Not The Lone Wolf


cat_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Not The Lone Wolf
Synopsis Peter tries to leverage information about Else Kjelstrom from Phoenix.
Date July 30, 2009

The Rock Cellar

It's not an uncommon thing, Cat being here at the table she favors to watch musicians performing here without calling attention to herself. It's in a shadowy corner. The pint of stout near her hand is lifted and drank from, then set down. Disappointment is the order of the evening to a degree. The performer who'd been booked here cancelled unexpectedly. Unexpected, that is, for the people who manage the club for her, but not so much to Cat. She chalks it up to the ongoing addiction believed to come with Else's precognition and the things she'd seen through it.

"I was hoping to speak with her tonight," Cat remarks to the pair with her at that table quietly, "but she'll be back. Hopefully it'll go better than the last time." Up goes the pint again as she listens to the strains of Dire Straits coming over the speakers. Money For Nothing.

Helena Dean is twenty years old and in in the state of New York, it is illegal for her to consume alcoholic beverages. However, her ID says she's Evelyn Wozniak, and Evelyn Wozniak turned twenty-one back in April. So she's nursing a Red Stripe, with something of a scowling air. "I've been reading all sorts of stuff about her." Helena remarks, "Not to mention what you told me. I was really hoping to hear her."

Since returning from the Garden a few days ago, Helena has been…present, but quiet. There's been something of a dark edge to her moods, but she hasn't spoken as to the reason. "Why aren't you up there, Cat?"

Sitting there with the other two women, Claire is distracted. She's been distracted for a few days, ever since she had been told Peter was found. So distracted that her own drink is untouched for the most part. Leaning on the table with her elbows, perched at the edge of her chair, a leg bounces like she's got a lot of energy to burn. She hates the waiting.. she can't relax.

Maybe it's cause she's been to the spot where Peter was suppose to be and couldn't find him. He's her family, dammit… A hand moves to twist her drink on the table idly while her brain pours over the problem. Maybe she go again. She could go now.

While her head doesn't move, her eyes lifts to look at her two companions. "Good question, Cat. I thought you'd be up there by now." Her head lifts a bit then and gives both a small smile. She straightens in her seat and sighs, "I'm thinking about taking another trip out. At least one more time before I give up on seeing him myself." An apologetic smile going to Helena for evening mention it. She pushes her own Red Stripe towards her friend. "I just can't sit here. I'm sorry." Resting both hands on the edge of the table she moves to stand. "I get tired of jsut sitting tight. I hear that a lot anymore."

It's only during their conversation that Cat notices trouble at the front door. She can't hear the altercation, but two of the bouncers on door-check this evening are harassing a darkly dressed man who is gesturing into the club. James, with his cabby-hat tipped down low on his brow, is standing between the very recognzable — if not more sharply dressed than usual — Peter Petrelli and the overly muscled bouncer Tom, who's tattooed arms tense as his hands clench into fists. Clearly words have been exchanged, and one of Peter's gloved hands points towards the back table, while James tries to keep the peace and urge Peter out of the Rock Cellar and onto the street.

Odds are, he doesn't have an ID.

She starts to answer her table companions when they question her, letting out a light chuckle. "Because my legal residence is still Apartment 101 at Dorchester Towers, and I've avoided a public connection to this place, stayed away from anything that marks me as findable here to the general pub…" Claire's antsiness distracts her from finishing the statement, as she thinks to try calming the woman. It's evening, a trip to Staten Island this late isn't the most advisable thing, though she'd gladly lend her boat again. It's what the boat is for, after all.

But she doesn't get to speak, as the disturbance near the door draws her attention. Cat rises just enough to catch the attention of a server and nod at the man arguing with James, then nod to her table. It's a signal meaning 'tell him let that man in and show him to me, please'. Then she settles back into her seat.

"I think, Claire," Cat deadpans, "your search is over."

"You don't want to see Peter, Claire." Helena says suddenly, eyes staring straight ahead of her without looking at anything in particular. "He'll just hurt you." Where did that come from? Oh, speak of the devil. Helena catches Cat's gesture for Peter to approach the throne, and follows them to see who the queen is giving an audience for.

Helena's brow furrows and she puts her hand on the table, palm flat down like she's going to heave herself out of her seat and leave. Except…well, in a way, this is where she lives, most of the time. Practically her home. Near enough to count. She knew he was eventually going to show his face, and her own expression shuts down. Cat and Claire may well conclude from the fact that Helena isn't rushing to her feet and all but plowing him over: all is not well. But she says nothing, and takes a long swallow of her beer. "I think I need another."

There is a confused frown, brows lowering a touch, as she stares down at Cat. What did she just say? Her stomach does a little hopeful flip and slowly she twists around to look at the door. Pushing blond hair from her face, Claire's breath catches in her throat. There he was. "Peter," it's only a whisper of a word as if she can believe that he just appeared right there.

Last time she had seen him he was a mess and bother had been stripped of their abilities. Her's being taken, of course, had about killed her. "I don't care, Hel. I just gotta know he's alive." That's worth the hurt right? Besides, she's had her share. Claire reaches over to grip the other blond's shoulder in support, but only for a moment so that she can turn face her Uncle fully.

Claire can't keep the relief and joy of her face and she even takes a step away from the table, before she can stop herself. She's too old to go running into his arms, but it's so tempting, just so that she can feel that he's solid and real.

Across the bar, the server intervenes in the ruckus at the door, motioning over to Cat's table. James smiles peacibly, patting Tom on the shoulder before waving Peter in, even though the bouncer looks more like he wants to stomp Peter's head flatter than a sheet of paper. Carefully making his way thorugh the crowd, Peter gently urges people out of his way with a touch of one gloved hand, though the crowd seems to be parting all on its own in the way the positive end of a magnet is repelled from the negative.

His sleek, black suit looks crisp against the intentionally grungy design of the Rock Cellar, a midnight blue button-down shirt beneath barely giving contrast against his tar-black tie. But as he gets closer, as that familiar scar-cleffed face settles on the people situated at Cat's table, it's clear something is terribly wrong.

Peter's eyes aren't normally blue.

"Cat." It's the most welcome he gives anyone sitting at the table, though there's a glance afforded to Claire, along with a hesitant smile. Strangely, it's like Helena isn't even in the room to him. "When is Else Kjelstrom playing tonight, I'm supposed to have a talk with her…" he's also supposed to be here with Eve, but it isn't the first time he's lied to someone to get what he needs from them.

"I won't interrupt your evening long," Peter adds, as if wary of being here, "I just need to ask her a few questions, and then I'll be out of your hair."

One hand gestures for Peter to sit so they can speak at the table without drawing more attention to themselves, while her eyes remain on the man and study him for a moment. It's all there, except the eyes. Helena is glanced at next, her mood registered in mind, then Claire, before attention goes back to the man. "This is new," she muses. "Colored contacts?" But that thought is dismissed swiftly enough in favor of direct business.

"She's ill tonight," the panmnesiac reports with a tone of disappointment. "I'd hoped to see her myself. My best guess is it's tied to her oxycodone addiction. I asked her directly about the visions once before, it didn't go well. But she'll be back."

"He has Kazimir Volken's power now." Helena offers the answer to Cat's question, elaborating even if Peter rather she didn't. Her eyes lift to study him levelly. There's just no way to act cool or adult about this. The best she can do is stay quiet, and not turn things into an argument. But then, "Why do you want to see her?" He can ignore the question if he likes, but it's a legitimate one.

The ex-cheerleaders heart drops a bit into the pit of her stomach when he he only gives her a smile. No… 'Hey Claire. How are you?' No.. 'Hey Claire, Your Blond again.' The edges of her mouth tugs down into a small frown. Well, guess she could still get a little hurt.

There is no real time to dwell on that fact as she notes the change in the eyes. Familiar eyes, but where has she seen them before. It's Helena's announcement that makes her brain click into recognition. The memories of crumbling men and a man in the clock flash through her mind. Before she can think, she steps close to Peter and reaches up with both hand to jerk his head around to look her in the eyes.

Blue eyes stare into blue eyes, while the flesh on Claire's head begin to blister and peel, almost like she grabbed a boiling pot. The pain is ignored as her eyes look between his own as if she could find an answer there, but then her own widen a bit and she just as suddenly she lets go. Her eyes dropping to her hands, which she holds palm up between them, blackened and blisters, some oozing. Then, slowly the damage slowly repairs itself and her eyes lift to his again. "How?" her words are are curious and a bit frightened, but more for him then what he has within him, "I thought he died.. yet here you are with his power?"

Peter's eyes narrow a touch at Helena's words, blue irises sharp against his dark pupils as he focuses on her. But the touch of Claire's hands to his cheeks takes precedence over mild irritation. "Don't," He hisses out sharply, swatting her hands away with the back of one gloved hand, another grabbing one of Claire's hands by the wrist, bringing her hand away from him, even as she can feel the dull tingle of his dark ability through the gloves. His expression downturns into a frown, then shifts to a snarl, "touch me."

Roughly, he releases her hand and breathes in a slow breath, gloved fingers reaching up to touch softly at his cheek as his blue eyes narrow, focusing a glare on Claire for a moment before turning towards Helena, then Cat.

"I paid a visit to Eve Mas," his snarling countenance levels out, trying to calm himself, "she had a dream relating to…" his head tilts to the side, "this. Else was in one of those dreams, and Eve says that she called herself a herald in the vision. I wanted to talk to her about some things, see if there's anything I might be able to get her to admit to."

Then, flatly he adds, "You sometimes come off as a bit overbearing, Cat. Maybe it'd be better if I handle talking to her…" his eyes wander down to the floor, then up to Claire and swiftly past Helena back to Cat. "Do you know where she lives? I could go pay her a visit at home. If not, I might be able to get in touch with Wireless to find out."

Her head turns toward Helena when she speaks the word of Peter's condition; this definitely causes brunette brows to lift. Isn't that special? Where could he have gotten it from? Gabriel was host to Kazimir… Had the ability remained with him after Volken was evicted and ended by Abby? Peter could then have absorbed it from Gabriel. If he still absorbs abilities, that is. Or… there could be others out there with what Kazimir had to pick it up from. Cat seems adrift in thought for several moments to mull all this over. Gabriel, she knows, never had blue eyes. But he was capable of leaving his body, she's told. Odd.

But she comes out of it in time to hear Peter claim she can be overbearing, and simply shows a slight smile, speaking with a calm voice. "Believe what you will, Peter," Cat begins, "the fact remains she wasn't ready to go into detail about what she sees. Herald… that's just another word for seeing possible futures, which she writes into song. She was also surprised when I said I could tell she has an addiction. I chose not to press. And I won't need to. I believe she'll come talk to me, because I can get what she needs. Craves."

"Anyway," Cat goes on to share, "I've done some research into the Munin satellites, and have my eyes open. Vanguard has nuclear weapons, there are faults under the city and state, and a nuclear power plant above one of them."

"How?" Helena asks suddenly, eyes darting up to look at Peter. The gaze is direct, and possesses a mildness that almost makes it anything but. "How are you going to get her to admit anything?" Because what's he going to do? Turn on the charm? He doesn't have much of that left, now that he's leaking Sinister Creepy Guy vibe all over the place. No, she's fairly sure she knows exactly how Peter plans on gettng Else to admit anything. She is relieved when Cat doesn't give him an answer as to the musician's whereabouts, and makes a mental note to contact R.Ajas and Wireless. Her gaze drifts briefly to Claire, sad, but certain. You see? You see what he's become? There's nothing but hurt in this.

Fully healed, Claires hands curl into fists and they drop to her side, "Don't you get all hissy and glare at me, Peter Petrelli," she hisses back in a rough whisper, since she's right there. "You can't hurt me. He couldn't." Her jaw clenches a bit as she glares back at him. "He tried." Her hands unclench so that she can hold up healed hands, her expression saying 'See? All better.'

Hands dropping to her sides again, Claire takes a deep breath and letting it out slowly. This is what she wanted. To see her Uncle, and see he was alright. Eyes open again to study him as he talks to the others. His attitude worries her, could it be part of this thing his got inside him? That darkness, familiar to her, yet it's been almost a year since she felt it, when he tested her. The young woman can't help but look down at the floor almost expecting to see familiar tendrils of smoke curling towards her.

"What?" Cat's words distract Claire from her Uncle's condition, but then she looks to Helena. She turns thoughtful as the look passes between them and her gaze drifts back to Peter to listen to his answers.

Peter's eyes do linger on Claire's hands for a moment. In some twisted irony, the only person who can survive his touch is related by blood. Perhaps in some way there is a divine comedy about it all. "Cat," Peter furrows his brows, "you're rambling." He's direct, terse and to the point, not quite the gentle man who pads around sensitive issues like usual. "Nuclear weapons, satellites…" his hands come up slowly, "the derailed train of thought needs to stop, focus on one thing at a time."

His mannerisms are different, his method of speech is slightly altered, tiny nuances Cat's keen memory picks up on. Probably more if she wasn't still trying to wash all of the mud out of her mental pond.

"Look, I just want to talk to her. See, you probably spouted off things like that — rambling. It'd scare anyone away, you just…" he waves one gloved hand in the air, eyes narrowing a touch. "If you don't know where she is, I can ask Wireless. I don't want to have to, but if you don't know that's fine. I'd rather not wait for her to show up while there's a painting showing half of Midtown sunk in the water and mushroom clouds on the horizon."

To Peter, paintings like that, bring up personal memories. None of them good.

"Rambling…" Cat replies with a quiet laugh. Her voice is equally quiet as she hopes he will sit down and speak in a calm fashion, to actually listen. That display with Claire was bad enough. Hopefully no one saw. "Right. I'm rambling because none of us talked to Eve and learned her dream was of a large black bird whose feathers fell off and made mushroom clouds, the way nuclear weapons would. None of us have heard the song which predicts a coastline change and water where it shouldn't be. None of us heard the news reports of a satellite program called Munin being restarted. None of us know Munin is Norse mythology, which Kazimir used in his Vanguard. None of us heard the news reports saying Vanguard has stolen Russian nukes, and none of us heard anything about local earthquakes and faults under the city, also under a nuclear power plant."

"No," she mutters, "I'm not already on this, Peter, figuring out what it means. Now, if you want to compare notes, you will sit down, treat us with respect, and listen. Or I can tell Wireless you're Kazimir and she needs to tell you nothing."

Dude. DUDE. Helena is so proud of Cat right now she could spit. She takes a long swig of beer to hide her smirk, and by the time the bottle comes down, her neutral expression is restored. So she just looks between Cat and Peter, still maintaining that mild expression, except for perhaps, maybe the tiniest hint of glee in her eyes at the schooling of Peter Petrelli.

Not to mention, she plans to ask Wireless not to assist Peter, regardless, though she can't stop Hana if the woman opts to anyway.

Brows dropping as she looks between them all confused, Claire settles into her chair again and looks at them all. "What are you all talking about?" Just like always, left out of the loop again. "Sunken Midtown? Mushroom Clouds?" That last also brings back painful for her.

Her head turns to stare at Cat as she goes on about all kinds of stuff. Then she gives her and Helena accusing looks. "What? When was anyone going to tell me about this stuff?" Claire asks curiously to Cat, "Is this the stuff you and Eve were being rather vague about that one day?" Her eyes move between to two women, just feeling a bit flabbergasted.

Claire suddenly gives a little shake of her head, eyes going ceiling ward for a moment and then she stands. "I'm leaving, you all talk amongst yourselves," there is a touch of heat to her words. She turns a hurt look to Peter, and says softly her words on the edge of being angry, "When you actually want to talk to me.. or you know.. need my help… you know where to find me… though somehow I doubt it. Just remember I'm not that weak cheerleader in Odessa." She shoves her chair under the table and adds, eyes not leaving his. "Oh, by the way. I'm fine now, thanks for asking. I got really sick and died.. Lucky for me Delphine's ability worked on me still, even dead." Eyes search his face for a long moment, even as she addresses the others roughly. "Hel… Cat… I'm sure I'll talk to you later."

Rolling his tongue over the inside of his cheek, Peter's eyes narrow and remain that way in the moments before they close and his head shakes slowly. "If I was Kazimir," he says quietly, "do you think anyone in this room would still be alive?" Dark brows rise up slowly, and then lower as he closes his eyes and shakes his head slowly. "Fine," both of his gloved hands come up slowly, "apparently the three of you are on top of this…"

Taking a step back, Peter's shoulders rise slowly into a helpless shrug as he listens to Claire, gloved hands moving down to tuck into the pockets of his slacks. "I'm not going to argue with you about this," he doesn't specify which person he plans on not arguing with — likely the whole table — "so if you don't want to help me, fine. But I'm not going to just sit here while she's out there." He turns, slowly, "You do things your way, I'll do things mine, and we'll meet somewhere in the middle."

The person he came here to see didn't show up, the attested goal remains unmet, and Peter slowly turns and puts his back to the table, dropping the interrogation as he slowly starts to head away from the table and towards the crowd again.

"When did you ever do anything any other ways than yours?" Helena rises from her seat. She's tense, and she's angry, but something about the way she carries herself suggests she's not letting it rule her, which may be a noticable change. "You come to us - to Cat, for help, but then you act as if you're the one doing us a favor. You're cruel to Claire, you're disrespectful to Cat, and you wonder why it is we think twice? Cat gives you useful information, and you ignore it, you refuse to see the connections, because you're either too caught up in whatever powertrip is happening in your head, or you're afraid to see them. What you touch isn't the only thing being destroyed - you're disentegrating from the inside out. You can ignore me for a lot of reasons, Peter, but you will not ignore this."

Every inch of Helena is straight and tall and proud. "You repeat the same mistakes over and over, and when it goes wrong, you give up. Until you actually learn the lessons you need to? Until you realize that you are not the sole means by which the world will right itself no matter how many times you get locked up or think you should hurt someone for your interchangable greater good or cowardice? Don't come back here."

She just watches him turn away, shaking her head slightly. Cat makes no attempt to stop him, she doesn't call for him to come back. Peter, she knows, will do what he will do. Walk away from Helena and treat her heart like a hockey puck again and again. Lock himself away in Moab. Seek to find Else when he's already been told a plan is in place. Not share what reasoning he has to believe there's more to be learned from that than was already shared with him. Treat her like an idiot. With Peter Petrelli it's always something. Her mind flashes back to the sixth day of the previous September, replaying a memory. She's in the bedroom she used at the Dorchester Towers apartment.

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.

She meets the kiss, accepting and returning, with hands going to his shoulders again, and pressing closer when guided to do so by him. Her breath is warm, it begins to quicken. The lead and pace is his to set, letting him work through whatever the thought process is in his own way. The scar isn't just on his face, it exists also metaphysically, she knows, deeper and longer than the visible one.

The struggle Peter engages with breaks the kiss again, a frustrated sound escaping the back of his throat as he leaves his cheek pressed to Cat's, "There's something" Peter's brow tenses as her turns his head, letting his lips brush against Cat's cheek, "Something about you, and it draws me here." He pulls her into an embrace, one arm wrapping around her shoulders, the other resting at the small of her back, "But I don't know what it is yet. There's mistakes I can't make." His tone shifts to apologetic, lips pressing to the young woman's cheek once more before he very slowly begins to release her. "People are counting on me," He explains as he leans back, "I have to think for them, now. Not myself." Swallowing audibly, Peter closes his eyes and leans up to press a kiss to Cat's brow, stepping back and away from her. "I need to think, find an answer" He looks towards the door, then back to Cat, "I'll come back. But right now, I need to put their lives ahead of my own."

She remains standing where she is, not moving away from his further attentions after he makes the decision to abstain. Hands rest on his shoulders briefly for the embrace, her head leans into the kiss at her brow. But when he steps away, she makes no effort to entice his return. "It's understood," she replies, keeping what she's thinking and feeling veiled. At the very least, she isn't one to beg a man for his carnal attentions. "Make contact if you want assistance with the puzzles in art, or other projects. I'll at least hear them out." Solemnly, slowly, Cat makes her way to the door and opens it. "See you. Take care."

"I'll be back." Peter says firmly, watching Cat as she moves away from him, "For you." His eyes wander, then lower to the floor. Then, slowly, his eyes close. "As long as you're still here," Peter's brow tenses again, as if from a momentary strain, "Take care, Cat." Then, in an instant, Peter was gone. Boots, coat, everything he had brought with him, except the memory of the things he had said, done, and the images he left behind He did say the people around him got hurt.

He never explained how.

Inwardly she muses on her choice, and what a nightmare it'd have been to follow the other path. How glad she is not to have embarked further on Romantic Road with that man. Her pint of stout is lifted, she takes a long drink and exhales a quiet sigh.

Dryly, she remarks "That went well."

Claire can't help but to step along side Peter, she's leaving as well. Hands shoved deep in the pocket of her jeans, she doesn't look at him, but she does say softly, "She's right Peter. You gotta quit pushing us away, thinking your gonna save us." She glances over at him, her expression sad, "We're still gonna go riding in anyhow. So for once stop being the lone wolf." She knows it's like talking to a brick wall, but she makes the effort anyhow, "If I learned anything from that whole thing Arthur did to me… was it made me realize I keep pushing people away. I'm also tired of sitting back and twiddling my thumbs. I'm sick of people ignoring the fact that I'm not weak. And being told to hold tight while they go off and do their thing."

She's quiet for a moment and then adds. "And Helena's right… You're being an ass." Those words are blunt, but true. "But…" She admits reluctantly, "if I had that crap squatting inside me.. I'd be grumpy too." There is a little tug a smile. "I'll be there to help if you let me." She glances over her shoulder at the other two, "I imagine they would too… But I proved I'd do it. I pulled the trigger." There is a knowing look, "Remember that." With a wave she leaves, she's had enough of not knowing what everyone is talking about.

Helena may say Peter can't ignore this, but that's exactly what he does. There's no comebacks, no retorts, no disagreements. He doesn't act right, there's too much blaise about what he's interacting with, as if he's finally — after all this time — just given up. Shoulders squared and hands tucked into his pockets, he completely ignores Helena's pleas for rationality and cooperation, shouldering through the crowd on the way back to the door to the club.

There's no reason for him to turn and look back. Though in the back of his mind he muses that it may have not mattered if he brought Eve after all. But Claire, Claire's persistence brings a cold look from those impassive blue eyes as he walks. He listens, as much as can be expected, or at least as much as it outwardly appears he's been listening "I'm not a lone wolf," Peter says in a quiet voice to himself, too quiet to be for Claire. "I just run in different circles now."

He watches her exit the club before him, and lingers there on the stairs by the door, back still to Helena's table. Then, after a moment of silence he pushes past the open doors and out onto the street.

Time to try a different approach.

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