2007-06-15: Too Important To Lose


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter and Elena take the Petrelli sons back to Heidi after the rampaging rhino incident.

Date It Happened: June 15, 2007

Too Important To Lose

The Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park, New York City

The shakes were subsiding.

The jacket most certainly helped, and through the car ride home, she huddled into it, Elena's eyes directed fully to the passing traffic as the Petrelli sons sat between herself and Peter, chatting away about how the rhino started chasing them, and that it was scary, but now that they thought about it, it was awesome too. About how Auntie Elena ran so fast and didn't stop. But she herself wasn't talking, she had way too much pride to reveal the tremor in her voice, and too afraid to admit to the pins and needles sensation in her body as she silently rides the consequences of the boost.

Scientifically she could surmise what it was. Adrenaline, poured into her bloodstream like liquor in Jack's gullet. It had to be tapered off, allowed to fade, but whenever it dies, it just stops completely. It was the natural equivalent of going cold turkey, which was probably why she had the tremors. When the boys asked her why she was shaking, she had to lie. She told them she was scared too….which hurt her 'cool factor' some to the boys, because superheroes didn't get scared. Hopefully now they just think that Aunt Elena just manages to run really really fast when giant things are chasing her.

Not a bad power to have really.

When George stops in front of the mansion, she gets out of the car, and lets the boys run ahead of her quietly. She'll see them to the door, stepping up the stairs of the front porch as she quietly rubs her fingers with her other set to suffuse some warmth back into her body. She closes her eyes, and takes a breath. Peter's jacket was big on her, it was warm, and it smelled like him - all soothing characteristics.


Get the hell out of Dodge is a good superpower. There's a lot of people who would choose that ability over anything else. In fact, Peter's got an ability that is very good for getting the heck out of trouble, which has saved him at least once with Sylar already. The boys chat at him loudly, and he does respond, explaining how the rhino was taken down, leaving out certain details like anything ability-related. Which removes his own part in the action, and that of the tiny blonde who happens to be his girlfriend, but he's not explaining to get credit. And once he explains the guys with tranq guns, the boys would probably have rather had the explaination where the rhino lit up like a Christmas Tree, and then got shoved down with a half ton of force.

Other than that, he's mostly silent, glancing across the boys at the young woman huddled in his jacket. Only when they're at the Mansion and he lets the boys out to hurry up to the house, does he say anything to her, "Thanks." It's not something he'd been able to say when they needed to get out of there. Heidi may not be too happy knowing their Zoo trip nearly met with disaster, but… "You kept the boys safe."

Following them up to the porch, he makes sure they get inside as he adds to them, "Don't wake you mom up if she's sleeping." Part of babysitting is allowing the parents some time to themselves. Which can sometimes lead to sleeping. Or… other things they can't do when the kids are around.

With the boys vanishing into the depths of the house, to deal with puppies, kitty and mom, he turns back to Elena, wrapped in his coat, back near the stairs of the porch. Biting on the inside of his mouth for a moment, he steps back down and reaches for her arm. "Are you okay?" Obviously she's not. She's shaking. And the extent of her injury from the rhino… he's not sure how much she'd been hurt yet.


" 'Kay, Uncle Peter!"

" 'Kay!"

They seem to have forgotten it already - though chances are it'll probably come up during dinner, in which case there's going to be some explaining to do, but Elena waves with a hint of a slight smile as the boys take off to go upstairs and TRY NOT TO BUG Heidi if she's sleeping, or…doing something else. Like…knitting. Yes. …wait, did Heidi even knit?

When she's addressed as she steps out of the car, she looks over at him. "I wasn't about to fail Heidi," she explains, the door opening and stepping inside the mansion. "Truth be told I had this little gameshow in my head called 'Choices' and the category was 'Would You Rather Face…?' and it gave me the option between risk the rhino, or risk angry Heidi. I went for the former." She grins, once again cracking out a joke despite the little shivers running down her spine now and then. They could be stuck under an avalanche with little hope of survival, and she'll still be a smartass about it.

When her arm is taken, she looks down at her arm and sighs. "Nothing I can't walk off." She tilts her head up, meeting his eyes and giving him a reassuring smile. "I have absolutely -no right- to sound like I just came from Vietnam but it was just shrapnel. I took it on the shoulderblade, it's probably scabbing now." There's a touch of a frown on her lips, lifting her hands up and looking down at them. They twitched on occasion. "I think I figured out what the problem is…I can't control the recession, it has to be gradual, not abrupt…."

Oh, Science.

She looks up at him again. "Are you okay?" She lifts a hand, thumbing the trail of dried blood on his nose that he forgot to wipe off. "What did you do back there?"


"Heidi's not that terrifying," Peter reassures, leaving out the possibility of a homicidal mother if something happened to her children. A parent losing her child might change her dramatically. But he'll just be glad she's not going to have to deal with that. Of course once he's sure that Elena's all right, he intends to tell her what happened. If it hasn't made the news already, he's sure that it will tomorrow. It's better to tell her what took place himself, after she sees that the boys are safe and sound. And their wouldbe babysitters too.

Sliding his hand down the sleeve of his jacket, he reaches to find her hand and touches her skin, once again doing what Heidi seems to think he does too much. Maybe now it is also too much, but he can't help it. Luckily this additional use of ability doesn't cause any problems. He probably should have been going around healing people who'd been hurt… before they realized how bad they were— but considering he fainted in the hospital… he couldn't afford to do that until he got the boys and Elena back home. Not to mention his blonde girlfriend who intervened.

"What?" he asks, looking confused as she wipes away the trail of blood. He'd thought he got that. He has a handkerchief for it, but he got distracted going to get Elle and forgot about it. A hand moves up to touch it, brushing her own hand lightly again when he does. "Oh. I— tried to stop the rhino. It's nothing to worry about." Yeah, a hemmorage is nothing at all to worry about! "What do you mean 'figured it out'?"


"I don't know. Mothers can get scary when it comes to their children," Elena remarks skeptically, but she does smile when Peter tries to reassure her of the former. She falls silent, still watching her fingers twitch now and then, though this is slowly starting to fade on its own. She is distracted from her observation when Peter's slides a hand up from her bent elbow to take her hand. She could feel it then, the familiar tingle, the certain indicator that his healing ability is about to work on her system.

"I wonder…" she murmurs. "How fresh an injury has to be to make your healing effective…" It's a legitimate thought. Whenever she sees Peter heal, usually the victim was just freshly injured. But what about past scars? Old wounds that have closed already? Would he be able to fix those too? Another something to tell Cass, in case she hasn't tested that yet.

"Tried and succeeded?" she asks teasingly, lifting her brows a tad at him. She stops when his fingertips brush over her knuckles in the other hand on his face, but then she can't help but purse her lips. "…it's….that's pretty common, I found," she says simply. "Mental-based abilities tend to make the user bl— " As if remembering something she drops the hand on her face to curl around his healing wrist in a 'stop a moment' fashion. "Wait, wait…" she murmurs quietly, looking at him seriously. "How many abilities did you use out there?"

Oh hoh. -Someone's- catching on. She's so not going to be responsible for him going into a coma.

She can answer his question later, about what she figured out. But she has to find this last one out first.


Hopefully they'll never find out how scary Heidi can be about her sons. Peter shrugs a bit at her inquiry, and has a hint of an answer. "I healed Mara's knee. She got her knee shot out before everything happened with Sylar." Mara. The woman his brother cheated on Heidi with. But— it's an example. "She'd already healed, for the most part, developed a limp that she was trying to fix in rehab." And that he repaired for her. That's a old injury, though. It'd been months old by the time he laid his hands on it.

"Didn't succeed in time," he says absently to the comment about his efforts to hold the large animal down. There's a regretful sound to his voice, and his eyes divert away from her, reaching into his pocket to find that handkerchief so he can work on wiping the dried blood off. But at her wait, wait and near accusation, he shakes his head, "Just that. It was just… a lot more power than I've ever used before." The sheer strength required to knock it down and then hold onto it to keep it from flailing or rolling… In many ways he wishes he would have done more, but that'd been the only thing he could think of. "Before that I knocked someone out of the way of the rhino, but— just that one. And healing." Now with the healing, at least. He hadn't even caught the thought she tried to send his way, in the middle of the action. But he already figured out that the man had been Company related, and he /obviously/ knew Elena from somewhere.

That she's catching on shouldn't surprise him. Ge'd caught on to that already too. Each time he started passing out he'd been in the process of using a lot of abilities close together. "I guess my body can't handle switching between too many abilities."


Mara Damaris. Elena nods. "I wonder if there's a limit." Truth be told there is a selfish reason to her reasoning - she wonders if he could only heal physical injuries. But what about…lesions in the organs of one body? Or tumors? She also had the scar at her back from Kellie, when she burned her palm into her spine. It probably looked ridiculous, she had seen it after twisting around and with two mirrors - a thumb and an index, and a bigger one where the heel of her palm pressed into her. Unfortunately showing -anyone- that would require…taking her clothes off and there are a million reasons why she -can't- do that as far as Peter is concerned, and at the top of the list is 'Manny Gomez.'

"Didn't succeed on time?" she wonders, eyeing his face speculatively as he looked away. "….no one died or got hurt, right?" To her view, that was a success, but typical for the painkilling young lady, she didn't count her own injury. Not when she could just forget about it. But when he confesses that it's just one ability he used, she nods slowly…and gently lets go of his wrist, so he can apply the healing ability through her other hand.

She falls quiet when he says what she has observed out loud, and shakes her head slowly. She could feel her injury healing, lacerated skin and tissue knitting up somewhere behind her. She squeezes his hand. "I disagree," she says. "The more you practice, the more your body gets used to the strain, the more it does, the longer you can go. I don't believe your genetic structure is how it is only to keep you on just one level. It's a theory….but it's worth a try. Somewhere down the line, it could save plenty."


Even though Peter is sure he can be professional about that in a situation that requires medical attention, he's sure Elle Bishop is only a little below her brother on that list. Maybe even above, because she's actually skilled in torture and could make it very painful for a very long time. "I'm not sure," he admits, glancing towards the house. "Linderman was able to heal Heidi seven months after she was crippled." That's an example of something longer and even more severe than what he'd done for Mara. "And Nathan— he had radiation burns all over his body. And they must have been over four months old by the time Claire's blood fixed him." So… it's possible there's smaller limits. He hadn't seen his brother again until after the healing, so he doesn't know how bad he still looked when it happened.

And… as she dismisses anyone being hurt, he shakes his head. "You were hurt." That does count to him. "And Elle was hurt too." Though her injury had been from the whole… dart to the butt part of things. And there probably were others injured in the stampede trying to get away, even if he didn't gore or trample anyone.

The healing goes smoothly enough, but his hold on her hand lingers for a while after that, as his other hand workes on cleaning up his face. "Never said it wouldn't get easier eventually," he says as she claims to disagree with him, looking a little bothered for some reason. Maybe because she's disagreeing with him, when he doesn't think they were disagreeing at all. "Just that it can't handle it now. I'm sure there'll always be a point where it's too much." There's a pause, before he looks back at her again.

"So what did you do?"


She was protective. Of everyone. Even herself. While she trusts Peter, she just was more comfortable with a female seeing to her in those situations than a guy. She wouldn't even go to a male gynocologist. It was strange, as if she were actually afraid of something…

Elena had always prided herself on her courage, so any fears she might have about anything would only be dragged out of her by a herd of WILD HORSES and some creatively applied rope. But as he cites examples, she nods - though she looks a little curious about Claire's blood and how it fixed Nathan. "…….so -that's- how…" she murmurs. She didn't know that about him. All she knew was that Nathan lucked out and managed to get himself a really good plastic surgeon.

Her fingers curl loosely over his - but her injury in retrospect was minor. It shouldn't take him much at all. But when he looks bothered about what she said, she tilts her head at him curiously. This is one of those rare moments where the glass wall separates them both. There would be times in where he would be hard to read….but maybe those are the specific instances he doesn't like. She didn't know. "Of course, otherwise you wouldn't have the entire….shut down thing." She gestures to the side with her free hand, the slightest traces of a concerned frown of her mouth. She had mixed feelings about it.

When he diverts his attention to repeat his question, she blinks. "Oh…um…" There is a moment of quiet, as she collects her thoughts. Finally, she leans against the stairs, facing him. Her fingers twitch a bit against his -but these instances are clearly stopping. "I think….I'm not quite certain yet but I think I can actually will myself to 'emergency response mode.' You know how there's enough adrenaline in your system during something life threatening that you can…do things you can't really do normally? I -think- I can do that on some level. I also think I can do that on some level for other people." A Boosted Jack would be a sight to behold. "My problem is….it has to return to a normal level gradually, much like how adrenaline wears off. It keeps going for a while, and then it fades, to keep someone from crashing. My problem is it's almost instinctive for me to just shut it off. When I do that…" She lifts their joined hands together. It takes a moment…but there's another twitch.


The blood of his niece works miracles. And the question remains if his would do the same. There's really no way to know. Unless they test it. Which can be risky at best. Maybe when Cass sets up her clinic fully and they find someone who can actually medically recieve his blood, to lighten the risk of anything bad happening when they try to test it. If they try to test it.

"Yeah— I was meaning that… I think switching between abilities in a short time causes the shut down. Not just using one in higher amounts." True, with the Cass incident he'd overtaxed himself majorly. Both by stretching the use of his abilities further than he'd ever done before, but also by switching between two of them for an extended period. And then adding two more very soon after. And not to mention Peter'd flown there when he got the call. "Maybe I'll be able to do more and not… shut down."

It'd be nice to be able to help more people, and do more.

Continuing to look down at her, he watches her speak, but the explaination must go over his head because he suddenly blinks when she raises their hands up, looking into her eyes suddenly, "What— oh— you should probably be more careful about how you go down from it, then— but it would probably still make you shake for a while afterwards." Sudden bursts of adrenaline do that to normal people, even when they can't shut it down quickly.

"I should… let you get home. I'm sorry your dress got ruined."


"I think that's the case too…." Elena murmurs thoughtfully, her eyes wandering away from him and to another direction, as if she could divine the answer from one of the paintings situated on the wall. She exhales a quiet breath, and rolls a shoulder just slightly. At least it doesn't hurt anymore - in fact the wound is pretty much gone. She could feel it. "But I'm confident that you can," she says simply, looking up at him and giving him an encouraging smile. "It comes with the entire 'I believe in you' territory." She can't help but tease him about a past conversation, in one of those earliest get togethers. It felt like ages ago. Another life. In a sense, it was.

When he blinks at her and….she gets a sense that he wasn't really listening. Oh he listened enough, he was able to respond to it after all - and he was right. Peter did have medical training. He knows. The corners of her mouth lift in a teasing grin. "What….where'd your mind go, Peter Petrelli? Am I -boring- you by being nerdy?" Laughter dances in her eyes. At least she doesn't laugh out loud!

She shrugs at the dress. "Forget it," she says with a grin. "It's just a dress." There is a pause, and then she slips her hand away, having still been in his grip (can a person forget to let go in the first place?) so she could shrug off the jacket on her shoulders, and hands it gently to him. "Here. I already made off with one of your handkerchiefs and one of your umbrellas. Keep this up and I'll be making off with your entire closet."

The mirthful look in her eyes fades. Something softer accentuates the delicate face, complete with the very faint lifting of the edges of her pliant mouth in a smile that's just barely there. "I'll see you later, Peter."


'I believe in you.'

Though those words might have been said before, but every time they gain a quiet look afterwards that might be difficult to read. It's a softer look, though no less intense than some of his others. Just intense in a completely different way. The silence does get broken after a few moments, with a whispered, "Helps to have you around to back me up." And keep him from falling on his face when he does overload. And most importantly to believe in him.

When he's called on his trailing off, he looks away, as if she hit the nose on that particular accusation, or maybe for another reason all together. "Wouldn't call you nerdy— you're a aspiring doctor. Your job to take these sort of things into consideration." But he can't quite meet her eyes for a few moments, until she shrugs off and hands back his jacket.

He opens his mouth as if to protest this passing of the coat, considering her state. There's hesitation as he holds onto his coat, but he doesn't hand it back. It's weighted down a bit by his cellphone, and the camera he'd brought, and finally his wallet and keys. He'd have needed it back anyway. But he can add, "There's— plenty of spare coats here— if you don't want to walk around the city in a torn dress." He never minded if she failed to return his things.


There's a faint smile at that, Elena rubbing the back of her neck as she laughs. "Yeah, well. There's something about you that makes all the nerds step up to the plate," she jests. She reaches up, adjusting his collar with both hands, and her eyes focused upon what she's doing as she speaks up, quietly, and seriously. "I'd do…" She hesitates, collecting her thoughts. "Whatever it takes to make sure you live through what you have to do and beyond. I'd sacrifice anything I can possibly give." She looks up to meet his eyes. Breath. Intellect. Time. Energy. ….her life. She wasn't afraid to die, not when she can prevent disaster by ensuring that he lives. "You're too important to lose."

The damage to her dress doesn't look too bad - the hem is a little torn, and there's a snapped strap - but it's holding up just fine. She removes the bloodied piece of fabric from her shoulder, balling it up and tucking it into her bag. And then she reaches up, tying the ends of the strap together to 'rebuild' the integrity of the strap and shifts her shoulder a little, pursing her lips as she busies herself to create some semblance of illusion of intactness. "There," she says, straightening up her skirt. "If people don't stare at me, and I doubt they will, they won't notice at all," she says with a small nod. "I'll be fine. Besides, it's too warm to wear a coat." It's kind of why she wore a sundress in the first place.

She gives him a small smile. "Say hi to Heidi for me, yeah?" she says, turning to take a step away from him. "Gah….hopefully she doesn't kill us for what happened today."


'Too important to lose.'

That's a huge difference from 'Too dangerous to live.' Which is what he would have said about himself a few months ago. What he's sure many people have said about him in the past. How many people would kill him if it became as bad as it had last year? How many people would he /ask/ to kill him? In the past months, those who would have killed him gained his trust. And his brother, who showed this kind of sacrifice for him… proved something he'd already known. Peter's so stunned by what she said, that he can't even respond right away, not even as she fixes her dress and makes it a little less obvious that it got torn. Too warm for a coat may be true, but as night falls it'll get cooler, and there's light coats. He could press the situation— but he doesn't.

The only motion he does at all is lay the coat down on a nearby chair, before returning to watch her. But then she turns away from him. He steps forward and catches up with her before she gets too far, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her against his chest. Lower arms grasp at her shoulders and upper arms, elbows lay across her front, and he presses his cheek into her hair. "As long as you remember— that you're important too," he whispers, voice a little tighter than normal, as he holds on to her.

Are they talking in general importance to the world, or something more specific?

The hold may have been intended to last a while, but suddenly a puppy comes bounding down the stairs, followed by a second one, and the footsteps of running boys aren't too far behind. Which means he lets go.


Well, she was only telling the truth! If Hiro were around, he'd tell him!

Granted Elena had not known that he had never heard it said before. She just assumed that everyone else felt that way, or at least she was certain Cass, Jane, his family, and especially Elle would agree with him. But she seems rather oblivious to the fact that she's struck him stunned with just a simple, honest comment, her skirt brushing against her knees as she turns away. But she doesn't get far, hearing footsteps behind her, but feeling her back pulled against someone's chest, someone taller than her, and familiar arms wrapping around her. She could feel pressure against the side of her head, breath against her hair.

She pauses, a little blindsided by the gesture. She's forced to keep her eyes forward because it's not like she could turn around, not while he was hanging onto her so tightly. "…Peter…?" she asks haltingly, unsure, lifting a hand to rest it lightly on one of his wrists. It wasn't the gesture that ultimately gets her, or the words, but the tone in his voice, tight - and somewhat hard. Did she hit another sensitive spot she didn't know about? Her fingers curl on his wrist more securely. Her lips part to ask a question.

What did she do?

When she hears commotion somewhere upstairs and behind them, and once he lets go, she turns to the side to look at him, her head tilted slightly. While the question didn't leave her mouth, it was certainly in her eyes. But then she exhales a breath, and reaches out to grasp his hand, squeezing tightly.

"We'll talk later, okay?" she says with a hint of a grin, and releasing that, she steps towards the door, opening it. The breeze swirls in, tossing around the folds of her dress as she leaves, the torn fabric wisping around the corners like a benevolent spectre before the door closes. Outside, hand still on the door, she exhales, head hanging slightly. She restrains the urge to lean against the door and catch her breath.

-Something- was getting more difficult. She didn't know what it was. But she had to get her head straight.


"Yeah— later," Peter says, looking up towards the boys, and the puppies, and then making a shhing noice. Because all the running won't be helping their case. He needs to stay long enough to talk to Heidi, if the boys haven't spilled their entire adventure. For all he knows, Heidi could be proving herself invisible and watching from the upstairs opening into the foyer. She's sneaky that way. But first, he needs to pick up his coat, with the intention of calling the driver who dropped Jane and Elle off and make sure they got inside. While the puppies swarm at his legs, trying their best to knock him down, he holds the coat up and reaches into the pockets.

There's a lingering pause.

"Auntie left already?" comes a soft voice from the bottom of the staires.

Sighing, the younger Petrelli brother lets the coat lower, and answers, "Yeah. But I'm sure you'll see her again soon. Assuming your mom doesn't ban us from babysitting you."

"You didn't release the rhino!" Simon exclaims, which means it's /obviously/ not their fault.

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