The Eclipse


hiro_icon.gif peter5_icon.gif

Scene Title The Eclipse
Synopsis Hiro travels through time to find Peter Petrelli, and impart to him a sense of hope in a future that could be, not necessarily the one that is.
Date August 17, 2007

It starts with light, and ends with light, and in between… there is darkness.

Bright sunlight shines out across wet earth and bright green grass. The crisp air of summer is cool and damp, bringing with it the scent of soil and pitch from countless pine trees rising up from the rocky mountainside. Far above, on the jagged slopes snow crests the top of a looming mountain range, as fresh water trickles down thorugh streams of melting snow and ice. Here, amidst nature's abundance, a single artifice barely looks out of place; an old log cabin nestled between the tall conifers, covered with a patchwork of moss, a single and thin plume of smoke trailing out from its brick chimney.

Nothing there is beyond hope, nothing that can be sworn impossible.

A distant, hollow crack of wood splits nature's silent serenity, an axe splitting a log into two halves, tumbling down opposite sides of a weathered and gray stump. A lone man tends this thankless task, a pile of split timbers to his side, heavy sledge in hand, sweat rolling down from his brow. Here amidst the mid-day sun, there is some measure of satisfaction in the simplicity of toil. He takes a step back to survey his work, driving the axe down into the stump, one flannel sleeve wiping across his brow, pushing a wavy lock of brown hair from his face.

Nothing left unimagined since Zeus, father of the Olympians, made night from midday…

Squinting, he raises his hand to filter light through his dirty fingers, looking up between them at the bright sun high overhead, and the slowly approaching moon resting heavy in the heavens just beside it.

Hiding the light of the shining sun…

Dark eyes close at the sight, turning away from the radiance, from the memories of what was, and what has come before. It's too much to think back on, too much to recall, too much to ever wish to be a part of again. He's too afraid, too weak, and too tired now.

…raining dark fear down upon man.

Anchorage Alaska, August 17th, 2007

The effect is subtle at first, particularly in this place so naturally quiet and far from the bustle of civilization. The sensation is that Something has occurred, but it's difficult to pinpoint what. The Inuit would immediately have noticed how insects stop their daytime noises, and how the wind feels different. Most people just think of it as that feeling that they're being watched.

Hiro Nakamura doesn't step out of the trees or anything, but rather is just suddenly there, behind Peter. This is a Hiro that Peter has met before, or one much like that Hiro. And it's the first time he's been back to this, his proper timeline, in quite a while.

But the time traveller has not come to just spy on his friend, or to play games with him. So he announces his presence in a way that seems simple enough. "Peter Petrelli."

He's certainly improved on his pronunciation of American names.

There's a rush, a hiss of air and stumbling, confused footing. Peter reels away from the sound of the voice, tripping over an unsplit log, only to come down and grasp at the handle of the sledge driven into the stump to brace himself. Dark brows furrow together, eyes widening before narrowing to confused slits. His mouth draws open, words stolen by the presence of the man standing before him. One year — one year — if it wasn't for the familiarity in the voice, Peter would hardly know what to think about the man standing before him. He's changed so much; and yet at the same time… everything has come full-circle.

"Hiro?" The voice is incredulous, disbelief ringing true in the sunken eyes as Peter looks towards the dark echo of the future that tried so very hard to prevent all of this from coming to pass. Everything that shouldn't have been, all of the death, all of the loss; all because of him. "Go away." He couldn't be more emphatic about his choice.

Peter manages to get himself standing straight, one long and wavy lock of hair falling to hide an eye, rough stubble shadowing his sunken cheeks and strong jaw. When was the last time he slept? When was the last time he ate?

Go away? Hiro blithely ignores that, taking a step in Peter's direction and looking right into the other man's eyes. Or…eye, anyway. Peter always was something of a hair-cyclops. "You have to go back." he says, definitely not in the Engrish way he used to speak. Yes, there have been changes all right. The inherent (and new seeming) hardness in Hiro's expression falters just a little as he takes in his friend's condition and adds in a lower tone, "You look like hell, Peter. When was the last time you slept?"

Darkened eyes scan the scene more by reflex than will, and Hiro takes in the axe. The wood. The countryside. It's beautiful here, but he can't help but contemplate that there is a worm hiding out in this apple.

Go Back? Peter's stomach twists in knots, his shoulders tensing, hands clenching into tight fists as he stares across the divide of wet earth towards the man who helped him fight Sylar. "No. Go to hell, Hiro." He turns his back on the man he once called a friend, the man who's responsibility it was once to deliver a message just like this to Peter, to set him on a proper course. A course that, in the end, mattered so little.

"I'm not — " he stops in his tracks, work boots digging down into the soft ground, squelching mud up between the thick treads and out the sides. As he turns, the tracks in the mud smear, ploughing up soil against his heel. "How well do you sleep at night, Hiro?" Words as sharp as the look he gives the darkly dressed man, "We didn't do anything… we can't…" Both of his hands raise in some futile gesture of abandonment, shoulders shrugging as his head crooks to the side. "I'm done."

"You're done?" asks Hiro in the way a father might challenge a son. In the way that Kaito has spoken to Hiro himself more than a few times. "No, you listen to me. You're not done." He walks in a J-hook around Peter to face the other man and look him in the eye. Attention will be paid. "Look. I know it didn't work. But there's still a world. There are still people that need us. People that need you. I was there too. I failed too." Hiro points at his chest as he drives this point home to Peter. "But I'm still trying. And I need you to try too."

There is no fire in Peter's eyes, just dead and cold silence as Hiro circles him, draws close and demands of him. "The world doesn't need us…" he mutters, eyes downcast to the ground at his feet, head shaking back and forth in the way a scolded child might. "The world would be better off if we all just… disappeared." One step to the side, shoulders turning, and Peter begins to walk towards the cabin, boots treading in snow that hasn't thawed away yet, tracking muddied footprints through the pristine white.

"We aren't heroes, we aren't special…" Peter stops, halfway between the looming shadows of the house, and the time-traveler behind him. "We're dangerous, we're…" He can't even bring up an argument, can't defend his own actions. Peter's eyes fall shut, back to Hiro, head down and shoulders slack, "Find someone else… the world is better off without me. The world — " He croaks out a quiet laugh, "I'm better off without the world."

He's given up.

There's a moment at that point when Hiro stands there and stares after Peter, stonefaced. And in spite of himself he thinks of Yoda when Luke has told the elder Jedi Master 'You want the impossible'.

But Hiro is not Yoda. Nor is he a Jedi Master. Those childish fantasies had their place once, but he has outgrown them.

In a flash Hiro suddenly ceases to be where he was and is right in front of Peter, grabbing up a hand and arm and using it as a painful lever in an attempt drive Peter face-first into the dirt. He's not getting away from this so easily. "All right, Peter." Hiro says, voice not so much as worked up from the effort, "I'll give you what you want. Or what you say you want."

There's a sharp cry as Peter is forced down to the dirt, slamming into the mud and snow in some terrible brown-gray mixture. He sputters, blowing wet soil from his face, wrenching his shoulders from side to side. His blood boils, even as his arm is pressed up against his back, face driven deeper into the ground. Everything twists, his muscles, his stomach, his heart, it all is wrenched together under the weight of so many months guilt. Finally, all that tension breaks.

Peter's head comes back, smashing it into Hiro's jaw, sending the smaller man up and off of Petrelli. Peter wheels around through the mud, one splayed hand skidding in the brown mess until his fingers find purchase in grass covered by a thin carpet of snow. He pushes up, diving atop Hiro, one hand balled into a fist as he swings and — punches snow.

Gone in a flash, Peter drops from the sudden displacement of Hiro vanishing from beneath him, scrambling up to his feet, mud streaked across one side of his face and thorugh his hair. "I'm not going back!" The fire is still there, an ember so carefully kept within the coals, it just needs a little air, a little fanning to the flames to get it burning once again.

"It's over! Do you want to know the last time I slept, Hiro!?" Peter's dark brows lower, hands down at his side, shoulders rising and falling with each heavy breath. "A year ago! I haven't slept since I killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people! Look what we did! We were wrong!" His hands swing out to his side, gesturing wildly as his face turns red, a vein in his forehead pressing up against his skin. "Sylar wasn't the monster, he wasn't the villain, it was me!"

Hiro's grunt of pain is to be expected. You don't get skulled in the face without that not feeling good. At all. But the Japanese man is no stranger to pain. Not anymore. It wasn't hard to fold space fifth-dimensionally and cheat a little to get out from beneath Peter. This can't be allowed to devolve into a simple muddy brawl.

"Liar." comes Hiro's voice. There's no vitriol in his tone. No real defiance, but more of that stony mein of one ready for combat. He's standing about ten feet from Peter, Kensei's sword held ready in a one-handed grip the Miyamoto Musashi way, only laking a matching wakizashi to go in his left hand. The sword's steel gleams in the daylight even as it begins to shade over a little.

Above their heads, the moon even now begins to occlude the sun.

"Sylar used you, Peter. Your own family used you. It was wrong, but you were a better person than them. I came here hoping that you still were." Kensei's sword switches to a two-handed grip as Hiro brings the blade up between them. "I hoped you still had honor."

"Hope." The word is spit out like a piece of rotten fruit from Peter's mouth, "What hope is there, Hiro!? What has hope ever done for us!" Hands clench tightly into fists again, and Peter begins circling the sword-wielding man, light from the dimming sun reflecting on the gleaming blade and into Peter's eyes, causing him to squint. "You all used me. You pretended that I could help anyone! That I could make a difference! Well I can't!" One hand winds up to rake fingers thorugh Peter's hair, eyes locked on Hiro, gaze dark and smoldering, the fire given just a bit more fuel, flickering now in his heart.

"I was never strong enough. I couldn't control myself, I — " He looks down at his hands, then back up to Hiro, "I'm not good enough — " The heart beats faster, pumping with renewed life, "I'm nothing — " Te flame glows brightly, flickering up from beneath ashes so thick, "I'm no one!" All it needs now, is one more spark.

A tirade, is it? Hiro is expressionless, his eyes tracking Peter while he subtly shifts his weight to account for the other man's position relative to his own. It's the only adjustment he need make to be Ready.

Briefly Hiro considers the paths before him. While he does not have the ability of precognition in any form one would understand, he's become rather practiced at seeing potential outcomes. It's that look in Peter's eyes that determines his next move for him.

"Good bye, brother." whispers Hiro, lashing out with steel to wipe away Peter's life as if it were a stain upon the fabric of spacetime.

Except, he doesn't. The blade bites, but only so deep. Not deep enough to kill, and right across Peter's face. Anyone with a good knowledge of what Hiro is capable of (I.E.: Kaito) would know that he just intentionally spared Peter's life rather than take it. But that will definitely leave a gruesome mark. The motion itself occurs so fast it would be forgiveable to assume Hiro used his powers somehow to make it happen quickly, but the way he brings the blade of Takezo Kensei back into a ready position betrays the motion as acutely as Peter's face.

The scream splits the trees, sending birds cascading up into the sky as the sun is blotted out by the moon, the world swallowed up into an eternal darkness which deepens shadows. As Peter's voice rings out into the air, white is stained red, snow trailing with the blood that sprays from his face to the ground below. He staggers back, one hand covering his brow as rivulets of red bleed around his fingers, trailing across the back of his palm before spattering on the snow. Peter draws in a shuddering breath, pulling the hand away from his face as he looks down to the line of blood impressed into his palm.

He's not regenerating.

In the heavens, a golden ring of fiery hues spread out from the black disc that is the moon's umbra, filtering radiating bands of white through the black of the faintly starlit sky amid the eclipse. Eyes as dark as the moon turn up to Hiro, and Peter's breathing hastens, shoulders rising and falling as blood blurs his vision in one eye. The fire burns, flames rising as kindling is thrown onto the fledgeling flame. Peter rushes ahead, throwing himself bodily at Hiro, arms wrapping around the man as he drives him to the ground, skidding thorugh mud and snow until the pair tumble down an icy hill, landing in deeper, thicker snow with a soft crunch.

Peter rolls onto one side, then looks up not to find Hiro laying in the snow beside him, but standing over him like some looming specter of death. Behind Nakamura's head, the black disc of the moon is ringed with fiery yellow-orange, a mockery of some halo of light and dark sending thin rays of illumination out over his shoulders, casting Peter in his body's shadow as blood runs freely from his forehead. "What're you waiting for?" His eyes are transfixed, looking at the gleaming length of curved steel that has seen more blood in its time than even Peter Petrelli.

Hiro lunges downward briefly, but the motion is arrested as he presses the very sharp edge of his sword to Peter's throat. "You're done. Using your life? Then I will end it." Yes, he's a little winded now. There was a very real chance in Hiro's mind that he about to die. Peter possesses that kind of power easily.

When he said good bye, it was Hiro's good bye. Not Peter's.

Nevertheless Hiro finds himself in a position where he is about to win this particular struggle, and yet lose the battle it represented. His threat means nothing if it is empty, and so he must be willing to follow through with it.

Peter's last chance, last signal, is Hiro taking a deep breath and bracing himself as he prepares to end the life of another friend…

Eyes wide, the reflection of that orange ring in them is a window itself into Peter Petrelli's soul. The sword against his throat, te cold bite of steel against flesh that refuses to heal, flesh that refuses to mend. The cold mixes with the warmth, of blood trailing down Peter's face, the hot pain of the wound across is brow and through his cheek.

But his eyes are the window, and in them the eclipse behind Hiro's head is mirrored, of the moon as black as night, giving way to a brilliant corona of yellow-white, and finally, in that moment of absolute hopelessness and despair, where he finally feels there is someone else willing to tak eeverything from him, take it all away — the darkness breaks, and from the side of the moon, spills the radiant light of something so dangerous, something so fleeting: Hope.

One hand raises in an instant, sun reflecting bright in Peter's eyes as his fingers splay outwards, a low harmonic rumble carrying in the air as he launches Hiro off of his feet with a telekinetic thrust, sending the swordsman spinning end over end through the air, his sword wrenched from his hand in that same motion, whirling black over steel, cutting a humming path through the blue skies as the darkness begins to fade.

Hiro slams down into the snow on his bac, sinking half a foot deep as it imprints to his form. The Kensei sword whirls thorugh the air, before finding itself driven home into the ground, wavering from side to side as the steel catches the rays of the revealed sun, spreading wide in the heavens.

Pulling himself, to his feet, Peter staggers, one hand covering his face, blood smeared over his hand, over his nose and down one side of his cheek, mingling with the dark hairs of his beard. He looks at the black-clad form prone in the snow, and looks down at the sword. Shaky steps come, carrying one foot in front of the other, and his breath comes just as hard.

There is, in spite of himself, something of a surprised "Iiyeee!" from Hiro as he finds himself thrown away like a ragdoll. It's one thing to be prepared mentally for it and another altogether to have the reality of it slap you in the face. Getting tossed around by telekinesis is not fun. There's also an audible PIFF as he strikes and sinks into the snow, leaving a cartoonishly Hiro-shaped outline around him where he came down.

A groan emits from Hiro in that higher-pitched tone that so often spoke in. Head-pain. And he begins to cough. Cough. Cough-cough…and laugh. A low chuckle that turns into something that sounds much less dire than his tone from just a few moments ago. Making a half-effort, Hiro tries to sit up, but then decides to just lay down again, wincing. He's not too hurt to get up, but so long as he's sitting here and admiring the eclipse above them perhaps he'll just take a moment to savor this one fleeting victory. And smile.

The laugh, the sound that after all of his sharp words, after everything that was said, all Hiro was trying to do was wake Peter up. There's a mild smile, one hand slowly lowered down from his face towards the man laying in the snow, smiling. Blood smears the hand, turning Peter's palm red and slick amidst the sunlight. Where the hand was taken from, there still lingers that cut in his face, that deep and cruel scar the divides the man who he was, from the man he is now.

I almost didn't recognize you without your scar.

Hiro's words to Peter, from so long ago, and yet at the same time so recently. How many times have he and Hiro had this discussion? How many times has he gone through this struggle? How many times has Peter let that internal flame be rekindled? "I don't know what to do," Peter says quietly, admitting his weakness as the droplets of blood fall from his outstretched hand to the snow. The cut refuses to heal, or rather, Peter refuses it to heal. How can he ever face himself — face what he's done — without bearing a scar inside, and a scar outside for everyone else to see.

"I hope… you have more of a plan than just this, Hiro."

Hiro didn't come all this way to be unwilling to get blood on his hands. Literally. He takes his friend's hand without hesitation and accepts the help to his feet, blinking hard and using his non-bloody hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. The hard part of this is over, so he's allowed a little weakness. "I'm not sure either. Yet. But we'll get there." He opens his eyes and looks to his friend again. This time the expression is one that includes hope. And admiration. "We'll get there together. Help me find my sword, will you? Oh man, my head…"

Right. Hiro almost cut Peter's face off for him but he's complaining about his own head bumping on the dirt.

We dream of hope, we dream of change, of fire, of love, of death…

A ghost of a smile spreads across Peter's lips, looking down at Hiro with the same dark eyes he has always had, but somehow now they seem lighter — fairer — more brown than black, more mocha than mud. He takes his other hand at Hiro's elbow, giving it a squeeze as he shakes his head to the swordsman's words.

And then it happens; the dream becomes real, and the answer to this quest, this need to solve life's mysteries finally shows itself like the glowing light of the new dawn.

Turning from where the pair stand, Peter's eyes focus on the sword some distance away from them, embedded deep into the snow, sunlight reflecting off of the polished blade between the thin rivulets of blood that streak across its otherwise flawless surface. It the clarity of a new day, but one created at the coast of blood. To know then, what these two know now, it would be seen as such a symbol of irony — that the sun will rise again, even if blood is spilled.

So much struggle for meaning, for purpose. And in the end, we find it only in each other. Our shared experience of the fantastic and the mundane. The simple human need to find a kindred. To connect.

Peter's focus shifts back to Hiro, watching him in silence, to know that someone came all this way to find him, to bring him back from the brink of self-enforced despair. The road ahead is a long one, but now there is that light of hope.

And to know in our hearts…

…that we are not alone.

<date>: previous log
<date>: next log
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License