Feigned Normalcy


gillian_icon.gif peter7_icon.gif

Scene Title Feigned Normalcy
Synopsis Gillian takes time out of her day to track down Peter Petrelli.
Date January 21, 2010

Lower East Side

One good thing about being visibly wounded… People ask less questions when it looks like one might need help. Gillian's never really wanted to take advantage of her disadvantages before, but when it gets people to hold open doors while she pushes a wheelchair in, and hold the elevator open for her to give her time… she didn't complain much. The squeaky wheels of the rented chair can be heard in the hallway, carefully rolling along. Careful for more reasons than one, not the least of which is avoiding any damage that might put her back into a hospital bed.

Out for a few hours, and she's done quite a bit in that time, none of which included going back to any of the places she actually called home. Instead, she rolls the bandage on her palm around, reading it like she would a watch. 1407.

140… there. 7.

Two hands carry her forward, pushing the large wheels along, keeping weight off of her legs and lower body, but there's something else that threatens to cause a bit of pain…

That's for later.

The wheel bangs into the door by accident, elliciting a small 'ow'. It could have been mistaken as a stubbed toe. Shifting her weight, she grabs onto the bundle in her lap, pushing herself up, and setting it back down. Once on her own two feet, she finally knocks.

Hair hangs in her face, brushed, but not neatly groomed, slightly wind blown. Dressed and bundled warmly for travel, her coat's all buttoned up. One hand has gloves, while the other's still bandaged from the "rope" burn of before. With his address written neatly on the bandage. She's going to be very displeased if he's not home. Or if the address is out of date.

It's only after she's knocked that Gillian can hear the sound of music on the other side of the door, too faint to really make out what it is, but soft and quiet enough to be something the apartment resident is relaxing to. There's no verbal announcement of his approach to the door, just the sound of footsteps and the chain coming undone, then the deadbolt sliding back, and finally the door opening to reveal one familiar face to another. Peter Petrelli looks just a little more than surprised to see Gillian on his doorstep, and Gillian is a bit surprised to see him with a swolen lip.

"Ah…" Peter eases back from the door, not in the way someone would when inviting another person in, but when they're afraid the person on the other side of the door might want to hit them. "Is— " Peter's brows furrow, eyes casting to the side, and he offers a murmured, "Can you hold on a minute?" To whoever happens to be on the other end of the cell phone that he's holding up to his ear. Lowering the phone away and covering the receiver with his thumb, he offers a confused look to Gillian, then to her wheelchair.

"Um, I— didn't expect to see you. Is…" Peter swallows, awkwardly, looking out into the hall with one raised brow, then back to the brunette in his doorway. "I'm sorry, ah… come in, I guess." He pulls the door open a bit more, then brings the phone back up to his ear. "Hey, yeah— sorry about that." His head quirks to the side. "No, no it's alright, just someone at the door. Yeah, I'll be down that way to see you in a little bit, there's some stuff I need to pick up anyway. Yeah— thanks Kaylee…" Peter's moving out of the way of the door as he tries to get himself off of the phone, "I'll talk to you later. Bye." Then, once he's ended the call, he's glancing up to Gillian expectantly.

On the phone? That surprises her as much the swollen lip does. There's confusion on her face, but as he makes enough room, she drags the chair in behind her, but stays on her own two feet. There's a plastic sack, from a grocery or convience store, sitting on the wheelchair. It'd been in her lap until she decided to stand on her own two feet for the door. Once she's in far enough, she lifts the bag off the wheelchair and plops it down on the counter, frowning, as he finishes his call.

"I didn't realize you were going to be leaving soon," she mutters, a hint of some other kind of emotion boiling under the surface and making her voice rough. It could just be the pain. She's walking when she may be better off in the wheelchair.

"You've had that face for less than a week and you already messed it up," she adds on, before pushing the chair aside. It looks like it belongs to the hospital she'd been in, likely rented for a few days, or a week or two. She stands up well enough, but the wheelchair helps make travelling easier.

Rubbing self-consciously at his mouth, Peter sneers. "Cute," he offers to the comment about his face, "well I have you to thank for it." He closes the door to the apartment, even if reluctantly. "So if you've come here to see if your little assassin did her job well, rest assured that this is as swollen as it is after holding a pack of frozen edemame to it for four and a half hours." Peter doesn't sound exactly happy to see her.

"Look I have a lot to do today, Eileen spent the night here last night after throwing up in my kitchen, I didn't get much sleep, and I had to argue with my landlord about how he was mistaken about thinking that federal agents were sniffing around for me last year. He thought I was a terrorist." That is Peter's shocked voice.

"Look, if you want to yell at me, just get it done. I have to get down to Staten Island in a few hours and— " A hand comes up to Peter's head as he moves into the kitchen, "I keep seeing what the pigeon outside my window is doing and it's giving mer vertigo."

"Eileen did what?" Gillian exclaims, looking rather shocked and surprised, but then tightening her jaw and looking toward the window as if to blame those pigeons out there for more than giving him vertigo. Even if it's the source of the power she might be trying to blame. Or not. There's some things she can understand… even if she certainly didn't…

"I didn't come here to yell at you, or hit you," she finally says, though the tension that's shown up adds to some pain. Why do her stomach muscles want to tighten when she doesn't want them to? "I brought lunch," she finally says, turning back to the counter and opening up the sack. There's some plastic containers inside, which she pulls out. Two salads, two deli sandwiches. "I didn't bring drinks, but I figure any place with a working elevator has fucking water… And if you've already ate, it can sit in the fridge for a day or two, so no harm done…"

The tension remains in her forehead, even as she tries to get rid of it, biting back the humiliation. He's going somewhere soon… She's just an interruption.

There's determination in her eyes when she turns back to face him, "Do you have a DVD player?"

"You'd think any apartment in the city has water, wouldn't you?" Peter sarcastically remarks from in his refrigerator where he's rummaging around, "the pipes burst on the floor below me the other day because this building is like a hundred years old. Water's not getting turned back on until friday." He hisses out a frustrated breath, "Yeah I— I've got room in here for that food. I don't have a whole lot of time, I told Kaylee I'd meet her down at McRae's place in a couple hours."

Reaching out to take the salad and sandwich, Peter offers an awkward smile and slides them in the nearly empty — save for a few jugs of spring water — refrigerator. There is a very lonely looking package of edemame on the second shelf, all thawed out. "So… yeah, Eileen showed up yesterday and invited herself in when I was moving some stuff in, and decided to smack my mouth off my face."

He straightens up, closes the refrigerator door and looks over to Gillian, arms crossing and back resting up against the front. "I'm not mad at her though," even if he sounds it, "she's upset about Gabriel and it's making her act out." Huffing out a sigh, Peter's brows furrow and he looks into the living room, nose wrinkled and head quirked to the side. "I do have a DVD player," he admits reluctantly, leaning off of the refrigerator and walking out of the kitchen towards the living room. "I think it's in one of these boxes," he explains, motioning to a stack of unpacked carboard boxes. "I haven't opened anything yet, hell the only reason the plastic's off the couch is because Eileen needed a place to sleep."

Brows furrowed, Peter offers a look over to Gillian. "Why… did you ask that? Did you need to borrow it or something?"

And there goes the sandwich and salad into the fridge. Gillian kinds just stares as it disappears into the lonley place, though she knows it's very likely it will get devoured at a later date, it wasn't part of the plan. None of this was. At his glance, he may finally notice the stricken look on her face, that she's had since he put away what she'd brought up. Like it wasn't anything at all. No water. No…

It's possible she didn't even hear all of what he was saying over the ringing in her ears.

"What? No… no, I didn't…" She closes her eyes, moving back over to the wheelchair as if she's thinking of just getting back into it. Chewing on her lower lip, she undoes a few buttons in her coat, no longer even trying to look at him. What she pulls out is a newly purchased, still wrapped in plastic, DVD.

She doesn't hand it out towards him, instead dropping it onto the counter next to the food. "I thought maybe we could eat lunch, watch a movie and get to know each other like normal people, instead of everything being all fucked up and world ending shit, but you've got other things to do, I'll go." There's that tension again, that hint of another emotion that she's trying to fight back. "You can keep both the lunches, your fridge obviously needs it, and the movie. Consider it a late Christmas present or something…" She goes to grab the handle of the wheelchair, pulling it closer to the door again.

There's a sound in the back of Peter's throat, a faint noise, and a hand comes out to take Gillian's shoulder. "Hey," he offers with a furrow of his brows. "Hey, look— no. I… I like that idea." He comments with a hesitant smile. "If I'd had known you were going to stop by, I wouldn't have made plans. Look, we…" he glances back into the living room, brows furrowed, then offers a look back to Gillian as his hand falls away from her shoulder.

"We can do that sometime, if you want…" His lips creeps up into a lopsided smile. "Just— you gotta' call first." There's a laugh, an amused one, and Peter reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out his cell phome, flipping it open with his thumb, turning it round and holding it out to Gillian. "C'mon, put your number and address in there. Tell me where you're staying, and I'll make it up to you as soon as I can. I'll bring you lunch, and you can watch your movie." He flashes something of an awkward smile, head tilting to the side. "Until then I'm holding it hostage."

A small tremor carries in her breath, as she inhales, but she reaches out to take the phone, waiting to punch the numbers in until she reaches into her coat pocket and finds the cheap pre-paid phone that Eve picked up for her. It's offered to him, probably to get his number as well. Address she got. But number…

Once she has both hands free, she punches in her name, number, and the address she's registered under. Which happens to be Peyton's place, not her own. "I don't have a place of my own yet… I'm staying with a couple friends…" After a moment, she looks up and adds, "I also have a room at the Lighthouse. But I'm probably not going to go over to Staten until I recover more… So unless I find an apartment, I'll be staying there."

The phone is handed back, the stricken look is gone, relief taking over. Even if she seems a little… "Sorry. I— just don't— don't watch it without me." It's obviously she's trying to recover her determination when she says that, but it doesn't quite work. It probably meant to sound like an accusing joke. Instead, it's near pleading.

Distracted by the phone, Peter frustratedly adds his name and number into the little device with clicks of his thumbs. "Good, good— I'm glad you're not all by yourself in some big lonely apartment." He's being ironic, right? I mean his apartment is— "It's good you're with friends, you know?" Saving the entry he made, Peter offers the phone back out. "Try not to call too late at night, I've been sleeping really early lately. Now that I don't have Kazimir's ability in me any longer, it feels like I'm catching up on months of lost sleep."

Taking his own phone back, Peter tucks it into his coat and offers a lopsided smile as he gently taps a hand on Gillian's good shoulder. "I'm glad you got out of the hospital okay, guess everything's alright?" Both his dark brows go up, smile on his face clearly saying that Eileen didn't tell him about the complications. "Come on, I've gotta' go meet Kaylee, but I can walk— " he glances at the wheelchair, "with you down to the lobby at the very least."

But as he's grabbing his scarf from the coat rack by the door, Peter hesitates, glancing back at the DVD, then looking to Gillian. "What, did you get me a porn or something?" He cracks a teasing smile.

"I got shot, but I'll live," Gillian says, even with her voice tightened. She's tempted to ask about the lack of sleep he'd gotten as Kazimir, and there's more that she might want to bring up as well… But normal is the name of the game. She won't ask questions about his ability, or anything else. She knows the knot in the back of her head is intact. That's what matters too. The complications, while normal, are not something she would want to discuss. Perhaps not ever. It's helpful that he's able to smile, and tease.

Despite the pain that laughing might cause, there's still a hoarse chuckle, as she settles into the wheelchair, accepting his unspoken offer to push her down. Walk with, push along. Both works.

"It's just a movie I liked when I was young. One of favorite movies, actually. And I've never been one for watching porn," she does say, returning the tease, even if she doesn't toss out the punchline. He'll have to fill that one in on his own.

Shrugging his shoulders, Peter offers Gillian a crooked smile as he winds his scarf around his throat, and then settles his hands down on the handles of her wheelchair, pushing her out into the hall. "Hey, your loss…" Peter notes with a laugh, head shaking. He starts to reach for the door to his apartment once they're outside, but hesitates, and instead settles ihs hand on top of her head. For a moment, the contact seems— unusual— until there's a flash of colorless light from his palm and a spreading warmth from the contact.

"Awesome…" Peter offers with a broad grin, "now I don't have to watch that bird anymore." With that, he swings the door to his apartment shut, a key turned in the lock after a jingle of it on the ring. And thorugh the door of his apartment, the muffled sounds of he and Gillian's continued conversation carries off down the hall on their way to the elevators.

For the time being, they're allowed that slice of normalcy.

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