I Need Help


peter_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title I Need Help
Synopsis Tamara pays Peter a confusing, but apparently illuminating, visit.
Date September 3, 2008

Deveaux Building — Rooftop

The sun had set not long ago, that period of time in the evening when the sky lights up as if on fire, shading clouds with rich hues of purple, orange and red. It was this time of day that Peter appreciated the most. He'd spent many nights here, atop the Devereaux building, looking out over the desolation of Midtown, remembering the faces of the people who had all depended on him to protect their lives and liveleyhood — all the people he let down. Tonight was no exception, and the scarred Petrelli had once again occupied his traditional roost, amidst the broken debris of wood, stone and glass.

Now that the sun had set, though, Peter was seeing to another nightly ritual. One that requires the isolation and privacy the rooftop affords — practice. It was something Kaito Nakamura had instilled in him, a sense of discipline that was necessary when confronted with the myriad of dangerous talents that he could unwittingly find himself responsible for. Tonight, he had set out to learn more about one of his more recent aquisitions, to in turn attempt to learn more about the type of person that would have this power. To learn more about the man who called himself Cameron.

To this end, Peter was pacing back and forth across the rooftop, remembering their encounter in the sewers, remembering how forward and aggressive Cameron was, how reluctantly he had backed down from a potential confrontation. That emotion, that ferocity, it came rushing back to him easier now than before. Ever since last night, he had felt it easier to recall moments like that, easier to recall minutae he may have ignored before. It made sessions like this easier. Flames danced around his fingers, glowing orange-white flames that rolled down his arms and back to his fingers. He had cast aside his jacket, dressed in his black slacks and a white tanktop, letting the fire dance as it wanted to over his skin. Occasionally, he'd collect it all into a ball between his hands, and clap it out in a puff of smoke and cinders. It was starting to make more sense…

In the ruins of Midtown, there aren't very many people to see the light from Peter's practice. But there is one. The quiet brushing of sandals against concrete heralds Tamara's arrival on the rooftop. The girl doesn't approach Peter, but hangs around the wall, drifting over to one side to clear the doorway. If he chooses to leave by the mundane route, he won't come close to her in the process.

Tilting her head, Tamara regards the flame with a mildly thoughtful expression. She is neither concerned by it nor by Peter's presence on the rooftop; she gives no impression that either comes as a surprise. "There are many threads to a road," the teen remarks conversationally. "Not all of them are bright. Some burn. Some are burned."

With his back to the door, Peter had no idea that anyone was here. At the sound of a voice, he spun around, one hand catching alight as he held it out, fingers spread with flames leaping between them. In the bright orange glow, he could see the skeletal framework of the greenhouse that encased the entrance and the shattered glass all about on the rooftop — and more importantly, he could see the young, blonde girl standing there near the wall. Peter's face contorted into both an apologetic, and concerned expression.

"W-who — " He shakes his raised hand, dismissing the flames from it with a haze of smoke from his fingertips. As his eyes adjusted to the light, Peter looked startled, perhaps not entirely hearing what the young girl said, more so than the fact that she did speak. "I — I'm sorry." His eyes drift down to his hand for a moment, then back up to Tamara, "Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you…" It's clear he didn't hear her.

The smile Tamara gives the young man is probably more reassuring than his words. "No," she agrees without hesitation. "You didn't." Crossing her forearms over the rail around the rooftop, she leans against it, seeming perfectly at her ease. At least for now. Which is more than can be said for Peter. He didn't hear her; she doesn't seem to mind. "You're backwards. But that's why you're there, and I'm here." She looks over her shoulder at Peter, and smiles amiably, as though the comment makes all the sense in the world to her.

As he listens to the girl, sees the way she carries herself; that she wasn't afraid — or more notably, surprised — that he was ingulfed in flames up to a moment ago something inside Peter stirs. "Are you with them too?" He stood up straight, walking a few steps away from Tamara and towards where he had hung his coat over the broken framework of a pigeon coop, "Because if you are, you can just get out of here right now. I don't know what it is with you people wanting to bother me, but I don't want or need your help." He had mistaken her for PARIAH, a group that had become incresingly more involved in his life as of late.

Looking out over the ruins again, Tamara listens to Peter walking away. A faint smile curves her lips. "You think I'm here to help." The teen is quiet for a few moments, as if turning that over in her head. Considering it. Contemplating it. "What is help?" she muses, apparently to herself. "Lead the horse to water, and it won't drink; lead it to the fire, and it walks through." The girl turns away from the rail, eyes now gone dark and fey settling upon Peter. "Do you know what you need? Do you know where you go? Or do you stand on the shore and hope a bottle washes in?"

Now he's finally starting to listen to her, not just dismissing the words as they come out of her mouth because of how young she is. Peter looks up, shouldering his jacket and adjusting the collar as he re-assesses the young woman with a furrowed brow. He doesn't have a direct answer for her, in fact he wasn't even sure how to begin to approach the subject as her words bounced around in her head. "Why…" Peter's eyes wandered the rooftop, bathed in only starlight. "Why are you up here?" He still couldn't quite piece together answers for her question, but as he probed her conversation with a question of his own, his mind started to delve in and solve answers of its own as he begins to focus, focusing his thoughts towards the young girl, and the thoughts that are contained within her mind like a closed book.

"Stop it, stop it, stop it!" The girl's response is immediate and very emphatic. Tamara holds up a hand to Peter, palm out, and simultaneously backpedals away from him. Somehow managing to do so without ever seeming to be in danger of falling over the rail. Neither does she collide with the wall — quite. Eyes wide, the teen looks like she rather wishes she could go through it right about now, though.

He stopped, abruptly, and took a step back and away from Tamara. She knew what he was doing, before he'd even managed to catch anything from his efforts. That was cause enough for concern right there. "How did you — " Peter shakes his head, it was obvious to him, even if he was wrong. She was gifted like Parkman. "What do you want from me?" The paranoia crept back, and despite how vulnerable — to Peter — the girl looked right now, he didn't back off like he normally would. "Just…" He began to realize how harsh he was coming across, "Just get over here before you fall, I'm not going to do anything, alright? I stopped…" Peter holds out both hands, palms forward, as if somehow that made a difference.

The moment Peter stops seeking, Tamara relaxes — even before the verbal reassurance. And she shakes her head. "Never," she says, tone grave. "Never-never. Unless I asked." Blue eyes flick slightly to one side, focusing somewhere beyond her companion. As he speaks again, another headshake is the reply — that, and the teen's apparent lack of desire to move. "I didn't fall. And you didn't want it. It was better not." Her voice is slightly apologetic, but not very. Tamara pauses, pressing her lips together; ultimately, she hooks tangled hair behind her ears and returns her attention to Peter. Mostly. "I shouldn't stay; still too many shadows. Dark shadows. For you. I didn't need to worry. But…" Her pause is brief, her attention drawn into the distance. The right words are there. She just needs the proper possibility to follow. "Sometimes there's too much forest to see what's in front of your face. Sometimes the road passes by because you never looked between the trees." Dark, dark eyes. "Opportunities and choices, Peter. They are there. Not seeing is no excuse."

"You — " Peter catches his name said immediately, he knew he hadn't given it to her, but after what else she had said it shouldn't have come as such a surprise to him. "What do you know?" He was persistant, taking a few steps forward. He wasn't nearly close enough to make it dangerous for Tamara — dangerous in the way she was avoiding anyway. "What did you see?" Peter's tone changed, from suspicious to inquisitive, "The hand, is that his hand? Tell me what you saw, do you know what's going on?" He threw out references wildly, presuming she had come here with something to divulge. He was looking for the easy way out, the way where answers were dropped in front of him, like in the old days. "Who are you?" That one, perhaps, was easier to answer.

Easier for anyone else, most likely. "Was it his? Was it yours? The river shifts," the girl replies, tone regretful. "Maybe there was never an arm. Many threads wove that road — more than the mirror could hope to touch." Tamara closes her eyes, not moving from where she stands by the wall. Standing, perhaps, just that bit on the side of too still. "But maybe the right few can turn it," she concludes wearily.

"You aren't making any sense…" Peter relented after a moment, his brow tensing as he took a step back. The look Tamara had taken, the way she had seemed to freeze up made him pull back. Peter watches the girl with concern, now, "Look, I don't know what you're talking about. But if you know something that can help me, can help everything…" He shakes his head a little, "…help everything get back to the way it was, I need to know." He gives the girl her distance, now seeming regretful of his earlier attitude. "But right now, I don't understand…" As Peter looks back up to the girl, there is a sense of quiet desperation about him, of being lost and not knowing where to turn next. Then, it hit him, "I just…" The words are hard to say, "I need help." It was hard to be wrong.

She can wait. Waiting while he talks himself through, Tamara relaxes again with the greater distance; clearly, separation is important to her. Waiting, despite the hand she rubs across her face. The beginning of strain adding to a hint of fatigue. Nonetheless, when Peter reaches his conclusion, the statement is met with a brilliant smile. Score one for Peter. "No one walks alone," the girl says softly.

He doesn't have words for her reaction, and his eyes drift back down to the top of the roof, then to his hands as he holds them out in front of himself. When he looks back up, Peter narrows his eyes slightly. Was she one of PARIAH, was this some elaborate scheme to rope him in? There was no way for him to be certain; if she was she had played every card she possibly could — keeping Peter out of her mind, keeping her distance to avoid him taking her power, and making the idea of approaching them his idea. He could feel he was being manipulated, but at the same time he couldn't tell by what side, or to what end. "You know my name…" Peter slides his hands into his jacket pockets, "At least give me yours."

Dark eyes study Peter's face in the ensuing silence, searching. Trying to glean, from the bits of possibility that pass them by, what's going on behind his expression. Experience, plus the self-correcting input of her perceptions, helps a lot. "Just remember the answer isn't always inside." Quiet again — and when his turn to speak comes around, Tamara sighs. "I…" Dark eyes shift to the even darker sky. "The mirror's broken," she says softly. A pause, as she looks into the distance, tongue flicking quickly over her lips. "Ghosts were… harder to catch." But with as little as she's been able to give Peter, the chances of him accepting that sort of regretful denial are slim. So she makes the effort. "T-Tamara," the teen replies, closing her eyes and pressing one hand against her head.

"Don't… push yourself." Peter took a second to find the right words, "You don't look good." He started to approach, then hesitated. This time it didn't look like he hesitated for her, specifically, but out of his own concern — did he really want to see things the way she did? There was a certain expression of concern he wore, and it lingers as he takes a step back, "I don't have anywhere for you to stay." He made a guess, judging from her clothes and the wind-blown look of her hair, "You'll get sick here, you should go… It isn't safe to be out this close to everything." There's a pause, and Peter looks out towards the crater and the jagged skyline, thinking.

No, he doesn't really. "Sick," Tamara echoes calmly. "Not tonight." She seems much more certain of that than of her own name. A smile, then, that Peter doesn't see, having turned away. "Don't push yourself either," the girl states. "There was a long ways left to go." The sound of sandals on concrete again, as she judges it an appropriate time to depart — Peter's less likely to try and prevent it now.

Peter turns, looking to where the girl was and watches her depart, "Hey." He was searching for the right words, for the right things to say, "Thanks…" Peter realizes that sometimes, all he really needs, is a kick in the ass. "I mean it." This was just the kick he needed in order to be able to take the next step, to stop shutting everyone else out, and to start making changes. Changes for the better or worse — that was for Tamara to know, and for Peter to find out along the way. With that said, Peter offers the girl a smile, "Is… there someplace you want to be?" His head tilts to the side, "I can take you there."

"You're welcome," the girl replies, pausing to cast Peter a smile over one shoulder. The glance soon turns into a shake of her head. "Maybe; maybe not. Some gambles don't pay enough. Roll the dice that come up black — and what then?" Another small, almost-apologetic smile. "I will walk," Tamara concludes, before she slips through the door and heads downstairs.

When the girl slipped into the stairwell, Peter watches for a time, half hoping she'd come back up and change her mind. When she doesn't, he lets out that sigh he had been holding in since they started talking, all the tension that had built up rolling out of him in that heavy breath. He turns, walking towards the railing on the rooftop, resting his arms against it as he leans forward, looking at the streets below and the faint light of small burning fires and headlights, "Hiro…" He closes his eyes and hangs his head, "Where the hell are you?"

September 3rd: All of this... Misunderstanding

Previously in this storyline…
We Don't Know Them

Next in this storyline…
The Terrible Crime of Cameron-Crushing

September 3rd: The Terrible Crime of Cameron-Crushing
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