My Taste in Men


faye_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

Scene Title My Taste in Men
Synopsis Faye's seems questionable when newfound daughter tells her biological mother what the man can do, and why his name has been connected to hers.
Date March 16, 2010

Upper West Side: Peyton's Apartment

After returning from the funeral to her empty apartment, the worries she had before she left augmented by seeing Peter Petrelli ill, Peyton pulls off the brightly colored attire, unravelling first bright yellow coat and then fuchsia dress and boots, until nothing but drab human flesh remains — a butterfly taking off its colorful wings. It feels that way, for the colors were to celebrate Wendy's life, and now she has returned to her own, one that seems devoid of color in the long extended winter that Manhattan faces. She heads into the shower, turning it hot and then hotter, stepping into the almost searing heat which pinks her body. The better to kill any of the virus she might have come in contact with.

Peyton held back the tears, or most of them, when Cardinal told her a "monster" — Winslow's words, not Card's — was her father, but in the shower she lets them fall. After the cry, wrapped in her fleecy robe, she pads out to her living room, sinking into her favorite chair and staring straight ahead at nothing — it might look, except for her normal pupils, like she is using her power — to one who knows her usual stance when she does so — but instead she is recalling the conversation. She chews her lower lip a moment, debating. She hates to bother her mother, or worry her, but if there's any chance of danger… Faye needs to know.

Faye? I need you… I'm not in danger. She has no idea if the bond is still there, but Peyton will know in a minute. If not, there's always the telephone.

For a few moments, there's no sound of response, and then a voice busts through the silence. It's distant, almost like a phone call at the lowest volume, with some static. Probably about as good as a telephone right now. It sounds like it might fritz out at any moment. But they'd seen each other enough recently that the bond seems to still be in place, even if the daughter wouldn't have even noticed if it was not…

Are you at home? Faye's telepathic voice asks, seeming to echo in a soft whisper. I can be there in a bit, I'm not needed anywhere at the moment, but I may get a call to be somewhere.

It happens, especially with this weather, and the Evolved attacks that seem to be happening quite often again. They had always happened a little, but they're quickly getting more and more… frequent.

I'll be there as soon as I can, she adds on.

The mental link doesn't vanish, as she goes through motions to get to where her daughter is, but even in a rush, with all the traffic problems, it's still a good half hour before there's a knock on the door. Unfortunately, wearing super suits just to travel more quickly isn't an option. Even for FRONTLINE.

Peyton's taken the time it takes her mother to get to her apartment to get herself ready — while she feels like everything is crumbling around her, she doesn't want to show that weakness to Faye. She has dressed — no plans to go out in this horrible weather, so it's just jeans, fuzzy green socks, and a thick cableknit sweater. Even with the heat on, the apartment is large and has drafty spots. She smiles weakly when she sees Faye at the door. While Peyton put a touch of makeup on and dried her hair, she can't hide the fact she's been crying recently — but surely Faye knows today was the Hunter funeral.

"Hi, come in. Can I get you some coffee or tea or anything?" It's the first time Faye has been to her apartment — Peyton took a few moments to clean up, though it's not like the place is ever messy. It still gets cleaned by maids once a week, even if she did finally let the daily housekeeper go, deciding to be a grown up, a few months back.

"The traffic is terrible," Faye says, removing her heavy snow dusted coat and hanging it up, as she looks into the room, noting how big and spacious and nice it is. Much nicer than anything she'd probably had growning up, so perhaps one of the many reasons why giving her up for adoption probably turned out a little for the better. "Coffee should be good," she adds, eyes settled on her daughter's face.

"The funeral was today. I should have tried harder to go with you." Even if she'd never met the woman who'd been killed, she'd read stories of their kidnapping and escape. "Did you need to talk about it?" She thinks the funeral is the reason, of course. What else could it be?

Peyton goes to the kitchen, pulling down two coffee mugs and pouring coffee into them. These she puts on a tray laden with the powder creamer and packets of the various sweeteners. She picks up the tray and carries it into the living room, setting it on the table. It's no silver service, but convenient. "It's not that. I mean, it was hard, but…" she says with a slight shrug. "Stupid FBI showed up. Ivanov, he was kind of a friend, I can forgive that, but some woman agent who made Petrelli go with her to answer questions, like he might be a suspect or something? He's a jerk but he was Wendy's friend, to a degree." To a degree that he made friends with her to steal her power, in Peyton's mind, but saying it aloud seems like an insult to Wendy's memory.

"This is more … um. I don't even know how to bring it up," she says quietly. "I have a friend who met someone recently… someone with a dangerous power. Like, seriously dangerous." She chews her lower lip, studying her coffee as she stirs her creamer and sugar into it. "He says he's my father."

The name Petrelli raises an eyebrow in curiousity, especially considering who else in the country has that name, but Faye doesn't get to comment or ask for clarification, because there's a few simple words that snap into her like a broken rubberband. "Your… father. That's… Maybe it's someone who is after your money, or read about what happened to you with Humanis First." It seems she wants to think of a thousand excuses…

She'd never told her parents who the father was. She didn't put any name on the birth certificate. It's possible, that with certain resources, someone would find out she'd had a child. And…

"Did you get a name?"

"He has pictures of me… from growing up until recently, I guess, and … and someone got them. Agents — not cops, my friend said, so FBI or … or worse. Company, maybe," Peyton says quietly, staring at her coffee, willing herself to be strong. "He's killed someone recently, so that's why they're investigating him I think." It's as if she has to get out all the information before she loses her nerve, not responding to her mother's questions until she's through.

She looks up, finally, her dark eyes seeking her mother's. "Albert Winslow," she murmurs, watching her mother for a sign of recognition — of confirmation or denial.

Company? FRONTLINE may or may not be privy to all the information that young resistance workers may have, so Faye immediately thinks of a different Company. The only thing worse than FBI would be CIA, based on what little she knows, but there's so many government agencies that have people who call themselves agents. And many of them are… into murder investigations.

There's a slow inhale at the mentions of murder and killing, but finally an exhale at the mention of a name. This is when she finally grabs her coffee and takes a too long drink from it. A drink that's telling in the length.

Turning away, she paces a few steps, hands warming on the coffee mug. Her mind is a jamble of thoughts, so it's good she's not trying to send anything to her. "He was a lawyer," she finally says. "It was a long time ago…" A whole lifetime for her. "I— I met him while he was taking photographs down at the harbor, while I was sailing. You only had to be fourteen to get a boating licence, and it was one of the things I could do all by myself. He didn't realize I was only fifteen until… after." Her voice is calm, even soft for a time. "He was a lot older than me. Gentle and…" She shakes her head. "When I saw you flirting with that guy in the bar, I realized you probably got a bit of my taste in men." It actually makes her laugh, but just a little. It won't last long, considering what she has to look back and clarify.

"You said that he's… Evolved? And killing people?"

The words 'a lot older' get a little humorless chuckle from the daughter, though there's no judgment there. "You don't need to explain that part, Faye," she says, her voice understanding and gentle enough to try to assuage her mother's unease at telling her of the tryst. "I'm not innocent in that way, myself." There's enough evidence to the contrary — she was still in high school when she was dating older celebrities, all searchable on Google.

She doesn't want to tell her mother what the man does… the memories she has of him are clearly not bad ones, and she doesn't want to taint them with ugly, frightening images. "He killed… someone who would have killed him, apparently," Peyton begins again, softly. "A mugger. My friend met him and saw the pictures he had of me, and he said he … wanted to protect me, told Richard not to tell me about him, because it would hurt me." A tear finally slips down her cheek. None of us are saints or angels, Peyton.

"His ability…" she whispers, and then she shakes her head. "I don't want to scare you, Faye, I just thought I'd warn you that he's around… they don't know he's my — they don't know who I am to him, but they will be investigating. I'll try to keep you out of it. I probably shouldn't have even let you come here."

"Your private investigator was able to find me. If they're trained agents they could probably find our connection. Just like— since he was a lawyer, he probably had the resources to find out what happened to you, even if I never told him I was pregnant," Faye explains quietly, looking off into the distance. Dangerous. Evolved. In a lot of ways it sounds right up her alley as FRONTLINE. She should be sent to take someone like that down…

But if they knew her connection to him, they'd probably never let her go on that one. She can't arrest, but she is allowed to subdue… Self defense, dangerous or not, it sounds like self-defense…

"Do they know that he was defending himself? Even if he's dangerous, that could work in his favor when they catch him…" She seems to be hopefully it would help… She did care about him a lot, even if it'd been such a long time ago.

"I don't know what they know," Peyton says quietly. "It's… it's more than just killing, Faye. He can … he basically leeches the life out of them and … I guess steals their youth in a way. Like, he was old… and then he wasn't. I don't know how often he's done it, but if they found him, they probably know more than I do. Than we do."

She shivers a little, her coffee in her hands sloshing before she sets it down. "I'm just going to play dumb when they come to me. If they ask about you I'll probably have to say I found you recently but I'm going to say I don't know anything about my father… which is still more or less true. I just wanted to warn you in case they head to you next." She pauses, and looks up again, her eyes sparkling with the tears she's holding back. "I'm sorry."

Leeches life out of people… "The Central Park case," Faye whispers softly against the coffee mug, blowing some steam with the breath that's used in those words. "No, don't apologize," she says with a shake of her head, looking off into the distance that basically amounts to at a wall. She might as well be looking at another galaxy, though, because she doesn't even see the wall, really.

"Keep me informed through the link. I'll worry about myself if they drag me into it." It's not like she couldn't have many reasons for being worried about this girl— especially because she's her daughter. She made no secret of their 'friendship' at the Ball. And there had been many people there to see them together.

"I'll let you know if they question me, too." There's a pause, and she walks over to put the coffee and reaches a hand out to touch her. A few more minutes to make the connection more, wouldn't hurt.

Peyton grips the hand, squeezing it. "I will," she says softly. Then, because she had no one to hug when she needed it — when Cardinal told her the earthshattering news about Winslow — she reaches with her other hand to give her mother a tight hug. There's a slight shiver that runs through the younger woman, as if this is something she's needed and pined for, for far too long. "Thanks."

Perhaps it's something they both needed, from the way Faye's eyes close and she pulls fully into the hug, despite the chill on her clothes from the travel outside. The hug is warming, and extending of the bond between them, which is something she's often avoided in the last few years… "It'll be all right," she says quietly, but perhaps as much to herself. No matter who that man might be, what he might do…

He gave her a daughter. Even if they couldn't do this for twenty-one years.

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