Blood And Water


melissa4_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Blood and Water
Synopsis Peter drops by with news about the news. Instead families and puzzles are discussed.
Date September 1, 2010

Little Green House

It hasn't quite been a week since the disastrous mission at Biodynamics, and while things are hardly back to normal, they're not quite as chaotic as they were over the weekend. Emotion has been vented, chocolate has been had, and the house is even cleaner than it normally is, owing to Melissa not yet feeling up to leaving the house to socialize. And she cleans when she's stressed. It doesn't get more stressful than family.

Right now she's alone in the house, the three living roommates off doing whatever it is they do when they're not at home. Melissa, however, is on her hands and knees in her grungiest black clothes, scrubbing the floor in the living room. The house looks much as the last time Peter was here, if cleaner, except for the new table by the front window, with a potted orchid sitting atop it.

His arrival isn't a very ceremonious one, just the slam of the front door open and the clomp of boots against the floor. "Melissa!" It isn't a casual meeting, judging from the tone of his voice ringing off the walls on the way in, coming through the entrance with a quick pace, "Melissa!" Coming into view from the living room, Peter swings out his arms as if exasperated by the lack of her immediate presence, only to hesitate when he finally spots her hunched down on the living room floor, cleaning. A sigh passes through Peter's nose and the dark-haired leader of Messiah lifts up a hand to rake through his bangs, walking in through the living room doorway.

"Melissa, have you been here all day?" There's a look around the apartment, and when Melissa catches sight of Peter, dressed in his Paramedics uniform and likely having come here off of work, she also notices he's carrying a newspaper in his hand. "Have you seen the news."

The sudden sound has Melissa jumping and, unfortunately, flinging the soapy rag in her hand, right towards poor Peter. "Jesus Christ, Peter. Haven't I had enough shocks in the past week, now you gotta scare the shit out of me here?" she asks, sitting back and thumping down on the floor.

A hand is drawn through her hair and she glances to the newspaper before looking back up to him. Her head tilts, and there's an odd expression on her face. It clears a moment later and she shakes her head. "Sorry, yeah. I've been watching the news, recording it actually. Saw the deal about the Company this morning, if that's what you meant. Saw something else a few days ago that we should probably talk about too.

Looking down at the wet spot on his slacks from where the rag hit him, Peter arches one brow then looks down to Melissa with a squint. Stepping around the rag, Peter moves over to the sofa and throws the morning paper down on the coffee table, then sinks down to sit, hunching forward and resting his forearms across his bent knees. "I think we need to talk about the Company thing," because it's easier than talking about Kendall, because it's the Petrelli Way to ignore an emotional problem and hope it goes away. "I— I need to talk about the Company thing, with you, with Rupert, and soon."

Peter's tone indicates that there's a but somewhere in his words, however. "What was it you wanted to say?" Peter asks as he leans backwards against the couch, letting his hands drag across his legs and eventually fall down to rest at his sides. "We— we can talk about that first, I mean."

When he settles on the couch, Melissa pulls herself to her feet and moves over to sit down beside him. Like him, she seems to want to veer away from talking about Kendall as well. It might just bring more tears, and she's already cried more in the last week than in the previous twenty-six years of her life. He gets a curious look though, before Melissa nods. "Alright, we can talk about it. Soon."

She shrugs a little and stretches her legs out, bare feet with toes painted electric blue resting on the edge of the coffee table. "My thing isn't…well, it might not be a huge deal. You mentioned the news. Have you by any chance seen any of the press conferences about the Biodynamics thing?" Okay, so Kendall has to come up a little, but she's not saying his name. "Specifically, the guy who seems to be in charge of hunting us down?"

"No, I didn't listen to that. I try not to listen to all the lies the government tries to spin against us." Though Peter's expression belies some emotion there outside of disdain. "I— wasn't in much of a television watching mood after the attack. I had a lot… going on." Rubbing one hand over his brow, Peter soon lifts his other hand up as well to cover his face, fingers pressing against his closed eyes and massaging them tiredly, words spoken into the palms of his hands. "You think whoever this guy is he might be a good, viable target?"

When the question is asked, Peter's hands slide down his face tiredly, scrubbing at his beard for a moment as he looks down to Melissa, head tilting to the side and one brow quirking subtly. "It's… it isn't that, is it?" While Peter may not be as empathic a man as he once was, there is still the old Peter in there from time to time, hiding just beneath the surface, waiting to get out.

At the question Melissa slowly shakes her head. "No…I mean, he might be, but I don't know if I could condone taking out this guy." She draws in a deep breath as she draws her legs up, knees pressed against her chest, arms wrapped around them. "His name is Jason Pierce. He's my uncle, Peter. My fucking uncle is Department of Homeland Security, and the guy hunting for Messiah." She shakes her head, resting her cheek on her knees, looking at him. "I found out after…Friday, I found out Friday."

Eyes close. "Now all I need is to find out my aunt's involved too. Or maybe my dad is secretly working for 'em as well. Hell, maybe my mom is some kind of spy. I don't know. I don't want to know."

Peter's reaction is silence.

Not entirely, but prolonged silence, brown eyes alight to the ceiling followed by a slowly exhaled sigh and a nod of his head. How many times now, in this world, has everything been connected? It's hard to imagine how tightly the web linking everyone together is until threads of it start to develop. Maybe its this very interconnectivity that pushed Hiro to make that string map, it's that interconnectivity that he's never noticed much of his life until it was too late.

"How close were you?" It's a measured question, in past tense to soften the blow of what he'll eventually suggest next, and also to feel out Melissa's situation with Jason. "I mean, I can have Rebel pull up some information on him for us, but if you were close to him, I wouldn't mind knowing what you know about him, especially if he's operations director."

The past tense is noted, and it has Melissa's eyes closing. "I've never been close with any of my family, Peter. There's a reason why I've said…Well, nevermind what I've said. My parents preferred to let a nanny raise me, and it wasn't like I spent my summers begging to go see Uncle Jason or anything."

Blue eyes open and fix on Peter. "You want him to be one of our next targets, don't you?" she asks quietly. "I can see the reasoning behind it, I do. But close or not, he's still family, and I just lost the only person who was…" That has her frowning and sitting up, both hands moving quickly through her hair before she forces herself to rest them in her lap.

Though she doesn't speak, there's a tension in her, a look on her face that says she's struggling with something difficult, and it's not hard to figure out what that something is. Or the general idea anyway. The conclusion she comes to isn't one that she's happy with, that much is clear, but there's also something darker in her eyes. Hatred. A need for vengeance. It seems that her adopted family far outweighs that of her blood.

"If anyone in this city can get close to him, learn about him, it's me. We may not have been close, but I'm still his niece. It would be rude of him to refuse to see me, and if there's one thing my family prides itself on, it's appearing proper. At least on the surface."

Pursing his lips together, Peter slowly offers a nod and looks away to one of the windows, then tugs at the front of his shirt, squinting at how how it is in the house. It's a scorcher of a day, but the heat inside almost seems worse than the heat outside. "Alright," is an impossibly quick answer, "if you think you can play that angle up, yeah— yeah go for it." He never agrees to ideas this easily, but it isn't fatigue or tiredness that's making him so amenable, it's the topic.

"I need to do something similar, talk to family. My mother— " Peter's brows furrow, dark eyes angle up towards Melissa as he fidgets on the sofa, "she was one of the founders of the Company, Melissa. She's— this," Peter motions to the newspaper, "they're going to go after her. No matter how much I can't forgive her for some of the things she's done, like you said… family's family."

Mention of his family has Melissa frowning. "Can't your brother keep her safe? I mean, she's the president's mother for god's sake. Surely that has to mean something, despite what she said last time I saw her." She falls silent for a moment, then touches a hand lightly to his shoulder. "If there's anything I can do to help you, anything at all, let me know. Hide her here, sneak her out of the state, whatever. You name it and I'll do it. I'm not going to let you lose your mother." And there's steel in her voice at that promise.

"You assume Nathan wants to keep her safe. I— that's what I need to find out." Exhaling a sharp sigh, Peter pushes up to his feet and dusts off the back of his pants with both hands. "This could go very badly for the city, Melissa. There's a lot of people, a lot of families tired to the Company. I used to be an agent, a long time ago, this could all come down on my head too." When Peter's dark eyes shift to the side, there's a furrow of his brows and a downward cast to his lips that only seems to truly hit one side of his mouth.

"I'm going to bring up this to Rupert at some point," and he looks back to Melissa, silent, thoughtful, pensive. He doesn't know what to do with himself, aside from worry, and that much is obvious.

"Yes, I know," Melissa says, nodding. "You told me once before, the same night you told me a lot of other things about yourself." She rises as well, her head tilting as she studies him. "I don't trust Rupert, Peter. I'm not sure his agenda is even remotely close to yours. Like with him wanting to target registration centers, which would just hurt innocent evolved rather than our real enemies."

She sighs softly and lifts her hands to cup his cheeks lightly, trying to ensure that he looks at her. "We'll figure it out, Peter. We'll keep the city safe. I'll get information from my uncle, from Rebel, maybe. I'll talk to the Ferry to see what they know. And we'll come up with a plan that will keep all of this from wrecking the city."

She smiles faintly, murmurs, "Okay?" and suddenly there's something a little off about the touch of her hands on his skin. It's pain, but not really painful, not really. More it's reminiscent of one night many months ago, when he said her power reminded him of pins and needles. A light prickling of his skin, like when your foot has fallen asleep, and is just getting circulation back.

The question is, was it intentional?

"Rupert is perfectly trustworthy," Peter quips immediately, reflexively. "He's a good person, he just— he has a lot of pent-up anger towards the government is all. He has his heart in the right place, though. You don't need to worry about him, I trust Rupert and that should count. That's why he put me in charge, anyway, I'm not really under any illusions about that. I know that he made me the leader to keep him in check, so he wouldn't go too far out of control. So far, it's worked."

Exhaling a sigh, Peter turns away from Melissa, bringing his head out from her touch with a wrinkle of his nose, head shaking and eyes slowly falling shut. "I— should go," sounds awkward. It is.

Hands fall to Melissa's sides and she nods. "It does count, Peter. And you hadn't mentioned that he put you in charge to control him. That counts too. And Peter? I'm perfectly happy to discuss the Company issue with you and him, just let me know when and where to go." She doesn't seem to be disappointed in his reaction, so it seems as though the pins and needles were entirely accidental. It does happen sometime, and her emotions have been churned up recently.

"Oh, and before I forget…Did you get a letter in the mail? With a puzzle piece in it? I got one and can't figure out what the hell is up with it. Or who sent it for that matter."

Looking over his shoulder, Peter's brows furrow and brown eyes search Melissa for a few long moments in silence. The offer is left by the wayside, he doesn't tell her no, which with Peter is usually an implicitly stated yes that he isn't comfortable voicing or is too distracted to. "Puzzle piece? No, I haven't checked my mail in a few weeks," which he only now realizes, he can't even remember the last time he was back at his actual apartment and not Abby's. "Who cares? It's a piece of cardboard."

Turning to the door, Peter starts to walk, then stops. Brown eyes look to the front door, then back to Melissa. "Wait, here? You got a piece of mail on Staten Island? Here? At this house?" Suddenly he cares.

Melissa nods. "Yes, here. No return address or anything like that, no letter, just a puzzle piece with 'rule' written on the back of it. Strange, huh? Was hoping someone else got one so I could figure out who the hell sent it. I mean, a puzzle piece usually means a puzzle, which means more pieces, right? So either others got 'em, or I'm going to be getting more of them."

"I don't give a shit about what you got sent, I give a shit that someone knew to send it here." Peter looks around the building, brows furrowed and throat tight before he exhales a sigh. "No, you know wat, there's a lot of weirdos on this island. Look, just— keep an eye out okay? If anyone weird comes around, call Rebel and he'll get someone over here. Ash only lives like a quarter mile away and Knox is usually at Howland Hook or somewhere close…"

Rubbing one hand on his forehead, Peter looks away to the door. "Just— be careful, okay? I really should go, though. It— I need to make a few calls and then go talk to Rupert. You'll… be okay here, by yourself I mean, right?"

Melissa smiles faintly and nods. "I'll be fine, Peter. I'm only now. Ling, Faron and Tony will be around at some point, and Jerry's here. And I'm always armed on top of that. So you go, be the fearless leader, just don't wear yourself out too much. I'll hear from you soon, on the Company meeting?"

Peter's expression remains guarded, brown eyes distantly focused and hands slowly tucking into the pockets of his slacks. One step away from Melissa and Peter's slowly turning around, quiet, guilty and awkward. There's no goodbye offered, like always he just turns and starts to leave with shoulders hunched forward and head bowed. On his way out, he gives a spurious look to the mailbox out front, enough to contemplate a plan on finding out who mailed something to this house.

But for now, he can keep that to himself. There's far more important things going on that pieces of literal puzzles.

The figurative ones are much bigger.

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