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Scene Title Deep
Synopsis An attempt to locate Peter Petrelli brings Gillian into a situation much deeper than intended.
Date June 03, 2009

Coney Island

Despite it's name Coney Island is a peninsula, and only formerly an island. This small piece of real-estate is the southern-most point in Brooklyn, with beachfront property abutted by the Atlantic Ocean. A neighborhood of the same name is a community of 60,000 people in the western part of the peninsula, with Seagate to its west; Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east; and the Gravesend neighborhood to the north.

This area was once a major resort and site of amusement parks that reached its peak at the early 20th century. It declined in popularity after World War II and endured years of neglect. Since the bomb, Coney Island has fallen into a tragic state of disrepair, most prominently evidenced by the closing of the amusement parks on the island, notably Astroland and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. The latter of those two serves as a rusting and monolithic ferris wheel that overlooks the decrepit state of the island. It's once bright carnation red paint peeling to reveal rusted steel.

Much of the amusement park areas surrounding the beach are now closed off by chain-link fence, though some portions have been battered down by vandalism and portions of the closed amusement parks are now used by gangs and other unsavory figures as meeting sites. With the NYPD stretched to its limits, police rarely have the availability to respond in a timely manner to this small and remote penninsula, making it a relatively dangerous part of Brooklyn.

There's worse places Gillian has been.

But the creaking, saltwater eroded skeleton of the Astroland amusement park that sits like a canker on the mouth of Coney Island. Beyond a chainlink fence that was designed to keep people like Gillian out, but a fence with holes to match the rest of the decay here, lies this ruined place of joy and wonder. Beneath the dark shadow of the Coney Island Ferris Wheel, the brunette takes cautious steps past boarded up storefronts and a boardwalk littered with loose pages from old newspapers and empty beer cans.

There's worse places Gillian has been, but few of them have been ventured to in order to find Peter Petrelli.

Beyond the stores, hunched over in front of a faded blue and white rocket that bears the broken Astroland logo in once glowing neon letters, that very man is a picture of dishevelment. Seated in a slouching posture, with his knees bent and forearms resting across them, Peter Petrelli's head is downturned, that lock of tangled brown hair covering one side of his face as he stares vacantly at the brown and dead grass beneath his feet in the fading afternoon sunlight.

This is exactly where Arthur had told Gillian to find him.

And exactly the state she expected to see him in.

It's one thing to expect a state and another thing to see it, though.

The sounds of her footsteps may or may not be heard as she approaches. Gillian makes no effort to sneak or dampen them in any way as step steps across dead grass and unkempt grounds. The park had been one of the many places of her youth— the memories no where near as vivid as the last month, but dear at the same time. She road the Ferris Wheel with her sister and brother— sitting on her father's lap on occasion. The joys of youth. There'd been a few times she'd ventured here as a teenager as well, but no recent times. The bomb didn't take that from her so much as growing out of it, growing past it, and finding it too stupidly nostalgic to go back.

In some ways the nostalgia hurts even more now than it did then.

Once she's close enough she can talk without raising her voice too much, she tilts her head to the side, bangs falling to one side out of her eyes, "Peter?"

Is this where his personal track to hell brought him?

Dark eyes slowly lift up to take in Gillian's form, around the same time the first few droplets of rain begin to fall from the gray skies overhead. Peter's head slowly tilts to the side, taking in Gillian's silhouette with the same mannerisms a dog might to a strange animal. When he rises, those same animalistic motions are there; shoulders slouching, hands out at his side, and his feet carry him not towards the brunette, but very slowly away from her. It's not so much a retreat, but a change of scenery as his head jerks in a motion fo rher to follow him, walking towards an abandoned four-door sedan parked in rusting disuse nearby in the vacant lot.

Now she's really starting to wish she would have paid more attention to any instructions Helena gave. The droplets make her glance upward, but Gillian doesn't know if they're her fault, natural, or something she could even stop, or if she would want to. A little rain never hurt too much. On the bright side, the aches and bruises of the last encounter with this man have faded. Only a small scar that looks like an accident from her childhood remains at all.

Abandoned four door sedan? "A car?" she asks, keeping her voice in whispered tones, the same raspy voice she always had as she moves along after him. It could have been worse— he could have told her to go to hell again. "Peter are you— are you okay?" Quite obviously not, but— she feels the need to fill some of the silence.

Peter stops by the car, looking up at Gillian over his shoulder, one dark brow kicked up and a crooked smile on his lips. "It doesn't drive," he notes with a tone of casual disappointment, resting one hand on the open door as he leans inside for something, a few clinks and clanks later, and he's rising up from inside of the car with a pair of long-necked beer bottles held between his fingers. One is snatched by his free hand, and the other is offered out to Gillian with a lopsided smile. "I figured this was a better place to hide out for a while," his eyes narrow, "guess you know me a whole lot better than I thought."

The offered bottle of beer makes Gillian's mouth work a few times, as if she's about ready to admit to something, and swallowing the words as she reaches out to take the bottle. Twisting off the lid, she takes an immediate drink, even if beer wouldn't be her prefered beverage in this case. She'd always been a mixed drinks kind of girl, if there had been any choice in the matter. And colder, too. The lid of the bottle gets discarded as little on the ground. There's enough of that out here too.

"I don't think drinking will make it go away, Peter," she says quietly, with some hesitation. She could go on to let him believe she knows him in some way he didn't expect, but… "I went to your dad. You said he could find people. When you didn't come back, when I didn't hear anything about you… I figured that was the best place to go." And his dad called her first, too. But it's why she went.

There's a bit of a snort in response to the mention of his father, but Peter just rolls his eyes and twists off the top of the bottle, taking a long swig of the beer before letting it hang down in his hand again. "I… really don't want to make it go away, actually." Peter leans up against the rusted bulk of the car. "I've been thinking about that— about all of this— and to be absolutely honest, I'm pretty happy with things the way they are now. Everything makes sense, in some sort've…" he looks down at the beer, "You know, it feels really good to be able to feel alcohol again.

Dark eyes lift up to Gillian, followed by a broadening of his smile. "Can I ask you a personal question?" The void between question and answer is filled by Peter lifting the bottle up for another swig of the beer, one brow raised as the light, drizzling rain patters down and clings to his hair and black, halfway-zippered jacket.

"I guess I can understand that," Gillian says softly, thinking back on all the little things about this ability that she just doesn't get. There's so many little nuances that creep up when she least expects it to. Sounds filtering into her ears that she doesn't want to hear. The inability to feel like a normal person. In instability of various aspects reacting to her emotions. One moment she can run so fast that she can bypass all public and private transit, the next she feels like she weights a ton and can barely move.

Being able to feel… she only lost that for a few days, but by then even the worst things tasted wonderful.

Moving in closer, she leans against the car in such a way she can still face him. Personal question. Difficult question. Petrellis seem to like to ask those. Because she has a feeling she might need a drink first, she downs a good gulp. It tastes like beer. It doesn't feel like beer yet. Is that what he meant? Swallowing it, she looks back. "Sure, go ahead."

Peter follows her motions with a lazy stare, taking his time in asking the question to take down one more swallow from the bottle, the contents sloshing as he haphazardly manhandles it. "What first attracted you to— " he nods his head in the direction of the city, "Gabriel?" No hesitation there, just an all-too-confident look in Peter's eyes as he turns to lean his shoulder against the car more so than his back, one dark brow raised in an expression of curiosity, and something more teasing, in an uncomfortable way.

"You two seem like oil and water, you know?" He leans forward, motioning with the neck of the bottle to her. "I just— don't get it, and that bothers me." His brows crease together, "the not understanding part. You're— " he motions wide with the bottle, "you know, you, and he's kind've goofy looking."

Of all the questions… Gillian glances away for a moment, taking a drink for no reason but to have something to occupy herself with for a few seconds before she can answer. "I wasn't attractived at first. He was goofy looking. Big eyebrows, glasses… he was just a strange neighbor. Stopped by for a cup of sugar. Mentioned he fixed watches… I'd just gotten the tattoo on my wrist. It was…" She has to laugh for a moment. She knew all this already. Things about her tattoos she rarely forgets. Not as clear as her memory now but clear enough. The tattoos have meaning. And this one took on a life of it's own. She's mentioned it before.

"Then I went to him to fix a watch that … that I broke the second time I fucking saw you. Flying down out of the sky on fire." That had been an enterance she wouldn't really forget. "We talked a little more that time, he gave me some advice. I wasn't ready to admit what I was— I didn't tell him what I could do— but he said I was… inspirational." She laughs dryly. Another thing she remembers, cause it seemed so out of place.

"Then I got attacked in the park. By the guys working with Vanguard. They staged it in a way I thought that the government was after me, that made it looked like they saved me… and then he said that they were PARIAH. That wanted my help. That the government knew who I was, where I worked, where I lived, and every fucking thing about me. Instead of doing what he told me to do— I went to Gabriel. I barely knew him, but… I wanted to make my own choice, one I didn't feel pushed to make…" She pauses for a moment, perhaps because hindsight changes everything. It always does.

Eyes slide shut as she lets rain hit her for a few moments. "He protected me from them, he had his own reasons, but… He helped me— he taught me how to control my ability. He made me accept it. He taught me how to use it to help myself, to help others. When the three of us— when we were going to fight— you…" She shakes her head. God this is complicated. "I had asked him if he would leave with me afterwards. And he said he would. Just… go away. Leave New York. Forget all this— shit."

Her voice tightens. Again she takes a useless drink. "Night didn't exactly turn out the way any of us expected, though."

Lips press together, and Peter continues to drink until the bottle is dry, discarded down with a loud clink to the pavement underfoot once she's done explaining. "That's a pretty long-winded way to say, it's complicated." Dark eyes drift up and down Gillian, and Peter turns to the side, moving over to stand closer to her, laying a hand down on her shoulder, head still given that skewed angle. "M'jealous of him… for the first time ever, really."

Peter cuts himself off, shaking his head, and then lifts one hand to lightly brush his knuckles against the side of Gillian's neck, lips pressed together as he swallows dryly. "Up on the roof we— when I was teaching you…" his eyes wander back up to hers, "I've got time." Those dark brown eyes wander back and forth between Gillian's, looking for something, wordlessly in her expression, inced closer than he was a moment ago. "I could help…"

"I'm a librarian. Details are important…" Gillian says quietly, knowing full well she's leaving out so much. But that's… that's the foundation. A complicated one, but… There's always more, and even more beyond that, and a history of cause and effect, action and reaction. And it could go on for quite a long time. The man doesn't even know about Tavisha. The longest point of time she actually consistantly spent with him—

But certain words, the sudden feeling of his hand, the glowing closeness— the eye contact… Details of the moment trap her mind there, leaving what could have followed cut off. Her breath a little staggered. The bottle, half full, rests between fingers.

Lips part, as if she wants to ask something, but doesn't say it, pressing them back together as eyes look back, focusing just on the space between his two eyes, where she can see them both shifting. One side to the other. When they part again, she says only a few words, "Then— then help me, Peter."

He's different, something is different about Peter. There's a ghost of a smile on his lips, something confident, something so much more like the Peter that survived the schism of the duplicates, the Peter that this truly is at the core — Peter Petrelli's Id. One rough hand moves up to Gillian's cheek as Peter leans forward and lightly touches his forehead to hers.

"Like… I said then, the ability is all about… emotion, feeling." His thumb brushes across his cheek, "finding some association that you can draw up in times of need. A feeling, a memory, anything…"

Words are felt as breaths on Gillian's face as he talks. His hand moves to the back of her head, nose brushing against Gillian's, and his hand moves up to take the bottle from her fingersa, and let it fall with a sloshing clunk to the pavement, then gently guides the hand to the small of her back.

"Just… think about one of them, about the feeling…" skin on skin, breath on skin, words on air, "feel." He breathes out the words, lightly brushing his lips over Gillian's in a testing motion, leaning in and against the shorter woman, pinning her between the rusting frame of the car and his damp jacket.

In the car, on the radio turned down to just a whisper that has been running while they converse, Gillian's hearing picks up the lyrics of a familiar song pounding in near-muted silence over the speakers. While he leans in to Gillian, Peter's mind wanders elsewheres, to the night prior, and everything that led him up to this point, almost distractedly..

Blank stare, disrepair

Under the glow of a street light, a wiry man with tangled, dark hair stands with his hands in his pockets, watching as a boat moves up towards a nearby pier. The speed boat comes to a slow, rumbling halt, followed by a tall and lanky man in a cowboy hat climbing down off of the boat to land with both booted feet on the dock, flipping up the collar of his leather jacket. Swaggering steps take him across the wood planks towards the street lamp that cuts a swath of jaundiced light in the dark of the sunless evening.

There's a big black hole gonna' eat me up some day

The forehead touching against her own brings her back to a moment before her perfect memory. Before and after. A slow inhale carries breath inside her, lips remaining parted as she feels the toying breath against her skin, the touch of a nose. Focus on a feeling, a memory— anything. In some ways she's grounding in the moment, the feelings of the moment as he presses one hand against her back. The free hand reaches up, to grasp at the arm of his jacket, even as he traps her against the car. Even as lips brush against hers.

Someday fades away like a memory

Eyes slide shut. Sensation and feeling flood. Memories tug in the background, but so much of the moment is just him. The rain could have picked up, lightning could have fallen, but instead it's the sound that drifts into her ears. Sounds that carry. Echo. Engrain in memory with the feelings of the instant. On the roof she strained to listen, felt guilty of overhearing, but part of her wanted to know, wanted to hear. Just as he said he'd been jealous— so was she. A feeling that latched on to a couple of the abilities she picked up, in one way, shape, or form, but this one seems to be the one of the moment.

Or a place that you'd rather be, some place lost in space

The hand tightens on his sleeve. The testing brushes get a rather forceful return as she pushes up against the pressure keeping her pinned against the car. Whil his mind wanders, hers almost seems stuck. It should wander. It should shift away.

Itch in my head that's tellin' me somewhere

"Think," Peter exhales into the kiss, eyes shut, fingers on one hand sliding through a belt loop, "remember," he exhales out again, nose pushing hers to the side, willing her head to turn to expose her neck. "Awkwardness, jealousy," he's got it all figured out, like every line and crease on her body, it's never been this clear before. "Feel the rain."

Somewhere, out there, anywhere, I don't care

A hand is offered, taken, and in the handshake comes an exchange of folded bills. The man in the cowboy hat slams his hand onto the shoulder of the shorter and more roughed-up looking man, giving a long but unsteady stare at the jagged scar that cuts down through the middle of his face. The scarred man stares back up at the ferry operator in the cowboy hat, then scowls and yanks his hand free of the shake, moving towards the boat.

Get me outta' here

"That time on the roof, hold on to that feeling…" Growling out the words, Peter leans against her at the side of the old, ruined car, the radio spluttering out its beat beside her. Teeth find purchase on skin, neck and ear, warm exhalations, hands and breathing moving in twine with one another as a clap of thunder peals out in the skies above, words felt on the skin of her neck more so than heard.

If I could feel, all the pins and the pricks

The boat bounces across the water, skimming on waves as it roars down the East River away from Staten Island, leaving the grimy smear of lights shining dull in the distance. Pushed up against the bench seat, the scarred man wraps his arms around his waist, letting the sea spray cool the burning he feels beneath his skin, letting the roar of the engine and the crash of the ocean swallow his thoughts and the empty feeling in the pit of his stomach.

If you were real I could take what's apart and put it back together

Peter's eyes fall shut again, heavily, breathing in through his nose the mixed scent of sweat, sea air and rust that mingles in some unimaginable concoction. This isn't what he had in mind, this isn't what his intentions were, but at the same time it's exactly what he wants, and from now on, there's nothing stopping him from taking everything he wants. No matter the cost.

This will come true, help me get through into you

Driving the boat, the captain tips up a brown bottle to his lips, upending it as he takes a few long swigs of the beer. The scarred man's eyes follow the captain's motions, watching him drain the beer dry, and then hurl the bottle up into the air over the side of the boat. But before the bottle can crash down on the water, the captain holds up one hand and snaps his fingers, and the bottle shatters in mid air as if struck by a bullet. The scarred man watches with steady eyes.

Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep

Not what he'd intended, but it's what happens. The more lips tug on her skin, the more her head tilts to the side, the more she feels everything opening up. Gillian can sense the rain, sense the place the rain comes from. There it is. The sound still echos in her ears, still imprints, but the weather— the air pressure, the wind. All of it seems to sing around her. The air grows warmer, stickier. The wind pushes against hair, clothes. The rain warm and somehow comforting as opposed to unwanted, slicking down hair, soaking into clothes.

One track, get you on your back

The hand that held the sleeve of his coat moves up to his own face, thumb touching cheek, fingers in damp hair. The thunder rumbles, casting light over them, even if it's unseen. The ground doesn't quite shape, the lightning airborn, burning the air to create the cracking sounds. Pulling against him, entangled, everything in the moment as the world starts to spin.

Your skin speaks up, but your lips couldn't say it.

Sounds are breaths, simple murmurs that don't make real words. Against skin, against air, against wet. Hair tangles in fingers, damp. Light peeks through lidded eyes that only partially open, guarded against the rain that continues to fall. Rain that should remind why this is wrong. This hadn't been her intention anymore than his. Though part of her couldn't help but wonder, since the brief moment when she opened up to him in a way she hadn't been able to with anyone else.

We could take a chance, We could make it, make it.

The thunder crackles again, actually taking on an unconscious beat, a rhythm, like the strobe of lights in a nightclub. The echo of the speakers humming in the air. It matches the music, amplifies it, catching on nuances that augment it without drowning it out.

Right here, make it all disappear.

At the helm of the boat, the captain leans casually against the ship's control, looking over at the scarred man as words are exchanged. Curious words. Searching words. Uncertain words. A smile is flashed, and a gesture is made towards a rotting hulk in the distance, an enormous wheel of rusted metal decked with lights that will no longer shine; the rotting carcass of Coney Island's decaying form.

You make me feel

Lightning flashes across one side of Peter's face, half illuminating in stobing glow the scar that divides him, physically and metaphysically. He leans back just enough to take a look at Gillian's face, his eyes tracking hers, searching for something other than the offer of physicality and the search for understanding that he provides the answer for.

There's a part of me, that I want to get back again

The boat skims across the water, cruising up towards a concrete dock with pigeon-shit spattered moorings. The speedboat comes to a slow stop, and the captain reaches down to grab the rope to tie up the boat, but finds it missing. As he rises, beginning to look over his shoulder, a sudden pressure tightens around his throat. He struggles, fingers scraping into the rope's rough length as it squeezes firmly and bites into his skin. Behind him the scarred man tugs tightly on the rope, arms trembling and fingers worked like vices against the rope's rough surface. Words are exchanged. Curious words. Searching words. Uncertain words. A smile is flashed, and the rope pulls tighter.

Make this come true, help me get through, into you

Peter reaches down into the car, one hand moving up to brush along the side of Gillian's neck, breathing out into her ear, "I was always fascinated by her power," his words, breath, everything is warm against her ear. Lips brush over the soft cartilige, and he presses his chest up against hers, bearing down on the younger woman with a rough growl in his voice. "Always fascinated by my power…" his fingers grip the handle of a wrench leaning up against the driver's seat, slowly moving it up from inside with a clink as it brushes against the seatbelt buckle.

Deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep

A dark figure is backlit by a lamp post that rises up from the boardwalk, his shoulders rising and falling, a tangled lock of dark hair hanging down the side of his face as droplets of misty rain begin to fall from the sky, caught in that sickly yellow glow of the streetlight. In one hand, the silhouette holds an old wrench, fingers curling around it as he stares down at an unmoving form laying sprawled out on the deck of the speedboat.

All I can do, pushing it through, into you

The sense of everything continues to expand, the world of rain and wind and air— the clouds, the thunder. All of it gets louder, stronger. It echos inside her, outside her. Gillian's eyes open to meet his own, a pause in shuddered breath. It's obvious this has become something she desires, as much as he desires something from her. Something buried within, something growing.

Deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep

The scrap of metal seems to be unnoticed, a gasp under her breath as he growls against her. Rough and aggressive had never seemed like something he would do— it seems out of place. The forehead that rested against her that first night, the almost boyish man who laughed and got flustered and had to ask questions that he'd been embarassed about bringing up. The one she kicked in the shins.

Into you, into you

The words click certain things, the sounds draw back a memory. The wind continues to move, the whole atmosphere breathes warm and wet— but her fingers move from hair, to grasp at his shoulder. All the power in the world, and part of her doesn't want this to end. The part that feels it. The part that knows it. That wants it. That dreams of it.

All I can do, driving on through, into you…

Finally she manages to say more than sounds, more than a murmur, a raspy deep, "Peter… Peter, this isn't— this isn't…" The protests can barely form. The words don't want to come out. The feeling of lips against her skin, of breath… she could have this. She could have had this. In one future, in one place— maybe she did. Maybe if she would have turned one direction instead of another. If she'd said something different. If she'd made a different decision.

Deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep

Each though, each realization, each feeling, only opens her up to the world around her. Only makes the wind more like his breath, only makes the lightning light them up, the thunder send shivers into their bodies. Every moment. Every feeling. It builds. It escalates. It makes letting go even harder.

You're slipping through

Rusted metal meets flesh, meets blood, meets bone one stroke after another. A steely countenance eventually shifts into a curious expression, lips pulling back to reveal white teeth, eyelids pulling back to reveal dark eyes, blood spraying against fair skin, and the horrible wet smack of metal on something soft and vulnerable.

I come into

"This is so right…" Peter breathes out as he swings with the wrench, smashing Gillian in the side of the head with it, sending her toppling down to the pavement in a single blinding strike to her temple. He stalks up to her, booted feet moving hard on the pavement as his hand reaches down, grabbing her by the hair to drag up as the wrench rises back again, held aloft into the air.

Into you

A splash comes as a bloody carcass is hurled overboard, landing loud and heavy in the water. Booted feet move across the deck of the speedboat, followed by a gurgling chug of a gasoline can emptying out on the ground behind him. Metal clatters to fiberglass as the canister is tossed aside, and a worn old lighter is flicked open, creating a single spark that reflects in muddy brown eyes.

Deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep

The wrench comes down again, crashing into her forehead and sending Gillian back to crack her head against the side of the car, blood sprays on the wrench and across the vehicle's rusted paint, almost blending in to the reddish-brown shades. A few scuffing footsteps come, and Peter stares down at Gillian with steady eyes, backlit by a flash of lightning behind him in the stormy skies overhead.

We could become, two into one

This isn't right. It isn't him. Of course it's not him. The closest he'd been to this had been on a rooftop far away, with a cherub shot through the heart. Almost like Gillian feels she's been this moment. It's metaphoric, but just as painful as she's lifted, manhandled, wrench cracking into her head causing pain and blurred vision.

Leave this behind

The world weeps. The rain turns cold with each blow. The temperature drops. The peal of thunder, almost matching the cries that escape her lips. Not him. Not the feeling she wanted. Not the light. Not the dream. A nightmare.

Over and done

The blows should be killing her. The pain is worse than any tattoo she's ever had, all of them combined. The closest she can think had been one moment in Moab— lightning striking her, running through her body. It burned her nerves, paralyzed her. In many ways she's paralyzed again.

Everything new

Blood runs down her face, a broken eyebrow, a bulged eye, a bleeding temple. The rain washes the blood down like tears, the sky's crying the same as she is. The world weeps, because this is the darkness that she knew he could have been brought to. This is the road to hell he went down. This is where he ended up.

I'm coming through

There's pain in her breath, in the gasps, as the wounds on her head start to knit up before his eyes, the blood washed away with rain. A lot of blood staining clothes, the car, the earth. But eyes that should be glazing over, that should be too stunned to do much more than stare, hold life, determination.

Into you

What was it that Arthur had told her? You're going to need to be strong enough for the both of them. And it's almost as if the both of them have merged into one. Overlapped. Bleeding into each other.

"Snap out of it, Peter." A demand not just of him, but of the very air. Get him away from her. And the air does it's best to accomidate, buffeting down with a sudden gale of heavy wind.

Emotion, love, hate and fear all mingle together as that wind comes down, a wind powerful enough to lift the car up off of the ground and send it toppling end over end before crashing into one of the refreshment stands. A gale force microburst capable of lifting a car off of the ground is more than capable of tossing Peter like a ragdoll through the air, he bounces, skids and strikes the ground as his wrench disappears from his hang, clattering away somewhere far out of reach with loud report.

That overwhelming and unexpectedly powerful surge of her ability comes as a surprise, about as much of a surprise as it is to see Peter laying battered and bloodied on the concrete some twenty feet away from Gillian. He rolls onto one side, coughing as he curls up into a small ball, fingers curling into the fabric of his jacket, head resting on the sidewalk in almost exactly the same fetal position Gabriel had been curled into not long ago.

The wind doesn't hurt her. In fact it avoids her in such a way that it almost seems an extention of her body, blowing her hair, but the car, the buffet avoids her, moves around her. Gillian gasps for air as moments settle, as the wind dies down, as the changes in weather settle. Throwing him that hard hadn't been her intention. Blood still drips down from her face, soaked with tears of the sky, with her own in places. That's difficult to tell. What were hers, what were the sky.

The rain still falls, changing to average temperature, average fall. The lightning settles, the thunder doesn't tear through air and rumble half as often. Part of her knows she should run away. But feet carry her closer instead. One thing he did teach her, whether he intended to or not— she's now part of the air, part of the wind, part of the sky. And stepping back to him makes that even more clear and true.

Later on she might stop to ask how she's not dying. How the wounds healed over. Why the pain faded at all. But right now. Right now. It hardly seems important. She needs to be strong enough for even one of them.

"I'm sorry… I never intended any of this to happen to you." Not just the toss. The meeting that led them to this place. Both of them. They had been her design. If not her intention.

A hissed breath is exhaled as Peter curls up on himself, clutching one arm to his chest as he breathes out a breath wet from the rain. Breathing turns into laughter as Peter lays his head down on the pavement, a broken and wheezing laugh erupting from him like so much absurdity that has become his life. "Just go," he finally rasps out, eyes falling shut, "just— get out of here." Swallowing dryly, Peter opens his eyes and stares at half of his reflection in a puddle of water his head is laying in. "I said go," he tries to be more forceful, despite the fact that he simply isn't moving from his vantage point on the ground any time soon.

Go. Go. Go.

When she was attacked, she told Gabriel to get out. Just recently, the same man she told to leave told her to go away. Gillian created a snow storm. Snow in near June. It would be the wiser course of action to complete the circle and listen. Again. "No," she says, moving closer instead, kneeling down beside him without touching him. Clothes soaked, face stained. There's even remnants of the pain of the blows in perfect memory. Every hit recalled. It could happen again. Maybe next time she won't heal.

And the painful memories aren't the only ones perfectly recalled. Another reason she should leave.

"I'm not going anywhere." Conviction, determination. And a few simple words repeating. To her, strength means not running away. "You need me." A repeat of words he said. Words he second guessed, replaced, edited. But still true. Now more than ever. "You shouldn't be alone right now. Let— let me take you back to your father. There's a possibility that he— that he can help you."

"No," Peter breathes out, struggling up onto his elbow as he tries to pull away like a wounded animal from Gillian. His eyes leer at her as rain plastered his hair across his face. "I— I killed someone, Gillian. I— I bashed his head open and I took his ability. I— I'm a monster." Dark brows lower, and Peter spits rain, saliva, blood and words out from crooked lips. "Leave me here!" The anger welling up in him is palpable, not as much as the fear he is experiencing is, though, fear so deeply rooted it almost has a taste as well as a texture to Gillian.

And the fear only makes her stronger.

Stronger. The strength fills her, wakes her up. The rain doesn't settle, but her sense of it lessens piece by piece. Gillian's aware what this is. It's what happened when she knew he was leaving on the roof. This time there's no one to send him running yet again. Just her.

A hand reaches out to grab him, grabbing his shirt as she straightens, lifting him straight up into the air. The more horrified he is with what he became, the more she knows she can carry him, hold him. "Listen to me, Peter Petrelli. You are not a murderer. You are not a monster."

The grip doesn't release his clothes. Good thing she's not grabbing his skin, or his arm. She could crush him, break bones. Tear skin. The hold settles so he can have feet on the ground again.

"You're sick. With a power that you can't control. And no matter what you've done, I am not running away from you. And I am not going to let you run the fuck away again, either."

A drooling line of blood runs from a scrape on Peter's forehead where the pavement ground down flesh, and his eyes stare up blearily to Gillian, exhaling a warm, wet breath as a thin line of blood trails from a split on his lip. Watching her, there's a look of disbelief, only when he finally notices she's regenerating. But the proximity of Gillian to his father, that seems so understandable now, but if that is the case, then—

Something changes in Peter, and he exhales a heavy sigh, closing his eyes before resting his head against Gillian's shoulder. "Take me inside," he mumbles into her shoulder, "the— brick building— funhouse." HIs eyes wrench shut, every part of him aches, and he just doesn't have the willpower to force her away again.

"There's beds in the back, food…" Something lingers in the back of Peter's mind as he tries to pull himself up, shoulders weakly trembling before he slouches down again onto his heels. "I tried to kill you…" guilt, more than anything else. "I— why're you…" he can't finish the question.

Well— it's not like his father told her to bring him back. Gillian doesn't let go of him, even as he gives in. Almost all the signs of the attack are gone by this point, except remnants of blood on her clothes, staining through and leaving a lasting impression. "I used to like the funhouse," she says quietly, glancing that direction, as she doesn't release her grip. He needs the help, anyway. The gale had been quite strong, even if she'd just wanted to get him away from her. Not throw him like that…

The blonde leader of Phoenix really is strong. And this didn't change that.

Why. Why.

Is it the same reason she chased after Gabriel? In part, it is. "If you're a monster— what does that make me for wanting to help you?" she asks quietly, not expecting a response. It's a question very much the same as one she asked Gabriel once. What does it make her? The answer doesn't need to be said, as she lugs him in the direction of the fun house. Those beds. That food. She can make sure he doesn't hurt anyone else tonight at least. Just her. And whoever he killed.

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