2007-11-21: Walshing On A Debt

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Danny Walsh

Summary: Someone connected to Jack's past catches up with Peter Petrelli and learns a lesson. Don't threaten his girlfriend. Unfortunately he won't be able to warn his "friends" of the same.

Date It Happened: November 21st, 2007

Walshing On A Debt


Brooklyn

Though this streetside fruit and vegetable stand is small, old, and rickety, it's well known for stocking the best produce in Brooklyn. If one doesn't come by early, one needn't bother coming by at all. The proprietor is a kindly, elderly man with no greater desire than to be praised over his peas and carrots. As a rule, he maintains a complete lack of interest in the actions and conversations of his purchasers, so long as they pay for their produce and tell him how lovely it looks.

Right now the only patron is a man in a dark suit who is well into middle age. His curly brown hair and the scattering of stubble across his jaw lend him a boyish air, one that's enhanced by his ready smile, loosened tie, and his open posture. Though he has a shopping bag over one arm and is taking his time picking through a stack of melons, there's a watchful wariness in his expression that's incongruous with that of the average fruit shopper.

Fresh produce is one of the many things that brings Peter out to Brooklyn. He'd discovered this particular destination a few months back, while shifting between Bat Country and his home. Never early enough in the morning to get much, but he'd noted it's presense and heard good things about it when he asked passerbys in the street. This morning he's stopped in early enough, with the intention of buying. Approaching the steetside stand, brown eyes with a touch of green slide over the other man.

"Morning," he says politely, to both the patron and the proprietor. He's dressed nicely, though without a tie, warm enough to fight back morning chills, though not over dressing, either. Reaching, he starts to pick through the pile of cantalopes.

"Mornin'." The older man reaches up to touch his forelock with two fingers by way of greeting. "Ye should have a lookit the pears, laddie. If you fancy 'em, today's a good day to buy." To prove his point, he pulls a ripe Bartlett from his shopping bag and bites into it. His eyes roll back with pleasure as he licks his lips and savors the morsel. With it still only partly chewed, he turns to nod approvingly. "Yum. Name's Danny. Pleasure to meetcha."

"The pears?" Peter says with a polite level of surprise, putting the cantalope down and stepping over in the direction of the pears, already beginning to count off ones he'll buy, putting them into a shopping bag in eye of the proprietor. "Peter," he responds with a glance back. "Shop here often? I've heard of this place, all good— figured I'd put together a fruit basket for my family— kind of an early Thanksgiving present." He's not sure how much they'll get to celebrate that holiday, so he's going to do what he can.

"Well that's just bleedin' responsible of ye," Danny chuckles approvingly. "Ol' Whatsisname here keeps some pucker kiwis, too. Doncha, Mr. Whatsisname? Ye should get some, they're one o' yer new girlfriend's favorites." The statement is delivered in the same gregarious, conversational tone that Danny's been using since they started chatting, but there's a slight smirk on his lips as he goes back to squeezing melons.

It takes a moment for Peter to even parse exactly what the man just said. Yer new girlfriend? Didn't this man mean his own new girlfriend or— The tone also throws him off, causing him to blink rapidly as he looks over. It's obvious he's not quite understanding. "What— what do you mean my new girlfriend?" The pears he'd been putting into a shopping bag stop getting moved, and he's now turned to face this other man, smirking and squeezing melons.

"Elena Gomez. She's a bit young for ye, innitshe? Not that I don' understand." Danny pauses to tip a conspirital nod and wink in Peter's direction. "She's a bonny one. What I wouldn't do t'give her a punch in the knickers. She as spry as she looks?" Laughing openly now, the aging Irishman punctuates the jest with a vulgar pelvic thrust and then adds a honeydew to his bag.

Though Peter'd been taking on a conversational tone of his own, friendly and otherwise, it's taken a dramatic turn. His expression darkens, anger and intensity starting to form along his jaw. He's thoughtful enough to reach into his pocket and pay for the pears he's already taken, before he turns away from shopping to look at this man. "Who are you? Are you a reporter?" Cause he punched the last one who started making comments on this subject… and it looks very much like he's tempted to repeat his past crimes.

This amuses Danny. He grins broadly, flashing white, even teeth. "Nope. Far from it." When he withdraws his hand from his produce sack he's holding a heavy revolver. He shields it from the proprietor's view by angling his body toward Peter and keeping the weapon held low. "I recommend you think very carefully about what you do next. If'n you ask me, setting down your bag of fruit an' takin' a walk with me would be very wise."

The firearm is given a slow, careful glance. Peter nods and turns back to the stand, putting his bag of purchased pears on the table and leaving it there. He's still got his coat, and plenty of weapons that this man couldn't possibly know about… so he just says, "I'll come back later." He doesn't expect the man to hold the bag, or to have much left when he does. "Lead the way— or point the way, at least." He doesn't give off nearly the amount of fear a normal person would facing down a revolver.

"Oh, one way's as good as another. Lead on, but don't stray. That'd be… unwise." By way of explanation, Danny pokes his revolver gently against the small of Peter's back.

"Sorry 'bout all this, laddie. Normally I'm not so rude, but yer quite a bit younger'n I am. Can't risk ye tryin' to run away on me." And the man's tone really is apologetic. "This'll be over in two shakes. Just tell me where I can find Jack, and don't make like you don't know who I'm talkin' about."

The chosen direction is north. North is pretty generic. Peter keeps a slow pace, but he does stick his hands into his coat pocket stubbornly. No weapon available in them, the sit of the coat shows he doesn't have enough weight in the pocket for anything bigger than a knife or the smallest guns imaginable. And it seems a stubborn gesture more than a threat from the sit of his shoulders. "Hate to break it to you, but I haven't seen Jack in over a month." Last time had been just after Nadia died, and thanks to the memorial at Central Park, he knows exactly when that was. "Don't even know where his apartment is. We're not exactly close."

Danny's shoulders slump sadly. "I wish I could believe ye. I can't, though." He shakes his head slowly and gestures with the tip of his pistol, indicating that Peter should step into a narrow alley that runs between a liquor store and pawn shop. "'Tis very bad for ye, laddie. I recommend you think a bit harder, else I'll be forced to make you uncomfortable. Neither of us would enjoy that."

The urging gets Peter to turn into the narrow alley, but once he's in there he turns around to face the man, and his revolver, keeping his eyes on the man's eyes instead of looking down. As long as the weapon is pointed low, all he has to worry about is a stained shirt. "You'd probably have better luck looking in the phone book," he says in a thick voice. "Why are you looking for him?" While he does this, he reaches out with his mind, trying to catch surface thoughts even if the man doesn't answer his question.

What stands out most clearly in Danny's mind is resignation and regret. "Even if ye do know somethin', you wouldn't tell me." It's not a question. Slowly, approvingly, he nods. Then he draws the revolver's hammer back with his thumb. "Sorry, lad. Now that we've chatted, I can't bloody well just let ye walk away. Would ye be so kind as to close yer eyes?"

While he'd been calm before, Peter's now starting to look a worried, raising his hands out of his pockets and showing them to be empty, lifting them up even. "You don't have to do this. You can just let me walk away." It's not death so much that he's afraid of, but there's definite worry now— not so much for his own well-being. "Listen, whoever you're working for— you don't have to do this, Danny." The resignation hints toward not being entirely about him— the regret shows he doesn't necessarily want to do this. "Please." He's not closing his eyes, though, is he? But there's a half dozen things he could do to stop it from happening, and he chooses to talk first.

"Have it your way, lad." Danny shakes his head one last time, aims his weapons in both hands, and squeezes the trigger. He's aiming for a low belly wound. The kind that takes hours to kill a man, but makes him spend every second of that time wishing for death.

Hours to die— assuming of course they don't happen to have regeneration that keeps them from actually dying. Peter makes a loud sound of surprise at the pain, stumbling back and ending up on the floor of the alley after a few moments, hand going down to his bleeding stomach wound as if surprised he'd actually shot him. The pain will take time to fade away— and instead of looking afraid at his own impending death— he forces the pain into anger and glares up at the man. "You— you're going— to pay for that." Maybe not right now, though.

"Maybe. Probably not," Danny answers seriously. "It's a shame it came to this. You're a brave lad." The would-be killer pulls a small notepad and the stub of a pencil from an inner pocket of his suit coat and starts skribbling out a note, speaking it aloud as he writes. "Dear Jack… You don't know me… but I've been hired to find you. Until I do… I plan to keep killing your friends. Regards, Daniel Walsh."

When he's finished, he rips the paper free and drops it on top of Peter's chest. "It's been fun, but it's time I started looking for your girlfriend. All the best, Peter." He lifts two fingers to touch his forehead, miming the same salute he used to greet the younger man. Then he winks, clucks his tounge, and steps out of the alley.

The wound bled enough to make it look normal, but while he's writing his note, the hand against Peter's stomach moves away to drop the bullet next to him on the alley floor. The note dropped on his chest gets a strained glance, the pain still heavy as his body works to repair the damage. It's the last words he says that makes him sit up and attempt to move, the note dropping to get stained by blood left behind where he'd fallen. A bloody hand touches the wall of one of the two buildings between him, the pawn shop actually. "You shouldn't've said that."

A hand reaches out, grasping at air, or so it would look. In fact, he grabs onto the man by his middle section and pulls him right back into the alley, slamming him up against the wall. "You're not going to touch Elena." By this point the bleeding has stopped— the pain's fading, and just as he'd known, only thing he'll have after this is a stained shirt with a hole in it.

"Wha… ?"

That's all Danny can get out before he's smacked bodily against the wall by an unseen force. Certain that he'd been struck by a weapon or blow he simply hadn't seen, the Irishman sags briefly and then raises his revolver again. "Are you takin' the piss? Die, you lil' prat!" He squeezes the trigger over and over, clicking the action several more times after the cylinder has been emptied.

The bullets shouldn't miss their mark. Peter should be falling back, slouching against a wall, bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. A few weeks ago, that might have been the result. Now— his hand stays raised and the bullets slow and stop in mid-air, within a foot of striking him, before dropping harmlessly to the ground in a ting of metal casings. "You don't know whose girlfriend you just threatened." He adds, twisting his hand and gripping at air again, and, at the same time, the man's neck. He doesn't squeeze enough to choke him, but certainly enough to leave bruises from an invisible hand. "Who do you work for?"

Danny is strangling, not from pain or trauma, but from surprise. The man who stopped the bullets is squeezing him from across the room. Needless to say, this is not what he expected when he woke up this morning. He reaches up to claw at his throat with one hand and his mouth with the other, as if he's trying to clear his airway.

It's a ruse. The hand nearing his mouth pushes something between his lips, then his arms drop to his sides. It's some sort of capsule. Grinning triumphantly, he chomps down on it and releases enough cyanide into his bloodstream to kill six men his size.

It's too late for Peter to realize what the man's doing to himself— but it strikes him pretty fast when he sees the chomping. His hand drops, moving away from the man's neck, and he moves over quickly, checking him for a pulse, trying to find some way to slow it down. "Son of a bitch— tell me who you're working for?" he yells at the man even as he knows he won't be able to answer soon, won't answer even if he could. Willing to die for whoever hired him? And the gunshots will bring the police here a lot faster than he'd like.

It is too late. Danny spasms and convulses several times against the pavement. His eyes roll back in his head, foam flecks his lips, and his face turns purple. Then, finally, he dies with his secret intact.

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