2007-10-01: What Dreams May Come

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After the shared dream experience and the surprise encounter with Sylar, Peter and Elena slip back to his apartment to talk. Insert self blame and desperation.

Date It Happened: October 1st, 2007

What Dreams May Come


Peter Petrelli's Apartment

Staying invisible until they reach the apartment, Peter's grip on Elena's arm is tighter than it really needs to be. He's stressed out— for various reasons, and he can't help but hold on more. They stopped briefly to send a text message, to which he got a response— one he's not too pleased with, but he unlocks the door, lets the invisibility drop, and they're inside. He's not looking too great— though the pallor has faded thanks to her. What are they going to do if he shows up at his apartment with the Haitian and does exactly what they fled to avoid? And…

"You should sit down— I never did get to heal you— Sylar hit you pretty hard." And as he says the name, there's a change in his tone. Regret. But guilt remains as well. Guilt because of the dream he saw— pain because of who was dying in it— and a stubborn determination thrown in as well.

And he has no idea what made them all lose control like that.

—-

She can't help but wince at the tight grip, but Elena bears it - her body was flooded with the painkillers anyway, so taking it was easier and she knows he needs the support. When the Invisibility drops, she doesn't say anything yet, but she does let the door close, and she shakes her head at him. "No," she tells him, giving him a stubborn look. "I can handle it a little longer but you need to rest." She knows she's damaged, but she also knows she won't die from it. Cracked ribs aren't the same as broken once - Peter will be able to fix them easily, but only -after- he's better.

When Peter identifies the man, Elena stares up at him, her voice incredulous and her face draining of color. "S….Sylar…?" she says weakly. "That…that was Sylar..?" Yes. She had absolutely no idea who it was that just started attacking people. For all she knew, it could've been another of the villains that Cass told them escaped from the Company. While she's heard of the serial killer….she's never seen his face, and no one called out his name.

But the Company has him now and HOPEFULLY they won't make the same mistake twice. She tries to lead Peter gently to the couch. "Let me fix you, Peter, really," she says. "I can't….you don't look very good." She reaches up to touch his face, smoothing away the sweat and looking right into eyes that look a little bloodshot. She can talk about what happened later, but first things come first.

—-

For a moment, Peter looks at her quietly, unsure exactly how to take what she's saying to him. It's pretty obvious he doesn't like being told that he needs to rest— or that she can handle damage he blames on himself. All of this is his fault. It's funny how one thing can echo so loudly even after the dream ends. "That was Sylar," he confirms quietly, still allowing her to stay close to him.

"Already has electricity, but Elle's alive— I don't really understand it." He doesn't understand it at all. But he does believe that his ex-girlfriend is alive, at least. He can almost feel where she touched his arm. And they met a lot of new Evolved he'd never seen before, too. At least he thinks the Sharon girl might be Evolved— and the Kitty one. The teleporter obviously was.

"I'm fine," he says stubbornly, touching her again and feeling the healing ability work on the first go for the third time tonight— this time rather powerful. And he's all pale again. Not falling over, not collapsing into a coma, but definitely pale. He's fine. He's fine.

"They're not going to kill him. Even after all he did…" A few months ago— that would have been a good thing for him, he would have been happy to hear it. Now… he's not happy. Things have changed in the last few months, though. "Just like they didn't kill those three…" Who are going to kill so many people. Jane… Niki… And… god. Evelyn and Nathan. Even if he's physically capable of staying upright, he releases her and starts to move away. He needs to sit down.

—-

The preoccupation with Elle is understandable, but Elena is only human….she knows that, but she can't help the twinge, a stab of a certain something she can't quite define within her somewhere. Especially when he moves away from her after healing her so he could go sit down. She doesn't join him, not for a bit. Instead, she moves to the kitchen, hearing what he has to say, but busies pouring herself some orange juice. She'll clamp down on her temper for now, she knows he healed her. So she drops her ability for a bit, and concentrates on putting some ice in a glass. The fresh squeezed juice she made in the morning goes in it.

"It was most likely someone else with the same power, Peter," she says quietly. "And it was a painting. We don't know much about Isaac's powers save that it taps into a certain point in the future. The girl could've been anyone blonde, with blue eyes, and around the same age. Or it…could be your memories interfering while you painted. You were….under the influence after all." It still wasn't an easy thing to say, but she finishes what she's doing, moving over to where he is and handing the glass to him.

She doesn't sit down yet. She slides her hands in her pockets and glances off to the far side of the room. "I think this is how it's going to happen," she says. She looks down at her hands. For the moment, she doesn't look him in the eye. "Losing control over one's powers so suddenly. I…don't know how it happened but it wasn't just me. You saw it, it was everyone." And she made it worse, but she's not saying that out loud. All she knew was that she felt it slipping away, and no matter how hard she tried to hold it in, she couldn't. It almost cost everybody. Especially when Peter started to glow. "It fits doesn't it? With what you told me about what Evelyn from the Future told you. She had no marks on her neck. She lost her powers for a while. Suddenly it comes back stronger and out of control." If that's the case, then WHAT happened?

She looks over at him. "They have Sylar now. I hope what they plan to do to him is more permanent. If not kill him, strip him of what he can do. I can't believe they'd be researching our kind for years, -decades- maybe, without having figured out how, or at least on the verge of being able to." She finally takes a seat across him, her hand coming up, but she doesn't touch him yet. She closes her eyes, and uses her own abilities on him.

—-

Actually he's far more preoccupied with everything being his fault than he is with his ex-girlfriend— she'd been mentioned almost in passing. But Peter can't really clarify that when he doesn't know that's why she chose to stay in the kitchen. This is his fault. The fact that he's not preoccupied with it might be shown when he just nods and says, "I guess," in response to her reasons of why he might have painted her death— when she's not dead. Not dead is the important part. He broke up with her, but that doesn't mean he wanted her dead, or completely stopped having any feelings for her what-so-ever. They're alike in that.

"That could be it, Evelyn didn't even mention really being sick… not that sick— not like…" Not like the dream. Not like Nathan. "And Dr. Suresh and Dr. Aldric looking over… them…" Nathan never got sick. He's sure of that much. What did he change? "I don't know if— if anything I learned even matters anymore— I changed something and…" And now it's all different. The future is different. But it's not better. It might even be worse. He nearly went nuclear today.

But his abilities don't feel hairtrigger— he's not falling over. He didn't completely lose it.

The drink is taken, but he doesn't drink yet— the ability soothes away some of the power tension, but it doesn't fix everything. "This is my fault."

—-

"Not like in the dream. I got that." Elena lowers her hand, her fingertips still tingling, but he's at the very least balanced again. It was so easy, to be able to do this without interference. She thought with those natural safeguards in place, that her powers were activated by conscious will - as if God knew that it would be dangerous if she couldn't control it…. she wouldn't have to worry about things like this. And the cost, the price, could've been dire. She'll need to talk to Cass. And Benjamin. Her jaw sets stubbornly, an expression passing those dark eyes. Mr. Winters.

"Nathan was too. While you were looking around…." She hesitates. "Me and Sharon, I think she's trained in medical jargon because she asked me if I could read it. We started looking for medical charts, anything that could tell us what was going on with them. Symptoms. Anything. But we couldn't pick anything up." She looks frustrated in that, and she can't help but rub her eyes. But she has to keep going…the more she talks about this, the more she can get his mind preoccupied, albeit temporarily, from Sylar and the many ways they can instigate his demise.

The last, she shakes her head. "You couldn't have known he was going to be there, Peter," she tells him. "You can paint the future, but you can't -see- it before your eyes before it happens, while you're awake. You're not Dezi. You don't have the ability to anticipate these things." She pauses. "At least….not yet."

—-

"I know," Peter says, looking tense at the mention of the dream, of Nathan. "I saw him…" he adds. Very briefly, but he saw him. He didn't try to look at what it was. The hazmat suits, the set up of the room— that was enough to tell him that whatever it was in there— it was bad. Infectious disease— like what they'd been put in lockdown for. He hadn't even tried to look at the medical stuff. "It was a dream— it's not like traveling through time— you can't really get that much from it, I don't think."

Dreams aren't stable. Hard to sit down and read a book in a dream. Hard to get the information people want. But when she says he what wasn't his fault, he looks over at her, blinking in surprise. She's thinking he's blaming himself for Sylar? "That isn't what… what I meant," he says, shaking his head. "I mean… the dream. The future that we saw…"

It's hard to explain, really, the way he's looking down at the drink she brought him, avoiding eye contact. "That future— that's not the one I saw. Something… something I did made that. It has to be what happened. Evelyn was in a hospital— and Nathan and… all this villains killing people… That cop— I think I met him in the future. Jane. Niki… They were all… None of that happened. What if I made things worse?"

It's a quiet statement— but pained. Guilty. "My mother— in the dream she told me it was my fault."

—-

"It was….so weird. I've never….I've never -dreamt- like that before," Elena confesses. So she's heard about this…other side of humanity for a few months now. But to, seemingly, everyone else she's met, this sort of weirdness was new to her. Dreams where parts of it are so vivid you can feel the others with you -touching- you, but not be able to touch anything else. Be able to see people you knew getting slaughter - though Peter spared her that. "Was that what….one of your dreams are like? Where did you get them from? Do you know? If we knew…maybe we could ask how…" How it could be controlled. To return to that point and look for answers.

She knows Dreams are unstable, easily influenced by stimuli around the person while he slept, easily twisted and made muddy or clear by the lingering thoughts in his head before he goes to bed. However when he tells her that she's mistaken, that he didn't blame himself for Sylar… she's a little confused. It shows on her face. With the way he was dwelling on the incident earlier, she thought…

When the tale tumbles out, she shakes her head and watches him when he doesn't face her. "Well, with those villains running amok," she replies. "That isn't your fault. Kellie and Sylar attacked the Company and let them loose. They're the reasons why they're free. I think….if you had anything to do with what's to come, it's got something to do with the virus." A link they haven't really looked into further. "What else have we encountered that could do that? And….we haven't really been looking into that. We were pretty much dead-ended in that. I tried to get more information but…all I know is that it's highly contagious, it's NOT the disease Mount Sinai said it was, and the only known person who became asymptomatic was shipped off to Texas."

So what does that mean? No hospitals for Peter for a while? "Maybe we ought to divide and…..attempt to conquer. Cass and I can look into the virus, she and I actually….last time we talked about it we thought about going to Texas together," she says slowly. "Or at least call around there. Maybe you should concentrate on the tornado, and delegate the other stuff to people you trust."

She reaches out to touch his arm gently. "I just….I….Peter I just can't accept that this is going to happen and that it's going to be your fault. We have a warning, if these sorts of dreams are as…accurate as you say they are, I think we ought to follow it."

—-

"Never quite been like that for me before either," Peter says, shaking his head a little and running his fingers through his hair. "Just the part where more people were in it with me. That only really happened once and…" he trails off. How can he explain his dream with Charles as similar? Part of him now wonders if Charles had been like the woman they met, a dreamwalker, a power that somehow allowed him to communicate after death? "I'm not sure where I got the dreams, but… yeah— sort of like that."

But she tries to dismiss his self blame again and he shakes his head. "But what if it is my fault? What if… what if I was supposed to be doing something else and those guys wouldn't have gotten released at all?" There's just so much that he could have changed by his actions— and he hadn't even really considered the consequences of that. He'd wanted to change things, fix them— but he hadn't considered what it would mean if he made it worse.

"Evelyn already has a virus," he says softly, leaning forward and resting his elbows against his legs. "The blood sample— it showed signs, and she probably already took it to her father." Sure, she went to see him because of the fire, but it would make sense that she did that at the same time. "What if the Company starts to do something with the information? What if they— make it worse? And they wouldn't have even known about her if it wasn't for me."

She's making suggestions… she's trying to get him to stick to one thing and delegate other things to people he trusts and… "I don't know what I'm doing, Elena. How can I tell someone else what to do?" his hands shift and he presses his forehead against his palms, eyes closing. It's the truth— he has no idea what he's doing, other than making it worse. "What if… what if I just keep… making things worse?"

—-

"…really?" So Peter has come across a Dreamwalker before…just not the one they met. Was that how he got his future dreams too? She didn't know, but she keeps her eyes on his face, watching the shift of expressions.

She wasn't trying to be dismissive - Elena was anything but whenever he got like this, but the response is honest. She can't just believe that everything he does to try and prevent this would make it worse and that it's all his fault. What if they do something in the next two weeks that changes the dream into someone else's fault? It's not as if the Future is constant when human beings are perfectly capable of making sudden, unpredictable moves that go against a set design. Look what happened with Nathan, who was all for letting the world explode…but changed his mind in the last second. The fickleness of human nature changes plenty. "Like what?" she asks softly. She leans back on the couch. "You were only acting on the information given to you at a time. It's not like you're running about randomly. And it's not like you could resign yourself to just lay back and welcome the end of the world with open arms. That's not the way you are."

The virus. When? She looks at him, aghast. "What? But…when? And why isn't she asymptomatic..?" The woman in the hospital was hacking her lungs out, wasn't she? It's been months since then, why isn't Evelyn showing any signs? Peter would've said something if she had been… "…I guess it'll take someone like Dr. Aldric to make a fullblown analysis," she says softly, watching him lean forward. Her hand slides away from his shoulder, so she could rub his back gently. Concern softens her tired features. She was worried about him, but saying so would be pretty redundant. He probably already knows.

What if he does make things worse? Maybe he was right, and Dream Angela was right, and at the very least the virus thing was his fault. What did that mean then? She didn't have all the answers. How could she? She's never done this before - not like Peter who's experienced similar events almost a year ago. Right now, much like him, she's groping around blindly trying to help him with the bits and breadcrumbs tossed their way. "…it comes down to a choice, I think," she tells him softly. "There's always that risk of making things worse, it's just a matter of whether you're willing to take it or not. To sit back and do nothing, or do something and assume it. It's difficult but…" But it's the truth. She can't lie to him and say he'll magically make things better with a snap of his fingers. "Peter, I believe that if you helped stop this once, you can do it again. I'm not saying you have no cause to doubt. You do. More than anyone. But I believe you can."

—-

"I don't know. I don't know what I did wrong but I must have or this never would have happened." Peter doesn't understand time travel— he shouldn't have done it in the first place. There's so much that got thrown at him tonight he's not even sure how to deal with all of it. And while she's trying to help, he's still stuck in a stage where all he can see is what he did wrong— what he failed to do. And the feeling on inadequacy is making it difficult to even look at her.

"We don't even know what she has— it might not be the same thing, and it might be dormant— I don't know, all right?" he says, still bordering on defensive, frustrated, and it's showing. The hand rubbing on his back should soothe away some of the tension, and the physical ones are helped out— but so much is going on inside his head that there's very little that could drive those thoughts out— and a hand against his back isn't enough.

It comes down to choices. That's what it always comes down to. But the last time he made a choice, she questioned it— talked him out of it, told him he wasn't capable of it anyway— the last time he talked to Claire's father… he questioned his actions. And now the dream…

"I didn't stop this before." he says rather harshly— something he's insisted on pretty much every time people bring it up, but never with quite this tone of desperation. He sits up, pulling away from her touch a little, just so he can face her. There's redness in his eyes, especially visible on his eyelids. But the last thing she says keeps him from pulling away all together. "Do you really believe I can do this?" His tone is desperate now.

—-

It didn't make any sense. How could doing anything in the future - a future that hasn't even happened yet - change things in the past? Elena can understand that if one went back to the past to change something, it would affect the future…this present. It was logical. Tamper with history and there are bound to be repercussions. But the future he went to isn't even in the books yet.

The defensive snap startles her then. He was frustrated, to be sure, and for the moment she's looking at him as if she's seeing an entirely different person. Her hand falls away - she can't help it. She questioned his decision to kill Sylar because she knew he would never be the same again after. If he thought if she stayed that she could save him, like what he said when he was fresh from 2009, she's trying desperately to do that. Despite his obstinacy, his stubbornness, she's only doing what she promised to do and that was to save him from himself.

It's difficult. Especially when he's lashing out at her. But her jaw sets stubbornly as she looks back at him. She remains on the couch, but she's not touching him anymore. It's clear he didn't want it.

When she speaks up, it's quiet - but clear. And firm. "I didn't say you stopped this," she tells him. "I said you helped stop it." She looks away. "And you did. If you didn't run off that day to fly to Texas to save Claire, you wouldn't have absorbed her ability. When you returned to New York and started….when you almost exploded, Nathan flew you up. He suffered burns. But if you didn't do what you did, for Claire, you wouldn't have been alive. You wouldn't have survived the explosion…or the fall because I doubt even if you were resistant to radiation thanks to that power, that you'd survive falling thousands of feet back to the ground. And Nathan would've died as well." She looks over at him, her face determined. "I don't know if anyone else sees it but to me, what you did. And what Nathan did. Both of you ensured that everyone survived. Including yourselves. If that one small act of selflessness, flying all the way to the other side of the country just to save one life can save not just many, but also those who were involved in the attempt, was enough to change everything, then yeah. I believe you can."

Because he was selfless. And it was that selflessness that saved him and his brother. And she'd like to think that rubbed off on Nathan at that moment too.

—-

So much about what she said could be argued by him. Peter doesn't understand how his abilities work— as far as he knows he wasn't even physically harmed when he exploded— it hadn't taken him long to recover from it at all. His clothes had been crisped, but he doesn't even remember needing to heal. He would also argue that Nathan hadn't flown him up there with any intention of them surviving. He'd intended to die with him. Still— he doesn't really argue it, because she's pulled her hands away from him…

It's just really hard to be told about how he saved the world— when he's the one who nearly destroyed it.

With her still on the loveseat-couch of his, he lets out a softened sound and leans forward, pressing against her, pushing his forehead and eyes into her shoulder, hands grasping at her arms. Yes, there's that desperation again. Last time he had someone to tell him what to do— where to go. Hiro from the future gave him the message. Isaac painted enough that he could go and do what needed to be done. And now… now he doesn't have either of them telling him what he's supposed to be doing— where he's supposed to go— and every decision he makes keeps turning out bad. She believes he can. Even when…

"I couldn't protect you."

—-

Save the cheerleader, save the world. From what she remembers, that's what Peter told her about the first time. Why would a message like that be passed to him before, if saving Claire wasn't instrumental to what happened in the end? Take that out of the equation, and what do you have? Then again - she doesn't know about the final showdown with Sylar before he started going nuclear….even then though, her conclusion would be the same. Elena's only going by the information given to her in the past, the way she always did.

She blinks a little bit when he moves forward, spinning into a direct 180 from the way he was acting earlier - he was so obstinate about everything she said and was trying to do that she actually didn't expect it despite knowing how affectionate he is. Her arms grasped, his warm face presses against her shoulder and she looks down on his. She doesn't know what brought the sudden turnabout, only that..

His words sink in.

Oh.

The determined set to her jaw softens. Truth of the matter was she was already bracing herself for an argument. Again. Until one of the main reasons for his difficult and different nature surfaces to the fore. She sighs quietly, and draws her arms around him. Her cheek presses against his hair, and she says nothing for a while.

"…we had this discussion before," she replies quietly. "Though…I don't….really know if you remember it. You were pretty drunk at the time. I said protecting me was a joint effort. Nobody can protect me all the time…ask Papa. He'll tell you. He's tried for all my life. I'm still here, then and now." Her hand curls up higher to cradle the back of his head. "You were pulling your weight in that. You at least did something. I didn't…I didn't even think about using my abilities, I was so startled when it should be instinct by now…"

I suck.

She closes her eyes. "Honestly I think if you hadn't been with me when he attacked like that, if he'd been picking random victims, I might not've made it. He seems pretty focused on you. If your abilities didn't save me, your presence did." Because the man left her alone when Peter actually got up and started to fight.

—-

"You were hurt," Peter says softly, still holding on to her as well as he can. It's funny— he's not asking to protect her all the time, just when he's there— when it's something involving him. Well— sure, he would love to protect her all the time, but he'd been right there. And… "I think he only attacked you— because you were with me." Which means he's to blame for it. And he couldn't do anything. He'd not even gotten a real attack off at him before he got knocked back with a bolt of lightning to the chest.

By all honesty, he should have been able to shake that off, no problem. Maybe all the abilities he'd used that night came back to bite him for that one moment. He doesn't even know for sure how long he'd been unconscious.

Even if the focusing on him had made him vulnerable, able to be taken down, it makes him feel helpless. But right now…

"Stay with me," he says, still holding tightly to her, eyes pressed shut against her shirt. "Stay with me tonight…" They've been spending their nights together a lot lately— it's almost a silly request, but one he has to make. He'll figure out something to do tomorrow— later— in the next few days— but right now he just wants her here.

—-

Yes, she was hurt. But… "Well, luckily I can take it," Elena quips, but it's quiet and halfhearted at best. "Pretty well equipped for that sort of stuff, you know? It's like God anticipated these things would happen to me eventually." It wasn't exactly the sort of situation where she could crack it out the way she usually does. Not when he's acting the way he is. She sighs, turning her head a bit to bury her lips against his hair, absently kneading her fingertips against the tension on his neck.

And this wasn't the time to leave him to his own devices either. He might do something drastic. He might have nightmares. He might sink further into the dark hole threatening to swallow him up. But her hold tightens on him, raising her head a bit so she could look at the empty balcony and the darkness outside.

"You know you don't have to ask," she tells him quietly. "I'd like to think I can read you pretty well. I don't have Papa's telepathy but…I wasn't gonna go anywhere. Not right now." The urge had been there, realizing for the first time just how dangerous it would be for the both of them if she ever lost control of her abilities. But like the difficult choice he has to make, to do nothing or do something and risk making things worse, she has to do the same.

But her decision was easier to make because of a prior promise. She buries her face further at the top of his head. "I love you," is said simply.

And I'm not leaving you.

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