Come Join Our Club


niki_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title Come Join Our Club
Synopsis Peyton invites Gina over, but gets a little more than she bargained for.
Date August 21, 2009

Peyton's Apartment

She hasn't wanted to go out.

That's a sign that something's wrong, of course. That her world was turned upside down and torn into bits and trampled on, by the people who kidnapped her. Because Peyton always wants to go out.

But so far she's been living on delivery food and whatever Aaron goes to get, and whatever her housekeeper who comes once a week brings her. Entertainment no longer consists of dance clubs and swanky bars, but of DVDs. Thank god for Netflix. Who knew there were movies she hadn't seen, movies made before she was born, that she would love? But still, she misses some of her outside connections, and when Gina texted in response to her telling the blonde she was home safe, Peyton asked her to come over. She texted the address, and was happy to see her fellow barfly friend accepted.

It's late, so Aaron's already asleep in the guest bedroom that has actually become his bedroom — Peyton's at least been able to sleep in her own room and own bed the past couple of nights. She does keep a light on, though, so that if she wakes from a nightmare she will know she's in her room in the Upper West Side, rather than in a coffin or a shipping container or a mausoleum.

The socialite is dressed in cut off jean shorts and an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt, her feet and face bare, her haire pulled back in a ponytail. There's no one to impress.

When Niki's phone lit up with a message from Peyton, she was relieved. She, of course, heard that they had escaped, but she hadn't heard a word since. She types that she's on her way, and slips out of the hidey hole she'd been keeping herself in courtesy of Cardinal.

Time to come clean with Peyton.

If Niki has any qualms about getting into a cab, she doesn't show it. Except for a rare few, she's not scared of much. She's far more scared of what can be done to those around her. The cab pulls up to the address Niki read off and Niki pays for the cab and slips out. She glance at the building, then heads inside making her way to Peyton's door and giving the door a gentle knock.

After clicking the television off, Peyton sets down the remote control and heads to the door. She peeks through the peephole, to make sure it's someone she knows. Seeing the familiar blonde super-woman, Peyton unlatches the chain lock, then the other two locks on her door. She swings the door open and smiles. "Hey, Gina," she greets the other woman warmly, stepping aside to let her in. "Want something to drink? I have some movies and such if you want to watch them, and some Chinese take-out." The ritzy apartment smells vaguely of chowmein and soy sauce. "Thanks for coming. Not quite up to painting the town red."

Peyton looks fairly healthy — her hands and wrists have some cuts and scratches that are healing, and one leg has a bandage on it. Other than that, dark circles under her eyes are the only other indication of her traumatic experiences.

"You look like shit." Let's get the compliments out of the way. Niki steps in and shaking her head. "Probably better not drink anything, but I'll take a little of that Chinese." she grins. "Before we do that, there's probably something you should know." There's a brief pause and then she says, "I'm not Gina."

She waits for the girl to flip out.

Luckily Peyton never cared much about Evolved people to listen to stories of body swapping and the like, or that would be the first thing to come to her mind — that one of her kidnappers have swapped bodies with Gina, and she's dead meat. But she just frowns. "Did you lie about your name in the bar?" she asks, turning to head into the kitchen, giving a 'follow me' gesture. Once there, she opens a stainless-steel cabinet and pulls out two black plates, handing one to "Gina."

"Help yourself," she says, motioning to the iconic red-and-white Chinese cartons on the granite countertop.

Niki takes the offered plate, but doesn't move towards the food just yet. "It's.. complicated. My name is Niki. I have what they say is multiple personality disorder, and Gina is one of my personalities. Unlike most who suffer from the disorder, each of my personalities is well acquainted with the other. I was there when you met Gina. Jessica, who is one of the other personalities, was also there. We.." she starts, then pauses. "I guess I'm technically a 'me', but we are used to saying 'we'. It's something that may be related to my ability, I really don't know."

"If you want me to turn around and walk out, I will. But I know you're looking for something. I think we have what it is you're looking for."

Peyton's almond-shaped eyes get a little wider as Niki talks. She smirks a little. "Walk out? It's my apartment," she quips. Easiest to deal with such revelations with a sense of humor. She frowns a little at the last. "Super human strength? I don't know why that would cause… different personaliies. Or can you all three do different things?" she asks curiously, moving to the containers and opening them up. Chow mein. Fried rice. Cashew chicken. Honey shrimp. She takes a bit of each and then opens the refrigerator to grab a couple of Diet Cokes for them. "It's Diet or ginger ale or water, if you don't want a beer or something harder," she offers.

Yeah. She's not about to try and explain how she ended up in the future at this point in time, so she shrugs. "Not sure. All I know is that we do sit and have conversations with ourselves, and decide who's going to run the body, that sort of thing. It's.. unusual, I'm told for MPDers." Niki scoops up some of the food and takes a can of soda. "This'll be fine. Thanks." She chuckles. "You were talking to Gina that night. When we realized what you could do, and how you were talking about wanting some purpose, I made a phone call." She pulls out a chair and sits. "We have a small group of folk who are trying to right a few wrongs that have been made. To us. To others."

Peyton has a perpetual scowl marring her face's delicate features, but she sits across from Gina/Niki. She opens her soda, the crisp sound breaking her silence. "A group of people righting wrongs? Like rebels or something? I … I don't really know how I could possibly help with something like that. I mean…" she shakes her head and looks away, her dark eyes filling with tears for a moment. "Look what happened to me. And Wendy, because I wasn't thinking, and because I did the wrong thing in a crisis. I get lost on the subway. What could I possibly do to help any cause?"

"Not really rebels. The ones we are going up against are the real criminals. Killers. Thieves. Con Men." Niki leans back in her chair and picks at her food with her fork. "A few months ago, I was where you were at. I had others coming to me and wanting me to get involved. I told them no. I didn't want to get involved." Niki's eyes begin to tear up, and she glances upward and blinks her eyes. "I.. then my son died. I had thought he had died in the bombing, but it was rescued and kept on life support. I never knew. The man who kept him, didn't tell me he had him." Niki clears her throat as she chews on her lip for a moment. "The day I found out he was still alive.. he died. That was the day I got involved. I thought I could do it on my own, but even with my strength, I got my ass handed to me and my shoulder dislocated. We can't do it alone, so we find those we can depend on. Those whose strengths make up for our weaknesses."

The brunette swallows hard, picking at her own food before giving up and setting down her fork. Her brimming eyes spill over when Niki talks about her son. "Why did they hide him from you? They knew who he was, that you were his mother?" she says, her voice thick with tears.

"Who are the people you are fighting against?" she asks a moment later. "I don't think I can help. I'm not like you. I'm not strong."

Niki hasn't really eaten a bite. The Chinese food in front of her that she was hungry for when she arrived, she seems to no long have the stomach for. "The man who had him is evil. There can be no other word for it." She doesn't say who it is. If Peyton's not going to throw her hat in, then it doesn't do any good to let her know who it is. "You have an amazing ability. You do know that with your ability, it's like having live cameras on the inside of a well guarded building. Don't discount what you can do, because you can do what someone else can do. Everyone has a role. Mine just happens to be brute force."

With a frown, Peyton shakes her head. "I can't just… pick a place and visualize it. It doesn't work that way. I have to have a person to focus on. If I didn't know anyone in the building, I wouldn't see … I don't think. I've never tried it that way." Of course, she did just that when her power was out of her control — she hadn't seen the gunman before she saw through her eyes, but that wasn't her doing the work. It was her power going haywire.

"Which doesn't necessarily mean that you /can't/ do it. You've just never tried or developed your ability enough to see if you can." Niki finally puts the fork down and glances across at Peyton. "I'm not going to twist your arm, though I could. But don't say no because you don't think you can do something. That's just cowardice. I understand not wanting to get involved. I also know that when you first get your ability, you don't always have all the answers up front. But eventually, you get start seeing what you can actually do. It's up to you to reach your potential, Peyton. You don't even have to decide tonight."

Niki offers a sympathic smile. "If you don't want to, it's okay. But you can't keep hiding from cab drivers for the rest of your life."

Niki's last comment gets a frown from her. Peyton was always the dare devil, the one who'd try something the others were afraid to do. "I'm not a coward, but … there are people who want to kill us just for being Evolved. I can't protect myself like you can," she points out, her chin tipping up with defensiveness. "What do these people do - that you say are evil. I mean, I'm sorry for your son, but what are they doing to people that you want me to help you fight against?"

Niki tilts her head just a little and answers. "They have money, so they think they are God." Niki stands and walks away, just a few steps before turning around. "You don't have to be the strong one, because I am. It's why we have a team. Like I said, where one lack, the others pick up the slack. Think about it, at least. Okay?"

"Okay," Peyton says softly. "If I can help, I will. If you tell me what you need, and if I can. I can't make promises. I don't know my power very well yet, and I get headaches, and it sort of — well, you saw it — doesn't last very long sometimes. I'm working on it." She finally picks up her fork and takes a bite of chow mein, now that the crying's over. "Sit down, eat something."

Niki smiles, taking a seat. She begins to eat. It's been a while since she had a meal with a friend. Far too long, probably. It was only a few months ago that she was homeless on Staten Island. Only a month before that she was in the future. Things have certainly changed. She glances up across the table at Peyton. Maybe this is her chance to make a difference. When she speaks again, Peyton wouldn't know it, but it's Jessica who's speaking. "You should keep something sharp in your purse. A knife or a fork. Stab the shit out of the next person who tries to take you." Had it been Niki who made the comment, she'd probably be joking..

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