A Thankless Job


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Scene Title A Thankless Job
Synopsis Lynette Rowan finds herself greeted by the medic who helped tend to her injuries on Staten Island, and he comes bearing an offer…
Date September 2, 2010

Gun Hill

It probably isn't her best idea, throwing herself into a big party so soon after that whole… captured and experimented on thing, but denial is so pretty this time of year. The apartment is like a little zen hideaway just now, with soft music and scented candles and dimmed lights. A new dress for the occasion lays across a neatly made bed, with matching shoes sitting next to it on the floor and a purse rests on the dresser. The Boy Scout motto isn't just for running around in the woods.

The woman herself sits in a fluffy terrycloth robe in front of a mirror, on a stool in her bathroom, trying to figure out something to do with her goddamn hair. If only it was still long. Fuckers. She is, perhaps, not absorbing all the zen as well as she could be.

The sound of knocking coming from the door of apartment 101 in Gun Hill isn't surpsising, with the day-to-day responsibilities that Lynette Rowan has around the busy safe-house come apartment-building she receives curious visitors day in and day out. The voice, howevr, that calls through the door to her is an unexpected one. "Lynette?" Like something out of a distant memory, the voice of Peter Petrelli isn't an immediately recognizable one, but when it is, it puts the sound of knocking in a while new frame of context.

Outside of the apartment and in the hallway just past the lobby, Peter shifts awkwardly from foot to foot, a smile crooked on his lips and beard looking more trimmed than the scraggly thing he'd been wearing the first time Lynette had met him. The navy blue uniform of a New York City paramedic is also a change from his terrorist-chic attire. All in all, he looks more like an ordinary person, than the man he actually is on the inside.

And Lynette doesn't recognize the voice, but it's no deterrent to her coming over to answer the door. She flicks on lights along the way, and sort of sighs over her current state of dress, but that's life- constantly inconvenient. But, a look through the peekhole kicks her memory back into gear.

The door opens and the woman has a ready, crooked smile for a greeting. "Well, you clean up nice. I almost didn't recognize you." She steps back from the door, gesturing him inside. "Everything alright?" There are, after all, only a few reasons she really expects people to come knocking on her door. Particularly people who know she's part of the Ferry.

The smile Peter offers is a reluctant one, on closer inspection the dark circles under his eyes — while lighter than they were after the Staten Island Hospital incident — are still present, giving a clear sign of his sleeplessness. "Things are as good as can be expected," is a delicate way of putting it. "I um," brown eyes flick up and down Lynette, "I won't take too much of your time, I just… I wanted to talk to you about something before I got too busy to."

Apologetically dipping his head down as he walks into the apartment, Peter tucks his hands into the pockets of his slacks, looking up and around on his way in, glancing towards the kitchen, then the living room, then just turning around not far inside the door, shoulders slacking and attention focused on the apartment door until it finally makes its way closed after his entrance.

"I guess… part of me wanted to come here and check up on you, see how you were holding up, you know?" There's that sheepish smile crossing Peter's lips again. "I um, I know you went through a lot and I just— " he looks Lynette up and down again, "This— this isn't a bad time is it? I— I could come back?"

Shutting the door behind him, Lynette tilts her head a little at his words. "No no, it isn't a bad time. Please, make yourself comfortable, grab something to drink… I'll go get appropriate." She gestures toward the couch before she slips off into her room. And while she usually is one of those stereotypical women who takes forever to get ready, she steps back out in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt pretty quickly.

The moment alone does afford her a moment to ponder how to answer his question, since the last thing she really wants to to end up doing something embarrassing like crying all over the place. She just put mascara on, after all. "I suppose I'm doing alright. Occupational therapy helps." Not too much, though, if her tone is anything to judge by. "Keeping busy… partaking of a few favorite vices, that sort of thing." Which might explain the ash trays sprinkled here and there and a well stocked liqour cabinet.

There's a sympathetic smile to that, and for all that Lynette tells Peter to make himself comfortable, he doesn't much look the part. Lingering in the threshhold between the apartment's entrance and the dining room, he offers Lynette an askance look, then a slow nod. "I know, you know, going through what you did can't be easy… but I also know talking about it really isn't either." There's hesitance in the way Peter carries himself, in his voice and in his expression; palpable anxiety.

"Look, I— I'll be straight with you," only then does Peter look to make eye contact. "What happened to you, it— it was horrible. I talked things over with my people," which he delicately avoids mentioning by name, "and one of them thought that I should talk to you. See… see if you wanted to do something. See what your thoughts were on doing something to get back at the people who hurt you."

At first, Lynette looks very tired. The sympathy, the caring and sharing, it's enough to make a girl scream, really. So there's a moment when she rubs at the bridge of her nose for a moment and looks about ready to shoo him out the door.


"Get back at them?" She lifts an eyebrow as she looks over at him. She's listening now, that's for damn sure. "This isn't a clever segue into how the best way to get back at them is to not let it get to me, is it? Because I might hit you and I would feel really bad about that later, considering we don't know each other all that well."

"No," Peter offers with a hushed laugh, "no my idea of revenge typically involves putting a building into the ground. You saw what we did to the Staten Island Hospital, cooperating with everyone else. The people I work with, we're…" Exhaling a sigh, Peter reaches up and unzips the front of his Paramedics jacket, revealing a length of tattered red cloth tucked into an inside pocket. That folded scarf is tugged out of the pocket and held in hand as Peter walks to the dining room table, and tosses it down onto the surface.

"I'm from Messiah," evokes reports across the news about demolished buildings, anti-government attacks, paranoia, rumors, violence, fear. All ugly things. "There's an offer, literally, on the table right now for that word to be synonymous with Lynette Rowan." One corner of Peter's lips creep up into a smile.

"It's not for everyone. It's… dangerous, violent, a lot of the times people get hurt and you'll likely have to hurt people. But at the end of the day, Messiah is about stopping anything like the Roosevelt Island Hospital from ever happening again. If you want in, I can make it happen. If not…" Peter motions down to the scarf, "I take that with me, and you never have to hear from me again."

"Messiah?" Oh yeah, she reads the papers. That name gets a lift of her eyebrows and a gentle whistle. She steps over to the table, though, fingers running over that tattered cloth. It's a rare moment in general, but especially lately, that Lynette shows what she's feeling, but this is one of them. And it isn't sorrow that contorts her normally controlled features, it's hate.

"You know," she starts, her voice lower, almost a whisper, "There's something to be said for pacifism. The peaceful protest. Hunger strikes. Marches on the capitol…" She lets out a bit of a sigh there, relaxing her expression again before she turns to look at him. "But I think danger and violence is just what I'm in the mood for, at this point."

"Don't say that," Peter offers with a delicate tone of voice, walking up to stand besaide Lynette, one hand braced against the table by splayed fingertips. "Don't do this because it's something that you think will make you feel better, because I'll be honest; it won't. Fighting, like this? All it's going to do is eat you up inside, it's going to make putting away the pain you have impossible, and it's going to take a toll on you. Fighting like this is a sacrifice, so others don't have to."

Picking up that red scarf, Peter lets it unfurl to its full length, the frayed ends looking to have been cut from a longer spool of cloth with a knife or something that left irregular cuts at the end. "This scarf is symbolic of that sacrifice, our blood for the blood of others." His fingers roll the soft fabric between them, "it's not something to take lightly, or for granted. You do this… you become Messiah… because you want to do what's right. Not what's good for yourself."

"Peter… I'm under no illusions that anything's going to make me feel better. But this," Lynette says with an all-encompassing gesture to her building, "This way isn't stopping anything. It's the starfish story. You know? You save the individuals, get them somewhere safe, but it doesn't make a dent. And that used to be okay. I used to feel like… I was doing my part and that was all I could be asked to do, you know? But those… people, that place brought home something that was only a vague notion before. You know? It's like, you hear about some guy dying of cancer on the news and it means very little to your life, in all honesty, but when it's your lover? Father? You? It makes a bit more of an impression."

When he picks up the scarf, her gaze flicks to it, and she gets quiet for his explanation. And she considers for a long moment. "I'm a selfish person, by nature, Peter. Generally, I weigh things, possible outcomes, how bad it'll get for me in the end before I decide anything. And I don't have to put too much thought in this to know it's not going to be very good for me… in the end. But you know? I just don't care right now. I mean, they're- so fucking bold about it. They took me right off the street, in my own neighborhood. And how knows how many others… and I just don't want them to feel like it's safe enough for them to do that anymore."

Silent for a long while even after Lynette is done speaking, Peter's attention is set down to a tiny scrape on the diningroom table, his thumbnail tracing the chip in the enamel and groove in the wood. Eventually that hand reaches up and withdraws a cell phone from inside of his jacket, a red and black smartphone that is laid down on the table and then pushes over to Lynette along with the scarf.

"Every member of Messiah wears one of these scarves, cut from the same piece of cloth. It shows that we're all connected, that even if you can't see how the threads line up, we're there. We're all in this together, even when apart." Brown eyes lift from the phone and the scarf, meet lynette's far lighter eyes.

"The phone isn't on a standard carrier, it relays directly to a technopath called Rebel. You speak the name of someone in Messiah into the phone, or send a text message to their name, and Rebel will relay it to them. Untraceable, secure, immediate. Rebel can listen in on you from the phone, in case you get in trouble. He can also track you by it. It helps keep us together."

Moving his hand away from the bundle, Peter furrows his brows. "If you want in on this, there's someone I can direct you to who can help explain more. I think you two could get along too…"

Painted fingernails drum against the table next to that bundle, and Lynette looks at it for a long moment before she looks up at him. "Why do you do this, Peter? Out of curiosity. It's not everyday someone wakes up and decides today's the day they're going to be a terrorist. Or, well. We'd like to think so, anyway." She smiles a little crookedly at him there, although amusement doesn't go beyond that twitch of her lips.

Her answer doesn't seem to hinge on his, as she reaches to pick up the scarf and phone. "I want in. So whatever has to happen… I would appreciate you setting it up for me. Or pointing me in the right direction, anyway."

"It's personal," Peter states with a tightness in his voice, "my brother is the one doing this to us," and therein lies the biblical nature of the conflict. "Nathan Petrelli, and I'm not just going to sit around and let this happen. I've been in this fight longer than I want to even think about, but I think there's an end in sight, a way for this war to end. I just need people ready for the last fight." Exhaling a sigh as if that would get the nervous tension out of his shoulders, Peter looks down to the table, then over to the apartment door.

"Do you have any trouble getting to Staten Island?" It's the last place he imagines Lynette wants to go, but this isn't going to be the last time Peter asks lynette to do something she won't want. Brown eyes avert from the door to her, "I can give you an address, if you can get out there alright."

"Ahh, family. Of course," Lynette leans a hip against her table, "Most people wouldn't have the guts to stand up to family, Peter. Particularly powerful family. And personally? If things keep going, I think you'll end up with more people spoiling for a fight than you'll know what to do with, before it's all over." On which side, she doesn't specify.

Straightening up when the island is mentioned, she lifts her chin minutely before she answers, "We have safehouses there. The Ferry. We manage getting back and forth. I-" She pauses a moment, shaking off her own tension, "I get there alright."

Nodding, Peter looks over to the phone, "Rebel, put Melissa's name and address in her contacts list." From a distance, the phone lights up and the screen begins flashing through menus, text flickering across it as the phone beeps and chirps as if someone were there operating it. After a moment, the screen displays a contact list menu with Pierce, M listed and an address on the northern side of Staten Island in smaller font below it.

"She lives with other Messiah members, her adopted son," to not mince words, "was just killed in an altercation with Homeland Security so… I think you two might be a good match to get to know each other. There's some other Messiah members who comes and go from her house. She— used to be Ferry, there was a falling out. She's good people, though."

Looking down to the table, Peter folds his arms across his chest, then looks back up to Lynette. "I'll ask you not to mention to people outside of Messiah that you're one of us, for your own protection. Also, are you Registered?" One of Peter's brows kicks up at that question.

Lynette looks down at that phone, lifting an eyebrow as the display lights up. "Oh, very nice," she says, glancing at the address before she looks back to Peter. "Oh… well, I'll be sure to go see her. How… recently was her son killed?" And are condolence casseroles in order. The note about a falling out with the Ferry is taken in stride, a bit of a nod there. Seems she's not terribly judgmental.

"Would it be very terrible if I was?" She puts her free hand on her hip, her expression troubled. "I'm not yet, but… I have every intention. Considering… everything, I'm not exactly and unknown now. This safehouse would be in jeopardy if I don't. Hell, it just might be either way, but certainly if a known and unregistered Evolved is running the place."

"If the Institute wanted to move on this place they already would have. They've known about you long enough to pick you up on the street. If anything," Peter furrows his brows, "Registering could endanger the Ferrymen and you. The Institute— I don't know if they're going after the people released, but one of your cell mates, Gillian?" Cell mates is such a gentle way to put it. "She's going to ground, entirely. She's worried that if she pops up on the radar again, that they'll just kidnap her again."

There's a look to the cell phone when it powers down all on its own, and then Peter looks back up to Lynette. "If you wanna' stay out of sight, I think you've got the options to do it. If I were you? I'd lay low, stay out of sight. The last thing you need is endangering yourself or anyone else if they're still looking for you."

"Kendall," Peter adds abruptly afterward, "her— son's name was Kendall. He," those brown eyes dip away again, and Peter turns to offer Lynette his profile as his wandering stare traces something on the floor. "He died last week. She's still pretty tore up about it."

"Yeah, I know she is. She and I spoke about it recently," Lynette says, as far as Gillian. A hand comes up to rub her face and she lets out a bit of a sigh. "Basically, what you're saying is, I'm screwed either way. I stay, unregistered and I put the Ferry at risk. I stay and I register and I put the Ferry at risk. Going to ground is not exactly within my standard of living, darling," she says, although there really isn't fire behind the protest. "I'll think it over, but… I really wouldn't know how to go into hiding. I know how to run. But, I'm not going run."

"That's your choice," Peter explains as he takes the first step away from the table, "just remeber that whatever one you make, you get to live with it," then another step, and soon he's making his way over to the apartment door, turning to offer a look back at Lynette, brows furrowed. "Sorry I just… it's your choice, I don't meant to get up on my high horse and preach to you about it, especially not when I'm registered myself." Looking away, Peter stares down to the floor again, then lifts a hand onto the doorknob nearby.

"Talk to Melissa," he quietly explains, "let her know I sent you, and that should get you in the door. Whatever you decide to do from there is up to you. If you get a message on that phone," Peter motions with a nod to the one on the table, "respond how you see fit. Nobody is forced to work on an assignment in Messiah, but I think once you start to see what we're doing… you won't be able to turn an offer down."

"I wouldn't really call it preaching, Peter," Lynette says with a crooked smile. "I appreciate the advice. I will be thinking it all over very heavily, I'm sure." Which is probably all too true. "And I'll probably have to… speak with the Ferry about my situation." A prospect that gets a sigh.

"I will. I'll see Melissa and I won't mention Messiah to anyone and I'll… work things out as far as registering or not… registering. And I'll keep the phone close by." She comes over to the door, though, to open it for him, because she's a good host. Or she's had it drilled into her. "And Peter… Um. I'm not sure if thanks are really appropriate. But thank you."

Confusion is Peter's reaction. The job he performs within Messiah and in his day-to-day mask as a paramedic are both thankless endeavors. Never does he get to hear a thank-you from a car crash victim brought to the hospital in time to be saved, never does he hear thanks from other members of Messiah. It's a rarity enough to make Peter speechless, just a little. Lifting one hand to the back of his neck, Peter smiles sheepishly, scratching at the shaggy back of his hair, then twists the doorknob with a rattling of the tumblers.

"Don't… go saying stuff like that too much," Peter jokes with a perpetually crooked smile, "I might get used to it." Snorting out a laugh, Peter opens the apartment door, glancing out into the hall, before looking back to Lynette. "And… don't worry about it, really. We all have to look out for each other."

Those words are his parting farewell as he steps out into the hallway. There's truth to them, to the idea that the Evolved have to take care of one another. Because in a world this topsy-turvy, in a world this prone to disintegration of familial bonds and bonds of friendship…

…who else will?

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