2007-08-18: DF: Bless Me Father, For You Have Sinned

Starring:

DFJack_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif

Summary: Son of a bitch? If only it were that easy.

Date It Happened: August 18th, 2009

Log Title Bless Me Father, For You Have Sinned


Location Weichsel Carcass House

I sure don't mind a change
but I fell on black days.
How would I know
that this could be my fate?

—Soundgarden - Fell On Black Days

It's been a difficult afternoon. Very difficult. After spending a couple of hours slamming on a punching back and trying not to scream, Jack made his way through Weischel House's converted living quarters and into his private office. Now he's sitting on his desk with a personnel file cracked in front of him. Nathan Petrelli's. Vital statistics, copies of medical records, photographs of his kids. It's all there. Everything that Jack has compiled on his best friend/worst enemy in the last year.

With a grunt, Jack pushes the entire pile off of his desk and into a metal trash can. Then, with a quivering hand, he sparks a stick match and drops it in, setting the mess ablaze. The dim, flickering light from the fire accentuates the deepening lines around his forehead and mouth, as well as his bloodshot, dark-bagged eyes.

It took some time for Peter to get across town to the Meat Packing Plant. Flying in open daylight has never been his favorite thing, so he actually walked most of the way— or ran. A good practice considering the situation. When he reaches the edge of the packing plant, he relocates the door opener he'd been given from his room back at the Phoenix Rising Towers and clicks it. The doors open as loudly as they always do, showing that someone is incoming. This is a chance he's taking. No one's told him where his brother is, but this is the only other Saints place he knows of, and with the radiation threat… he's going to hope that it'd be a good place to keep him.

Clicking the bay doors closed behind him, he calls out loudly, "Jack!?"

No code in. No code in. Jack's hearing isn't the best, but he knows for damn sure that nobody's called on the radio. It's sitting right next to him, after all. He isn't expecting company. Nobody going out, nobody coming home. And so when the doors rattle open and somebody starts shouting on the ground floor, Jack does what he does best. He grabs a rifle from the rack behind his desk and bolts toward the disturbance. He doesn't even slow when he reaches the door that separates the living quarters from the packing room, he just boots it off its frame with a splintering kick and takes aim at… "Peter? Shit, you gave me a start."

The radios aren't something that Peter's used to using, honestly. He has one— but he left it back at the Towers. If he needs it, it'll be in his hand quickly enough. He didn't even think to use it this time. When the door splinters open, he raises a hand as if getting ready to stop something, or disarm the person who just kicked the door in— but it's exactly who he wanted to see. He doesn't lower his hand, though. "Bless me Father, for I have sinned," he says plainly. Though there's a hint in his voice that gives a second sentence after— something he doesn't say out loud. "Where's my brother?"

Jack immediately tosses his weapon back through the doorway and begins a slow, unsteady ascent of the stairs. His new aches have settled and melded with his old ones, slowing him considerably and making his movement ragged and erratic. Though some of them are healing, the bruises and cuts that litter his face are still prominent. He's clad only in BDU pants and a snug t-shirt, baring the extent of his war wounds proudly for the first time since he earned them many months ago.

"I made a mistake, Peter. I'm sorry."

While the other man's descending the stairs, Peter shoves the door opening into his pocket and frees up his hands. He's going to need it. Certain things kept him from just leaving already— but he's still furious about this whole thing. The picture of his brother on the news for the whole world to see— for him to see— At this point even the fact that the man who did that isn't smug at all, isn't proud— it still doesn't help. The bruises and the cuts on his face are about to get a new friend in the form of a fist flying at his face. "Son of a bitch," he yells while he does it. Just that. Just one punch. For now. At least his eyes aren't green. He's not using his mind. He's not applying super human strength. It could have been a lot worse.

Jack is a warrior. A veteran. It's not just that he can see the punch coming. He can actually smell the anger seeping out of Peter's pores.

Jack grits his teeth and closes his eyes.

The blow catches him on the tip of the nose. He goes down against the stairs with profusely watering eyes and blood leaking from his nostrils. He shakes his head to clear his vision, then winces and laboriously hauls himself to his feet. "I was wrong, kiddo," he rasps, still gripping the railing. "And I let you all down."

It's difficult to stay completely angry at someone who keeps apologizing. Still, Peter continues to clench his fist, looking as if he may slam it into his face a few more times— or at least that he's tempted to. The smell of fire filters down from the office, but hopefully it isn't out of control. "Which part let us down? Kidnapping him, cutting off his finger, or televising it to the entire nation before even telling me about it? I found out from a fucking television, Jack." A television which he threw across the room into a bookshelf and scared the man's girlfriend… "I almost left Elena over this. Because she listened to your orders and didn't tell me about it even after you told the entire country."

"I wanted to be the one to tell you." Jack swallows painfully around a bruised trachea. "I owe you that much." Ashamed but unbowed, Jack shuffles down another step. Only a few feet from Peter now, he looks the other man in the eyes. "You haven't been here. You didn't live through what we lived through. What he… What Logan did to everyone. I didn't know that the old Nathan was still in there somewhere. How could I?" Now he does bow his head.

"You should have been the one to tell me!" Peter yells, though he doesn't punch the much taller man again. Not yet. It's may never happen again. It probably couldn't have unless the man allowed it. "I didn't have to be here for two years to feel betrayed by him— he shot me, three times the…" he was yelling, right up until he processes something that was said. Logan. The old Nathan. "…Who the hell is Logan?" And what does this have to do with his brother and—

"Fuck."

Jack drags a hand over his face and through his hair. He winces slightly, then gives a minute shrug and launches into the explaination. "'kay. Here goes. Remember Niki and Jessica? In this situation, Nathan is Niki and Logan is Jessica. The way I understand it, Logan is responsible for everything we've been through. Not Nathan. Because he wouldn't…" He trails off, then pounds the bottom of his fist against the railing. "He just wouldn't. But Logan would. Am I makin' any sense here?"

Niki and Jessica. A month ago, Peter'd been trying his best to help the poor woman with her multiple personality problem. He'd just enlisted the assistance of Ramon. There had to be a way to fix what they were going through, right? That had been the plan. And here he's finding out the same thing happened to his own brother under his nose. He stumbles back a few steps, no longer looking like he's going to punch anyone. How could he not notice? Not— him-him, but other-him? The one who lived through all of these changes. "It— he never— God that's why it didn't feel like him in the vision." With Cass. When he walked into Bat Country. Suddenly he sticks his hand into his pants pocket and reaches for something. What he pulls out is a bullet. Previously used by the look of things, deformed from impact. He holds it in hand, and then… all of a sudden… falls forward and hits the pavement. Unconscious.

"Shit."

With the ease of a man accustomed to carrying wounded from the battlefield, Jack gently scoops Peter's limp body off of the floor and carries him upstairs. When they pass the shattered doorway he winces. Gonna have to fix that. He lays Peter down on the oft-cursed futon that serves as his own bed. Sighing, he fishes some quarters out of his pocket and feeds them into the soda machine. Operating the old-fashioned slide twice produces two cold cans of Coors. It's not Rolling Rock, but times are hardly ideal. One is set on the small table that's next to the futon. Jack takes the other can and presses it to Peter's forehead as an improvised cold compress. "Whatever your seein', I hope it's worth me carryin' your heavy ass up the stairs."

It doesn't take long at all before Peter suddenly twitches, coughing, choking, possibly knocking the cold compress beer off of his forehead when he sits up suddenly. A hand goes to the center of his chest, the hand still clinging to the bullet. Somehow, through all that, his hand stayed closed, rather than going limp. "Logan's the one who shot me," he says hoarsely. …hey, he's in a different place. But that's fine… "Nathan… they were arguing— Nathan kept him from shooting me in the head while I was down… That might've killed me for good." Nathan saved his life. Nathan, who he'd started to hate after that. It wasn't Nathan at all. "I need to— He— Logan told him— my brother— that he wasn't going to let him talk to me. I need to talk to him, Jack."

"Easy, slugger. Slow down, else you'll hurt yourself." Jack leans back, pops the slightly dusty beer open, and takes a long, revitalizing swig. "Ahhh. There's another on the table if you want." He presses the beer against his own forehead, carefully avoiding spilling now that it's open. He winces and wipes blood from his upper lip with his other hand, then pinches the bridge of his nose to slow the flow. "Nice to see I won't have to get punched again to convince you. You pack a whallop for a lil' fucker. You can talk to him, man. You should talk to him. You're his brother. He needs you right now."

While the man leans away, Peter doesn't give any care to switching to yet another ability when he leans forward and touches the man's wrist. There's a feeling of warmth, one he's probably felt before. It may not take away all the damage, but it will fix some of it— the recent stuff, the punch to the nose. Yes. He's little. Nice and compact. But they can't all be giants. "You won't have to get punched again. And I don't think I can fix everything that you did…" The finger, for example. He's never tested this healing for that kind of injury. But… "If I can find out what… what happened. Why Logan… why Logan appeared… then maybe I can… fix that." When he goes back and leaves everything here behind. The beer isn't taken, though.

Blood that was draining downward a moment ago pools, then jumps back into Jack's nose. Surprised, he blinks, snorts, and shakes his head. Can has nosebreathing. Much of the bruising around his face disappears. What remains fades to a sickly yellowish-green. At the same time, most of the cuts are knitting themselves back together to one degree or another. Surprised, he reaches up to touch his fingertips against his cheeks, then quickly tugs off his gloves and repeats the gesture. "Man. Thanks. Sometimes I forget you can do that." The mention of the things he's done are more than enough to pull a stricken, guilty look from the Irish freedom fighter. "Please. Anything you can do for him… I would be very grateful."

"I don't forget that one…" Peter says, moving to get up off of the futon and at least get back onto his feet. He still feels shaken from the vision, the reliving of getting shot and killed— and then seeing what happened before he came back. The conversation. The threat to his life permanently. "I'll do what I can— I ran into… Jessica not long after— Logan shot me." It was strange. "She said that Nathan tried to kill her…" Now he's wondering if it was Nathan and not Logan who did that. But it's a question he'll have to ask his brother. "If I wasn't able to help Niki get rid of her… then I don't know if I can fix that— here. But I can fix it when I come from." He'll just have to… figure things out. And honestly, he doubts dating and marrying a woman that his brother had been with helped in this situation at all. …Even if he's already decided to fix things with Elena if he has to drag her kicking and screaming back to New York. … or at least… tug on her.

"Talk to Ramon when you get back. Shit, talk to him before you go," Jack urges. "He seems to think that the answers can be found inside Nathan's head. If you two work together, maybe you can save our boy." He's still exploring his newly healed face with his fingers. He slides his hands down his torso. Wince. It still hurts, but not nearly as much as it did before. "Thanks for the patch-up. You didn't have to do that."

"No— I did," Peter says, running the hand through his hair, even if the curl falls right back into place in the middle of his forehead. It's not long enough to fall into his eyes yet. But someday… someday… "I shouldn't have hit you— you really didn't deserve it at that point. I'm just glad I didn't do something stupid like… actually leave last night." Elena kept him there. Elena saved from from being an idiot in that regard. "And I'll talk to Ramon first— what about that… hostage thing? What if the government doesn't pay? We can't exactly give him back like this— though I guess it'd be pretty good if we could give Nathan to them and he could… fix this…" But somehow he doubts that's what's going to happen. They can try.

"The money? What about it?" Jack can't help but smirk. "You didn't really think I expected them to give me ten billion dollars, did you? No, he was supposed to die eventually. Smaller part of a bigger plan. That's all changed now." Somehow it's okay to talk about murdering Logan in cold blood. Logan isn't Nathan, after all. "An' don't worry about punchin' me. I did deserve it, and I'll survive. All I can say is that I didn't know any better." He shrugs helplessly, and now he does look very conflicted. He's not a psychologist. These issues are well beyond the scope of a simple soldier.

Okay— yeah… "In that case, you deserved to get punched," Peter says with a grimace. If it weren't for his brother being crazy and having someone else in his head… they would have killed him eventually. They had no intention to get the money and let him go, which is probably why they asked for such a large sum in the first place. "I'm glad that you found that out before I got here— or we'd be having a very different conversation." The finger cutting off still bothers him, but— eventual murder would have been worse.

Jack's shoulders slump and he nods apologetically. "I'm with you, man. I can't lie. One of the reasons I waited as long as I did to tell you was that I was scared. You're not exactly powerless." He smiles ruefully, but the expression doesn't last long. He gulps and ducks his head to avoid having to look Peter in the eye. "And I was ashamed once I found out. Nathan's not just your brother, he's my best friend. I did what I did, I guess. Everyone's gonna have to live with it. 'Specially him."

"At least now… he gets to live with it," Peter says with a grimace. Though he imagines his brother will be living with a lot more than a lost finger or the traumas that happened to him here. There's a lot that could have occurred. The deaths of thousands of people, for one. And… all the other things he did. "It'll be fine… And no matter what we'll… I'll make sure that this doesn't happen again." It may not fix things here— but it'll fix things in his timeline. "I promise… you'll have your best friend, and I'll have my brother."

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