2007-10-27: The Revelation

Starring:

Elle_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: A surprise house-guest at the Petrelli Mansion drops a few revelations that make Peter completely reevaluate a couple months of his life. And she also tells him that Sylar is loose again.

Date It Happened: October 27, 2007

The Revelation


Kitchen - Petrelli Mansion

Standing on the step at the back door, dressed in a light jacket with a scarf around her neck, gloves on her hands, Elle finally raises her hand to knock. The sound is light and quick, and if Peter didn't happen to be in the kitchen right this second, he might have missed it elsewhere in the house. It isn't immediately clear how long Elle has been standing outside, but her cheeks are tinged with pink.

At the sound, Peter glances up from his seat, then looks at the clock. Pushing the chair back, he stands slowly, resting his hands on the table so he can take a steadying breath, before he makes his way to the back door. Shifting the curtain aside, he sees the blonde woman, the tinge of pink on her cheeks and hesitates, still holding the curtain aside. Could just be surprised to see her. His skin is paler than it should be, with flushing around the eyes and other indicators of fever. After a moment, his hand drops away, the door unlocks and opens, letting the cool air in. He's not fully dressed, only a light shirt and loose jeans and socks, and the draft noticeably chills him. "Elle— you really shouldn't be here," he says in a concerned and hoarse voice. And gittery. Not just from nervousness. It's cold outside.

"Why?" Not waiting for an invitation, Elle turns sideways and slips through the open door, casting a sidelong glance to Peter as she does. "Worried that your girlfriend might catch us and get the wrong idea?" The tone of her voice suggests she doesn't think much of that excuse. Unwinding the scarf from around her neck and unbuttoning her jacket, she explains more soberly, "I need to talk to you." Finally, she turns to face Peter, looking directly at him for the first time since he opened the door. "…you look terrible."

As she moves past him and into the kitchen, Peter lets out a small sigh, closing the door and cutting off the cold draft at least. But he doesn't move to follow. A grimace remains on his face, wrinkling his forehead, when she finally turns to face him. "It's because I'm sick, Elle. That's why it's not a good idea for you to be here. I don't— want this to spread anymore than it already has." However, she's already walked in. He rubs a hand over his face warily, then over his hair, still rather short, but starting to grow out, "What did you need to talk about?"

Arching a brow at his explanation, Elle searches his face for any indication that he might be lying, making up excuses. Lies are one thing, however, and his body language is another. "You're sick?" she asks, less dubious than her expression was at first. "Can that even happen?" She gestures to the chair she assumes he must have been occupying before, the one with the cup of tea set in front of it. "I have some explaining to do. It's complicated." Pulling a chair out across the table from him, she drapes her scarf and jacket over the back, tucking her gloves into the pocket of her coat. "You should sit down."

There's more hesitation, as if he's worried to get too close, but Peter moves over to the table and settles down in the chair. An expression mixed between exhaustion, fatigue and worry greets her, and then shifts into confusion, "I don't see how you have to explain anything to me." That would be the confusion part, even as he does settle into the chair. "I'm not supposed to get sick, though. According to everyone I've talked to. Not unless I exhaust myself, I guess. But I've been sick since a week after I last saw you." They'd not had much a chance to talk then, especially since he fled the scene rather quickly when the Haitian showed up.

"Bad bug." Tucking that information away for a later date, Elle watches Peter with an unconscious worry hiding in her eyes. She, too, settles into a chair, the one she pulled out before, and folds her hands over the table. "You don't see it because you weren't supposed to see it," she says, shifting gears back to her original purpose in being here. If she doesn't get it out right now, it's never coming out. "Forget the last time we saw each other. How long had it been since you last saw me?"

"Besides earlier this month?" Peter asks, still looking rather confused. Feverish probably doesn't help with his level of comprehension, either, but the question does seem odd. "The last time I saw you before that was around… somewhere…" The confusion starts to turn to concern, and also something similar to caution, but he does answer the question, eyes on her, "Somewhere in the middle of June. I'd have to check my phone to figure out the exact date but…"

Tipping her chin down, regarding Peter with a still vaguely worried gaze, Elle seems hesitant to speak. This is a strange sensation, she decides. And, deciding she doesn't like it, she finally starts, slow and deliberate. "The last time I saw you was in March." Letting out a breath, she continues, "I was in the Dominican Republic for six months on an assignment. I only came back a few weeks ago." She pauses for a second or two, watching him closely, as if to gauge how her story is going over so far. "This is where it gets complicated."

That's where it gets complicated. Cause fever addled Peter already looks rather confused. For a moment, his eyes blink rapidly a few times. "What?" he asks, voice rather abrupt and sudden. But then it starts to settle in. What she'd just told him. March. There's a few sudden inhales and a hand raises up to touch his mouth, eyes shifting down to the table. There's every sign he wants to protest in disbelief, "But you didn't…" It trails off, though, ending, eyes shifting back up to her face. He wants an explaination, and at the moment he's to exhausted and feverish to be more than confused, and vaguely hurt.

Vaguely hurt is enough to elicit a pang of guilt from Elle, and this, too, is a strange sensation she does not care for. "I didn't know it was going to be six months when I left," she says, unable to help the faint defensiveness that finds its way into her voice. "I wasn't supposed to contact anyone except my father. I got back the same day we saw each other on the street. I couldn't figure out why everyone kept looking at me funny when I brought Sylar in." She draws in another breath, her eyes fluttering closed for a few seconds as she considers her next few words. When she speaks, there are myriad emotions fighting for dominance in her tone: apology, anger, defense, concern. "A precog told my father that Sylar was going to kill me, so he sent me on assignment without telling me. He knew people would look for me - Sylar, you - if I disappeared, even if you knew where I was, so he found a… decoy." She winces, having a good idea how this will come across. "Someone who pretended to be me to. He was trying to protect me." And from the way she says those last two words, she clearly feels she doesn't need protecting.

"A decoy…" Peter repeats quietly, looking back down again and rubbing the hand against his face over his eyes. At the time, Sylar'd been on the loose still. It would have been a legitimate worry. There's so much to think about, to mention… three months of a decoy? "About a week— before the incident in the street," he starts softly, voice exhausted, but with new emotions to add in. "I painted a picture. I didn't remember painting it, but— it showed you. With your head cut open. I tried to… the last number I had for you didn't work. I called Bennet and— he told me that the painting had already happened. But that you— that you were probably okay. He was supposed to tell you to call me, but…" A visible flinch later he adds a question, "Who was she?"

The question is met with a shake of her head, and Elle explains, "I don't know. I never met her. I saw her in the morgue after, but I didn't recognize her." She falls silent then, gears turning in her head, until a few pieces fall into place. "You tried to call me?" The corner of her mouth twitches in a faint smile, tempered by the mood of the discussion. "You really are one of the good ones." Considering she abandoned him for months and he had no obligation to call her, after all. "I got the message. There's been a lot going on." Tapping on her forehead with a knuckle, she says, "Head still intact. At least Sylar doesn't have a reason to come after me now."

"I didn't know," Peter finally says, shaking his head. She might feel the need to apologize, but his hand lowers away from his face and rests on the table. "There were— differences, but you were… she— whoever she was— after a few weeks they— they made it as if she'd forgetten everything about me. How we met and everything that we'd— how you helped me escape. All of it." It probably helped with the cover story, kept differences in behavior from being questioned too much, but at the same time… "I didn't know." There's an unspoken apology there, and at the same time he's both sad and hurt. Someone he was with for three months had been a lie, after all. And now she's dead and he'll never even… His eyes slide shut again, that tired look present before he adds almost absently. "Sylar was captured again anyway."

"I remember everything." Smiling again, vaguely rueful this time, Elle splays her fingers out over the table and drops her eyes to them for a few seconds. "I didn't know, either. I thought I would be back in two weeks and everything would be the same. When I was gone for so long… I thought you'd be alone." She looks up at him again, shaking her head slightly. "I even thought you'd look for me, after a couple weeks. Then after a couple months, you'd move on. I didn't know there would be… another me." This next part warrants some reluctance on her part, and Elle frowns. "About Sylar." Pause. "He's out again."

"I would have gone looking for you," Peter admits, reaching up to rub at his forehead as if this whole thing has done nothing for the aches and pains that come with whatever bug he's managed to catch despite regeneration. "You're father must have figured I would." There's a lot that he would have done if she just vanished without a word. Especially since she introduced him to a little girl that can find anyone. The aches and pains are getting worse, even more when she mention Sylar again, even after the reluctance. His hand lowers from his face and he looks shocked, "What? He escaped? When did this happen?"

"I can't get into the specifics." The worry is there again, lingering in her eyes, as Peter looks worse by the second. "It doesn't matter. He's out. I don't know where he is. I wanted to warn you so he can't take you by surprise." Elle leans back in her chair. "What's wrong with you?" It isn't accusatory, as it might come across in other circumstances; it's fraught with concern. "Have you gone to see anyone?"

"I know you can't," Peter says, giving her lack of specifics a verbal handwave, though his eyes are gaining a quietly determined look, the other emotions fading into something quieter and more serious. But her concern catches his eye and softens the expression a bit. "I'll be okay. It's a… virus of some kind. I've talked to a couple people about it. They're looking in to ways to fix it. It's just flu-like symptoms right now, and it hasn't spread beyond a small group yet, so it's not overly contagious. But I'm not sure what's going to happen, honestly." There's a pause. "You saw the dream, Elle. Besides the escaped criminals— there was a sickness. The quarantine tents. And you were there when my mother said what she did. If this gets worse than it already is…"

"…then it gets really bad," Elle says, finishing the thought with a dark tone. "How would it be your fault?" Suddenly, she understands Peter's reluctance to let her inside, and she looks down at her hands for a second or two, considering the likelihood of them being contaminated with whatever he has. She leaves them flattened on the table, so she must not be too concerned. "Who else has it?"

"It might get really bad. I'm not sure," Peter says, looking down at her hands and wincing a little. That would be exactly why he'd been reluctant to let her in. "There's a good chance you'll be okay. I was sick for a few days before I even went in, and no one I was in contact with turned up with it. There's four of us, though. Me… my brother… my…" Hesitation. "My girlfriend and another person. I've already been looked at by some of your people— the two who were in the dream. Dr. Aldric and Suresh. I don't know why it's my fault, but I have a few ideas." He takes in a slow breath. "I went to the future. In late July. And I came back early last month. The future I went to— the virus… I'm pretty sure this didn't happen. Or if it did happen it was a lot lower key. One of the doctors we had looking at it said that the virus… mutated somehow. Maybe something I did when I got back made it… worse."

The hesitation doesn't go without notice, but Elle says nothing to the girlfriend remark. It slides right on past. That's how it might look, anyway. "But if hasn't happened in the future, how would you have gotten it? Why does it matter that you went? That doesn't even make sense." This is all starting to give Elle a sinking feeling deep in her stomach, and she slumps down in her chair an inch or so. "I should go. I shouldn't even be here." Pushing up from her chair, she starts to wrap her scarf around her neck, slipping on her gloves.

Peter stands about the same time she does, though he's not quick about it. He has to keep his hands on the table to stay steady. "Elle, wait," he says, voice hesitating a moment then… he looks down. "There was a quarantine in Mt Sinai hospital. For an unknown virus. Back in April. Probably just a short time after you got sent off. Your father— he was there too." There's that look of caution, but he's already told her more than he probably should have. "It could have started there. I think it did, cause I was in it." And he'd mentioned it to her. "Listen— I know you're busy and that you have to leave, but…" He glances towards the door. He grimaces once, then looks back. "Thank you for stopping by to explain. And warn me about Sylar. I hope you'll call me if… anything changes."

"I…" There's a strange sort of emotion that takes over Elle's face as Peter speaks, and she shifts uncomfortably, shrugging into her jacket. Aldric, Suresh; would they have told her father about this illness? If it's bad enough to make Peter this sick, what would it do to anyone else? She pulls her hair out from beneath her jacket and lets it fall over her shoulders. "I have to go," she says, quickly finishing her thought, her stomach lurching. "I'll call you." She casts him another swift glance, then pulls open the back door and steps back out into the frigid autumn air, the door closing behind her.

There's nothing else said to stop her, but once she's out the door and it's closed behind her, Peter settles back into the chair and slumps down. There's a lot to process and figure out. A couple months of his life to reevaulate and question. Someone is free who shouldn't be and he's too sick to do anything about it. A crackle of electricity draws his eyes down to his finger tips. Maybe he's not too sick after all.

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