A Case Of Mistaken Identity


peter_icon.gif tracy_icon.gif

Scene Title A Case of Mistaken Identity
Synopsis Tracy Strauss comes looking for Peter Petrelli, and Peter Petrelli thinks he's looking at Niki Sanders.
Date August 1, 2009

Eagle Electric

Click, clack, click, clack.

Black leather shoes with hard soles make such a racket over a debris-strewn concrete floor. The sound echoes thorugh what little remains of the walls of a building once known for the severity of its occupants. Twisted iron rafters curl upwards towards the heavens like the exposed rib cage of a dead animal's carcass. Broken concrete walls lay crumbled and shattered amidst broken glass and twisted rebar.

Passing between a pair of broken columns that once helped support a now missing ceiling, a darkly dressed figure in a sleek black suit moves with a measured pace of clicking footfalls. Gloved hands are tucked within the pockets of his black slacks, head bowed as his pale blue eyes scan the ruin at his feet.

He has been walking for hours now, seemingly unaware of the three separate black sedans that followed him all the way out of Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, up into Queens, and then through the dirty industrial nightmare of Long Island City, and finally to the twisted remnant of a once pristine building he stands in now.

The ruins of Eagle Electric.

Paused in his approach, Peter Petrelli slowly drops into a crouch, picking up a piece of burnt wood with one gloved hand. His dark brows furrow slowly, turning it over in his hand, using the other to brush soot off from an engraved ornamental cap to what looks like a portion of a chair. An eagle, carved from oak, clutching a disc bearing some sort of angular design, mostly burned away. Maybe it was a cross, it's hard to tell.

He throws the wood aside with a clatter, slowly rising up to stand straight again, hands tucked into the pockets of his slacks once more as he turns his head to glance over one shoulder.

"You can come out now." He says in a firm tone of voice, tiring of the game.

About a half an hour ago, someone got out of one of the sedans and ordered it away. While Tracy isn't stupid and far from suicidal, she's terrified. She can't sleep, she can't eat, but she can drink. She doesn't know what to do. She is out of options, completely out. Someone has to know. The truth has to come out in order for things to be made right.

And there are secrets about her. Ways to protect herself that no one knows about. She's a pretty woman, she can talk her way into a good position.

She can kill with a touch.

But in this position, as vulnerable as her whole world is right now, she can't let on how tight the noose is around her neck. Even secrecy is no longer a card in her hands - the only one she has left is that she might have more cards up her sleeve. No one knows if she does or does not. That's something, at least. Not much, but something.

"Thank you, Peter," she says, stepping out from behind a column. She has that bright, friendly, politician-trust me smile on her face. "I'm not very good at hiding anyway. I was always 'it' at hide and seek in school." She takes a few steps toward him - with the face and body and voice of Niki Strauss. "I hope I didn't startle you."

"I don't take well to being followed, Jessica." Slowly turning, Peter's dark brows crease together, shoulders rising and falling as he exhales a huffed sigh. "You're looking good," he notes with a raise of one brow higher than the others, starting to walk forward slowly with a crunch of concrete rubble under his feet.

"If Director Dalton sent you to check up on me, you can keep on walking." Blue eyes narrow a touch, and it's right there in seeing those eyes that Tracy can tell something is decidedly wrong with Peter. His eyes aren't blue, they're brown. In every photograph she's seen of him, even the Company's private dossiers that cover his activity following the bomb, his eyes haven't been that shade. It's too subtle for something as stupid as a disguise, with such a distinguishing scar across his face.

"If you're not here on Company business," he wipes his tongue over his teeth, pursing his lips into a lopsided grimace, "than start talking."

In a normal circumstance, Tracy wouldn't even be here.

In a normal circumstance, if Tracy saw that sign of wrong, she'd turn away.

In normal business, Tracy wouldn't even be here.

So even she's not surprised when she doesn't flinch, but instead just takes note. Her brow quirks downward a bit, turning her head just slightly to peer at him. "I'm…afraid you have me mistaken for someone else. My name's not Jessica, it's Tracy Strauss. I work for your brother. But thank you for the compliment." In truth, Tracy does look good - always - but a black pencil skirt - the kind that come up high and have brightly colored (blue) shirts tucked in - it really, really shows off her figure. She took off the pearls though - no use advertising you have money when you're going to get robbed anyway.

A sneer comes over Peter's face as he takes a few steps closer to Tracy, head tilting to the side in the way an animal considers something unfamiliar. "Is that who's in charge today?" His lips curl up into a dishonest smile. "Niki, Jessica, Gina. Fine, today you're Tracy, it's good to know I'm not the only one losing my mind." His brows both rise with that emphasis.

"If you have anything to do with my brother, Tracy, then I find myself unable to care even more than I did when you walked out from behind the column. The last time I had anything to do with my brother, I was bound to a chair in a prison he could have let me out of." There's a narrow of his blue eyes, turning pale rings of blue to pale crescents.

"So you can turn around right now," he motions with a nod to the hole in the wall nearby, "and kindly get the hell out of my face."

Tracy doesn't move. This is her last avenue - at least that she can think of right now. She could probably come up with another, but it would be very difficult, very pressing. And Matt Parkman would kill her.

"I can't do that, Peter. I'm sorry, I would. The fact that your brother's life is in danger might not interest you then," she says, watching his reaction as she dismisses the idea.

"I've read your files, I know who you are and what you do. Things could get a lot worse for the Evolved population of the world if I don't get the help I need." Her voice is very deadpan as she discusses this, but her smile does fade away into something more serious and - well, sad.

There's a dry laugh as Peter brings a leather-gloved hand up to his mouth. A rough, raping laugh as a smile — finally an honest one — crawls across his lips. "You know what I do…" The words are spoken to himself mostly, a slow shake of his head is offered to those murmurings. "You've read my files, you know that's good for you Tracy." Peter's head dips into a slow nod as he closes the distance between himself and the blonde just a bit further, well inside of arm's reach now, an intimate distance from her. It's only now she can feel the hairs on the back of her neck standing up, and a faint pin-prickle of tingling running through her fingertips and toes. Not electricity, more like a sleepy limb.

"If you've come to me, to tell me about a nuclear warhead and prophecy like everyone else has, than I suspect you had best be finding the proper words now and get to the point." His lips press together in a thin line, leaning in to take a breath through his nose, eyes opening slightly. "Nice perfume, though…"

Now she's starting to become afraid, and she can't much hide it. She stumbles a bit, her toes and legs not feeling quite right. But she doesn't stumble back far, and she secretly blames it on the heels.

"I'm not a big believer in prophecy, Peter." She calls him Peter. His brother is Mr. Petrelli. "Your brother is missing, perhaps dead. He has been for quite some time." She looks up, her eyes chilly. "I'm not asking you to lift a finger for his well-being. I just need to ask you some questions and you'll never see me again."

That doesn't track. Peter's eyes narrow slightly, blue eyes meeting blue eyes, mouth opening to posit a question then close slowly. "Did you just say that you lost the President and can't find him?" Dark brows rise slowly, and Peter looks around the ruined warehouse before turning his focus back to Tracy. "Why isn't— " he raises one hand as he cuts himself off, head lowering and eyes closing tightly. "No, nevermind."

The hand comes down, and Peter's eyes focus on Tracy's again, uncertainty in his expression. "You have one minute to ask your questions before I walk." Both gloved hands come down to slide back into his pockets, shoulders squaring and back straightening as his head tilts to the side once more, eyes narrowing in their focus on the blonde.

Tracy almost visibly sighs in relief that he's willing to listen to her. She's had much less time to figure out how to explain a new policy to the public, and she's succeeded. She can catch up a blase man on the facts rather easily.

"Lets just say that I'm very, very good at what I do. That's why no one knows yet. And it's imperative that you don't tell anyone. Lets just say that bad things will happen." Which is way too true.

"Weather or not your brother is dead, someone may turn up in the place he would go. There's only one thing I really need to know: Where would Nathan go? If he were hurt or scared, where would he run? Where is his 'safe place'?" She watches Peter, watches his movements, ready to reach out and touch if the need arises.

The question makes Peter edge back from tracy, eyes wandering away from the assertive woman in consideration before flitting back. "Mom's." It only takes a moment of deliberation to figure that much out. "He's always been her favorite," or so goes his insecurities, "if he had a problem that he felt he couldn't go to anyone else with, it'd be my mother. Especially if this has anything to do with my father." There's a grim, bitter tone to that biting clarification.

Then, after a moment's hesitation, Peter closes his eyes and breathes in a heavy sigh. "There… is one other person." His blue eyes drift back to Tracy, "but I don't know where to find her. I know for a fact she doesn't want to be found, so I'm telling you right here and now, if I give you her name, and I find out something happens to her or the people she watches out for?" Both of Peter's brows rise slowly, "I will find you, and you will regret it."

Tracy seems to be standing on firmer ground, though her pose doesn't change, her stomach stops doing so many crazy loops. Now it's just doing minor loops.

"Nathan doesn't know a thing about your father. I made sure of that personally. There's been a lot going on with him," she looks over the boy sadly. Shame Nathan didn't turn to his family - he should have. At the threat? Tracy simply nods, she doesn't get cheeky or anything.

"I understand, Peter. I need you to believe that I'm doing everything in my power to keep this quiet. Until now, I've been the only person who has even known all the facts." And she still is - she gave Peter so little.

Breathing in a slow breath, Peter nods his head and sharply exhales it through his nose. He should be enjoying this, enjoying the idea of Nathan squriming in a pool of his own blood somewhere clawing at a locked door hoping some emergency workers find him. The mental image is pleasing, but the reality of it is far more depressing and far truer to the core of who he is. "Her name's Meredith Gordon." No eye-contact is made with Tracy as he murmurs out the name.

"She lives out in SoHo, and she's off the grid. I mean off the grid, ther work she does out there's important to her, important to a lot of people." His tongue rolls over the inside of his cheek. "If you tell her I sent you, she'll probably bolt. So," his head quirks to one side, "I'd lay off on that. She's a good person, though, so don't screw things up for her. If Nathan isn't with my mother…" he seems to have a hard time talking about Angela that way, "he'd be with Meredith."

Tracy listens, nodding. She doesn't need to take the name down - she'll find the woman easily enough. "I'll try your mother first," she explains, easily. "I won't go to Ms. Gordon unless I absolutely have to. And if she hasn't seen Nathan…then that will be the end of it. Your name will never come into it."

Even though Peter won't look at her, Tracy looks at him. "I'm sorry," she finally says, sounding perfectly sincere. She couldn't be less like Jessica right now. "About your brother. Please know I'm doing all that I can to help." She pauses a beat. "I need to know that you'll keep what I've told you to yourself. If this gets out….it'll be anarchy, and the Evolved will suffer most for it."

There's a bitter smile that cuts across Peter's face as he looks up to Tracy. "Yeah," his tone is full of bitter sarcasm, "the first thing I'm going to do as soon as you leave, is stroll in to a press conference and tell everyone my brother is missing because a crazy blonde with multiple-personality disorder thought it would be keen to ask an escaped federal convict where he happened to be?"

Blue eyes narrow a touch more, head shaking from side to side slowly. "Trust me, I don't care enough to say or do anything about it. You can keep whatever it is about — " Peter cuts himself off, a memory, an idea, something clicking in his head as he turns to look up towards Tracy with his eyes narrowed.

"Which Nathan is missing?" Oh God.

Well shit. That's all Tracy can really think of when Peter digs that one up. So much for keeping that a secret. Still? This is the man's brother. Somewhere, deep down, he must care.

"Both," she answers, her appearance, demeanor and mood not outwardly changing in the least. That is, until, she reruns something he said.

"Multiple personality disorder? I have a medical statement available to the public, I'm perfectly healthy." And totally unevolved!

Rolling a tongue over the inside of his cheek again, Peter nods his head slowly and folds his arms. "Yeah, fine, whatever." One hand waves flippantly towards Tracy in a dismissive gesture, "I'm sure the Company doctored that up nice and fine. I'm not surprised they pinned you with my brother though, I really regret helping you get in with them. But— I was of two minds then." He smiles somewhat bitterly, moving to walk around Tracy.

"Whatever it is you're hoping to find with my brother, I hope it's worth it." There's a pause as Peter turns to look back over his shoulder at the blonde. "Because if there's one thing my brother's great at, it's empty promises and breaking hearts." His shoulders rise and fall, "but I figure you're pretty keen on that by now." His shoes scuff over the concrete as he starts to make his way towards the opening in the ruined wall, stepping over a burned pair of ballerina flats blackened and charred in whatever fire gutted this place and demolished it.

Tracy really has to set at least one of the many wrong records that Peter has playing straight. "I'm sure no Company doctor has ever laid a hand on me. We don't have that close of a relationship." In fact they don't really get along. Tracy turns to look at Peter, watching him stalk and turn to go, shaking her head. She calls after him, sounding as sincere as ever again.

"Thank you." She pauses a moment, then reaches out to touch his arm, to stop him - but not forcibly. "Let me give you my card. In case you have any questions, or you hear from him…."

At the touch of his arm, Tracy's hand tingles and prickles painfully, a shooting numbness starts to slide up through the bones in her forearm and fingers, a prickling pain popping up under her skin like tiny sparks of fire catching under her epidermis. Peter shakes his arm away from her, eyes wide as he spins around in a stunned look. "Do not touch me!" His hands move out, black leather gloves facing her, trying to ward her off, suddenly fearful in his expression.

The moment contact with his sleeve is broken, the odd sensation in Tracy's fingers and arm begins to fade. Breathing in fast, sharp breaths, Peter lowers his hands and swallows awkwardly. "You don't understand what I do." He swallows, nervously, then waves a hand flippantly at the card. "I… don't want it, Tracy. The line? It's drawn here. We don't meet again."

To say the least, Tracy stumbles back, a pained cry erupting from her lips as she looks down at her arm, spreading her fingers out to make sure they still work. In all the commotion, Peter may not notice the frost on his sleeve, triggered by the sudden rush of pain.

She's silent for a minute, looking down at her arm. Peter gets a look - just a brief one - of disbelief and fear before Tracy can reign it back it. She shakes her head, streaching out her fingers agian. "No, Peter. I'm sorry, but I have to insist. You don't know how bad things can get…I just need to make sure that if you see him, you can let me know." She offers the card again - this time without touching him. Smartly so.

Blue eyes narrow one final time, and Peter steps forward and takes the card, looking down at it once before tucking it into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. "No more black sedans," he instructs in a firm tone of voice, "no more following me. You want to find me, you ask someone else." His hands tuck into the pockets of his slacks again, shoulders slouching some as tension fades from his body with a sigh.

"Go get some sleep, Tracy." He nods his nose in a direction opposite of the one he's planning on exiting in, "you look tired."

Tracy turns her head to look out to the direction he's subtly nudging her in. She sighs, and for a moment she does look very, very tired. "Wouldn't I love to." she murmurs, looking back to Peter with a genuine, albiet weak smile. "Thank you for your help." She watches him, not turning her back on him for a step or two before she seems to be content to turn and walk out the way he seemed insistant upon her going.

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