Guilty Mirrors


griffin_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Guilty Mirrors
Synopsis Griffin hunts down Peter after he leaves the meeting with Messiah and the two realize there's something in their past they share.
Date October 8. 2010

Howland Hook Facility

When Peter Petrelli goes to get air, he used to travel to the Himilayas, to the Great Wall of China, to the top of the Empire State Building or to a sunny beach on some subtropical island devoid of other human life. That was back when he could will himself as far away as dreams allowed, back when he had the power of the world at his disposal, back when things were different.

Time has changed, and Peter Petrelli has changed with them.

Now a days when he runs it's shorter, more manageable distances. Crossing the entire length of the Howland Hook facility is a long distance, but comparitive to his old divides a far shorter one. Beneath the domed roof of the train yard shelter, amidst the color of faded graffiti and the dark of a night's sky viewed through shattered skylights, Peter sits in isolation atop a derelict boxcar, legs crossed beneath himself, hands folded in his lap and head bowed in a slouch.

Messiah was his, it was his attempt to change the world, to undo what his brother Nathan did. Instead, it has turned into an even bloodier disaster than PARIAH, an organization he'd struggled to change from its violent ways. Here, in Howland Hook's abandoned railyard, all Peter can do is sit in silence and wonder just where he went wrong. Wonder about the life he left behind with Kaylee, wonder about the mistakes he made getting to the point he's at now.

Maybe if he had died in Antarctica, none of this would have happened?

Why did Cardinal save him?

Had he known the answer, he would have realized he's a smaller piece on the chess board than he realizes.

There are no footsteps that announce Griffin's arrival; he trailed after Peter rather easily, and hung back to smoke a cigarette and allow the younger man to get some breath. When he enters the shelter, his feet hover a few inches off of the ground, his eyes that eerie white once more. The eye trick could probably make for a good Halloween costume at some point.

His feet don't touch the ground as he crosses the shelter, quietly approaching the boxcar. It is wordlessly that he drifts into view and raises into the air, carefully settling into a seated position near Peter. He glances over to Peter once, though it's not noticable. After a long moment, his eyes fade back to their deep green color, drifting over the graffiti with a thoughtful expression written across his sharp features.

"Times are rough, hmm?" His voice, though quiet, cuts through the silence of the shelter. After a moment, he finally turns to peer thoughtfully at Peter, one slender finger tapping against his chin.

"Go away," is peter's immediate response, eyes closing heavily and shoulders curling forward as he wraps one hand around a closed fist and leans forward, lifting those clasped hands together to his brow for a moment before dropping both hands back down into his lap. Peter doesn't need to clarify his stance any more than that.

The air is uncomfortably cold here, a large and open building with shattered windows does nothing to contain the heat. A chill night wind blows through bitterly, accompanied by the creak and groan of the old wooden structure in the silence that occupies the space between Peter's words and Griffin's. Below the pair, a faded image of an anthropomorphic chicken holding a sandwich is printed on the side of the boxcar, beneath it a caligraphed writing reading Slice Of Heaven Meat Processing.

The derelict condition of this building and everything around it is a reminder of the world they live in now, a world Peter helped make.

Griffin's brow raises as he turns to peer thoughtfully over at Peter, leaning back in silence. He keeps his distance, scooting a few feet away on the boxcar. "I would happily leave you to your own devices, Peter, but Miss Lynette is quite concerned about you, and begged someone to keep an eye on you." Griffin shrugs, turning hooded green eyes back toward Peter thoughtfully.

The man turns his green-eyed gaze away from Peter once more, gazing out over the floor of the shelter, a thoughtful expression on his features. There's a long period where Griffin says nothing, does not even seem to acknowledge Peter's existence. Then, his voice breaks the silence once more.

"It's not over yet." A simple, encouraging offering. All that Griffin can really give right now.

Exhaling a sigh through his nose, Peter dips his head down into a slow nod. "Yes it is, Griffin… it is. You don't…" there's a sigh exhaled through his nose, even as Peter gradually offers a look up to the telekinetic. "I had my fear about somethinb, but now… now I'm almost certain. Rupert's been deceiving us from day one. He's never had out best interests at heart. He's— I think his ability never left him, I think he's been manipulating us, manipulating every member of Messiah. Other people have tried to warn me but— but I didn't— couldn't believe them."

Peter's hands curl tightly into fists as his head slacks down, eyes shut and lips downturn into a frown. "Messiah was a lie, Griffin. Whoever's missing is probably with Rupert now, probably— I don't know. We've been had, this whole thing was a part of some— it— everything they found… Rupert never mentioned any of it to me. The manifesto, nothing."

Peter draws his knees up, wraps his arms around them and rests his forehead against the backs of his legs. "Go, Griffin. Go find your family and get out of the city…"

"You certainly have a defeatist attitude." Griffin turns his green-eyed gaze toward Peter, his head slanted toward him. Then, his gaze sweeps away once more, over the dirty floor of the railroad shelter, one hand raising to run across his forehead briefly. "Just because Rupert Carmichael is a scumbag doesn't mean that Messiah was a lie."

He reaches down, rubbing at his knee, which still bears the damage of his basketball injury from so many years ago.

"Do you want to know why I joined Messiah, Peter?" The man is quiet for a moment, then continues without waiting for an answer; Peter needs to hear this. "I joined this cause because of the life I have lived."

Griffin continues, his voice quietly echoing over the wide, empty space. "My ability manifested when my wife told me she wanted a divorce. I ripped her to shreds. I held my son until the police arrived, then turned myself in, while my son was given to my parents and sister for safe care. The day after, I was taken into custody, put in a cell, and given drugs to suppress my ability. I have little to no memory of nearly seven years of that." He frowns.

"And then, Moab disappeared, and I was free. And I saw my son. He's a handsome boy…looks just like his mom, acts just like I did at that age. Little musical genius, and he loves basketball. He's all I have left of Cindy, beyond my memories of her." The man smiles fondly at the empty expanse.

Then, he turns a more serious gaze toward Peter. "I want to protect my son and my sister from what I had to go through. They're both Evolved. I joined Messiah with this wild hope that I could make a difference for them, so they will never have to go through what I went through. So nobody else will have to go through what I went through— what my family went through as a result."

Griffin tuns away from Peter once more, taking a deep breath. "Messiah isn't about its leaders. To hell with Rupert Carmichael. Messiah is hope. It's a dream of freedom. It's a dream I believe in, one that I would die for."

Legs stretch out, and as Peter turns to look at Griffin, his brows are furrowed and his throat tight. "Hope?" There's an accusatory tone in his voice, "It was all a lie, Griffin. Everything, nothing we've done has done any good, made any difference at all. All we've done is make the world a more dangerous place for your family. We deserve to be locked up, we— " Peter's eyes shut, his head hangs and one hand comes up to brace his forehead against spread fingers.

"We've already lost, Griffin. Look at what's in the media, what they've turned us info. We're monsters. We've become what they wanted, but I just— I can't…" Peter's eyes wrench shut, "I can't figure it out, I can't figure out why Rupert would do this to us, I just— " there's a hiss of breath and Peter exhales a sigh, fingers raking back through his hair to sweep his bangs away from his face.

"You want a real cause? One worth fighting for? That's what the Ferrymen do, and I should never have turned my back on them, Griffin. I've…" Peter's eyes unfocus, distantly staring off into the space beyond the boxcar and further into the derelict building. "None of us are free. We're bound by the mistakes we've made, and nothing can change that."

Griffin listens thoughtfully to Peter, a brow arching up to wrinkle his forehead. For a long while, the only sound that comes from the mand is the sound of his breathing. He stretches his legs out after a moment, rubbing at his knee— fall and winter always were the worst times for his knee, and combined with the bruises from Wednesday's attack, he's uncomfortable at best.

"I didn't expect glory, going into this. I went into this believing we could make a difference." He lets out a slow sigh, shaking his head.

Then, he clenches his eyes shut, leaning back and turning his face up toward the domed ceiling. "Jesse was a friend, Peter. As close a friend as I've had. I watched him die. I couldn't stop them. He gave me purpose. Something— something to dream of, flawed as the dream may have been." He opens his eyes, staring up at the rafters for a long while, a frown wrinkling his narrow features.

"I can't let his death be for nothing. He died believing in this. He died for the same dream that I would just as readily die for, if I had to." Finally, he turns his green gaze back toward Peter, frowning.

Then, Griffin is clearing his throat, uneasily raising to his feet atop the boxcar, tucking his hands into his pockets. "You had that dream once, Peter. You're our leader; you didn't get that position for no reason. At one point…you had the hope that some of us still hold close." He's silent, regarding Peter thoughtfully. "Somewhere along the way…you seem to have lost it. You're quite the enigma, Peter Petrelli."

Silent for a long time, Peter just stares out at the weedy growing up between the cracks in the concrete, stares at the desolation and isolation this place has. Drawing in a deep breath, Peter expels it as a sigh, one that has apology and resignation in its tone, in the way it sculpts Peter's posture. Griffin is a man that recognizes guilt when he sees it, it's been haunting him in his own reflection for years since the death of his wife.

Now, presented with a man going through that same grief, Griffin is presented with the same helplessness he has when confronting his own guilt. The inability to change what went wrong, and to always have it there, right behind his eyes, remidnign him every moment of his failure. In that way, Peter and Griffin are mirrors of one another, reflecting each one's guilt onto the other.

"I can't be the person you want me to be," is Peter's answer, after all that time. Gone is the anger, all that is left is the frustrtion and the pain. "People have been telling me all my life I'm meant for better things… I— I was supposed to save the world." Disbelief crosses Peter's face for a moment, before he turns his head to look at Griffin.

"I didn't save anyone. I haven't saved anything. I can't be that person," those dark eyes turn away and square on the graffiti stained wall, "I don't think I know how."

During the silence, Grifin watches Peter in silence, his features neutral with the mask he puts on his face in times like these, when he doesn't want to show emotion. But concern shimmers beneath his eyes. Peter has just as many ghosts in his closet, if not more. It's something that the man can both understand and respect. His eyes hood after a moment, before turning toward the art that coats the walls.

"I don't want you to be anyone you aren't, Peter." He leans against the cane for a moment, his eyes sliding shut as he breathes in the dusty air. "You may have this fantastic destiny written in the stars, but…you're human, Peter. You're allowed to make mistakes. You're allowed to feel. And the beautiful thing about humans is our capability of learning from our mistakes."

He tilts his head toward the man. "Whatever it is that haunts you, Peter Petrelli, you can't let it bring you down. There must be something out there worth fighting for." He offers a thoughtful hum. "When life kicks you down, you come right back up swinging. For those like us, it is the only way to survive." He straightens his tie. "Perhaps you should be viewing all of this as an opportunity, Peter, rather than a road block."

"I wish I could say I miss you," Helena says, "But the truth is, I wanted you to be someone that you're not, someone I thought you could become, and I didn't realize that I couldn't make you be that person." She pauses a moment, and then lets out a little laugh. "Yeah, I - you know, if I'd had my way a couple of years ago, it would have been culinary school, but this just seems right for who I am now." She blinks a moment, an idea occurring to her.

"You know," she says softly, "My ability… it's all about connection. Maybe not to people, but it is about connection, and it could be a start." She holds out her hand. "You've never felt it when things were calm, when things were good. Maybe you need to."

Looking up and over towards Griffin, Peter's brows furrow, memory of the last time he ever saw Helena Dean echoing in his memory, brows furrowed and that crooked frown still settled on his lips. "Maybe…" Peter reluctantly admits, looking back down to the ground beyond the roof of the boxcar, "maybe there's time for a second, third, fourth chance… maybe we only get one." The defeatist attitude seem to be so wholly bound to who he is right now, and try to shake it as he might, it will take more than one good conversation to beat the truth into Peter Petrelli's mind.

"I can't remember what my mistake was," Peter admits in a small tone of voice, his eyes unfocused and distant, and it's not until his attention lifts up to Griffin again that a haunted look crosses his face, guilt mirrored again, for loves lost this time. "I think there's someone I have to go see," is a weary, tiny voiced thing, brown eyes angling back down to the ground again.

"You didn't have to come out here, you know…" is Peter's rhetorical sentiments to the conversation, "but I appreciate that you did, and… I'm sorry about Jesse." Staring down at the ground, Peter's brows twitch, then lift up to Griffin in a slow stare.

"Hey," Peter says quietly, "you're still staying at those apartments Rupert has you renovating, right?"

Griffin tilts his head toward Peter, lifting his free hand to stroke at the stubble on his chin. "Perhaps we do only get one chance. Perhaps we are all damned, no matter how hard we try to redeem ourselves." The man smiles faintly, turning his emerald gaze toward the graffiti on the windows. "Even if that is the case, I for one don't feel that disqualifies me from fighting to redeem myself."
A halfhearted, crooked smile is angled down toward Peter once more, Griffin offering a nod toward the younger man. "Call me strange, but I see a kindred spirit in you. While distance is pleasant…company can be therapeutic." He leans on his cane, fingers idly tracing shapes over the silver handle.

The question prompts a small blink, and Griffin offers a small nod. "I haven't been sleeping there since Wednesday, but I have been working on the place. Not sure what to expect these days."

Pushing himself up to his feet, Peter looks askance at Griffin, "If I need to get in touch with you, and for whatever reason we aren't using the phones," and in that there seems to be some subtle suggestion, "there's a false bottom in the top drawer of the dresser in your apartment, I'll leave a note or a message in there, and we can communicate that way."

Straightening up once on his feet, Peter looks down to the roof of the boxcar he's standing on, then up to the ceiling, his brows lifting and a worried expression crossing his face. "Keep an eye on it," he offers in a hushed tone of voice, "but keep an eye out too, there's no telling when the government might start looking into Rupert's assets like that building. But if the haven't gone after it yet, there's a chance they might not."

Brown eyes drift over to Griffin, and Peter dips his head down into a slow nod. "Thanks, Griffin… for what it's worth." The actual value of their conversation may not be readily obvious just yet, but soon enough there'll be repayment for kind words. As Peter's body breaks up into billowing couds of gray smoke, catching on the cool breeze and drifting away as though he were just some figment tossed on the wind, Griffin is left along with the sounds of the night and the chill in the air.

And a sense of accomplishment.

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