47 Hours, 32 Minutes



Scene Title 47 Hours, 32 Minutes
Synopsis Duty never sleeps.
Date May 7, 2010

The digital display on Peter Petrelli's watch reads 3:33. Gillian would have smiled, the thought makes Peter's lips downturn into a perennially lopsided frown. Some time on Wednesday he turned the stopwatch function on, it's still counting down. Maybe that's what makes him frown, because here in the cold, empty space of his apartment, where ice is frosting on the inside of the windows, he can't remember all of the moments it's been tracking clearly.

I believe I can see the future

It's hard to tell what time it is, standing out here on the sidewalk, looking up at slate gray skies pouring snow down from overhead. It's so cold he can feel the skin on his nose tingling, knows exactly how long it will take for frostbite to set it. It makes him wonder if he can heal himself, what would happen, how badly would it deform him? In the snow by Peter's side, there's a cardboard box too heavy to carry, no shipping identification on it; it's not going in the mail.

Because I repeat the same routine

"No, ma, I told you, I'll be by tonight… I just— " Cell phone tucked under his chin, Peter's trying to focus on the road ahead, looking over to his passenger quietly staring down at his Blackberry, nose rankled and brows furrowed. The lights atop the Ambulance are on, flashing red strobe against the white snow, it hasn't started falling yet, but they're both sure what's coming is going to be abysmal. "Look can you just feed Pila for me, and tell me that the cat didn't get out? Come on how hard can it be for you to find something that's missing, just ask Molly to— " Peter winces at the phone, eyes rolling, "— no I— yes mom."

I think I used to have a purpose

Blood pulses up between gloved fingers, and the man laying on his back is screaming. Peter's dark eyes are down at the wound on his shoulder, dark and thick blood hot through the leather covering his hands. Steam is rising off the gunshot wound, but bullets are still flying, he can hear them ricocheting off of the bricks. "Hey, hey!" Peter shouts to the woman standing behind him, her eyes are wide in fear, dark hair tangled down in front of her face. "Come put pressure on this or he's going to bleed out!" He needs more hands than he has; the gunshots and screams are getting closer.

Then again, that might have been a dream

Laying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling, Peter counts the cracks in the white paint. They're spreading out from a tiny little brown spot where water is leaking in the apartment above, or maybe in the floor between. It's been getting bigger the last few months, and it's right over his head. One of these days, it's just going to break and come crashing down on him. The bed is lonely, and he misses her.

I think I used to have a voice

The blue mailbox lid creaks open, ice crusting its seal cracking with a firm yank. Gloved hands slide a paper wrapped package inside to let it fall with a hollow clunk to the bottom, some of the contents are heavier than others. He squints at it, then looks up to the street sign covered by snow over his shoulder. A few booted steps draw Peter up and onto the snowbank, one hand bracing himself on the aluminum pole the street sign is attached to. One quick brush of his hand clears off both of them, it's the corner of Lincoln and Ross, now the person who's coming will know.

Now I never make a sound

"I'm telling you," comes the voice from the passenger side of the Ambulance, and Peter's struggling to drown it out or maybe choke on his own tongue, "vegan lifestyle is a cleaner lifestyle. Peter you've looked like you've been feeling terrible lately, let me tell you, if you cut out some of that unnecessary meat and dairy from your life, get some vitamin supplements, maybe a healthy vegetable shake every morning? I'm telling you, you'll be crawling from vegetarian to vegan in no time." Can people choke on their own tongues voluntarily, like a self-defense mechanism against torture? He can't remember if he learned that in Med school or not.

I just do what I've been told

There's a slam as the door comes off its hinges, swinging inward before crashing against the interior wall soundly. Dust settles from the ceiling and flashlights sweep through the living room filled with upturned furniture and empty beer cans. "Go, check it out." Booted feet thump soundly along either side of Peter, black cloth masks and MP5 machine pistols, winter coats layered atop flack jackets. Peter hangs back, flashlight shining from armchair to boarded up window, to crackling fireplace. Somewhere in the distance he hears a shout and a scream, gunfire too.

I really don't want them to come around

The knock echoes through the old garage, Peter's eyes had just closed, just closed. He hates the sound, the way the metal rattles, what it means. Rising up off of the mattresses laid out on the floor, Peter looks towards the heat lamps shining down into the glass fish tanks. It's not fish inside, it's snakes. They deserve to be taken care of, even if he doesn't really have time to. There's a knock at the door again, impatient and hurried, someone's calling for him, but their voice is muffled. It's cold outside, there's heaters in here, maybe they want to warm up. He imagines they just need him.//

Oh, no

The thin carpet on the hardwood floor muffles Peter's footsteps as he slowly walks down the brightly-lit corridor, past wallpaper and glowing sconce lamps recessed into the walls. There's paintings on either side of the walls, but they go by unnoticed, just shapes and colors that don't make any sense in the periphery of a tired mind. Approaching the sitting room, he can already hear people talking, can already hear him talking, it makes the back of his mind squirm and his stomach turn; he can't quite recall why.

Every day is exactly the same

"Did you know that our meat-eating teeth are vestigial?" Maybe if he just, sharply turns the wheel left, they'll go right off the bridge and into the river? "One day humans are going to have nothing but flat teeth, nature's turning us into herbivores. See, we're not even supposed to drink milk past infancy, our bodies aren't properly adjusted to digest it. Why do you think so many people are lactose intolerant?" Just slam on the brakes, maybe, are they wearing a seat belt?

Every day is exactly the same

Snow whips across the street, the sky is dark and there's no one around as far as the eye can see in any direction. There's just the cold, and no amount of jacket or scarf is going to change that. He's waiting for headlights, because that's what they said. One leg is jittering, gloved hands are tucked under his arms, he hates the cold. It reminds him of dying out there.

There is no love here and there is no pain

It's hard to remember how long he's been staring at her photograph, crinkled and creased from being in his pocket as long as it has been. He doesn't remember getting a picture taken, doesn't even remember how long ago this was, but he remembers where they were, and it brings a smile to his lips. He's smiling, but he shouldn't be sad. The picture makes him want to cry, and he's not sure where those feelings are coming from. Are they his?

Every day is exactly the same

"I noticed you're wearing leather gloves." Maybe just one punch to the jaw, a single, warning punch. ot hard enough to break bone, but enough to imply that conversation is no longer wanted. "Did you know that most leather gloves are produced overseas, utilizing child labor for a weekly wage smaller than an American hourly minimum wage? You're supporting child labor by wearing those gloves, even if they're made by big-name American companies. All the work is out sourced." He misses Abby more and more every day.

I can feel their eyes are watching

A single light shines down from overhead, dusty lampshade made of dented metal cracking from side to side. The brick walls feel like they're closing in, but at least its warm down here. Blood runs down from somewhere up in Peter's hair, down the side of his right temple and across his cheek, slithering down in a serpentine rivulet to his chin where it drips off and joins other droplets on the leg of his pants. Someone's looking through the slat in the door; they're talking about him.

In case I lose myself again

He doesn't recognize his own reflection in his coffee. When did he get so tired looking, and so unhappy? Oh right.

Sometimes I think I'm happy here

There's a smell on her pillow still, lilacs and gardenias, she always wore the most beautiful and subtle perfume. It should be soothing, enough to actually allow for him to sleep, but all he can focus on is the way the old metal radiator is clicking. The heat hasn't been on in a day, but still it's clicking like something vibrating. It's pounding in the back of his eyes, but he can almost feel her lips against his forehead, her hands on his cheeks, she always said the nicest things to him. It hurts.

Sometimes, yeah, I still pretend

"Hey, ma, it's Peter." Being on the phone while driving is illegal in New York City, but there's hardly any police out on the road and it keeps that psychopath in the passenger's seat quiet. "Yeah, no— no, I'm at work. I was wondering, um, do you have the number for that jeweler you got your necklace refinished at? Yeah… no, look I— what ring size do you think Kaylee is?"

I can't remember how this got started

The metal door creaks open slowly, and his slim frame looks small behind it when it opens. He isn't saying anything, but Peter's eyes are more focused on the taller, broader-shouldered man looming in the hallway behind him. Blood tastes coppery tang in his mouth, the handcuffs are biting into his wrist. Patent leather shoes scuff across the floor as he approaches the light of the lamp, hands folded in front of him and head ducked, brows lifted and a sheepish expression on his face, like he was somehow sorry about all of this. Maybe he is. He's a nice man.

But I can tell you exactly how it will end

It's not the first time he's felt the way metal vibrates against splitting bone, but he didn't hit Gillian this hard. The man goes down, the noise he makes is pathetic and scared, like a little boy whimpering despite it coming from a grown man. One hit should've been enough to stop him, but Peter strikes him with the crowbar again, hard enough to feel the bone completely shatter under the curved end of steel. Hot, wet blood spatters in tiny droplets on his coat; he'll have to get a new one, blood stains don't wash out.

Every day is exactly the same

"My father was a meat eater like you, Peter. He worked out every day, jogged, said he was eating healthy but refused to give up the meat." Would Abby ask what happened to his partner if they died? "But you know, he had a heart attack at 45 and died. I told him, really, I tried to. It's better for your heart not to have all that cholesterol, you should know this Peter, you're a nurse! But here we are, and you're still packing tuna fish sandwiches. Why do you put crackers in them?" So they crunch; no one understands.

Every day is exactly the same

The cell phone says no service, and now he has no way of getting in touch with her. Panic bubbles up faster than it should in his chest, makes his stomach twist and breathing hitch in the back of his throat. Sitting on the edge of his bed, sheets tangled and walls cold, the only thing he wants to do is hear her voice, apologize, and make everything better again. This feeling makes him sick.

There is no love here and there is no pain

Headlights creep down the street, snow looks dark and gray when silhouetted by the beams of light. It reminds him of the day Midtown was destroyed, all the ash falling down from the sky, like snow. He ran that day, ran like a little baby and hid as far away as he could, and even then everything came running back after him. As the car is pulling up, Peter wonders what people expect from him, what they want from him, why he can't just be left alone. He has work to do, though.

Every day is exactly the same

He doesn't recognize his reflection in the surface of his cup of coffee. How long has be looked this tired? When was the last time he slept? Insomnia is tearing him apart, and he feels like he should recognize this feeling, but every time he goes to look, his mind wanders to something else. Is this what going insane feels like?

(I'm writing on a little piece of paper)

(I'm hoping someday you might find)

(Well, I'll hide it behind something)

(They won't look behind)

Shoulders are slouched forward, and he has the phone clutched between both hands. His fingers are trembling, one thumb continually brushing against the talk button, trying to get the call to connect. There's no service though, it's dark in the apartment, it's cold, it's lonely, and all he wants to do is apologize and he can't. Maybe she changed her number too, how long has it been since he called her? Does she even have the same phone? The Ferrymen change phones all the time. It's so lonely here.

I am still inside here

The crowbar drops to the ground with a clatter, and Peter leaps back from the mostly still body — a few jerks of twitching legs don't quality as true motion. He doesn't even recognize the hamburger mess that was a face, teeth and bone and flesh and blood all twisted together in a weird shape that once was a human face. At least they're not shooting anymore, and that's what counts. But this makes him sick to his stomach, it's okay to vomit in a situation like this.

A little bit comes bleeding through

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

I wish this could have been any other way

The lamp over his head is hot, but the pain at his scalp is hotter. He doesn't want to look up and meet the man's eyes that's talking to him, blood loss is making his head swim, making it hard to concentrate on anything other than the sound of the voice in his ear and the lips murmuring sibilant verses. He's telling him everything will be okay, and maybe this time it doesn't sound like a lie.

But I just don't know, I don't know,

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

What else I can do…

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

Every day is exactly the same

"Did you know processed cheese comes from cows injected with human growth hormone?"

Every day is exactly the same

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

There is no love here and there is no pain

"No, sorry ma, I won't be home tonight… I have some work to do."

Every day…

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

Every day…

"Nope, I have to work a double shift tonight while Abby's on vacation, I won't be home tonight."

Every day…

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

Every day…

"It's in the mailbox."

There is no love…

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

There is no love…

"Hey ma, it's Peter. Can you put my dinner in the refrigerator, I'm going to be late. Something came up."

Every day is the same.

Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal. Talk. No Signal.

By the time Peter hits his bed, he forgets to turn off the stopwatch function, but for what it matters, the end result would have been 47 hours and 32 minutes. It's a long time to go without sleeping.

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