2007-07-17: Without You


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After spending the night together, the two get woke up by a phonecall… that sparks a confrontation… that causes Peter in his insecurity and anger to say something really dumb.

Date It Happened: July 17th, 2007

Without You

Peter Petrelli's Apartment


You were right all along.
You know I hate that, admitting I was wrong.
So I don't answer the phone when it's you.
It's funny when I see the caller I.D.—

The default ringtone for all other calls that weren't part of her directory goes off. Somewhere on the bed, a hand gropes around for it, the cherry red jPhone ringing on the side table. Elena was still in bed, she was exhausted. She needed the sleep. Groggily, she slides the phone to her, and furrows her brows at the 617 area code flashing on her LCD screen. Who the hell would be calling her from out of state?

Rolling on her back, her eyes close again. She feels a warm body next to her, and an arm draped around her, but she doesn't not find this unusual at the moment DESPITE the fact that memories from the night before haven't resurfaced in her active consciousness yet….

Until now that is.

Her eyes widen a bit. She looks down at the arm draped over her torso. She's fully clothed, thank GOD, but… and then when her eyes roam around the room she's in, she realizes, finally, that last night WASN'T a dream but that she was actually STILL in his apartment.

Peter's apartment.

And she DIDN'T call her father.

"Oh my god…" she groans, closing her eyes, and forgetting that she had answered her phone.

"….Ms. Gomez?" says the voice on the other end. "Are you alright…?"

"Who is this?" she asks groggily, lifting her hand to rub over her eyes.

"My name is Gladys Jackson, I'm the admissions coordinator for MIT…?"

….oh god.

She sits up slowly. "Oh, I apologize…I got the paperwork just a week ago…"

Crap. What TIME is it? She gropes around for an alarm clock. Anything.


It happens to be 8:00 am, actually.

According to a bedside clock nearby that she finds in her grogginess, and the light coming in the window behind the head of the bed. The light exposure is actually pretty good, because there room's lit up enough she can not only see the arm, but also the person attached to the arm quite well.


While she technically won the race of being up first, they both probably slept longer than intended. At all her movement, and the noise of her phone, Peter is jostled into the land of awakeness. It was a really good dream he was having, too. Though that's not here nor there.

He's not quite as shocked or surprised at the state he wakes up in. In fact he kind of smiles at first as he hears her voice speak groggly into the phone.

Still fully dressed, he moves his arm away from her, and starts to roll away, noticing that she's on the phone and silently hoping to use this chance to get a head-start in waking up. Politely, he doesn't attempt to talk to her just yet, as he puts his legs over the side of the bed and leans over to rub his face. He's going to need to shave. His brain isn't quite processing everything, but that's one of the things that pops up.


He could only hear her side of the sleepy conversation.

"I'm…sorry, Ms. Jackson but I haven't actually looked at it all yet…" There is a pause. "….it's due this August? How much…?" The number said on the phone causes Elena to sputter. Okay. She's awake. She lifts her body up a bit from the bed, rubbing her eyes and raking a hand through her hair. "Well…if the scholarship is paid in full that means all the fees should be covered, there's a reimbursement on that isn't there?" Another bout of silence. "I see. ….it's due -when-?"

August, for the upcoming year.

"…would the offer still be open the…not this school year, but the next?" She shifts a little bit, swinging her legs over to drape over the edge of the bed. "So I would have to reapply if I don't take it this year." Silence. "Alright….I'm going to have to think about it still. It's Massachusetts and things have come up…" Argrgggghhhh. On top of EVERYTHING this had to happen now?! This was ridiculous, they only sent the letter a week or two ago!

She exhales a breath. "I understand….I'll…let you know what I decide. Thank you for calling, Ms. Jackson."

She ends the call, and much like Peter, she buries her face in her hands. "….I need to wake up," she says, her voice muffled, turning to look over at him and giving him a faint smile. "Good morning." She moves to stand up from the bed. "Ugh….what time did I— did we go to bed last night?" We. -WE-. This was a first for her. It sounds a little off on her lips but….he can't blame her for that. She's never done this before!


The hands buried in face? That ends as some of the words said filter into his ear and get joggled around in a not-quite-awake brain. The first bit is almost ignored as university problems. There's fees and scholarships at schools, and he knows she has one at the one she's currently attending. But then he hears Massachusetts. That's very different.

Peter looks back at her as she hangs up and then buries her face. He's still looking at her in the stunned expression of someone woke up with a bucket of cold water and no idea where it came from. That's pretty much how it feels. A slow breath and he shifts to stand off of the bed as well, the comforter rumpled, but otherwise in need of little rearranging.

"Good morning," he responds, voice far more stunned than he'd like. Maybe he's just shocked that they're waking up together, when actually scenerios are playing out in his head. Don't jump to conclusions. Maybe she'd been invited to a conference or something… In Boston, maybe?

When did they go to bed last night? This isn't new to him, and without the shock, he might find it cute how she said it, but he glances around the room. Eight in the morning? "I thought we went to bed before midnight…" They must have been tired and needed the sleep. He knows he did. But…

"What was— what was that phone call about?"


At the last inquiry, Elena groans. The urge to go back to bed and crawl under the covers this time was overwhelming. She stows the phone into her pocket, and rakes her hand through her hair, trying to work the sleep-tangles out of it. Failing that, she digs a hairtie out from her pocket, and pulls her hair up. Whatever the phone call was, she doesn't seem to be treating it as a big deal, even though it is… well, at the very least she's treating it as if telling him was no big deal. She hasn't decided yet after all. "I think it was about a week ago or so…?" she begins. "Remember when I told you MIT only gave me a partial scholarship when I applied out of high school?"

He probably remembers that conversation, she certainly does. That was the day they found the picture with his parents, and Charles Deveaux.

Sometime….not last semester, but the semester before that, I reapplied for a transfer, see if they'd accept me in my sophomore year on a full ride. I was put on a waiting list because MIT's mostly a grad school - not a lot of undergrads there so they gave graduate students first priority. I just found out last week that a bunch of candidates fell through and they'd take me if I decided to go."

She exhales a breath, and starts looking around for…where the hell did her bag go? She was leaving for Spain tomorrow, she had to get her stuff together…

"I just found out last week, like I said. I haven't had time to actually -look- at all the stuff they sent me. Just the letter. I haven't talked to Papa, or anyone because of…what happened. Coupled with work and the major board meeting at Evosoft the boys wanted me to attend a couple of days ago, I just didn't have the time."


This may seem like the moment when it should be a casual mention. Peter does remember, which makes this even harder on him. Back then he had been concerned about her leaving, but he would have wanted to be supportive of her dreams and what she wanted to do with her life. So few people get a chance to do what they want, and many that do don't have the support they need. His life would have been easier if he didn't always feel like no one believed in or supported him.

Despite this idealistic world, where he would support her no matter what she chose, after last night— after everything that's happened— he can't stop himself from clenching his hands on the comforter of his bed. The comforter had already been bunched up, and now it's even more so. "But you're not going."

It's a lot harsher than he could have possibly intended, even with the budding worry and horror at the idea of her up and leaving. It's also not a question, which might make things even worse.

"You were just making plans to move into the city…" And he was making plans to help her. He'd been relieved that she was staying instead of moving upstate with her family. Upstate would have been closer than M.I.T.. Lines begin to appear in his forehead, his jaw starts to turn a little paler, as if he's gritting his teeth a moment. There's a hiss of an inhale that's followed by something even louder than before. "Why didn't you tell me?"

It's morning. Maybe he's cranky in the morning? It has nothing to do with that, though. She's going to leave. She doesn't have long to decide and she's going to be in Spain for most of it.


She wasn't going.

Wasn't going?

It was more than a statement than a question. Elena would've taken it a little better if it had been. But at the gritted teeth and the forceful tone, she furrows her brows at him. Confusion is there, on her expression. He was looking exceedingly cranky - maybe he had a bad dream? So she just looks at him, the puzzled expression on her face. She's known him for a few months, but they've spent so much time together that she knows his moods…

And he was angry.

Despite the fact that she's never SEEN him angry before, he was angry.

Her lips part to say something else. Of course her first instinct is to smooth things over. She wasn't a combative creature, unless her and her own are threatened. "Peter, I didn't— "

And then, the louder outburst. Silence, hard and heavy, falls in the bedroom.

She was trying to maintain her composure, but it was hard. Elena has a temper. She got it from her father AND mother, which made the sparks a double whammy whenever they were sent ablaze. She honestly doesn't understand why he looked so upset. Why he was so MAD…

"I told you I just found out last week," she says, struggling to maintain her composure. "And that I didn't have the time. I had the headaches, I had work, I had to take care of my siblings. And then there was Syracuse, and you and a good chunk of the people I care about traipsing off to Brooklyn to break into a killer's house. I hate to say it but after everything where I may or may not be going to school the next year was just a little bit low in my list of priorities this summer."

She shakes her head. "I haven't told anyone, Peter. I haven't told anyone except Jack, and the only reason why I told him was…" And this is where she falters. Oh god. She only told Jack because he brought Pete up, and….the situation at the moment isn't exactly AMENABLE to bringing that particular can of worms up on top of everything else.


Anger isn't something she's seen out of him, because she's never actually made him experience the emotion before. And even then, the anger Peter feels comes from fear and worry. It's that whole Yoda saying. Fear leads to anger. And it might just move on to hate. For MIT, not for her. "You could have mentioned it last night!" He yells back, part of him understanding the fact that she just went through a trauma and of course wouldn't be as worried about certain things as she is now.

His hands can't grip the comforter anymore and he lets go to throw his arms up and turn away a little as she says who she told that wasn't him. "Great." Apparently she tells her Nuncle a lot of things. She'd told him about the incident in her room, when he hadn't even told his own brother. Gentlemen don't talk about that sort of thing, and he really could have used someone to talk to about it too. But this is—

"You tell a man whose girlfriend is laying in a coma right now and not someone who just offered to help you move into an apartment in the city!" He's yelling still. And now that he's broken away from the bed, it almost looks like he's getting ready to pace.

"When were you planning to mention it to me? Before or after you made the decision to leave?"


That was it.

When it came to the people she loved, Elena endeavored to be patient, but like how his passions fueled her own, so did his anger. ESPECIALLY when he's outright yelling at her now. Last night, she was busy making dinner. Last night she was so exhausted she fell asleep on his couch! Last night, they—

Oh my god.

Something snaps when he throws his hands up and starts to pace. "I didn't tell YOU or ANYONE ELSE because I haven't even started seriously THINKING about it yet! I told you, I had other things on my mind that were MORE IMPORTANT!" Elena's voice is rising in pitch. "What the hell's the POINT of telling anyone if I decide I don't go?! If I made up my mind RIGHT THEN that I was going, you would've been one of the first people to know but I haven't even THOUGHT ABOUT IT, Peter! And I could have brought it up last night if I wasn't so PREOCCUPIED WITH YOU!"

Her hoodie was on the floor. She almost trips over it. She snatches it up with a snap, spinning around and storming out of the bedroom. Oh god. At this rate it was going to come out, and she didn't want it to come out when she was PISSED to high heaven. But no. There were others. She whirls around before she could leave the room entirely.

"I told Jack before what happened with Trina. A DAY before, did you honestly think I would know what's going to happen?! To EVERYONE?! Compared to you, my abilities are RATHER LIMITED in scope. It's not like I could GO to the future to see what happens, let alone goddamned SEE IT!"

She's panting now. But she's so not done. Her stare is angry, and incredulous.

And hurt.

"….are you honestly getting this mad at me for something I did before I met you and something I even forgot until a week ago?" she says breathlessly. Her eyes stung, but she is NOT crying, damn it! She's NOT crying in front of him today! "I was living my own life before you walked into mine!"


Didn't tell him or anyone else? "You told JACK!" Peter interupts her loudly, even as she's in the midst of yelling back at him. The whole preoccupied with him part? That's actually almost missed in his anger. Later on he might be touched by it, but right now— they had time. She could have brought it up. Was telling him she thought of moving into the city some kind of false hope? She was hiding things from him last night, things she didn't want to mention. Yeah, he figured a lot of it had to do with what happened to her, but now he can't help but think this is one of them.

And she told Jack before.

That was almost a week ago!

And when she mentions his abilities, he actually turns and stares at her, eyes darkened with the anger that they're throwing around in his apartment. It's fortunate his dog isn't currently there. She wouldn't take all this yelling well.

"Because I'm in your life NOW," he finally shoots back, still sounding angry, even if there's new emotion that wants to creep towards the surface. He's in her life now. She's his best friend. And there's a lot more to it than that. He thought after last night she would understand that, and they could talk about it this morning. Damn phone call.

The problem with anger and emotion… it leads people to say things they don't mean, things they want people to counter and prove wrong by actions or words. It's childish, but it's what happens in fights. That's about to happen here.

"Fine. Go back to living your own life."

He really should have stuck with the last thing he said and left it there.


There is a moment of silence there, Elena staring at him from where she stands and looking, for a brief moment, like he slapped her - and hard - on the face.



She didn't even know where this all came from. As always, she tended to see things from far away. If she had a chance to go to another school, why would she tell anyone if she decided not to go? What was the point of saying "Oh, by the way, MIT changed their minds and decided to accept me after all but I didn't take it." She didn't understand, she thought it was simple, but it looked like she was wrong. And why would she talk about it with anyone if she didn't even have the time to think about it on her own? And Jack, well….she wasn't about to tell him, especially now, that the letter came up because Peter was brought up. If anything that ought to have told her that maybe, MAYBE, if someone saw those two separate issues as connected (like Jack), she should've too, but she had absolutely no idea Peter even SAW her that way until last night.

Last words. She wanted to toss them out. But the glimpse of an unfamiliar emotion on his face past the anger causes her to falter. She could've called him a jerk. She could've really laid into him, about how irrational he was being, about how he was worrying over nothing. And even now, with her anger as a weapon, sharpened and ready to throw, and knowing him so well that whatever blow she could inflict could be devastating…

She still couldn't bring herself to hurt him deliberately.

She spins around then, and with one arm sweeps up the pile where she left her stuff. Including the music box, at least, but it had been set aside with the rest of her belongings and she didn't want to stay any longer than she had to. She didn't want to stay there and sort her stuff out.

She leaves without a word, jerking the door open and slamming the door shut behind her. The elevator was too slow for her liking, so she takes the stairs. The door at the end of the hall BANGS open as she disappears through it. She'll take the elevator the rest of the way down once she was tired climbing down a gazillion flights of stairs.

Her chest ached. She could alleviate the pain but she couldn't concentrate.


There's nothing said as she grabs her things, and if anything that makes the anger boil over even more. It's that easy to go on and live her life without him again. The pain in his throat and chest have nothing to do with anger, but the emotion hidden under all that. The emotion that will be all that's left after the anger fades.

As the door pulls open, Peter takes a step towards it, and starts to say more— "I…" The door slamming drowns out the rest, and he doesn't even bother to finish. He's left staring. She actually left.

She left.

Peter pretty much outright told her to. And she left.

The remaining distance to the door is completed. The pies are still in his fridge for later consumption. The music box was taken. The first happy painting he'd ever drawn sits on his counter. A hand rests on the door, and he hears the door to the stairwell bang open from this far.

He could chase after her. He could run out the doors and down the stairs and catch her. Tell her everything he meant to.

But he doesn't. Hand moving away from the door, he stalks into his living room. The new television he bought for this almost mocks him. The anger continues building, demanding some kind of release, as he starts to pace in the living room. What happens next isn't intended at all.

An angry gesture is made mid-step in the direction of his balcony doors… and it explodes.

Like it got hit from the inside with a wrecking ball. Even the wood splinters at the edge while the glass shatter and pours down towards the alley below. Luckily that faced an alley and not the street, or someone could get injured by falling shards of glass.

That release is enough to stop his pacing, and make him forcefully try to push down his anger.

Five seconds without guilt turned into a few seconds he'll wish he could take back for a long time.


She was only giving him what he wanted. How the hell else was she supposed to take that?

It's what she's always done. Even now despite everything. Even when he never asked her to, she went out of her way for him. So who was she to argue an outright request? An outright order?

Elena manages to leave the building without so much as a tear dropping from her eyes. She normally had a will of steel, and anger…she clung onto it desperately so she wouldn't cry. She throws her things on the carrier cage at the back of the red scooter parked outside. It looked like it was about to rain. Again.

Something suddenly EXPLODES near where she's standing. She can't help but turn around, gaping at shards of glass and wood bursting out of Peter's balcony as if in slow motion. As if someone demolished it from the inside with something very large. For a moment, she's stopped. The urge to come back and make sure he was okay and that he didn't blow himself up accidentally was there.

And then, she remembers he can regenerate.

She spins around then, slamming the helmet on her head and starts the engine. She was gone. Out. Just like he wanted. Fine. His life and her life would be less complicated without the other anyway.

Her eyes stung. They burned like mad. But she still refused to cry.

She refused to cry over Peter Petrelli.

With a defiant jerk of the pedal, the motorbike turns and speeds down the street.

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