2007-07-30: Vena Amoris


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Summary: Peter finds Kate after receiving a message from his brother. The two have a talk about their relationship while they pack up their things.

Dark Future Date: July 30, 2009

Vena Amoris

Peter and Kate Petrelli's Home

Last night was not a good night. Sometime after Peter left his note on the bathroom mirror while Kate was showering, a package was dropped on her doorstep. At first, she wondered if it might be a bomb. But the shivers running up her arms when she picked it up suggested something more… important. The vision put her out for most of the night, and so, just before dawn, she went for a walk to dispose of the contents of the package. It maybe wasn't the most sound of moves to make, but she made it home in one piece. To Kate, that's all that matters. Sometimes just coming home alive is a victory in and of itself.

Currently, the living room floor of Kate and Peter's home is covered in papers that have been taped together. Markers and pens are strung out at various points, abandoned where they've gone dry. It isn't a painting, but Kate's giving it the same feverous attention she would her canvas.

Last night Peter'd been working on a few things, plans. Always after his brother's speeches on the radio, he gets propelled into doing something big— and what he has in mind needed a lot of recon work. Teleporting back into his home, he appears in his usual spot, near the doorway but just inside it. The lack of blood and tears in his clothes indicates he didn't have too difficult a time since he stopped in to leave a note to his wife— The only obvious thing would be that it doesn't look like he's slept. But then again, that's fairly often these days. Does he ever sleep unless she puts him to bed? He's about to say something else when he suddenly switches his words around, "What is that?"

That makes two of them. Kate's blonde hair is a mess from tangling her fingers through it too many times. The tips of her fingers are black and blue from marker ink, and there's the occasional bit of it on her face. She's entirely unruffled when Peter arrives. It's something about him and about her. Maybe it's a bond of some sort. But she can feel him. Like a ripple in the air. She doesn't look up from her work. "He made a mistake," she says seriously. "I'm drawing you a floorplan."

No matter the weather outside, Peter always seems to be wearing coats these days. Pulling off the long black coat, he sets against a coat rack near the door and approaches the rest of the way, frowning. His voice deep and harsh in tone, but barely above a whisper, "Told you to find me a target and I guess you did. What is it?" He nods towards the floor plan she's drawing up, before he looks back at her and asks further, "What did he do?" He doesn't even need to ask who he is.

"It's a basement layout." Kate works on diagramming a turn in a hallway, adding doors to the hall with the word 'LOCKED' attributed to each. "Pack your things. Either somebody's followed one of us, or we've got a rat." Her eyes flit upward to regard her husband and her intense concentration is broken instantly. She abandons her drawings, climbing to her feet and rushing to embrace him. Immediately, she begins to sob against his shoulder.

There's a twitch of his eyebrow when there's mention of a rat or a tracker and Peter doesn't look pleased at all. It's pretty much impossible to follow him with his modes of transportation. Does he even walk anymore if he can help it? If there's a rat, one would feel very sorry for them. As she rushes to him, his arms wrap around her, a hand resting on her head and stroking her hair. "Won't take long to move," he says, tone softening a little, even as he looks over her towards the floor plan. "What happened?" There's that hint of harshness again, anger of sorts. "What's in the basement? And where is it?"

"He killed him, Pete," Kate sobs miserably. "I failed him. I tried so hard to find him and I couldn't do it and-" She screams and pounds her fists against her husband's chest. The only way she knows to vent her sorrowful rage and frustration. "It's all my fault!"

"He killed who?" Peter asks, suddenly a little firmer than he probably means to be. There's so much that he doesn't know about what's going on, that he doesn't know who this second person is. They've known a lot of people who've died in the past, and who are probably dying now. As she's pounding her fists against him, he pulls his hands back from around her and grabs her wrists. "Tell me what happened." There's growing discontent, and it's far less under the surface than it might have been a year ago.

"Mohinder Suresh is dead." Kate's voice is squeaky, making it obvious that she's been crying an awful lot over this. In past lives, Mohinder Suresh was her partner. They'd put their lives in each other's hands over and over again. They trusted one another. He had saved her life more than once, and she his. But she couldn't save him from this. "I don't even know if I know for sure what this building is. I- I have suspicions, but nothing concrete." Her legs feel like jelly beneath her and she sags with an angered cry, held up by her husband's grip on her wrists.

"…why didn't you ask me to find him for you?" Peter says in a rather hard tone. He's changed over the years, and there's something almost demanding in his voice. His own anger starts to show. There's a sudden glance towards his hands on her wrists and he lowers her to the floor of their no-longer-safehouse and lets her go. In this state, it's better he let her go. "Just find out where it is. Floor plan won't do me any good if I don't know where."

"What happened to the man I married?" Kate asks in a hoarse whisper. She curls up in a ball, trembling. "He shot him. Over and over again, he shot him while he prayed. And he made me watch. He made me feel." There's the space of only a second before she lashes out again, pounding her fists and her heels at the floor furiously. She screams. "He made me watch!"

The world and everyone in it changed. That's what happened. Peter's jaw sets, expression darkening to dangerous levels. There'd been few times he's looked this bad, but she may not notice with her wailing and flailing at the floor. He turns around and starts towards the coat rack again, pulling his coat off and moving to put it back on. This really hit a cord with him, and whoever he sees next might want to keep their head down. "You won't be watching him anymore."

The shift in Peter's demeanour is not lost on Kate. She knows her husband too well. Sometimes, she swears he isn't the only empathic one. She gets to her feet, or at least to her hands and knees, and scrambles to catch hold of her husband's leg. "Don't go. Please. Please don't go!"

"No one gets away with doing something like this to you," Peter says harshly, angered, but doesn't shake her off or forcefully remove her. Instead he actually kneels down and touches her face, tilting her eyes up enough so that she has to look at him, and so that he can look at her. He's angry. But there's a break when he's looking into her eyes, a hint of another emotion towards the surface, buried under cold, terrible anger. This is what the world has turned him into… "This is our home. It was supposed to be safe. It's not and it never will be as long as— why are you stopping me after he did this?" This, apparently, was the final straw. He could allow his brother's speeches, his brother's treatment of some others to an extent, but this…

"I'm stopping you because I need you. Now." Kate wraps her arms tightly around Peter. Sure, he's stronger than her by a long shot and can easily pry her off, but she's hoping he won't. "I don't- I can't be alone right now. And you can't go anywhere when you're this angry. Anger clouds judgment. Makes us make bad decisions. Please, Pete…" Kate presses her lips to his, needy and fierce. "Don't go."

There's a flinch as she calls him Pete, even as they kiss. That might be why the kiss itself doesn't last too long. "I told you years ago not to call me that…" And especially now it hurts. "That's what he called me." May not have been the reason he gave years ago, but it's the reason that matters most now. There's no move made to pry her off, or disengage in any other way. Instead, he leans closer, pressing his forehead against hers. "Fine— but he's going to pay for this." Not now. Not at this exact moment. But he'll pay for it.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, closing her eyes as she leans against him. He's her support, as always. "I love you. I love you so much. I don't know what I would do without you." Sure, she's watched him regenerate a thousand times, but each time she watches him die, it stops her heart cold. "I…" She winces faintly and moves one hand to his, guiding it down to her side, leaving it to rest on her ribs. "I… bruised something. Could you…?"

"I would have been fine," Peter insists, though his tone has softened now, the anger starting to settle down. It'll come back with a vengeance later, but right now… Not to say he's not upset— he still is. There's a hint of shaking in the hand that she moves towards her rib. "You fell?" He can guess how it happened, he technically doesn't need to ask, but he asks anyway. There's a long pause, and no warmth washes over her to soothe away the pain at first. Healing is not something he does so well anymore. Stronger in many areas, weaker in others… just a fact of it. There's a frustrated sound, though, to show he's trying.

"If by 'fell,' you mean 'fell against the railing of a bridge to lean over and throw up,' then yes. I fell." Kate smiles faintly and rests her hand over Peter's. "Do you remember the day you asked me to marry you?" She's trying to help him channel warm and fuzzy thoughts. Anything to help him coax along that healing ability of his. She knows he can do it. He's done it every time she's been hurt and he's panicked that he might lose her. "It was the happiest day of my life. I never thought you'd ask me."

"I remember," Peter responds in the softened tones again. Too soft, barely above a whisper. His hand stays near the area, but there's another murmur of frustration and he shifts his hand until it's actually under her shirt and touching skin. A few moments later, she'll feel a brief sensation of warmth as the pain soothes away. "There— We need to leave here. If we've been compromised… if he could send a message here— we need to start moving now." Before they break down the door. Hopefully if they're waiting outside they expect him to actually use the door.

"I'd be dead already if they planned to do that," Kate reasons. It's not much comfort, but it's there. "Dead or in detainment." She only voices that once she feels the pain melt away. She rises to her feet again, pulling Peter up with her, and then toward the bedroom to start packing. She stops in the doorway and pulls him in for a kiss. She strokes his face gently over and over again. "Peter, I need you to promise me something."

"It's not you he wants dead or captured— he likes playing games with you," Peter says, muttering under his breath bitterly. "This proves it." And he doesn't like it at all. He stands up, though, jaw starting to set again, eyes darkening. "It's me his group needs to capture— I'm an identified criminal against the government." His face is on WANTED posters and they keep trying to collapse buildings on him hoping to slow him down enough for a negator to arrive. It hasn't happened yet. When she kisses him, he returns it for a moment, before he pauses. "What is it?" He sounds as if he's afraid he's not going to like this.

"When they finally take me," and it's only a matter of when - they both know it, "don't come for me. Don't give him the satisfaction. As long as I can remain good sport, he won't hurt me." Kate keeps stroking Peter's face lovingly, as though trying to commit each contour to the memory of her fingertips. "You can't put yourself in danger. You do too much good. You have to save the world." Her eyes glisten with emotion, but it isn't sadness. Just a sense of the overwhelmed. "And I will never betray you," she whispers against his lips before kissing him again. There's more than one meaning behind that assurance.

There can be as much loving stroking and kissing as she wants, but her request, because that's what it is, is met with a tightened jaw. Peter reaches up and takes her hand away from his face. "No," is said firmly. "I put myself in danger every day for things less important to me. You can't possibly ask that of me." Because it would appear he's losing faith. Hope was something he gave up a long time ago. "No one. No one is taking you away from me. Especially not him."

"You can't give up, Peter." And she knows he's giving up. "Like it or not, we're symbols. We carry on when it seems like all hope is lost. We have to. You have to." Kate isn't removed so easily. She brings her hand back just as quickly as he can pull it away. "You are hope. You're my hope. You're hope to every life you touch. How many people would still be in detainment if not for you? How many would be dead?" She touches her nose to his before simply resting her forehead against his own. "I will always find my way back to you. No matter what. Promise me you'll carry on. That you won't let him win."

"No. The people don't need me anymore— I'm not the only one saving them." There's no arguing with him about this. Peter takes her hand yet again, touching the ring on her finger between two of his, kind of holding it up so they can both see it better. "I'm not arguing with you about this. And you can't stop me from coming after you. He won't win, because I won't let him. But you know I won't do that." There's something quieter in his voice for an instant, before he starts to pull away fully.

"Don't you get it?! If they take me, it'll only be to kill you. And I don't want to live in a world that doesn't include you!" Kate grabs his left hand and holds it up now, a mirror of what he just did to her. "The whole fucking world is burning around us. I see visions of death every single day and the only reason I still live is because of you. Because I know you're making it better." There's one thing about them, they're both stubborn. "Think of it this way, Peter… If you're not carrying on, he has no reason to keep me alive." A bargaining chip is no good if there's nothing to bargain for.

"I said I wasn't arguing this with you," Peter says, doing his best to extract himself, which isn't difficult for him at all, really. "Because, Kate, if you're captured, you have no control over what I'll do." From the way it sounds, he's not even sure he'll have control over what he'll do in that case. There's that set in his jaw again. "You're mine. If I have to tear down all of Washington to get you back, I will." There's a pause and he nods to the room, "Now will you start packing?"

The possessiveness takes Kate's breath away. She stares, stunned and in admiration. "Already packed," she murmurs. Indeed, her suitcase is settled next to the bed. "Do you want me to pack your clothes? Or should I work on the kitchen? I'm going to need help with the mirrors… Do you think we can just move them to the Coalition until we find something new?"

At least the argument is over. Peter seems to relax a little now that it is, but there's definitely tension remaining. "I'll handle the mirrors and most of the other things," he says with a nod, going back to business and letting the fight. Not the first, not the last. And not even the worse. Her skin's intact on this one. "Yeah— the Coalition sounds like a good a place as any until I figure out where the leak was. Or until I find a place only we know about." Then following is the only possibility. "I'm planning an attack soon— disrupting the transportation lines. I'm going to use Kara and Dex for it, probably— maybe Infinite too." He nods towards the floor plan as he begins to move to grab things to take, "Find out where that is, and it'll be next."

"I don't want it attacked," Kate jerks her head toward the floor plan in the next room. "I want it ransacked. I want to save as many people as we can." But that's for another time. "Tell me about this attack." She slips past him, further into the room, pulling a suitcase out of the closet and opening it on the bed before she starts yanking his clothes off the hangers to fold carefully and pack away. "Oh, and I'll need you to help me move the trunk, too. I'll lift, you 'port."

"That'll still be an attack," Peter says, helping out in his own way, though he can't start teleporting things while they're talking. All he has to do is get things ready for it. The furniture, easily replaceable in most cases, can go last. "I can lift and port both," he reminds, but— the job. "The Amtrak rail between New York and DC. I'm going to destroy portions of it, the bridges, the tracks— it's all government sanctioned transport, now. Detention transport, that sort of thing. It's just one train. It won't stop it." But it's something.

"Give me a map. Mark your strike point." Kate makes this same sort of request every time she isn't exactly sure where her husband is going to be. "You know, Peter…" She looks up from folding one of his shirts, "Sometimes I wonder what you and I would even do if we weren't surrounded by crisis. I don't think we'd know how to behave." She chuckles quietly. "What would we do?" It's always a sure sign that Kate's stress levels are high when she starts laughing too much. "Go on dates? Sit down at a nice restaurant with candles and a bottle of wine? See a movie? Have a weekend getaway at the beach?" She tips her head forward, body trembling with silent laughter for a few moments. But Peter knows her well enough to tell when the laughter's turn to tears.

"Points. There will be multiple ones," Peter explains, but he nods. "I'll mark it when I finish checking the routes and the critical areas— the bridges are primary for the moment." Bridges take the longest time to rebuild. Even if they can rip up miles and miles of track, they could have it flattened and back to normal moderately fast. Even the bridges won't take too long to build if they find the right people with abilities to do the work. When she muses on possibilities, he looks back up at her, expression lightening. "Without the war, we probably wouldn't be together." It's a sad admission, but he knows the disaster brought them closer than anything else could have. "I don't think we could ever have those normal things. It's not who we are, Kaydeedid."

"Would you still love me?" Kate looks up miserably. "Would you still need me? Would you even want me anymore?" She turns away again, folding and packing his clothes more quickly now. "If we didn't have to keep consoling each other through tragedy after tragedy, would you just… leave?"

There's some things that can never truly be answered. Peter isn't going to try. However… there's a quiet moment before he drops what he was stuffing into teleportable piles and walks over to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and pulling her back against him. While his nose presses into her hair, his other hand, his left hand, reaches down her arm and reclaims her hand, entwining their fingers. "I would always want you." He draws her hand up closer, turning her hand so that she can see both of their rings nearly touching. "The wedding ring is placed on the left ring finger because of Roman tradition— the vena amoris— the vein in that finger— they believed it connected directly to the heart, symbolizing love." It's a simple tale, almost a trivia, but there it is. Pulling her hand up closer, he shifts out of her hair and kisses her ring first, with the spiral of black and purple gemstones, and then his own, simple, with a white gold and black toned band. "When I said you were mine— I meant it. I don't choose frivolously."

"Oh, Peter." Kate's eyes slide closed and she leans back into her husband, listening to his story. She smiles genuinely, exposing that little gap between her teeth. She brings his hand to her lips, kissing his ring and then hers. "I'm sorry. I just… I wasn't fooling around when I said that you're my hope. You're my everything, Peter. I gave my heart to you long before you ever even thought of doing the same for me. Thank you so much for finally choosing me."

There's a long pause, before Peter turns his mouth towards her temple and kisses her, mostly her hair. "Sometimes I wonder… what would be different, too. If other things had happened instead." There's a hint of regret in his voice. There's so much wrong with this world, that one good thing in it might be hard to enjoy as much as one should. Then again, he'd been known for guilt. "We're not getting anything packed." He adds, letting go of her hand. Work time now. Angst-romance time later.

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