Who He Was


brian_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Who He Was
Synopsis Brian confronts Helena about the true source of the Manhattan explosion, and asks an important question.
Date December 5, 2008

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

The library is mostly silent tonight. Not too much activity. Though there is a constant sound of ragged breathing and exhalation. The source of which would be a pair of Brian's situated amongst the aisles and aisles of books. One Brian is fully clothed, sitting on a wooden chair. A book in his hand as he reads.

His foot however is pressing down on the back of the barechested Brian who is the source of the panting. Push ups. Lots. If you can't do anything with your rage and depression, might as well work it out. And besides his collecting of an arsenal and his little talks with Eileen, he's been doing a lot of working out. Seat drips off his nose to the ground below, his face red as he works through the pain and his arm muscles feeling like water by now.

There's a soft exchange of voices in the hall, indicating an arrival. And that is soon confirmed when Helena arrives. That black jacket she wears? Brian may only notice it now, but it's a duplicate of the one Peter - the bad Peter - wears. It makes her look small and doll-like, too big for her, and her forlorn face makes her even more so. "Hey, Brian." she says wearily, and starts to head for her room.

The foot presses down. Brian's chest goes straight to the ground with an 'oomph.' His expression is emotionless as he stares at Helena for a moment. "Nice jacket." He comments, his tone oddly lacking any type of inflection. "Where you goin?" He asks.. pretending for the moment that it isn't blatantly obvious where she's going.

Helena freezes. Why is he looking at her like that? "Thanks." she says slowly, and then, "To my room. It's been a rough day." Softening her expression a bit, she asks furtively, "Did you need something?"

"You okay?" Brian asks softly. Brian's foot leaves Brian's back and he continues to do push-ups. The other, more clothed Brian goes to approach Helena. "Why rough?" He asks, now concern touching his voice.

Helena shakes her head. "Every day's rough right now. It's no more then anyone else is suffering." She runs a hand through her hair, absently tugs on an end. "How's Eileen? I didn't do that well with her the other day. I think you and Teo probably manage better."

"Well, if you want to talk about it…" It's not said but the implication is there. He's there for her. He just gives a nod about the Eileen thing. "She's started eating. We had a talk. It was.. interesting. I don't think we'll find out all that much from her." A little shrug. "Though.. I didn't really ask her any questions about her group." Whoops.

Helena grins a little. "Kind of misses the point, then." She looks thoughtful. "I don't know what we're going to do with her. We won't kill her. But the longer we keep her, the harder things are going to get." She flicks a gaze at him up through her lashes. "What did you end up talking about?"

A deep frown. "Of course we're not going to kill her. Was that even an option?" Brian asks, widening his eyes a little bit. Then he relaxes at the last question. "I donno. I guess I'm not a very good interrogator. I just thought she would be lonely. So I had lunch with her. We talked about music.. and.. uh.. Peter Petrelli."

Helena shakes her head. "Of course not." she says firmly, and flinches a touch at Peter's name. "I think I'm hungry." she announces abruptly, and starts to walk in the vague direction of the kitchen.

Brian stays put. "How well do you know Peter, Hel?" Brian asks, tucking his hands into his pockets as he watches her back.

Helena pauses, and looks over her shoulder. "Well enough." she says quietly.

"Well enough to know his secrets? Does he confide in you? If he did something very wrong, would he tell you?" Brian asks, tilting his head as he looks at her flatly.

Helena looks away, to the side, to her feet, anywhere but at Brian. "If he did, he doesn't anymore. What are you getting at?"

Brian walks forward to Helena. So they can't be overheard. He steps up to her closely. Almost speaking directly into her ear. "Even if he's split.. Are you sure we can trust Peter? Don't answer now. I want you to really think about it. If you tell me to trust Peter, I'll… Well, I'll try. But, I mean, can we really count on a guy so unstable?"

Helena looks down at the floor again. "Who he is now," she fumbles, "Isn't who he used to be. And he used to be a good person." She looks up at Brian, swallows. "I can't tell you to trust Peter. I don't know who he is anymore." And that's so painful for her to confess. "And even if we get him to merge, I'm not sure of who he'll be."

"I may be the most biased person in Phoenix when it comes to Peter. But I like to think I have moments where I'm a little level headed. I don't know if it's a good idea for us to affiliate ourselves with Peter. Whatever side of him." Brian says softly. Though his face is full of sympathy for the younger woman. His hand twitches for a second, but he makes no move yet.

Helena shakes her head. "You're not." Helena says. "I am. You weren't here when Peter was part of PARIAH. He kicked our asses, got us moving. When we met him, he was so lost. He was so full of pain. And he was a little emo," she smiles wryly, "But he was sweet. But it's all gone wrong. Peter's a major force in the movement of everything, Brian." she looks up at him. "I really believe that. For good or ill, and we can't just ignore him."

"Eileen told me.." He bites his lip for a moment. "Eileen told me, he was the bomb. Not Sylar." Brian watches Helena closely for a moment. "Not saying I believe her.. Just.. Her argument makes sense."

Helena darts her eyes down, to the side, away. It's clear she doesn't want to answer to what was spoken, which is really all the answer Brian needs.

A light sigh is breathed out. "You knew." He says softly, tilting his head up a bit. "Wow." He murmurs. He turns his back to Helena for the moment. Raising his hand to his mouth. "So.. Just so I get this right. We're the good guys right?"

That brings her eyes up. "How can you say that to me?" she challenges. "What happened to Midtown was an accident. And I've watched the guilt wreck him every single day that I've known him. And even aside from that, what we do does not reflect on that."

Brian pauses for a moment. He falls silent. Turning around his gaze goes to match hers. "Do you love him?" He asks he quietly.

"I loved who he was." Helena says, her expression beginning to show strain. "But I don't know who he is - who he'll be, after one of them kills the other or they somehow find their way into merging, I don't know if that'll be someone I can love. I don't know if we can even have anything normal."

A soft sigh is blown out. "Right." He mutters dumbly. The thing to say when you don't know what to say. "Well.. I.." He shakes his head for a little bit. "That is quite the accident." He says with wide eyes.

"There's a lot to to the story." Helena says tiredly. "And I'm really tired." Apparently her hunger is forgotten. "I'm just going to go to bed now. Okay?"

"Yeah." Brian says lightly. "Uh, I was supposed to talk to you about something else. It can wait. Nothing important." The young man turns to the woman for a second giving her a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry if I brought up any painful memories." Taking a step forward he brings his arms forward to wrap her up in a hug for a moment. "I love you, and I'll be here for you. Alright kiddo?" A little pat before he releases, giving her a warm smile. "Sleep good."

Helena accepts the hug, albeit a bit stiffly. "Okay." she says, with a faint smile. "I'll be more focused in the morning, I promise." With that, she heads for her room, and sleep.

December 5th: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Previously in this storyline…
All Dressed Up With No Place To Go

Next in this storyline…
Pull the Trigger

December 6th: Pull the Trigger
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