Never Just



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peter_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Never Just
Synopsis It was just a dream.
Date March 3, 2021

Save The Cheerleader

Smoke billows through demolished halls, flames crackle and snap as they climb up what little furniture remains. Ashes churn in thick clouds that snake through vertical steel beams that sit askew like broken teeth in a clenched jaw. Bodies lay everywhere.

Save The World.

The tile flooring has been torn to pieces, fragments of it are scattered with the drywall and twisted wiring. As the smoke clears, the ashen silhouette of a man emerges from the debris cloud. Peter Petrelli is caked in dust, covering his now tattered leather jacket, clotting in the blood at the side of his head where wounds slowly stitch shut. Clinging to the disheveled tresses of dark hair. He's alive. And that is horrifying.

Thats what Hiro imagined, but it wasn't that simple.

Sucking in gasping breaths, Peter lowers his glowing hands; bones lit by atomic fire, and stares in wide-eyes horror in the realization that nothing changed. Hiro Nakamura was gone, vanished to another time, and yet the world still stood. The bomb still happened. Peter’s expression is one of overwrought grief for those who died at his side. Who died thinking that this was impermanent, a temporary thing.

There would never be an easy fix.

Something crunches in the smoke, shattering glass under a heavy weight. Peter stops dead in his tracks, brows furrowed in such a way that his scar seems twisted and crooked. He turns toward the black smoke, watching embers rise up from within, watching flames part, watching something move.

And the world would always need saving…

As a figure emerges from the smoke, dust and debris clinging to their heavy wool coat, Peter sucks in a sharp breath and slowly shakes his head. With one hesitant step backward, Peter watches the figure’s emergence and a mirror of that regeneration taking effect. “No,” his fingers curl against his palm, knuckles white hot with rage. “No!

…from monsters.

Sylar survived. The future refused to change.

Ten Years Later

Childs’ Residence
NYC Safe Zone

March 3rd

Peter Petrelli wakes up with a startle, jolting blankets off of his legs. The dimly-lit living room he wakes to is nothing like the skies he just dreamt of. The burning ache of atomic fire in his bones is but a tingle under his skin now, a sense-memory of death. Gasping for breath, Peter swings his legs over the side of the sofa and hunches forward, head in his hands.

The small brownstone nestled into a sleepy street in Elmhurst is quiet this evening. Peter is the only one in the house, save for the cats. He rakes trembling fingers through his hair, staring down at his feet when he can finally force his eyes to open again. He is not falling. He is not flying. He is not dying. But he can’t shake the feeling of already being dead a dozen times over.

“Dreams are a mind-fuck, aren’t they?” Comes a voice from inside the apartment, familiar and harrowing. Peter jumps back against the couch and looks up where Adam Monroe leans against a bookshelf, arms crossed over his chest. But Peter looks past the face, to the gold eyes set in them. Not Adam.



Please,” the Entity says with a sneer. “I wish everyone would stop calling me that. It’s a millennia-old epithet a dead king gave me. It’s like a bad nickname from High School you just can’t shake.”

Peter looks around the apartment for a moment, then back to the Entity. “Why are you here?” His hands curl into fists but then, thinking better of himself, he relaxes them.

“Been a while since we had a heart-to-heart, I thought maybe you’d cooled down since Detroit.” The Entity says, leaning away from the book case to meander across the living room floor with sweep-scuff steps. Peter says nothing, just stares into those burning gold eyes. The Entity rolls them and sighs. “If I wanted to hurt you, or Gillian, or even Jac I wouldn’t have announced myself. I would’ve just waited for you all to bloody well sit down to dinner and blow the whole city block up.

Peter straightens his back, his pulse races. Would it be that simple?

“Look, Pete.” The Entity says with a faint grimace, coming to sit on the arm of the sofa, propping one foot up on the coffee table so he can drape an arm over that raised knee. “I’m going to be up-front with you. Things are fucked. I’m fucked.” He taps on his temple with his other hand. “I’m a needle skipping across a record, chap, and I’m really hoping I can get a whole single melody out before the record turns off.”

Peter stares into the Entity’s eyes, slowly shaking his head. “The hell does that even mean?

The Entity sighs. He isn’t sure himself.

“When I was Sibyl, you trusted me.” The Entity asserts. To which Peter counters:

“I didn’t know what you were.” Peter’s voice is tight and hoarse. “You’re a—”

Monster?” The Entity raises his brows. “C’mon, Pete. You of all people should be able to see past that. Why do you think I brought you back over anyone else?”

That accusation runs like ice water in Peter’s veins. He parts his lips as if to say something, but only a hoarse croak comes out. The Entity’s smile fades, a more serious look hanging on Adam’s stolen face.

“You had to have suspected something. You died, Pete. You’ve died a thousand deaths. Here, fighting Sylar. There, protecting Walter. It never ends well for you, even when it looks like it might. Fate is a motherfucker.” The Entity says, frowning.

“Why?” Peter’s wanted to ask for so long. “Why did you do this to me? Why do I have all these—why are my memories—” The Entity raises a finger. Shush. Peter stops stammering.

“You have one of the greatest gifts in the world, Peter.” The Entity says with a slow shake of his head. But when he sees Peter look down to his hands, he laughs softly. “Not your powers.” The Entity corrects. “Empathy.”

Suddenly, it all makes sense. Peter’s dark eyes swim from side to side, searching the Entity’s own. “Is this… what it’s like for you?”

A ghost of a smile flits across the Entity’s lips, but it melts into a frown soon enough. “So much worse. Imagine your predicament, but a thousandfold. Then, make sure the loudest voice in your head is the one that matches your face.” He says, pointing to himself. “This isn’t where I wanted to end up.”

Peter glances down to his side, brows furrowed, then back to the Entity. “Then why don’t you just go to someone else?” The question earns a roll of the Entity’s eyes. Peter realizes it can’t be that simple. “I don’t understand.”

“When I was in Sibyl, I was trapped. Imprisoned by the psychic whirlpool that girl possessed. She was like an angler fish, and I her meal. But I’ve never been able to just… freely slip from life to life, Pete. Sibyl chained me in other ways, prevented little meetings like you and I are having right now.” The Entity says, drawing a rise of one of Peter’s brows. “But to actually inhabit someone else requires… sacrifice. And I’ll be honest, I don’t rightly know for sure how it all works, or if there’s circumstances where I can’t come back.”

The Entity slips off the arm of the sofa, and Peter watches him walk across the room. “If you could change your identity every time you put a gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger, but you weren’t sure if the next pull would be your last, how many times would you keep doing it?” He asks, but Peter recognizes the rhetorical nature of it.

“You still haven’t answered my question.” Peter asserts. “Why did you bring me back?” Not why him, now. But why at all?

The Entity grows silent, breathing in deeply before sighing and looking over to the living room windows that spill with a soft late-afternoon light. “Because I need your help.”

Peter’s expression twists. First confusion, then frustration. “Why should I help you?” Peter practically spits the words out.

The Entity closes his eyes, then when he opens them is looking directly at Peter. “Do you remember what Hiro Nakamura said to you on that subway, all those years ago?”

Peter’s chest tightens. He remembers Sylar, Midtown, Kirby Plaza. He remembers Eve, Detroit. His heart races as he starts to say, “Save the cheerleader…” to which the Entity replies

“…save the world.”

Childs’ Residence
NYC Safe Zone

March 3rd

Peter Petrelli wakes up with a startle, jolting blankets off of his legs. He turns, immediately, to the bookshelf across from the sofa. But there’s no one there. He sits up sharply, twists to look around the whole apartment. There’s soft noise all around him. Jolene is singing to herself in the kitchen, someone is walking around upstairs. He looks down at his hands, then curls them closed.

Jaw set tight, Peter closes his eyes. It was just a dream. But, no.

Never just.

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