2007-06-27: Time To Talk, Time To Drink

Starring:

Jack_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter stops in at the Den with the intention to drink. It's been a long week. Only it's not just a long week for him, and he's not alone in needing a drink. He just happens to be a very depressed drunk. Fair warning. Drunk emo follows.

Date It Happened: June 27, 2007

Time To Talk, Time To Drink


Den of Iniquity

Friday nights at the Den are always busy to a greater or lesser extent. Tonight it's lesser. Several tables are filled, and one end of the bar is heavily packed with a group of college students that rightfully have no place here. Other than that, things are quiet. Jack is at the empty end of the bar, studiously allowing his cocktail waitress to handle the business of serving twentysomethings while he flips through a Pontiac parts catalogue and sips a vodka/rocks. Tonight he's wearing a black t-shirt with the words 'Excuse me, but you're standing on my penis.' printed in faded white lettering, a pair of dark, slightly worn jeans, and his favorite pair of scuffed black boots.

Not a regular by any means, Peter's stepped into this bar enough times that he understands when it's busier than some nights. Not as busy as others, but definitely a few people passing money around for beers. A simple black shirt without anything witty scrawled across it, and jeans, are his usual attire for the warmer nights of summer. A carrier bag with a logo on one side hangs over his shoulder and across his chest and he makes his way towards the bar, trying to find a place away from the college students. A different crowd than normal, but he's not really wanting to be socialable with their type today. Or perhaps socialable at all, if the look on his face is anything. Going all the way to Brooklyn for a bar? He must have some preference for this place. Maybe it's because Nuclear Warheads might actually be welcome.

When Peter enters, the cocktail waitress immediately moves to take his order. After all, Jack has shown very little interest in doing any real work today, why should he start now?

But when Jack looks up, he smiles crookedly and waves the woman away. He'll handle this one. "Peter. C'mon, man. Down here." He waves Pete to the far end of the unoccupied section of the bar. When he's settled, he glances over at the (slightly) older man and quirks an eyebrow curiously. "You okay, kiddo? You look like you've got somethin' on your mind. Why doncha order a drink and tell ol' Jackie what's botherin' you?"

Most people wouldn't see it if they called Peter slightly older. Even with his hair cut short, he just looks younger in the face than his twenty-seven years. As directed, he moves and sits close to the bartender, settling into the seat and pulling the bag out from around his shoulder and setting it against his feet. Hopefully it won't wander off anywhere. "Just— having a long day. What do you recommend that's strong?" Him drinking heavy probably isn't a good sign that it's been "just" a long day.

Jack's fingers wander absently over the line of liquor bottles above the bar. Then, apparently satisfied, he nods and pulls one down. Stolichnaya. He retrieves a glass for Peter, pours him a measure of vodka, then tops off his own drink. "Stoli's good enough for James Bond after a hard day. I figure that counts for something." He's not normally inclined to pry, but the man sitting in front of him is probably the largest repository for self-imposed guilt on the planet. Rather than ask again, he just gently advises, "He makes savin' the world all by yourself look easy, don't he?"

"Yeah, but he's not completely by himself," Peter says, accepting the drink and taking an indulgent sip from it. Not downing it by any means, but certainly more than what he might have normally done. It makes him flinch a little, eyebrows lower, before he settles down with a mild clearing of his throat. Doesn't go down as hard as whiskey, at least. "But he does make it look easy, yeah," he adds, voice a little deeper and more whispered now that he's had a drink. "Haven't had much chance to talk to you lately. Last time I came in you were pretty busy."

The bottle of vodka is set aside, but not too far away, and Jack doesn't bother replacing the cap. Wether it's his own desire for alcohol or his finely honed instincts as a bartender, something's telling him that he doesn't want to put the booze away just yet. "We've all been busy," he agrees. "Some of us more than others." He clinks the rim of his glass against Peter's and takes a swig of his own before continuing. "How 'bout you, kiddo? Where've you been keepin' yourself these days?"

"I'm staying with Heidi and the boys right now," Peter explains, looking down into his drink as he continues to hold onto the glass. It's tilted around a little, as if he's trying to watch the vodka shift around without sloshing out. "They— need some extra protection right now. There might be someone going after them. Not really sure. Between them and working with Cass— been pretty busy." Kids are exhausting, even if he loves them. "Then there's this… Crane bastard starting up a campaign. Don't always support my brother, but if these people had any idea what he did to save them…" Which they don't. He trails off to take another drink. There might be other issues he's hesitating to bring up, from the broodiness in his eyes. "What've you been up to? Did you ever get your car fixed up?"

"Julia rides again," Jack aknowledges. "She gets beat up a lot. Our relationship is sometimes rocky, but always fulfilling." Yes, he just said that. But his vehicular issues seem small in comparison to what Peter's got going on. "Protection? That doesn't sound promising at all." He takes a deep breath, holds it for a moment, then lets it out slowly. "You know that you can ask me if you need a hand with anything, right?"

"Good to hear— you seemed to like her a lot," Peter says, speaking about the car as if it's a person, which with the relationship metaphors, probably isn't too far off on this. There's a hint of a frown at the mention of a fulfilling relationship, though, but he gets side tracked with a nod, "Yeah— I know I can call for help any time I need it. Might do that, too, but we have heightened security already, with Nathan campaigning again. A good chunk of the electorate still strongly opposes him. Especially now that there's a fanatic to follow." And that's exactly what he's going to call Crane. "The trouble has nothing to do with him, though— it's something a little closer to… us."

"Crane." Jack repeats the name aloud, committing it to memory. "We'll get back to him. Tell me more about this trouble, boy-o." Heightened security? That earns an approving nod. In his mind, more men with more guns always make for less problems. He takes another sip of Stoli, then closes his magazine and pushes it aside. It's not like he was reading it. It's a not-so-subtle message. Body language for 'You have my undivided attention.'

There's a mild glance around, but anyone close enough to listen in over the noise of the college students happens to be making that noise. Peter looks back across and takes a drink before saying, "I'm not sure how much you know about this already. Might be close enough to— to Elena— to the Gomez's to already know a lot. Possibly even more than I do." There'd been an odd hesitation when he mentioned the oldest of the Gomez kids, a glance away towards his drink. "How much do you know about what happened to Mrs. Gomez? About the man that Mr. Gomez had been trying to track down?"

"Some," Jack replies. Which is technically true. He knows that Mrs. Gomez was murdered, and now that Peter's told him, he knows that Mr. Gomez is up to something. "Probably not as much as you. Why don't you bring me up to speed?" He lifts his glass to empty it, then pours a refill for the both of them.

"Apparently there's this… guy. Bald guy." Peter gives a mild description of the man, as if he's actually seen him, including some mannerisms and voice tone. A little too detailed for a photograph. Possibly a video? His voice is whispered, so as not to carry to anyone who might be able to listen over the college guys at the bar. The tables have some occupents as well, but the youngest Petrelli brother sits at the end of the bar, with the owner himself. "He has the ability to tell people what to do, give them commands. Apparently he made Mrs. Gomez kill herself, and— Mr. Gomez showed up to ask me for help with something. Wanted to use me to get a closer look at a place— since I can move unseen. And when we got inside we found… evidence that my sister-in-law has a connection with Mrs. Gomez, and the other victims he's gone after. She and one other are the only ones still alive." Hence the worry. He pauses to take a drink. "Nathan doesn't know yet. He's out campaigning, and we didn't want to tell him over the phone, so we're waiting til he gets back."

"Goody gumdrops," is Jack's muttered, unenthusiastic reply to this series of statements. He's suddenly very pleased that he chose to keep the vodka close at hand. He empties his second portion in a single gulp, then immediately pours another. "Jesus, man. This is really bad. Obviously." He's a doer, not a thinker. He rubs one hand wearily against his stubbled jaw and meets Peter's eyes squarely. "What are we gonna do?" he asks. That's the way it works. You point, I punch.

"Gonna keep her safe until we figure out what he really wants," Peter says with a shrug, taking a far more generous drink off of his vodka, until he finishes it. It's pushed forward a bit, a request for a refill. "Not sure what else we can do, yet. Can't find the guy until he makes a move. Place he was tracked to was probably abandoned since Mr. Gomez found it. Made some obvious damages so he'd know we were there, and got his paper work." Not to mention something else he had hidden upstairs, in the form of a person… but he doesn't quite understand how that worked out. "Sure you were going to be let in, there's just… so much going on right now. Elena…" Again with the hesitation. "…she's been really busy."

Stepping into the bar from outside, extremely overdressed for the season, is Mara Damaris. The heavy brown leather duster hangs open, slightly loose and the woman makes no move to shrug it off once inside. She looks in desperate need of something - likely sleep, rather than a stiff drink, but you can bet she's here for the latter and couldn't care less about the former at the moment. She even looks as though she's lost a pound or two. Or five. She's moving toward the bar, looking for the owner of her favourite dive. Where are you Derex? Aha-oh! Peter. Well, isn't that convenient. The redhead approaches the pair at the end of the bar. Even in the dim lighting, the dark rings under her eyes are plainly visible, causing her to look even more sallow than at first glance.

Jack takes note of Peter's hesitant tone when he mentions Elena for the second time. They'll be talking about that later, along with the issue that is Mr. Crane. When Mara approaches the Irishman smiles widely, but the expression grows muted when his eyes wander up her figure to her face. "Damaris. You look like shit," he comments bluntly. "Sit down and have a drink. You look like you could use one."

And maybe there's an even worse thing ready to be laid out, as Peter glances over his shoulder to look at the new redhead. "Mara," he says softly, looking surprised to see her. And maybe a little drunk. He did just finish off a glass of something stronger than he's used to, and he's totally askng for a second. Shifting in his seat so that she can have the one further from the college guys, he picks up his bag and moves that too. It's been a long day for him too, that's visible from a haunted look in his eyes, but it's not that he hasn't slept. "Are you okay?"

Jack suddenly realizes that he committed a boner, and prompty refills Peter's glass.

"No, I'm really not." Mara shakes her head in reply to Peter's query, flashing a brief glance to Jack. "Wallbanger." The only word she needs to utter. She proceeds to rest her elbows on the bar and bury her face in her hands. This only lasts the span of three seconds before her head jerks up again and she quickly looks over first one shoulder, then the other. Though seemingly satisfied after a moment of observation, she keeps her head up, staying alert. Her head turns one way, then the other, every few seconds as she monitors her surroundings. "You look just about as bad," she notes of Peter. One hand drifts to rest against Jack's leg for a short moment. It's good to see you, too.

Jack pauses just long enough to brush the backs of two knuckes against Mara's cheek. It's a brief gesture, then he turns to mix the requested drink. As it's one of his specialties, it doesn't take long before he sets a tall, sweating glass in front of the detective. His eyes meet hers, his expression concerned, his mouth pressed into a thin line. "Things are rough all over, it seems," he observes. For once he doesn't look like something a rat shat out, so he can dodge this assessment.

"Just had a long week," Peter gives as the token answer, again. There's a small raise of his left eyebrow at her drink order, but he sticks to his newly refilled vodka, and downs another healthy sized gulp. He's moved up from sipping. "You know me… Can't leave anything alone." Everyone's problem is his problem as soon as he hears about it. Looks like the fact that he's taking so much on his shoulders like now is wearing on him. Or maybe it's the only way he can avoid thinking about his own personal problems…

"Peter…" Mara heaves a heavy sigh and does the only thing she can think of to do in this situation. She takes the drink Jack's made for her and starts drinking. And drinking. Okay, so she's kind of chugging it. Only when it's three-quarters gone does she finally come up for air. And even then it only seems to be so she can turn her head from side to side to look about again. "God damn." She presses her lips together and rakes her fingers through her hair. "Good drink as always, Jack." She looks like she might have maybe, possibly thought about offering some sort of weak smile, but it never quite gets there. "Hey, Pete? Can you ask your brother to call me when you talk to him again? Tell him I need to meet with him? I know he's busy with the campaign and… Just tell him I need to meet with him. A phone call isn't going to do it."

Jack looks honestly sympathetic toward Peter's plight. He know a little of what's going on, and he's frequently put himself in the same position that the younger Petrelli brother is in right now. Self-appointed defender. He raises his glass, wordlessly saluting the other man before he lifts it to take a sip. Then his gaze returns to Mara, studying her intently. While he's the last person who can question speed of consumption, he can't help but lift an eyebrow. "Thanks," he replies to her compliment. He reaches across the bar to grip her shoulder and squeeze reassuringly.

At the furious drinking, Peter also raises that eyebrow a bit, looking moderately worried at the speed and volume in which she's drinking. It worries him, but not as much as what she happens to say to him when she's done. Eyes shift away from her as he looks towards his glass, and he hesitates more than he might have a few monthes ago. But things have changed in a few months, and… "Nathan's out campaigning right now. I can ask him to call you— but when he gets back there's some things he needs to— important things that…" He shakes his head, even closing his eyes a moment. It seems she's asked something of him that actually might be difficult for him to do. "What's going on?"

"I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important," Mara says firmly. The hand on her shoulder is acknowledged by the overlaying of her own. "I just… There's something I need to tell him. And I need to tell him in person. That's just all there is to it." Short. To the point. Matter-of-fact. "I really don't want to worry you, Peter." There's a 'but' in there somewhere.

Feeling a bit out of place in the conversation now, Jack uses his free moment to dig a pack of cigarettes and few stick matches from the pocket of his worn jeans. He shakes two loose and plugs them both into his mouth, then strikes one of the matches with his thumbnail. After lighting up, he waves the match out, drops it in the ashtray, and offers one of the nonfilters to Mara.

Jaw tightening at those words, Peter downs another unhealthy gulp from his drink before he responds, voice deeper and more rasped, "I get it." He says that almost as if it's something he's gotten too many times, and just because he understands… doesn't mean he likes it. "I'll tell him." But it sounds as if he still doesn't like it, and might even be hurt by the fact she won't tell him. There's another drink from his glass, and he actually finishes it off. Pretty fast for someone who doesn't drink quite as often as these two, and it's starting to show.

Mara takes the cigarette in the V of her fingers and takes in a long, slow drag. "And to think I've been trying to quit," she mutters as she exhales the first breath of smoke. "Stay with me, Derex. This is important." And there's no easy way to say it, so don't make me repeat myself once I've found the right words, jerk. Peter's reaction actually startles her. "It isn't that, Peter. I just… need to be- I need to see him." She briefly rubs one hand over her face. Jesus, Damaris. Keep it together. "I was in Hartsdale earlier this week, accompanying Mohinder as he went to visit a patient." She takes in another lungful of tobacco and nicotine before continuing, "He… got a rather disconcerting phone call. For me."

Unlike Peter, Jack spends most of his time in here swilling some sort of alcohol. On a long enough timeline tolerance is inevitable, much to the Irishman's dismay. Always an obliging host, he tips out another few gulps' worth of Stoli into Peter's glass. He peers over at Mara and gives her shoulder another squeeze, more curious now than ever. He takes a draw from his own cigarettes, then speaks with it still clenched between his lips. "Who was it?"

Curious wouldn't be a description of Peter's expression when he looks over at Mara to absorb the first bit of what she has to say. Someone who could call Mohinder— to catch her on the phone. He'd not known she was still in contact with Mohinder at all, but… it doesn't take much for him to guess who it might be. Who she'd need to see Nathan about. Who she might hesitate to worry him about. The youngest Petrelli closes his eyes for a moment, before taking a generous gulp from his alcohol. If he keeps drinking like this he may have a difficult time remember what she's about to say. But he still looks back to wait for the answer.

The last of the Harvey Wallbanger is polished off and the half-smoked cigarette stubbed out before Mara finds her courage and some words to go along with them. "Gabriel Gray," she answers finally, in a voice so soft that one would think she was speaking the name of Death himself. In a way, she is. "He… he knew I would be with Mohinder. Don't ask me how, but he knew." The lump forming in her throat is swallowed back and she squares her shoulders, casting another quick glance around the bar before she she lowers her voice to a low, dangerous tone - her best impression of the man, "I know you're still around, he said. Still… ticking, so to speak." She remembers everything he said. Word for word. "Your time is running out. I would keep a careful eye on your surroundings." Though she's trying to sound cool, her voice is slowly rising in pitch. Hello, panic. It's nice to see you again. "Oh, and detective?" All pretense of mimicking the Evolved killer's tone is abandoned. "Be seeing you." Theatrics? Yeah, those are over.

"'Be seeing you?'" Jack quotes. "That's good an' creepy. Makes it sound like he's watching you or something." A shiver runs down Jack's spine. Reluctantly, he disengages from he and Mara's combined grip and turns to whip her up another drink. In two shakes, he sets a glass identical to the first in front of her. The empty is whisked away into the sink. When he returns to stand across from her and Peter again, his face is weary and his shoulders slumped. Tonight has been quite the infodump for him.

"Great," Peter murmurs softly, looking down towards his left hand rather— well— symbolically. If she didn't know which hand he lost in the battle with the man who'd prefer to be called Sylar, she should know now. "See if you can set up motion detectors, or heat sensors. Though I wouldn't count on the last." There's a rather depressed and almost defeatest sound to his voice. Being drunk may not be the best time to deal with this information. "Could hide in plain sight and sneak up on you before he even had invisibility," he murmurs under his breath, then takes a long drink. Those few gulps he got poured? They might be gone by the time he puts the drink down. After hearing that, he needs it.

"Thanks, Pete. Always a comfort." Mara rolls her eyes and takes another long drink with a shake of her head. And then, her head tips forward, slowly, until it suddenly snaps up again and she looks around wildly. Where was I? What was I thinking? Sleep? I don't need to sleep. Plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead, and I don't want to die. "I keep… having these moments where I'm so brave and I just… want him to show up so I can shoot him in the face," a concealed gun would explain the presence of the duster, more than likely, "and then there's times, like these, where I'm just ready to run and hide forever. But I tried that once. I'm not very good at it. I gather the courage again and I think I can take on the world." Her head bobs once more, but she catches herself far quicker this time. She at least has the presence of mind to push her drink away.

"Whoa. Steady, lady-o." Jack glances over at Peter, then reaches across the bar to press the back of his hand against Mara's forehead, then one of her cheeks. "You feel a little on the warm side. If you never sleep, you won't be fit to fight him if he does show up, right?" He chucks one thumb in the direction of his office. "I've got a cot in there if you wanna have a lie-down while I watch your back."

Two people who have deranged serial killers after them. And worse— he still has to tell his brother about both of them. Peter can't really be a comfort right now when he needed it just as much. With all the gestures between the two of them, though… "No one wants him to come after you, Mara. And if you call me, I'll be here as fast as I can, but we both know I can't beat him. All I can do is buy you time to escape." And this is the downside of bringing this up while he's drunk and already self-depreciating. His self confidence might as well have commited suicide. "Though I might be able to make him stop coming after you forever— I don't know." And it sounds like he doubts it. What's left of his drink is finished, and he starts to move to stand up. He's not able to comfort or protect right now.

Mara reaches out to snag Peter's hand. His left hand. "There is no one I trust more to save me than you, Peter." Sorry, Jack. "If… If you're in a spot, and it looks like you kind of are, let me help you. It's not going to do me any good to keep looking over my shoulder and waiting. If he's coming, he's coming. There's no way I'll be prepared when it happens. So you may as well let me stay busy." She lets go of the younger Petrelli's hand and maybe tries to smile. "Call me tomorrow, though. If you feel like sharing." She turns her attention back to Jack and lets out a small huff. "A cot, huh? It'll work, I guess."

The only thing that Jack likes less than seeing his friends frightened or upset is seeing them physically hurt, and it seems there's a good chance that one may lead to the other in the situation, possibly for a lot of people. "Peter." Jack's voice is carefully composed to avoid slurring, but still carries a note of quiet, steady confidence. He meets the other man's eyes squarely and holds his gaze. "I believe you can beat him."

The left hand squeezes back, because it can. Thanks to his abilities. Peter doesn't know what he'd have done if it hadn't thawed out and grown back… but it did… The smile gets rather weakly returned, before he says, "Not sure you can help with the one I'm on right now…" Asking the other woman to help protect the wife of the man she slept with? Yeah, that'd go over well… "But I'll call you. Might— still need to take you shopping…" He won't accept that her new apartment may soon be empty. Even if he doesn't believe he can beat Sylar… his eyes shift towards Jack and he stays looking there a long moment before he pulls the bag over his head and lets it rest across his chest. "Thanks…" He could use a little of that confidence in himself right now. "I'll talk to you soon too… Keep an eye out— but more— more importantly keep an ear open."

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