My Life Would Suck Without You


helena_icon.gif peter7_icon.gif

Scene Title My Life Would Suck Without You
Synopsis It's no surprise that Helena would end up at Peter's door. What happens once she gets there, is.
Date January 22, 2010

Peter's 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.


Even down the hall, the sound of brass horns and saxaphone is clear as day. It's an unusual sound in this typically quiet apartment building. The fourteenth floor was never really noisy, not for all Helena Dean can remember, but today the halls seem just a touch more alive, with a sound of big band music coming muffled thorugh the walls from one apartment.

…beyond the sea, somewhere, waiting for me…

Frank Sinatra never sounded so surreal, coming in dull resonance thorugh these drab gray-green painted walls of the hallway. Counting up from apartment to apartment, it's perhaps typical that the source of the racket comes from apartment 1407, one particular young woman's destination for the day.

My lover stands on golden sand

Even after a series of knocks on the door, it's not clear that whoever lives in apartment 1407 even hears the sound of kncukles on wood. The music certainly doesn't quiet down, but the tell-tale sign of shadows beneath the door frame is indicative of someone's approaching presence. Maybe Peter Petrelli really does still live here, or maybe someone else has finally moved in to an apartment left rented by vacant for well over a year.

And watches the ships that go sailin'.

Locks rattle and click, a chain slides free, and as the door comes creaking open, the sound of that big band music comes piping out from the apartment like a one-man concert hall. Standing there silhouetted in the door frame, the dark-haired man who answers the door almost seems unfamiliar to Helena, if she hadn't seen almost this exact look on his face ten years in the future. Black brows are raised up, a crooked smile is spread on his lips, and right before Peter Petrelli's scarless countenance realizes who's come knocking, he's all smiles.

Somewhere beyond the sea…

That might not be the case once it clicks.
Helena didn't actually want to press the case. She won't bang on the door like she's part of the new military Evolved regime, but there is a point at which she'd started to step away. When the door opens, her head turns toward it, chin lifting, and she blinks a second. His scar, which is almost the first thing she comments on, is certainly likewise the first thing she notices, that he looks so happy is another. And his eyes are his eyes, which is the best thing at all.

But if Peter expected in overjoyed, enthusiastic, clingy young woman to overreact as he might have imagined in his doorway, he gets something else: a relieved, if contained smile, and the lifting of her hands to show him her gloved palms, fingers outspread. "I just want to talk." she says. "I'm sorry I didn't call, I didn't think your number was good anymore. I'd heard you survived, and that you were you, and I wanted to come see. I promise I won't stay long, it looks like you're expecting someone."

And those last words lack anything of sniping, anything of venom, just her concern and desire not to intrude further than he'll allow her for her benefit.

No. This is not the young woman he remembers.

Admittedly, Peter's expression fades from contented amusement to disconcerted worry the moment he sees Helena. Had their last meeting not been so, unfortunate, this might not have been the case. But as it stands now, the look on his face is one of anxious apprehension. "Uh- yy— yeah sure I— " he breathes out a heavy sigh, pulling the apartment door open and stepping aside to let Helena in. "I ah… excuse the mess," he mumbles, looking back into the only partially moved into apartment. Half of the boxes unpacked, some of the furniture having rolled up plastic wadded up at the sides, only a few lights on, and most of them desk lamps crooked up to point at the ceiling.

He doesn't have words, none of them, just empty staresand open-mouted gawking as he anxiously considers the sparsely furnished apartment and the tiny blonde he's welcoming inside. The music is still loud, mercifully, it makes his awkward silence seem more like considerate appreciation for the song playing.

What a strange reversal this is. Peter is mumbling and open-mouthed and awkward, and Helena the one who's calm, centered, and sure of herself. She steps inside. She looks around at the mess, giving an easy srug and nots with a small smile, "I'm glad you're making this place looked lived in again." Once she's walked into the living room, she turns to face him and says genuinely, "I'm glad that you're living." Somehow, this means both that he's alive, and that he's apparently making choices to live life.

Shoving her hands in her coat pockets, she looks him in the eyes and offers first, "I don't know if you recall much of what went on when Kazimir was in there," Her chin lifts again, indicating his very self, "But I did want to let you know I don't blame you for it. And I'm…kind of sorry about breaking your ankle that time." Her smile returns, just a shade, just a touch of grim humor, but she's offering to share the portion.

Furrowing his brows, Peter looks like he's having a hard time saying anything. He quietly pushes the front door shut, glancing over his shoulder to watch Helena cone in. When the door shuts, Peter just offers an awkward expression and moves over towards a bookshelf, where an old turntable plays those smooth Sinatra tunes with all the pops and hisses of the medium. The volume is turned down to a quiet background noise once he reaches the turntable, but Peter doesn't move to step away from the shelf, just affords his back to the turntable and folds his arms over his chest.

"It… wasn't entirely his fault." Peter didn't want to have ti shout that over the music. "I— It's… complicated, and I guess it doesn't really matter now. What's done is done…" Rubbing his hand over his mouth, Peter offers an apologetic smile to Helena. "I'd— offer you something to drink, but I haven't gone grocery shopping yet, and… I don't have running water at the moment?" He laughs, terribly awkward in execution, and starts pacing around the living room, eyeing his furniture and the unpacked boxes.

"It is what it is." Helena agrees, still watching him pace his living room with a curious, thoughtful air. "Peter, we were friends before we were anyhting else. Can't we go back to that?"

Well, that's new.

Irony, thy name is Dean. "I— We could?" Peter doesn't sound entirely certain of himself. "I mean, we've had a lot go on between us, Hel. I— I don't know. The last year has just been so much chaos, I don't even know where to start trying to figure out what we even are to begin with. I've… had a lot of identity crisis' I guess." Exhaling a sharp sigh, Peter starts making his way over towards the kitchenette, well visible from where Helena is. "Man, that sounds like one big bad excuse, but— my head's been so scrambled, it's like… I'm only just now starting to figure out which way is up, you know?"

Moving behind the island in the kitchen, Peter slouches forward over the countertop and folds his hands. "I just had this sort've talk with Gillian, actually. She— sort've had these expectations I think, about me and her and I just— " Peter ducks his head down, running one hand over his mouth, "I had to tell her to back off, basically. I've pretty much realized I sort've have a bad habit of putting people I care about in really bad positions, or just— I asked her the same thing you asked me."

Grimacing, Peter seems only partly amused by the dichotomy. "It's kind've funny."

"Well," Helena drawls as she walks over to the kitchen and leans in the doorway. "I was operating under the assumption that you don't want me completely out of your life, even if what we were isn't going to be what we are." She looks away.

"Alternate realities." she muses, staring off into space. "I'm sure in one of them, we're very happy." She doesn't indulge that thought further and shrugs her shoulder. "But in this reality…well. You can't stop the river. The universe has pretty much made it clear that this," a hand pulls out of her coat pocket and wafts between them, "Isn't going to happen." She says it matter-of-factly, comfortable, like she's at peace with it, and flashes a sudden smile. "But my life would suck without you," she quips, fully expecting him to groan at her joke, "And I'd rather have a friend that I can care about than an ex-lover that I resent. We've all been through our own brands of hell this past year. I wanted to tell you — but I know that there's plenty of people right now who've just gone through some awful hells of their own. So. Here we are."

The laugh Peter gives to that whole notion is halfway relieved, halfway bitter. "I dunno, part of me thinks your life would've probably been a lot better if I'd never walked into it. I don't know, it's hard to really empathize with how I was feeling back when we first met, back when Cameron was still around." Reaching up to rub at the side of his face with one hand, that nervous and somewhat rueful laugh comes up at the back of Peter's throat again. "I have… missed you, though. For what it's worth. Which— arguably I imagine isn't a whole lot." The laughter after that is a bit more honest, if not somewhat self-deprecating.

"So, I heard you got the same package deal the rest of us did. Full pardon, scholarship." Peter cracks a faint smile. "I didn't quite get the same deal the rest of you did, but— it's the thought that counts." Straightening up, Peter quirks his head to the side, watching Helena thoughtfully. "Are… you going to take advantage of it? You know— try and live a normal life?" In that, there's a hopeful tone.

It'd be a lie to say she's not pleased he missed her, even a little. She nods her head, continuing to lean in his kitchen doorway with a casual, easy comfort in her own skin. "What, and give up eating out of cans, considering hot water a luxury, and always having to stick a wig on whenever I want to go out and have a beer?" Hee. "I'm going to take the offer, but I'm not going to quit being an activist. Registration should be a choice, and if it's true that the government is still continuing to harm the Evolved, than someone has to speak up. But I'm going to do it with the makings of a poli sci degree from Columbia."

Somewhere, Allen Rickham is suddenly smiling.

"So I guess that's a lot more normal than it has been. But I still won't call it normal. We'll never be normal, you know." Then, "I heard you're going to be an EMT. No more nursing?"

"Guess you talked to Cat?" Peter offers with a crooked smile. "Yeah, yeah I'm— I can't do the nursing thing anymore, especially hospice, I've seen too many people die. I think, in a way, I've sort've hardened up from the person I used to be. I guess we've all changed a lot, lately." Peter's tone of voice betrays his attitude some, a mixture of apprehensiona nd uncertainty, but also dawning relief. "I— I'm really glad to hear you're stepping back from the— the gun-toting freedom fighting thing. I… I've kind've lost my taste for violence after everything that happened overseas."

Swallowing awkwardly, Peter looks up to Helena with a lopsided smile. "C'mere," he asks, lifting up a hand and curling his fingers in a beckoning motion. "I want to show you something…" As he says that, Peter's moving to bridge the distance between himself and Helena, rising up from leaning on the counter, moving to meet her halfway in the middle of the kitchenette.

"Hey, I was never into the gun-toting thing. And I still don't advocate violence, but I do advocate defending one's self." Same ol' song and dance, my friend. But she lets herself get tugged in by his smile, feet carrying her closer to him. They stand in the middle of his kitchen a moment and she says while smiling, "Okay…you've got a new trick? You're redecorating your kitchen? What?"

Wrinkling his nose, Peter offers Helena a crooked smile and reaches out his hand to lay on her shoulder. "Shhh," he offers quietly, followed by a warm flash of light and a tingling sensation in her shoulder under where his hand lays. There's a furrow of Peter's brows, a crooked smile, and then a familiar — old — feeling as he raises the air temperature in the room just a little bit, causing Helena to feel that tug and pull of the climate change around him. Air pressure eases, humidity levels normalize, and Peter's slipping back into an old, familiar skin again.

"I'm a one-trick pony these days…" Peter admits with a warm smile, giving Helena's shoulder a squeeze under where his hand rests. "I— Just thought, you know, it's been a while. I thought I'd see how it felt to have that again, even if just for a little bit." Moving his hand awaym Peter lightly toys with the temperature again, bringing it down, then bringing it up, like a child with a new toy. "I kind've miss this."

He recieves a delighted smile. "Wow. I guess that's how your power evolved after the experience of carrying Kazimir around?" she hazzards, and for a few moments indulges in a metaphorical thumb war of dueling ambient temperatures. After a few minutes, she laughs in delight noting, "If I wasn't sure you were you before, I definitely do now. You feel like you did when we'd push my power against each other." With that, she steps away, still smiling at him. "I should let you get back to things." she says. "I still have to see Claire and go check on Liz and there's Cardinal's wake and - oh, crap." She closes her eyes. "I almost forgot. He might come after you."

"No… I think I have you to thank for having an ability, and for being alive to have one." Peter releases his grip on the weather patterns, breathing in deeply and exhaling a slow breath. "Pinehearst never finished the Formula, they never got a working version done, and yet Cardinal… he had a syringe of it, and injected me with it after Kazimir left me." Smiling faintly towards Helena, Peter isn't sure how else to say thank you. But he does seem to be awkwardly, and obviously, sidestepping the latter comment she made, it's like he's struggling// to try and side-step tangled things in his life.

But then, anxiety gets the better of him. "Who?" There'a a tired, frustrated tone ot Peter's voice. "Someone else who found out what happened at Midtown? Danko?" One dark brow lifts up, and Peter's brown eyes narrow subtly at her. "I— I really want to try and stay out of things, unless… there's no way around it, which this is starting to sound like."

%t"I'm afraid not. Consider it a warning, so if it happens you're prepared, and if it doesn't, you needn't worry." An explanation of the Nightmare Man follows, "…and if you've ever been on Refrain, it's worse, I'm afraid. It can make you more vulnerable to his ability. But there's a way to stop it, or at least try. Hokuto is helping those of us who can to help fight him when he invades other people's dreams, but it's dangerous. He makes people do insane things, Peter. He nearly made me walk off the roof of a building, and he made Delilah lose control of her power for a bit, and worse. He takes everything you fear is worst about yourself and makes it drive you to do things. Only what's best in you can stop it, if you know how to make it manifest." There's a moment's thought. "Although he is only slightly more terrifying than your mother."

Wait. What?

Furrowing his brows, Peter crosses his arms and listens to Helena with a scrutinizing look. "Have any of you reported this to the police? I mean, they do have a Department of Evolved Affairs now, they probably have some sort've way of looking into this. Or, I mean, are you trusting an ex-Company woman to not be trying to screw you over?" There'a a crook of Peter's head to the side, anxious in the way he surveys Helena. "You… talked to my mother about this? I— I guess that's something. If she knows, than the Company knows, and they can handle it. Hell, they've probably already known about it anyway."

Resting his hands on his hips, Peter turns away and starts making progress back behind the kitchen counter. "I'll let you know if I hear anything, or— have any bad dreams. I don't know a lot about Refrain, but… I'll probably have to tell Eileen, or at least warn her. She's dosed it before, and she doesn't really have a lot of people in the city to look after her anymore. She's… kind of a wreck, lately, with what happened to Gabriel."

Rubbing his hand over his mouth, Peter glances down to the countertop, then back up to Helena. Then, in a sharply hissed voice he adds, "I told myself I wasn't— " a noise rumbles at the back of Peter's throat, and he looks back to Helena. "Does this whole… Boogyman thing sound familiar to you at all? I don't mean like— a movie or anything, but doesn't this remind you of something?"

Helena snorts. "Your mother, between sucking down oysters, informed me that there as far as she knew there was nothing anybody could do, oh and to stay the hell away from my son." She can't help but a wicked grin on her face, because in retrospect, it is kind of amusing. The smile dies a little when he mentions Refrain. "It's distributed mostly out of Chinatown, as I understand it. I spoke to one of the men in the know…the one who cut Abby's tongue way back when. Ironically, it was Abby who pointed me toward him." There's a pause and she says, "You mean those terrible horror movies they'd show on cable sometimes with the burnface guy in the sweater and the razor glove who'd run around in people's dreams? I thought they were really funny!"

"Good ol' ma…" Peter offers with a rub of one hand over his face. "No I— slasher flicks aside. There— " Peter squints, thinking back to that cut out tongue comment, but just leaves it alone, there's some things he's happier not knowing. "Remember back last year— heck it might've even been two years ago, there were those reports in the paper about a bunch of kids who comitted suicide together?" Squinting one eye slightly closed, Peter angles an odd look to Helena. "First thing that came to my mind, anyway."

Drumming his fingers on the countertop, Peter considers his knuckles in silence, then just shakes his head. "No— I— I'm not getting involved in this. I appreciate you giving me the heads up, but there's enough people out there to handle this sort've thing. If my mother says there's nothing she can do, it likely means the exact opposite. Or, that she can do something and she's chosing not to. I'm— not sure which is more disconcerting."

Helena holds up a hand. "With respect Peter, I'm not asking you to get involved. I'm telling you what's going on in case your dreams suddenly take you on a long walk off a short roof. And which while you and heights do seem to have a bizarr and unnatural attraction," Man, she's full of the grim humor today, "If he does get into your dreams, you'll know what to do - be prepared to reach for your avatar, assert your will." And with that, she notes, "But like I said. I'd better get going. I…" she pauses then and looks at him, but if there's any wistfulness, any yearning, she hides it well. "I hope I'll see you around. I mean, I'd like to be the sort of friends who talk to each other, not the kind who see each other once in a blue moon. But you're getting your life back in pieces, I get that. So you know…take your time, okay? I just don't want to be strangers." The prospect would make her sad.

Reaching up to scratch at the back of his head, Peter gives Helena a distracted nod. "Yeah I— I know. I'll give cat a call some time, maybe the three of us can go out for drinks together, like the old times?" He's given in, and in a way it shows. He's resigned himself to this normal life; was what happened to everyone overseas so bad that it forced himn to retire like this? "Oh and… Hel?" Peter's lips creep up into a hesitant smile, watching her in that pause.

"For what it's worth, I did miss you." In that, at least, Peter hasn't seemed to have quite given up yet, not entirely.

He gets one more smile. A sweet smile that briefly lets her sadness at what's ending show, but isn't in itself any kind of plea or insistence or evidence of wishful thinking. "I missed you too." And then she's gone.

It's my turn. I want my two years. Heading down the stairs, Helena remembers what she said, back in a world where things were better for her kind. Only now has she come to realize the truth.

They were never hers to have.

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