprite by comparison. Not that Nathan's fat, or anything. It's the near flailing that makes HIM laugh. Before she did, now it's his turn. "It's my room, yes." And he's not going to let her go away right now. Besides… he slept in her room last time. Only fair.

Once she's down on the bed, he sits on the side, facing her, looking at her. As she drifts off, he rubs fingers over her forehead, brushing her hair back. He said he'd stay here until she falls asleep… and now he's tempted to stay here until she wakes up. Just like this. Watching over her.

But he also needs to talk to Jack.

…Jack will be there in the morning.

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