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Scene Title Evenflo
Synopsis Side stepping butterflies, Gillian meets the Petrelli family many years before she should.
Date June 16, 1994

Warm air blows through the boughs of a pair of oak trees, rustling verdant green leaves in summer breeze.

Grass is soft underfoot and the bright summer sun casts down scintillating rays through the leafy canopy of the two old oaks overhead. From the branches of one tree, a rope swing creaks softly with the sway of the branches. Beyond, the lawn extends out to where a stone patio presses up against the back of a brownstone house, concrete steps leading up to a back deck and sliding glass doors.

It's been a long time since Gillian Childs was last here, it wasn't as warm then as it is now. The back yard of the Petrelli Manor seems hauntingly familiar, like a memory of something that never quite came to pass. There's solace, there, in that one fleeting moment of something wonderful fluttering in her heart. A sense of pride, love, connection— no, nothing.

Maybe it was Deja Vu.

Having appeared here in the back yard, under shadow of the oak trees, Gillian can already see her pending ward waiting unknowingly at a patio table. Reclining back to stare up at the sky with the sun on his cheeks, hands folded behind his head, Peter Petrelli looks much different than Gillian ever has seen him. His smile is full, not crooked by whatever nerve damage keeps one corner of his mouth at an imperfect angle these days.

He's young, too, just a boy.


The Petrelli Manor

June 16, 1994

Gillian's already stepping a bit closer when she realizes a few things— And she only realizes it because her hand is weighted down with a black umbrella, still dripping with raindrops that it helped keep off her body. That, in combination with the slick black raincoat, suddenly seem completely out of place.

There's no clouds in this sky, no need to wear such a thing, so she quickly props the umbrella against the nearby tree, and removes her raincoat. Maybe Lord Gaga will have Hiro pick them up for her, or maybe they'll get mysteriously left in the past. Underneath her clothes aren't quite as out of place, but still heavier and more concealing than the current weather might call for.

The crane should have told her to dress for summer!

If she'd had twists in her stomach before, they've turned into full butterflies just at what she can see. So much could go wrong here— and that Deja Vu, that sense of something that never really was, tightens her chest as she takes in a slow breath—

And then moves forward, as if she belongs here. As if she were allowed in, by someone else in the house. And not a small Japanese man from the future.

"Hi, you must be Peter," she says, a bit surprised the words came out at all.

Startled from his thoughts, Peter's legs kick out at the sound of Gillian's voice, and so do the rear legs of the chair he was leaning back in. Arms windmill for the moment that gravity is kicking in, before Peter topples head over heels onto his back and rolls right out of his fallen chair.

Sprawled out on the patio on his back, arms splayed out to his side, the young teen breathes out a nervous laugh and boosts himself up onto his side, a hand at the back of his head rubbing through dark hair. "Uh, yeah it— " Peter's dark eyes narrow into a squint as he considers that Gillian seems to have just slipped in from the closed off back yard.

Maybe she hopped the fence? That'd be pretty awesome.

"Yeah I ah," Peter sits up and runs one hand through his hair. "I'm… Peter? Uh, how ah— who're you again?"

That seems to help the tension building in her chest. Sadly, the boy's misfortune brings a genuine smile to the strange woman's face, a grin that even makes dimples appear as she laughs once. "Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you into falling," Gillian adds after a moment, apologizing for her laughing at him more than anything. Though at the same time— it suddenly feels like revenge. For all the times he scared her by suddenly appearing. That makes the smile come back.

The question of who she is causes a sudden pause, which she tries to visibly write off as recovering from laughter. But she needs to think. Her hand touches a small locket around her neck, hanging on the clothes that look a little too heavy for the sunlight streaming down on them. Just a bit. The jeans probably look a little out of place too— jeans didn't have that low of a waist back in the 90s. She should have thought more about her clothes— but at least she's not in the 20s or something.

"I'm Gwen," she says when she lets go of the locket, to offer him a hand up, if he wants it. "Hope you didn't hurt yourself."

"Nah, I'm cool," Peter insists with a scrub of his hand at the back of his neck again on unfolding himself up to a standing position. "You uh, do you always hang out in my back yard? Or like— are you here to talk to dad?" There's a harrowing possibility that Gillian hadn't quite prepared herself for.

Arthur Petrelli is here somewhere.

"He's inside and up in his office," Peter explains with a twist at his waist, jerking a thumb over his shoulder to the sliding glass doors. "I could go get— " Peter is cut off by the sudden realization that someone is there, standing in the doorway to the manor, her darkly dressed silhouette as severe as memory serves.

"You don't need to go about bothering your father right now, Peter. Not when your brother will be here any minute with his fiancee." Angela Petrelli's matriarchal demeanor has not changed much in the intervening sixteen years that have passed between now and then. Less prominence of her wrinkles, less dark circles beneath her eyes covered up by concealer. But she is still Angela.

"Miss Chevalier is here from the Deveaux Society," Angela adds without missing a beat, her arms crossed over her chest, heels clicking on the concrete as she walks out from the sliding doors, head tilted to the side subtle. "She's going to help me take care of a few errands later, but I've asked her to keep you company today while your father takes Nathan and his fiancee out to dinner."

Angela's dark eyes lift from Peter's surprised expression to Gillian. "After she gets into something a little more weather sensible, don't you think?"

If an ex-goth could be considered to go pale suddenly, the mention of Arthur Petrelli certainly did that to her. Gillian's sure that her skin just dropped a shade or two, and she was just about to quickly try to stop him from getting his dad. Good thing the mom has amazing timing. She doesn't think she could shake hands with Arthur Petrelli if her life depended on it— even if it could have given her what she once wanted. The end of her ability.

It's not what she wants anymore. She may change her mind later on that. She doesn't want him to have it, though.

Still, the mom causes her to blink more than once, and color returns to her cheeks again, even growing into a blush near the end. "Yes, sorry. I didn't— " She'd been told someone would be expecting her— half of her isn't entirely surprised it's Angela Petrelli. It could even explain something about her past— and this older woman's future.

"Yes, I think I need to change into something else." But what is the Deveaux Society?

"Wait, are you giving me a baby sitter?" Peter snaps the accusation at his mother, face flushing bright red in embarassment. "C'mon I'm not a kid anymore, I'm— "

"Old enough to get into trouble and young enough not to know any better," Angela insists with a furrow of her brows. While her tone is sharp, it is lovingly so, the way a mother can wear a velvet glove while giving a slap across the cheek. She was too easy on Peter, always was, still is.

Slouching defiantly, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans, Peter flicks his head to the side and swings his bangs from his brow. Striding past his mother with childishly stomping footfalls, he makes his way into the house in indignant resignation to his mother's wishes.

Watching Peter go with the patience of a saint, Angela soon turns her dark eyes up and over to Gillian. The expression she affords the time traveler is nowhere near as patient as that of what she had given her son.

"I do not know who you are," Angela says in contrary words to the introduction, "but I know that I've seen you taking care of my son, protecting him from someone. I need to know that I can trust you with what is most precious to me, because I am undecided on whether or not to allow this to continue, or call Arthur down here."

The pale look returns, overpowering the look of some kind of quiet amused affection that was in Gillian's eyes as she watched the young teenager walk away with that quiet stomp that reminds her so much of many of some of the kids at the Lighthouse. Stuck between youth and adulthood. Though those kids have more reason to be closer to adults than this one— and she doesn't want him to have to become an adult too soon.

He won't get to smile like that later in his life. She's not sure she'll ever see him smile like that again…

"I— " she starts quietly, voice cutting off as the tension mounts in her chest. How can she prove something without risking the future? She has to be careful with what she says, has to treat the timeline with sensetivity— but meeting Arthur Petrelli is not going to help any timeline.

The only thing she can offer is the truth… Her voice is hoarse, and raspy, tight with emotion, but also with honesty as she looks the woman in the eye, "I would give my life to save your son." She has. Nearly has other times as well. And would do it again, even if she promised herself she wouldn't again— this is different, though. She's already done this. Right? "I can promise you that much— I won't let anything bad happen to him while I'm here, and I'll whatever I can to make sure he's safe." In this time.

She tries to recover a normal tone as she adds on, hopeful that what she said would be enought, "If you have something I can change into that'd be great."

"I have some clothes that should fit you, formal clothes for work, but at the very least more seasonally appropriate than the garb of whatever time you came from." Stiffness in Angela's voice is understandable, knowing what little she knows and the implications therein without knowing the aftermath of her choices can be stressful. Though this meeting, especially without Kaylee to erase it from Angela's memory, maybe it explains a lot of things.

Maybe it only opens more questions.

"You're going to take him to Coney Island, and you're going to keep him away from this house until sunset…" Which, if the given hour overhead is in fact close to noon, that's several hours with Peter in a place he nearly killed her in.

"Come on inside, and do not talk unless I introduce you first. It will be safer that way in case we happen to get around my husband. While I may be willing to entertain the notion that you're some good Samaritan from another time come to protect my boy, he will be less accepting of you at face value."

"I don't think he'll like the idea of me as a babysitter, but maybe I can convince him to think of me as a friend," Gillian says quietly, as she fidgets with the white gold locket around her neck. A locket that had been worn by her mother a few years ago, until she'd handed it over to her, during her trips through time. It's new to her, but long among her family. Maybe one day she'll have someone to pass it on to.

"At least I don't have to pretend I'm not from… another time… with you." She wasn't sure she would be able to say that much. "I will be quiet. I don't want to… upset your husband." Or meet him at all, if she can avoid it.

Would he already be a telepath? She only got the smallest amount of telepathic defense training in the past, but she immediately puts all her thoughts on paying very close attention to the constant knot in the back of her head. Maybe if she thinks about that a lot, that's all she'll be thinking off if he happens to see her, as she follows the older woman into the house, so she can get dressed.

"What my son wants and what is right for him are often mutually exclusive notions," Angela succinctly explains as she motions for Gillian to follow her towards the tall, glass doors that Peter has already made his exit through. "He is a sweet boy, but he lacks his brother's sense of intuition. Whatever the case," Angela admits with an askance look to the time-traveler at her side, pushing the glass doors open int o the foyer, "Peter shouldn't— "

That Angela cuts herself off comes when she notices someone exercising their punctuality, proving just how mutable and fluid the future can be at times. "The both of you look fantastic," isn't Angela's voice, but is familiar to Gillian none the less, in the way a gunshot is familiar to a PTSD victim.

Arthur Petrelli's hair hasn't gone gray yet, his smile hasn't become entirely painted, and the handshake he is giving to the young twenty-something air force officer beside him is a genuine, if not overly formal greeting. Home for a vacation in the summer with his fiancee, Nathan Petrelli is a sudden and stark reminder of just how drastically the past differs from hjre future, her present.

The last time she saw the senior of the men in this room, he was trying to — and succeeding in — murdering her. When she saw Nathan, however, was more recent. Equally hot; /Subtropical//.

"Nathan," Angela offers with only missing a bref beat, her arms extending outward to raw him into an embrace, kiss planted to his cheek. "Ah, and you msust be the young woman weve heard so much about." That much, at least, is directed to Heidi.

Lacking scraggly beard and two odd decades, Nathan's more distinctive qualities — the scars on his chin standing more obvious on smoother skin, youth in the sharpness and definition of his bone structure, and a politician's white shark smile — are what identify him as the younger incarnation of the President of 2010. He had already told Heidi don't be nervous outside, in chiding, gentle tones, placing a hand at the small of her back and apparently dealing with nerves himself.

Probably, he was never meant to bring home a small town girl, a townie, even. But it could be worse.

She could be Meredith Gordon.

"Ma," Nathan greets, smile relaxing a little as he returns the embrace. "Nice to see you again." With a graceful step back, he offers up a hand like he's presenting Heidi, who raises an eyebrow at him, an amused glance of her true blue eyes. "This is Heidi," he adds, oblivious to fiancee's cynicism. Oblivious, a little, to Gillian's presence, until he spies her out the corner of her eye.

"Mrs. Petrelli," Heidi says, her smile and voice warm.

"I didn't know we had company?" is quieter from Nathan, to his mom.

Oh god damnit. Of all the… Gillian tries really hard to think of anything else other than the things that she really shouldn't be thinking of. But immediately what comes to mind is what happened when she last saw Arthur Petrelli. How she had just been killed once by him, how she helped Cardinal checkmate him. How she nearly blew up, until red lightning stripped her of an ability that was never hers in the first place.

And thinking of ARGENTINA doesn't make matters any better either. With her red hair and too heavy for summer clothes, she already looks a little out of place, even if she's about the same age as the young man and his future wife. Townie or not.

Despite the advice, Gillian opens her mouth and starts to speak. "Hi, I— " and then catches herself. She was told not to speak. How quickly she forgets! She's distracted. By the past— the future— the things she doesn't want to think too much about because the older man could be a telepath.

"Last minute surprise," Angela smoothly offers with a polite smile, "and it's a pleasure to finally meet you, Heidi. Nathan's been telling us about you for a long time now. I apologize for making this meeting more brief than I'd planned, but miss Chevalier and I have some charity arrangements to discuss and I've asked her to run a few errands for me," Angela's dark eyes flick to Gillian, then over to her husband. "I don't think you two have had the opportunity to meet yet."

Arthur's eyes narrow, there's a faint smile that belies his lacking patience with Angela interrupting the days schedule, before turning his attention to Nathan in dismissive regard of Gillian. "Nathan, your brother's around here somewhere, now I told him we'd be going out for dinner, just you and your lovely lady and I. Maybe after we get back, and Peter's done hiding up in his room," Arthur's attention flicks ot the stairwell int he foyer, then back to his son. "We could all sit down together like a family tonight."

"You included, of course," is Angela's offer to Heidi, her smile as warm and inviting as she can manage under these stressful moments. "You're in our home, and you seem to have very easily won my son's heart — not that I can blame him — so we'd be thrilled to have you stay for dinner here, instead of going out."

It's subtle, how Angela slipped in her own suggestions on plans right under Arthur's nose, and it's only after he's nodding along with them that he realizes what Angela's done. "You're going to cook?" It's a gentle, playful jab that Angela responds to with a crooked smile and one raised brow.

"We didn't keep that table of your father's to collect dust, Peter and miss Chevalier can handle my errand, then by the time they get back this evening Peter can join us for dinner," a pointed look is given from Angela to Gillian as if to imply my son comes home in one piece, "and then Miss Chevalier can go home."

Go home.

Angela's words go unchecked by Nathan too, nodding to Miss Chevalier once in distracted greeting, but he clearly has eyes for the blue-eyed woman at his side instead, anxiously monitoring interaction between her and his family, if doing so with bland politeness and the occasional handsqueeze he shares with Heidi, who, somehow, seems a little more at ease, ever-adaptable. "That sounds wonderful," she agrees, with what seems to be genuine gratitude for the invitation, shoulders shrugging up sharply.

"Sounds like a plan," Nathan agrees. "I should go say hi to Pete before he takes off." And introduce him to Nathan's hot girlfriend. "He being shy?" A glance up the stairwell, voice wry. He may be the worst older brother of all time — before and after and in between, but at least, these days, they still like each other.

Going home. Gillian's looking forward to it. More than she'd admit outloud right now. After all, she has a job to do— though it's more important than what the matron of the family is implying. Perhaps she doesn't even know quite how important it is. Even if…

"It's nice to meet all of you," she says, offering them a smile, though it seems forced. Because she's not at all comfortable around Arthur Petrelli. Who lied to her. Used her. Killed her multiple times. And had her parents killed, too…

Somehow seeing the future President of the United States, no matter how 'time displaced' and 'evil' he may be later on doesn't seem anywhere near as threatening… In fact he looks… young and attractive and nice. The teasing older brother is something she can understand.

And that's the most she says. That's polite without being too talkative, right?

There's only so much Angela can do to stir the family narrative in a antural direction that also precludes assassins breaking in through the windows to murder her family and set history on an insane alternate course while also keeping up appearances that are equally as important. Offering a weary smile to Nathan, Angela allow him that moment of time with Peter, and turns instead to Heidi.

"While Nathan's catching up with his brother, Peter, why don't you and I do a little getting to know one another in the parlour?" One of Angela's brows lift slowly, a brief look flicked to Gillian with a follow him instruction in her glare, not quite clearly followed by and then leave, but Gillian can surmise it's there somewhere.

"What do you drink?" Is the easiest question Angela has had to ask anyone tonight.

Nathan purses his mouth a little at the prospect of leaving Heidi alone with his mother, but Heidi apparently has no issue with this — perhaps at her fiancee's expense as she gives him a squeeze to the elbow and breaks from his side readily. "I'll just take a glass of water for now, thank you," she demures, moving to follow Angela and tossing a glance over her shoulder at Nathan with a raise of her eyebrows, before she's walking.

"He'll be in his room, probably. Likes to pretend he doesn't live in an estate, half the time." These are Nathan's words to Gillian, starting off towards the staircase with a hand clapping by Arthur's shoulder as he goes. "What charity did she say you were with again?"

Following him. Gillian gets that gesture and she makes a motion to go after the young man who in reality is many years older than her— though just about the same age in this timeline. What was it she told Peter earlier? "Deveaux," she states carefully, straining to remember what was on the end there. Group? Company? "But I work with an children's shelter in the city for the most part." WHAT is the Deveaux thing anyway? She has no idea, so maybe if she speaks of something she has future knowledge of, she might not look completely out of place?

"He was on the back porch a little while ago, but his mother implied I would be a babysitter and he got a little surly. I'm technically not a babysitter, though. I think she just wants to get him out of the house for a few hours so she can meet your lovely fiancee without distraction." Of the little brother kind? "Younger brothers can be very distracting. I have one too."

Up the stairs from the foyer, Nathan is able to lead Gillian to a carpeted landing and then into a second floor hall. Past two bathrooms and a painting of Midtown Manhattan in all its pre-bomb glory. The next door, dark and wood, does little to hide the noise of music coming out from beyond it. It's a firm reminder to Gillian of when and where she is when the distinctive riff of Pearl Jam's Evenflo is echoing out of Peter's bedroom.

It's a difficult age, early teens, trapped somewhere between a boy and a man with no solid identity in either direction. Hard to imagine that things change things much, that a happy family can be torn completely asunder by change. By something as convoluted as it is.

Gillian's right, though, Nathan doesn't seem like the monster he's made out to be.

Most aren't.

"Uh huh."

But Nathan is a little bit of a jerk, barely listening even after he just made her jump through intellectual hoops to come up with a sane-sounding lie, not that he's aware of that. Distracted, though, mouth twitching a little at the music reverberating through the door. "He gets a little surly over a lot, I wouldn't take it person. Pete!" His knuckles rap against the surface of the door, his voice distinctly without nagging, although he's certainly letting himself in like a parent would feel they have the right to.

Twisting the handle, he shoulders in, peering in.

"I don't take it personally," Gillian says, leaving out all the other habits of the younger Petrelli that she does take personally. When the older brother moves in, she can't help but linger. It was an unspoken request to follow and then leave, but she can't help but try and catch a glimpse of the happy family, back when they were happy. It's a rare sight she's not sure she'll ever get the chance to see again…

Cause where she comes from, this just doesn't happen anymore.

The strange woman lingering in the doorway watching may be odd, but that doesn't stop her.

Running his hands through his hair, Peter fires an accusing look to Nathan with one brow raised. Peter's— completely changed what he was wearing earlier, at least from what Gillian had seen prior to Nathan's arrival. Gone are his casual jeans and a t-shirt look, back is something more fitting of his brother — and fitted for his brother when he was younger, bequeathed to Peter as hand-me downs. A pressed pair of black slacks and a white dress shirt, sleeves rolled up, top button undone.

Nathan— also smells cologne.

This is hilariously embarassing.

"Nathan," Peter tries to act cool, staring past Nathan towards Gillian, then back to his brother again. "Hey it— it's great t'see you back in town." A smile creeps up on his younger brother's lips, one hand offered out. "Mom said you'd be bringing your fincee over? Guess I'm gettin' put with the kids table huh?"

A look is flicked over Nathan's shoulder to Gillian as if to imply no offense/, before he looks back to Nathan and excitedly raises his brows with a broad smile that he hopes Nathan's silhouette can hide— but really doesn't.

Arthur has partially disconnected.

Eyebrows go up, Nathan waving a hand passed his face like he's swatting a fly, or otherwise, in this case, waving away the smell of gracelessly applied cologne. "Yeah, we're gonna have dinner at home. You'll like her," he confirms, that hand drifting to clasp Peter's in what seems to be the customary Petrelli Handshake when it's between men. No hugs. But the affection is still clear, hand gripping Peter's bony wrist and tugging a jolt through his little brother's arm, forcing a stagger out of him.

"But you and, uh, Miss Chevalier got an errand to run before we sit down. Glad to see you dressed up for the occasion." Yeah. Nathan may be the older one, the nearly married one, the one that went to military, that will go on to be a politician, the responsible one— but he'd probably, in 2010, still mock Peter at any opportunity.

Maybe it'd even be this good natured.

For a brief, very small moment, Gillian thinks that Peter might have dressed up for her, but it makes her shake her head a moment later, clearing out what she dismisses as stupidity. After all, he's meeting his brother's fiancee today and has plenty of reasons to dress up. Some day he's going to be in a suit, standing next to his brother, stressing over speeches and making sure he didn't lose the rings. That's what brothers are for, right?

And really, he's a teenager. A young one. And she suddenly feels too old. Even if she had dated people Nathan's age when she was Peter's— but girls are different.

"You're a little overdressed for the errand, if you want to change into something more comfortable it will probably take a few hours." And… She still needs to get some more weather appropriate clothes on, but… she can't help but look where their arms connect, watch the interaction. Fifteen years from now they won't do this anymore… And when they do it will be in a crazy Argentina prison, with a Nazi hanging out between them, and the mountain threatening to blow up.

Looking Nathan up and down with a crooked smile, Peter laughs away any sense of nervousness and awkwardness he's flustered by. "Yeah, she told me. Whatever, you guys have fun while I'm off with the babysitter or something." He sounds put off, but it's all just an act, one Nathan has become accustomed to. "Hey, don't forget y'promised to bring me something cool back from the Base the next time you came home. You better have it when I get back for dinner."

Turning his attention over to Gillian, past his brother, Peter wrinkles his nose and furrows his brows slowly. "Man, I just got changed into this. Alright, I mean, can't blame a girl like that for wanting me in something specific. If Nathan ever taught me anything," Peter's brows raise slyly, "it's that a lady always gets what she wants, 'cause that's how a gentleman is."

Admiration is often a one way street and for the Petrelli brothers, but let it not ever be mistaken that Peter admires his brother Nathan more so than anyone else in his life. His role model growing up, his hero.

Maybe that is why the sting of eventual betrayal hurt so much.

Nathan plants a paw on the side of Peter's head, and shoves. That's about all the response he gives.

"And never keep a lady waiting. I'll see you at dinner." And with a flash of a smile to Gillian, letting— you know— the help hang out in the hallway as they are wont to do, Nathan is moving on out to let his brother get changed and let Gillian wait for him to do so, and perhaps make it downstairs in time to bodycheck Angela before she can break out the baby photos.

Stepping out of Nathan's way, she follows him with her eyes for a moment, before looking back in on the younger boy, "I just don't know if you want it to look like you're out on a date with an older woman," Gillian says with a tease, just loud enough that Nathan may catch it. For a moment, she feels more like herself. Arthur isn't around, the tension isn't as bad. "But if you want to run around Coney Island in that, then be my guest. I don't mind. You look very handsome."

Almost as soon as she says it, her voice catches for a moment, and she reaches to close the door. He's walked out on her so many times, maybe it's best she close the door this time, while she goes and finds those clothes that Angela promised her. This may be the closest thing she'd ever get to a date with him— in a place he's going to try to kill her in fifteen years. And he's way too young, and she's way too old.

But at least she'll go home knowing she saved his life. And maybe Hiro will drop her off late enough to save hers— She can hope, right?

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