People Change


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Scene Title People Change
Synopsis Peter finally catches up with Cat after Operation: Apollo has ended.
Date January 19, 2010

Upper West Side

Time has passed since the conversation in Central Park, and several hours more since the arrival at JFK. Cat is alone now, pulling her car into a usually empty space outside Dorchester Towers. It's a rare thing for her to come here over the course of these past thirteen months, but today is different. The apartment there remains her legal mailing address. It's on her driver's license, her voter registration information, tax records, and other things.

She goes around to the back and pops the trunk, extracting from it a guitar case and the small portable amp. Also present is a box of Matryosha dolls obtained from Russia and the balalaika she bought there. Those are left for the moment, her choice being to take the guitar and amp inside first. Laden so, the front doors are approached.

"Thought so." The familiar voice carries from a bench on the sidewalk, just out of sight thanks to the bus stop booth obscuring it. Cat hears the noise of snow and ice crunching under shoes, and then out from behind that bus stop booth emerges the both familiar and yet at the same time unfamiliar countenance of Peter Petrelli. "I guess cats really can always find their way home."

The smirk spread lopsided across Peter's face is a teasing one, and his approach towards the car is slow and leisurely. The falling snow, while large and heavy flakes, is slow in its procession from the overcast skies above. "We never really did get to talk much, after everything that happened." Brick red scarf wound around his throat and the black wool of his peacoat catching snow in clinging fashion, Peter seems so much less like has been the last six months.

And without that scar across his face, so much unlike how Cat has ever know him.

"So many memories here," Cat replies softly as she moves along and intersects the path. That they're all filled with pain she doesn't say. The happier ones, even, tainted by what happened. "I still kept it as a legal residence, though I've only been here maybe three times in a year. It doesn't feel like home anymore." Eyes settle on the man and linger for a time as she states "I looked for you again aboard ship, and at the airport. Timing seems to have been off, until now."

"I've been keeping myself scarce," Peter admits with a roll of his shoulders, hands tucked in to the front pockets of his coat. "To be honest I don't even really know what to do with myself, I just know I wanted to get away from that carrier and everything that happened as fast as I could." Squinting up at the snow, Peter's focus seems to be on the cloudy sky more than anything. "Did… you hear about how things went down?" His dark eyes settle back down on Cat. "At the south pole station?"

It's hard to say exactly what he might be getting at; Gabriel, Kazimir, the Formula, Cardinal, Francois— so much happened. He doesn't bother to elaborate either, and by the way he just carries on talking, it's a wonder if the question was just rhetoric. "It feels like a lifetime ago…" he offers with a nod to Dorchster at his periphery, "doesn't it?"

"I saw bits and pieces," Cat tells him by way of reply as snow settles onto clothing and hair, "but haven't yet heard the story. There were two Claires, one leapt onto the other, and there was you fighting one of the Claires. Radio reception had interference then, it was only when people came onto the craft that pieces fell into place. Francois Allegre staying behind, Mr. Redbird with him. And the sinkhole. Shades of Conrad Wozniak," she quietly pronounces.

"One of the captives we found and freed told us Julia Steyr turned Vanguard, joined her captors. I don't know if I got the word out before she was able to cause trouble."

Here she goes quiet for several seconds.

"A lifetime ago? It feels like five minutes ago."

"That's one ability I won't miss having…" Peter notes in sarcastic remark to Cat. "Forgetting's one of those luxuries I enjoy these days." Hunching his shoulders against the chill from the cold winter air, Peter paces a few steps in front of Cat, idle circling that has always been his way. "Everything in Antarctica is kind of a blur, but I know Wagner's gone. Kazimir came up with a plan to stop him, and we managed to pull it off. He… died, I guess." Peter's brows crease together, "Kazimir, I mean. I guess that's what he wanted though… he always did say he wasn't making it out of Antarctica."

Exhaling a sharp breath, Peter shakes his head slowly. "Cardinal… he— I don't know how he knew, but he had a syringe of the Formula with him. I didn't… I don't know how he got it to work, I'd thought Pinehearst's research was destroyed, that it never even got finished." Brown eyes narrow into a squint, "But he gave me back my ability…"

Peter's lips downturn into a frown. "Sort of."

"There were apparently a few doses brought back from the future," Cat informs, "my guess is you got one of them. Wagner, Kazimir… The world won't miss them. Hopefully the Vanguard is gone too, I don't relish having to help tear down one of their plots a third time. But as to Pinehearst's research being destroyed…" Cat pauses.

"Did you have any idea Pinehearst had contracted with Edmund Rasoul in Madagascar? There were Pinehearst logos found, and tanks of a blue glowing liquid. Also a neurotoxin they developed. A doctor called Gregor worked in Rasoul's labs. US Forces captured him."

Shaking his head, Peter's brows furrow. "You never turn off, do you?" One dark brow arches, and Peter's smile fades some. "No, Cat… I didn't even know who Edmond Rasoul was until Kazimir. I don't recognize the name Gregor either. Frankly, I don't really care what the government did with anything they found there, that's not my problem anymore." That change of tone seems strangely ambivalent for Peter.

"I'm… done with this hero business. All of it, I'm so tired of fighting, Cat… you don't have any idea." Looking down at his feet, Peter hunches his shoulders and draws in a deep breath, exhaling it as a cloud of steam through his scarf.

"I just came by to see how you were holding up, and if you felt like going to get a drink some time. Leave all of that— the nonsense— behind. Just, try to start living a life again? You're one of the few people in the city that I can really recall being friends with. I didn't want to burn that bridge." Pursing his lips, though, it's clear that's not where his opinion ends. "I just… I'm done fighting. This was it, I'm going to start focusing on something more tangible now."

"I've been asked that question before," Cat replies with a brief smile showing. But she doesn't answer it. "I'm around," she tells him moments later, "and I'll drink with you." Even as she opts not to speak of either Helena or Gillian in his presence, to not comment upon bridges. Those will be kept or discarded as he or they choose.

Neither is his being tired of fighting challenged. "What tangible thing are you focused on?"

"I'm going to take a few weeks off, get my head cleared…" Peter offers a crooked smile at that "then probably see about getting on board with emergency services here in the city— EMT work. I can't go back to hospice work, not after everything I've been through, but I think taking a more active role and handling trauma calls would probably be the best way to actually do good and make a difference with what I can do."

Watching a car rolling in and pulling to a stop, Peter narrows his eyes and squares his shoulders a little, watching the traffic anxiously, before angling his attention back to Cat. "There… was also something else, I guess it's the reason I came all the way out here." Reacyhing up to scratch his forehead where his scar once was, Peter's silent as he tries to gather his thoughts.

"I've got an ability right now, it lets me manipulate people's memories." Dark eyes lift up to Cat, and Peter's expression becomes suddenly very serious. "I know you've… had a lot of hard things happen to you as of late, and— you know, most people, they can forget things over time, let them slide. I know what it's like living without the ability to forget, I know how hard it must be for you. So— " Peter's brows tense for a moment, "I thought I'd offer you a chance to forget… I dunno, whatever."

"Being an EMT fits you, Peter, and I manage," Cat tells him with eyes going distant, focused on the building as if she were viewing something there. "Stay busy, keep making new memories. Not letting myself dwell on the painful. And I cope without doctors or drugs." A smile begins to spread, a bittersweet expression. "My memories are part of me," she expresses, "and aren't anything I'd sacrifice. I've been without access to them a few times, and it's always felt like a limb missing. So thank you for the thought, but no."

From there her brows furrow. "By talking to me, though, you've probably got that impeccable memory back."

Grimacing, Peter shakes his head, laughing to himself. He doesn't say much, as he takes a step back, heel crunching the ice and crusted snow on the sidewalk. "I'll take you up on that drink sometime… when I'm feeling more social." His lips creep up into a hesitant smile, watching Cat thorugh the falling snow for a moment, before offering up a very Volken answer for her suggestion about his ability.

"It doesn't work like that."

He turns, finally, back offered to Cat as he makes his way down the street quietly, not seeming much to mind the falling snow here. He doesn't say goodbye, either. There's no need to, not when he knows it isn't truly a goodbye. In a way, while he may be bereft of Kazimir Volken, part of the old man's attitude still lives on in Peter.

The good parts, anyway.

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