2007-05-05: To Protect Everyone

Starring:

Elle_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: In the aftermath of another death, Peter meets up with his girlfriend and tells her what happened, truthfully— and then gets talked into doing something he'd rather not do. Again. But he's doing it because he wants to protect everyone, and he doesn't think he can.

Date It Happened: May 5th, 2007

To Protect Everyone


Peter Petrelli's Apartment

EARLIER

PHONE: You dial the number 283-4658. It begins to ring.

PHONE: The other end answers, "Hello?"

PHONE: Peter sounds a little odd, almost as if he's in pain… again. "Elle? Well, you told me to call you if I got into trouble… sorry I couldn't call until after, though."

PHONE: Elle's voice is surprisingly quiet. "What happened?"

PHONE: Peter still sounds ragged, coughs for a moment and then talks again. It also sounds like he's moving. The sounds of activity can be heard around him, people jostling by, cars honking. "Stopped by the book store. To see how things were, since we nearly wrecked it, you know… And… there was someone inside. Went to investigate and— I think she's possessed or something. But one of the people who worked there— used to work there— killed me."

PHONE: Elle is silent a moment. There's things going through her head. "Who?" she asks. Asking how he is is somewhat pointless…he heals, and he's well enough to call her.

PHONE: Peter seems to stop moving for a moment, as if to lean against a building. "Don't think it's entirely her fault— seemed like a different person. Well— it is, but not." It sounds confusing, and somewhat naive, trusting. But she's already called him on this. Even then, he still continues, "Called herself Jessica. I knew her as Niki. She almost killed her boss— think she might've taken a painting. Apparently the store had a Mendez."

PHONE: Elle thinks just a moment, and then replies "You're all right now? Safe now?"

PHONE: Peter seems to start moving again, as evidenced in his voice changing, hints of exertion, "Safe now. Could've done worse while I was dead and all she did was dump me in a trash can. Trying to get back to the apartment invisible. Need to shower and change clothes…"

PHONE: Elle replies, her voice a little crisp. "Right. Talk to you soon."

PHONE: The phone call has been ended by the other person.

HOUR LATER

Elle knocks at the door.

As Peter had almost been expecting Elle to stop by before he'd be out of the shower, he actually left the door unlocked. He's yet to have anyone break in, even when he had no good lock on the door, so he didn't expect it to happen. When she doesn't stop by, though, he gets worried, glancing towards his phone a few times and wondering if he should call. Sitting around shirtless, he checks his watch again, until he hears the knock. Peeking through the spyhole, he sees his girlfriend and quickly unlocks the door. Anyone else he might have slipped a shirt on for. "I thought you'd get over here faster," he admits once the door is open.

Elle looks a little annoyed, but not full-on AngryBlonde. "I had a lot of phonecalls to make, and a stop, too." she says. "I'm getting the matter straightened out."

Gesturing her inside, Peter closes the door when she's in and locks it. "What do you mean sorted out?" The trashcan in the kitchen has a fresh pile of added things, specifically ruined bled through clothes.

Elle steps inside. She's got a professional tone to her voice. This isn't AngryBlonde. This is CompanyBlonde. Which might well be worse. "The Niki Sanders situation. I tracked her back, but now isn't the time to move on her. So she's under observation, and the people have instructions to call me."

"Elle… It's not Niki that hurt me," Peter tries to explain. "Niki actually helped me once, against Sylar, the night I blew up. I don't know /who/ that was that attacked me, but it's wasn't Niki. It was just— her body." Always trying to find excuses for some people. "Maybe the Company can help her with— whatever's happening to her," he adds, so he's not denying the possibility they could genuinely be doing good. "But it's not Niki's fault. It's that Jessica woman inside her."

Elle nods. "I know, Peter. Trust me, we have a good deal of information about Niki…and Jessica Sanders. We thought the situation was under control, and clearly it isn't. She has to be brought in so we can get the Jessica problem reined in, before she hurts anyone else." Well, it -sounds- altruistic. "Not everyone heals like you do."

There's a nod, and Peter can't help but agree. "Jessica… needs to be controlled. Somehow." There's no denying that. He's not giving everyone who kills him a free pass… and she did hurt someone else at the same time. "So the Company knew about her?" There's a small sigh, as he moves into the living room area and sits down on the couch. Snowy bounds over for attention, and he picks her up and sits her on his lap. He at least has jeans on.

Elle nods. "Yes." she answers. She moves over to sit next to him. "We'd treated her for her problem with Jessica. We -thought- that situation was under control. Obviously things have gotten worse since she was with us."

Leaning against her, Peter closes his eyes. Dying isn't something that happens every day, and he nearly died just two nights ago… At least this time he didn't make an attempt to hide the fact, though he may regret it later. "She doesn't seem to know what she does as Jessica," he says, thinking back on the rest of what they'd realized after the fact, when they started putting pieces together. "I got a job out of this," he says in passing.

Elle shakes her head. "No. She's a classic case of MPD." A wry smile. "Consider it a coincidence; the Company has a thing for crazy blondes. And what kind of job?" A more curious expression.

"The crazy Company blondes seem to like nearly killing me," Peter adds with a laugh, leaving out the hints that Jessica made towards sleeping with his brother while he's at it. That's just too much of a coincidence. "She quit her job after hurting her boss," he explains. "So I offered to work there part time. Could use the money. And everything short of Sylar seems to happen there— who knows, maybe Sylar's next."

Elle keeps the smile. But now it's forced. DAMMIT, Peter. Elle starts trying to come up with a backup plan. "I didn't think you really needed to worry about money? Famous rich family and all that?"

"I got money, yeah— family money— but I'd rather live on my own work, and not off of my father's," Peter admits, a hint of daddy issues coming through. He doesn't seem to notice the forced smile, or the backup plan going on in her head. "Up until the bomb I paid for this apartment on my own. Now I owe mom more money than I'm going to be able to pay back— not including the time we stayed with them at the mansion."

Elle nods. She seems a little derailed, though, and leans back into the couch, letting out a sigh of general frustration.

Okay. Now Peter notices. Glancing over, with one hand on the puppy in his lap, he frowns at his girlfriend's sigh and leaning back. "What's wrong?"

Elle frowns. "The decisions you make end up putting me in a hard place. I'm supposed to get the list at that store, Peter. I was about to do it. Now you've put me into one of those rock and hard places I didn't want to be between my dad and you."

What she says shouldn't surprise him at all. Peter looks at her quietly for a long time, and then nods, "I'm sorry. I think the list was already destroyed by the sprinklers. Doubt anyone they'd had was dangerous anyway. Just people who were curious about what they could do— why they had this ability— people who wanted to know they weren't alone."

Elle replies "If it's gone, then I need what's out of their heads as to who was on it. It doesn't matter if they're dangerous, Peter. We need to ID as many people as have abilities as is possible, because each one is a potential target of Sylar's."

It would seem that she's made a point that pulls him up short. Peter glances down towards his hands, the puppy on his lap, and he frowns thoughtfully. "Is that the only reason you want the list? To identify them?"

Elle replies "That's why -I- want the list, Peter. If we know who's on there, then that's people that we can watch. Even people that we can give a means to contact someone, in case they think they're being followed. In case they see anyone matching Sylar's description." Pause. "And the other way, if he starts demonstrating certain new abilities that are on that list…then we know people we need to check on."

Peter closes his eyes and leans back now. "It makes sense… but these people— they don't deserve this. I know they're targets and I know they're in danger— but watching them? I don't like that. But I'll talk to them… Considering the danger some people might welcome the protection." But it doesn't sound like he thinks everyone would.

Elle frowns. "Would you rather we -didn't- watch them and they end up with a pop-top for a head, Peter?" she says, bluntly. "Every person whose name we DON'T have is a person we CAN'T protect."

"And who can say that Sylar won't just get the names from you?" Peter asks, keeping his head tilted back. "He got healed somehow. I know he didn't find Claire. But he needed her blood to cure himself… and the only place that would have had her blood in storage is the Company."

Elle looks shocked, for just an instant. And then her eyes narrow and her voice goes venomous. "Because we're the only source of healing blood, of course. Claire Bennet never bleeds anywhere else. Adam Monroe doesn't have healing blood. Neither do you." She stands up, angry, and starts for the door.

"I wasn't meaning the Company /gave/ it to him," Peter suddenly says, eyes opening as he stands up, moving after her, and even trying to catch her hand. She'll need to unlock the door to get out, and there's two deadbolts and the doorknob to go through. The puppy gets deposited rather suddenly on the couch as he stand too. "He was working with a girl who had ties to the Company— or at least someone I was working with thought she did. Her father worked for them, like yours does. What I'm saying is he's /Sylar/. If he knows the Company looks for people like us— If I were him and wanted a convenient list of targets, that's where I'd go. I'm not saying you don't have security measures… but if /I/ could break in there, and I might be able to," Probably not, because he kinda sucks most the time, "He could too."

Elle gets grabbed, and looks back at Peter. Nearly…-very- nearly…electrifies herself. But she manages to bite it back, and directs the anger into her voice. "And there is no such thing as a perfect solution, Peter. But he doesn't know this list exists, or everyone at that bookstore would be dead already. And like it or not, the Company is the best-defended facility against Evolved threats. It's not perfect. But t's better than anyplace else on the planet is going to be. The police put people who might be in danger under protective surveillance every. Day. Why is it suddenly a bad thing to want to protect these people?"

There's a long pause from Peter. He may or may not be aware that he nearly go crisped, but either way, he wraps his arms around her and closes his eyes, "It's not…" There's something almost defeated in his voice, broken, as if he's fighting against something that he doesn't want to. "If it'll only be used for their protection… I'll get what names I can. If it's used for anything else… what they did to Jane, or you…" his voice trails off, not finishing what he's saying. Though it could be worded as a threat, the /sound/ makes it sound more like he'll completely hate himself if it's used for anything else.

Elle looks back to Peter. "Thank you." she says, quietly. And then, trying to lighten the mood a little bit, she says "I'd really have hated to get into a fight with you for it."

Peter seems to be quietly suffering, for whatever reason. "Wouldn't say it's over yet. I don't know all of them. Most the ones I do know… your Company already knows about. I know because some of them have been mind wiped by your people," he says, letting go of her and moving away, rubbing his hands over his face. "Really don't want to do this. But— I don't know if I can protect them."

Elle looks back at him. "And you're not supposed to have to. Peter, you said it yourself. The Company has resources you don't. Let us use them."

"But I do have to," Peter says softly, shaking his head, realizing how childish it sounds, but saying it away. "I'm /supposed/ to stop him. Should have stopped him last year. Would have, if I were stronger." The hands drop from his face, but he doesn't turn back around to face her.

Elle reaches up to put her hands on his shoulders. "Peter." she says, quietly. "You can't go second-guessing yourself for what might be or could be. We get one day at a time, and we do the best we can. That's all we can do."

There's tension along his bare back, muscles tight under her hands. Peter closes his eyes again, head tilting downward. "Did you know— the day I broke out finally— the day you helped me break out— we ran into Sylar? I'd been held in the Company for months. Didn't even know he was alive. And there he was. Exactly the same place we went. My family home. If that's not fate telling me that I'm supposed to fight him— that I /have/ to be the one to stop him…"

Elle rubs gently at his back. "That doesn't mean you have to do it alone. You have friends. And people who can help you. But you have to let us do that."

There's a shake of his head, and the tension doesn't vanish from his back, though at least Peter doesn't pull away from her touch. Even then… It seems he disagrees. The only point he'll raise is simple, though, "Not everyone can heal like I do."

Elle nods. "You're right. But not everyone needs to. Despite your dizzying array of powers, Peter. I'm willing to put money down that I can kill quicker than you can." Because he'll hesitate. She won't.

"I've never killed anyone," Peter admits, letting her know that, yes, he'd probably hesitate. Killing just isn't something he's used to doing, or wanting to do, most the time. Now he turns around again, and reaches to wrap his arms around her. Killer that she might be, he doesn't seem to care right now.

Elle doesn't look like a killer at the moment. She looks like a short, slight blonde girl worried about her boyfriend. She's looking up at him, and she just holds him. "It'll be okay. I promise."

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