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Scene Title Bypass
Synopsis After visiting Helena on the top of the deveaux rooftop, Peter returns to Primatech Research to confide in one of the few people he feels he can still trust in the Company — and that isn't Woods.
Date November 22, 2008

Primatech Research: Level-3, Elle's Office

"What? No, I 'aven't seen her all bloody morning — Pete, what's all this about?"

Mornings at the Company's Bronx facility are never usually this busy, espescially on a weekend.

"Pete… What's gotten into you? What did Wickham and Sanders want the other day anyway?"

"Pete, come on, don't gimme the cold-shoulder like that! Pete!"

Footsteps thunder down the stairs dividing the security offices of Level-3 and Level-4, with one swipe of his badge, Agent Petrelli leaves Woods standing on the other side of reinforced glass doors, a frown sagging at the corners of his mouth. Peter tucks his badge back into his pocket, hastily making his way down the corridor, eyes glancing through every reinforced glass window on his way down, the hard soles of his polished black shoes click-clacking down the hallway.

Brushing past a technician, Peter turns, quickly eyeing the young man before approahcing him again, "Excuse me," eyes divert to a nametag, "Stevens — Have you seen Agent Bishop anywhere this morning?" The technician looks a bit startled, then seems taken aback by the hand on his hsoulder, eyes darting from it to Peter.

"You — You're Agent Petrelli aren't you? Oh — That's fantastic I've heard so much about your power, do you think I could have a moment of — " Peter brings one hand to his head, the other clutching a white bottle of pills in the other, rattling it as his hand shakes slightly.

"Have you seen Agent Bishop?" His tone of voice sounds strained, pushed beyond the limits of his usual patience. The technician stares up at Peter for a moment, then, hesitantly motions down the hall, using his pen as a pointer.

"Y-yeah she — Down in her office. Ah, I think — " Not listening to the tail end of Stevens' words, Peter pushes past him and begins walking quickly down towards the office. His eyes flick up to one of the round clocks on the wall as he passes by, breathing in a deep breath before stopping short of barging straight in. There's a moment of hesitation, and Peter stops his hand just inches from the doorknob, bringing it up to knock lightly on the door instead. "Elle? It's me, Peter…"

Unfortunately, it looks like Elle isn't in her office. The window beside the door is dark and unlit, and there aren't even the faintest hints of movement from within. Peter gets no reply for at least two long minutes— if he stays waiting there that long.

Presently, however? Who but Elle should come strolling down the corridor, a purse riding on a strap from her shoulder. As far as what she is wearing: a white sweater-jacket (with one large, black, very round button) over blue jeans and cloth boots. Her hair flounces against her shoulders with every step. "Peter!" she calls out before she's halfways to him. There is a pair of sunglasses riding on her head, and she pokes them up with a finger even though they're not in her way.

"Elle." With a rattle, Peter lifts a bottle of asprin shakily up to his lips, taking a pair of advil into his mouth and swallowing them dryly, "Elle," his eyes dart down to the technician on the other end of the hall, then back to the blonde again, "Elle we have to talk." Either Peter hasn't taken the advice, or a good few nights of sleep hasn't done him any good. He looks twice as bad as the last time Elle had seen him, the darkness around his eyes more profound, and the color in his face seeming all the more faded.

Peter looks down to the white asprin bottle in his hands, then tucks it into the pocket of his suit jacket, craning his head to the side with a momentarially pained look, "Can — " He looks past Elle at the sound of an opening door, watching a doctor step out of one of the Level-4 detainee's cells. Peter lowers his voice, motioning to the door of her office with his head.

"Oh. Of course." Though her tone is sunnily nonchalant, Elle's eyebrows lift as she strides to a stop just past Peter and works at the door's lock with a set of keys pulled from her pocket. Very soon, it is open, and she turns the knob with a gloved hand. The other glove makes a small, beckoning gesture to Peter behind her, and she offers briskly: "Come in."

Shifting his eyes down the hall to watch that Doctor, Peter doesn't outwardly respond to Elle's movements, only stepping slowly into the office once he's certain no one is watching him. Once inside, his hand motions towards the doorknob, and the metal turns and pushes away from his magnetized palm, sending the door quietly closed, and then locked.

Stepping over to the office window that looks out into the hall, Peter's dark eyes scan down one side and up another, then finally motion towards the metal venetian blinds, and they slide shut to block out the artificial light from the hall, shedding the otherwise unlit office into darkness, save for thin slits of light between the blinds.

"I was worried I wouldn't catch you in time…" Peter gently brushes past Elle, resting a hand on her shoulder, and then flicks on the light-switch by the door. As the florescent bulbs overhead slowly heat up and flicker on, the pallid complexion of Peter's face looks even more deeply sunken. Those dark circles around his eyes look almost like bruises, and there's visible tension in his neck and shoulders. "I — I'm sorry, I must seem completely out of my mind right now."

Slumping up against the closed door, Peter brings one hand up to his forehead, working his thumb and forefingers over his temples in an effort to stave off the growing migraine that throbs behind his eyes and threatens to split his head open from within.

Elle can't pretend she isn't completely startled as she watches, abruptly sliding her gaze towards each shutting of the door or window blinds. In the time before the florescent lights finish their slow ascent towards brightness, she makes a round, glowing ball erupt in the palm of her hand. She raises this near Peter's face, to examine it with some suspicion, and the odd shadows her bluish light casts on him makes his contours seem all the scarier.

That is, at least, until there is enough brightness for both of them to see by. "/What/ is all this about?" she demands. Her eyes whip towards various corners of the now completely sealed room to indicate what she is talking about. Which, in itself, is kind of creepy.

The crackling electricity in front of Peter's face causes him to flinch, one brow lowering while the other raises, the blue sparks reflected in the dark pools of his bloodshot eyes. Peter hesitates as the hand is moved around, but he doesn't edge away from it, or the door. One very shaky hand rises up, settling on Elle's wrist, giving a very gentle, and very hesitant squeeze.

"Elle, something terrible is about to happen." His voice drops to almost a whisper, fingers lightly dragging across the fabric at her wrist, gingerly moving to lower her hand. "I — Elle I have to tell you something, you're one of the only people I actually trust here right now. Something horrible is…" One hand moves up to rest at the side of Peter's head, fingers rubbing at his temple as he winces. "I saw something, Elle. I…" Peter's jaw clamps shut, and his hand moves from her wrist, head turning away as his eyes mist up for a moment.

That electricity soon dissipates, zapping outwards with a small 'zzpt'. And then it is nothing but Elle's widened, still very startled gaze, which focuses on Peter's face only after a moment of trying as her hand is squeezed. As he turns his head away, she grabs at his shoulder with the one that he hadn't been touching. She tries to smile, her expression forcing itself to lighten."C'mon," she semi-laughs, ending that with a sharp inhalation— "C'mon, it can't be /that/ bad, whatever it is." Her blue eyes, however, speak differently. They are still as alarmed as can be, and they flit back and forth over Peter's in search of some answer. "I mean. I mean, the worst has already happened, right? What else can there be?" The reference is, of course, to the city's big boom.

"It gets worse." Peter's eyes divert to the window as Elle lowers her hand, and his eyes move to the hand laid on his shoulder. He manages for the briefest of moments, a smile, but it turns sour soon after. "Elle," Peter takes a step forward, closing the distance between the two leaving just a few inches seperating them, and it causes his voice to drop down to an even quieter tone. "Elle, I… I don't think it's safe to be here anymore." Peter's shoulder is trembling, and for all his worth he looks like he just saw someone get killed right in front of him.

"I can't — I'll take you, you and your dad, I'll send you wherever you want to go. You just — You can't be here anymore." After drawing in a breath through his nose, Peter closes his eyes and exhales a slow, shuddering sigh. "Something's coming, Elle, something terrible. I…" When he looks back up, his words are heavy and hushed; sad, scared, weak. "You're not the kind of person who wants to do what's going to come."

Emotions are contagious. Elle is still trying to sort through all this, her slim figure standing silent as Peter closes the gap between them. "Tell me what you saw." She makes her voice small and soothing, slightly pleading, as if they're holding a plain old conversation, though it is accurate to say she is feeling nothing but jumpy. "There might be a way to stop- whatever you think is coming if you tell me about it." Besides that, she just wants to know.

The question makes Peter uneasy, he couldn't tell Helena, but the reason for that was far more painful than this. His eyes divert to the window again, and he lets a hand move up to settle on Elle's shoulder, very gently guiding her away from the door and listening ears. "I — " Peter closes his eyes for a moment, letting his head move down beside Elle's, as if to just whisper to her. "I have dreams, visions, I see things before they happen — My brother's car accident, the bomb, I…" All things Peter has failed to prevent.

"I saw something, an internment camp. People were — People I know, good people… they were getting injected with something. There — it was horrible. Men, women, children. Faces and cages, I saw fires burning… it… there was ash everywhere." His voice wavers as he speaks, one hand squeezing gently at her shoulder. "Elle, I found out from Noah Bennet, the Company is developing a test that can tell if someone is Evolved by their blood. We, the Company, it's been developed by our scientists. They're going to lock everyone up, we're going to get carted off like cattle, and…" He doesn't finish that sentence, but he lets the suggestion of it hang in the air.

Elle doesn't have Peter's gifts, of course, but the words he uses are vivid enough for her to envision the scene by herself. Perhaps unexpectedly, she shifts her hand further up his shoulder and tightens it a little in the same motion. "You won't let that /happen/, though." Her voice is matter-of-fact; it might be inferred from this that she trusts his account wholeheartedly. He certainly sounds convinced enough to persuade a thousand people. "If you can see the future? It'd be lame if that didn't mean you weren't supposed to find some way to stop it. Do you know how much time there is between now and - whenever?"

"I — I don't know." He means it on all accounts, "I've… I don't think I can stop it." There's a tone of hopeless in his voice, weak and wilted faith in himself and his abilities that matches his outward appearance. "I'v enever been strong enough to stop anything. I just — I don't want you here, I…" He cuts himself off after a moment, eyes flitting away from Elle to stare at a space on the wall nearby. "How could we possibly stop this? How can anyone."

"Iii don't know." Echoing his phrase, the tone of Elle's statement twists up towards meaningful lightness at its very end. "You're the one who saw all this. I don't have any answers. You do." And then a familiar expression emerges onto her face - the curl of one side of her lips downwards, in a half-frown. It's almost reproving. "I've read your file. Maybe I wasn't supposed to, but it's too late now. Can't you do sooome-" Her finger twirls vaguely through the air. "-fancy thing with time travel? Teleport? Not me, since I'm not going anywhere." She seems firmly sure of that, at the least.

"I — I'm not sure." Peter glances to the side, "I've never done it before, Hiro — He, maybe. I don't know, we tried." The implication seems somewhat grand, "The bomb, we tried to stop it. You can't change the future." Peter's eyes flit over to the window, "You can just try to avoid it." His eyes dart back to Elle.

"Listen, I — You're the only person I can trust here right now. I — We're different than the other people here. I heard about your disciplinary meeting." For a moment his voice was coming back to normal, but on the topic he drops it back down to a whisper again. "We don't do things the way they do here. We — I was wrong, Elle. I was wrong to trust these people. I've seen what they're going to do, and it ends badly. It ends badly for all of us. Me, you, the whole world."

With a soft sigh, Peter lets his hand on Elle's shoulder slide down slowly, fingers brushing over the fabric of that white sweater-jacket. "Don't stay here, Elle." It's a plea, plain and simple. "This isn't what you want to do, what's coming it — You're not that kind of person. You have a heart."

The blonde's eyes momentarily flit to Peter's touch on the surface of her sweater. They close for a distracted second, then reopen. "Then try again, Pete. The future hasn't happened yet. I meaaan, that's why they call it the future. Don't be silly; you have all these nifty abilities that nobody else does."

There is a pause — this one far milder. "And Peter. I - don't want to break it to you, but I do do things the way they do here. I was the one who was wrong." Elle's brows slip upwards into a look that's full of reproving pity, though she does not sound contemptuous or scornful. Because it is meant to be neither. "I'm one of 'these people' - if you want to call them like they're strangers or something. This is my life. I would trust them with it any day."

The look in Peter's eyes shifts from concern to sadness, it's a slow and gradual change. Faintly, Peter's lips curl into a very hesitant smile, and his hand moves up to for a just a moment brush the knuckles of two fingers against Elle's cheek. The hand comes down, and he nods slowly, ruefully, to her sentiment. "Maybe you're right," but he doesn't clarify on which part. There's some certainty in it though, even if it's a grim certainty, "I won't give up hope." On himself, or her. It could be both. It likely is.

Realizing how close he's been standing, Peter takes a slight step back, his focus nervously shifting away from Elle, and instead to the floor at his feet. "Maybe… I don't know. Maybe it's not impossible to change what's coming, but I don't know where to start." His eyes very slowly rise once more, lingering at first one Elle's shoulder, then up above her eyes, then finally settling just a touch downwards. "I want you to know… if you ever need me, if you ever need help — " His brow tenses, creasing the scar across his brow as he realizes how awkward it all sounds, "all you have to do is ask, and I'm here for you." Yet here he is, the one asking for help offering it blindly. "I — " He takes another step back, "I should go, I — I need to clear my head…"

Elle, however, seems to been paying no mind to how close Peter had been standing. When he steps back, she stays calmly put for as long as it takes for him to finish his offer. "Oh, Peter." With this mildly chiding sentiment, the slender woman takes a stride towards him, briefly squaring his shoulders back towards her with the gentle grips of both hands. "There's no need to be so clammy with me. It's me." Just Elle.

And then she does what is unprecedented: standing on her tiptoes, she plants the swiftest of kisses onto Peter's cheek. Little more than a touch, it lasts not even a second, and when she withdraws, she actually looks surprised at her own daring. A twinge of a smile covers some of that up, but only after a breathy pause. "I think you might be needing that help more than me. …Go and have a rest and whatever you need."

It's more of a spark than the electricity she can call forth from her hands, that contact, even if fleeting is something profound. Peter's expression lightens, just a touch, and to her credit it brings a rise of some color — however brief — to Agent Petrelli's face. Silence, though, is rewarded by that kiss. Peter stands there, perhaps frozen by the act itself, his dark eyes wavering between each of Elle's, as if trying to discern exactly what goes on behind them, without actually looking that deep.

"I…" He's not one for words, least of all not now when his mind is firing in a dozen different directions, only now having one further wrinkle thrown into all of them to consider. "Maybe I do." He manages a smile, at least in part, perhaps because there's something reassuring about the simplicity of her reaction, perhaps something otherwise inscrutable. But there's comfort, for now, in the gesture. "Don't forget what I said, Elle…" The smile thins, just a little, "And…" It turns into something of an awkward grimace, "Don't tell anyone else I'm crazy, okay?" At least he can try to joke around now, even if it's at his own expense.

There isn't much that Peter will be able to read in those eyes aside from what's already been there. Her expression stays at just the level of childish smoothness and, perhaps, feminine /inscrutability/, it had been at. "Haha. If I do, it'll be because that person already knows it." She's joking too, though, in that slightly sly way she has. Just like they had at the start of the exchange, her eyes rove around the interior of the room they are in, though it is a much calmer movement than it had been the first time. "You gonna let us out now, or what?"

Peter manages to keep that smile on his face as long as Elle can see him, and without so much as a motion, the door behind him clicks unlocked as the magnetization of the deadbolt is reversed, sliding it out of the door frame. Wordlessly, he steps forward and leans down towards her forehead. For a moment it seems like he's going to return that peckish kiss, but instead he whispers something to her in hushed confidence, his breath felt warm against her brow. And before he can explain the why behind the words, there's a sudden rush of air that moves in to fill the space where he was. In the blink of and eye, Peter Petrelli no longer stands within Elle's office, no goodbye, no thank you, just those three very confusing words he whispered to her.

"I owe you."

November 22nd: Magnum XXL

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

November 22nd: For The Good Of Everyone
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