2008-04-07: The World Spins Madly On

Caution: contains Season Three material!

Starring:

Angela_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Someone locked away in Level 5 gets a visit from the recently rescued.

Date It Happened: April 7th, 2008

The World Spins Madly On


Level 5

Every day, someone appears to give him a shot. Every day there is food, clothes. Every day. A cell. Occassionally he hears whispers from the next room on one side, or whispers from the room on the other. The drugs have a side effect of making time difficult to track. Has it been weeks? Months? Does Peter even know he's been locked up for just over a month? There's a small stack of books, which had been delievered by Laurence Church to give him something to occupy his partially dazed mind. Though he's beginning to know when his injections are coming. The haze starts to clear.

Sitting against one wall, facing the other, he's not looking to the door, or the window. Someone could be standing there for a long time and he wouldn't see them. His eyes don't shift over. The haze hasn't completely cleared yet. He stares out almost glassy-eyed. The gray clothes hang off him loosely, dark hair hangs into his eyes, and stubble has sprouted out on his face, hinting toward a beard that's at least kept short. They still shave him, but they've not cut his hair off. There's a visible red mark where he's been injected every day on one arm.

The sound of someone's approach is amplified through echoes, sharp footsteps on stairs, on concrete. These are not the vast echoes of natural spaces; these are the dismal sounds of somewhere hidden, somewhere underground, the noise bouncing off the hard walls, trapped.

But Peter is likely used to hearing such sounds, if in fact he registers them as real at all.

He might not be expecting to see who happens to be making them today, however. It's not medical staff.

In the outside world, it's not chilly enough to warrant a long black coat like the one Angela Petrelli wears, its collar sitting, austere, around her neck. The black coat, black pants, the dark hair pulled back and arranged tidily; these things suggest one thing, sharp and powerful, but the reality might be different. As Angela stops in front of the window looking in on Peter's Level 5 cell, her eyes are haunted, and she appears nearly as tired as he does.

She disengages the locking mechanism of the door, steps inside. "Peter." The woman's voice holds a hint of question and is uncharacteristically soft.

The glassy eyes blink once, then again. Peter didn't even look over until the voice, almost as if he didn't notice the rest, or saw no reason to look over until he recognized her. "Mom?" he says, voice far more boyish than the hardened counterpart she'd met before. There's no signs of the battering he'd taken when he was brought in. The jaw has healed finally, the bruises are gone. Just the supression wound from the medication. "I was— you were taken. Dad kidnapped you." With his abilities. With powers stolen from him. Noah had tried to have him compromise so that he'd be let out, on their terms. He never did.

Unaccompanied — no guards, no partner, no aide; such is the privlege of being at the head of a company, you make and break the rules — Angela steps further in. The door closes behind her. A security measure, a brutal one, at that, were someone locked in with a killer in order to prevent the prisoner from escaping.

Angela sits down on the end of the cot (such as it is) closest to Peter. "Yes, dear. I was rescued." She reaches out for the glassy-eyed captive as if to take his hand, but gets waylaid, touching the red mark around his injection site in a motherly gesture. She seems distracted for a moment, distant. "There's a whole world out there turning upside-down. It may right itself yet, or otherwise spin out of control." She doesn't know. And when Angela Petrelli doesn't know something, it is not a good sign.

"How?" Peter asks, looking down at the hand touching his arm. He could mean how she got rescued, or how the world turned upside down, or how it will right itself. Or it could mean all of that, a hundred times over. A hand reaches up to touch hers, holding it against his arm for a moment, before he says softly, "I had a dream…" It's so soft, almost whispered. He's avoided mentioning it since it happened. It's one of the reasons he stopped trying to talk to the guards, or anyone. Before he'd made arguments trying to get let out, but now… "I don't…" Eyes flit away to the closed door. Locked in with a murderer. And maybe this is exactly where he belongs.

"You're the only one here who has." Angela hasn't slept; not well, not truly, for a very long time. It's obvious in the deepened lines of her face, the heavy exhaustion weighing down her eyes — and her soul, which in fact seems less black while under the stress and strain of sleeplessness. There's a hint of vulnerability to Peter's mother here, in Level 5, where vulnerability is something that should be kept close to one's vest. Neutered killers everywhere. "I'm a free woman now, thanks to some … unexpected friends of the Company. But as long as your father is out there, I'm not really free." The matriarch clamps her other hand over Peter's at his arm. "Look at you…"

"You look worse than I feel, mom," Peter admits softly as his eyes start to look less glassy and more away of what's before him. Of the two she looks more vulnerable somehow, even if he's the one drugged to the point he can't think straight. Only when the haze starts to clear does anything become easy to do. Can he read more than five words on a page without having to go back and reread it again. "I'm sorry… I'm sorry that dad got abilities from me." Before he'd been quick to blame them, now he seems to have settled on blaming himself. When he only has himself as company, it's easier to reflect blame upon himself instead. "They'll keep you safe this time… he didn't get all my abilities. They can protect you… can't they? Isn't that what your company is supposed to be doing… protecting people?"

Can they? No answer. Nothing. Silence reigns for a span of time. Angela only gains a sterner expression, sitting up straighter, as if by doing so she could battle her worn-down appearance. It fails, but her dignity never leaves. "I should have warned you about what he was capable of," she says, sliding her hands away from Peter. "I've had a lot of time to think these past weeks." Pausing, she looks away at the wall Peter is facing. "I haven't spoken to Noah yet, but I may kill him when I do." She's not … serious, although the inflection between truth and simple anger is subtle, at best.

"Slap him, but don't kill him," Peter says with a hint of a smile. It's not much of a smile, though in a way he's glad she's admited that he should have been told what his father could do. It would have changed how he acted in that moment. He might not have teleported him out and stayed with him. He could have done something else entirely… but he did what he thought was the best to do with the knowledge he had. Rash and impulsive, yes, but it was all he could think of. "Noah was right to lock me up," he adds on, looking at his mother, seriousness descending on his tired face. His hands drop away. "I'm dangerous… I'll just… keep getting dangerous."

"I understand why Noah made the decision to lock you away, he did what he thought was responsible." Angela gives her youngest son a look that is very nearly sympathetic. "Of course you're dangerous, Peter, you're one of the most powerful men in the world. You're also the man who orchestrated my rescue." The pointed statement goes unexplained, however as the Company leader continues. "I'd like to think Noah was wrong, putting you down here in this sorry state, but the fact is, I can't tell. I can't look ahead to know which path is the right one to take, chaos versus chaos, not until I can dream. And to dream…"

"…what?" Peter asks, blinking mor ethan a few times, unaware of a lot of what she's saying. The closest he came to assisting was telling them that his father took her, and that he thought he could work with them against him. At least he said that to Church. Noah had set off his stubborness, and then the dreams… She's talking about dreams too. She can't… "The dreams are from you," he says softly, as the fuzz settles on that realization. Something he'd never known. It's a surprise, really, one that makes the fog settle even more. He reaches over and takes her hand again, feeling somehow more connected now that he knows that little fact. "Why can't you dream?"

A flicker of a smile livens the straight line of Angela's lips — just for a second, a twitch of warmth at that shared connection as she gives Peter revelations. Mother takes son's hand. She nods, slow and affirming. "I kept myself awake as much as I could," she says, a haunted quality to her voice. "Tortured my mind day and night to prevent sleep from coming. Arthur wanted to rip my dreams from my head and see the future as I saw it, for himself. I couldn't let him." And yet he didn't take her power. "And now sleep is biding its time." An elusive beast.

"Why can't you just… take something?" Peter has to ask, looking over at her quietly. He knows that he's been put to sleep at least once and had a prophetic dream. That had been an extremely special circumstances. A shared prophetic dream. With a young girl who happened to amplify everyones abilities. Dad took her, and tried to use her for her ability. Maybe because he didn't understand how to use what he stole from Peter. Or maybe since he couldn't really sleep anymore, he couldn't dream. The two powers combined might have made them difficult to use. Now that he thinks about it, he barely had any when he couldn't sleep because of that ability.

"To sleep, yes," the elder Petrelli replies, sounding all the more tired for talking about sleep and the faraway world of dreams. Dark eyes point at the wall rather than Peter. "But for the dreams to come … it doesn't work that way. For the dreams to have meaning, the sleep has to be natural. It has to be earned."

Somewhere in Level 5, someone bounces a ball, or else kicks in boredom against the wall or floor. Th-thump. Th-thump.

Angela looks to her son, frowning. "I'm tired, Peter. But until your father has a bullet in his head, I don't know that I can truly rest." Why is she telling him all this?

"Are you sure he needs to die?" Peter says, grimacing at the admission. He's doing terrible things. He's too powerful. He'd be more than willing to tell people how he can be stopped, but the idea of someone actually doing it, of his own mother wanting his father killed… He hesitates visibly at that idea, even in the fading haze. Shifting, he props himself up, so he can lean closer to his mother. "But you're safe now, mom… You're safe. That's the important part." There's a moment when he hesitates, looking to the window. And she'd said something else. "What did you mean, by the other part?"

Angela raises her head a touch higher, darkly thoughtful. One thing at a time… "I know it's hard to hear, that it's come to this — but in truth, this point was reached long ago." Angela tried to kill Arthur once, she would do it again if she could. Circumstances are such that she must have other people act for her. There is likely a line of people waiting to kill Arthur ahead of Peter. "He is your father, but he's too powerful and he must be stopped, along with your brother, although hopefully by less … straightforward means. I've seen enough of the future to know that much." The woman hesitates in tight-jawed silence before addressing the other question of Peter's. She says only: "Someone else has seen that future first-hand. Time travel is a messy, imprecise business. You'd do well to remember that."

"I've been to the future, mother," Peter says, though he doesn't quite get the picture of what she really means. "But I don't… Nathan doesn't need to be… he can be saved. If you say dad can't then maybe you're right, but Nathan can." With that, he starts to push himself away from her, putting a hand against the wall so he can stand up, swaying a bit. It's not easy to get to his feet like this. All these years, all he wanted was answers. To questions. To things he thought he could do. He wanted to save the world. One person at a time, or the whole world at once. And part of him knows he belongs right where here is… "Is there anything I can do?"

Angela also rises, the length of her coat falling after her once it clears the edge of the small cot. "There is." She moves to face Peter, laying hands on his shoulders, straightening the wrinkles out of his shirt, as though neatness matters even down here. "But, until I figure out what's meant to happen next…" She grips his shoulders instead. "You'll stay where you are. Here, in limbo, where you're safe." While the world spins madly on.

There's a moment where Peter looks as if he MIGHT argue, but he just nods slowly. "Can you… make sure that Elena is okay for me?" he asks finally, looking at his mom with a sincere and serious expression. "I missed her birthday." He knows it's been at least that long, even if he doesn't know exactly how much time it's been. He'll leave it there, though, rather than begging to be released, or even demanding it. He pulls away from her gripping hands, so she can leave him. Here.

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