2008-02-25: Visiting Hour


Peter_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Sophie_icon.gif

Summary: A recovering Kory and some new(ish) friends get better acquainted while visiting at the hospital.

Date It Happened: February 25, 2008

Visiting Hour

Mount Sinai Hospital, Upper East Side

Each of his visits the first few days had been at the wrong hours to be let in. Not family and not intending to use his abilities or staff connections in the hospital to get access when they insisted she was stablized and already with friends, Peter waited. The only sign that he'd even stopped by came in the form of vace of pink apple blossums that got delievered on the second day, including a card, addressed to 'The Muse'. It's on the day of the 25th that he stops in during visitors hours and is allowed access to the room finally. A small knock sounds on the door before he peeks his head inside. Who all is here?

Kory is awake. And was awake when the flowers came in. No one's ever sent her apple blossoms before. Or any flowers, for that matter. So she's alternately delighted and bummed that it took nearly dying to get flowers for the first time. The card, on the other hand, causes her to break out in a sunny smile that lasts most of the day. And comes right back when Peter pops his head in. "Peter!"

Not counting those flowers that Leslie sent, because Leslie is kind of a jerky jerkface. Which is why Randall isn't bringing her flowers right this moment. There is, however, a post-Valentine's-clearance-sale heart-shaped box of chocolates sitting on a side table, waiting for when Kory's medically cleared to have some.

Sophie had just left to get one of those little coffees that come in the paper cups that has the poker hand on it. She is looking at the bottom, muttering, "Probably help if I knew how to play.." as she opens the door to come into Kory's room. She has been here most of the time since the event.

Leslie? Kory has been resolutely not thinking about him or about that Big Honking Bouquet of Flowers that fragranced up the Lair for two weeks because he kept replacing them. They were just some sort of fixture at the store. Not a sweet gesture by a friend trying to cheer her up and soften her up for — *hyperventilation* — Stop.

Not. Thinking. About. That. At. All. Thank you very much.

She's also not been thinking much at all. Spending several weeks drugged, and then drugged and essentially tortured? Yeah. Kind of hard on the system. So she dozes off a lot. And at the times that most ordinary people do. That insomnia problem seems to be solved, at least temporarily. Leslie's demented plot may have served one of its original genuinely decent purposes after all. Go figure. Cue Alanis Morisette. She waves a hand in greeting as Sophie follows Peter into the room. "Hi there. You must be Sophie." Their first meeting? The memory of that is gone, lost in the swirl of chaos and pain the past week or so has been.

Having stepped further inside, Peter has settled down into a chair. "Good to see you awake and solid," he says with a smile, reaching out to touch her hand before he sits back into the chair. "I kept picking the wrong times to stop by. Thing's have been a bit busy— as usual, though, right?" He seems to be in fairly decent spirits, though. Maybe it's the fact that she's okay that has him looking cheery. Otherwise, he just looks tired. That's all. At Sophie following him inside, he glances over, "Hi." First meeting for him too, right?

Randall gets a little more familiar with the hospital layout each time he comes back. And a good bit more familiar than he wants to be; hospitals = people hurting. Still, his girl is here and getting better, so that makes it worth it. Having ducked ou t away from his job-of-the-month just late enough to avoid getting fired on the spot, he rounds the corner and heads toward the room. "Oh, hey!" he says, nodding to Peter, but as yet unaware of his role in steering Kory away from the bright light. "What brings you by? I mean, besides the obvious."

Sophie smiles a bit shyly at Kory. Well, in the regular world, she has only met Sophie once, and likely Sophie figures she wasn't too memorable. After all, a lot DID happen. She nods and says, "Sophie Petrov. I was in your store once, but that was a while ago."

"Oh…um. Well. Nice to meet you. Again. And nice of you to keep Randall company while I'm unconscious." She looks a bit self conscious herself, but very pleased at all the kind attention. "Surrounded by friends, old and new, is the best thing to help me recover, I think. Dr. Cameo seems to think y'all are spoiling me."

"I'm here because of the obvious, Randall," Peter says simply to the curly haired boyfriend(?) of the woman. The smile has slipped a little, but not very much, becoming more polite and neutral. He straightens to stand up from the chair, perhaps not wanting to hog it now that more people have arrived. "I'm Peter Petrelli," he adds for the sake of the young woman who introduced herself.

Randall nods again and bites his lip. He's been told that Peter is 'multi-talented', but has Peter been told anything about him? Things have been busy enough lately that he's lost track. And either way, there are other people out in the hall who might overhear. Playing it safe, he reaches back and eases the door closed while Peter and Sophie exchange intros.

Sophie nods, "Yes, I'm just glad she is getting better." glances at her hands, currently uncovered. She blinks,and juggles the cup of coffee, trying to get the gloves out at the same time. The cup starts to tip, and she scrambles for it with the gloved filled (but not covered) other hand.

Kory smiles faintly at the Peter-Randall friendly but tense exchange. "Thanks for coming to check on me," she says. "Both ways, even. I probably would still be …floating around out there, lost, without you…" she pauses. And turns to blink at the coffee-juggling Sophie. "And you. You were there, somehow, too, weren't you?" She tilts her head. "I feel like you were. But I don't remember seeing you. I remember…" She bunches the covers in her hands, and pulls them up under her chin as the recollection of some of that dreamwalk comes back to her.

The coffee juggling catches Peter's attention, though he looks a little sheepish at her publicly thanking him for something he's not totally sure the others would understand. Unaware of why the woman may want her gloves, he reaches over to help her catch it, touching her hands at the same time as he grabs it before it falls out of her hands. Unaware of what he's done at all… "You should put your coffee down before you try to put gloves on," he tries to say in a helpful way.

At the same time, a memory explodes into her head. Almost literally.

Nighttime. The air is chilled and cold, but there's warmth. A lot of warmth. The sight of glowing hands. Shaking hands. A blonde girl with a gun pointed at the person the memory is coming from. Him telling her to shoot him. And then someone dropping out of the sky to land in front of her, between them, grabbing onto the gun. A face that's probably been seen on television enough times to recognize. The new Senator for New York. He even gives his name. Nathan.

The whole thing plays out in a matter of moments, up to the two of them disappearing into the air, flying away.

The cup falls, unknowing, from Sophie's hand. She jumps back, gasping as she stares from first the ceiling, to the floor as if trackin something. She mouths, staggering as she tries to get her bearings back, "Nathan?"

For someone ensconced firmly in Kory's inner circle, Randall sure does miss a lot, doesn't he? He's busy leaning over the bed, motioning to Kory to let go the recent stress and enjoy the time off as best she can manage, when Sophie abruptly pipes up. "Wait, what?" he asks, turning to glance back at her.

Kory clings to Randall, and closes her eyes against the still flickery remnants of the dream in which Sophie so gently unraveled the memories that Leslie tries to implant in her. She sleeps like a regular person now, but she has nightmares now, too. She hangs onto the man who engineered her release from the evil prince's tower, until the tremors pass. Then she peeps out from his shoulder. "N-Nathan?" He wouldn't come visit her; he hardly knows her at all and only that because of Peter.

The coffee cup falls to the floor, mostly because Peter didn't expect her to move the way she did. There's a hissing sound as some of it splashes up on his hand, burning a little. Not nearly as bad as it could have been, but he watches her with concern, worry. What happened to her? His first worry is that he did something to make her stagger like that. Until she mouths out Nathan, and Kory repeats it. "What— what about Nathan?" he looks over at Kory, equally as confused. "Are you okay?"

Randall winces. He's seen Sophie do her thing a couple of times by now, recognizing that it involves physical contact with the subject. And most everyone knows Peter's brother, or rather knows of him. She could have picked up any number of things… He keeps the thought to himself, though, simply leaning against the side of the bed and letting her explain at her own pace.

Sophie is still in the midst. She looks at her hands, "Why are they.. glowing? They don't…" she looks over to some point in the middle distance, not seeing anyone in the room. Her voice is heard, "Shoot me.." and she blinks as she says, softly, "He never flew in his commercials.." as her voice trails off. She then slowlly shakes it off, hand up at her head. She then mutters a quick, "Oh.. boy." as she looks around the room, reddening. She stammers, looking down at the floor, "Oh, it spilled. I'm sorry.. I'll get something to get that up."

Kory shakes her head, and draws her knees up to her chest. "Are you burned?" she asks Sophie, worriedly. She looks between Randall, Sophie, and Peter. The door is closed, and they won't come in to check on her for a couple hours yet. "I think…maybe now is a good time to go around the room," she suggests in a small voice.

"Your hands are glowing?" Peter asks, stunned, unaware of what just happened to him. There's an angry red mark forming where the coffee splashed, and it doesn't disappear as quickly as it should be. He's not really thinking too much on it, though, because she is talking about glowing hands and his brother flying and… what just happened? He looks at Kory as if she might understand this, and because, of all the people in the room, she's the one he knows best. "I… what happened?" Randall doesn't seem that surprised. Maybe it wasn't something he did.

There are, alas, no Emily Post standardized guidelines for introducing oneself to fellow Evolved. Hot coffee damage, though, now that's something simple enough for Randall to deal with. Rising to his feet, he walks over and retrieves a pitcher of ice water, dousing a handful of paper towels in it and offering them out to both of the other visitors.

Kory watches all of this for a minute, and then takes the cue from Peter as he looks up. "Okay. I think I better try to explain." A pause. "Sophie — is it okay with you? I trust Peter more than anybody other than Randall. A-And you." Because the woman's been in Kory's mind and didn't do anything but fix what was broken. Presuming on the yes, she forges ahead. "Sophie has the same powers as Brain Trust from Wild Cards. Um…that is to say, some kind of psi that manipulates memories."

Sophie looks up from her stammering, at the very odd phrase. She takes a breath. "I have absolutely no idea what that is. Some kind of story? But.. I guess that sounds about right. I don't know if it is 'manipulate'. I can't change what is, I just.. see them, and can sort through.. hard to explain."

"So we touched and you saw a memory…" Peter repeats softly, looking down at his hand, a mild burn formed. It's not healing, either, if Kory pays attention to that. She, above most others, should know that it should be healing. "Sorry. I was just trying to help. I didn't mean to… could you not mention the thing about Nathan— what you saw— to anyone? That isn't… exactly what he wants publicly known, I'm sure you understand…" He starts to move away, accepting the pitcher and a towel from Randall and stepping over to set it down so he pour a small amount from the towel and hold it over his hand. His expression has changed to worry.

Randall arches a brow. "No kidding." He saw the X-Men movies. And the Men In Black movies. And and and and and. The general public can't be expected to react rationally to such things. "Anyway, I think she saved Kory's life a few days ago— she might have overdosed if Sophie hadn't learned about the dress being laced with contact drugs."

"You manipulated mine," Kory points out, glancing up timidly before gazing down again. "You found the ones that didn't belong and pulled them loose, so I could think again. So I wasn't torn between what was real and what wasn't. So I didn't just walk away from the confusion." She shudders, face losing what little color has come back into it at the thought of where she would've ended up if Sophie hadn't helped and Peter hadn't been able to convince her to come away from the light.

And speaking of Peter?

"Peter…your hand. You're burned? But…" But he heals. He always heals. Even in the dreamstate. "Your burn's not …" She gestures with a limp hand, made uneasy. Peter always shrugs off the injuries he gets. And he gets a lot of them. A whole great lot of them. This is comparatively minor, but still. He will get injured again. And worse. And "You're not healing." Oh God, no. She can't deal with any more awfulness just now. She backs into her fluffy pillows.

Sophie takes a breath, "I guess.. I guess it fits. I suppose I think of it as a bad thing to do to people." she then frowns at Peter's mild burn, "Oh, that's painful. But it should be fine in.." she looks at Kory, "Is there something wrong about that?"

"It's all right, Kory," Peter says, trying to dismiss something that he's had a week or so to deal with. There'd been a lot going on with him, too. "Really, I'm okay. I…" she unravels memories. That explains what they saw in the dreamscape. He looks up at her, then past toward Randall. "I used to regenerate. Any wound I got would have been healed by now. I don't anymore," he says, looking at Kory. There's an attempt to reassure in his eyes, but as he looks around, she might see healing bruising along his jawline, his neck. Almost as if someone had grabbed him around the neck at one point. Mostly healed now, but visible if someone looks close enough. "My— special ability is to use the abilities of others that I meet. The ones with abilities. Not always, but a lot of the time. It's just that… I lost access to a lot of them recently. Including that one. I can get it back. Don't worry. I'm just glad I hadn't lost yours as well."

Randall leans over again, easing his arms around Kory for some more moral support, and nods to Peter. "I can imagine that coming in handy." In a wish-it-didn't-have-to way. "And being a tough one to lose, even for a little while. I think I'm the niche case here— I can see things like abilities, but only when they're fired up strongly enough. Right now the room just looks like a blank, for instance."

Sophie ohhs, "Yes, I guess that would be easy to get used to." she murmurs, "Mine.. I used to think of it just as a bother. As something that made trouble for me. Particularly in public. You can use other people's powers? Can you use mine, for instance?"

Kory's mouth drops open. "You have to get them back," she whispers. Oh, God: what if he ends up in the Future again without the healing? The Future is always a horrible place! That's why he's always going there to prevent it! And his neck! "Who choked—" She shakes her head. "Nevermind. I don't wanna know."

But she focuses, with an effort, on what Peter says by way of soothing her nerves, nodding. "Yeah. I …had some time to come to the same conclusion." She looks relieved, then relaxes, visibly. "Sophie, I can never, ever thank you enough. I don't know how I'll ever repay you." For what? Repairing her mind? Helping her regain her wits and her will to live? Things she hasn't yet mentioned aloud, particularly in front of Randall? Yeah. Those.

Her smile returns, though, tentatively, as Sophie asks the expected question with understandable curiosity.

"That would be a handy ability," Peter has to admit, watching Randall for a moment. He's seen a lot of abilities in use, and sometimes he doesn't know what's going on with them at all. He doesn't try to test the man's ability, though, cause he's just trying to focus on his hand right now. The pain'll go away in a bit. Who chokes him? He opens his mouth as if to try and answer, but she doesn't want to know, so he nods instead. "It'll be okay, Kory. It won't happen again. And I'll be extra careful until I do get it back. Only one of us is allowed to have a near death experience this week, okay?" It's almost said as a joke. Almost.

It's to Sophie that he focuses his attention, on the heels of Kory's words. "I saw what you did. I was… sleeping, or trying to. We could see the memories you were fixing. It helped stabalize Kory. You have an amazing gift. I actually know a couple people who might need your help someday…" Hmmm. "It might take me a while to figure out how to do what you do, honestly. It took Kory actually showing me to figure out how to use hers."

The irony of Peter's statement goes unnoticed, most of all by the one he said it to. "Kind of the story of everyone's life, isn't it?" Randall offers. "Stumbling through on your own, or at best with a few friends here and there… It'd make sense to build up more connections, but I worry sometimes that it'd go like in the stories. The people with a head start on that sort of thing… tend to have other issues to make it all complicated."

Sophie blushes at the double praise. She nods, "You are very welcome, of course. It felt good to be able to help. And, well, of course anyone would. I guess.. why would we be able to do these things unless it was to help out where we could?" she pauses, after, nodding at Peter's comment. "I still am learning what I can do, and I still have no real idea how it works. Heck, I didn't even know how I could help when I, well.." she glances to Kory, "I'm sorry I wasn't able to ask. I mean, it seems like invading privacy. But.. well, it seemed like an emergency."

"Please, I'm glad you barged right in. I'd …I'd probably not have made it if you hadn't," Kory tells Sophie. But to Randall's words. "I don't think we're stumbling so much anymore. I think we've built a nice firm foundation." At least she's no longer afraid of scaring him off. He's seen the crazy that happens to and around her, and he's right beside her. "The best we can do is be there for each other when it happens again." And it will. Peter's life is full of turmoil, but she isn't backing away. Her courage, inspired by the heroic nurse, is returning, in a faint trickle.

"There will always be something," Peter can't help but admit. "The world'll always be in danger, or kittens will be up in trees. All we can do is our best to fix what we're capable of. And both of you did— you helped Kory. I got to help too, just not as much as I would've liked." He reaches to touch her arm, no longer trying to put damp cloth over his burn. "Everyone I know of who tries to save the world always talks about stuff like the greater good… but maybe this… right here… this is the greater good. Just helping each other. Not the whole world…" He's speaking from experience here. "I've noticed, when you try to save the whole world, the people you're saving have a tendancy to get blurred. And one person saving another does more…" As Sophie already saw, with his brother saving him. Even if she doesn't understand it's full context. "I should get going," he adds, reaching to squeeze her hand. Worlds to save? Possibly. "I'm glad you're okay. And it was nice to meet you, Sophie— and see you again, Randall." There's a moment where he just looks at Randall, and he'll suddenly hear a whisper in the back of his head. Telepathy. Stay with her.

Sophie nods to Peter's words, "Oh, I can't imagine how what I do would save a whole world. Its really a very one on one kind of thing." with a chuckle. Then, seeing Kory and Randall, Sophie knows her cue.. Hey, you spend enough time in other people's thoughts, you develop a touch of empathy (not the gift, just emotional common sense). She rises and she says, "I really should get back to my classes anyway. I'm sure I'll see you all around later." figuring, well, drama is over.. probably back to regular life… such as it is.

Randall's ability-sight isn't entirely a delusion; he's also quicker than the average bear to recognize and accept true displays of ability for what they are. "I know," he replies - out loud, as he doesn't know whether that one runs both ways - before getting up again and offering a hand to Peter and Sophie in turn (being careful about the latter). "Thanks again, to both of you."

Sophie slips on the gloves.. she does have to work on not using it, if possible. She smiles, "You are very welcome, of course. Take care.." as she rushes off, finally, back to the work a day world of college classes and her day job.

Alone at last. Kory looks up at Randall from where she's still propped up in the hospital bed. "You know…" she says, thoughtfully. "I …never got a chance…" she trails off, uncertain Randall isn't still trying to extrapolate or calibrate or whatever it is he does to catalogue when he meets the gifted.

Randall finds himself standing behind the head of the bed, peering down into Kory's eyes from the opposite direction. "To what?" he asks, having evidently completed or at least postponed his supernatural analysis.

Kory's lips quirk into a soft smile. "To tell you I love you too," she says simply, meeting his eyes.

At this, Randall develops the unmistakable expression of cat who's just drowned in a barrel of cream. "I know," he teases, leaning down for the inevitable kiss. But doesn't draw it out too long; she is, after all, still recovering her strength.

There are certain things for which Kory can always summon up the proverbial hidden wellspring of strength. Kissing Randall is and is likely to remain one of them. The heart monitor still attached beeps happily at the speeding of her heart.

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