2008-06-18: Time Piece

Starring:

FuturePeter_icon.gif Gabriel_icon.gif

Summary: Peter from 2012 stops by Gabriel's apartment to give him something.

Date It Happened: June 18th, 2008

Time Piece


Gabriel's Apartment

After quite a while of sulking in a room, a certain man's been taken out for fun and adventure in the city to cheer him up, get him out of the sun, and potentially help him relax some. Relaxing is not something Peter's good at, especially not this one, with a scar slashed across his face still readily visible. He'd always looked tired, but he looks tired at the moment for different reasons. He's slept, more in the last week or so than he had in years, but sleep can often have the same effect as no sleep.

A few twists and turns bring him to a room. Super of the building, as hired by Hiro Nakamura. A hand raises to knock firmly on it. Knocks are something he's just begun to get used to. Usually he'd just enter and only knock as a politeness. Now it's a necessity.

As soon as Peter knocks, the door opens. Whether Gabriel was waiting for someone or already on his way out somewhere else isn't known, but considering he's dressed for a trip out into the city, it suggests he was already at the door when he answered it. His face is unreadable as he watches Peter for a few moments, and he only speaks when he steps back into the apartment, making room for Peter to enter. "I've been wondering when I was going to run into you. I was going to come see you myself soon, but it looks like you've saved me the the trouble."

"Apparently," Peter admits in a quiet voice, watching him for a long moment before he moves into the room with the space that he's made for him. There's a slump to his shoulders, a quite resignation to the way his heart beats. He doesn't sound like one of the most powerful men in the world, because he really isn't— not anymore. "Kory kept getting mad at me when I avoided talking about people's futures— even if it's changed, more or less, do you want to know?"

Taking a few further steps deeper into the apartment, Gabriel turns on his heel, crossing his arms over his chest as he watches Peter. He falls silent again, not saying anything for a long moment, and he finally speaks, voice low. "You're different." He can see it. He can hear it. The slump in the shoulders, resigned voice, even his heartbeat sounds resigned, if such a thing is possible. "Just telling me about the future is going to change it. If it's bad, if I'm a killer, I'm going to try and stop myself from becoming that— if it's good, and I'm happy, then I'll do what I can to make that happen. Either way, the path I'm going to take is going to change, so what does it really matter if you tell me the future?" It isn't a refusal to hear what his future is like; if anything, the way he faltered on the word 'killer' suggests he's almost scared of what he might have become in the short three years from now.

"That'd always been my view on it," Peter explains quietly. There is something in his pocket, only partially muffled by the coat he's wearing. Sounds like a clock, but it sounds very different all at the same time. It sounds almost like there's multiple ticks. It keeps track of seconds, and something else— perhaps a lot of something elses. "I just wanted to give you the chance to ask— I might have actually told you, even," he adds, before he reaches into his pocket and pulls something out.

It's made of silver. There's an emblem like a Mayan symbol on the top, but the ticking gets louder, showing it for what it is. A pocket watch. A twist and it flips open. There's multiple dials. Chronograph watches might keep seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years— but this keeps more things. "I built this in the future. I don't understand how it works anymore… It was supposed to track moments in time— I'd set it up so I could adjust it entirely with telekinesis when I made a change. It didn't quite work the way I'd intended. I didn't have enough information. I nudged too many events…" But… "I wanted to give it to you." Most of the pieces were his, after all.

Reaching out a hand to accept the watch from Peter, Gabriel turns it over in his hands, examining it from every angle. He holds it up to his ear, listening to various gears tick-tick-ticking their way along through time, turning until the time comes that they finally run out of life and grind to a halt. That won't be this day, however.

Turning his eyes back up to Peter, Gabriel frowns slightly, brow creasing as he watches the man he's come to think of as his opposite. "Maybe you're not so different," he muses, head tilting slightly. "Coming back on your own, trying to save the world, the future, all of us… all by yourself. At least this time you've enlisted the help of others in our present… so at least you're not doing it all by yourself." He continues to watch Peter, that small frown still on his lips still there. Looking back down at the watch, he turns it over in his hands again. "Why do you want to give this to me?"

"I learned my lesson about trying to do everything by myself," Peter explains with a small hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth, looking down at the watch that he's passed over before he puts his hands back into his pocket. "It's your future that we're trying to protect— there's only so much I can do about it. It'll be in your hands. All of you." Their future, their responsibility— but he came back to fix it.

"I'm giving it to you because you're probably the only person I know who could come close to understanding it— or having use for the parts if you would rather just take it apart. I guess you could just give it back to me, too. It's up to you what you do with it."

"I won't take it apart— understand it, maybe, but I've never seen anything like it before." The ex-killer looks at the watch again, flipping it open so he can look at the various dials on the face. It looks complicated, and he can't tell what represents what. Closing it shut, he slips it into his pocket, once again crossing his arms over his chest and leaning on a nearby wall, looking back up to Peter. "Why did you come back? You said it yourself, that you 'nudged too many events.' Why risk it? Why not try to fix things there first, before coming back and potentially making it worse?"

"For a while I did try to fix things there instead," Peter admits quietly, taking a few steps back to get closer to the door, a little relieved that the time piece won't just be taken apart and used for pieces even if he's trying to remain stoic about it. Hard to maintain the look of being distanted from emotion when he's no longer got the abilities to control so much of how he feels and what he experiences…

But there's something about the question that makes him inhale. There's a sound in his heartbeat that matches with sudden tension. Not lies— just raw emotion. Maybe he's remembering something particularly bad. After holding his breath a moment and letting it slowly escape, he responds simply, "You told me to."

Hand sliding into his pocket unconciously as he watches Peter, Gabriel begins to flip open the top of the watch and then immediately close it, over and over, maintaining a perfect rhythm that sounds, ironically enough, like the ticking of a clock. He doesn't seem to realize he's doing it at all. It's only when Peter reveals the truth that it stops, the sound abruptly ceasing, an uneasy and unsettling silence falling over the apartment. "I told you to?" Gabriel says, brow creasing, unsure of what to make of this. AT least Peter hasn't killed him in the future, that much is obvious, so that must mean… "Am I—" Gabriel begins, faltering again, his hand resuming the opening and closing of the pocketwatch, "am I… me? Or.. him?"

"I thought you didn't really think you needed to know?" Peter asks with raised eyebrows, even before he gives an answer to that question. He doesn't really get the time to retract having asked it. "You're you. More so than many people." Cryptic has been what Kory accused him of being and that may be the case now as well. A change in topic follows right after, "What did you want to come see me for?"

"I don't, but—" Gabriel doesn't know how to explain the reason he asked, so he doesn't attempt to. He heard what he needed to hear. At the change in topic, Gabriel glances to Peter, eyebrows raising a bit, but he shakes his head. "Nothing too important. I mainly wanted to know why you came back, but you've already answered that question." He told him to, apparently, in a future where things are Not Good. "Also to see who you were. If you had… changed in the years."

"Everything changes," Peter responds plainly, touching one of the most physical reminders of his changes over the year. "Every time you move a gear, the whole thing changes." There's a reason he created his own version of a string map in the form of a clock. It gave him a focus for the ability he picked up, something constructive to do with it, and it made sense. "So yeah, I'm different than I am in this time, and I'm sure he'll be a different person in four years too."

"You're still the basic… you," Gabriel says, the words not making a whole lot of sense, but hopefully Peter will understand. "I think we all have a basis that we form ourselves around, something that never changes, no matter how much we try to make it. Some of us know what that basis is, some of us don't. Some of us are still looking."

There's a mild tilt of Peter's head as he looks at the no longer older man. Four years gives him the chance to say without much doubt that he's probably the older of the two— but the words out of his mouth… "Coming from you— someone who knows how things work, someone who understands— that's pretty profound. But I'm guessing you're one of the ones still looking. Keep it up. I don't think we're ever destined to be close friends— but you're probably one of the few people who understands what he's going to be going through when he finally returns to the outside world."

"I don't believe in destiny, not quite— a form of it, maybe, but not something that guides and controls our lives completely. I don't want to believe that I'm destined to be Gabriel, or that I'm destined to be Sylar. Well… I could live with being destined to be Gabriel," he adds as an afterthought, an amused smirk tugging at the corner of his lip. "But you get my point. We are what we make ourselves. A villain, a hero…" He shrugs.

"I believe in both. Destiny and free will— " Peter admits with that partial hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth again. "If I just accepted how things turned out— I wouldn't be here. And you wouldn't have told me to come back." It makes sense, though. "Do me a favor— I need you to be one of the ones to go in and get Cass out of Pinehearst. You're the only one even remotely powerful enough now." There'd been more reason for coming up here than to hand over the watch.

"Kory told me about that," Gabriel says, when the conversation moves into Pinehearst. "She said she needed me for 'air support.' That I would be there to, basically, make sure no one dies." He turns his head slightly, a confused look settling over his face. "The only one powerful enough? What about you? Or your from.. this time? Don't get me wrong, if I have to go inside and help save her, I can, but.." He trails off, still watching Peter with that confused look.

"I don't have my abilities right now— and… the me here…" Peter shrugs slowly, not seeming to think this would be the best plan. "Be perpared for something to go wrong. You probably will have to do much more than just air support." He expects there to be much more need for such a thing, at least. Maybe he's just grown to expect the worst. "I should get back to Kory's. She gets worried when I go out by myself." Being 'helpless' doesn't help much.

The watchmaker frowns at Peter. No abilities? That doesn't sound good. Gabriel doesn't press the matter, however. "Something always does go wrong, doesn't it?" Gabriel says, shaking his head. "As long as it doesn't end by Saturday…" he murmurs to himself, eyes on the floor. Figuring that Peter heard that, he preempts him with an explanation. "I have a— date, of sorts, with someone I met at this.. bakery. Her is Zelda." He waves a dismissive hand. Why is he telling him this? "That's not really important, though, and not why you're here." He shrugs slightly. "Okay," he continues in response to Peter having to get back. He takes a few steps forward, giving the man a nod. "Take care of yourself, Peter. If you need anything, I'm here."

"Maybe this was the best thing that could've happened to me, too— now I can leave this city and maybe live out a normal life," Peter says, as if he's seriously considering this option. A normal life sounds nice— but would he ever actually do it? Maybe if he knows that his present self is doing something about this present— maybe this is the only way any of him will ever get any rest. Maybe…

"Zelda?" he repeats the name quietly, as he puts his hand on the door to the apartment again. Perhaps unfamiliar with her, or perhaps falling back into his cryptic. "I hope you have a good time," he adds, opening the door. As he steps out and closes it behind him, he adds in a completely serious tone, "Just make sure you use protection."

Door closes behind him.

Use protection. Gabriel stares at the door where Peter was only a moment before, mouth halfway open in what amounts to shock. He remains that way for a long moment, before shaking his head, unable to help the slow grin that takes over his features. Peter may be Peter, but even Gabriel would admit it was rather funny, even if he was being serious. Door closed, he turns back to the apartment, heading into the kitchen to make himself a glass of tea. Whatever he had to do before can obviously wait.

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