All Apologies


peter_icon.gif rene_icon.gif

Scene Title All Apologies
Synopsis An old friend of the family comes to answer Peter Petrelli's summons, only to be asked two very large favors…
Date July 15, 2010

Petrelli Manor

Red and blue, they're the colors of stained glass sitting within a delicate copper frame of a sun-catcher that dangles silently from a second story window of a residence almost too austere to have such childish decorations on the facade. That the room it hangs from was once the study and private office of Arthur Petrelli is perhaps symbolic, and that each and every window in the house has a hook from which that sun-catcher can hang at any given time is a subtle clue.

Through the closed windows of the office, in the air-conditioned confines of a private space that — now a days — Nathan Petrelli finds little time to occupy, his baby brother has taken up roost. Slouched back into a leather armchair, hands folded across his lap and feet kicked up on Nathan's desk, Peter's brows are furrowed in thoughtful contemplation. Brushing his fingers together, his dark eyes are transfixed on a photograph seated atop the desk, of both he and Nathan in tuxedos, arms around each other, smiling.

Peter keeps the same photograph at home, a reminder of better times and better days, when the world wasn't so complicated and he could admit that he loved his brother without seeing all the terrible atrocities that he is responsible for behind his eyes. Somewhere deep down in Peter's subconscious, he still believes Nathan to be a man trapped behind the wheel of an out of control car with the brakes cut. He wants to believe that Nathan isn't responsible for all of this, that in some way the future crumbling down around his feet isn't entirely his family's fault.

If he believed that, the wind catcher wouldn't be in the window today.

That there's a knock on the office door isn't surprising, Peter had been expecting a visitor for some time now. Swinging his feet off of the desk as the door opens, Peter's attention settles on the tall and dark man he has come to know for so many years as one of his mother's closest confidants. "Rene," Peter welcomes with a heaviness in his voice, coming to rise up out of Nathan's comfortable chair.

There's a somber look on Rene's face as he comes in, closing the door behind himself and looking past Peter to the glimmer of red and blue outside the window, and then back again. Silent expectancy is something Peter has come to expect from the man so many simply call the Haitian.

"I'm sorry for… calling you out here, I know you're probably busy with everything going on right now. I…" Peter lifts up one hand, slowly rubbing at the side of his head as his brows furrow, sweeping around the desk to come sit on the corner. "Something's wrong, and I need to ask you for a favor." Crossing his arms over his chest, Rene's brows furrow watching Peter quietly as the younger man settles down on Nathan's desk in a way Nathan himself would never have approved of.

"Have you ever erased my memory?" It's a pointed question that Peter asks, his expression growing more intense as his eyes square on the tall man. Rene shakes his head, slowly, and begins to advance on the desk, his own long fingers folding together in front of himself as he does. But before Peter can try and frame another question that can only be answered with a nod, something very unexpected happens.

"But I know who has…"

He speaks.

Peter's eyes go wide when Rene actually addresses him, sitting up straight and curling his fingers close to his palm. There's a bewildered expression that comes as Rene lifts one hand, a single finger over his own lips as if to imply ssh, it's a secret. Brows creased together, Rene looks over his shoulder to the office door, then comes within a more comfortable, conversational distance to Peter.

"When you were captured by the Company two years ago, after your battle with Sylar…" Rene's dark eyes drift up and down Peter, one brow lifted, "there was a Company telepath that altered your memories. Her name is Claudine Salonga, she was your handler. Do you remember her?"

Worry crosses Peter's face, fleeting scraps of memories of his duplicate flickering behind his eyes, fuzzy memories of Company allegiance, assignments, a blonde woman with an electric touch, so many undefined and nebulous things. Lifting a hand up to his head, Peter frowns and looks dismissive of the answer. "More recently, Rene… I…" He's still having a hard time adjusting to the fact that he can talk. "I— Something's going on inside my head, I can feel it. There's… I don't know, it feels like there's something repressed, something I've been trying to remember but haven't been able to."

"Slow down," Rene urges, one hand lifted towards Peter, "I was no' done." There's a faint, if not rueful, smile that crosses Rene's lips at that. "Before your split with the replication ability, Claudine performed significant subconscious manipulations to your mind, Peter. She made you more susceptible to psychic suggestions, more susceptible to telepathic control, persuasion, mental domination… Her job was t'make sure you would be a loyal Company agent. Whatever it is she did to you, Peter… it affected both halves a'your personality when y'split."

Brown eyes grow wide as Peter slides off of the desk, accusingly staring up at Rene, anger lancing through Peter's features. "HowWhy would my mother let them do that!?" Now his voice is raising, a sharp yell that rings off of the windows, though Rene himself does not back down, only stands taller and squares hi darker eyes down into Peter's.

"Because she loves you," is not the answer Peter can even make sense of.

Blinking, Peter stares up at Rene, mouth agape slightly and head tilting to the side. "No, she— she did that because she's mani— " Rene lifts a hand up towards Peter's mouth, a single shushing finger, not quite making contact but close enough as if to imply don't you dare.

"You may'no understand everything your mother does, or asks of people. But know this, Peter, everything she has done is because she loves you, an' because she has been trying to protect you from worse things." Rene's hand is swatted aside as Peter's brows furrow, dark eyes squared up at the Haitian with a pained, smoldering anger behind them.

"She made me the bomb, because she loves me!?" Peter growls the words out, stepping closer to Rene and staring up at him as if in challenge to those words. "Do you honestly believe that?" For a time, Rene offers only his usual stoic silence, brows creased and black eyes unwavering. He shows no fear, no hesitation, just stillness and silence before Peter's anger and emotion.

"Yes," is Rene's unequivocal answer.

Peter breaks the eye contact first, backs down first, slouches back towards the desk and lifts one hand to sweep over his forehead, brushing hair from his brow and back behind one ear. "I think someone's tampered with my memory," Peter whispers loud enough for Rene to hear, looking back up to him, trying to get back on topic. "Rene, I need your help. I don't know… I don't know if I'm doing what I'm doing because I actually believe in it, or because someone's done something to me."

Now it's Rene's turn to look apologetic, to shrink back some with a slow shake of his head. "I am sorry, Peter. I can'no help you the way you want… What I have," he lifts his hands up, "is only an eraser, no' the pencil you seek. I can'no undo what has been done to you, and I do'no believe that you would trust the only person I know who could."

Peter's stare lifts from the floor to meet Rene's in silent query at that. "Matthew Parkman," is the answer he feared was going to come from Rene's lips, and Peter's immediate scoff and toss of one hand into the air is exactly the answer Rene feared that Peter would give in response. "There is someone closer to you, Peter, someone you may'no trust… or may be afraid of hurtin', but you know she would help you if you only asked for it."

In all of the struggle of the last few months, Peter can't help but feel sheepish that there's not a name crossing his lips. Rene fills in the blank with simple, quiet efficiency; "Kaylee."

Slouching as he hears the name, Peter lifts one hand to hold his forehead, fingers pinching at the bridge of his nose and eyes wrenching shut. "I don't know…" is too small to have been meant for Rene. "She— I can't go to her, Rene, there's no way I can. After the way I talked to her the last time I saw her I— "

"Peter," Rene chides, "you are so much your mother's son, you do'no even realize." Smiling in bittersweet fashion, Rene folds his hands behind his back and looks across from Peter to the photograph of Angela sitting on the mantle near the office's fireplace, then back again. "Whenever she an' your father would fight, she would blame herself and always be afraid to be the first one to apologize."

There's a stern look from the Haitian to Peter, head shaking slowly as he offers it. "You can'no always keep runnin' from your mistakes," unintentionally echoes Hiro Nakamura's own words to Peter in Alaska all those years ago. "One day you have t'own up to the things you've done… an' face th' consequences."

Staring down at his lap, Peter's shoulders slack and his head dips down into a slowly reluctant nod. "Now, Peter… it is m'turn to ask you for a favor." Rene's words bring a dawning look of slow surprise across Peter's face as he looks up to the far taller man drawing closer. Silent in his own expectancy, Peter can't quite fathom what a person in Rene's position could possibly want from Peter, right up until he explains it so succinctly.

"Claire," should have been the first thing Peter guessed, but was so far from his mind at the moment. "A'know what she has gotten herself into, an' her father is worried." Both of Peter's brows slowly rise at Rene's words, then lower into a rueful furrow. "Everyone does what they do for a reason, Peter, but you have to understand that everythin' you choose to do can hurt someone else. Even if without meanin' to hurt them. A'need you t'deliver a message t'Claire for me…"

Nodding his head in bobbing succession, Peter looks from the floor up to Rene, "Yeah… Yeah I can do that, Rene." Turning his attention for a moment out to the sun-catcher hanging outside the window, Rene offers a look back to Peter with a faint smile. "Tell her tha' her father loves her an' misses her very much, an' that he wants to see her for his birthday…"

Noah Bennet has birthdays?

It's almost plastered across Peter's face in the surprise. For all that Bennet scares him in a primal way that the dark and wild animals scare ordinary people, he has a hard time rationalizing that he does something as mundane as have birthdays. "Yeah I— Yeah I can do that… sure."

Rene offers a faint smile, then rests a hand on Peter's shoulder. "Noah's birthday is the sixth of next month, please remind her. And… if you could tell her that it is no'ever too late to apologize." The words aren't just meant for Peter to relay to Claire, of course, they're meant for him to consider himself in his own complicated situation with one equally blonde telepath.

"Thanks, Rene…" Peter offers with all honesty, lifting his own hand up to lay on top of the Haitian's, followed by a golden-eyllow exchange of light from the Haitian's hand to Peter's, followed by a lopsided smile. "For everything."

Helena had said that Peter needed to learn something about connecting with people again, that he needed to re-learn how to empathize with others. She was, as much as he'd hate to admit it, right. Maybe this was the lesson she'd wanted him to learn, maybe reaching out to this old friend of the family was how Peter would find his connections again, how he would feel a part of something once more.

Maybe this is a step in the right direction.

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