And Back Again


f_eileen_icon.gif f_gabriel_icon.gif f_gillian_icon.gif f_peter_icon.gif

Scene Title And Back Again
Synopsis The Petrellis and the Grays have very different ideas about how to handle the time travelers from the year 2009.
Date May 5, 2019

Petrelli Household

It's getting late. Not really a time for knocking on people's doors, at least not without some form of invitation, and they didn't even bring wine with them. Other things, though, not the least of which is an opinion.

In this brave new world, maybe watching two figures fall from the night sky isn't so unusual anymore. God knows that every so often some flyboy or girl will go whizzing down the street to the amusement of some, the jealousy of others, but there's no one really around to witness it this time. Gabriel lands several feet away from the well-to house just a stone's throw away from the verdant Unity Park, and even from here, at this hour, the sounds of birds and life, accompanied by its scent, drift off the wild, flowering trees. Eileen is clinging to his back, and he releases his grip on her arm as feet touch pavement, ducking enough so that she doesn't dangle and inadvertently choke him.

Not just an opinion, either. In her hands is the smallish painting Eileen had clasped in between them, flakes of black paint come off on both their clothes - not so much of a concern for Gabriel. His hand finds her free one, and they move towards the front door of the Petrelli home. He knows a twist of anxiety and reluctance, but knocks anyway in curt movements. Ffff.

Were it not for the sounds of voices on the other side of the door, voices with too much emotion choking them to make it comfortable for Gabriel, it would seem as though no one was home. The lights are off, blinds are drawn, and the whole neighborhood seems to have fallen into a lull of early slumber. That is, until the door to the house opens with the click of several locks, "What could you possibly— " Peter's words come back as a choked and disbelieving sound of amazement.

Standing there in the doorway, with his tie loosened and collar undone, passers by might just think he's unwinding after a hard day at work. But the cuts on the side of his face, one high on his cheek that is still reddened and leaving a dribbling trail of blood down to his chin tells another story. The glassy quality to Peter's eyes, the redness around their edges, moisture on his upper lip, and the choked swallow he tries to drag down to regain composure all says what his silence fails to.

"G— Gabriel?" Over his shoulder, deeper into the house in the living room, Gabriel can see Gillian standing with a book in one hand, looking to be in the same raw, emotional state that Peter is in. "Ei— " his eyes track over to Eileen, "Eileen— what— " dark eyes flick back to Gabriel. How, why, it's been so long since they've spoken. "What— what're you doing here?"

The cut is still bleeding, leaving one spattered droplet on the door stoop.

While he's at least in disheveled state of work clothes, Gillian looks as if she might have been ready for bed. Besides the book in hand, she's wearing a night robe, a black silk tie keeping it tightly closed. It's thick enough that there's no telling what she may or may not be wearing under it at this point, but the rub of fabric as she moves closer to stand behind her husband does indicate she has something underneath.

There are tears in her eyes, cutting streams down her cheeks and the source of the blood on the man's cheek might be her own fist, considering the fact that her wedding ring and knuckles have hints of blood across them, not to mention her fingers.

Even her own face shows signs of blood smear, though only a light amount. Lips part as if she might be willing to ask the same question, but the man who answered the door beat her to it. Instead she lays the book down on nearby table, with family photos, a fancy vace, and other decorations, and subconsciously starts to rub at the tears on her face.

Eileen's eyes, gray, wary, settle upon the angry red marks on the side of Peter's face and linger there longer than is probably polite before flicking over his shoulder to Gillian, but she can't be blamed for her curiosity — she's a nurse. Has the scrubs to prove it too, dressed down, with a heavy peacoat hanging off her small frame. The topmost button remains undone, allowing for the silver chain around her neck to glimmer faintly, illuminated by the light leaking out of the Petrelli household.

As usual, the expression on her face is difficult to read but not without hints of sympathy: a slight tug at the downward-slanting corners of her mouth, dark brows lifting into an inquisitive arch. Did we come at a bad time?

"We need to talk," she says, and her voice is as neutral as her body's guarded posture, chin inclined and shoulders drawn back. "I'm sorry, but it really can't wait."

The smaller sounds only he had heard coming from the house, just before his knuckles had touched wood, lend themselves to a last second warning for Gabriel before the door is opened to whatever domestic drama had been going on on the other side. As neutral as Eileen's tone, Gabriel makes no comment, no expression of sympathy or amusement or concern, just curiousity, looking past Peter towards Gillian, and sharply back to the man of the house.

Think of it this way. An apocalypse keeps your mind off the small things. Those were the days.

This isn't what he says. He opts for pragmatism. "Can we come in?" Gabriel asks, directly, off the back of Eileen's words, and to his credit, there's a trace of apology in his voice and it's not a lie. He can imagine the temptation to slam the door shut.

Lips part in disbelief, partly at the tone of voice Eileen takes, that sense of urgency he hasn't truly heard from her in a long time — for all of the time they really got to know each other, small as it is. "I— " Peter turns to look over his shoulder, eyes wide, then turns back to Gabriel, one hand pawing up to brush fingertips at the cut, wiping blood away at it rolls down it cheek, only to have it bubble up again from the fresh wound, a futile attempt at keeping it clean.

"What— " his head is spinning, but after everything he's told Helena to do, after everything he and Gillian just discussed, there's a fairly strong notion in Peter's mind that this isn't for anything other than the worst possible case scenario. Exhaling a shuddering breath, Peter doesn't consult with Gillian, he just takes a step back away from the door, sniffling back something to try and gain a measure of composure. "Just— yeah— " his voice is hoarse, "Nate's asleep, so— just— please, be quiet." As if he's one to talk.
The longer they stand in the door, with their answer of their reason for visiting. "'Needing to talk' seems to be the theme for tonight," Gillian murmurs in a raspy voice, still hinting with tears, before she turns to stride out of the room with her bare feet padding gently on the floor. From the sound of it, she isn't going very far, reaching into a drawer of some kind, the shift of fabric carrying through the air to those of greater hearing. When she returns, she's carrying couple tissues, which she hands to her husband. There's a lot that they'll need to clean up later, but at least there's no signs that anything got thrown across the room.

"The other sitting room should be best. It's further from the stairs. He's less likely to overhear anything if he wakes up," she says, making a motion as if to allow them to follow. Though she's been cold and distant and even outright cruel to them in the past, she seems raw when compared to previous encounters. The emotional moment, whatever had been going on, have stripped away a lot of the upper layer.

Under the stripped away layers, though, she seems to be more content, even subdued.

Eileen gives Gabriel's arm a tight squeeze of support, encouragement, and holds it to the count of three before releasing her grip on him and then stepping across the threshold. This is hard for her — she can only imagine what it must be like for him. It's the first time she's set foot in the Petrelli family's home, and will hopefully be the last regardless of whether or not the bleak future splashed across the canvas she's carrying comes to pass.

Gillian's uncharacteristically mild demeanor and agreeable attitude toward them doesn't go unnoticed either, but like Gabriel she isn't about to draw attention to anything she ought not — not even in passing. She slips out of her leather loafers at the door, leaving her feet clad in a pair of thin cotton socks, and follows the other woman's lead into the sitting room.

Follow follow. Ladies first. There's a slight evaluating glance around the place— not that Gabriel has never been here before, but one can't help but observe what one doesn't have. Could have, maybe, had he played his cards that way.

He hadn't, and even now he's not sure if he did the right or wrong thing anymore. But like most times when his mind wanders over past mistakes affecting future plans, his train of thought slips unstoppably right back to the reason he's even following his wife through the Petrelli household. It won't even matter. His hands remain in the jacket he didn't choose to shed at the door, glance at Peter and unable not to look at the dot of red on the man's face, as if he were talking to the little injury than the man himself. His voice comes out a little stilted, but that's not so unusual anymore. "I met with Dean."

And Gillian grew claws, apparently. "She seemed to think I had all kinds of answers."

Peter's reaction is something between a laugh and a sob, this off huff of breath that is swallowed back as he shakes his head. "You— usually do…" was that just a complement? From Peter? "I told her to talk to you— I— she wants to go back," dark eyes follow Gabriel as he walks behind Gillian towards the study. The quiet creak of the door opening gives Peter the lead to go in first, for a moment laying a reassuring hand on Gillian's shoulder before slipping inside. Only she'd be the one to know his hand was trembling, and that the reassurance was for him — not her.

"I— I can't do this alone, send them back." One hand brushes over his face, trying to avoid the blood but instead rake his hair back into a semblance of somerthing orderly. From the dark circles around Peter's eyes, he hasn't slept in days. "I'm— I need your help, Gabriel." From the tone of Peter's voice, it sounds like he just expects them all to go along with his plan, like this was some merry clubhouse for people with powers.

Stepping in to the study, Peter's shoes clunk across the floor with each heavy step, meandering towards the glass doors in the back behind an old, antique desk. The room is meticulously designed to resemble his brother's study at the Petrelli Mansion, not that he'd ever admit that to Gillian. Not that he'd ever admit to filling the sideboard in here with Nathan's favorite drinks.

His brother was a terrible man, after all. Caring for his memory would be wrong.

It could be he doesn't have to admit certain things. The name of their son, for example, was chosen with the same care for a memory he might otherwise attempt to abandon. When his hand touches her shoulder, trembling as it might be, there's a light exhale that breaks out. Gillian may not have needed the reassurance as much, but it did have an apparent affect on her. As they move into the sitting room, she doesn't take a seat, instead hovers a few steps after her husband, as if she intends to stay close to him, for the most part.

While her husband might be optimistic of their assistance, she shakes her head a bit, "I don't know if you know all the answers, and I don't know if you'd feel at all inclined to assist them…" Or why the kids from the past would even take his help at all, considering a good amount of the group that are stuck have every reason to picture him as a boogieman of almost ultimate evil. So much hasn't happened for them…

"But you are the only person they can talk to who has successfully travelled forward and back through time."

In spite of the twinge Eileen feels in her chest when Peter implores her husband for his help, she can't say she's surprised to hear him suggest they help the time travelers from 2009 find their way back home. Had it not been for the painting she holds, she might have even proposed a similar solution herself.

Her eyes dart in Gabriel's direction, sharing with him a fleeting glance, then return to where they were previously: one of the sitting room's empty chairs. Rather than sit, though, she sets the canvas down on the seat and angles it so both Gillian and Peter can get a good, long look at what the painting depicts.

Which is a lot of nothing.

"Is there a particular reason you want to send them back?" she asks. The question itself would be innocent enough if it wasn't immediately followed by another, much curter and cutting one. "Or are you looking to finish the rest of us off like you finished Midtown?"

Considering Peter is not the only mass murderer in the room, or the only one present and still living by the time the explosion had occurred, Gabriel's back stiffens as Eileen makes her point. Out of all the ways to go about it, she chose that one, and a glance is spared towards his wife. A silent question, no words attached, no expectation for an answer.

He continues standing, a few feet from his artwork. Look, we painted a picture just for you. The black is thick, inky, rich, spreads right up to the edges, no trace of white. Gabriel doesn't pay attention to it, acknowledges Gillian's words with, "That's exactly why I can't help. Not in this." His attempts to change the future had failed dramatically and yet it was the ripple effects, the things out of his control, that had changed everything.

This time, Gabriel doesn't want a single blade of grass changed, let alone the world.

"Because if they stay here, my father— " Everything Peter was going to say drains away when he heard those words from Eileen. His mouth hangs open, brows furrowing, and he just takes a step back, head tilting to one side as he takes a few staggering steps past the desk, and straight for the sideboard. Bitterness rises up in the back of his throat, both from the words he's about to spit out and the vomit he's trying not to retch up at the memory of that day. "I think we know who's the trained expert in genocide in this room, or did—."

That bloody cut on Peter's cheek drools a bit down the side of his face from the pressure afforded to it by his scowling countenance. The falter that comes from Peter's mouth ends up leaving that sentence aborted, one hand waving in the air.

"What the hell makes you think them staying here is going to do any good? I— I Gillian told me that Eve can't see the future anymore, that— something is wrong." Turning his back to the glass windows, Peter waves one hand around, gesticulating wildly as he makes his points. "My father wants to send a team of Pinehearst soldiers back in time to preserve the timeline, but— he doesn't seem to understand— he— the ammount of damage that's going to cause."

Sitting down on the corner of his desk, Peter ests one hand at his temples, just fingertips ghosting over his brow, shoulders squared. "I— Gabriel— I can't do this without you." He doesn't look up to him, he can't, not when asking something like this. "I don't have— I just don't have the ability, I— " he can't admit the weakness to him. It's just so far outside of his nature.

And there goes the gauntlet, or thrown silk glove in the form of a few words and a blank painting. Gillian continues to stay close to her husband, but she moves the few steps to put one hand on his arm, while the other moves to his back, a supporting gesture as she looks over to the two she's sniped at quite a few times in public. This isn't public, and she has no need to be polite, but the most that they've riled up so far is a glare at Eileen— for those words about her husband.

"They don't belong here, and they're here. Not when or where they're supposed to be." And time travel is complicated and she's not even going to attempt to understand it beyond that fact. The fingers squeeze around her husband's arm, trying to give him some kind of support and reassurance, especially as she says, "Eve doesn't dream anymore— even with my help. It started around the same time that they got here. I'd reason to bet all the other precogs have some kind of issue, if you're painting nothing."

There's a slow breath, "But Peter's right. What his father is doing… it may make things far worse than they already are— and even with my help, he can't fight them without…" There's a hesitant pause and she squeezes her fingers around his arm again, as if to apologize to the man she's speaking about, "He needs someone at his side who's more powerful."

"Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe Eve can't look into the future anymore because of what you're attempting to do?" Eileen directs a pointed look at the painting to emphasize her position. "This is a message, just like all the others before it. A warning of what's going to happen if we don't take steps to preserve this world. Never mind theirs." She moves around the back of the chair, her lower body disappearing from view as she circles it, fingertips trailing along the seam where wood meets upholstery.

Dramatic pauses aren't her thing, and in Eileen's experience only lead to long lapses of awkward silence that everyone in the room could probably do without. She stops, places both her hands on the chair's frame, perhaps to steady them. "No one can go back," she says without missing a beat. "Not Dean, not the others, not Arthur's people. As long as everyone stays here, this timeline will remain intact, and so will we.

"So will your son."

There are some keywords. Gabriel dimly knows that they are not as important as what Eileen is trying to say. End of the world, the time and space continuum shark-biting around their reality until there's nothing left but black. But all the same, those keywords would be: don't and ability and more powerful. His learning on how to empathically mimic the powers of those around him had been slow going and not nearly instantaneous, and even now— even now there are nuts he can't crack.

He's shared rounds of beer with Flint Deckard, for example, and his world can't turn to skeletons in the blink of an eye.

So Peter gets a puzzled look, but no words are put to it yet. Priorities. Gabriel is subdued as Eileen makes her case, gaze wandering over the other set of married couple within the room, everyone marked and aligned by rings of precious metal. Like sports teams and their jerseys. Quietly, he adds, "Ray is twisting his own rules. They go back, they stop existing in this world, and we do too." Everyone has a theory. Time to see whose makes most sense. Gabriel is arrogant enough to feel as those it's his point of view that people will want to win over.

"You don't get to talk about my son." Peter's tone becomes tense, watching Eileen with narrowed eyes, hands gripping the edge of his desk. "You don't— your guess is as good as mine as to what's causing it, why are you so goddamned headstrong that they have to stay here? It— if Helena never— " this is so hard to get out, "if— if she never dies, how does any of this happen? It didn't happen for them. Helena told me, how the Moab raid went different, how history's already— "

They don't know.

A deep breath is taken, and Peter rubs a hand over his forehead. "People already went back. My— my father received word about— " Gabriel's sentence is pretty much a sucker-punch into his gut, eyes widening as a confused look of disbelief crosses his face. "You— you already knew about Edward?" Peter tosses his hands up, lips parting in some confused expression as his eyes track to Gillian, then back to Gabriel.

"What— why did you even come here, at this hour, if you weren't going to help?" It's a question that should have been asked far sooner, and with far more urgency, but with everything else going on, Peter just couldn't place the words together properly.

"Eileen," Gillian snaps at the mention of her son, letting go of her husband's arm as if she may want to do something else. The hand goes back to her husband as he reacts to the rest, though there's definitely anger beginning to form around her eyes, hostility beginning to come to the surface. While there'd been a reserved calm around the former librarian, that's starting to fade. The topic is bringing up old pains that… well… They aren't that old at all. They're very fresh, and now they're being reopened.

"I still think Doctor Ray is full of shit," she says simply, cursing for one of the few times that the two who are guests in their home would normally hear her do these days. In the public places, she would control such language, but home must be different. Or a lot has changed.

"I don't know what's going to happen, and if you think for an instant that I want our son and everything that's happened in the last ten years to disappear as if it never happened at all than you— " Her voice starts to raise, but she cuts herself off, minding the staircase that isn't that far away. A deep breath, perhaps one of those near dramatic pauses, before she continues, "I don't know what's going to happen. But I still think that… sending them back is the right thing to do."

Eileen has made her argument; either Peter's counter-points fall flat or she's so dedicated to staying the course that she doesn't allow whatever doubt she might be experiencing to manifest in her eyes. She watches him from beneath her lashes, gaze steady, then lets her attention drift out of the sitting room, toward the stairs—

They all have people they want to protect. Wives. Husbands. Sons. Bai-Chan isn't her flesh and blood, but he was sired by someone very dear to Gabriel and Eileen both. "If you don't want it," she murmurs, not unaffected by Gillian's sharp reprimand, tone carrying a note of apology, "then stop pretending like the only option we have is to make martyrs of ourselves. I like to think that the right thing is fighting for everything we've spent those ten years working toward, not stepping up to the existential guillotine just so some alternate versions of ourselves might one day get to experience it."

"Not all of us would be so lucky," Gabriel agrees, a glance to his wife. An exceptional set of circumstances led them here. An arrest he kicked and fought to prevent. The slow pay off. Luck and circumstance that even Helena's good deeds can't guarantee.

Speaking of which— "Dean told me about Edward," Gabriel says, raising a hand in a defensive gesture and irritation leaking into his voice, giving way to a flare of anger. No need to grand stand, but his voice has a venomous edge to it. "Look, you all want my help to save you and none of you are listening. You're right, I've been forward in time, and the only reason I was sent back was because Ray knew that he couldn't do a damn thing if it was him."

Short silence, just long enough for Gabriel to move, touch his fingers to the corner of the painting. It's not a gesture for emphasis. "Ray and whoever he took with him can do what they want, but they can't change the past. Helena and the rest can't help but change the future. They won't have a choice in the matter."

Something is happening to the paint, and it only starts to show when the dried paint is suddenly glistening as if freshly painted. From the center and out, the black pushes out, smudges away to reveal— red. Nothing conclusive, the paint smeared, but it's not black at its heart. "Flint Deckard watched me paint these. He saw there was a red door behind all of them." His eyes fix on Peter. "That's why I came here tonight, at this hour. We need your help. You can't let them go back, Peter. None of us can."

Dark brows furrow together as Peter tilts his head to the side, looking at the painting with a confused expression. Something doesn't make sense— well, nothing makes sense— but the world is beginning to find itself painted in shades of ridiculous colors that clash loudly with common sense. Without Hiro here, without some form of guidance to put things together and give an educated frame of reference, Peter's beginning to doubt who could possibly be right.

But when he thinks back to the way Helena pleaded with him on the rooftop, the notion that maybe he's sending her back out of some selfish and misguided hope that she doesn't die, and out of some cowardly desire not to have to deal with her in his life. Maybe he's selfish, maybe he's a coward, maybe he's wrong…

"I'm not going to be any help. I— " This is a dangerous argument to get into, especially after burning away any chance he has of bluffing Gabriel down, should he decide to change his attitude. "I can't convince my father not to send his men back, he's the one with the ability to send people through time— not me." Rubbing a hand over his mouth, Peter looks up slowly to Eileen, then Gabriel. "I think they should go back, because— because they don't belong here." He doesn't sound entirely convinced, "They can't stay here… I— " his eyes avert, back down to the floor, then something seems to dawn on him. Treading a dangerously defiant ground, Peter swallows his words.

"If Doctor Ray of that future believed going back would do nothing, then why would he go back this time? Wouldn't the same rules still apply?" Gillian argues, though there's no real understanding in any of this conversation. There's a gnawing hole in her stomach that's getting bigger, and the tears are starting to spring up, especially as her husband mentions his lack ability in that area. Something that doesn't seem to surprise her now, so he must have confessed it recently. From the way her breath shakes for a second, it had been very recent. "Gabriel we don't know what this means. We don't know what the door means, and we sure as hell don't know what happens if they stay. Will you never paint the future again? Will everything still disappear? We don't know."

There's a small shake of her head and she finally pulls away from Peter. Not to leave the room, but to go over to the precious liqour cabinet with scotch and other Petrelli-esque drinks and prepare herself one. While she flips over the glass, she adds, "You don't even know what happened to that world that you saw. You don't know that it disappeared. It mattered for us. It made everything that happened that night in the Bronx important. It made everything that led up to it matter and everything that happened in that future… mattered. And I'd like to think, no matter what happens… our future— it matters."

Eileen is silent now, resignation settling over her pale features, lips pressed thin. She and Gabriel aren't going to change any minds tonight, that much is clear.

Incidentally, so is what they have to do now that the Petrellis have refused to give them their help. She watches Gillian prepare her drink and Peter make his explanations, excuses, justifications tapering off into half-finished thoughts she can't even begin to guess at. It would be simple to respond with anger and tersely bitten-off insults aimed at their sore spots, but Eileen can't quite bring herself to feel anything except an overwhelming sense of sadness when she realizes they're alone in this.

Had they really expected any different?

Communicating disappointment through her body language, Missus Gray defers to her Mister with a certain subtlety that the spoken word could never achieve. The ball's in your court, babe.

There's silence as Gabriel comes to approximately the same conclusions as Eileen, focused more on Gillian. Theories, what they are all entitled to. His gaze drags back to Peter, and there's a strange look that accompanies it. Seeing him in a new light. Not a very flattering one.

He doesn't pick the damp painting up off the chair. Their's to keep. But he does take a step away from all of them. "The future didn't matter," he counters. "And that's why it changed. There's only one world." A million theorists, scientists, philosophers would disagree with him, but it's his conviction, if only due to the rectangle of black and red propped up for them to see. "Why the hell else would it so important to save?"

Amber-brown eyes settle on Peter, and there's something slightly Sylar in the way he sneers, "Eileen's right. This is going to be the second time you send the world to hell. All because you're not strong enough. Not then, not now. Not to do what's hard, because of her."

If there's any doubt as to what her is featured in Gabriel's accusation, it's not elaborated on. He's ready to walk out at that and has not doubt Eileen is ready to do the same.

There's a time for properly placed words, a time for everything that needs to be said in equal measure, words carefully chosen that fit something that might resemble politeness. All of that time has gone and left, leaving Peter matching Gillian's earlier stare as he looks up towards Eileen and Gabriel, brows lowered and head tilted to one side. "Get out of my house," Peter practically spits out the words, jaw trembling as he delivers those difficult syllables.

A long time ago, someone once had hopes for these two to see eye to eye, but now, here, when it matters the most for them to be on the same page, history is repeating itself all over again. And when the door closes on this battle of egos, there won't likely be anyone left standing to see which one was right in the end. "Get out of my house, right now."


Glass blangs against glass. The liquid never makes it into the glass. In fact… Gillian spins around and the glass is flying across the room at them. Bad aim, so it's not likely to hit. "Don't you fucking say it didn't matter." She yells, forgetting the fact that her son is asleep upstairs. Maybe asleep, maybe not now. "The events that led up to you going there— if they never fucking mattered than you murdered my sister for nothing. And I stayed with you, despite all of that, for months— for nothing." All of this is stuff she never released, fury she couldn't even express. Blame she couldn't give voice to at the time because, despite everything, she still loved him, and in many ways hated the fact that she still loved him.

"And don't you dare say he isn't strong enough. You smiled and laughed at how weak he was for what happened. When you were even weaker because it took me and him and that future to help turn you into the man you are today, to make you even try to become something better than the monster you were before. Where the fuck would you be without that? You'd be probably be one of those fucking Moab escapees going back in time destroying this world."

Her husband is telling them to leave, and she's stalking right over to them looking very much like her fists might be flying at their faces soon enough. "You wouldn't even be with your wife if it wasn't for that future. You think that the whole incident at the bridge would have happened without it? You can fucking say it didn't matter but you know it did."

There's an accusing glare at Eileen. "The two of you deserve each other. You're both monsters who only became real people because of a future that apparently doesn't matter and never did."

The glass hits the wall. Explodes on impact. Showers the sitting room floor in hundreds of little pieces that shine like diamonds.

Until a few moments ago, the only thing keeping the two households from going for each other's throats was the physical distance between, and now that's rapidly closing at a rate that puts Eileen on the defensive. This is the same woman who shot her husband and broke his heart, and while she should probably be grateful Gillian left Gabriel for Peter, thanking the hurricane of a brunette is the furthest thing from her mind. No, her first instinct is to step forward and meet her halfway, protectively moving to intercept her husband's old flame before she gets close enough to inflict the kind of damage she showed Peter's face.

Glass would crunch under her shoes if she hadn't left them at the door. Instead, she braves the broken shards in her socks, stepping swiftly over a glistening sea of wicked splinters as she raises her hand—

—and cracks an open palm across the other woman's face. "Don't," she hisses through her teeth, leering like a cobra readying another strike. Her voice is low, the words spit past her lips meant solely for Gillian, though there's nothing to stop either of the men from listening in when she says, "He only married me because you left him to rot, you stupid bint."

It all happens like lightning, Gillian's words flying, numbing him to simply stand and stare and let the darts hit again and again. There are many things Gabriel could do. He could lift a hand and send her flying through plaster and glass. Pinch his fingers together and close her jaw without even coming near her. Vanish into black smoke and run far, far away.

Gabriel does none of these things. He stands, and he listens, and allows pent up rage to flow directly towards him. In some ways, it feels good. It feels like on some small level she did once upon a time love him.

The crack of an open palm against Gillian's face is what jerks him out of that particular hellish reverie. Oh Christ. Narrows his focus, Gabriel is forced to scrabble together an otherwise split apart attention span and move in. His hands find Eileen's arms from behind, pull her bodily back one step, two steps, drags her as gently as he can to his side.

Part of him wants to laugh. He turns a look towards Gillian, flat and shark-like with anger, unable to walk out the door despite Peter's demand, his order Gabriel would happily obey, without making one thing clear; "Eileen's the one that changed me. Not you, or any of this. Do not presume to know me."

Peter flickers more so than moves from where he was seated on the bar, blurring and distorting to pop next to Gillian, then pop in front of her with a rushed displacement of air. Brow lowered and a furious expression on his face, it's the sudden, low rumble of thunder outside and the obvious picking up of the wind blowing the trees around outside that shows just how upset he is. Breathing in a hissed breath, there's another rumble of thunder outside, and his head cants into an awkward angle.

I can't pull off this bluff.

The rapid heartrate that beats out of fear and anger is quite indicative of this to Peter. His lips press together, teeth gnashing, and as he brings one hand back to lay on Gillian's side, the other comes up and points towards the exit.

"Get the hell out of my house or I'll throw you out!" Maybe if Gillian Augments him he can get them at least halfway to Antarctica, that's got to count for something, right? Though as much as Peter wants this to go on, wants to just vent his frustrations on them, wants them to not leave, all of that bleeds away from him when the door to the study finishes creaking open…

…revealing a young boy in red and blue pajamas standing in the doorway, eyes wide and jaw trembling. He looks around the study, up to unfamiliar faces and remembering the lingering sound of raised voices. "M— Mommy?" Nate's tone comes as an awkward waver, "I— I don't like thunder."

Left him to rot. If it wasn't for the slap, she might have been able to respond fairly quickly to that, but the slap gives Gillian a moment's pause, as her mouth opens to suck in a breath. By the time she looks back to manage a response, there's a man she once loved standing in front of her— The words drain color from her face, except for the blood smear and the reddening hand mark on her cheek. There's so much that…

In the past energy would have leaked out at her at this point, driving into all of them. But control had been gained. But that doesn't change the fact that she looks stricken. Even as thunder roars, lightning crashes, and her husband orders them to leave.

It's the child appearing that snaps her out of it, making her walk barefoot over glass she doesn't even really notice, to pick him up. There's tears running down her cheeks again. "It's okay… the storm'll pass— it's okay… don't… I don't like thunder either, baby…"

The storm'll pass.

Despite the tears, the pain on her face, her voice takes on a completely different tone, hollow, barely recognizable as her own, as she carries her son out of the room. "Everything'll get better. It'll get better…"

Eileen is quaking with fury, her body wracked with violent tremors that Peter can see but only Gabriel can feel. As much as her hand stings, it's the sort of hurt that pales in comparison to the changes she's undergoing on the inside. Her throat contracts, aching, and she swallows hard, hoping to combat the tightness in her chest by inhaling sharply through her nose.

It doesn't work. Gillian had called them both monsters, and for all her earlier brazenness and bravado— there's that small, self-loathing part of Eileen that wants to agree. If the time travelers don't belong here, then maybe they don't either. Maybe they'd all be better off if Munin and Sylar had walked into that Argentinean jungle and never come back out again. Maybe

"Gabriel," she croaks out, hoarse, unable to do so much as finish the request. The rest goes unspoken, conveyed instead by the press of her back against his chest, begging for home.

All the screaming was hurting his ears anyway. Gabriel's arms circle around Eileen as if protecting her from something unknown, a shifting glance focusing on the child being picked up by Gillian, carried away, before eye line is swung back around towards Peter. Accusing, in some inexplicable way. Disgusted, something he probably doesn't have a right to. Anger, too. They had come here for the right reasons

But they're going. Unlike the three in the room, his heart isn't pounding, subconsciously regulated by an ability he picked up in the Pancratium this one time. His face isn't red, or pale, no colours to signify the sheer fury he's feeling, especially as Eileen's voice breaks around his name. No last barbs are necessary or even important, the two Grays making their way out of the room, out the house. Barely time to pick up shoes as they go, run out of the place like scorned stray dogs. Someone even threw something at them.

The door shuts, sharply, and the wet painting leaks black eternity onto fine upholstery.

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