Pleased To Meet You


peter6_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Pleased To Meet You
Synopsis …didn't you shoot me?
Date May 7, 2009

Old Dispensery

Description of location, if any.

Freidrich Nietzsche is quoted as saying, "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."

The engine revs just a few times before headlights cut through the morning fog one last time, pulling away from the overgrown exterior of an old industrial building situated on the coast of Staten Island. Tires crunch gravel and the purr of a lovingly tended V-8 engine rumbles into the barely lit morning air. Though as the sounds of a car depart, the crunch of boots on gravel fill the void, footsteps approaching the old structure under the receeding cover of night as it retreats from day.

It is a complex quote that states a simple fact; that if we are truly governed by our destinies, than the presence of free will is nothing more than an illusion. History will conform to any given course as it wishes, and we are merely passengers along for the ride.

Standing by the front doors, a man draped in a short black coat and dark jeans cups his hands around one of the glass panes, trying to get a look inside. There's a disconcerted sigh, followed by a sidelong look left and right before he smashes his elbow into the glass, shattering the panes out. There's a long, tired sigh as the intruder reaches inside, fumbling with the lock on the door before letting himself in.

But to believe in a predetermined future, one where any set actions are written in stone, perhaps validates that very principal. Once we as humans begin giving up our free will, our ability to choose, we become slaves to the idea of fate.

Quietly walking inside, black boots crunch the glass underfoot, and as Peter Petrelli steps into a pale shaft of morning light creeping in through one of the ground floor windows, his dark eyes assess the building with unfamiliar scrutiny. There doesn't look to be anyone present, just darkened rooms and silhouettes of furniture he can't quite make out with the lights off.

And that there is the true lesson Nietzsche is trying to convey, that by giving in to the inevitability of fate, we forsake our free will. To truly be free, we might fight against even the most insurmountable odds. We must persevere where there is no sign of hope.

Clicking his tongue, Peter takes a few more steps in, brows furrowed as he fumbles around in the lingering dark of dawn to find a lightswitch, fingers pawing at moldings and fixtures on the wall, finally discovering an external power cable bolted to the brick, following it towards the switchbox, and with a hesitant click, there was light.

There is no such thing as fate, no certainty to the future we build, unless we allow there to be. Nothing in our futures, is set in stone.

And then, second out of two not quite simultaneous occurrences, there's a gun. No bullets, though. Just a brutal snub muzzle breaking an extra swipe of ink out of the dark shadows of the hallway. Teo is behind it. Staring for a moment that feels an instant longer than it actually is, and then he drops his gun arm, prompt from self-consciousness, like a seven-year-old would snatch his hand from the cookie jar. Yes. No. His jaws bob open a quarter of an inch and shut again when he realizes that Peter hadn't actually asked him anything out loud.

"Sorry about all that," he says, gesturing vaguely with his empty hand. It requires little imagination to extrapolate that he means about both instances involving him and the Petrelli and an unsafed firearm. Despite the sincerity of his feelings, he pokes his head out a few inches further to scan the room with a furtive, animalistic paranoia that belies the trust otherwise implied. It's disjointed. Then again, so is his understanding of Peter Petrelli, also known as the Midtown Man, Hel's boy, and the point of singularity that had scattered him and all of his around the world in a burst of teleportation once upon a Federal Penitentiary.

Determining that the other man came alone, he pulls himself out of the hallway on creeping strides. Smiles, belatedly, but it isn't an insincere slapped-on thing. He's wearing a gray sweater underneath a denim jacket, a hood hanging out behind him, and trousers with the pant legs scratched to stringing loose threads at the rims; the inverse of Peter in almost every italicized circumstance.

Peter tenses considerably until the gun is lowered, wide and frightful eyes watching Teo's slinking form as it makes it way from one side to another, stepping into the artificial lighting and the pale blue glow of dawn coming in through the windows. "No I— " Peter motions back to the broken glass, "I shouldn't have— it didn't look like anyone was here, I— " dark brows crease together as Peter's hand lowers, and he takes a few uncertain steps towards Teo.

"I— know you…" Those words are said in such a fashion to conclude that it isn't a certain recollection. Hesitantly, Peter cranes his head to one side, eyes following Teo's motions. "You— you shot me." Well, it wasn't quite like that, but for the sake of Peter's argument it seems to hold water. But despite the most recent introductions, there's a lingering look of suspicions and curiosity on Peter's face as he takes a few more steps across the span of the room, his boots clomping on the floor now that he's stepped out from the glass.

Yes, that's what he'd been trying to apologize for. That's— he hadn't done a very good job, Teo supposes in retrospect; apology lacks for want of specificity. Uncomfortably, Teo studies him a moment longer and then obliges Peter with a nod of his head. "Yeah," he shunts his shoulders up in what was originally going to be a shrug but stops before they settle again. He makes a half-hearted gun with his hand, lets it fall again. "'S what I meant. I'm sorry about doing that. I was trying to stop your…" his fingers flit uncomfortably at his side as he searches his mental vocabulary for the phrase that Elisabeth uses. "Eruption event. I realize that I hadn't."


"How do you know about this place?" Less accusatory than What are you doing here? but the unasked question bobs on a tether linked to the end of the other. Consternation and curiosity, mingled, engrave lines into his forehead. He's arranged himself in a posture of carefully centered neutrality, but the tension isn't gone from him either. It would be unwise of him if it ever were.

There's a lingering look of distrust on Peter's face as he listens to Teo, but it begrudgingly fades as he presses a long sigh out through his nose. One of Peter's hands sweeps up over his face, trying to brush back that unruly lock of wild hair from his face after a fashion. "Yeah it— that's sort've why I came here." Then it dawns on Peter that it might at least be in good form to explain how he found out about this place, espescially when he decided to break in after finding it.

Finding the words for that isn't easy. Well, finding the words for that which don't sound worrisome isn't easy. "My ah— " Peter's eyes wander the building, "my father told me where it is. He— " that really doesn't sound good, "he's been having people keep an eye on you all for a long time now." Peter winces, and his explanation just keeps sounding worse and worse.

"Uh— he— he's on our side." There's that lopsided and earnest smile, and Peter furrows his brows, looking at Teo in a way that makes him seem just a bit hapless. "I ah— I was actually hoping Gillian or Gabriel might be around here. They— some— " he strains a sigh thorugh his teeth, it comes off more as a hiss. "Some bad stuff's gone down."

"Arthur Petrelli, right? Risen from the dead." It's a theme around this area. Ironically, one that disconcerts Teodoro somewhat less than the apparent fact that Pinehearst is aware of the dispensary's address, even if it has long since fallen into disuse. Teo is the only one who checks in with any sort of regularity these days. Since the end of the sting operation, not even Brian or Anne bother to make appearances here. It's quiet, disused, all the floors that Conrad had fixed blank with dust and untrod.

"Yeah, I heard he's been playing pattycake with Gillian and Catherine. Neither 'em are here now." His left eye furrows almost shut, and he studies Peter and his hiccupy approach again for a protracted moment, some mix of skepticism and thought. "'Us?'" he repeats, stepping… to the left, angling his path around a shabby table. He tilts his head back, looks up into the corner of the hallway without effort to disguise what he's looking for or at. Cameras. "Do you mean the Evolved??"

There's a furrow of Peter's brow, watching Teo for a moment before he manages to spurt out something like a response. "What? No I— Phoenix. He's on our side. It's…" shaking his head, Peter follows Teo's stalking motions, watching him pass by the table with a furrow of his brows that creases the scar across his face. "That's not even really the issue right now. I— Gabriel and Gillian are in trouble." Peter's jaw tenses up and he takes a few steps to clear some distance between himself and Teo.

"We got attacked here on Staten Island by some— I don't know, some guy. He had this wild lightning power, it— he took my powers from me, and— I don't know, everything went crazy once he showed up. I— " holding out both hands, Peter shrugs his shoulders. "My dad can't find Helena anywhere, nobody I've talked to — " which mostly amounts to Eve, " — has seen her, and I keep hearing there's a bunch of people missing."

Swallowing awkwardly, Peter cants his head to the side and watches Teo's reaction, "I— who the hell's even in charge around here right now? If Helena's gone— is anyone looking for her?" He takes another step forward. "There was this— there's this fucking guy who turns to iron, he beat the shit out of me. I don't know what's going on, and neither does my father. I— I'm kind've hoping someone here might have some answers."

Pursued around the furniture, Teo resists the urge to speed up and see what would happen. Instead, he parks at the corner of the table, tossing off a wave at the diminutive camera— for Hana. "Cat's gonna see him soon. Tomorrow, maybe?" His head dips forward a few degrees and he turns his eyes to study the older man askance, not entirely sure what to do with the former convict who everybody was saying was out of the game, except he isn't, he's here, on behest of a billionaire father who gave him the location of a secret hideout that nobody goes to anymore except for him.

And he doesn't know who's in charge. Teo takes his time staring rather unabashedly. "Popular theory is, they've been displaced through space and time somewhere or else they would've managed to get in touch with Wireless by now. Means that's three of ours still missing— Sergei, Helena, and Alexander. You know them, right?" Old school PARIAH— he'dve sort of counted of their number once, except that his initial membership application had been submitted through a hostage situation. "Hiro Nakamura got his ability snatched by the same cunt, or we'd be able to do more.

"As it is, precogs indicate they'll find their way back home." It's meant to be reassuring, and Teodoro can only hope that it is despite that he looks tired behind it, all heavy hands and ragged porcupine hair.

Peter deflates some, shoulders slacking as he pivots and just falls a half a foot to let his back press up against a wall. One hand rubs back and forth across his forehead, trying to work out that stressed expression that just won't go away. "Gillian and I got shot a few hours ahead… we ended up in— " he sputters out the next few words, "fucking Antarctica." There's some disbelief there, and Peter casts a sidelong glance to Teo. "That weird girl from Red Level was with us too, the one that killed Verse." There's a squint, "The ah— guy in the long black coat who got a needle in the neck." Sometimes he forgets that not everyone was subjected to the tortures at Moab.

"Yeah I— " Belatedly Peter finally gets around to answering Teo's question, "yeah— I know them. I… can't really believe that they're all missing. God, that whole— it all went so wrong." Pressing his lips together, Peter looks back up to Teo, letting that hand finally fall away from his own face. "But you didn't answer my question— who's in charge since Helena's gone? I mean— " he looks around the dispensery. "There were dozens of Phoenix members when I visited the Library in Midtown." His brows furrow, "What happened to them all?"
Blunt fingers grate down Teo's other forearm, somehow fail entirely to make the odd prickling in his skin stop. He doesn't like this, paranoia speaking up in a voice ruthlessly cold in his mind's ear — but he doesn't want to be rude, isn't altogether sure what to do.

The weird girl. Tamara, doubtless; he remembers seeing her spilled out on the ground, all slim-stemmed and tousled yellow like a mangled spill of dandelions. He'd seen her like that once before, on the steps of Columbia University and then again in the quiet of St. John's Cathedral, burned out on her own ability. He remembers, also, that she'd led Kazimir Volken to the Shanti virus, once. Somehow, the government operative dead at her own hands is more chilling even than the viral apocalypse that the girl had also lent her hand to engineering, right up to its destruction.

"Mi dispiace. I— really am sorry, I just shouldn't say. None of us really trust Pinehearst yet, so we're still at that butt-sniffing stage of acquaintance, y'know?" Always one for the elegant phrasing! Teo squints up at the older man, eye-contact for sincerity, a hunker to his shoulders too. He is sorry.

There's a tired exhalation as Peter pushes himself off of the wall, "He's my father, Teo. Gillian told me he's the one that helped engineer the drug in Moab to be weakened so we could even get out in the first place." Watching the Sicilian for a few moments, there's a clear look of impatience on his face. "Exactly how much does he have to do in order to earn trust around here anyway?"

Either the question was rhetorical or Peter's straining to keep focus, but he turns his back on Teo and paces around the ground floor. "So… you can't really tell me where everyone is, you haven't seen Gillian or Gabriel," his neck cranes, looking back over his shoulder. "You can't tell me who's in charge, and I guess you can't tell me what the hell I'm supposed to be doing right now either, can you?" One eye squints, "So— you've been really, really helpful."

Huffing another sigh, Peter struggles to thread that mischevious lock of hair behind one ear, looking to the pane of glass he busted open to get get in. "Christ. Do you— " he hesitates, looking at Teo with a lingering scrutiny, "is there anyone I might be able to get in touch with who'd know something?"

The Sicilian in question has the good grace to look annoyed at that. He heaves out a sigh that makes his shoulders droop an inch or two on either side, adding to the amount of air air disrupted by exasperation already pumped out into the dispensary's cold spaces. He shunts his one hand into his pocket. The other shifts back behind him, stuffs the safetied Glock back in under the back of his jacket. "Your dad's got a billion dollar corporation to play around with.

"I'm willing to bet he could've cleaned out Moab Federal Penitentiary with a Hell lot less effort and expense, so it's pretty fucking obvious he was betting we'd be desp— I dunno why he thinks he needs Phoenix," he descrescendoes into a mutter, and starts to move back out into the hallway, departing from Peter. "Nobody knows why he needs Phoenix. He's sent a couple lines over about common principles here or there, so he's on the mailing list, but Hana doesn't trust him. Cat doesn't trust him. Look— I'm glad you do.

"It's good to have friends and he seems like a very noble guy. Gillian and Gabriel are okay. They're hiding. Everybody is hiding. Sorry I didn't say that straight off— I should have, but that's the truth. They're doing what you're doing. Sort of a holding pattern until Helena gets back or they finish hunting down the rabid fuck who douched your abilities up. You—" His lips seal, bleach anemic-white briefly from the tension. He hangs a halt in the doorway, glancing backward.

"You heard from your brother lately?"

Digesting the information and layers of distrust comes with a sense of deja-vu. After all there was the same song and dance the first time he met Cameron so long ago under the city. Now, here with Teo, it's like retreading old ground, but with slightly more family and a Sicilian accent squawking back at him. The latter question, though, jarrs Peter away from whatever navel-gazing he was doing, affixing a squarely narrowed stare at Teo.

"Nathan?" His brows raise, "He can rot in hell for all I care. He paid me a visit while I was in Moab, tried to get me to give up the names and locations of people in Phoenix. He— " there's a rankling of his nostrils, "he can go straight to hell, and if I happen to find him once I get my powers back, I'll send him there myself." Nothing like murder among siblings.

"Do you even know what he did?" Peter turns around fully, taking a few uneasy steps towards Teo, "Just how much of a part of all of this he is? How much he's responsible for?" The bitterness, venom and bile in Peter's words is almost infectious. There's something to be said about Italian men and family troubles.

Nothing like murder among siblings. Teo winces. He doesn't have an accent, thanks— or not until he begins to retread words misappropriated out of his mother tongue's lexicon, anyway. If a natural knack for languages wouldn'tve precluded affectative pollutants, then ten years in America would've purged it.

Some of Italy's colors are easier to shed than others.

"Nno. I don't know. That's I think that was classified information or something. Helena doesn't tell me shit that will make life too complicated." Which is horribly ironic on one level or another, but it's a sweet thought; the woman restraining herself from adding another drop of chaos to the burning sea her friend is paddling his wooden boat around in because she told him to. Lines of thoughtful worry ladder Teo's forehead and he weaves on his feet, the uncertainty of a dog given unlearned signals. That wasn't exactly what he'd been expecting—

He grunts, finally, pushes long fingers through his spiky hair. "Secondhand word from Hiro Nakamura has it that that asshat who took your ability away switched his with Nathan's. And the asshat's name is Tyler Case. Should be in Goodman's files somewhere, if you're curious. Would've been one way to get looking for Helena and the others, if we had him."

"Switched it with— " Peter's eyebrows lower into an expression of confusion, "How did— " There's this horrible grumbling sound that burbles up in the back of Peter's throat, like he's going to try and spit something across the room, but it only ends up muting into a growl. "I'll talk to Roger about it the next time I see him, or— you said Cat's going there tomorrow?" One brow rises, "Maybe I'll just go down to Jersey and talk to my dad and Cat, put what we know together."

Shaking his head, it's obvious Peter hasn't put together the fact that the Nathan Teo spoke of isn't his Nathan, or at least not this time's Nathan. "Do you know any easy ways in and out of Staten Island?" He turns to ask the question more to the door than Teo. "Having Eve drive me in and out over the Crossing is going to get suspicious. I— can't really call a cab out here."

The door cedes no answers anyway. Not to Peter's inquiry. To Teo's, however, the response he elicits is a twinkle of shattered glass and the visible ruin that the other man's entrance had left of the window. That is great. That is fucking great. By the time he turns around again, the Sicilian is scowling daggers, partially at the artist formerly known as the Midtown Man, and partly at this whole— situation. And its sundry bells and flashing alarms, corporate sharks and political minefields.

Okay. All right; he's scowling, a little bit, at Peter too. "There are boats you can take between here and Manhattan. The Ferry's, some of them, or your father could charter you one I'm sure. Or get you a car. Maybe Goodman could teleport you over, or you could get yourself a c…" The expression stiffens into blank nothing on Teo's face for a moment. He creases his eyes shut and divests his forehead of its wrinkles with a thorough grating of the heel of his hand.

"That wasn't my sarcastic voice," he tries again, feebly. "I'm sorry. Uh— if you could figure out what's going on with Nathan," whose true situation Teo is equally woefully ignorant about, much to the delight of the dramatic ironists behind the fourth wall, "that would be fantastic."

Peter's brow furrows slightly, and he looks down to the ground, "Ferrymen…" the name comes off a bit flat to him, eyes cast to the side as he looks towards one of the windows. "That's— right, Jezebel runs that place out here. I— I'll have to talk to her. My father doesn't like sending people out here, not openly." Then, with a crooked expression he adds, "I asked Goodman to bring me somewhere once, he just— he looked at me very sternly and said that would be a terrible idea. I'm… I don't know."

Swallowing, Peter lets his eyes wander the building before settling them back on Teo. "Now that I'm back, I— I want to try and help out with all of this— Phoenix. I know," his head downturns, "Everything that's happened has driven a pretty huge wedge between me and everyone else. I mean, Brian— " there's a squint, something difficult to express in his features, likely guilt. "Aside from Nathan…" Peter's tone's changed when he looks back to Teo, "what else can I help you with? I— may not be able to do a whole lot right now, but— " Teo manages. That's what he wants to say, anyway. "— but I can try."

He manages to do a lot more than manage, actually, but Teo manages not to do anything except look into that staccato pause with a carefully neutral expression while it happens. After a moment, he swivels his head, studies the derelict dispensary that had, apparently, been his duty for the afternoon. "Practice your shooting, and getting in and out of body armor, help the Ferrymen with any medical stuff your background could contribute to. It's been a rough week for the boat.

"Apologize to Brian…" Teo's head weaves slightly on its axis, left and right, like he's enumerating items and it's a considerable list. "I'll get you Gillian and Gabriel's contact information— they're not really part of Phoenix, but they're going to try some shit with hunting down Tyler Case, and you could probably help each other out." Whether or not the lovers are willing to throw their lot in with the Petrelli dynasty and Pinehearst is, of course, up to them, and Teo's pathological compulsion to interfere and ludicrous sense of responsibility ends at the acknowledgment of the free will of others. "Look up this guy called Joseph Sumter. Pastor at the Guiding Light Church. He's an Evolved precog of a stripe— shows other people their futures.

"Could be of some use to all of us, if are fates are…" there's a quizzical quality to the shrug of Teodoro's shoulders, partially skeptical, mostly, simply, uncertain, the positive tension of a man stuck playing things by the ear as long as he's trapped in a cloud castle full of unmentionable elephants and unknown quantities. "So entwined."

It's a surprising release of information. First about where to go and what to do, and then on to topic of things far more surprising, to the mention of a precognitive priest. Swallowing lightly, Peter gives a few tips of his head in rapid-succession, coming off like an imitation of a bobblehead more so than anything like a nod. "Hey, Teo…" It doesn't sound like these words are easy coming from Peter. "I— I appreciate this— all of it. Everything you're doing for Phoenix, for— " he looks away, "for Helena. She's never had anything but good things to say about you…"

Clearing his throat awkwardly, Peter takes a few steps back, looking towards the door over his shoulder, then back to Teo with a crooked smile. "Do you— ah— think I might be able to stay here for a little while? I've been getting tired faster than usual, I— everything sort've catching up to me now, I guess. I just— since I'm," he eyes the broken glass, "you know, here already."

Peter's logic is difficult to refute. It is most definitely Peter Petrelli standing in the middle of the room, between the crooked-legged table and the wall bearing the stain in roughly the shape of Australasia, and he looks a little worn, underneath the flippy hair and stowed sunglasses. "Well," he says, after a moment. "Yeah. I— guess that's fine. Nobody's here anyway. Just… wander a bit, barracks area's in the Southern wing." Teo gestures through one hallway, somewhat vaguely, and drops his arm back down to his side.

"I'll see about getting you a key," he adds. "And fixing that." The gutted window, he means, but Teo forgets to gesture at it with his hands or look.

The silence that follows is stilted. Unspoken things preside, a parliament of gnats. He circles the praise given with the squinty disgruntlement of one who has, for all recent intents and practical purposes, failed despite earnest efforts and a lot of help, realizes belatedly that he sort of inadvertently ignored it, which could be rude. "Everybody needs a good plumber," he agrees, at last. Turns to go, bending his arm up for good-bye.

Peter's eyes avert to the floor at Teo's last words, accompanied by an awkward and uncomfortable nod, like trying to find an excuse to get out of a hotel room after a short tryst. "If one of us finds Lena," Peter finally speaks up, looking over his shoulder as Teo passes by him on his way out, "we'll tell the other. I— the minute I know she's safe." It sounds like so much self-resentment there, because in most ways, this entire predicament is Peter's fault. Were it not for him, none of the people in Moab would've been lost in time.

"I ah— " Peter clears his throat, taking a few steps away from Teo, done looking over his shoulder. "Be safe, Teo. I mean it. You— just make sure you're still here for when she gets back."

"You too, uomo. I think she's had enough of losing, from you." It's a hassle to spin his head around far enough to see the older man with, so Teo just sort of— rotates on a heel halfway through, flashing Peter's back, or profile, or whatever a half of a grin as he goes. No matter the difficulties that the weather witch has had with her beau, the secret kept of millions dead and the declarations of love which repeated abandonment had been traitor, the split personalities and Helena's unpaid and undying loyalty, really, any grudge Helena bears is hers. Teodoro would be doing them all a disservice to make a thing of that.

There are too many other things to track, anyway. From Brian's asphalt-splattered remains to the legacy that looms over Peter with the promise of familial honor and personal redemption, and the broken window, and the plumbing. Teo's shoe crunches across fractured pane and his hand eases a groan out of the door. A white bar of sunlight falls in after him, fails to impart warmth, before he shuts Pete in with the beginning of the next segment of his destiny, and the thin veneer of dust that rests over everything else in here except for the watchful eyes of the wireless cameras.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License