2008-04-12: Trust Yourself


Angela_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Summary: Angela goes to visit Church, and for a moment gets a little more than she had bargained for.

Date It Happened: April 12th, 2008

Trust Yourself

NYC - Medical Facility - Company Headquarters

How long has it really been? Several days, but for the man being drugged to stay in bed it has seemed like an eternity. Even the nurses are scarce with him, which is bizarre in itself- usually Church makes a habit of at least saying hello, even if hopped up on painkillers. Now, there is little pain, but the drugs are keeping him mellow regardless. His leg is propped up in a harness, a cast around his calf and foot. There are bandages here and there, and he has a precautionary foam brace around his throat, but it still gives him somewhat good mobility there.

For the most part, he has been sleeping off and on for the last few days, and whenever another face comes around he either talks very little or not at all. No wonder he is being kept by himself in this part of the wing- there's something definitely wrong to all these people that think they would know Lawrence well. It is true, really, because John is not very much like him.

The door opens, closes, actions which both carry the quietest of sounds. The visitor is not medical staff, not even a concerned agent of the Company. It's none other than Angela Petrelli. The woman who was so recently a prisoner is dressed immaculately in a long, navy blue coat with the collar turned up about the sides of her throat, a small but bold diamond brooch on her lapel. The bangs that touch her aging face are slightly damp; it must be raining outside. She wastes no time in making the sharp-heeled journey to the side of the bed and pulling up a chair to sit down without a word. Dark eyes take in the sight of the man, swift to absorb details. Still, without a word.

There is the faintest of stirrings along the lines of the man's face, and a small crack of breath as if he were still waking from sleep. As the woman silently enters and pulls up a seat to the side of his bed, his eyelids have cracked open enough to follow the fuzzy form across the room. Only when she gets closer do his lips pull tighter around his mouth; it is the barest of smiles at first, but turns into an almost unreadable expression. He could be thinking anything at that point. After a few more seconds, the agent in the bed blinks and is then able to open his eyes to a normal state, even if they look tired.

"Lawrence." Sharp, succinct. The Petrelli matriarch crosses legs clad in dark hosiery and folds her hands neatly on top of her purse after setting it on her knees. She says no more for a spell, simply regarding the man's expression — reading the unreadable, that's Angela. "I hear you had quite an adventure. A valiant effort." She also looks tired, although every effort has been taken not to look bedraggled. Still, her exhaustion is too heavy to hide completely. "I wanted to thank you; and apologize for the ignoble tactics of the man who led you there."

If he is processing Angela's words, he has a funny way of showing it. Truthfully, he is, but there are several, more pressing things swimming around behind the brown-eyed gaze that he manages to fix her with. "…You're okay." The man breathes out the words, closing his eyes tight again and apparently swallowing behind a slight grimace.

Eyes still shut, the man's face darkens around the edges, and the fingers of his hand curl down into the sheets. "'Adventure' issan understatement." What breathy voice that had been coming from Lawrence's mouth is completely gone, replaced by a grating drawl that Angela should know the moment it slips out.

Angela abruptly narrows her eyes, squinting darkly. Oh, there's surprise on her features, but not because the voice is unfamiliar. "…They said you weren't acting like yourself," she states. "I attributed it to a bump on the head and the drugs." The woman lifts her head up, sitting taller, critical of the bedridden man.

"Ah freaked th'nurse right up outta here. Thought I was playin'…" He begins, voice soft. When the man's eyes open again, the usual doleful look is gone too, replaced by a far more steely one. John watches the Petrelli Matriarch with a familiarly cautious look. "Did get a nasty one in the head- put'im clean out. If I didn't do nothin' then, he woulda' died. It's kinna hard, sittin'back an' watchin'." His teeth grit, and the tendons of his jaw visibly flex.

"…But now'm stuck, an'now we're both muckin'round in'ere." Which is just fantastic, let me tell you.

"Oh, for the love of." Angela frowns rather deeply. There's a more serious shadow hiding there, something that goes beyond mere exasperation with the man's sudden predicament. "It's been quite some time, John. So much for having seen the last of your … humble beginnings."

John lets out the smallest of snorts. "Could say th'same to you, Angela." Oh, snap. Yeah, that is him in there. "…I can't say I'm pleased with this …predicament… either."

Angela sighs, a tired sound, as though this 'predicament' has put her at a inconvenient disadvantage. In truth, it has. Church is one of her best and oldest agents. "I'll have someone from psychiatrics draw up a more detailed evaluation." She may as well have finished with 'for as much good as it'll do' on the end; it's certainly implied in her voice.

"'S not like I'm not tryin'. There's a space fer me there- I just- I can't reach it. 'Sides, I have a few words while I'm'ere…" His eyes tilt upwards as if searching for something at the back of his brain. John pauses like this for another few seconds, then he takes in a new breath a little bit too sharply. Perhaps pain.

"My brain feels …swollen." Lawrence's eyes redden with invisible pains, and both of his eyebrows knit together at the middle, mouth parted in a pitiful sort of noise. "Like someone's trying to put the square in the circle hole." Does he realize what exactly is going on? Or does he only see blackouts? It is hard to tell either way, but it is clear that the two of them are at odds in there, even if by accident.

Angela sighs for a second time, this time more tightly. Her mouth straightens into a line as she coolly regards the shifts back and forth. She's silent a moment, letting the man deal with his pain and his swollen brain — and also making quite sure he's not about to adopt a countrified accent in the next few moments. "You're going Sanders on us, Lawrence." Oh, sure, not exactly… "It's no wonder your head hurts." The newly freed Company director gives Church a look that holds more than her critical regard; a flicker of concern, followed by skepticism. "Do you have any idea what's happening to you?"

John has always been able to see through the body's eyes if he wants to- he was not knocked out and forced in, he went down of his own accord, and so it seems like he is trying to let Lawrence have his moments of coherence now. Church stares back at Angela out from behind of his pair of face bandages and neck brace, eyes blinking into a squint and one corner of his mouth tightening.

"…what?" Tl;dr: No.

"I didn't think so." Angela reaches out and pats Church on the arm, one, two, three times, as if he were an unfortunately slow dog. It's not his fault. "Your accident seems to have dredged up your past, I'm afraid. Memory is such a complex thing. The past always comes back to haunt us, no matter how hard we try to put it behind us."

What? What. What. He may not be terribly slow normally, but in this state her being deliberate in her gestures helps him realize they're going on for Real, and he is not imagining the touch, or the carefully placed words.

"My what." That is Silly. He does not have one of those. The first response sounds much like denial. Or confusion paired with it. Disbelief, maybe. Wait, all this stuff about the Past- it reminds him of something. "I'm sorry." He blurts it out quite suddenly.

"Don't be," Angela is quick to dismiss, waving a hand once it's removed from the man's arm. "You've done quite enough to deserve to know the truth — of course, you must know that you didn't simply appear one day. In case you haven't noticed, Lawrence, you're not exactly Boticelli's Venus. Like all of us, you had a beginning. Granted…" Her voice heightens as she gives Church a considering look, lifting her brows previously weighed down by tiredness. "You'd be better off not remembering, after all this time."

"I know I didn't. I just never really wanted to bother. You know that… and I was apologizing cause I wasn't around to-" It is nice of her to be so honest. He could find out anytime, sure, but Angela is probably right to suggest- wait, wait. Rewind for a moment, please. Let us try this again. Lawrence is stuck staring blankly for about ten extra seconds while he presses the right buttons.

"I- Did you just…" She had to, right?" …imagine me as Botticelli's Venus?" Sporfle-hrk. It is hard to laugh when there is a foam bracer around your neck and a tube in one side of your nose.

"Don't flatter yourself." Perhaps Angela has superior mental control. Perhaps the imagery was not flattering. Whatever the case, she moves along quickly, talking over Church's sad attempt to laugh. "I know what you were apologizing for. My statement still stands. I was the only one who knew when it was coming. I knew all along. It was too late by the time it happened. I sent the Haitian away and Arthur took his chance."

Of course it was flattering! Who do you think this is, Noah? "Fff. 'M gorgeous."

"Mmnnghk." The noise is a mild protest in the midst of his bad attempt at laughter, which dwindles, and his voice softens. Lawrence looks over at Angela with his 'unfortunately slow dog' stare. "I don't understand. You usually try to change things that you see." So why did you let him just… take you?

"Hence the reason I had the Haitian with me at all times. I needed him to do a rather important errand for me, however." It must have been quite an important errand, if Angela would sacrifice her well-being to send him on it.

"…What kind of 'errand' is worth your freedom?" And as usual, Lawrence is able to read her. Spooky must have known something was going on, right? He always knows. Why didn't he stick around anyway? What a douche.

"Security," Angela answers simply, only to clarify in equally cryptic terms a moment after, "For the world. The future is not bright, Lawrence, but by sending the Haitian on that errand, by making myself vulnerable for that window of time, I've tried to make it better. But you shouldn't be thinking about the fate of the world. You should be resting."

The kicker is, for a minute there he certainly wasn't thinking about either one of those. "I've been resting." He starts out somewhat grumpily, but not even close to John!grumpy. It is still Church.

Lawrence sighs, eyes flickering around to look at the ceiling, then back to Angela. He'd probably smile if it didn't push back the tube in his nose. "I just-" You Petrellis and your world saving. "I'm glad you're alright."

Angela stands up from her chair, brushing down her coat as she moves to stand at the very edge of the hospital bed. She is not, in fact, one-hundred percent alright; but as always, she will persevere. "When they told me how you emerged from the rubble in Hartsdale, I wasn't surprised. You're a fighter, Lawrence. Hang on to what you know. It's all you truly have in this world."

That perseverance is what had him say it in the first place. Even if she wasn't alright now, she would be eventually. His head tilts slightly at her words, and frankly- if he were not crippled and on drugs- he might even have tried to give her a hug. Though then again, maybe he'd be keeping the drugs. She just looks like she needs it. (Maybe later.)

"Oh, I dunno about that." Is that what Angela thinks? That her mind is all that she really has left? "We've all got …people. Some people I could probably spare myself the presence of, though. You're not one of them." A 'thanks for coming', in a sense, even if John badgered her around for the first few minutes.

Angela smiles, but it's clipped — taut and short-lived. "Perhaps," she says, stretching out her arms to smooth the sleeves, fix the buttons. "I only hope you don't find your current self to be one of the people you can spare."

"Never." Lawrence's reply is immediate, his face questioning. Quite possibly he somehow saw that one coming. Mental notations ensue. Surprise Angela w/hug when not gimp, check. Even if she knees you, it is worth it. Affirmative.

Without another word, Angela Petrelli leaves the sterile hospital room. A look is given over her shoulder before she opens the door, however, cool and largely unreadable in Church's direction; a moment later, the door is closing behind her, and he's left alone. In theory.

Church's room will receive a somewhat gigantic boquet of flowers, colourful but tasteful, along with a fancy note in Angela's handwriting:

'For L.C.:

Thought you could use some life in here.

Trust yourself in the now.

- Angela'

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