It Is What It Is


cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif helena_icon.gif peter2_icon.gif trask_icon.gif

Scene Title It Is What It Is
Synopsis Peter's present and his past confront one another, to unexpected results.
Date October 10, 2008

Lower East Side: Apartment 1407

Some time ago this spacious apartment may have been a comfortable and warm place to live. The architecture is reminiscent of old-world New York, with many hallways and corridors leading to wide open living spaces and dining rooms. But in whatever times has passed since someone lived here, it has not been kind. Plastic and sheets cover much of the contents of the apartment, pulled over armoires and cabinets, couches and chairs and tables. Boxes half-filled with personal belongings are stacked up in cleared out areas of what might have at one time been a living room. Windows with blinds partly drawn view the streets of what is clearly the Lower East Side.

It took forever to get Peter to a point where she and Cat could pause enough to call Alex and get picked up in his cab. The address Helena gave would put him in familiar surroundings when he wakes up - his apartment. Once he was settled into his bed, Helena began to make a few quiet calls. 'Sergei' made an appearance in the morning, parking on the couch and ready to standby in the event of Peter waking up and not being the Peter they know. Alex was also in and out, wanting to give Helena a chance to sleep. She was hardpressed to leave his side. Cat was also called, who wanted to make sure Danielle was okay first.

When she wasn't sleeping fitfully or forced to eat by Alex and Trask, Helena sat in Peter's bedroom, watching the careful processes of his regenreration with hope that makes her bite her lip with every adjustment of his body.

The first signs of life came sometime around noon, with Peter stirring from his silent, corpse-like rest. His arms twitched, one of them giving a muffled snap as something popped back into place. Then, for a time, he grows silent and still once more, breathing but not moving. It only comes close to a half hour later when his eyes pop open, staring blankly at the ceiling overhead. There's a groggy, tired sound that rumbles in the back of his throat, and Peter covers his face with one hand, smacking his lips like someone waking up with cottonmouth and a hangover. He rolls to one side of the bed, which ends up turning his back to Helena. The alarm clock is tipped to one side as he stares at it blearing, flashing 12:00 as it has for a long while. He mumbles, laying back down onto the pillow with one arm thrown over the side of the bed, as if… he was just going to lay back down and sleep again.

Helena had dragged a chair into the bedroom by the door, and when he stirs and shifts, her head raises from the hunched over, half dozed position she had settled herself into. "Peter?" she whispers, straightening and looking out into the living room to catch Trask's eye. They might need him.

At first it's just a mumble, then it's a gasp as Peter suddenly remembers why he's in bed, whirling around, one leg tangled in the sheets before hurling himself inadvertantly off of the side of the bed and down onto the floor, colliding with the night stand as he does, sending that alarm clock crashing down to the floor with a loud clatter. The dead weight of Peter's body hitting the hardwood floor makes a noise loud enough to be heard not only across the apartment but in the vacant apartment downstairs. He scrambles across the floor on his hands and feet, then clambors up to press his back against the wall by the sliding glass doors covered by curtains. "W-who — " Peter's eyes dart around the bedroom, then down to himself, spotting the blood staining his suit, patting his chest down. He looks back up to Helena, eyes wide. "What happened, how am I still alive, who are you?"

Helena lets out a soft sigh, her shoulders slumping a little. "You're alive because one of the people you've gained an ability from is a young woman who is able to regenerate. Her name is Claire, and you know her very well. Or at least you did. I told you, my name is Helena, and I'm…someone who you also knew very well."

Peter relaxes slightly, but only slightly. There's visible tension in his posture as he keeps one hand held out towards Helena, a warding off gesture. "I…" He furrows his brow, "Look, I… I'm sorry. I don't remember you, I mean, not before the apartments." He looks around, not spotting Woods or hearing his voice, then becomes somewhat more anxious. "I… You knew where I lived?" Peter's eyes wander the apartment, the furniture and the way things look mostly boxed up, like someone was in the process of being moved out. "I — I'm sorry," He says with a shake of his head, "There was an accident, I… I messed myself up pretty good. I don't… really remember much about the last… few years."

Helena nods. "I did." she said. "As a matter of fact, you gave me the keys to this place yourself." Her tone hardens a little. "They've lied to you, you know. But I realize you won't believe it at face value and I really can't blame you for that. All I ask is that you give me the opportunity to convince you. And someone is on their way here shortly who may be able to help you get your memory back. But I'll answer any question you want to put to me while we wait, at least that I know the answer to. Some of it won't make you very happy. Some of it," she shrugs a bit shyly, "I don't know."

She's not alone, hasn't been alone, since shortly after they left Dorchester Towers. Cat approaches the door of apartment 1407 in this building and reaches for the knob. It's her intent to open the door and make entry carefully if such is possible. She looks briefly over her shoulder to the less tall woman behind her, then ahead again.

Dani moves to follow Cat. She has the supplies they brought, and still isn't entirely sure about all the specifics. She has the basics, though, and that's more than enough.

Door's locked, though. This is, after all, New York.

There's an immediate distrusting look as Peter lowers his hand slowly, "How can you be so sure I've been lied to. I haven't even told you what they said or…" Peter's eyes dart over to the door at the sound of the knob moving and rattling, then back to Helena. "Look, whatever you think about me, about the people I work for?" He shakes his head, "It's wrong. Your friend last night, the crazy one that was shouting?" He shakes his head again, running his fingers on one hand through his hair. "We are government agents, on paper. Look, you're… Maybe I know you, maybe I don't and this is some sort've crazy attempt at social engineering. I'll give you…" He thinks about what Gwendolyn told him, about being too trusting. His jaw sets, and Peter looks back up to Helena. "Where's Woods? Is he okay?"

Finding that to be the case, Cat lifts one hand and knocks on the locked door three times. She then waits for it to be opened.

Trask goes to answer the door, and once Cat's face is seen will let her in. Then he goes back to guard duty.

"You're working as an agent of the Company." Helena says flatly. "And they aren't the government. Sometimes you guys work with Homeland Security, but it's privately funded. They make a habit of bagging and tagging the Evolved, using those of us who are useful for their own ends, and imprisoning the dangerous ones. Of those three goals, the latter is probably the most benign of their motives. Your friend got picked up by an ambulance; I think his arm got broken." She shrugs, reaches into her pocket, and pulls out the note. She doesn't offer it yet, but she holds it like a talisman.

Peter eyes the folded piece of paper, then looks back up to Helena, "Like I said, it's government on paper." He looks to the man answering the door, scarf covering most of his face, then to the pair coming in from the hallway. He recognizes the first one in right away, the crazy woman from the apartments who was shouting. Then, the shorter woman gets a blank stare. Soon, though, Peter's attention turns back to Helena. "Bag and tag? You make it sound like some kind've wild-life preserve." He snorts, derisively. "Yes, we capture dangerous Evolved who are a threat to society, I think that's kind've necessary. Not every wild dog attack in the news is what it seems to be." His lips purse slightly, watching the newcomers again before looking back to the note, then up to make eye contact. "We do a lot of good, I have done a lot of good there since I started. Saved lives, helped people?" He takes a few steps away from the wall finally, "Exactly what do you do to help people?"

He looks around, "Aside from…" Peter hesitates, not spitting out those last words as he tries to be somewhat less standoffish. "Where do we know each other from?" His eyes flit to the paper again, "You offered that to me last night…"

"Thank you," Cat offers to Trask as she steps in with Dani behind her and moves to hold the door open. Her free hand goes to rub at her temple and her brow furrows, the expression becomes one of discomfort. Things don't work the way they should; suddenly there are holes in her memory, a thing that happened once before when she encountered a man with his face partly covered behind a scarf. Getting some space between herself and Trask is a priority; she wants to be beyond the ten foot range.

Helena doesn't answer the question yet, but rises to move to the bedside and wordlessly hands him the paper. She even reaches for the light to turn it on and provide him the means to read by. "You haven't believed anything else I've said." she murmurs. "So I don't know that you'll believe this. But it's your own handwriting which I would think you can recognize." She looks over her shoulder. "Cat," she calls out, "Come on in." Dani gets a wary nod from where Hel can see her in the doorway.

Dani steps inside. She looks over, and sees Helena and Peter there. "Hey, Captain Emo…" She gives Peter a wave, and looks to Helena. She doesn't just barge in, since Helena addressed Cat. Instead she'll ask. "May I come in?"

Reaching out quietly, Peter takes the paper from Helena's hand. Slowly, it's unfolded, and he looks down at the handwriting in silence for a short time. His eyes drift to the side, then back to the paper again, and it's clear he's re-reading it. After a few silent moments, Peter folds the paper back up, biting down gently on his lower lip in thought, still looking down at the paper and nothing else. "I… Don't really know what you want me to say." When his eyes move back to Helena, hes awkwardly fumbling with the paper in hand. Peter's mannerisms seems almost entirely different, like a whole seperate person. This Peter, he seems so much more insecure of himself, less in charge, less confident — Even in his weakest moments, Peter always seemed to have an edge about him, and right now that edge is gone.

"I… Yeah, this is my handwriting. I just, I don't remember writing it, I'm sorry." He looks to Cat, then the unfamiliar face of Dani. His gaze tracks back, looking at Trask as he looms in the doorway for a moment before disappearing back to the sofa. "I take it you all knew me?" One brow raises slowly, fingers working at a dog-eared corner of the paper.

Moving further inside at Helena's words, Cat glances back toward Dani. She doesn't comment on her pausing there to ask permission to enter, yet, at least. Her eyes face forward again and a relieved expression settles onto her face once she's put space between herself and Trask. "Helena," she greets quietly, "and Rock. Have things changed any?" The amnesiac man gets a quiet and calm study.

"Sure." Helena offers her approval to Danielle as she looks back to Peter. "I had no expectations." she assures him quietly. "But I did have some hope. Your ability is tied into the emotional connection you have with others." she explains. It'd be a lie to say that it doesn't hurt her on some level, but she can't afford to wallow. "When you went haywire last night, all the powers you exhibited came from the various Evolved you've encountered over the last few years that you don't remember. Cat's ability," she indicates the woman next to her, "Is complete and total recall of everything she's ever experienced. You've actually already absorbed her gift, but with us here and now…maybe she can help you tap into the memories you've lost. If you're willing to try." She looks back at Cat wistfully, and shakes her head.

Dani steps inside, and looks over, concerned. When Helena details The Plan, her eyes widen, and she looks back. That could work, in theory. "You're welcome to poke in mine, but every time I've been with you, Cat's been with you too…so she's the better call there."

Peter glances at Cat, then looks back to Helena, "It's actually a little bit more than just emotion," He corrects her, "At least, that's what I was reading in the file they have on me where I work. It's partly genetic memory, but, you've got…" He shakes his head, dismissing the semantics. He looks at Cat, thoughtfully, then back to Helena, "How do you suggest we go about doing that?" One brow raises slowly, mostly at Dani's comment, espescially since he doesn't recognize her one bit. It's a little overwhelming for him, but he seems to be handling it as well as can be expected. "I'm all for trying, but, really… Doctor Salonga and I have tried a lot of different methods, trying to pull back something from my subconscious. I…" He purses his lips in thought, "I'll give it a shot."

She takes up a position near Peter and Helena, and studies his face again for a long moment before she speaks. "You're a telepath, and I call you Rock," Cat begins. "I need you to focus and open yourself to receiving thoughts from me. I'm going to show you some things, in hopes they'll trigger recollections." Her first choice is to call up the memory of arriving at her apartment with him and getting that call from Dani on the night she was roughed up by Linderman goons, leading into the injured woman arriving just minutes later. It plays out like a video recording.

Helena takes a breath. "Salonga." she murmurs. "Wouldn't happen to be a petite Asian woman in a labcoat, would she?" Her mouth twists wryly, but she silences to watch Peter and Cat's efforts. Her fingers curl into little fists (of determination!), anxious with the hope that this will work.

Danielle looks over to Helena while Cat is busy with Peter. "Is there anything I can do to help?" she offers. "I mean, I don't have…abilities, like they do…" Nods to Cat and Peter. "But if there's anything I can do, I'm glad to."

Peter obliges, tilting his head to the side slightly and furrowing his brow as he delves into Cat's thoughts, there's that familiar sensation of knowing Peter is there, watching and listening. His head cants to the side, watching as things play out in his head. His eyes flit to Dani for a moment, when he sees her battered face, but his expression only shifts between distressed and mildly frustrated. "It's… like seeing a candid video of something you don't remember doing." Peter swallows, audibly, not directly answering Helena or Dani's questions now that he's trying to focus on the thoughts. His eyes narrow, it doesn't quite seem to be having the desired effect.

Next she shifts to a memory of being in a room at St. Luke's Hospital with him and Dani some hours after she was brought there to begin recovering. His voice alone is in it, having been invisible at the time, and the sounds he made as he moved around before leaving them. Then she shifts to another memory, one of herself and him communicating mentally about Sylar being alive and things in artwork, including the blonde girl impaled by rebar and the emotional connection he felt toward her.

"I'm not sure." Helena says honestly to Danielle. "I imagine he's really hungry…do you think you could make something for him? I've kept the kitchen stocked, at least a little bit." She looks at the pair trying to work in concert. "Maybe a really powerful memory." Helena suggests. "Or maybe…" she muses a moment, "The power needs to come from inside Peter." she says. "I don't know how he knows when he's absorbed an ability, but I know it can happen within moments. I don't know…maybe just - try reaching inside yourself?" she asks of him. "You've got the ability now, so try willing yourself to remember."

Danielle nods. "I can do that." She heads out that way, and starts to check the kitchen, seeing the options she has available. She starts to pull out food and prepare things, as she looks back towards the scene going on between telepath and living hard drive.

Peter tilts his head to one side, looking confused at that memory, he can feel the emotions relayed through Cat's memory into his own. He swallows, awkwardly, biting down on his lower lip again as he looks to Helena. He seems to be able to hear her, at least partly, like trying to watch television and listen to someone talk at the same time. "I… I'd have to know what I'm trying to remember. It's awkward, I…" Peter's brow tenses, he looks aside, trying to remember, struggling to, but his reactions don't seem to change. He constantly wears that confused and mortified expression of someone watching a video of themselves doing things they don't recall, full of faces he doesn't remember.

Her brow furrows a bit more, and she speaks verbally now. The transfer of memories by telepathic means halts for the moment. "The first segment I showed you was when you and I arrived at my apartment while Dani was on the phone, she'd been hurt by thugs. The second was after we got her to the hospital to be treated and start healing. And the third, that was us going over things you'd seen painted and how I remembered you feeling about seeing Helena injured. Impaled." She pauses, making eye contact without resuming the transfers, before suggesting "You regenerate when you're injured. Maybe you don't remember that either. I want you to watch this next sharing, focus on it, and healing your memories, Rock." And the sharing starts again, chosen very carefully. The image of Claire Bennet and what he told her about how they met, how he picked up that regeneration ability from her. The girl he would later learn is his niece. But she doesn't, notably, give him any indication about his connection with the Nuking of New York.

Helena seems to sense the frustration, but there's not a lot she can do at this point. She has more suggestions, but places trust in Cat having the most likely answers to their problem by virtue of knowing her own ability. Danielle had seemed to feel helpless because she isn't Evolved. Well, Helena is, and yet she feels helpless too.

Ditto Dani. The ex-reporter can't do much at this point, so she's burying herself in the simple preparation of food. The scent of frying meat fills the air in short order.

As he listens, watches this display of his past with Claire, Peter tilts his head to the side again. His eyes drift and wander, looking at things only he and Cat can see in the displays of her mind. His head twitches, as if something that was said catches his attention, but all he can do is frown afterwards. Pieces and bits seem to make him recall moments, but none of them seem to jog any memory. "Regeneration…" He says in a hushed tone of voice, touching the spot on his brow where his scar is, looking puzzled, confused. His eyes wander again, following something Cat shows him, though none of it seems to change, none of it seems to help his recollection. Frustration hedges into Peter's tone of voice. "None of this… it…" He shakes his head, "It's like reading a book about someone, or… or being told something second hand. I… It just doesn't feel right." His eyes lift to Cat, then to Helena. "Whoever you think I am, I'm not him anymore…"

"You are him," Cat asserts in a quiet voice, "you just don't remember. And we won't give up on you." She takes some extended moments to think, her eyes closing, before she asks "Have you found your memories to be extremely detailed and clear since meeting me earlier this morning, Rock?" Her eyes reopen, and settle on Helena. Cat seems to have a theory, one she may explain more fully after hearing his answer. While waiting, the eyes close again and she takes in a deep breath. "Thanks, Dani," she calls out with a quiet smile forming. "My lover's food is a delight to taste."

"Seeing someone else's memories isn't the same as accessing your own." Helena has to keep racking her brain, because if she doesn't, those last words out of his mouth are going to be the despair of her. "Maybe the key isn't to look at someone else's. Turn it inward. You've got the ability from Cat now." She tries not to beg, but it's there in her eyes. She looks back to Cat. "Sorry." she says.

Dani considers. She doesn't know the way anyone's powers work…but the lightbulb goes on in her head. "If this doesn't work…I may know someone who can help." she offers. "I'm not sure…but maybe."

Cat's assertation clearly makes Peter somewhat uncomfortable, something he can't quite put his finger on. At her question, he nods, slowly, "Yeah, it — I've been testing things, what you're talking about. They're there… I mean, confirming things that you're showing me. The problem is, it's like being in a bookstore where none of the books are labeled. I only know to look for what you're telling me to…" There's a glimmer of hope at least. "I've been trying that," He says quietly to Helena, "I just — I don't know what to look for. You know? I… I'm sorry, all this effort, I just…" Something about what Cat says at the end makes Peter grimace awkwardly.

She's quiet, considering what Peter tells her in reply. Cat's silence lasts a stretch of seconds, during which she also mulls over what Dani and Helena suggest. Then she nods once, slowly, as if having arrived at a decision. "It may come back to him piecemeal over time, now that the seed is planted. But I think there's another key as well."

She glances toward the blonde. "He…" That gaze returns to Peter's face before she continues. "You need to be reintroduced to Claire."

Abruptly, as if she couldn't help herself, Helena reaches out, gripping Peter's hand tightly and looking into his face. If what he says is true, her Peter is dead. And he just can't be. He can't be.

Peter starts to walk across the floor, boots thumping with each step until he finds her side, crouching down in front of the loveseat, one hand taking hers. As he looks at her, there is an expression of unmistakeable guilt in his eyes. "It was me." He whispers, trying to speak louder but simply unable to. Then, after a moment, "I was the bomb."

Helena puts her hands to his face, so her thumbs rest along the soft skin under his eyes. "You were…the bomb?" she repeats softly. "Your brother said - " His brother lied. Her fingers slide away from his face, and she leans back in the love seat. Her expression does not grow hard, merely thoughtful. "How?" she asks. "What made you the bomb, and not Sylar?"

Helena's reaction, mirroring Cat's, causes Peter some modicum of relief. She didn't recoil in horror, she didn't lash out at him, she was either just as in shock as Cat was, or she has more faith in him that he imagines. "Sylar," Peter almost chokes on the name, "He killed a man…Ted Sprague …and stole his power. Ted was, he… he could control radiation." He shakes his head, one hand shakily settling on one of Helena's knees, needing just that extra bit of reassurance. His other hand squeezes hers gently. "I'd already been around Ted, and…and it was hard to control. I… during the fight with Sylar…" The weather doesn't worsen beyond windy and cloudy, Helena's calm composure seems to be keeping Peter in check, grounding him. "I lost control, I lost control of it and… and there was nothing I could do."

"How did you survive?" she asks, but then answers her own question. "Claire." She shakes her head. "And she still thinks she's useless." Looking back to Peter she asks quietly, "This is why you were where you were. Underground, on your own." Like a penance. She puts her hand on his cheek. "You may have to spend your whole life paying for it." she says solemnly. "But that doesn't mean you have to suffer." Maybe she doesn't quite believe it. Or maybe she thinks it isn't so simple as boiling down to Peter being the bomb. Perhaps she knows she cannot possibly inflict more guilt on Peter than his has already inflicted on himself.

Nodding slowly, Peter closes his eyes at the touch to his cheek. His hand holding Helena's squeezes again, a little tighter than before. "I spent some time in Alaska…after I woke up. I… I just wanted to wither away and die there, but I couldn't even do that." Old bitterness rises up in his tone of voice, then fades. "It was Hiro who found me, knocked me back to my senses." Eyes finally opening again, Peter looks up to Helena with that same mournful look. "I spent two years learning how to control myself, to…I don't know," His gaze diverts, insecurely, "Make a difference, somehow…" Dithering, Peter cracks an awkward, hurt smile. "You needed to know, I… I couldn't let this keep…keep eating at me. Cat knows," He bravely offers that up, "I told her, I… I'm not sure why, I think back then I just needed to confess to someone. With you, it's different…" He's still trembling, for all his facade of strength.

"I really want to meet this Hiro guy." she murmurs, and focuses on Peter again. "It's different because you thought I'd kick you to the curb." This could have gone so many ways. He told Cat before her. He could go to Cat, talk to her, and he couldn't with Helena. But the understanding that his fear was of her leaving him gives things a certain perspective. She shakes her head. "You really are an idiot." At that, all she can do is lean forward and hug him, tight.

"I know…" Peter says with a gentle, crooked smile, his laugh choked with emotion as his arms come around Helena, holding her close and tight to him. "But I'm your idiot."

"I don't know what to do." Helena whispers in the here and now.

Peter's eyes snap wide when Helena touches his hands, when he sees what she has to show him. Lips part and his breath stolen from him like someone had just slammed a fist into his midsection. It was the one truth the Company had struggled to keep from him, his one truest and deepest regret, stronger than any love, stronger than any hate, nothing but an overwhelming sense of guilt and dread that pummels against the front of Peter's mind like crashing waves from a strom. He staggers back, bumping into his wardrobe, sending a bottle of cologue rolling from the top to land loudly on the floor with a thunk. Suddenly, it all inverts and Peter's mind reaches out, snagging and pulling thoughts from other nearby minds like a ravenous animal would scrounge for food. At the same time, as pieces are recovered, others bubble to the surface, all relayed to those around him like some terribly intimate video reel. It overlays the apartment, giving double images and sounds, scents, tastes and textures, all rushing back to Peter with too much speed, all shared.

With an incredulous look, Claire nods. "Y- Yeah. Yeah, it is." Her face is a turmoil of emotions. Fear, anger, delight, sorrow. She raises one arm and slugs her uncle in the shoulder, hard. "You son of a bitch! Why didn't you tell me?!" In sharp contrast to the violence, Claire throws har arms around Peter, sobbing. One of her hands holds the shotgun by the midsection, "I thought you were dead!"

Peter staggers, one hand clutching the side of his head, "Nnh — AAAAH!" It's clear the revelations, the rewiring of his brain pains him, and his breath is pushed out in heavy panting gasps.

She gives him the lead for the kiss and meets it in the same fashion. Cat remains poised there for some moments when the contact breaks and doesn't resume. When her eyes reopen, she seems puzzled. "Is something wrong?" she asks quietly. Concern shows in her eyes, migrating to her features. And she waits for the man to respond.

Laughing - the first time Helena had heard something like that come from him - Peter gently pulls Helena closer, "Some of them, some require more concentration. I can't do too much and fly at the same time. The same goes for my telepathy, and when I paint the future?" He speaks quietly, leaning in to talk as a sensation of weightlessness comes for but a brief moment, and then the feeling of gentle breeze as gravity takes its pull again. But even though Helena can feel where down is, she's ascending, floating gradually and slowly up from the rooftop. "I'm learning to become less angry. It helps having things to be happy about, having a reason to think things might be okay after all?" In mid-air, Peter begins to turn with Helena in his arms, as if to show to her the skyline of New York from sixty feet above the rooftop. "Can't go too much higher, if we go above the other buildings someone might see us?"

"No where to run, Sylar."

She meets the kiss again, still leaving him in the lead, in the same fashion as it's given. Her head tilts into the fingers at her jawline. And when it ends, her forehead rests against his. The eyes close for a moment, then reopen to explore his. To try gaining some inkling of his emotions in that moment. And at his pronouncement, she steps back. Feet carry her slowly around him; she retrieves the dropped tank and slips it back on over her head then leans against the wall. "Don't be sorry," she replies. "It is what it is." Arms cross over her chest for just a moment, then drop to her sides. She's still watching him.

"Nowhere to hide this time."

He gets enough to answer his curiosity, though, in the short time of peering into her thoughts before being distracted by Jessica. While her voice is heard saying in a matter of fact tone "It seems to fit. Peter means rock, after all," Cat is thinking that same thing, and then some, that his face with the scar indicates hard living and makes the monicker she gave him fitting. To her it's a badge of respect to be so titled. Silence returns as she once again drinks from her stout.

"This is how it ends…"

Peter sees that look, and reaches up to lightly take her chin in his hand, lips ghosting against hers lightly, then whispers, "Incentive to make it back alive." He brushes her cheek with his nose, as if to nudge her back, smiling broadly the entire time. As Peter sits straight again, he swings his legs off of the bed, looking for his clothing. "It was Wireless," He motions to the phone, "She wants me to check out the computer." A crooked, playful smile flits across Peter's features. "That might take a bit." Standing up from the bed, turning in silhouette to Helena, Peter starts the slow and tired process of getting dressed again. "So?" He looks down, pulling his tanktop over his head to give him time to think, "What is this?" He looks to Helena, his intent rather clear, "Us?"

"Not with mercy…"

Peter leans up against Cat, his lips brushing over hers lightly, that hand on her soft stomach moving around the rest at the small of her back, a gentle tugging motion suggesting she move closer, be held closer. For all his words and dismissals, it's hard to tell what Peter thinks, hard to tell what he really wants.

"But with a bang."

"Members of an upper echelon know that you're still alive," Mohinder clarifies, "your mother included." He turns his head to the side as if trying to find Peter in his peripheral vision. No such luck. "I know that it's difficult for someone like you to understand, but what the government does - what your brother does - is a necessary evil. We have only the best interests at heart, but that isn't what I wanted to speak with you about." He lets out a slow breath, steadying himself for what he's about to say next. The geneticist has undoubtedly gone over it a dozen different times in his head since sitting down at the bench, but that doesn't make it any easier when it comes time to speak.

"I'm not afraid anymore!"

"You weren't the only one who survived the explosion, Peter. Sylar, too, is alive."

"I'm in control!"

"It is what it is." Helena replies serenely. "And I think trying to figure it out right now might be a little more then we can both handle with what's coming. Are you sorry?" She starts putting on her clothes. "Because I'm not."

"This time I'm the strong one!"

"Hey." More forceful this time, Peter looks shaken, "That's not how it is, and you know it." He reaches out, hand hovering by her shoulder, wanting to try to draw her in again, "Don't ever call yourself useless, Claire. Ever. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't even be here right now, I'd have died a long time ago." Peter's brow tenses and his fingers curl closed to his palm, hesitating away from the gesture of affection. But instead, the hand moves up, using one thumb to brush the tears from beneath one of Claire's eyes. "I love you," He says quietly, "You know that, you knew that before we even knew we were related." A faint smile, then, "I need you, here. With us… leader or not." Peter cracks a smile, shaking his head, "I can't do anything alone, least of all without you."

"No more running!"

"I had a dream, while I was out. I was in the center of New York, surrounded by abandoned cars. People were running in every direction - That blonde woman I saw at the Wench, she was there. My brother, Claire? people I recognize and don't." His hands start to shake, thunder rumbling outside, followed by close flashes of lightning.

"No more hiding!"

"It is what it is."

"No more killing!"

"They were running from me." The words were whispered, and Peter's fingers begin to curl into his hair. "I lost control, of a power I didn't even have when I had the dream. I?" Peter's shoulders begin to shake, words spoken thorugh clenched teeth and barely restrained emotions, "I was the bomb? and in the end," He started to break down, his arms shaking, and the lightning outside struck repeatedly on the nearby buildings, harmlessly. "It wasn't just a dream. In the end, fighting Sylar, we? we couldn't?" He actually sobs, breathing in a shuddering and sucking breath.

"Any chance for mercy you might have had…"

"Helena…" Flames roll off of Peter's arms and shoulders in crackling waves, his irises glowing like hot-forged iron, "Go, make sure everyone gets out safely. Everyone here." His brows knit together, wrinkling that scar on his forehead. "Be the responsible one, the leader," Peter looks away, clutching his hands closed. "Be the one they need." He pauses as he echoes Hiro's words to him, then adds, "I love you." Peter and Sylar vanish in a cyclone of flames, ash and smoke, leaving a tiny whirlwind behind where he was. The sudden rush of air that fills the void the pair once occupied, snuffing out the flames and sending the smoke out in a ring… Gone.

"Any hope I might have kept that you could be redeemed, died when…"

"…I was the bomb." Peter whispers hoarsely, one hand covering his mouth as he slumps down against the wardrobe, hitting the floor to land in a seated position, tears streaming down his cheeks. All that guilt is his again.

She eyes Helena with some sympathy for her despair, and glances toward where she saw Dani go to cook, the source of that food being prepared, then back to Peter. Cat's continuing to brainstorm this out. Short of exposing him to Claire again, she's thinking to mention Nathan. Maybe his brother can be thought of and pull things out. She's about to speak, and make that suggestion, when the dam bursts. Her mouth opens and the words die on her lips, unspoken. Most of what he's sending is already in her head, but there are new details. They're recorded, along with the entire range of perceptions here, adding to the duplications.

And amid all this flood two things still feature in her mind, sticking there like trees almost knocked over by rushing waters: One, that the sudden damburst may cause him to literally explode. It causes her to glance in Trask's direction and prepare to wave him over should he start to radiate. And Two: She hadn't told Dani about how New York was really nuked; it was Peter's story to tell. Did the transmission go to her too? She has to wonder, and it brings her to motion. It can only hit like a ton of bricks if it did. Feet are closing the distance between them.

The bevy of images rocks Helena, so much so she doesn't know what to do with herself - it's a bit like she's having a stroke, so much information processing in her brain at such a heady speed, and the instant it takes for her mind to recover again actually feels like an eternity. But Peter's weeping permeates Helena's ears and she pushes herself weakly to fall to her feet next to him, reaching out and gingerly touching him. She's afraid, even in her desire to comfort him. In a way, she took away his innocence and gave him his guilt and shame freshly new, a gift unwitting and poisonous. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry…" she also weeps. Too afraid of what she may have lost to hope for what has been returned. But unless he shoves her off, eventually she's holding onto him, murmuring her apologies numbly.

For her part, yes. Dani catches that. She hadn't known that. And she doesn't know Peter all -that- well. Hundreds…thousands…tens of thousands? How many people dead at his hands? Peter is the boogeyman of the modern age. Her eyes widen, and she immediately bolts for the door.

He can't move, there's nothing right now that could make Peter. Not Dani's fear, not Cat's concern, not even Helena's guilt. Right now he can barely keep his head up, eyes half lidded, staring vacantly in front of himself, eyes watering in a now silent crying. Every single life he took, every single painful moment he's tried to hide from since that day he fled from the glowing crater that was once Midtown had come flooding back. His journey to stop the bomb, and his inevitable descent to become it. His journey to stop Sylar in the Company holding facility, and his eventual failure to do even that simple task. Then, it all starts to fit back together, old memories and new stitching themselves shut like some Frankenstein's monster inside of his head. "Helena…" He rasps out her name, looking down to her with that half-dead expression, "We… we were wrong."

Guilt, it's all Peter can feel. Guilt of thousands of lives snuffed out in an instant, guilt of having let those monsters out from their cells. Guilt from being responsible for the horrible attack Parkman suffered. Guilt from knowing that Bob's daughter was in the hands of psychopaths because of his own lust for revenge. In the end, it was, and had always been Peter's fault. "W-we… I was so wrong…"

Helena whispers fiercely, "That doesn't make the Company right." She looks at him. "You're back." she breathes, unable to hide how nakedly grateful she is, "And now we can make it better. We can make it right. You never asked for any of it, you don't have to carry this alone." She curls her arms around him, not noticing Danielle fleeing, or Cat pursuing. "We'll make it right, I promise."

She's on the move, intending, hoping to intercept Dani before she reaches the door. Cat doesn't speak, not a single word. There's just her arms as they reach out to encircle the woman and pull her close in, and the expression of understanding to her features, as she offers herself to absorb all the shock and horror of what was just learned. To expose herself to whatever verbal, physical, or combined assault comes without complaint.

Danielle is not intending to be intercepted, Cat or no. Dani runs for the door, and will shove at Cat as she goes by. Straight for the door, to get away from the big bad boogeyman on the other side of the room. Promise or no, some secrets are too big.

"It doesn't make them wrong either." Peter says with a strained tone of voice, looking over at Helena with his brow tensed. He stares at her, knowingly, for the first time since he disappeared from her life in Level-5. His neck tenses, jaw clenching for a moment, then looks away with his eyes closing fast. "Thank you." He whispers under his breath, arms finally coming around the young girl to pull her close, squeezing her gently in his arms, though there's something there, nervousness and apprehension. "I… I can't stay." He says in a shaky, weary tone of voice. "They need me, Niki, Elle, Bryan, Odessa…" He shakes his head, "I made a promise to save someone's little girl, from… from maniacs." His fingers curl form a moment, tugging on the fabric of Helena's shirt, then relax. "It's my fault, them being — "

Peter hears the scuffle by the door, Dani running now registeres, and he watches her heading to the door. His eyes immediately downcast. "I have to go back. I made a promise…" It's all as real as the next thing to him, those emotions he felt for the people in the Company, the regret he felt about what he had inadvertantly done to Bob. He means it, "I… I have to fix things again. They… I need to do this. Save her… Do something right, for… for once." It's Dani's fear, the haste in which she moves, it reminds him of what he did. It drives the point home.

Helena's thoughtful silences are a familiar thing by now. She presses her head into the crook of his neck and shoulder. "I want to tell you no." she says. "If you go back, they could do whatever it it was that made you forget again, get into your head." She lifts her head to look at him. "But I know you couldn't live with yourself if you didn't. You have to promise me, you have to swear you'll get out and come back to us - to me." Swear, and she'll believe him, like she always has.

She chases, is pushed at, and fails to stop Dani's flight. But Cat doesn't give up on trying to catch her, to keep her here and let herself be the target of whatever comes to pass in the way of retribution. The door opens, Dani is about to go through it, and in missing the second time she slams hard into the wall. Her legs give out; she slowly slides down and rests on the floor with her head resting against the wall. We have here one dazed Cat.

Dani runs on by, flings the door open, and unless there's fast reaction from someone, she's going to be on her way. With the secret that everyone in the world wants to know.

"They…" Peter starts to say, then just wraps his arms around Helena tighter, "They didn't make me forget. I wanted to forget." Those last words come out with a weak and hushed tone of voice, "I… I broke. I couldn't handle the stress, the failure, and…" Peter shakes his head slowly, jaw growing tense. "I swear. When… when all this is done…" He has no idea when that will be, "I'll come back." He looks up to the struggle between Dani and Cat, then down to his own lap. "I'm sorry," He says in a small, hushed tone of voice, "But I swear, I'll be back." With that, Peter begins to lean in towards Helena, then winces, remembering something. He just smiles, instead, moving to get up to his feet and helping Helena to hers in the process.

Helena rises with him - but he's not getting away from her that easy. She puts her hand to his neck, to bring him down to her for the kiss he tried to avoid. "You don't have to leave right now." she insists. "There's so much about the Company you could tell us - we could even help you get Elle Bishop back, or we could try. Cat - " She'd sort of forgotten about Cat and Danielle, turning to look out the open doorway and oh shit. She reacts, a wind suddenly sweeping through the doorway and toward the outer door, hopefully to slam it shut before Danielle can step through.

She's resting on the floor, her head against the wall, and a slight cut to her forehead leaks a small amount of blood. Her senses are a bit fuzzy, but she manages to attempt another weak reach for the fleeing woman just as the wind kicks up and aims to close the door. "Dani," Cat manages, "hear me, hear us out, please. You deserve to hear it all, and you can't if you leave now."

The words wouldn't stop her. But she does look over at the wrong time, and that's when Helena's wind slams the door shut. *WHAM* She runs into it full tilt, bouncing off and sitting down hard. Oof.

Peter raises one hand, putting his fingers against her lips, "I can't." Dark eyes meet Helena's, and Peter brushes those fingers across her lips, "I… My saliva is a lethal hemotoxin. It would kill you." Those words are spoken as if recited from memory, and they are. While spotty and slowly returning, Cat's visceral and unrelenting memory continues to repair itself like some mighty, regenerative computer database.

Peter looks to the door as Helena forces it shut with the wind, and when Danielle strikes it, Peter closes his eyes and shakes his head. He forces his eyes shut, then gently works Helena's arm out from around him. "I'm not getting you all involved, not again. I made a promise to them, and I intend to fulfill it. It… it isn't your responsibility." He looks to Cat and Dani, then gently pushes Helena away, but not before leaning forward and pressing his nose to her forehead — It's the closest he can get. "I shouldn't be here. Not with her so scared…" He directs those thoughts into Helena's mind.

Then, her hair blows back and forth for a moment, from the rush of air moving to fill the void where Peter was at her side. In her hand, now, is a single long-stemmed rose, and an old, folded note. Not only has his memory returned, but all of his powers with them. For Peter, time is of the essence, but it doesn't mean he doesn't have some to spare.

Helena's expression grows incredulous, as an oh-no-they-didn't expression crosses her face at hearing about his nifty new power. And then he's gone, and the rose and note are in her hand. Her grip tightens on the rose stem, hard enough for a thorn to pierce flesh and let it bleed. But that doesn't keep her from clutching it hard and mouthing a silent thank you to heaven. He knows where he can find her now. She sets note and letter down, moving into the living room to crouch between the two women. She's somewhere between euphoric and wanting to pull a blanket over her head. It's a very odd feeling.

She hears the door slam and the thump when Dani lands on her backside, and starts to move again. Cat's not very fast at it, she's crawling and still dazed. What registers most is Dani being in distress and possibly hurt, she has to reach her. There's little notice of Peter vanishing. And certainly no impressing on him that if there's anything good about the Company it needs to be exposed, operate transparently. That it's the Company's fault people got out because they committed the crime of holding people without trial/civil commitment. If they'd been doing it right, it would be public record who was in there and why.

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."

Dani looks back at Helena, clearly agitated. "Get OUT of my way! It doesn't matter if he -wanted- to. And if he couldn't help it, it's just that much worse!! THOUSANDS. THOUSANDS of people dead!! And if he "can't control it"? That's all the MORE reason he ought to be locked up!!!"

"No." Helena insists. "Do you have any idea what will happen if you let this out? The hammer won't come down on just him, Dani. It'll come down on all of us! That big black hole you want to toss him down? They'll toss me down there too, and Cat! Is that what you want?"

"I've no intention of being thrown into a deep dark hole," Cat replies in a calm voice. "I'd make them kill me first, because once they got me there nothing would exist to stop them from conducting experiments like Dr. Mengele. Rape, torture, worse." Cat's eyes move from Dani over to Helena as she continues. "That's why I did that when we faced Woods. I knew he was no Federal agent, and I don't know what I claimed isn't true."

Then she faces Dani again. "He does have control now. Do you really think if he didn't I'd be anywhere near him? Do you really think I'd not have found a way to kill him myself?"

The former reporter looks back and doesn't seem particularly convinced. "You're blowing it out of proportion. We don't throw every criminal on death row. We don't lock up every person with mental issues forever. You two are trying to make this an all-or-nothing thing, and it's NOT."

Helena says tersely, "It is. Haven't you done your homework on the Linderman Act? They're just looking for an excuse. Peter's got control over it now, and the domino effect of the lives you ruin if you raise this to the public is…" she shakes her head. "God. What do you want? What can I give you to keep this quiet? Anything. Anything you want."

"Think it through, Dani," Cat urges. "People in far higher places than us have kept this quiet too. Do you think they'll let it come out, ever? Do you think Senator Petrelli and his ally Linderman won't act to stop it from becoming public, that his brother nuked a city, especially this close to election time?" She reaches for her hands to try clasping them gently and making eye contact. "It does all need to come out, the whole web of secrecy. The Company Peter was working with until we sprung his memories, the coverup, all of it. But right now you'd be trumpeting with no proof and be discredited at the least. At worst they try to kill anyone who knows. You may not believe Helena and I would get thrown down the rabbit hole, but they'd definitely come for you, and if that happens, I'm a dead woman. Because they'd have to get through me first."

The short brunette looks back from one to the other. "This isn't a case of bribery." She says, sounding a little bitter. But bitterness helps to banish panic, if nothing else. Cat's points about lack-of-proof helps to bring back some reality. "I'm not too worried about a Company at the moment. One of the perks for working for The Man." But now she's breathing more and panicing less. "So what do we do? Where do things go from here?

Helena takes a breath. "Peter's staying inside the Company. One of their agents got taken and he wants to help get her back. After that he'll come home." Maybe he won't. But it's what she hangs on to. "It is what it is, Dani." she says wearily, leaning against the door. "Maybe he'll never make up for it, but he's going to try." she looks at the woman wearily. "I lead PARIAH." she says frankly. "I mean, not officially, but I may as well." She manages a weak half smile. "Wanna join?"

"We live our lives as best we can, and work to do all the good we can, Dani," Cat suggests softly. "You may have noticed in the last several weeks there haven't been any acts which could be called terrorist launched by the organization. That's his influence. There's just been graffiti, and an internet video campaign coming up, as well as possible civil disobedience acts."

She draws in a deep breath and releases it before adding "We should also work to gather as much information as we can, and at some point convince Peter he needs to make it all public as part of making amends. Confession has to be part of it at some point, but it's his story to tell." She hopes, really hopes, Dani will register the significance of that. That she'll notice how Cat didn't say anything about the working for the Man comment, because it's her story to tell.

Dani seems uncertain. PARIAH has a bad rap to the outside world, and she doesn't have the advantage of an inside perspective. "I don't know what I'd be able to do to help you. I don't have any kind of special abilities. The best I could do is leak you some information, and that's if I can manage it."

Helena nods. "Are you still part of the press?" she asks. "Because that's power right there, regardless of your genes."
PARIAH> Teo says, "Thanks!"

"You don't have to formally join to keep your eyes on that eventual goal of exposing as much as possible, Dani," Cat states. "It's all about keeping focus on the prize, of seeing truth be exposed and finding the right moment for that to happen. No one's asking you to become a terrorist." She then lapses into silence, fingers absently reaching for a lock of her hair if allowed to do so.

Dani shakes her head, looking back to Helena. "No. It got complicated. At the moment I'm….working for, with the intent of getting my hands on more data…Daniel Linderman." Yeah. THAT Linderman." She doesn't stop Cat's hand. Stressed. "Figure you should know that before you go making any offers."

Helena's brows hit her hairline. "What exactly do you do for Linderman?" she asks. Oh yeah, she knows who he is.

She continues to brush at Dani's hair, having not been prevented from doing so. There's sympathy come into Cat's eyes and complete understanding on her features when the admission of her employer is made. But she doesn't say anything, it's all a choice for the other brunette to make.

Dani says "Public relations, officially. Unofficially, I'm sure it's to try and stop me from going to the press with the evidence I have. I'm playing it against the middle, and trying to get more information while I'm in there. But I know who he is, what he can do…and what he does."

"Hunh." Helena says. "We could use some help media-wise ourselves. But having an ear in Linderman's office could be useful. Definitely keep your eye open, please."

She's still quiet, fingers absently moving through Dani's hair. Eye contact is made, Cat's head tilts and an expression which she hopes is perceived to ask if she wants to tell the whole story of how she came to work with Linderman forms.

On the corner is a banker with a motor car, and little children laugh at him behind his back. And the banker never wears a mac in the pouring rain. Very strange…"

Dani looks to Helena. "All right. I'm in. Where do we start?. I mean, I'll try to help. I'll try to get you information. But this goes both ways. You give me information, and I'll give you information."

Helena looks guarded. "Well, right now there's nothing that we need to know, unless he's planning something big. So anything maybe having to do with the election, or the Linderman act and anything related to it. What do you want to know from me? Keep in mind what I tell you puts me at risk, and possibly others."

"I haven't told her anything that didn't need to be told, Helena," Cat states. "But these situations just keep happening. She comes to town and finds a man etched future predicting artwork into my apartment. Then later he teleports in right in front of her. I don't go telling internal things recklessly, but I haven't and won't lie to Dani. When we had to defend ourselves against Woods, with the risk of people bursting into our apartment, there's no way I would leave her alone and unprepared, wondering what happened to me." A gentle kiss to the top of Dani's head is tried. "That's why I brought her here." Her voice is calm as she speaks those words, and there's nothing about Cat which says she's in any way sorry.

The shorter brunette looks back from Helena to Cat. She frowns. "I Hard to say. I can't ask you to tell me things when I don't know what the things are that I -could- know. Look…getting information on Linderman's side is going to involve some digging. I can't dig if I don't know what I'm digging for. If this is going to work, we need mutual trust."

Helena shrugs. "You're his PR woman. You're going to get a certain amount of information naturally flowing to you. I'm not sure what you're asking for from me. The best I can tell you is to keep an eye out for anything you think it would be worth our time to know."

"Then we can brainstorm out a way to use it without exposing you as the source," Cat suggests. "That's probably the biggest problem involved here. I don't see you as a mere tool for a cause. I'm not on board with leaving you hanging out to dry, Dani. We go back to when my brain kicked in, you've stood by me and kept my secret. I trust you completely. I won't leave you in the dark any more than needed."

And, lapsing into silence, Cat seeks eye contact with Helena to ask a single question. "Do you trust my judgment on what to tell her?"

Helena looks back at Cat. "Controlling information is essential. You want to give her info, you need to let me know what you intend to tell her. It's the same for everybody, so I'm not holding anyone to some kind of unfair standard."

Dani frowns. "Five minutes ago, you were asking me to join your terrorist group. Now you're not trusting me. If you want me to be in on this…if you want me to help…then I need to know that I'm on the right side. Include me. Bring me in like Cat's in. As long as I think you're trying to do the right thing, I'll help."

"These aren't just her secrets, Dani. There are other people involved in what the group does, other sources of information. Her hesitation isn't about distrusting you. It's about making a choice for those others without consulting them."

Her eyes move again, calmly resting on Helena. "But this is a question of leadership. Making decisions for others is sometimes needed, and I don't want to ever keep secrets from Dani again."

"And I'm giving you the same standard of practice that I have with all members of PARIAH." Helena counters. "If you have questions right now, right here, I'll do my best to answer them. If something else comes up, you can bring it to me yourself or ask Cat to bring it to me, but I'm going to take into account putting others at risk." That seems to be Helena's final say in the matter.

Dani nods. "I guess we see where it goes, then." She looks back to Helena, then Cat. "I'm going to head home. If you need me, call me." She sounds tired. It's been a…stressful day.

"We need to agree on something else before we go, Dani," Cat softly states. "Someone's been using Helena's face, and can possibly project any face he wants. Illusions. That's how the mess at our building got started. We need to agree on a way to defeat that, prove who we are to each other."

Helena says, "I have an answer for that. I send out weekly updates with passwords or identifying signals. This week the initial password is 'Lion', and the response is 'Unicorn'. You'll need to keep Dani updated until we can arrange for her to receive communications directly." She looks to Dani. "Do I have your word," she says softly, "That you won't reveal Peter?"
Danielle smirks just a little. "You won't trust me without going through Cat, but you want me to trust you. Wonderful. I'll keep things quiet, for the time being. Until I see which way the wave's breaking."

"She'll get there, Dani," Cat assures. "I didn't have her trust right away either. It took time to earn it. And you don't even have to convince her you're not out to snag her boyfriend. So you already have less to overcome." A quiet smile forms, she moves to place another gentle kiss atop the other brunette's head.

Helena pushes herself away from the door. "I did say you could come to me. Or go through Cat. But I'm too tired to argue. Go on, the both of you. I need to sleep, and so do you." She can't help sounding a little envious; the pair have each other tonight.

She stays on the floor, letting Dani go and get some distance ahead of her before she rises to follow. Cat's eyes close and her head rests against the wall for a long moment. What she'd hoped would been seen as the steady show of support it was seems to have fallen flat with her partner, she thinks. She realizes also there's been secrets kept, and she'll likely have to answer for that when she gets home. Maybe even pay for it through a lifetime of frost.

When she gets to her feet a minute or two later, Cat's eyes settle on Helena briefly. "Sleep well, and take care." Then she's gone, the door being closed behind her.

October 10th: When Gillian Met Gabriel
October 12th: Now an Errand Girl
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License