His And Hers


melissa2_icon.gif peter7_icon.gif

Scene Title His and Hers
Synopsis Peter comes clean to Melissa…
Date April 11, 2010

Central Park

It's been a while since Melissa has seen, or even talked to Peter. Perhaps too long, in her mind, since the last time she saw him he was unconscious and bleeding. And soon to be dead, though she had no way of knowing that at the time. So she called him, and convinced him to meet her here at Central Park by the what's left of the rink.

Melissa arrives first, and is sitting on a bench, bundled up of course, even if she is wearing a sling on her left arm. One she's decorated herself with an odd mixture of skulls with pink bows, flowers, a pair of kissing lips and odd phrases and symbols. Someone had fun livening up an otherwise depressing item. Next to her on the bench is a pair of skates, and in her lap? A small white box from a local bakery.

She's fidgeting a little, by way of bouncing her knee lightly, while she sips from a thermal cup full of coffee, and staring out over the piles of snow.

It's perhaps now surprise that it's snowing when Melissa set up this meeting, that the drifting flakes of white come falling from the skies slowly. It's cold enough out that the breeze steals her breath, cold enough that the scarf wound around her mouth is all that's keeping the frigid winter claws from sucking the heat from her body through her throat. There's no one else out on the frozen pond and the paths shoveled through central park haven't been maintained properly in days, giving a good fresh foot of snow to trudge through to get out to this secluded point under slate gray skies.

A foot of snow to trudge thorugh if you're walking, anyway.

Peter doesn't consider what he's doing flying, it doesn't quite work the same and he doesn't get the proper altitude either. But the way he glides a few inches above the snow and skims across the snow like a paper-airplane in flight, wobbling and cantering from side to side at the mercy of the wind is a strangely graceful sight. His long black wool coat flares out behind him as he glides, collar flipped up and buttoned over his mouth, bright red scarf covering everything up to his nose and a black knit cap covering the top of his head from the bitter atmoskinetic chill.

When he finally closes in on Melissa, Peter slows his approach, kicking up a cloud of snow from the drifts at the manipulation of gravity. He skids over the snow, skipping with his boots once and leaving featherlight footprints before landing down beside Melissa from the long jump. Hos boots crunch down into the snow, jacket swishes around his legs and brown eyes are all that she can see.

"You— " Peter sounds almost breathless, maybe it was the exertion, maybe it's the cold, "have a really— honestly weird sense of…" Dark eyes wander down to the white box set in the shoveled out bench surrounded by an eight foot high wall of snow, then back up to Melissa. She can't see hiw brow raise in question. "What's… What's up?"

He didn't bring ice skates.

When Melissa notices Peter the fidgeting stops and she smiles, nodding to the bench next to her. "A weird sense of what? Timing? Location? Maybe. But there's something I've been dying to do since I saw the first snow here, and there's no one I'd rather do it with. Besides, I thought it would be fun. For both of us."

The box is motioned to next. "I even brought an offering. They're…well, okay, they were warm, but now they're probably far from warm, but they should still be good. And I though…" She trails off, the smile fading, and the coffee is set down and she rises to her feet, moving quickly despite her obvious injury, to try to wrap an arm around him in a tight hug. Seeing him after she knows he was a corpse for a good half hour is just not something that she can hold off, though clearly she tried.

"Dammit Peter…You're not allowed to die on me. And sure as hell not yet," she mumbles, shaking her head.

He's freezing cold to the touch, thanks to his flight through the city and across the snow drifts of Central Park, all Melissa gets in the hug is the stiff fabric of his jacket and the awkward tension in reception of the embrace. At first he just stands there,s ilently, eventually lifting an arm up to wrap around her shoulder and tip his head down to rest his knit cap covered bwo against her forehead. "Hey… I've survived worse." Peter mumurs behind both scarf and raised collar, "I've brushed death more than that time, and I've come out fine in the end… I'd hoped to have put all that behind me."

Patting one gloved hand against Melissa's back, Peter leans away from the embrace and takes a look down at her, then over to the box and back again. "What happened to you?" Apparently he's out of the loop as far as the Ferrymen goes, otherwise he'd be more prescient about her injuries.

Melissa's eyes close when his head touches hers. "Maybe, but I was worried. I wanted to go see you that first night, but I couldn't. Then I went to go see the healer there, to ask him to help you, but he already had."

Eyes open and glance down to the sling and she shrugs a little. "Was house hunting with Abby, and the place we were checking out was on fire. A couple friends were inside, and apparently someone was shooting or something, and I got hit in the shoulder." She smiles and turns back to the bench, picking up the box. "I'm fine though. Got patched up by a doctor I know. Besides, scars are sexy, right? And now I've got two."

The box is offered to Peter with an impish smile. "Brought you some donuts. Couple different kinds in there." And all of them the kinds that Abby informed Melissa were his favorites.

"Actually… I'm not a big fan of scars," Peter admits with a furrow of his brows, the irony of the sentiment is entirely lost on her, perhaps for the better. Eyeing the box of donuts speculatively, Peter breathes in a slow breath, then exhales a sigh that's barely visible as steam. There's a firm look from Peter, down to the donuts and then back up to Melissa, and when he reaches out to lay a leather-gloved hand on her shoulder, there's a look in his eyes that seems disconcerting.

"We should talk…" isn't what Melissa wants to hear, "about a lot of things, because— because I'm afraid I gave you the wrong impression that night at the club. I— I shouldn't have let it drag out this long anyway." Looking to the bench, Peter's eyes seem a bit distant, and he steps around Melissa towards that cleared off seat, turning to look over his shoulder at her, then to the box, then away and down to the bench.

"Come and sit down," is delivered with all the nervousness of a doctor who's about to give a fatal prognosis to a patient as he moves to sit on the bench despite the cold.

Melissa's head tilts, a brow arching. "Is this where you tell me that you've got a girlfriend and that nothing can happen between us? If so, then I wouldn't bother." She sits the box down, even though she remains standing. "You told me you were involved at the club, remember? And I met her?" she reminds him, her good hand sliding into her pocket.

Rather than looking at him she looks towards the setting sun, and is quiet for a long moment. "I thought about just saying later then. Walk away, leave you to Kaylee, see about finding someone else. It would've been the nice thing to do. Maybe even the smart thing."

Here she does look back to Peter, her gaze steady and without the nervousness of most women who got the "we need to talk" line. "But I won't. You can tell me now that you're not interested in anyone but her, and maybe that's what you want to believe. Maybe it's what you need to believe. But I know you're attracted to me, Peter."

She draws in a deep breath and picks up her coffee, sipping at it, but still not sitting down. "It's weird, really. We've only met a handful of times. And I'm not a love at first sight girl. Infatuation at first sight? Oh yeah. I'll buy that. Hell, I'll prove it, since it's true for some reason. Even though you're totally not the type of guy I normally go for. But right now? You're the kind of guy I need. And the guy I want. So telling me that you've got some other girl isn't going to make me go away, Peter."

Watching Melissa for a moment, Peter furrows his brows and then dips his brown eyes down to his feet, head craning to the side before he clears his throat. "That's…" there's a worried expression on his face, dark eyes lifting up to Melissa nervously. "That's not— what I wanted to talk about?" Glancing down to the snow, over to the frozen pond and back to Melissa again, Peter seems even more nervous than before, and as he slowly rises up to stand straight, there's a furthered tension in his posture.

"Look maybe— maybe this wasn't the best idea." One gloved hand of Peter's lifts to adjust that scarf behind his upturned collar, the little trim of red that almost matches the color of his cheeks. "Yeah this— this was a bad idea I'm— I'm sorry I even brought this up…" slowly shaking his head, Peter takes a step backwards from the bench and turns to look out over the frozen pond.

The silence lingers for an awkward moment as the wind blows cold across the snow drifts, carrying powdery flurries from sky and land to mix together and swirl between the two, a valley of cold snow dividing them as much as that awkward moment does.

Melissa looks surprised, then she smiles and steps towards him, absently shifting the coffee to her bad hand so she can reach for one of his with her good hand. "No, Peter…Please, stay with me. I've had such a shitty month, I just want to spend a little time with someone who doesn't expect me to save the world or be a hero. Someone I can just…be myself around and have fun or relax." And be normal. Even Melissa wants a little normal in her life.

Giving his hand a squeeze she steps a little closer, to stand beside him as he looks out over the pond. "You didn't bring any skates," she says, as though only just noticing. And maybe it is. "Do you not ice skate? I've never been, and didn't want to try by myself."

Looking down to his hand in hers, Peter's brows furrow, dark eyes alighting to Melissa as he casts his gaze out on the frozen pond again. His gloved hand slips from hers, fingers curl against his palm and his shoulders square. "I didn't intend on skating…" Peter says in a hushed tone of voice, looking back to Melissa with a somewhat intense expression in his eyes that is hard to define between anger or frustration. It tempers itself after just a moment, and there's a creak of leather as Peter's gloved hand curls shut into a fist.

"You're… with the Ferry, I've figured that much out. Which means you might run into people who know things about me, things… that I don't want you to find out from someone else. Because— " Peter cuts himself off, turning around and pacing away from Melissa in the snow, boots crunching and both of his hands smoothing over his knit cap. When he turns around, Peter's leveling a nervous stare at Nelissa. "Because I'm afraid what you'll do if you find out… and because— because you need to know."

Turning around with that distance between them again, Peter uncomfortably asks an awkward question. "How much do you know about who I am?"

Melissa glances down when his hand pulls free from his, then she looks back up to him, quiet for a long moment. "I know your mother has influence in the Company, and that you are, or were, a member yourself," she says softly. "I know that you were at one point possessed by Kazi the Nazi's power, that that's how you knew about the life sucking versus healing thing that you mentioned to me at the club. I also know that you were in Moab with me, and Helena, and a number other people. In Red Level."

For the moment she lets him have the distance, and her hand returns to her coat pocket. "I was a little…when I heard about the Company thing, I didn't like it at first. But then, I figured…Abby trusts you. Helena trusts you. I trust both of them, a great deal. And then I thought about how you were at the party at the hotel. What you do for a living. And here I am."

"That wasn't me," Peter asserts in a firm voice, "the agent. That— it's complicated. It was me, but it wasn't me. I don't think there's a satisfactory way to explain it to you that doesn't sound like I'm some…" schizophrenic psychopath may be a bad segue into the topic he's going to bring up. "Everything else you heard's true," Peter admits with a subtle nod of his head, "but Kazimir wasn't just what everyone says he was. He's just as much responsible for saving the world as I was, or anyone else who… was there." Peter's vagueness probably isn't helping anything.

Huffing out a sigh, Peter slowly walks closer with a crunch of his boots in the snow. "I don't know how long it'll take for you to find out, maybe just one conversation with Richard Cardinal, maybe just finding the wrong person who has a grudge." He doesn't intentionally book-end those two possibilities, but there's no small coincidence that they're one after the other.

"What I'm going to tell you doesn't leave this park. Doesn't leave your lips, ever. You don't tell anyone, if you value whatever kind of friendship we have," emphasis entirely intentional there, even if it's a bit blunt.

"Do you understand?" Tucking his gloved hands into the pockets of his wool coat, Peter watches Melissa with a greater scrutiny than he had before.

Melissa's expression goes somber and she nods. "Yeah, I understand. Peter, I'd never do anything to hurt you, or embarrass you. I swear it. Whatever you tell me remains between us," she says, sounding sincere. Of course it helps that she is sincere. "And I don't know this Richard Cardinal. And Kazimir did sound complicated. I didn't get it all when I was told. But if you tell me that the agent wasn't you, then I believe you." Who knew a Ferrymen had so much trust in someone she barely knew?

Looking out over the snow banks, Peter's brows furrow together tightly. His eyes track the shape of the frozen dunes, then angle back to Melissa. Walking towards her only so he doesn't have to speak up more than he already his, there's a weight in his voice that hangs heavy with every syllable. "What I'm going to told you I've only told a handful of other people, I'm telling you because— because I trust you, and because I don't want you to find out from someone who doesn't have all the facts."

Running his tongue over his lips, Peter looks out to the pond again. "Three years ago, I discovered I had the ability to mimic the powers of people around me. It was a power I could hardly control, and it was tied specifically to my emotions and how people made me feel." Swallowing quietly, the motion is lost in all but the silence it creates to Melissa. "Three years ago I was hunting a dangerous man, a powerful dangerous man who killed… killed a lot of people. In hunting him down, I met a man named Ted. Ted— Ted was like me, like us." Peter's brows crease together, "he had an ability… a terrible one."

"Ted Sprague could control nuclear fission." Peter's voice drops as he says that, voice tightening at the very end before he looks down to his feet. "I copied Ted's power unintentionally, but— I managed to get a little bit of a hold on it. But something happened on the eighth of November, three years ago…"

Peter's eyes look away from Melissa, brows furrow and his voice becomes more quiet. "I lost control." The rest, as they say, is history.

The seriousness of the discussion isn't lost on Melissa, and she stays not only quiet, but still as well as she listens to him, just nodding a little when it's appropriate. When he's done it takes a minute for things to click with Mel. People aren't bombs, even in her freaky little world. When it does click, her brow furrows for a moment, but there's a little more silence as she tries to figure out how she feels about it."

"You…you were the bomb, Peter?" she asks softly. "Oh god…How are you…how did you not die? You don't even look like you've ever been near an explosion." She takes a step closer to him, rather than away. "You blame yourself, don't you?" she whispers. Then she shakes her head. "Of course you do. We all blame ourselves when we lose control of our powers. But you shouldn't. Anymore than I should blame myself for hurting people when I was getting the hang of mine."

"I didn't ask you for your sympathy," Peter states coldly, lifting a hand up with his palm out to ward Melissa from getting any closer. "I told you I've survived worse things… It— doesn't matter how I survived, I did and I claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. All of this," there's a wave of Peter's hand around himself slowly. "This whole world we live in, with forced registration and the anti-evolved sentiment, all of this is my fault, and my family covered it up and blamed it on someone else so the world would have a face to hate and a name to spit when they curse about our kind."

Looking away, Peter's brown eyes narrow subtly. "This is why you and I can't ever happen. Why not matter how I feel about you, I can't ever do anything about it. Above and beyond the fact that I love Kaylee, you live in a world I don't ever want to be a part of again. The Ferry, the fact that you're a wanted criminal and there's nothing I can do about it." Peter's voice hitches there, head shaking.

"I've spent three years of my life trying to pretend like I'm a hero, and I'm tired, Melissa. I'm so tired of all the constant running and hiding and fighting. I'm tired of everyone in my life leaving me, or forcing them away because I'm afraid what I'd do to them if they stayed around. I have a good life where I am now, I have someone who's willing to set aside the life you have and try to live a normal one with me."

Shaking his head again, Peter looks away from Melissa after a brief glimpse. "You and I can't ever happen because you can't live in my world. It's not fair, it's not right but you can't. I'm not oging to wonder every night when the police are going to pound down my door looking for you, I'm not going to live my life seeing that scar under your chin that reminds me of the lowest point of my life. You are a constant and painful reminder of the life I don't ever want to live again…"

Swallowing audibly, Peter closes his eyes slowly. "Kaylee's at least willing to try to change, to give up the illusion that this war can even be won or that it's even worth fighting. You…" dark eyes open slowly, lifting up towards Melissa. "You can't ever have a normal life… and that's all I want now." Silence hurts, more than Peter's heavily dressed silhouette allows him to show. "I'm sorry."

"You're an idiot, Peter," Melissa says, sighing and shaking her head. "You haven't even asked me what I want. Or what I want to be. I've been in New York for two months. I've been shot, I've been burned, I've nearly had my brain removed, and I nearly got killed by a healer who can't control his power."

She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. "This isn't fun for me, Peter. And I know that the war can't be won. Wars like this never can. It's like trying to dam up the Mississippi with a cork. It doesn't work. I know that. I've known that. And for the past few weeks I've been wondering how much longer I can even fight."

Blue eyes open and settle on his face. "You know what I told Abby I wanted just a few nights ago, Peter? That I wanted a bit of normal. That I want to be able to just…not worry. To have someone I can go home to and greet with a smile and a kiss. Someone I can curl up on the couch with and watch movies with in the dark. Someone to wake up pressed against, someone to spend Sunday mornings lazing about in bed, just talking or playing or making love."

A step is taken towards him, then another. "If that's all that's standing in the way Peter, then it's not much. To use my earlier metaphor, it's like a cork trying to prevent the Mississippi from flowing. People have gotten pardons, and I didn't do anything to earn Moab, so I could too. The scar? It can be removed. And if you think I wouldn't jump at the chance for normal, you're crazy."

There's a pause, and one more step is taken, her head shaking. "I don't think you love Kaylee, either. You love what you think she can give you." She did tell him that she'd fight, and the next step in her fight, is to reach up, to tangle her fingers in his hair, and quickly lean in for a scorching kiss, trying to manage it before he can think better of it and stop her. At least it's scorching on her end. She may not love him yet, just as she told Abby, but there's definitely something there, and it's not quiet or passive.

It's an odd show of affection, the touch of her lips over the cold wool of his upturned collar and soft red cotton scarf. Scorching on her end only, and when Peter lifts a hand to press cold leather to her cheek and push her face away gently, all he can do is exhale a sigh. "You can't remove the kinds scars I'm talking about…" Peter states in a stiff tone of voice, leaning his head back like Melissa were some dangerous animal that just got too close. "…they're on the inside." Stepping back, Peter lowers his hand from Melissa's cheek slowly, then looks down at his feet.

"Maybe you're right, maybe all I see in her is what I could have. But that's all I have now; masks. You can't ever undo what they did to you at Moab, what it turned you into, no different than I could undo what the bomb did to me, or what my time at Moab turned me into. We all wear our masks, Melissa, and mine just happens to be a painted smile. You're never going to get pardoned, and you love what you do too much, it's in your voice, on your clothes, everywhere around you."

"You would no sooner give up the Ferry than I would the life I've got now." Affirmation strikes soundly in Peter's voice as he backs up again, looking to the box of donuts and then back up to Melissa. "You may want a normal life, but I don't think you're ever going to get it. Maybe I won't either, but I can try. Just…"

Peter's head shakes slowly, "…not with you."

Melissa takes a step back, looking…hurt. "You're wrong, Peter. I would give up the Ferry. There are very few things I would give it up for, but I could give it up. I'd give it up for you." Clearly she really wants a man! "I don't love it. I don't love having to fight. Having to sneak around. I don't love having to hide or run. I'm not sure there's anything I do love. But there's something I know I could love all too easily if given the chance."


Mel looks away, back towards the frozen pond, her head bending a little. "You said you were tired of forcing people away because you're afraid. So why are you pushing me away without even giving me a chance? Why did you tell me your biggest secret if you don't feel something for me?" she whispers.

Looking back to him, tears shine in her eyes, but remain unshed. She won't let them fall. She refuses to let them fall. "I've never had anything good in my life, Peter. Nothing. And here in New York I'm doing little more than simply existing. I'm not living. I try. I try so hard. With Abby and the others. But they're all missing something. Something you have."

She retakes one of the steps she moved back a minute ago. "I'm not going away, Peter. I've got this serious thing for you. I could fall for you given the smallest push. And I want normal more than you ever could. But I'll make you a deal. You spend one night with me. Just one. On a date. And you kiss me, a real kiss. If at the end of the date you can stand there in front of me and tell me that you still feel nothing for me, that you can't have anything with me, I'll back off. I'll even be nice to Kaylee."

"I do feel something…" Peter says in a hushed voice, "…that's why this is the last time you're going to see me. This isn't a game, this isn't some kind of test…" Drifting up into the air slowly, Peter looks like he's floating weightless, until the wind carries him back and away from Melissa and he's settled down on top of one of the snow drifts, too featherlight to be sinking into the top of the snow. He watches the blonde for a moment, then furrows his brows and pulls the back the band-aid of this conversation with one quick ripping tug. "…this is goodbye."

With those words, there's an eruption of snow beneath Peter in a swirl of whit epowder that rises up to catch with the flurries of the snow falling from the sky. Peter's gone after the snow clears, launched either skyward or over the rolling dunes of snow through the park.

It's cold out today, cold enough that tears freeze with just a few moments of exposure to the air and become little more than glittering diamonds of ice in otherwise dark lashes.

His and hers.

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