Permit Yourself Happiness


claire_icon.gif eve_icon.gif helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Permit Yourself Happiness
Synopsis It seems like the folks of PARIAH could use a little more happiness in their lives.
Date September 6, 2008

Condemned Tenement - Rooftop

While some parts of the roof are less structurally sound then others, someone seems to have sorted out which areas are dangerous and blocked them off. Some overhangs have been jury-rigged up to block a direct aerial view that gives definite indication of the presence of squatters - a rooftop garden, clearly meant to provide sustenance rather than aesthetic. Tubs full of dirt are situated to take best advantage of the light despite the overhangs meant to keep them from prying eyes. Tomatoes, beans, carrots, even potatoes and onions and chili peppers are carefully tended, little laminated labels indicating what each row of planting is. There's a separate section for a small variety of herbs, and a sole small window sill style planter that houses the one concession to beauty; a row of sunflowers, and even these can be harvested for their seeds. Here and there decrepit lawn furniture has been scattered to give the illusion of abandonment; a stone bench here, an ironwork table with chairs there, one of those latticed metal fold-up chairs leaned at an awkward angle in a corner. Aside from the overhangs, the rest of the roof is open to the sky, providing a view of the city and the span of rooftops surrounding the tenement.

There's been some wacky weather of late, and it's got Helena troubled. But in this case, it's not Helena's troubledness that's the cause of the weather, rather it's the other way around. The freak systems popping up at random aren't part of the natural flow of things, and that can only mean one thing: Peter. At this moment, standing on the roof, Helena is standing on a spot open to the air, face turned up to the night sky. Her eyes are closed as she 'reaches' out and gets a feel for how things are, how they're going to be - barring any unexpected changes. She'll have to talk to him about how to keep himself calm.

Clouds slowly dissipate in the sky above her, revealing a some semblance of the starry night despite New York's haze of pollution.

A dark figure comes out of the shadows of the door leading down into the building from the roof. Her hair is slightly unkempt and her eyes have dark circles under them. She shudders and then walks quietly over to the ledge by Helena. She runs a hand through her dark hair. Eve is wearing a dark dress that has a few rips in it and also a pair of scuffed boots. Wherever she has been, it had a lot of dirt around. She tilts her head up to the sky and sighs softly. The woman seems content with staying silent for the moment. Her mouth opens and closes and she shakes her head.

From below, the front door of the tenement building can be heard to slam. "Don't you go!" shouts Claire's voice. "Come back! You can't be out running around by yourself all the time! Can't you just- Hey!" The door slams again and all's quiet again. For the moment.

"What is it, Eve?" asks Helena, her back still turned to the woman. It's hard to miss that sigh, but when she hears the slammed door from down below and Claire's voice, her eyes open and she steps forward, putting her hands on the ledge and leaning just a bit to see what's going on. Her look downward is cursory; assuming that it's West Claire's having the issue with, she checks eye-level and up, too.

Eve blinks, "Nothing," she says and her voice gives nothing away. "Just been gone for a little bit. What's been going on here?" she asks and cants her head as she hears the door slam and Claire as well. "Lover's quarrel?" Eve doesn't expect an answer; the woman then swings her legs over the ledge and sits down. She looks down and then back up to the sky, the problems down stairs aren't really her concern.

Perhaps surprisingly, no figure goes streaking through the sky past Helena's face. If it's West, he must be in a more subtle mood than that. But soon enough, hurried footsteps sound on the steps and Claire comes barreling past the door to the rooftop, breathing in heaving gasps with tears streaming down her face, causing eyeliner and mascara to run black rivers along her cheeks. She chokes back a sob as soon as she realizes that she isn't alone. The roof's always been a popular hang out, but she apparently had hoped the kitchen would have won the popularity contest tonight. "Hey…" Her voice is small. She may not be able to pretend that she's okay, but she can at least make a show of trying to prove she will be okay.

"Ohmigod, Claire," Helena's so surprised by the faux brunette's distressed state that she lapses into high school speak for a second. "What's wrong? Are you okay? What happened?" She makes her way over, reaching out to brush her fingertips along the other girl's upper arm. It's sort of an invitation if Claire wants to cry on her shoulder, but no more than an invitation. "Who was that?"

Looking at Claire, Eve smiles sadly and then turns back to the sky. "And sadness washed over the woman as she realized the everything wasn't alright," Eve mutters to herself. Coming up with a song is she? Eve, after a moment then turns to Claire and cants her head, "Who hurt you?"

Claire throws her arms around Helena and buries her face against her shoulder. "He's such a jerk sometimes, Hel'!" A look is cast to Eve, even as the former cheerleader clings to Helena like a drowning victim clings to a lifeguard. "Nobody. I'm fine. It was just a stupid argument."

Helena automatically puts her arms around Claire. "Who?" she prompts gently. "Was West being a jackass? I'll tell Daniel; he can phase him naked out of his clothes if revenge is necessary." she promises solemnly. "Or was it someone else? I can make a rain cloud follow them around or something." Helena casts Eve a faintly baffled look, but for the most part her attention is on Claire.

"Are you sure you will be ok?" Eve walks a little closer and her expression is one of worry, she hates to see any of her comrades upset even though, at times it seems like they don't care whether she is upset or not. "Men can be assholes, it's kind of in their genetic makeup." She nods slowly and keeps looking at the two younger women.

"It's okay, Hel'," Claire assures her. She pulls away from the hug to wipe her eyes with the backs of her hands. "We'll get over it. We always do. I just… sometimes the way he says things just isn't… nice. Everything has just changed so much recently. It's like nobody's the same anymore."

"No one and nothing ever stays the same." Helena says sympathetically. "You'll work it out, you always do. He's crazy about you. And seriously, Daniel will totally phase him naked as the day he was born if I ask him to. Although karma may be a bitch, because I kinda sorta mentioned West to Peter." She tries to coax a smile out of Claire and then seems to shift the topic, at least for a moment. "And where have you been, songbird?" she asks of Eve.

"Having Daniel phase West naked would be hilarious." Eve cracks a small smile and winks at Claire. She breathes in and then looks at Helena, "I was investigating a vision I have been having lately. Or you could call it a recurring dream. And that's just it, for the first time, I can't tell the difference of a dream and vision." Eve looks deeply troubled by this. "There is a woman, somewhere in this city and she looks a lot like my dead mother. But a younger version. I don't know what to make of it. I see pieces of her daily life and she seems so real. Maybe I am going crazy?" Eve looks down and blinks her eyes, tears forming. She then stifles a sob and looks back up, her eyes glistening. "I'll figure this out though. I have to."

For a moment, Claire's eyes get big and she wants to ask Helena just how much she told Peter about West. Instead, the subject is shifted to Eve, as it should be, and her features grow sympathetic. Claire reaches out to clasp one of Eve's hands. "You're not going crazy. Our abilities are constantly changing. Maybe that's what's happening here?"

Helena says with sympathy, "You just need to clear your head. There's been a lot going on. You need to have a quiet day. Not pushing for the visions and stuff. Maybe this girl is someone you should know. Maybe she's family you didn't know you had. Things will fall into place as they should." A pause. "So no naked West, then?"

Eve nods, "Yeah, these visions feel more different than anything I have ever seen. It could be that my ability is evolving more. I am going to try and relax and maybe one day soon seek this girl out. Deep down, I hope she is of some kind of kin to me. Thanks guys." She smiles warmly at Helena and Claire. Eve then chuckles at Helena, "I don't think that Claire wants us to see her man's private parts." She grins at the brunette.

"I don't think you want to see my man's private parts." Claire shakes her head with a small smile. "West doesn't need any retaliation. It's fine. Really." She runs her fingers through her hair. "Thanks, though."

Helena assures, "That's what friends are for." Stealing clothes and offering revenge on males who make a girl cry. Then, "Have you seen Peter lately? Because I kind of have to talk to him."

Eve grins and then her eyes widen briefly, "So Peter did join us." Eve seems happy at that thought, especially since their last meeting didn't go exactly according to plan. "Well things are going to get a whole lot interesting here."

Claire blinks a couple times. "I guess I can try and track him down. Is this anything to do with the crazy weather we've been ha-'ey! Are those my socks?!"

Helena looks down at them. "They're so fabulous, Claire. Where'd you manage to find them?" Then, "Yep, seriously. I don't know quite how the whole power roulette works for him, but when he's accessing my power he's making things a little haywire. It won't effect natural weather systems, but it will draw suspicion if he's not careful."

A flash of light and a distortion in the air accompanies a form dressed head to toe in black as he appears on the rooftop. Peter appears with one foot on the railing that wraps around the edge of the roof, his hands in the pockets of his pressed slacks; though the seem wrinkled, slept in. He looks disheveled, his normally swept back hair in disarray, a few stray locks hanging in front of his face, and there is a remarkably upset look in his eyes as he stares out to the city below. It's only the sound of Claire's voice that stirs him from his thoughts, causing him to stand straight and look back towards the others. He didn't expect to see anyone here, and while Peter looks more rested than he has in recent memory, he also looks more troubled.

Eve looks at Peter and senses his mood. "Hmm, nice to see you again Pedro," she states and then takes this moment to sit on the stone bench, her dress rustling a little as she moves. She brushes a few strands of her hair out of her eyes and she looks to Peter again, "You look like something is bothering you."

"Peter," Claire greets quietly. Talk about speaking of the devil. "I, ah… think Helena wanted to talk to you. I should get back inside. Come knock on my door later, okay?" She squeezes his arm briefly on her way to the door before turning back to smile at the other two girls on the rooftop, "Thanks for listening to me." Even if she didn't really say much of anything.

Helena smiles at Peter's appearance - well, not his appearance per se, but the fact that he showed up. "I do," she confirms. "There's been some wacky weather showing up in the media and it doesn't feel natural, and best I'm guessing it isn't me." She gives him a sheepish shrug. "So I wanted to ask you some things - maybe give you a little help? I could try anyway. But are you okay? You look kind of worn out. Are you hungry? Do you need to crash?" Aww, Helena in mother-hen mode.

There is a look of surprise on Peter's face as Claire comes over, squeezing his arm. That troubled look he has fades slightly, changing to something more apologetic. Then, as she leaves, he only watches her walk towards the doorway leading down off of the roof. Soon after, a frown crosses his face as he looks back to Helena and Eve, "This everyone who's here?" Peter's demeanor shifts into a more authoritative one, "I spoke to my contact, Hana, last night." He completely sidesteps Eve and Helena's questions, "She's going to get us information regarding Homeland holding facilities, detainees, and their powers. We're going to work from that list, and choose a target to hit." He strides across the rooftop, brow tensed, creasing his scar. "I want to arrange a meeting of our operatives on Monday, there's a lot to discuss."

Peter hesitates, his eyes falling on Helena, "If you see Cameron before I do, let him know. Sergei and that silent guy with the gas-mask too…" Peter reaches up and scratches the back of his neck, realizing he doesn't even know the kid's name. "I want to get everyone together, get familiar with them all. Come clean on a few things, and explain where we're going and what's going to happen. Can you two handle letting the others know?" His dark eyes shift from one girl to the other.

Eve smiles softly and nods at Claire as the younger woman leaves the rooftop. Her eyebrows rise slightly she didn't know Peter had become this involved. "We can do that," she says and nods at Peter. "Sounds like we have a bit of action racing towards us." Eve places her hands on her knees and cants her head studying Peter, "But something is /different/ about you," she muses and then looks off to the horizon.

Helena takes a few moments to respond, like she's trying very hard to edit herself before she opens her mouth. "Sure," she says finally. "Not everyone who's out will be available, but we can get everyone who is." She shifts a little in place. "I've got some ideas about things. We're not really making use of what people can do. At least we're not being organized about it." She seems a little hesitant to offer up suggestions, but presses, "But I still need to talk to you about how you've been managing my powers. Otherwise we're going to keep getting freak weather."

"Just my perspective." Peter explains, affording Eve an answer, "I'll be staying here," He eyes Helena, "For the foreseeable future. I need to start working on making the other members of PARIAH understand that I'm a part of this now. I… can't risk being away." He looks down at the rooftop for a moment, then up to the young blonde, "I'll take you up on that offer of a room." Turning his focus out to the city, Peter breathes in a slow breath, exhaling in a tired sigh after a short time, "Maybe, that dinner too…" As he says that, there's a distant, saddened expression that clings to Peter.

Finally, he looks back at Helena, "The meeting, Monday. You'll get time to offer up ideas. I'm going to tell everyone the extent of what I can do, and I expect them to do the same. I want to hear what you have to suggest then…" He manages a smile, despite himself, "I had a bad night, last night. But it's not up for discussion. It's not a matter of control, you should understand the rest." That sad look comes back.

The seer stands up all of a sudden and walks over to Peter laying a hand on his arm, "Remember what you said, you are a part of this." She smiles at Peter, "I'm not pressuring but, if something is bothering you remember that now that we are in this together that you can call on us for help if you need it. Not just for raiding hold facilities, if you have personal problems as well. We're a family." Eve then begins to back away, having said what she needed to Peter. Her expression then turns to thinking, "We must speak of my ability as well then. At the meeting will do fine."

Helena does not crowd Peter, or venture close, at least not while Eve is in his vicinity. Again she gets that thoughtful look, as if some severe self-editing is going on. "People are asking if you're taking over," she says, as if to offer warning. "We don't need things flaring up between you and Cam, it could be literal." Finally in a rush, "I know how my powers work. You're only starting to get a grip. Just let me try helping you once, and if it turns out useless I won't bug you about it again, okay?"

"Not up for discussion." Peter reiterates about last night, gently moving his arm away from Eve's touch, "Last night, and the scar." He clarifies, just to make sure. "Now," Peter's eyes drift over to Helena, "As for taking over, people can think what they want. But that's not what I'm doing, Cameron offered to let me change directions. If he wants to give up and hand things over to me, then that's his choice." His eyes wander from Helena, back out to the city skyline. "Alright," He actually accepts her help, shrugging both shoulders, "Once, and we'll see how it goes." There's a tired sigh that escapes the scarred man, and he takes a few steps away from the two women, rubbing his forehead with one hand. "Oh," He looks back over his shoulder, "One more thing, we need a computer. Doesn't matter how new it is, as long as it has a wireless modem. But don't try to hook it up to the internet — Make sure it gets power, and set it up." It's an odd request, "I'll explain at the meeting."

Eve chuckles softly at Peter's non-touchiness. "Don't worry its fine," she says and then turns to look at Helena and Peter, "Good night." She smiles at the two before she leaves the rooftop. "Oh and do get some rest Pedro, or try to meditate," she says as the door shuts and she goes to her apartment. Nighty Night!

"Something's changed." Helena looks at him, her arms going around herself. "It's like you were starting to feel lighter, and now it's all heavy again." She shrugs, and moving to a corner, she pulled out a rolled up mat, and spreads it out on the floor of the roof. Sitting on it, she leans over and pats the other half of it. "Come sit." she tells him. "Tell me about how it works. Do you just say in your head 'flame on' and poof, you can do what Cameron does?"

Straining a sigh, Peter covers his forehead with one hand and shakes his head as Eve heads inside, "She means well, at least." An awkward, rough laugh escapes Peter as he walks back across the roof, boots thumping on the hard surface as he comes to stand by Helena. He looks down at the mat, then shakes his head slowly. "It's not like that at all, I… I have to remember how the person makes me feel. I have to remember them, and then…" He looks out from the rooftop towards the city skyline, back in the direction of the upper west side. "Sometimes it's constant, like Claire's healing or Cat's…" His brow twitches, and he shakes his head. "It's complicated." A faint smile is afforded to Helena, and Peter considers the mat for a moment, then closes his eyes. "I can't, tonight. I think… I just need to sleep. I had a hard day, and I just need to lie down."

"How do you fe - " she starts, and then stops. Nope, she's not going to ask it. Peter has enough complications. "Okay." She bonelessly rises to her feet, crouching to reroll the mat. Tucking it away she asks, "Straight to bed? Or food first? If you're really tired we can just find you an open bed." She summons up a grin. "I won't cry if you're too tired for my garlic duck stew."

"Garlic…" Peter smiles, though it's bittersweet, "Duck?" He looks down at the rooftop, perhaps more correctly at his feet, "I guess I missed a lot last night." There's something seriously bothering him, and he's doing his best to try and manage, but for all his gruff exterior he's acting like someone who got sucker-punched in the heart. "If you could just find me a free bed for the night, that'd be fine." He looks up, back to Helena, "I mean, you don't have to — I could find one myself." He eyes the door that leads from the roof into the tenement complex.

Helena grins. "And have you stumbling around and freaking people out? It's no big deal, I might even be able to find you an apartment to yourself. I made it tonight, actually. But you're obviously too tired to handle my awesomesauce." Yes. She just said awesomesauce. She heads to the door, pushing the latch before looking over at him and smiling. "C'mon, now." she coaxes. "We can get some towels and stuff for you on the way. Just don't hog all the hot water. Yes, that is a big hint that you need a shower. And a shave, you're looking a little 5 o'clock there. It's very evil alternate dimension you."

Peter smiles for a moment at the mention of a shave, then begins to frown, "Yeah…" He reaches up to rub his chin with one hand, "Yeah I do." His eyes go distant for a time, and he nods absently, following Helena towards the stairs, his hands finding their way back to his pockets. Just before he reaches the door, Peter stops. "Helena," He's staring down at his feet, "If there was someone you cared about, and you know that by being around them, you were putting their life in danger…" He slowly looks up to the younger girl, "What would you do?" He was, in his own way, confiding in her.

Helena turns so her back is against the door and she's facing him. Her hands press behind her at the door, but there's nothing coy about her, she looks him right in the eye. "I'd tell them. Let them understand the depth that they could get into, and let them make the choice of whether the danger's worth it."

"What if they don't care?" Peter seems a bit lost, and he leans against the doorway, looking past Helena at the door. "I just…" Peter reaches up, pinching his fingers at the bridge of his nose as his brow grows tense, "Someone close to me got killed, once, because of what was happening around me. I… can't go through that again." He turns partially, looking over the small gardens, "But the alternative feels just as bad."

"People are getting killed who are close to us because of what is happening around us." Her lips purse as she looks thoughtful, silent for a few moments as she pushes off the door and moves to stand next to him and likewise contemplate the garden. "I guess the way I see it? There's so much about this world that's awful. We've all had to deal with terrible things in our lives - and no, I'm not trying to make comparisons or anything like that; that's not the point." She cants her head, looking up at him and with a slowly growing grin, reaches up and pushes that dang lock of his hair out of his face. The gesture's affectionate but not invasive, once accomplished she returns her hand to herself. "Every time you permit yourself happiness in this awful world, it's like your own personal revolution to those who made it this way in the first place. Why do you think people still fell in love when there were wars? You can either be all 'now's not the time' and the grimness and the death and everything get to you, or you can take whatever pieces of joy you can manage and be doubly thankful for it." She rolls her eyes. "I'm talking too much. Sorry."

Listening, Peter seems to relax, and as Helena brushes that lock of hair from his face, his eyes close and he seems to relax where he stands. "You're not talking too much," Peter says in a quiet tone of voice, "You're… right." An awkward smile comes to his face, and he looks back to the young girl, smiling. "Well, that's half of my problem done with." He gives a shake o fhis head, sliding his hands back into the pockets of his slacks. "Ah," Peter hesitates, reaching out after a moment to lay a hand on Helena's shoulder, "Thanks, for that. I didn't mean to burden you or…" He shakes his head, "Thanks."

"…and now here's Tanya Giletti with this morning's acu-weather forecast. Tanya?"

"Thanks Emily, so how about that weather last night, hmm? The rather inexplicable weather patterns of the last few days dropped over seven inches of rain in two hours over the city. The storm, which brought winds up to fifty-five miles an hour and several lightning strikes is believed to be the result of the upper-air from from Canada meeting with an area of high pressure near New-Jersey.

Several homes were damaged in the short-lived storm, and firefighters were dispatched to Central Park due to a minor fire caused by a lightning strike in one of the parks more damaged areas. The high winds are reportedly to blame for power outages across the city, as unstable buildings, signage and trees collapsed from the strain."

"We'll be back in twenty-five minutes with the detailed local forecast and your five day outlook!"

September 6th: A Strange Encounter

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
How To Leave A Petrelli Speechless

September 7th: Someday
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License