Remind Me


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Scene Title Remind Me
Synopsis Robyn visits the Childs' Residence on the day after Christmas
Date December 26, 2020

Robyn Roux doesn't make a habit of stopping by her friend's houses unannounced, not anymore. It takes a lot, some sort of special circumstance for her to take such measures. Twice so if she has her own key to said home, a rarity in and of itself. In fact, there's only one person for whom she possesses a key to their home, a remnant of when she had been doing favours for them while they were away.

Today is a special day, at least in the photokinetic's eyes. Truth be told, yesterday was the important day - Christmas, to be precise. However, it was her first Christmas at home with Matthew since she took him in - no Antarctic trips this year to get in the way. Thus, it had been a day all about her son and the two of them spending it together in a way they hadn't yet been able to.

But now, there is no such commitment, and she has the day off from work. That brings her to the brownstone in front of her, turning away from the back compartment of her Ventus as she pulls off her helmet. In hand she holds a rather nondescript bag, just small enough to fit in her vehicle's storage.

Looking inside, she accounts for each box inside - Four, for each of the home's occupants. With a satisfied smile, she closes the back hatch and starts her way up the steps, brandishing her loaned key and unlocking the door. It's bad manners not to knock, but she's not expecting anyone to be home anyway.

Childs' Residence

December 26th
2:38 pm

Stepping in, Robyn slips off her shoes by the door and closes it gingerly, looking around immediately for a hopefully still standing Christmas tree.

It’s right there in the living room, in plain sight from the entrance. Lights still glittering, stockings hung nearby. It’s still a picturesque scene, interrupted only by an unexpected voice.

“Oh— my God— hi.”

Robyn’s attention pivots to her back, finding none other than Jolene standing in the doorway from the kitchen, holding a carton of orange juice in one hand. She’s staring wide-eyed at the unexpected houseguest. “Mombyn — Robyn. Quinn. You. Hi!” She’s remarkably awkward, like someone who was just caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

“Is that Gillian?” Comes another voice from the kitchen, followed by the clatter-click of crutches, and over Jolene’s shoulder Peter Petrelli comes into view with one expectantly raised brow that very quickly turns into a wide-eyed grimace.

Icanexplain,” Jolene says in a single breath.

Well, this is an unexpected surprise. Robyn eyes focus on Jolene, before flitting up to Peter behind her. "Explain what?" She knows exactly what, but there's a hint of a devilish smile spreading across her face, setting her helmet down on a surface near the door. "When did you become so awkward again?" A bit of a teasing jab at her once-daughter-turned-friend. It's been some time since they spoke, she'd only seen Jolene in passing in the moments she would come to see Gillian or take her out to dinner.

Neither of which has happened in a while, either.

"Sorry for stopping by unannounced," is at least an honest enough apology. "I didn't think anyone would be home." Holding up the bag, her smile widens and she glances down at it. "But I can leave with my late Christmas, if you'd rather…"

“It’s okay, she knows.” Peter says with a quick flash of a smile to Jolene, who places a hand at the middle of her chest and visibly deflates up against a wall.

Don’t,” Lene suddenly lunges forward and slaps Robyn on the arm, “scare me like that!” Wrinkling her nose, Lene is smiling nonetheless. “God, I thought I was going to have to make up some stupid story about aliens or shapeshifters or something.”

Laughing, Peter comes to stand in the doorway, resting on his crutches. “Been a long time,” Peter says with a slow shake of his head. “How’s… Ygraine?” He squints, suddenly looking uncertain of himself. Jolene turns two shades paler, eyes wide.

"You make it too easy sometimes, Jolene." Robyn's smile is wide, seemingly pleased with how this played out, offering a small laugh as Jolene quite literally untenses in front of her. Laughing, she rubs at her arm and feigns hurt. "But now I want to hear that stupid story." Her grin turns toothily as she leans over to pull Jolene into a hug.

"I wasn't sure who Gillian had told that I know since… I haven't really been around much, much less to see Peter." There's a slight dip in her tone, eyes cast down for just a moment before flitting back up, her smile seeming just a bit more forced for a moment.

But with Peter's question, it's Robyn's turn to visibly deflate, despite how much she desperately tries not to. "We don't talk anymore," she admits, pulling the bag back to herself, leaning heavily against her cane. "I wasn't particularly good to her. Or to a lot of people, for quite some time. Elaine and I aren't on speaking terms either." Her free hand rubs at her cheek, resting just under her scar.

This is something she's accepted about herself, particularly as of late. She hasn't always been the good person she thinks she is.

"But I'm glad you asked," she offers with a more genuine pleasure in her voice, seemingly not willing to let her failing personal relationships get her down too much. "That tells me a lot right there." A laugh, and she shakes her head. "It's a pleasure to… well, for me, now? It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Peter."

“Yeah… uh, I’m—sorry to hear that.” Peter says with a scuff of his hand at the back of his neck. “Honestly it’s a little weird being here at all. How, uh… much has Gillian told you about me? Because I don’t want us getting off on the wrong foot of knowing who knows what. Because I’m a little…” he waves a hand around his head, “kind of like a snow globe up there right now. Nothing’s one-hundred percent clear.”

Jolene had grown quiet while the two talked, the bridge between their experiences. The daughter Peter never got to raise and the daughter Robyn did. But an experience neither of them can recall. “I’m going to go put on some water for tea,” Lene says with a backpedal toward the kitchen. “The tree’s still up, mom likes to leave it that way until New Years.”

Peter smiles at that, nodding to Jolene. “I’ll pass on the tea, but if you could grab me that tin of cookies while you’re in there?” He winks at her, then turns his attention to Robyn.

"Well, since you're all here, there's less need for the tree," Robyn replies to Jolene as she makes her way towards the kitchen. A glance is given down at the bag and then back up in her direction, watching her for a moment. "Do you know if Jac is here?"

“She’s out being a delinquent, probably hard-drinking and getting a tattoo.” Lene says with a flip of her hair and a crooked smile. That is to say, she’s not here but Lene has no idea where.

But with that, the SESA agent turns back to Peter, her smile a bit sadder as she tilts her head and regards Peter. "I can relate to that," she remarks in a quiet voice. "I'm sure not to the same degree, though. Ever since the auroras a few years back, my head has been… a bit of a mess. I'd be a wreck if it wasn't for my son."

Swallowing back a lump in her throat, she looks back up at Peter. "Gillian told me what I needed to know. That you're Jolene's dad, so I presume I know when you're from, and that you're alive." Her shoulders rise and fall in a shallow shrug. "I've never pried beyond that. No need to, I know all I need to know."

Reaching into her bag, she pulls out a wrapped box that's just shy of a square foot in size, and holds it out to Peter. "All that matters to me is you are who you say that are, and that Jolene and Gillian are happy. I've gotten used to the… awkwardness of all of this, the time and dimensional travel stuff and what people do and don't know."

“You… have a son?” Peter remarks with some surprise, to which Jolene rolls her eyes and slugs him in the shoulder.

“She adopted you idiot.” Lene remarks with an ever-suffering sigh. “Matt Parkman’s kid, Matthew.”

Mention of Parkman’s name causes Peter’s eyes to grow wide and he looks, just for a moment, lost. “Matt…” he mumbles, eyes tracking from side to side. “Yeah, that— I didn’t know he had a son. Is he…”

Special goes unsaid.

The way Robyn holds a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh is a familiar echo of another time to Jolene, a cypher of the woman she knew and how she would react to Ygraine's surprise when Jolene would challenge her on something. She can't help it, infinitely amused by Peter's befuddlement.

That passes quickly, though, a more solemn look crossing Robyn's face. "He'd sent him and his wife away," she remarks quietly. "He ended up in Institute hands. We pulled him out when I was on an assignment with Wolfhound. His mother, though… she didn't make it."

Lowering her head, Robyn sighs. "So I made sure he had a good home. He… I don't know if he's fully manifested yet. He's a unique kid in a lot of ways."

Clearing her throat, she looks back up and brings a smile back to her face. "Get your tin and let's go sit so you can both open your presents."

“You should take him to see Julie,” Lene notes with a rise of her brows, “Liette’s kid-sister? She can diagnose abilities. She used to work at Elmhurst, not sure if she’s still there these days. Don’t you work with her cousin?”

Peter’s eyes glaze over at the unfamiliar names, followed by an awkward smile as he motions toward the living room. “Let’s go sit down,” he gently nudges, looking weary from all the standing, though he wouldn’t ever admit it.

“Oh! Yeah— yeah let’s— yeah!” Lene breaks away from the conversation, laughing awkwardly with a fond smile. “C’mon, have a sit with us. Dad doesn’t have any friends and I think I’m running out of good stories to tell him.”

“I started watching Sex and the City reruns…” Peter admits with a scrub of one hand at the back of his neck. “I kind of miss when things were simpler, you know?” He jokes over his shoulder, ambling toward the living room. “Evil governments, superhuman powers, you know. The easy stuff.”

"Julie?" There's a thoughtful expression on Robyn's face, giving a way to a few shallow nods. "I can't believe I didn't think of that." A finger taps at her chin, and she laughs. "When I was so sure I'd lost my ability, Colette sent me to her too." There's a slight pause as she looks to Lene, raising an eyebrow.

"Did I- tell you I could see colour again?" Robyn wrinkles her nose, turning and starting towards the couch. "It's not always obvious, and I haven't always thought to mention it." There's a bit of a sparkle and glow - literally - in her eyes as she says that, before looking back at Peter. "I could tell the story of how I set my eyes on fire. That's a story from simpler times."

A little chuckle, and she smirks. "But I understand how you feel. A part of me misses that too. Being an evo detective? Mother? I love them, but I kinda miss when life was more straight forward. Make music, shoot bad guys, turn people invisible." She says this with two fingers raised up and pointed forward, mimicking firing a gun.

"Definitely better than Sex and the City." Settling in on the couch, she sets the bag of presents at her feet. "Let's see, stories…." It seems she's taking Jolene at face value on this.

“Maybe we don’t talk about the Arcology,” Lene says in a moment of quiet seriousness on her way into the living room. Peter, though, only hears part of the conversation and turns around by the sofa.

“Arcology?” He asks, looking back and forth between Lene and Robyn.

“The Institute, it was—” Lene falters over the timeline, stumbles over her words, “you um, it was…”

“Yeah, no, it’s fine I… think I was busy somewhere else.” Peter says with a look down to the floor, then around the living room. “If it’s any consolation, I don’t remember that day very well at all, really. I remember… Sylar, the DHS building, Hiro.” Peter sighs deeply through his nose. “But it’s a jumble.”

Lene walks over to the couch and sits down on the arm while Peter leans his crutches up against the coffee table and sits down on the far left cushion opposite of Jolene. “Dad’s memory isn’t what it used to be.”

“It’s more than that,” Peter admits with a helpless shrug and a flat-mouthed grimace. “But…” he exhales a sigh and slowly shakes his head, “I guess it’s a lot less too with how much I forgot. Did we… know each other well?” He asks Robyn, squinting. “Sorry if you have to remind me about literally everything.”

Robyn's own expression falters at Lene's request, looking down at the floor for a moment. "Sorry. I shouldn't make light of that. It's… just a coping mechanism I guess." She still has nightmares about the Arcology and the following events. Coping mechanism may be putting it lightly.

"That was the day my entire life changed, so…" She trails off into a sobering silence, huffing out a breath after a moment. "Ah, right. Enough of that, I guess." There's a glance up to Peter as Robyn considers his question, letting a smile return to her lips.

"To be entirely honest? Before now all I've ever heard is grumbling from Richard Cardinal or stories from Jolene. This marks the first time that I, my present self at least, have met you. I can't speak for any other me. Not all of them, at least." Well, that's a hell of a statement.

"And really? I'm honoured that I finally have. I never thought I would get this chance, to actually sit and talk with you. When Gillian told me you were alive… it made me much happier than I would've expected." Happy on Jolene's behalf, happy on Gillian's behalf. Just… happy.

A long exhale follows, Robyn leaning back in her spot on the couch. "At this point in my life, Jolene, Gillian, and Adel are the closest people I have to family besides Matthew, so I consider them just that." Turning to face Peter, she smiles and points at him. "So that means you too, Peter. Hence-"

Her smile widens as she motions to the bag of presents once more.

“Hence presents,” Peter says with a crooked smile. “I get it. Connecting like this. I didn’t know you well at all back where I… think I’m from. It’s probably why Lene was safe with you. Because I… I know something terrible happened to Gillian and Nate. But Lene was safe, because she was with you.”

Lene looks down at her lap in silence, then over to Robyn. Neither she nor Peter say anything for a little while.

“I don’t know if there’s a Christmas present big enough to repay you for that,” Peter admits with a soft laugh and a shake of his head. “I know it wasn’t—you, you. But, still.” His smile becomes more bittersweet. “Thank you.”

Robyn is silent too, but not out of any sense of awkwardness or bittersweet realisation. The look makes it clear on her face that it's confusion that catches her tongue, blinking and furrowing her brow after a long moment.

"Repay me? Peter, no." Robyn takes a deep breath, looking over at Jolene, and then back at Peter. "What happened was- tragic, not something worth repayment. I feel confident that I would say that just getting to be part of Jolene's life was 'repayment' enough despite the circumstances. To have a daughter, for a time and not just be an aunt."

Her eyes sweep over to Jolene, and she smiles wide. "And I," the present her, though she makes no clear distinction there, "can tell we all did a wonderful job seeing who you've become, Jolene."

Jolene makes such a face. Robyn knows it, because it’s followed by puffed out cheeks and straight arms. Her eyes all but scream you’re embarrassing meeee.

This wasn't supposed to be this sentimental. Not yet, at least. "But, you're welcome, Peter." Still, there's a sad edge to her voice, Robyn’s smile wavering as she looks down at the floor as well. "That said, if you want to repay me…" She reaches down next to her and picks back up the box she had pulled out. "Open your fucking present." And there's some mirth again, it seems.

“Right!” Peter concedes with a crooked smile, taking the box Robyn had retrieved. He sets it in his lap for a short time, looking down at it as if unsure what to do with it. The distant look in Peter’s eyes is briefly mirrored in Jolene’s before she speaks up.

“What’d you get me?” Jolene demands to know, hands out and fingers making a grabby motion. She can be a little petulant and a little immature right now. Both of the people she’s with seem to have no trouble bringing it out in her.

At the same time, Peter picks at the corners of his present’s wrapping, methodically and at the same time cautiously unwrapping it.

A hand is raised and waved at Jolene dismissively - she can be embarrassed all she wants, it's not like Robyn is going to stop. Every now and then, she can't help but wonder if those are qualities her other self shared and if Jolene should be surprised or not. She tries not to dwell on it, but as time has proven, it's hard for her not to sometimes.

As Peter slowly gets the present unwrapped, he initially finds a nondescript brown box, one about the size of a fast food bag. It's upon prying open the flap of that that he finds the true present, slowly lifting an oversized snowglobe out of the box.

Inside of it, amongst all the small flakes and positioned between two tiny buildings is a similarly small selfie of Gillian, Robyn, and Jolene, taken on Robyn's phone days after she had gotten out of the hospital when she and Gillian had come back to her place after a dinner "date". Etched in a banner above the picture and small buildings, it reads "Welcome Home, Peter".

Feeling around underneath the snowglobe reveals a small turn crank; it's also a music box, which likely accounts for it's oversized nature along with the picture.

"It plays Clair de Lune," Robyn notes quietly as she pulls out another box, this one slimmer and longer. This one is handed over to Jolene, and when unwrapped reveals a framed copy of the same picture, a pair of books on more academic subjects of Japanese History and Jungian psychology, two things Robyn had developed interests in over the last few years, and a copy of Back to the Future III with a note on it that says "this is the last year, I promise!"

It's the same note that was on her last two christmas presents, which included the first two movies in the trilogy.

Otherwise, Robyn remains quiet, looking at the other two boxes she has. "I also have ones for Gillian and Jac. Maybe I'll drop them off in their rooms."

“Well, now I have the whole trilogy,” Lene says with a crooked smile and a wrinkle of her nose, waving the movie around in one hand. She smiles as she sets it down, leaning across the couch on one knee to bring her arms around Robyn and pull her into a hug. It’s only over Robyn’s shoulder that she sees the vacant look in Peter’s eyes as he stares into the snowglobe.

“Dad?” Lene asks, her hug loosening.

Peter startles and looks up, fumbling the snow globe. It falls to the floor with a heavy thump, otherwise intact. Peter curses to himself and sits forward, picking the snow globe up and seeming transfixed by it again. After a split second of silent paralysis, he sets it down on the coffee table and adopts a more normal expression of a crooked smile.

“Thanks,” Peter says as if nothing weird just happened. “Really, I—I don’t have any pictures of anyone anymore. This—it means a lot. Seriously.”

The hug is met in kind, the smile on Robyn's face beaming - as is her face just the slightest literal bit, a barely perceptible glow highlighting happiness in her features. Whatever tenseness and uncertainty she had melts away, pleased with the reception to her gift.

That moment passes as Lene pulls back, Robyn's attention turning to Peter as concern stitches across her brow. She starts a bit as the snow globe thunks to the ground, but rather than be too worried by what she says, she simply chuckles and leans back against the couch.

"See, this is why I made sure it was tempered glass," she remarks with a sarcastic edge. "I know what you Petrellis are like." She doesn't, really, but it's a good joke."I know it's a bit… much. I'm sorry if it's overwhelming. I'm just- I'm a go big or go home kind of person. After so many years of going home, I don't really do subtle well. But I meant it when I said you're part of my family now."

Once more Peter is lost in thought, looking down at the photo in the snow globe. His eyes redden, take on a glassy texture and when he looks up his smile is tight with emotion. Lene sees the look in her father’s eyes and mirrors in reflexively, using the side of her thumb to dry them.

“I don’t know if I really deserve this,” Peter admits in a hushed voice. “I’ve… I’ve done some terrible things. Hurt a lot of people and I keep—being rewarded for it.” He looks up to Robyn, shaking his head. “I don’t know what I did to earn this but I—it’s—” He closes his eyes and sighs softly. Then, blinking his eyes open, looks squarely at Robyn. “Thank you.”

His gaze is met with an earnest smile, Robyn nodding slowly. "I could say that it's just because you're here, or because you're Jolene's dad, but those are pretty thin excuses, aren't they?" Rolling her shoulders, Robyn leans forward with her hands clasped together at her knees. "You're dealing with someone who has no preconceived notions and very unique outlooks. The most I've ever heard was stories, and you may not believe it, but most of them are even good."

Her smile widens at that. "Maybe you haven't always done great. Neither have I. And, lord. I can't hold anything other, um. Yous? Have done. Otherwise, I'd have to do the same for myself and a lot of people are telling me that's not healthy." Maybe something she wouldn't normally address, but she's much better at putting together the pieces of conversation and the implications of comments along the way than Peter might have ever known her to be.

"Even that aside… I've spent most of my adult life being pretty terrible to the people around me. I haven't really been a good person either, just someone who occasionally does the right thing. But people keep giving me a chance, so…" Her eyes glance down and then back up to Peter. "I'm going to do the same."

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Not to me, at least." Most people she knows would probably wish she was this forgiving of herself, but one thing at a time. "You're here, and you're dear to people I hold dear. That's all I need."

Peter has no words. He stares down at the snow globe, and startles a tiny bit when he feels Lene’s hand on his. Looking up to his daughter, Peter smiles, then looks down to the snow globe again and gives it a small shake. The flakes rise up from the floor of the globe, swirl around the interior, and Peter’s eyes once more go distant and unfocused.

“Thank you,” he says in a whisper.

He needn’t say anything else.

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