2007-07-17: The Less You Know

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: The less Peter knows, the better.

Date It Happened: July 17, 2007

The Less You Know


1407

It's around ten o'clock in the morning. Peter has to leave for work some day, but he also has to wait for the repair guy to show up and put a temporary door on his balcony until they can fix it. The landlord wasn't pleased, he wasn't pleased, and he's spent the last hour and a half being unpleased. It's not been a pleasant day all around. With a phone in hand, he thumbs through a phonebook idly, angerly skipping past a certain name.

There's a quiet knock on the door, followed by an equally quiet voice. "Peter, are you home? It's… It's Kay." Mara and Peter set some new sort of boundaries the last time they spoke and this is her way of testing the waters. Does all of the good that came of the other night (and there wasn't much good that came of it) still stand?

At the knock, Peter immediately stands, hoping it's the repair guy with the temporary doors— which means he's a little disappointed when it is. Kay? He knows who it is, but… The deadbolt unlocks and he opens the door. "Hey." Displeased, unshaven, and it looks like he slept in his clothes. And there's a distinct draft in his apartment. The air conditioner is off. That's outside air inside. "I'm still here." But there's something tense in his jaw, and his forehead. It's almost like when he was so mad at her over the Molly thing. Only there's something deeper this time. A fear and a guilt that wasn't so much present before.

"What's happened?" Mara doesn't wait for an invitation, she merely steps past the man to look about the apartment. When she spots the balcony, she immediately whirls about, shock and fear evident in her eyes. "Peter! Were you attacked?" She steps toward the broken doors cautiously, as though whatever happened here might happen again if she approaches too quickly.

After she enters, Peter sighs and just closes the door, not bothering with the dead bolt. There's two plates of food, two sets of utencils, two drinks… there's plates and pots in the sink in the kitchen too. He hasn't washed them or fully cleaned up yet. The double doors leading into the bedroom also show that the bed might have been slept on… from on top of the comforter. Distinctly rumpled. She's a detective. She notices these things. He shakes his head. "No." The balcony was blown out from the inside, the wood on the frame is splintered and broken. "I got upset and lost control." Sounds like he's still not happy. This is what could have happened when she made him upset not too long ago… "Maybe you should leave."

Mara turns around to stare at Peter, incredulous. "You did this?" She makes a sweeping gesture toward the ruins. "I'm… impressed, actually. That takes some-" She stops herself and has the grace to look sheepish. "I'm sorry. This obviously isn't something you were intending to do. I don't mean to glorify an accident." She eyes the rumpled bedding with a flicker of something in her eyes. Concern, maybe?

Being impressed isn't exactly how he feels. Peter visibly flinches before she looks sheepish and apologizes. Even then… "Could have been worse. No one was hurt." Physically. There's another flinch. "Probably could have ripped the side of the building off…" he murmurs under his breath. "Why'd you stop by?"

"Business," Mara answers quietly, walking back toward Peter again. "You know a man named Lachlan Deatley? I've got a message to pass on to him, if you do." She narrows her eyes faintly. Peter seems to know everyone in the City, so he seems the best person to ask.

Business. There's a pause, before Peter nods. The fact that it's business means he doesn't look quite as tense, but now he looks concerned too. Still darker than normal, but… "Yeah, I know him." The Company already knows this. The bookstore was bugged for a while. "I could feed him a message, sure. Is he going to punch me for it?"

"He might. That depends on how well you are at damage control and not saying too much." Mara's expression changes from apprehensive to serious. She's gone into On Duty Mode. No different than talking to an informant now. "I know I can trust you to do this for me. I need to tell Lachlan that his sister is safe. Don't ask me anything else about it. Don't make assumptions. Don't jump to conclusions. You just tell Lachlan that Megan is safe." She meets Peter's eyes, holding his gaze. "Do I make myself clear?"

This— Peter doesn't like it at all. His eyes narrow suspiciously. Making assumptions is something impossible to avoid in these situations, considering certain things. "I didn't even know he had a sister. If I tell him that out of the blue and I can't prove it— then I can't tell him that. If she's okay, have her write a note and drop it off at the bookstore."

"I can't do that." Mara crosses her arms under her chest, head tilted to one side. "I shouldn't be telling you any of this. All you need to know is that she's safe. And that I'm going to do everything I can to make sure she stays safe. I don't think you appreciate the risk I'm taking here. I thought you of all people would."

"No… no I get it, it's just…" Peter rubs his forehead and tries his best to release some of the tension without shattering a window and destroying part of his balcony. "I'm not very good at lying. So I won't ask anything else. I don't want you to get in trouble… but I wish you didn't— no one should have to work with those people." Before the whole confrontation with Sylar, he'd seemed favorable to such a thing. Now? Not at all. Something bad must have happened.

"No one should have to, but I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation." Slowly, the detective steps forward again, reaching out to take Peter's hands. "The less you know, the less you have to lie. The only lie I ask you to tell is the lie of omission. Don't bring my name into it. Say you heard from someone you trust." She at least hopes that much isn't a lie. She narrows her eyes, concerned. "What can I do for you, Peter? I know that look. What can I do to help?"

"Right— if anyone keeps asking I'll just tell them I can't say— I think they understand the danger enough at this point," Peter keeps rubbing his forehead. At least he's not sweating or pale. No fear he'll pass out any second. "I don't think you can help… Kaydee." It sounds very close to Katy, and that's good enough. At least he left out the cutsey ending there. "I'll be fine— Though my landlord might evict me if I destroy anything else." Even though he's paying for all of it. Not even claiming insurance.

"Good." Mara leans in and plants a soft kiss on Peter's cheek. "You looked like you needed that." She smirks and rubs his stubbled face. "You call me if you need anything, and I will be here as fast as my car can take me." She rests her hand on his shoulder now, a reassuring squeeze. She always has indulged her propensity for touchy-feely comforts in Peter's presence moreso than she would around anyone else. They're kindred spirits of sorts in that respect.

"I know," Peter says, raising his hand up to touch the hand on his shoulder and squeeze it. The kiss was needed. He didn't pull away from it. But he doesn't make further move to return the gesture. "I— I'm glad you're here." That's somehow important right now. "Glad that you would be here." Lowering her hand from his shoulder, he glances back towards some of the remaining glass. "I will need to get dressed for work soon— especially if I have to deliver a message…" At this rate, he wouldn't mind if Lachlan decks him, but he'll leave that out. "Thanks."

"Yeah. No problem." Mara takes a step back and smiles. "If you want, give me a call after work. I'll come pick you up and take you out to the middle of the countryside. You can knock a tree over or something. Think of it as ability management."

"No— I need to learn better ways to control my anger," Peter says, shaking his head a little. Taking it out on an innocent tree would be a little much— and what of all the things living inside the innocent tree? "But I'll probably call you soon. I had some ideas— I just— I need to talk to someone about them first." He needs a sponsor— or more accurately he needs to ask his brother for money.

"An idea? You had better call me. Because I'm going to be aching with curiosity until you see fit to tell me." The red-haired woman moves toward the front door now. "And I mean it, you call me if you need anything. Keeping me moving is safer than keeping me all in one place, you know?" Mara hesitates, reaching out to touch her hand to the door, and a shudder runs through her. She jerks her hand away as though she's just been burned. "What the heck was that?"

"It's just— was remembering how they found me when I was invisible— they were wearing goggles. I'm guessing they were thermal viewing, right? Well, there's handheld devices that do the same thing, they just cost a lot," Peter tries to think of how to explain this, as he follows to the door and frowns at her jerking and… "What?" Is something wrong with the door? He reaches to touch the knob to open it for her and look outside.

"You were here. So you aren't feeling it." Mara looks over her shoulder at Peter, not taking another step toward the exit yet. "And you don't always channel my ability, do you?" There's a genuine inquisitiveness in her. He couldn't possibly… Or he'd have all sorts of trouble. The same as she.

"No, not always," Peter says, holding onto the door. And turning pale. God, what did she see? What did she feel? "Occasionally it turns on without me— but it's pretty rare now. I've learned more control about it…" There's no anger in his expression now. Instead there's shame and sorrow. God, what did she see? "Can you please leave now?" She should know just how terrible it is to feel bad about something and being forced to share it against her will.

"Something happened here," she answers to the unspoken question. "But I didn't see anything. I just… felt it. Like a current of electricity." Mara flashes him a worried look. "Your secret's safe." And then she steps in the hallway, hands up in front of her to show she isn't going to touch anything else. "I'm glad at least one of us can control it." Without the aid of drugs, anyway. "Take care of yourself, Peter." Once she's heading away from the apartment, her shoulder slump and she hangs her head. Damn ability is more trouble than it's worth sometimes.

There's actually a sigh of relief that she didn't see anything, but then… why can't Peter see it? Maybe if he knew what she felt he could… He actually leans his forehead against the door and closes his eyes. He knows no vision will come, he doesn't even try to have one. But when she speaks up upon leaving, he looks up, "I can't control it— I have almost twenty abilities now— there's not room for all of them to be on at once. But I am learning how to activate it when I want to. I still pass out." Just so she knows… "Take care of yourself, Katy," the nickname has stuck now.

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