2007-03-28: Unpromises

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter visits Mara. He brings along breakfast and tries to combat her version of harsh reality with his brand idealistic hope.

Date It Happened: March 28, 2007

Unpromises


It wouldn't be a secret hideout if I told you where it was, would it?

The building Nathan referred to as a 'fixer-upper,' is more than Mara ever could have hoped to afford on her salary from the NYPD. It's got plenty of room to move around, it's fully furnished - and the best thing? Not a grandfather clock in sight. Currently, Ms Damaris is engaging in her own version of physical therapy, which really consists of wearing a rut in the carpeting of the living area while getting the hang of walking on crutches. Preferably without sobbing like a baby.

Early morning, and nothing says good morning like coffee and breakfast, right? Once Nathan informed him of the location that Mara'd be staying in, Peter decided to make sure she at least stayed well fed. Cooking can't be easy on crutches, and not only that… but he highly doubts that his brother would have even thought to get the fridge stocked. Standing outside the apartment, arms full with boxes of warm food and a cup carrier with coffee, he ends up contemplating how to knock the door. With his foot? After a few moments, she'll actually hear a rather firm knock. Very firm. …Well at least he didn't accidentally splinter the door with that. These days he needs to practice his abilities as much as possible, but using telekinesis to knock on a door…

On the other side of the door, there's a startled cry and a crash, followed by a loud stream of curses. At least until Mara realises that she might not want to see the person on the other side of the door. "Wh- Who's there?"

"It's Peter," the young man calls out, wincing at the sound of the crash. That— is not what he intended to happen. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you— are you okay? Nathan told me where you were staying." Of course his brother did, right? "I brought you breakfast and coffee."

"Just a second," Mara calls back. "I gotta- Nngh! Gotta figure out how to get up off the couch without bending my- Ho /shit/!" After a loud gasp, all goes quiet until the door opens a crack. Only a crack, the chain lock's still on. "What'd you get your last vision off of?"

Physically burdened with breakfast and coffee, Peter tilts his head to look through the crack a bit, a wince from all the sounds of pain on the other side of the door still visible on his face. But he seems to understand. "A bottle of gin. Which you're not getting back until you're off the morphine, and that includes most of the pain pills they sent you home with."

Mara smiles her patented gappytoothed smile. The door shuts and then is opened wide for the man with the armful. "Hiya, Pete." She tilts her head back toward the island that separates the kitchen from the living room. "You /are/ the thoughtful one, aren't you?"

Indeed. With the door open, Peter steps inside and walks over to the island to set the coffee down first, and the containers with the food second. "I hope it's still warm. Would have just came over and cooked for you, but I figured Nathan wouldn't have remembered to stock the fridge with more than maybe some snacks." And possibly beer. He'll have to hope his brother listened to that caution. "How goes the crutches? Getting the hang of them yet?"

The door is shut tight and locked up after Peter. It's a task in and of itself for the injured woman. "They're… If your brother wasn't so good at pissing me off, I'd be in a wheelchair," Mara answers honestly. "They suck. It hurts. I just want to crawl back into bed and stay there. But… I know this is important… And the painkillers help. A lot. Nathan says… two every twelve hours? He says if I take too many, he'll take them away." Not that that stopped her from taking three in her first dose.

"Nathan can do that," Peter admits with a hint of a smile, opening up the food container for her. Inside is a breakfast of waffles, complete with two different syrup packets to choose from. Most of the butter had melted already, but some remnants show up over them. He even got utensils, napkins, extra butter and cream for the coffee, just in case his brother forgot those important details. "I'm glad he's being that thoughtful, at least." He'd have had to kick him in the head, if he wasn't. "Not sure what you like, but I figured everyone likes waffles. Where do you want this?" So she can make herself more comfortable while she eats.

"Uhm…" Mara eyes the breakfast and frowns. "You gonna think I'm a loser if I say I want to have breakfast in bed? I really wanna sit down and stretch out." She looks a little sheepish. "The bed's huge. You can totally sit on the other side and still have elbow room. C'mon, it'll be like a sleepover or something." She pauses and then shrugs, "Well, a platonic co-ed sleepover."

"Well, just don't blame me if you get syrup on the comforter and Nathan doesn't send someone to help you get it cleaned," Peter says with a tease, closing the container again and putting the coffee back into the carrier. He'll let her lead the way into the bedroom, and then set the coffee down on the night table while waiting for her to stretch out. He won't lay down right away, still clothed in his coat and shoes. "So that FBI guy works for the Company and doesn't even know it?" he asks, thinking back to the last time he'd seen the woman— and this topic is easier to approach then 'so you're going to die'.

With Peter's help (because she's not about to do the whole 'I'm just going to fall backward and hope for the best' thing when she doesn't have to), Mara sprawls out across the bed with a grateful sigh. "Yeah… I don't know if Ed knows who he really is anymore. I'm not sure if he ever worked for the FBI. It might just be a cover. I… I think it's just a story. I don't think that man exists." She shrugs helplessly. "His partner, Eden McCain? She was Company, all the way. So the chances that he was FBI in the first place? I'd say slim and none."

Eden McCain… There's that name again. Peter can't help but frown as he tries to think about where he'd heard that name before, but it doesn't fully click. Once she's settled in the bed (with his help), he hands over the food box again, lays down the napkins and the fork and knife, and allows her to have at. "Could be he was FBI first. The Company does seem to recruit people. Though it seems odd they erase the memories of people who are working for them. Doesn't that… sound a little odd? The more I hear about how this Company operates…" He shakes his head, removing undoing his coat and pulling something out of the pocket, laying it on the bed. Looks like a photograph, before he removes the coat entirely and sets it down across a chair in the bedroom.

"The way I figure it," Mara says as she starts to cut up her waffle, "they erase his memories so he can lie without batting an eyelash. And when you're sending an operative in against Matt Parkman? You want someone whose thoughts can't betray them, I reckon." She frowns and peers over at the younger Petrelli brother. "Should I be scared that I'm reasoning their tactics?"

"In order for him to be useful though, they have to be able to reverse the effects," Peter speculates, speaking on this in a rather distant tone. As he approaches the bed again, he picks up the picture, which is turned downward, so not fully visible. Toeing off his shoes, they're tennis shoes, easy to remove, he moves to settle down on the bed, careful, so not to jar her leg or mess up her cutting too much. "No, it's not scary. I— with everything that's going on, I'm running out of ideas. Last year we— barely saved the world. The cost of that had been… almost too great. Can't help but think that if we had resources, knowledge, manpower… that we wouldn't have lost as much as we did. That we could have stopped Sylar and the bomb both."

Mara finally looks at the photograph, and then at Peter. There's a knowing in those hazel eyes, but she doesn't speak up. Not just yet. "I… The- He was like… I've seen him when he's just been… /different/. Not the Ed I conspired with over copious amounts of alcohol. Not the man I wanted to help. I see it in these little glimmers." She takes the distraction of chewing as time to think. "You're right. They have to be doing something to reverse whatever it is…"

Taking a deep breath, Peter seems to hesitate a moment, then specifically waits for a time when she is not chewing or drinking anything before he says, "I'm going to meet with one of the bosses of the Company. The Bishop man that Parkman mentioned." There's a pause, so that she can let that settle for how much it must mean, while he clasps the picture face down against his stomach. "Right now, we can't fight them and — and Gray— and everything else going on at the same time, and if we're going to work together against Gray we can't stand around in fear that the Company will swoop down, kidnap and erase the memories of our friends."

"They'll do whatever they want," Mara says quietly. "But maybe we can convince them that we should call a truce until Gray is dealt with?" She continues to eat, thoughtful. "That man, Claire's father? Do you trust him?"

"Noah? I trust him, yeah," Peter admits without any hesitation really. "I know Nathan doesn't, and he's got good reason to— and though my brother and Hiro managed to get out with their memories intact, Jane wasn't quite so lucky… but I don't know. Maybe she seemed like more of a potential threat than they did. But I know Noah only did what he did to protect Claire. Don't know if my brother has any idea what they'd done to her— what they'd been doing to her for almost five months. There's a few things I won't compromise on…" His expression is serious as he glances across at the wall. "But I need to work something out with Bishop. Not just for our sake, either." There's something else behind that, it would seem. "I'm— sort of— dating his daughter."

"Wait. Wait. Wait. The blonde woman? From…" Mara hides her face in one palm and groans. "She tried to break into Mohinder's files, Peter." The word 'skank' springs to mind. "I know this isn't going to be easy for you to hear, but I really don't think you should trust her." She pinches the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger. "And Bennet? He and his partner attacked me in my home. Did Nathan tell you that?"

"I also wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for her, Mara," Peter says, laying back on the bed finally and choosing to stare up at the ceiling instead. The picture remains clasped to his body, though gets moved up to his chest. "But /why/ did they attack you in your home? What were they after? Noah and the Haitian saw me the night I escaped. The Haitian could have easily subdued me, if he'd asked him to. Instead, he let me say goodbye to Claire. Didn't have to run away. Would be right back in the cell they had me in for months if he hadn't let me go too."

"They wanted to use me against Gray, but they didn't want me to know…" Mara sets her food aside on the nightstand. "They did a bang-up job of it, too. I had to have a vision in order to know what had happened to me."

"When the only way we can find— Gray— would be to watch the people we know he's after— you can't really blame him on that." Peter says, letting his eyes close. "Been watching my niece's hotel a lot, to keep an eye out for him. No all the time…" That would be creepy. "But we know he'd come after her. She's top of his list. And if he gets his abilities back… you'd be the next one he'd go after. If that happens, I'd be watching your place too, if not standing in the same room with you all day."

"I'm scared, Peter." It's not hard to admit anymore. "I'm afraid of the things he'll do to me if he gets his hands on me." Certainly she's concerned with the well-being of others as well, but none of them are just quite as important to her right now.

"I know," Peter says, shifting so that he can look at her now. "I also know what he'll do to you. You do too, if you'd seen the murders he committed." That's more than he's seen. He's just experienced what the man had done to him. "That's why I'm not going to let it happen. Neither is Nathan. May seem like a big asshole, but— he'll come through. He always has."

"I've seen what he does to people. And he's promised to take his sweet time with me." Both Mara's tone and expression are grim. "Please, promise me something though, Peter." She takes a drink of her coffee. Coffee settles nerves. Fixes everything. Yes. "You have to promise me this one thing."

Forehead tense, Peter sits up enough to fully look at her, so that he can look her in the eyes when she makes her request of him, "What is it?" Theoretically he could already know, but violating the mind of a friend has never sat well with him.

Mara reaches out to rest her hands over both of Peter's. She doesn't lace her fingers with his the way she would do with his brother, a detail that barely registers in her own mind. "If… When I die, don't blame yourself. You have to promise me that you won't."

From the way his hands tense under hers, Peter doesn't like what he's being asked very much. No wonder, either… "Mara— that's one thing I can't promise." Looking away, he takes in a slow breath, the tension appearing along his brow again. Far worse than before, even. "I can't promise that…" The level of emotion in his voice is unmistakable, really. There's only a few worse things she could have asked of him. "We'll just have to make sure it doesn't happen— until you're old and laying in a bed."

"You can't, do you understand me?" Mara's voice is firm, gaze serious. "Don't you get it? /You/ have to be the strong one." She reaches up, brushing the hair off his forehead gently, much the way he's done for her. "Because… Nathan. You have to do it for Nathan. He'll beat himself up. You have to be strong for him. Talk sense into him."

Not much hair to brush away, thanks to Elle's scissors, but Peter actually flinches back at the rest of this, until he actually gets up off the bed. "Mara— stop— just stop talking about— /this/ as if it's inevitable." He keeps his hands on the picture he's clasping against his shirt, but he backs away out of her reach, as if that had somehow made this even harder on him. "It's not going to happen."

"Promise me!" Mara shouts. "Whether it's Gray or whatever," a gesture is cast to her leg, "I don't have the best luck in the world. It's just a matter of time. If you can't promise me you won't blame yourself, you have to promise me you'll at least look after Nathan. Make sure he doesn't drink himself to death."

That's something different all together, really. "I promise I'll look after Nathan. I would any way," Peter explains, shaking his head. Asking him not to blame himself, though… that would be impossible for him. Can't even lie and pretend he could to make her feel better. "Your turn to do me a favor, though. Stop talking about it like there's nothing I can do." From the sound, that's the worst part, voice tight. Even his eyes look as if they have moisture building…

"It's /my/ death, Peter. You don't get to cry about it." Mara's lips tremble as she speaks. A glance would reveal the same of her hands. "Not until it's happened." She reaches up to press the heels of her palms against her eyes, against the onslaught of her own tears threatening. "Maybe… Maybe you can change it. Like you and Nathan saved New York. Maybe you can prevent this. But… there are a few more things to prevent that are far more important than saving my life." There it is. The truth laid bare, brutal as it is.

"/Nathan/ saved New York," Peter corrects, rather harshly even, voice deeper than normal, thicker. "I know you think that your ability, if he gets it, will be his downfall, but you're /wrong/. He's not like me, Mara. When he takes someone's powers, he doesn't have the same trouble with them that I do. If he had, he would have been blowing up New York moments after taking Ted's ability. He had control over it within /hours/. I'm /still/ not sure I have control of it. I can feel it just waiting for me to…" He trails off, not sure he wants to explain the rest of that. Instead he just continues, voice still distinct, and strained, "He might be weak for the first minutes, but within an hour he probably won't even get weak in the knees when he gets a vision."

"I /have/ to believe it'll be the death of him, Peter!" Mara snaps, pulling her hands away from her eyes. "Because, otherwise, what the /fuck/ did I die for?!" The woman's face is twisted in a pained and distraught grimace. She falls silent, listening. Not liking what she's hearing. "I want to believe you can change things, Peter. That you can save me. But I'm afraid to be optimistic."

"You're not dead yet," Peter says, though the fact that he's moving towards his coat means he's looking ready to leave. Whatever the picture he's holding… maybe he decided not to do that. Not looking at her, he does add in a softer voice, "I can promise this— that if you do die at his hands, and he takes your ability… I'll find a way to make it work— use your ability to make him pay for what he did." Doesn't actually say 'be the death of him' though, does it? "Somehow."

Mara sighs heavily, looking down at her hands in her lap when Peter goes for his coat. "I'm sorry… I didn't mean to upset you." Her tongue darts out between her lips, though the subject matter has already caused her mouth to go dry. "Come and… see me tomorrow, if you can. Or just call. You know… whatever. Just so I don't worry." She actually manages a faint smile. "Thanks for breakfast."

"I'll visit tomorrow," Peter says with a nod, putting his coat on and dropping the picture into the inside pocket again. That— honestly just didn't seem like the appropriate thing to show her anymore, because he knows some of the emotions that would be attached to it. "Someone has to make sure you actually eat, right?" he says with a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth.

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