Return To Sender


helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Return to Sender
Synopsis Peter returns to see Helena, and discovers Sylar's message to him. He intends to return it back in like kind very soon.
Date November 27, 2008

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

Thanksgiving is a quiet day in the library. It's not exactly the sort of setting where one can swing a turkey and the fixings, but there's still an air of quiet and content about for those who make the library their home. People are also giving Helena something of a wide berth, trying to offer her space that she feels she doesn't need. That might be made more clear if she wasn't holed up in her room, staring at one of their throw-away cellphones like she expects it to bite her. Her right arm has been wrapped, wrist secured with a brace, and she's trying to keep off from taking painkillers as much as she can. The hostility toward the cellphone is something else in entire, guilt over having not called a parent in almost two years who didn't seem to mind her leaving in the first place. With a grunt, she shoves the cellphone in a drawer and moves to lie down on her cot, staring at the ceiling before closing her eyes.

"What happened?" The voice comes the moment Helena shuts her eyes, the sudden and abrupt sound of Peter's unmistakable voice filling the air of her room. There was no pretense of opening doors, but at the same time not even the rush of air that accompanies a teleport. When her eyes open, it isn't the Peter she expected leaning against the wall of her room with his arms folded — but on that same token, it is the one she knows is aware of this safe-haven.

Staring down to Helena with a furrowed brow, the scar is the one thing that truly sets him into her mind as Peter, while everything else about him seems to be slowly changing to that of another man entirely. Peter's eyes are sunken into pale skin, with darkened and somewhat red circles around them, making him look not only like he hasn't slept in weeks, but also like he's sick. His leather jacket looks torn and tattered, a few bullet holes at the right shoulder and one in the side it didn't have the last time she saw him. The collar is still upturned, though it's clipped and freyed in parts, looking like it has been as thouroughly beaten as he has.

"Who did this to you?" His query is straight to the point, and even as he leans off of the wall, setting one booted foot in front of the other, Peter is for all his worth already presuming the terrible answer, and his lips are downturned into a frown in anticipation.

Helena's eyes open, and she sits up, slower than she would like. Staring at him for a moment, she answers with a bitter tongue, "Why do you care?" And almost as soon as it's out of her mouth, she regrets it. Her eyes drop down to her lap. "Sylar." she says. "I told him I don't know where you are." And that he doesn't listen to her anymore. "He decided I wasn't worth keeping around. He was about to kill me, but I managed to surprise him and get away. He said you're hurting people." That's when she looks up at him. "I guess this was a part of returning the favor. He intends to kill you. Both of you."

Peter's frown grows into a snarling look of frustration the moment the name slips past Helena's lips. His head turns away, perhaps to spare her the look of anger on his face, perhaps to spare himself the look of battering on her. He takes a few steps away, one hand coming up to rest against his forehead as he leans forward and breathes out a tired sigh. "I've been trying to find him. He's doing a good job of hiding, but the people he's working with aren't, at least some of them." He avoids the majority of the question, slowly turnins to look over his shoulder at Helena again, eyes slowly falling shut as the ire in his expression fades some.

"Sylar can try." Peter doesn't elaborate any further on this, merely keeping his thoughts to himself. However, Helena's thoughts are a bit more pressed into his focus, espescially something left quite deliberately unsaid. "I do listen to you, you know…" Turning to face her fully, Peter gives a small shake of his head, "But I have to finish this; Between Sylar and I. If I don't, this is never going to stop. This city, this world isn't big enough for both of us to exist." He talks as though the other Peter simply isn't around, "It's him or me, Helena. I can't make it any simpler than that."

Depending on how much intimate he's electing to become with her thoughts, the memory of Sylar terrorizing her is painfully fresh, as is her stubborn refusal to acknowledge any sense of victimhood with her rival need for comfort. She shifts to the side of the bed, putting her feet down and rising to walk up to him. "No." she says, shaking her head.

"If you listen to me, listen to me now. I know the guy who you got this power from, Peter. You met him. Something's gone wrong, replicatations are supposed to be exactly the same. But the two of you are so different, and I think both of you are suffering. You're sick. Do you know why? Brian says if his replicants don't remerge, he starts to get sick. Don't you get it? You are two sides of the same coin. All the anger and the rage, and the need to act, it went to you. The cautiousness and the worry and the fear, it went to him. You need each other to keep going. And I think if you kill him, you're going to die too. And if Sylar kills either one of you, the other will follow. You need to work together, because as sure as I'm standing here, Sylar will use your seperation of self against you." She stands in front of him, clutching her sprained and splinted wrist, bare top of her shoulder showing little healthy flesh - just black and blue.

"Live together or die alone, Peter." Then, allowing herself a small crack, "I can't let you die."

Peter remains silent as he listens to Helena, eyes wandering over her bruises, each glance more painful than the next. Everything she says hits him in a way that both frustrates, and reassures. It's an odd juxtaposition of emotions as he hears her voice, softer than usual, lacking some of its biting edge that Sylar's sound thrashing had taken out of her. One hand slowly rises to brush against Helena's cheek, fingertips ever so softly and carefully moving over her skin as if she were a fragile glass ornament that would break under too firm a touch. Peter's eyes slowly close, and he breathes out a tired sigh, "If he dies…" Peter's brows furrow together, the scar on his forehead creasing, "Then…" His words trail off, letting his hand lightly come to rest on Helena's shoulder.

"I won't die." He says it as a reassurance to both himself and to her, "I won't let that happen, you know me…" Peter lets his eyes open, looking up tiredly to the girl before him, "I'm stubborn." To a fault at times. There's a lightly brush of his palm down her shoulder, letting his hand gently move down across her bicep, and then finally away. "Do…" Peter's shoulders slack some, "Do you know where Brian is?" He looks around the rom, as if hoping to find him tucked away in a closet or under a small box, "I — If it's that serious…" His dark eeys settle on Helena again, "I should talk to him, I — I don't know how to merge back together."

"He found out things. How the Company's been working with the government, and what they're doing to people. He's freaked, and he knows he was wrong. And he's sick, like you are. I don't think it will be as hard to convince him as you think." She studies his face. "I'm guessing that part of why you believe me is how sick you seem to be." Stepping closer, her eyes fall down where her hand rests on his chest. "What have you been doing? Sylar said you've been trying to get to him through others."

Peter looks away at her question, and his eyes fall shut again. He remains quiet for a short time, one hand moving up to brush over hers, then slowly down her arm, "I've been trying to find him. None of the people he works with are entirely moral, or remarkably…" Peter's brow tenses, "Willing to divulge that information. He's convinced them that he's some sort of saint." There's a quick flash of a scowl, "They're convinced I'm the monster." To some frightening truth, they may well be right. "Sylar killed a member of PARIAH a few days ago, drowned and — " He snarls the words away, looking back to helena with a bit of renewed vitrol, "I have to find a way to stop him."

Helena blanches. "Who?" she asks. They were her friends. Some still are. Then, "The two of you can take care of him once and for all. I believe it." The one thing Helena never seems to run out of when it comes to Peter Petrelli, no matter what he's done or who he's hurt, even when it's been her in a thousand unintentional ways: faith. "He mentioned wiping the earth clean, like the Flood. And I think we may be onto some of the people he's working with. I need to get more from Conrad and Teo."

"Working for?" Peter arches one dark brow, and clings to that sentiment. "Sylar doesn't work for anyone." He disregards the question of which member of PARIAH, focusing solely on Sylar and his activities, "Everything I've found out makes me think Sylar is the one in charge, not taking orders from anyone." There's a pause as a peering stare falls over Peter's face, "What have you heard?" His eyes look up and down the blonde, and he raises a hand to rest on her shoulder again to squeeze lightly, and unintentionally, on the bruised area. "Tell me what you know, what he's been doing, where he's been going." There's a desperation that comes over Peter, intense desperation to find Sylar.

"You're hurting me." is the only thing she says through a grimace. "You want to know what he's been doing, and where he's been going? He asked me the same questions about you, and the only thing I can do is give you the same answer I gave him: I don't know." There is no crying in her revolution, dammit. "You want to know what happened?" Her fingers straighten, she presses close, but it's not for a kiss. Proximity and contact offer an invitation to her thoughts, and to her memory. "Here." The remembrance is pushed toward him, minutes that felt like years full of pain, terror, and helplessness, and what she thought was the end of her short life. There were things she could have told Sylar, but she didn't. "That's all I know."

Peter looks, eagerly, to the memories offered from Helena, and he is the first to wince as he feels what happened to her a night ago. Expression darkening, Peter downtrns his lips into a scowling frown again as his eyes wander away from Helena. His hand, finally, releases his grip from her shoulder, falling down to his side as he slowly steps away from her. "He…" Peter wrenches his face into an angered glare that he levels at the wall for lack of a better target, "He was sending me a message, just like the dead PARIAH." Dark eyes flick over to Helena again, "I think this is one I'm going to stamp with return to sender."

Peter turns, letting his back to Helena, and moves fro the door to her room, "I'm going to send my birds out," Birds? "See if I can find Brian, I need to figure out…" He trails off for a moment, thinking about what he's going to say, "Figure out how to rejoin with that half-wit." Such a high opinion of himself. "Before it's too late."

Does he mean it? She studies him carefully, but she doesn't have the gift of telepathy, so once again, it comes down to faith. "I think I can arrange a meeting." she says. "I can get Brian there to on the assist." And Trask if things go haywire. "Will you let me help you?"

Peter turns to look over his shoulder to Helena, frowning slightly, "Maybe, if I can't find him myself tonight. I — Patience is a hard thing right now." There's a momentary frown, and Peter closes his eyes. "Besides, right now, the last thing you need to do is work." It's hard for him to see her like this, even with the way he's become since the split, there's still clearly feeling there for her. "Rest. I'll see what I can do on my own, and if I can't find him, I'll come back…"

"If I rest, I have to think," she says dismissively, a comment that has more weight to it then either of them probably has time for. "If you can't find him, promise me you'll let me help you. I can find him, and I can convince him it's the right thing to do." She believes that, given this Peter's willingness to believe her. "Good luck."

Peter nods, slowly, and quietly twists the door knob to begin stepping out into the hall. After a moment he pauses, turning to look back over his shoulder at Helena with a faint smile, "Rest." He says firmly, "I'll take care of Brian." Stepping out into the hall, Peter begins to fade away into a blurred haze of bent light before the door even closes. Now all he has to do is find the man he gained his power from, and ask him some pointed questions.

And perhaps participate in some empyrical study.

Any additional notes fall to the bottom.

November 26th: The Nothing Is Coming To Swallow The World

Previously in this storyline…
Just Ask Alice

Next in this storyline…

November 27th: For The Children
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