2008-04-16: Time Travel Ruins Grammar

Starring:

Kory_icon.gif FuturePeter_icon.gif

Summary: A time travelers job is only done when he hands the responsibility over to someone else. And messes up their grammar.

Date It Happened: April 16th, 2008

Time Travel Ruins Grammar


Kory's Apartment

The packing boxes are still around. There's little about this place that would make it look like a home. Someone could be moving out or moving in for all anyone knew. But Peter Petrelli of the future knows exactly when the woman moved in, and exactly how much this place has the potential to become a permenant home for her. There's a small warning of his arrival, a rap on the door with a set of knuckles, but no delay to wait for it to be opened.

Instead a hand slides through the door, causing a ripple effect like someone stepping through a reflection on a water. A dreamlike effect. Only he's stepping straight through the door. Hopefully he had a way to check if she had been alone or not. The scar stands out on his face. Still the same man who she met in the comic book store almost a month ago, and less smily than the man who came to her with a babysat girl. He's alone, though. He said he'd call ahead.

That had been a slightly different Peter.

Kory would drop the box, except that she knows only Peter would enter her home uninvited in this way. Leslie can't phase, or he'd have gotten away that way some time ago now. "Peter," she says, frowning a little with the realization that it's not her Peter. Well, not her Peter per se. This is the one from the future. The sad, scary, scarry Peter.

"Kory," Peter verifies recognition by returning it. There's tension around his eyes, cutting across his face like the very visible scar. It's set into his jaw, in his shoulders, in the way he moves. Tension defines him in more ways than he could probably count. "I haven't been able to check on you since…" Or technically before and during as well… "Do you still have your ability back?"

"It's back," Kory confirms. "It hasn't gone away again. I think it must have just been dormant while I healed, and Sasha nudged it awake again. I'm good. What do you need?" Because Peter always needs something. Her expression puts a furrow between her brows that will probably turn into some manner of wrinkle if she keeps doing it, but the rest of her face is a smile. For him. Because she trusts him, loves him, and knows that this Peter — this man from the future — is in pain, and she will help him like she helps the one she knows. And worry about him, like the one she knows. "You don't need to check on me," she assures him gently. "I'm fine."

"I know you're fine, you usually are. You're one of the most self-sufficent people I know," Peter says in a raspy voice, softer than his normal tones that go along with the face he's wearing, though not as friendly or innocent as the voice the one she last saw had. Or the one she met. Jaded and self-aware. That's the way it is, the way it will be. A motion produces an envelope, sealed, like a letter waiting to be mailed. "I've complied a list of people. People who might be able to help you against Pinehearst as they continue to get stronger. Many of them you already know. Most of them are somehow connected to this already… But I need you to do something important. And that's find them. Talk to them. Push them toward the kind of future that we would dream about…"

"Me…?" Kory laughs at being called self-sufficient. She's surprised to be described that way. She reaches a hand for the envelope as soon as she's set down the box she had. She listens, like a faithful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, head tilted. She waits for him to finish speaking before she takes the envelope from him. "The kind of future you won't be in," she says, with a sad note in her voice. "You won't exist." Of course she's thought about it. She's the geek, the sci-fi girl. The comic girl. All the tropes are as natural to her as breathing. "Are you sure?"

"Considering what the future is like, it's a small sacrifice to make sure it never happens," Peter says quietly, though part of him looks oddly grateful, the tension settling. Someone else has thought about it too. Maybe considering the future, disappearing would almost be a mercy for him. "I'll still exist, I'll just be closer to the Peter that you met before, to the one who you got to know— the one you care about. The one I never want to become what I had to." He became what he had to be… "One thing I want to warn you about. I did not include Randall on that list. If you choose to include him, or anyone else not listed, you may, I have no control over your actions. You just have to be aware that… some people need closer supervision then others."

Kory senses the tension leaving Peter. Or rather, she sees it, because a well read girl like her — and yes, the books have been unpacked first, proving it — can see the subtle shifts in posture and body language. She tucks the envelope into her pocket, and then wraps her arms around Peter in a hug. "I will remember you, even if time rewrites," she says, with the solemn air of a promise. "I will remember that you came to warn us. And what you're sacrificing. I will remind Peter when he feels frustrated or stymied that we have work to do." All this, without letting go of him. "You will come back before you have to go, so the last feeling you feel is knowing you have friends who love you, okay?"

She steps back, considering what else he's said. "I trust Randall," she says quietly. "But you're from the future. You know things you haven't told me that I don't know." Her eyes are serious and steely. "If you're leaving him out, it means that something happened. Where I can't trust him anymore."

She turns to look out the window at the breathtaking view of New York. It's a moment before she turns back to Peter. "He saved my life. He put his own fears to the fire to protect me. Is this something I can save him from, Peter, if you tell me? If I know, will I be able to do for him as he has done for me?"

"I know what he did for you, but this future brings out the worst in quite a few people…" Peter explains quietly, glancing away to the wall. The way he does hints to an unspoken confession that he's one of them it brought the worst out of. When she takes the time to look at the list… his name wasn't included either. But maybe he had assumed it would be considered anyway, or maybe he considers himself the same as Randall. "The most I can tell you is that…" Yes, it would seem he still feels the need to be vague… "Some people are never satisfied with who they are, what they are capable of… especially when it comes to the people they care about."

"Peter…" Kory turns to follow his gaze, and then waits for him to look back at her. "You can tell me more than that. Do we need to take this private? So no one but us can hear it? Is that it? You can't tell me something will turn my Randall dark. Turn him away from who he is, into someone I can't trust, and not tell me what I can do to stop it besides conference call in people's sleep and hope for the best. You can't do that to me."

"I realize it's not fair, Kory, but there's some things I just can't… I've time travelled before— when I came back and told people things, things that made… Logan might not have happened when it did if I hadn't told my brother about him," Peter explains quietly, because he can't help but blaming himself for the man coming out, standing, walking, and everything that he's done. All the people he's hurt. The whole future could even be placed on that single act… "Stopping Pinehearst will stop what happened— it's the key. What Pinehearst is working on, what it's trying to acomplish, and what it will become under my father's leadership…"

Kory opens her mouth to protest again, but she can see by the set of his jaw, the sorrow in his eyes, that he's not going to back down on this. "I won't beg you," she says, and she lets the note of hurt enter her voice. "I'll just have to figure it out myself."

"But you can count on me to do what needs to be done." The Comic Girl has read Days of Future Past. She knows what might be at stake. Losing Randall? Not an option, in her mind. "I understand, Peter, and I won't let you down. Either of you."

"I'm sorry, Kory, but the more details… don't let this push you away from him— I wasn't trying to do that to either of you," Peter does clarify, suddenly sounding on the self-conscious side of things. He's unsure exactly how to make the situation sound nicer. He would like Randall to be saved, but he had been left out because of things he doesn't even know he did yet. Him among others. "I know you won't— but don't let yourself down, either," he adds, glancing around the room. "I want to save this world so that the people I care about can live in it— not just so they can be alive." Always a difference between living and being alive.

"I'm no Storm. No Vixen. But I will do what needs to be done," Kory says, her own jaw setting. "I'll be in touch with everyone on the list." Which she takes out of her pocket to open and scan through quickly. "Anyone I need to tread extra carefully with? Can you tell me that much?" She swallows; she kept the bitterness out of her tone with an effort.

"You should be a little careful with everyone, but there are some people who…" There's a pause, as if Peter is trying to recall specific details. There would be one he can think of… "If you can get ahold of Claire Bennet… be careful where her father is concerned. Especially careful. Contacting her through the dreams would probably be safe. She knows how to keep a secret in most situations, so you don't have to worry about that… I've also been in her dreams before." So she'll have experience in those situations.

"Okay. Where am I likely to find her? I do have to get around the city to get in range of some of these people. Unless you've got phone numbers, emails, twitters, smoke signals, or some other way for me to go 'Hi, sweet Italian guy from the future asked me to speak to you'…" She's being flip, which means she's scared. And taking it seriously, despite the joke tone.

"I've included phone numbers, places of residence, places where they work, emails… whatever I have at the moment to give you. Including pictures on some of them," Peter explains, though he does catch her joking tone, he's not dropping his seriousness either. "Everything I know about how and where to contact them, I've given you. If it's not enough, you still have my phone number and you can ask me for more information."

Kory half-lids her eyes at Peter. "I won't ask." There's a certain defiance there. A certain closing of the connection between them. He's reminded her in no uncertain terms he's not her Peter, and she's gotten to the point now where she's glad of that. "I'll work it out. I'm a smart girl who reads a lot and doesn't need to sleep."

"And that is why you're one of the most self-sufficent people I know," Peter says, actually tugging the corner of his mouth into a partial smile. "Don't work yourself too hard, even if I know you can handle it. You're one of the brightest souls I know… and you should continue to be bright, no matter what happens." That too, is vague. "Good bye," he adds, before he turns to walk toward the door— or the wall. Either way, it appears he may be leaving, taking this as a cue.

Kory lifts one shoulder in embarrassed acknowledgement of the compliment; of its repeat, even. "Randall will make sure I rest now and again," she tells Peter. "Thank you. For all you were able to do." She adds, after a breath that's a touch shaky, "Good-bye." She has the feeling he won't give her her request to come say goodbye before he goes back to a future that will hopefully be better when he gets there.

"The only thing I've ever done right… is trying to push people in the right direction. Now it's up to you," Peter says, glancing back to look her in the eyes. It's up to her, Randall, everyone on the list… The people of this timeline must fight to create their own future. "But you're welcome, Muse," he says, rather than her real name, stepping through the wall next to the door and vanishing.

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