Flavors Of Guilt


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Scene Title Flavors Of Guilt
Synopsis Cat updates Helena regarding Peter's whereabouts.
Date December 15, 2008

New York Public Library: Rooftop

On entering the library, Cat moves quietly around, looking for Helena. She's still clad in the sweatshirt and jeans over athletic shoes and not carrying anything.

She spent some time sitting alone after Gillian left, letting her thoughts wander and traveling through memories of a person now lost, the grief surfacing and being indulged, but had soon enough risen to go about business at hand. There are a number of things to be done, one of them is to update the Catabase with recent learnings from her ordeal and report to Helena what she'd been told.

It doesn't take long for Cat to be told where Helena is; she's on the roof. And if she's brave enough to go up there, she'll find Helena sitting near the edge, knees to her chest and arms wrapped around her legs. She's in jeans a blouse, her feet bare, and despite the frigid weather, she doesn't seem cold at all. In fact, the air around her is quite temperate.

"Helena," Cat begins, making her way over to where the woman sits. Her voice is quiet, the word spoken in a tone which indicates she has news to share of the sort which may cause distress. When she nears, a hand is extended to rest on her shoulder and give comfort if that would be allowed. "You'll remember the woman who was present that night at Dorchester Towers, I'm certain. I came across her today, at an unexpected place. She told me of witnessing something."

Helena blinks a moment, regarding Cat. "Yeah," she says. "I remember my ability went a bit wonky that day. I asked for her help and she ran away. You say she saw something?" Helena's limbs unfold, and she starts to get up.

"Yes," Cat replies. "She told me she witnessed an event where both Peters were together, and not fighting each other. They had decided to reunite, apparently." Here, Cat pauses, her hand on Helena's shoulder giving a squeeze and her eyes, her features, somber. "But Homeland Security forces arrived. Agent Peter was shot down, a round to the head. She says she didn't stick around to see anything more. Since the angry one hasn't been seen in some time, I suspect he's been arrested and imprisoned."

Helena's face gains a smile of incredible joy when Cat speaks of the pair deciding to reunite, but it crashes utterly at the words that follow. The ambient temperature around them takes a sudden sharp dive and Helena's breath catches. She stands there a moment, not breathing, and then, "Neither one of him had responded to my drop point signals. It means HomeSec has him - and either they're keeping him there somehow, or he's choosing to stay." She looks at Cat, large eyes somehow even wider with anxiety. "Do you think he confessed?"

"I don't know," Cat replies. Her voice is soft, chosen to give support and comfort. "Given the guilt he carries, it's certainly possible." Her arms are open, offered to draw the blonde into a hug if she'll accept it. She watches the face, sympathy and understanding being shown in her eyes and face, mixing with her own grief.

Helena accepts the hug, if gingerly, but her expression is inward drawn. There are a number of declarations behind her eyes, none of which actually graduate past her lips. "I need to know." she says. "I need to know if he's staying there on his own, or if they're holding him. We need to get him out. I don't know how - I can't ask the others to help me, I can't."

"I think," Cat states quietly, "given his range of abilities, he's choosing to stay. If he weren't, I doubt they could even have held him long enough to be taken anywhere. He'd have simply teleported away. If he isn't a willing resident, I can't think of how to verify that. It's possible, given the Company's activities and things HS has been up to, there's some sort of drug or electronic device which could negate abilities, but again, no proof. The question, really, is one for Wireless and Mr. Bennet to answer. All I have are speculations." Her arms encircle Helena, drawing her in and remaining there, as her voice returns to silence.

"How could he…" Helena doesn't even finish the sentence, internally castigating herself for the words she might have applied to their completion. S all she can say is, "How could he?"

Her thoughts are on the move, remembering how she broke down on realizing, admitting to herself Danielle couldn't be saved, and she thinks perhaps Helena is having a similar moment. She'll let her have it and just be present, provide that contact to lean on. Silence is held for drawn out seconds, before Cat speaks in a soft voice. "Guilt is a powerful thing. I feel it, and it's just a taste of what his must be. He can't forgive himself. That's how he could stay in prison."

Helena just shakes her head. Many, many things are running through her mind, and she gives none of them voice, as if the prospect of doing so would cause her own guilt to flourish. It's of a different nature, guilt of selfishness.

Not a word does Cat speak, she just keeps her arms around the blonde and offers her shoulder to lean upon, to cry upon, to let it all out into. She's taking a mental journey on her own, the same one she took when she reached the Deveaux rooftop earlier and reflected on that being the place it all began. Her involvement in the organizations, and Dani becoming at risk by association with her. The path again leads to that moment of doom when she didn't turn the longtime friend away, and by letting her into the apartment tied her to this dangerous life.

Helena doesn't cry. For whatever reason, she just…doesn't. After a little bit, she steps away from Cat. "I don't know what to do." she admits. "I can't let him stay there." Her lips thin. "His penance is better served in stopping what could destroy us all, not in rotting in some jail cell." Her hands clench into fists.

"I know, I know," Cat replies softly. While she speaks the memories are playing out behind her eyes, having that conversation with Dani after Peter shared the secret by telepathic broadcast on the return of his memory.

Dani looks back. There's a Cat, and a Helena, and she's still freaked. She grabs for the door to try and yank it over again. "Let me out!" She shrieks, shrilly. It hasn't even registered that Peter vanished yet.

Helena reaches out and makes a grab for Dani's wrist. "He's gone, Dani!" she yells right back. "And if you do what I think you're wanting to do, you'll ruin everything, so calm down!"

The speaking voice is soft as she reaches Dani. "Please hear us out. Please." Cat seeks to make eye contact and reach out with a hand, offering it to be taken, but not forcing the issue. There's no more trying to grab her; just the pleading request from the broken sounding taller brunette. "I heard you hit something. Are you hurt?"

She turns and shouts back at both of them. "He blew up the city! He blew up the fucking city!! How many people dead?" Her eyes swing to Cat. "And you wanted me to promise a secret. You knew!" Helena grabs her wrist. "Let go of me!" She tries to slap Helena, but she's no trained fighter.

"Do you think he wanted to? Do you think he did it on purpose!?" Hel hollars right back. And well, she's no Hana, but she can manage in a scrap, and manages to catch the other wrist too, snarling, "You experienced his memory, Dani. How scared he was, how he tried desperately to stop himself, and the guilt and pain and shame he carries through all of his life since because of it!"

"It was his story to tell, Dani. And it still is," Cat softly states. "He should tell it, in his own time and on his own terms. It should all go out into the open, you're right. But you have to be fair, too. He didn't choose to do what happened. Locking him in a cell achieves nothing. How can he help improve lives, make any kind of amends there?" She's moving closer, placing herself in range to be lashed out at. "It's the largest part of why it was necessary to make him remember. It's why he's Captain Emo and probably always will be."

Dani looks disbelieving. "So he's scared?! So that makes flash-frying thousands of people okay?" And she looks to Cat. "And it achieves a lot! Bury him! In the deepest, darkest, most bomb-proof shelter they can build!" Non-Evolved viewpoint here.

Helena puts her back flat against the door. "No!" she says. "That's not the answer and it never will be! Peter can do a lot of good in this world and what happened was something he couldn't help!" God, she's too tired for this. And obviously Dani isn't listening. She looks across at Cat. She's got a few tricks up her sleeve, and could probably put Dani out for a few hours.

"No one said it was okay, Dani," Cat answers. Her voice is kept soft, somber. "No one ever will. It isn't okay that his brother lied, blamed it all on Gabriel Gray. It isn't okay that all those people died. It isn't okay that I, Helena, and lots of other people are at risk of being locked in that same deep, dark hole just because we're different. Whether or not we ever did or do anything wrong. It isn't okay to react from fear alone, or anger. And no one will ever punish that man more than he punishes himself." She falls silent for a moment, turning toward Helena during the pause. "Let her go. I won't let her be hurt, and I won't stand in her way. She'll do what she feels she must. I'd rather see it all public, expose everything. The Company, Senator Petrelli's coverup, the whole thing. Getting proof, doing that, means coming to see it our way."

Cat's voice is heard again when she reaches that spot in her recollection. "He makes amends for nothing in a cell. Maybe he can be gotten out, inspired to again want freedom, something can be figured out. But today is not that day."

"No," Helena agrees. "But I need a way to get to him, Cat. To talk to him. Maybe I can convince him…" she trails off. "Or maybe Claire." The name is spoken with peculiar mix of fond and bitter, and then her eyes go wide. "Oh god, Claire." She reaches into her jeans and pulls out a cellphone, beginning a frantic text.

"I hope Claire is safe, Stormy," Cat replies with a quiet exhale. "Have you seen the papers?" The way Helena's eyes go wide seem to answer that question before it's even spoken, she thinks, but it could just be the need to share this with her in play, she may not know of the raid.

Helena nods. "I would have assumed, if Peter was with them, that she'd be safe." She stares at her phone, and then shoves it back in her pocket. "But he's not. So…" she shrugs. "I hope she got away."

"I don't know what you texted her, Stormy," Cat states, "but I'd suggest sending her one which says you've got news about her uncle if you sent something else and it doesn't get an answer." Because the fact of Claire being present at the battle wasn't part of Gillian's story.

Helena nods. "I'll wait to hear from her first." she says. "I need to find out where he is, Cat. I'm not even sure where to begin. I don't know that Wireless would be willing to even look."

"A way will be found," Cat assures softly. "After the bomb, people helped him pull it back together, and when he met us he found purpose. We've done it before, and can do it again. But we must also be patient."

December 15th: Guilt in Common
December 15th: One Burger, Two Burgers, More?
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