A New Hope


helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title A New Hope
Synopsis Helena meets with Peter to show him around the tenement and Peter pulls a Pan.
Date September 5, 2008

Lower East Side

The Lower East side is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City. Starting south of East Hudson Street and west of the East River, it is also bordered by Chinatown and the East Village. Tenemant housing is very prominent here, as well as many religious structures and more than a few excellent kosher delis and bakeries. For those in search of entertainment, the Lower East is home to many bars and live music venues.

So Cameron ordered Helena to get Peter situated with the rest of the group, and having consulted with Petrelli the younger after the meeting broke up, Helena understood that he had things to do, and could meet her somewhere the next day. She took his promise that he would meet her in front of the temple on faith, the sort of faith that at least looks like the kind that when crushed, equates to the promise and then denial of puppies to a small child. Please, Peter - think of the puppies. Helena does stand in front of the temple gates on the sidewalk, looking much like any other young almost twenty-something loitering around to meet up with friends.

"Hope I'm not late." The voice comes from the other side of the temple gates, followed by the sound of footsteps walking towards Helena. "I had a meeting, it took a little longer than I expected it to." Peter looked to be dressed somewhat differently than normal, gone was his white tanktop he tends to wear under his jacket. Instead, it was replced with a black button-down dress shirt, looking ironed. It was tucked into his slacks, which also looked pressed and neatly cleaned. Even his boots — while still scuffed — seemed to have had the dirt cleaned off of them. A patch was applied to the right shoulder of his jacket, where a bullet had tore into it a few days ago — the day he came to Helena's rescue. "I've got some good news though…"

Helena lets out a little whistle. "Look at you, all cleaned up and non-wrinkly and everything." she says brightly. "And no big deal." She gestures in the direction of the tenement, only a few blocks away. "What's your news? I made sure there's a place for you, and I'll show you a couple of the ways to get inside. Not all of them, not yet - but you've been with us a while, you'll know every little bit of it."

"I talked with my contact, he's going to see if Hana will help us. He was reluctant to agree, but I think it's a good start." Peter walks through the open gate, moving to stand at Helena's side as he turns to look over to the tenement building. "I already know the ways in." A smile crosses his lips, eyes shifting over to the young girl. "Cameron, Eve, Claire, you…" He shakes his head, "Between the lot of you, and that new guy you brought yesterday I have a pretty good idea of things. I pick up things, sometimes intentional and sometimes not." His eyes divert to the street, "I need to talk to everyone, at some point. Tell them all what I can do, find out what they can. It's best if I don't keep any secrets…" He slowly looks back up to Helena. "Espescially if it's hard to keep secrets from me."

"What are you, a mind reader?" she asks lightly as they stroll, and then stops. "Oh god, you are." What then proceeds then is of course a flush of thoughts that flow in rapid succession, personal things about herself and how she views others, probably amusing up until the point she starts thinking about her mom and her dad and that she quashes firmly with a firm internal insistance to think of something else. "Are you sure you need the tour, then?" she asks lightly as she resumes walking. "Seems like you know everything already." she teases.

Peter grins and shakes his head, holding up his hands, "Guilty as charged." His head tilts to the side, hands finding their way back to his pockets. "It's not constant, and I try not to use it all the time — People need their privacy. But I had to keep an eye on Cameron's thoughts yesterday, see how genuine he was being." Peter looks over to Helena with a smile. "I prefer the tour. Besides, I've got a good guide." His smile grows, and he shrugs one shoulder.
Helena gives Peter another beaming smile, and then they come upon the block the tenement is housed on. Approaching the building, she heads around the side and opts for a maintenance door which takes them inside the bottom floor of the building. "There's approximately twenty of us." she says. "The numbers shift of course, as we gain people - or lose them." This is a risky business, after all. "We have a lot of common areas, and we tend to share the apartments, two or three to a place. Fortunately it still allows for people to have private space that way."

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

"I don't really need much space. I don't sleep in the city, or in the same place twice in a row…" Peter furrows his brow, "I get paranoid, when I'm asleep it's the one time that I'm really… when I don't feel safe. I find places, out of the way, unoccupied. Stay there, keep moving, try to keep anyone who might be following me on their toes." As he walks inside, Peter takes a slow look around, up to the flaking paint on the ceiling, then to the cracks in the walls and the dust on the floor. "Twenty?" He nods absently and takes a few more meandering steps into the center of the foyer, turning back to Helena. "You stay here?"

"Or thereabouts." she nods. "There's a few who keep living space of their own outside the building. You should stay here. Claire's here." she adds, believing that to be a pitch incentive. "Trust me, it's nowhere near as bad as it looks. We have electricity and heat, even hot water." She starts climbing the stairs. "No elevator, though. It's just a walk-up. I'm sure if you wanted to take an apartment you could. We've got a common area to eat, too. When I can manage the stuff, I even cook for everyone. Wait til you see the roof, it's my favorite." She speaks of the ramshackle building fondly, as if it really is a home to her.

"It's…" There's hesitation in Peter as he rolls both of his shoulders, eyes averted to the floor. "It's not so much a matter of wanting, as needing. I don't know who's out there — who's looking for me — and if I'm here constantly, it could become a liability to you all. It's just not safe to be around me too much." As he slowly looks up, Peter takes a few steps towards Helena. "Not that I mind the company here," He cracks an awkward smile, "Far from it. But, at least for now, I think it's in everyone's best interest if I'm only here when I need to be. Though…" He pauses, finally making eye contact, "I won't keep you from cooking for me if you want."

Helena cocks her head. "If you want everyone to come around to your way of thinking, you're going to need to have a presence here." she tells him seriously as they climb. "You don't know who's out there, but whoever is, well - we've managed to keep this place from being compromised for a long time now, and there's strength in numbers, even if you are a walking one man Evolved army." But she can't help a grin from spreading at his 'offer' to let her cook. "I'll keep that in mind." she says. "Next time I bike through the ruins to northern Manhattan, I'll see if I can find anything special."

"Have you ever been to the open-air markets in Beijing?" Peter asks rhetorically as he finally begins heading up the stairs, catching up with a few sprinting strides, "Pretty much anything you could imagine, some of the most exotic food in the world, all up for grabs. Maybe I could take you sometime…" He cracks a smile, looking up to the girl who walks ahead of him. "You might be right, though, about my presence here. I just…" Peter's brow tenses, "I don't know… maybe. I'll consider it, only because you're right about the way things need to be. I can't make a speech about working together, and then be absent all of the time."

Helena looks rueful. "I've never been anywehre but Sleepy Hollow and here." Helena manages a grimace as they keep on climbing up and up and up. "You can really teleport so far away? That's incredible. I don't know if I'd trade powers, but that would be tempting." Her cheeks pinken slightly at Peter's suggestion that he might take her and she keeps her head turned in the direction of their destination, the very tip-top, small narrow hall that leads to the roof itself. "C'mon."

Condemned Tenement - Rooftop

While some parts of the roof are less structurally sound then others, someone seems to have sorted out which areas are dangerous and blocked them off. Some overhangs have been jury-rigged up to block a direct aerial view that gives definite indication of the presence of squatters - a rooftop garden, clearly meant to provide sustenance rather than aesthetic. Tubs full of dirt are situated to take best advantage of the light despite the overhangs meant to keep them from prying eyes. Tomatoes, beans, carrots, even potatoes and onions and chili peppers are carefully tended, little laminated labels indicating what each row of planting is. There's a seperate section for a small variety of herbs, and a sole small window sill style planter that houses the one concession to beauty; a row of sunflowers, and even these can be harvested for their seeds. Here and there decrepit lawn furniture has been scattered to give the illusion of abandonment; a stone bench here, an ironwork table with chairs there, one of those latticed metal fold-up chairs leaned at an awkward angle in a corner. Aside from the overhangs, the rest of the roof is open to the sky, providing a view of the city and the span of rooftops surrounding the tenement.

Slowly making his way out onto the roof, Peter looks surprised as he catches sight of vegetable gardens. The view of the city skyline, however, is what captivates him the most. While it's not a remarkable view, Peter seems drawn to it — walking past the old lwn furniture and beneath an overhang towards the roof edge. The wind is stronger up here, plying with the length of his coat, causing it to fan out behind him as he walks, then blow to one side while he takes in the scenery. "I can see why…" He remarks on Helena's earlier comment about the roof, "I take it you come out here often?" He had let discussion of his powers fall to the wayside, looking over his shoulder to Helena as he asks the question.

"The garden is mine, actually." she admits shyly. "I keep it so we have food to eat that isn't entirely crap - a person can only get so far on spaghetti-oh's and ramen." She looks up and around, stretching her arms a bit. "I love it up here, though. I'm best under the sky. Part of the whole connection to the weather, I guess. I mean, I don't flip out if I'm indoors, but I'm definitely happiest here. And sometimes it's good if you want privacy, though a lot more people seem to be poking their nose up here these days."

"I've always liked places like this, plces i can see the city." Peter looks down for a moment, towards the street, "It's been hard, looking at what the city has become. Even from a distance, you can see it. I spend a lot of time in the ruins, up on the Deveaux building — where I met you yesterday." He turns, hands still in his pockets as his eyes track the rooftop, settling on Helena. "Do you think we can do it?" There's a noticable change in Peter's tone of voice, "Make this work, make a difference?" As he asks, he begins walking across the rooftop towards her, passing by a row of planted herbs up on a palette.

"You've already asked me that, sort of." she points out, walking to one of the safer edges and resting her elbows on the ledge. "It has to start somewhere. I think what you're saying - about helping those who've been taken? I think that's the smart direction. The people we help, some will want to help us in turn. And if we grow stronger, those who've been too afraid won't be anymore. I think it can work, yeah." She looks toward him. "What's special about the Deveaux building?" she asks him curiously. "It seems important to you. More then just a place to meet with people. When you teleported me, that's where we went. Did you live there?"

"No, no I didn't." Peter shakes his head, looking back towards the city, "I used to be a hospice nurse — taking care of the dying — back before I knew about my gift. I took care of a man who lived there; Charles Deveaux. He…" Peter smiles, but it's a bittersweet one, "Charles was like me, I think. He had a gift, and he believed in me… It's sort've where everything started for me, there with Charles. I used to train up there too, before the bomb. A man named Claude, he helped me understand my powers — some." There's a momentarially rueful expression that flashes across Peter's face, "That's all in the past, though. But, I guess I have a hard time letting it go."

"You were a nurse?" Helena looks surprised, turning to consider him more thoughtfully. "A hospice nurse. That's such a gentle, compassionate thing…" her expression turns frank. "You seem so hardened. Is it the bomb that made you this way?" Then she shrugs. "Letting go and getting over it are two different things." she notes gently. "Got to make sure you're not thinking of one when you mean the other. Letting go doesn't have to be getting over it, know what I mean?"

"Yeah… That's close to what a friend of mine said to me once." A troubled look comes over Peter as he considers Helena's other words, and his gaze wanders from the city, down to his feet. "My dad would've called it being soft — weak — not compassionate." He shakes his head, frowning. "The bomb… Yeah, it's complicated though. As much as I try to say I've put it past me, I'll always see that," Peter looks back up, and raises one hand to motion towards the city, "See this, as a sign of my failure. It's hard to smile, when so many other people don't have a reason to. All because of…" Peter's eyes close, his brow tensing as he shakes his head. "Can you fly?" The question came out of nowhere, abandoning the topic at hand that seemed to be dragging his mood down. Peter looks back to Helena from the city skyline. "With your gift, I mean. You can control the wind, like I saw in the alley…" There's a smirk forming on Peter's lips as he speaks, watching Helena closely.

Helena rolls her eyes. "No offense Peter, but your dad sounds like my dad. Nursing's really brave, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I couldn't do it." She watches the expressions pass over his face and shakes her head. "I look at it this way - if I don't see what can be happy in life now, what's the point? I mean, you pointed out the other night we could die, doing what we're doing. So as long as happiness doesn't compromise it, there's no reason not to." She grins. "You know what my favorite quote is? 'If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.' Emma Goldman said that." Then tilting her head up to the sky, she sighs. "Noooooo." she drawls. "Sometimes I almost feel like maybe I could pick up enough wind to, but let's face it, I'd end up smacking into a building or something. West can fly, he takes Claire all the time." Helena looks a bit jealous - of the flying, not the couple per se.

"That's…" Helena's words leave Peter at a loss for a moment, "That's a really profound way of looking at things." His gaze turns distant, puzzling over the comment before looking back to the girl. "Really, that's an outlook I wish more people could subscribe to. Maybe then this city — this world — would be a lot better off." As she explains about her dreams of flight, Peter cocks his head to the side at the mention of West, his eyes narrowing and his focus drifting enough to pick up the thoughts of a relationship in Helena's mind. At that, he seems thoughtful, but doesn't comment on it. "I fell and almost broke my back the first time." Peter admits with a sheepish grin, "My brother, Nathan, he saved me. It was his power, I was just learnin gback then, how to control myself." Peter speaks without thinking, suggesting the unspoken truth that Nathan isn't merely a politician — but an Evolved. "Do you want to fly?" He holds out one hand, palm up, towards Helena.

"Well, Peter." Helena has an utterly straight face when she says this, "I'm a profound sort of girl." There's a beat, and she laughs at her own joke. "Nathan…Petrelli, the presidential candidate? Is he like us?" That could put a real change on the things. "Fly? You can fl - of course you can fly." She lets out another laugh, this one delighted. "Of course I want to fly, what do you think?" She puts her hand in his. "Just don't drop me." As if she thinks he really would.
You paged Daniel with 'Ooooh.'
You paged Daniel with 'Yay!'

Looking a bit taken aback by Helena's reaction to his slip, Peter frowns and shakes his head, "I… Nathan…" He looks a bit lost, searching for a moment for the right answer, "You can't tell anyone about that — Not yet. I haven't had a chance to talk to Nathan since I came back, I want… I want to use it as leverage." Manipulating family, it seemed so uncharacteristic of how Peter was. "I want to talk to him, see what strings I can pull. Please, between you and I…" As the hand is laid in his, Peter smiles, stepping over to Helena and wrapping his other arm around her back. "Stand on my feet…" He motions down with his nose, "It's hard to maintain telekinesis and stay in flight at the same time, and I don't want to squeeze you…" He grins, "Too hard, anyway."

"Can you use multiple powers at the same time?" she asks curiously and adds, "Not a problem, Peter. I know how to keep my mouth shut, as long as it doesn't mean someone's going to be put in danger. Is that fair?" She gingerly hangs onto his lapels and puts one foot and then the other on top of his feet. Fortunately Helena is a slender girl, it's not a real chore for Peter to bear her weight. She grins slyly. "Was that a completely un-emo un-broody thing to say? I hear there's a penalty fee for those."

Laughing — the first time Helena had heard something like that come from him — Peter gently pulls Helena closer, "Some of them, some require more concentration. I can't do too much and fly at the same time. The same goes for my telepathy, and when I paint the future…" He speaks quietly, leaning in to talk as a sensation of weightlessness comes for but a brief moment, and then the feeling of gentle breeze as gravity takes its pull again. But even though Helena can feel where down is, she's ascending, floating gradually and slowly up from the rooftop. "I'm learning to become less angry. It helps having things to be happy about, having a reason to think things might be okay after all…" In mid-air, Peter begins to turn with Helena in his arms, as if to show to her the skyline of New York from sixty feet above the rooftop. "Can't go too much higher, if we go above the other buildings someone might see us…"

"You're like a power smorgasb—-" she lets out a yelp and tightens her grip on Peter, looking down below and then all around, momentary terror washed away by pure delight. "How can you not love this!" she exclaims. She then grins at him. "I control the weather. If you want to go higher, I could make it nice and cloudy for cover." Her tone takes on a bit of dare. "It'd just take me a minute or so to move that much air and condense it."

Peter's smile lingers as he looks up at the sky, then around at the buildings, "As long as you're not afraid of heights." His hand on Helena's back moves up, resting between her shoulderblades as he says that. "I guess this is just an example of how working together can make things that normally are impossible, possible." His eyes drift down to look at the roof below him, "You know, I don't think I've ever met someone quite like you…" His smile changes, becoming tinged with something more serious, "The world would be a much happier place if there were more people like you."

"Thank you." she says sincerely. "There's a lot of people I wish I'd known before all this started." Her gaze shifts, going somewhat distract as overhead a bit of clouds gather in a cottonball puff at a leisurely rate so as not to attract attention. "Like Claire. But I dunno about you." Her attention focuses back on him and she gives him an impish smile.

"No…" Peter shakes his head, leaning back to offer Helena a smile, "Thank you, for having hope." Growing quiet for a moment, Peter watches as the young girl works her magic with the skies above, manipulating the clouds into forming. "I used to think the person I was, back before the bomb, died in the explosion…" As the clouds thicken, Peter continues the halted ascent, drifting up into the sky, through the growing patchwork of gray and white, "Now, though, I'm starting to think that I was just trying to make myself believe that." Vision is obscured as Peter slips up into the cloud-cover with Helena in his arms, holding her closer now. "I'm starting to think, that just maybe, there is some small sliver of hope after all." As he says those words, Peter and Helena breech the top of the cloud cover, passing through the cottony blanket and emerging up above the sea of mottled white and gray, amidst the brilliant light of the evening sun.

"What else is there?" she asks, expression open and honest. She blinks a bit against the rays of the sun, but can't help but appreciate the beauty of it. She doesn't seem to mind the close proximity at all. She does look up at him and say simply, "You should stay with us."

For a time, Peter's silent, looking out over the sea of clouds. Helena can see the troubled look dawning on his face, despite the serenity of his surroundings. For a time, all Peter does is listen, and while Helena doesn't say much, she says enough. "I'm considering it…" That was as honest an answer as he can give, "So, what do you think?" The ascent stops, hundreds of feet now above the city, a blanket of clouds covering them from below, and the open skies spread out above.

"I think you should stay with us." she replies, but then conceeds, "You mean the view, it's - this is so amazing. It's so beautiful up here. How can you be so sad when you have this any time you want?" she asks him as she takes it all in.

"Terrible things make it hard to be happy… and I've been a part of too many terrible things." Peter looks from the scene to Helena, and it seems as though he wants to say something, but in the end all he gives is silence. The clouds begin to come closer, signs of Peter descending back down into them. He keeps Helena held close as he does, bringing her back through the camouflage she had conjured for their journey, back down to the roof of the tenement building with a gentle touchdown. Despite being on solid ground again, there was hesitance in his release of the young girl, but eventually he relents. "There's a lot about me," Peter finally speaks, his tone quiet and that troubled expression still on his face, "that I'm not going to share. There's a lot about me that no one else knows." He takes a step away from Helena, letting his fingers brush over her back as he pulls his hand away, unlacing his fingers from her other hand. "It makes it hard to explain the way I feel."

"Explaining how you feel doesn't have to be hard. It's why that's usually the problem. At least in this case." Helena's tone is sympathetic, but she won't push the issue. "If you ever feel like you need to, well…" she shrugs sheepishly. "You know where to find me."

"I do." The smile Peter had worn when he first was ascending up with Helena begins to return, and he starts to reach out to put a hand on her shoulder. However, he hesitates, curling his fingers back to his palm before lowering his hand to his side. "Thanks, for showing me around, Helena." His eyes meet hers, then divert to the rooftop, "I need to head out for a bit, though. I have to meet with Noah again, I told him I'd be back by sunset…" When he looks back up again, there's something in Peter's expression that looks troubled. Something he seems to be struggling with. "I'll come back, though. I've got plenty of reasons to."

There's a brief, sudden motion as Helena steps forward, resting a hand on Peter's arm and planting a kiss on his cheek. "I'll tell Claire you'll be back later." she promises as she steps out. "Be careful." She lifts her hand, giving him a little waggle of her fingers.

Few times in his life has Peter Petrelli been stunned by the actions of another, been so unprepared for what happens that he finds himself unable to respond. While outwardly, Peter was wide-eyed and as still as a stone, there was a spiraling effect in the clouds above, pushing them outwards and away from the rooftop of the building in an ever-expanding ring of dusk skies. Winds pick up on the rooftop, stirring the plants in the garden, "I…" Peter's brow tenses, watching as the girl retreats for the stairs, "Yeah…"

Perhaps there was a little hope, after all.

September 5th: Conflicting Convergence
Previously in this storyline…
I Never Forget

Next in this storyline…
A Request for Infiltration

September 5th: Interdepartmental Cooperation
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