2007-11-20: The Matriarch


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Summary: A mother and son have a conversation an argument months overdue.

Date It Happened: November 20th, 2007

The Matriarch

Kirby Plaza

The mysterious building. Last time Peter stood outside it, it had been the middle of the night— one year after he nearly blew up the city. This time— the sun's hidden behind clouds, making the late morning feel even colder. Wrapped in a warm coat, the wind's blocked off for the most part, though he's usually resistant to the cold in recent weeks, which made him shrug his scarf onto his shoulders. The main doors are approached and opened, a determination set to his jaw as he glances around the mysterious lobby that he'd been in a few times after escaping this building all those nights ago. Choose to approach the desk, he starts to unbutton his coat on the walk over, making eyecontact with a receptionist before he says, "I need to see someone in charge here— I don't have an appointment. But my name's Peter Petrelli."

The receptionist squints at Peter from behind the lenses of her glasses and, wrinkling her noses, reaches up to tuck one strand of frizzy red hair behind her ear. "I guess I can see the family resemblance," she says, "but nobody goes upstairs without an appointment." Her gaze wanders from the man in front her to the spiral notebook just under her nose, and she places one hand upon the leather cover, fingers curling around the edge as if prepared to open it. "I can make one for you, if you'd like?"

Peter blinks rapidly in response at first, eyebrows lowering in confusion. Eyes shift away from the woman at the desk, the deteremined look in his jaw slacking into a frown as he glances at the elevator he'd use to take up to Bob's office. It takes a moment, a deep breath, before he looks back at her and speaks in a tense voice, resembling a whisper but loud enough to be heard, "Make an appointment for me for today, as soon as possible. I'll wait in the lobby until I can go up."

The receptionist is reaching for her pen when the elevator doors open and a slim but statuesque woman steps out, dressed in a mink skin coat and what looks like a pair of dark nylons beneath her dress. Angela Petrelli is on her way out of the building, but she pauses when her attention turns toward the front desk and she sees her youngest standing there. High heels click against the floor underfoot as she approaches, and she shifts the strap of her purse from one shoulder to the other — a nervous gesture Peter might recognize, dating all the way back to his youth.

The elevator opening wouldn't gain attention immediately, but something about the click of the heels might be why Peter looks over to see his mom. They've not spoken or seen each other in quite some time— He inhales slowly, reaching up self consciously to rub at his forehead. There's some hair hanging into his forehead, not quite long enough to fall past his eyebrows, but it's an old habit from years past. The receptionist is ignored as he takes a few steps away from the desk, additionally bridging the distance between them. "Mom." Even if he looks a little stunned, he's not entirely surprised.

"Peter," Angela's tone is cool, but not without a hint of affection. Her gaze drifts past her son to the receptionist, and she offers the other woman a small nod. "If Bishop asks," she murmurs, "tell him I've decided to take an early lunch at Piccoli's." One hand reaches out, resting lightly upon Peter's shoulder as she speaks — even if they haven't been in touch, she's still as controlling as she ever was.

The hand on his shoulder earns a quiet glance, but Peter doesn't pull away, eyes following hers to the receptionist, listening to what's being said. Hand drops away from his forehead and stays at his side, not returning the gesture, making it even more control oriented than affectionate. "Is that where we're going?" He sounds hesitant, but there's strong clues he'll go along with her decision on this, still, he does add, "I needed to talk to someone here about something important. I didn't think I'd be talking to you…" Which would be why he's stunned.

"Yes, well," Angela begins, leading Peter back toward the lobby doors, "there have been some changes in management since the last time you were here." She lets her hand fall from his shoulder, and she slips it into the pocket of her coat. "I'm sure you have a lot of questions." Whether or not she's willing to part with the answers is up for debate. "What did you want to speak with Bishop about?"

There's a small nod as Peter takes that in, led toward the doors in the lobby with no resistance on his part. He does reach up and button his coat again, to block out the cold, but he doesn't pull the scarf up around his neck and face. "I have questions," he agrees in the whispered tone, voice getting tenser as he glances over. "I fought Sylar again two days ago— he was trying to kill Claire. I trust Mr. Bennet to move her somewhere safe and keep her safe, that's not why— I wanted to know if anything happened to him while he was with you the last time— mind control or… persuasion."

"Sylar." The name rolls off Angela's tongue, a little distastefully. "Gabriel. Let's call him what he is." She steps out of the Kirby Plaza Building and onto the pavement, welcoming the breeze as it catches her dark hair and blows several of the longer strands around her face. "If anything was done to him," she continues, "Bishop and I were not made aware. It's possible, certainly — anything is possible — but I doubt it."

The cold air hits him just as much as it hits her— but it still doesn't bother him as much as it should. Peter's too distracted to even wonder about it now, lost in his thoughts as he looks over at her. "How could you possibly know what he is, mom? What, you've read reports on what he's done? I've fought him— so many times now I don't even…" He trails off, shaking his head. There's a hint of confusion around his eyes as he looks away, gazing at one of the many places he fought him, before he looks back and steels himself, "I'm assuming if you're one of the bosses here, you know I went to the future. Never had to worry about running into myself there, thanks to him," he says, voice veiled with quite a bit of anger.

It's impossible for Angela to miss the anger in Peter's tone, but she opts not to comment on it. Instead, she brushes him off with a vague gesture of her hand and begins making her way across the plaza with her gaze fixed straight ahead. "I know more about what he is than you ever will, Peter. No matter how many times you boys throw each other down, no matter how many times one of you is sent slinking away with your tail tucked away between your legs."

"I know you know more than you let on, mother," Peter says, now directing some of that anger in her direction. "I know you knew about the bomb— and you were going to let it happen." He looks away even as he says that, glancing to the fountain, the area where he'd very nearly destroyed a large portion of the city. "I wouldn't even be surprised if you knew I was locked up for four months by this Company that you're working with. But did you know he told me to kill him?" There's confusion as he continues that softens the anger. "He admitted he was a monster— and he told me to kill him."

Angela has a harder time ignoring Peter's ire when he directs it at her instead of the world at large. The corners of her mouth crease into a slight frown. "No," she admits, candidly enough, "I didn't." That doesn't mean she didn't suspect he might, however, and her brisk pace slows to something a little more languid once the pair reaches the opposite end of the plaza. "You'll forgive me for refusing to be upfront with you and your brother. An old woman is entitled to her secrets."

There's a twinge on his face as he looks away, eyes narrowing as he looks away. Peter's not pleased at all, and he's aware that he's getting away from the topic, but some things have lingered for too many months, "I get it. This family's full of secrets." There's still bitterness in his voice. "But secrets that could lead to the death of millions of people aren't secrets that anyone should be keeping, not from the people trying to make a better future. If we'd known more maybe we wouldn't have made as many mistakes— Nathan wouldn't have had to be in the hospital as long as he was."

"Our family has made great sacrifices for a better future," Angela corrects Peter, her voice stern, icy in comparison to her son's. "Nathan understands this more than almost anyone. What happened to him was— unfortunate, but not as unfortunate as what's happening to him now." Nobody understands better than their father, though this is a thought that Angela keeps to herself. "What do you want me to tell you? That I was wrong? That I'm glad he decided to disobey me in the end? You ruined everything. You made things worse than they would have been, that I can tell you."

There's a shake of his head, almost like he's denying it, but he stops trying to walk now, turning to fully look at her. This isn't a friendly family outting, it would seem. Peter doesn't even consider the cold's possible effects on her, right now. "He's sick, but we'll fix him. Just like we'll fix all the others who are sick. I was trying to fix things. Dreams and paintings and visions weren't enough— I had to see it, find out what happened. I didn't know I'd bring part of a virus back with me. But maybe thanks to that millions of people won't have to die in a future where everyone's too busy with a revolution to take the time to save them. We'll have a cure made now, when it can actually be made." There's a stubborn pause. "I refuse to believe that any world that's founded on the deaths of people could possibly be a better one."

When Peter stops, so does Angela. She turns, looking back at him over her shoulder. "Dreams will only tell you so much," she agrees, "but you're as arrogant as your father if you think your actions alone are averting catastrophe." She says nothing about the virus, nothing about the dark future Peter bore witness to. Those are conversations for another time, and Angela is a woman who keeps to a very tight schedule. "Next time you see Nathan, tell him to expect me. I want to see Heidi and the children."

Part of a smile tugs on the corner of his mouth, though it's not there for amusement sake at all. Peter even shakes his head, a sardonic laugh, or a hint of one, on his breath. "I'm don't believe my actions are the only ones averting catastrophe. Do you think I'm the one curing the virus? I'm just helping. I went to the future to get information, at the request of someone else. I'm not taking action on my own. I'm not saving the world by myself." Perhaps the fact that everyone keeps saying that he is makes him even more defensive, or maybe it's because they have a point that he's refusing to recognize. "I'll tell them to expect you. But you should be careful. It's not cured yet."

"I'm well-aware." There are other things Angela wants to say, all balanced on the tip of her tongue, but she purses her lips into a thin line before they can come spilling out. Without another word, she pivots on her heel and resumes her stride, leaving Peter to stare at her retreating back unless he decides to follow. As usual, he's given her some things she wants to think about, things she needs to think about. And she isn't about to do them here, out in the open air.

There's silence in the cold air as she turns away, and Peter makes no move to follow her. Doesn't move at all for a time as he watches her back, before he too makes moves to leave the Plaza entirely. A hand digs into his pocket to retrieve a cellphone, which he checks for messages, and then thumbs through his phone book while he walks to dial a number and listen to it ring.

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