The Little Girl That Lives Down Memory Lane


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title The Little Girl That Lives Down Memory Lane
Synopsis When Richard Ray asks a ghost from the past to pay a visit to Odessa Price it sets in motion an unexpected series of events.
Date May 4, 2021













Pop! Six! Squish! Uh-uh! Cicero! Lipschitz!

Piping from Odessa's office on Level Five is none other than the Cell Block Tango. Dressed in an indigo denim miniskirt with a blank tank top, the white coat has been discarded, left draped over a chair in the lab. Bubblegum pink heels click on the floor as she dances her way down the hall in front of the cells of villains, peering curiously through each window as she passes.

"He had it comin'. He had it comin'. He only had himself to blame." Her cooing of the lyrics is a little off key, but Odessa's smug little heart is in it. She traces her finger over one pane of glass, beaming a smile to the prisoner inside, turning away sharply before any response can be had. She resumes her blithe dance down the row.

The loud hiss of hydraulics and the heavy grating screech of the freight elevator being accessed drowns out that solo act. Lights flash down the hall signaling the elevator's activity. After a few minutes of loud grinding and scraping, the elevator stops with a crash and the caged doors slide open, followed by the sound of voices echoing from inside, "'Ow the fuck was I supposed to know not to shoot? He was fuckin' beatin' the tar outta' Sanders!" Agent Woods is obviously agitated, and several sets of feet click-clack down the hall from the elevator, along with the creaking squeak of something on wheels.

From around the corner, Peter Petrelli can be seen before he's heard, "Because it was in my report!" He waves one hand furiously at Woods, "They're sick, you could've used your taser!" It's an argument, and a strong one. Behind Peter and Woods, three medical technicians dressed as paramedics wheel a bodybag on a stretcher down the hall.

"I didn't have my fuckin taser on me, we were off the bloody clock having drinks!" Woods flails both of his hands over his head, "For christ's sake Pete, at least stop off and change out of that goddamned shirt, you look like a fuckin' zombie." Woods does have a point, almost everything Peter is wearing is covered with blood, and not all of it is his. The front of his jacket and shirt are torn open, one of his sleeves is split at the shoulder. It's clear he's had a rough night.

That is exactly when he spots Odessa heading down the hall, "There you are." Peter calls out rather sharply, and Woods tries to hold him with a very carefully placed hand to a clean shoulder, but Peter pulls away, storming ahead of the others down the hall towards Dr. Knutson.

None of them see the old man dressed in black standing at the end of the hall. His eyes narrow, chin up. “Not now,” he says in a whisper, “too soon.”

For Walter Renautas, every meeting was an exercise in timing.

Twelve Years Later

Raytech Industries Corporate Housing
Raytech Industries Campus
Jackson Heights

May 4th
4:04 pm

There is a quiet dignity to the apartment belonging to Ouriana Pride, a plastic mask worn over the visage of the woman once known as Odessa Price, which itself is another mask worn over the face of the woman once known as Odessa Knutson. But at that point, it’s hard to know who was a mask for who, and which face, which name is the real one.

There’s a hint of smoke in the air, wafting in through the open garden-style doors to Ouriana’s balcony. It smells enough like woodsmoke and a campfire to be soothing, even though she knows the truth of it is far more disastrous. But right now the Ohio River fire is a distant-enough worry to be passed off to another day.

For now, seated at her patio furniture where smoke aroma mixes with the lilacs growing on her terraced balcony, Ouriana has less to worry about and more free time than at most points in her life. Even if, judging from the lone can of cheap beer sitting on the middle of the table, she has fewer people to spend it with.

The patio furniture remains some of the only furniture left in the apartment. She doesn’t live here, after all, but it makes a convenient place to nest on nights when she just needs a few hours to herself. Working late, she’s told her fiancé. She’s told him this often enough that he actually believes it. Or if he doesn’t, he’s long past the point of intending to call her on it. She’s spent her hours alone since Aman discarded her anyway.

Thoughts of Amanvir bring her to turn her head as though she’s looking over her right shoulder, reflexively attempting to tune to him and his emotions. But he’s not there on the end of that tether. All she does is catch sight of her reflection in the glass doors, shrinking back as her brain reasons that there’s someone else in the room with her. It takes a second to catch up with the fact that the reflection is hers. A face she hasn’t quite come to recognize as her own. While the eyes are unmistakably her own, the rest isn’t right. The slope of her brow, the curve of her jaw, the bend of cupid’s bow…

Sighing, Odessa turns back to the garden. This is why she’s here. Alone. With her beer. And her thoughts.

Until one small change makes none of those statements true.

“Is there room for two?” Comes the abrupt and weary voice of Walter Renautas from the doorway to the balcony, intruding on this moment in time and space as one might any private moment. He lingers there, dressed in funeral black, with a wan smile. “I heard you wanted to talk.”

Odessa jumps, her knee connecting with the side of the table and nearly knocking over her can. She catches it deftly and laughs shakily. “Oh, my gosh.” The sudden inclusion of one more emotional ping on her radar — and so close — leaves her trembling for a moment. There are very few people who can get the drop on her like that anymore.

“Mr. Renautas.” The blonde gestures to the other chair in her set-up for two that rarely sees a partner. “Please, by all means.” She smiles uncertainly. “If I fixed you a drink, would it do any good beyond suffice as a symbol of my hospitality?”

While she may not have been expecting him at this moment, the man is still a welcome sight.

Walter raises one hand in mild dismissiveness, then comes to sit in the chair opposite of Odessa without moving it. It’s hard to tell if such a thing is an affectation or not, or if he really does need to get off his feet.

“The thought counts,” he says with an easy smile. “But I am more interested in what I can do for you. Richard asked me to come see you, and this was as close to that moment I could find you. Though I will profess, I missed you on several occasions on account of your…” he waves his hand in front of his face, “dramatis personae.

“You mean because I’m a duplicitous creature who has to hide her identity in order to survive.” Odessa reads between the lines. She can call it what it is. Her smile is tired, a touch sad, but no less inviting for it.

“I’m glad you came,” she assures. “I haven’t been waiting long.” Turning her gaze out to the garden again, she lets out a long, slow breath. “It’s nice out here, isn’t it?” she asks absently, eyes unfocusing after a moment while she tries to key in to the emotions of the spectre on her balcony. “Apart from the…” The fire that will be upon the city soon if no one can intervene.

But that’s the future, and Odessa wants to speak to Walter about the past. Turning her attention back to him, there’s a sadness in her eyes that doesn’t begin to convey how deep it’s settled into her soul. “I need to know more about my father, Mr. Renautas.” Her throat gets tight a moment and it takes a swallow to open it up again so she won’t sound strained when she elaborates. “Adam says he — that Colin nearly killed himself.”

Looking down at her hands folded neatly in her lap for a moment, she makes sure she lifts her chin again and meets Renautas’ eyes. “I need to know why. I need to know what would drive my father to such… Even I haven’t done that, and I’ve seen some truly awful things.” Odessa wears her emotions clearly on her sleeve for this interaction, letting him see how close to desperation she is. “Please. Can you help me?”

Renautas makes a soft sound in the back of his throat, eyes down on the table. “Possibly,” he says with a tilt of his head to the side. “But there is a challenge in this, because of the line of history you inhabit.” When Renautas looks back up to Odessa, there’s a hint of apology in his eyes. “Had I myself not been redacted, I would be glad to tell you all about your father. But my memories are as lost and muddled as others. Which leaves us at the mercy of my ability…”

Looking out to the city skyline beyond the terraced balconies, Renautas’ expression shifts from regretful to thoughtful. “I find moments in time based on… frequency, in a fashion. I am like a tuning fork, and individual moments in time are linked by the frequencies they share with one-another. All the work I did for…” he glances to the side, “for Richard was complicated by trying to find collaborative frequencies.” He sighs, softly.

“That your father died before you were born means you share no frequency overlap with him, only your mother, and she has proven to be… very challenging to locate directly.” Renautas says with a small shake of his head. “Which means that locating any moment in time with your father would require proximity to people who are connected with him.”

Furrowing his brows, Renautas asks, “Do you know anyone, living in your time, who knew him? Whether or not they remember.”

“Yeah… Mom’s like that,” Odessa murmurs, eyes closing a moment as though it gives her privacy for the pain she feels for her loss. It also allows her to think without visual distraction. Running down a mental list of people she knows crossed paths with her father, and whether or not they’re still among the living.

Odessa starts to laugh, opening her eyes and staring up at the sky as her shoulders quake, then she tips forward gently, one hand braced against her stomach. It’s the broken laughter of someone who’s come to a realization they don’t like, but they can’t help but see the irony in it. “That bastard Samson Gray sure crossed paths with him, didn’t he? I bet that cockroach is still kicking somewhere.”

The laughter dies down. Odessa cradles her forehead in the thumb and first two fingers of her right hand, warding off a headache. “The only other person I can think of is my sister.”

Renautas nods slowly. “I’m unfamiliar with this… Samson, but your sister, yes. I know where she is, I could visit her.” He notes with a furrow of his brows. “Her presence was instrumental in the discovery of what happened on the 8th of November, in 1984.”

Rubbing his hands together, Renautas looks back to the city for a moment, then to Odessa. “This will, of course, require you to be in her presence. Otherwise I may not know what to look for in these histories of your father.”

For a moment, she wants to say that he’s seen the man who killed her father before, but Walter Renautas weaves himself in and out of the timeline in no particular order. Perhaps for him, that visit hasn’t happened yet?

Odessa lets out a quiet hum. “Last I heard, she was in the Deveaux Society building. I have… no way to access it. And there’s very little chance they’ll let me in. So unless she’s been moved, or you’re able to do something like I used to do…”

“I’m merely an observer,” Renautas says with a slow spread of his hands, followed by sweeping them through the table as though he were but a ghost. “That, I cannot help you with. But certainly someone you know must have a means, whether legally or… otherwise.” He says with a faint smile, as if not concerned with the repercussions of such actions.

“If you’re able to get to her, I’ll be able to find that moment simply enough.” Renautas admits with a slow motion of one hand to Odessa. “But I regret having to leave the onus of that on you, of course.”

As tempting as it is to figure a way in illegally — it’d certainly be faster — Odessa has the little matter of her parole to consider. It’s really going to put a damper on her wedding plans if she gets sent back to Rikers. “I think I might know someone who can get me in… My niece, Jac.” Her head tilts to one side then the other as she reasons. “She’s seen Cindy. Maybe she can get me inside? We just need — Well, I need, I suppose, to go to Gillian Childs’.”

Odessa quirks a smirk in his direction. “You wanna catch a cab together so you don’t lose track of me?” It’s ridiculous, of course, but if he has trouble crossing her path, maybe it’s slightly less than it sounds on its face.

Walter laughs, shaking his head. “While I appreciate the offer, I’m comfortable taking the shortcut.”

And just like that…

“I’ll see you at Cindy’s.”

…he’s gone.

Half an Hour Later

Childs’ Residence

The trip from Raytech to Gillian’s brownstone in Elmhurst is a relatively short drive by ride-share. Ouriana Pride is out of the car and on the curb well before nine at night. There’s a few lights on inside the brownstone, shedding an inviting glow out onto the sidewalk. Though the gentle drizzle that is now falling outside makes Odessa’s approach all the more pressing.

Staring up at the home she’s seen certainly more than once on retrieving or returning Jac, Odessa hesitates on the pavement before she climbs the couple of stairs to the door and rings the bell. Already she’s forming her apology in her head for intruding. Anxiously, she bounces in place.

Enough time passes between the bell ringing and any kind of response that, for a moment, Odessa feels as though she’s being given the cold shoulder. Or, perhaps that there’s lights on but there’s nobody home. She notices the lack of a car in the space on the street, and wonders if maybe that is the case. If it’s simply a matter of nobody being around. Before she has a chance to chide herself about calling first, she hears the sound of movement.

The electronic doorbell glows a soft green color and a tiny red light comes on above the button, indicating that the camera is on. It blinks out a moment later, and Odessa can hear the sound of a deadbolt turning. But when the door opens…

Twelve Years Earlier

Primatech Paper
The Bronx

Odessa whirls around sharply in surprise, hands held out in front of her with fingers splayed. Woods and the technicians seem to falter for a moment, evident only in the absence of their footfalls, as Peter has his back to them. But they pick up again easily enough. "Oh," Doctor Knutson seems perhaps a little disgusted or even crestfallen. "It's you." But then, she plasters on her sweetest smile.

"Hello, Peter. I'm still waiting for conclusive results from Doctor Suresh, I'm afraid." She holds up a finger, signaling for quiet. "You pop that gum, one more time," she says along with the lyrics, followed with a well-timed chuckle, suggesting she's listened to this song entirely too many times. "And he did. So, I took the shotgun off the wall, and I fired two warning shots…" At this point, she saunters up to the new agent and taps on his temple. "Into his head." She giggles as the fresh chorus starts up. "I just love that bit."

Peter scowls, but then with a pause he closes his eyes and breathes in a deep breath to try and calm himself down. He fails to notice anything amiss going on, despite the momentary pause that Woods and the others experienced. "Odessa, two more people died, and I'm covered in their blood." He motions to Woods, "Take that one down to the locker room, make sure you clean off afterwards."

"Ain't got to tell me twice." Woods says with a crooked smile, "C'mon boys, let's go put the cobbler in the fridge."

Twelve Years Later

…it’s Peter Petrelli on the other side.

“You looking for Gillian or Jolene?” Peter asks with an easy smile, without a hint of recognition in his eyes at the new mask Odessa wears.

The ping of emotional signatures inside the house told her that it wasn’t empty, but this…

This was not who she expected to open that door. For a moment, Odessa stands there, lips parted in surprise, eyes a little too wide. Odessa Knutson’s heart skips a beat. Odessa Woods’ heart aches for the loss of a friend. Odessa Price’s gut churns with the anxiety that comes from confusion.

“No— I mean, yes, but… I was looking for Jacelyn. But, yes, was also hoping to speak with Gillian.” Odessa smiles as an afterthought. “Sorry, I’ve just… I wasn’t expecting a— Well, a man to answer the door. Kind of threw me!” She hopes the girlish chuckle, the demuring bout of bashfulness is enough to cover the moment.

It’s been years. This isn’t the first time he’s shown up after everyone thought he was dead. Maybe it won’t even be the last. What would he think of her after all these years, if he knew who he was looking at?

“It’s okay, you can say it.” Peter says with a raise of one hand into the air. It’s then that Odessa notices he’s leaning on a pair of crutches. “You weren’t expecting the Midtown Man.” He laughs a little bitterly, then looks Odessa up and down. “Jac’s not here right now, I think she’s at her night classes?” He doesn’t sound too sure of himself. “And Gillian’s out with Jolene having a…” His eyes avert. “A uh, they’re busy.”

She can feel the knot of complicated emotions there. Sadness, guilt, fear. Whatever Gillian and Jolene are up to can’t be good. Or, at least, Peter doesn’t feel good about it.

But, for a dead man, he looks okay.

“No, Peter,” Odessa confirms with a little shake of her head. “I wasn’t.” The guile is dropped in favor of honest bewilderment, if mild. “Actually… You might be who I need to talk to.” She pauses and takes a moment to replay that statement in her mind. Tipping her head to one side, she decides to stick by it.

“Would it be alright if I came in? The rain is… kind of miserable.”

While Peter’s expression remains neutral, Odessa feels the pang of paranoia after she says his name. After she asks to be invited in. “Mom told me it wasn’t a smart idea to talk to strangers,” he jokes with his usual crooked smile, and while he eases the door a little bit closed, he stops partway and looks Odessa up and down.

“What was your name again?” Peter asks, one brow raised.

“It’s okay,” she insists, lifting her hands up in front of her placatingly. It used to mean I’m unarmed, but with the Expressive in the picture, all bets are sort of off on that front. “I’m Jac’s Aunt O.” There’s a sheepish little smile that she wears while she tries to decide how deep to dig this hole she’s already standing in.

“I’m sure she’s told you about her biological mother, Cindy? She’s my sister. That’s… why I’m here.” Odessa’s shoulders slump and she fixes Peter with that same sincere pleading expression she gave to Renautas earlier. “Please, may I come in and speak with you?”

Peter’s tension rises, the suspicion he fixes her mixing with a heady dose of adrenaline as proper nouns and family secrets are laid out in the open from someone he’s not heard of. “I uh, I really… shouldn’t? It’s uh,” Peter looks over his shoulder, then back to Odessa. “I don’t think—”

A spike of terror. It’s confusing, but Odessa feels it. An instantaneous fright reaction as he pauses mid-sentence and looks to forget what he was saying. Peter’s eyes aren’t even focused on Odessa, but something in his periphery. Terror turns to sudden calm, as though he were hit with a sedative.

“You know what?” Peter says, looking back at Odessa from whatever he was looking at out of her view. “Sure.” Slowly, he pushes the door open the rest of the way and steps back on his crutches, motioning with his head inside.

When the door opens the rest of the way, the only thing she can see where he was looking is a wall-mounted mirror.

Peter steps inside and Odessa takes a step back. When nobody lunges out at her and she senses no additional signatures, she steps into the house. “Thank you.” There’s honesty in those words, but the relief doesn’t come.

A hand smoothed over her hair sheds some of the excess moisture that hadn’t soaked into the strands yet. “How are you—” Alive, she nearly asks. Instead, she amends to simply, “How are you?” Odessa’s gaze lingers on Peter a moment while she wipes her feet on the rug, then turns to the mirror to examine her appearance, checking to make sure her make-up hasn’t smeared.

“I’ve been better,” Peter admits with an awkward laugh. “I uh,” he motions at himself, “you know, time’s not really been easy on me. I have a hard time getting around these days and my memory isn’t what it used to be.” He smiles to hide his nerves and motions with his chin for Odessa to close the door behind herself. “Mostly I just feel like a broken mirror, y’know? Jumbled pieces of glass all showing a different reflection.”

Shaking his head, Peter ambles back from the door as Odessa closes it and looks around the house. “What, uh, was it you wanted to talk about again?” Confusion, doubt, uncertainty. He feels like he should know why she wanted to talk but he…

…can’t remember?

“Peter…?” Odessa leaves her hand on the door, brow creasing with concern as she watches him struggle to remember why she’s here. Maybe this was a bad idea. Her fingers tighten around it for a moment, but then she eases, her worry for him getting the better of her.

A broken mirror. “I know what that feels like,” she says quietly, “to feel like you can’t recognize yourself. Like you’re distorted from every angle.” As if drawn in by a magnet, Odessa approaches Peter with less caution than she knows she should. But it’s always been that way with him, hasn’t it?

Slowly, she reaches out toward him, to place a steadying hand on his arm. “Are you okay?”

Peter flashes a quick smile to dismiss concern, though at the same time edges away from the touch on his crutches. “I’m fine,” he says with a laugh. “Can I get you anything? Water? Tea?” He asks, making his way for the kitchen. The lights gradually come on automatically as he makes his way into that room, dimming up from darkness rather than coming on all at once.

There’s an uneasy feeling growing in the pit of Odessa’s stomach that’s proportionate to how much more at ease Peter seems to become. She retracts her hand and returns the smile as though assuaged in her concerns. “Tea’s lovely,” she tells him as she unzips her raincoat, leaving it to hang in the foyer before doubling back to hover in the kitchen.

She pulls out her phone and starts cycling through pictures, smiling fondly at candid shots she’s snapped of her fiancé, photos they’ve taken together, but her prize is a short series of pictures she’s taken together with Jac. A couple were clearly taken by someone else, showing the two in front of a vanity mirror where Odessa is carefully applying mascara for Jac, who’s looking upward and clearly unsure about this entire ritual. Others are the pair of them cheek to cheek with wide smiles, clearly excited about whatever they’re about to get up to all dolled up like that.

“Ah!” Odessa announces her triumph quietly. “I found a couple selfies of Jac and I together.” A fond smile creeps onto her face, in spite of her trepidation. “If you’d like to see.” Proof that she is who she says she is. Or at least that the relationship between herself and Jacelyn is a good one.

Peter glances over his shoulder, then down to the phone. He smiles briefly, fleetingly, and then turns for the cabinets on his crutches. “I know it’s you, I’ve got a hunch about that sort’f thing. Been a while though, you and me, as far as I remember…” He stops by one of the cabinets, setting his crutches aside as he sorts through boxes of tea.

“Last time I remember clearly was down in Level-5, with Woods.” Peter’s brows furrow and he smiles awkwardly, then shakes one of the boxes of bagged tea around. But something is wrong with that. He shouldn’t remember that at all.

That double of Peter died.

“Do you like mint-ginseng or lemon-ginger?” Peter asks with a dopey smile, holding up two boxes of tea.

Odessa withdraws the phone and slides it back into her pocket, stunned. “Ah… Lemon-ginger,” she responds absently. She cycles back quickly to his last memory of her. “You mean when you found out I could stop time.” Her tongue runs over the front of her teeth. “How do you remember that? I don’t look anything like me. How do you know who I am?”

Twelve Years Earlier

The Bronx
December 6, 2008

There's a scowl, and Peter hangs his head. If there's one constant between the two, it is guilt. And right now, both of them are chock full of it. "How's this supposed to work?"

Agent Petrelli looks up from inside of the SUV. "What?"

Peter snorts, turning around as he looks down to finger bones starting to grow on his hand, muscle sewing itself over as tendons grow into place. "Rejoining." The words are bitter to him. "I'm barely regenerating. In another week, we'll probably both be dead."

The agent looks out the window towards his double, closing his eyes for a moment. "Helena told me… I… Brian said we just have to touch each other, and then… it just happens." There's a caveat though, one voiced quietly, "We both have to be willing, though."

Peter looks away from his twin with a scoff, then down to his hand as skin starts to form, testingly flexing his hand open and closed. "Willing…" Peter looks over to where Sylar was. "One thing, then… before I agree to this."

The agent raises a brow, this isn't what he expected at all. But Claire, and everyone else they've both hurt… "What?" It's hard to imagine this is how it will end.

"Where'd you send Sylar?" Dark eyes shift to the side, focusing on Peter's double. There's a nod, and then the agent hangs his head following it.

"Antarctica — " A beat, just for a moment. "I think."

"Come on," Peter’s dark eyes lift. "Let's get this over with." What will it be like? Will he forget everything? Will he cease to be? Or will they become someone else entirely, an amalgamation of both of their experiences while separate.

It's a frightening prospect.

Agent Petrelli’s shoes click on the pavement, eyes sweeping over the carnage. The moment they hit Woods, he tenses and looks away in disbelief. He'd gotten Woods killed. "Come here." The agent holds out a hand for Peter, watching him furtively.

Peter walks over, stopping in front of his agent counterpart, then looks down to the offered hand. There's a deep breath, and Peter closes his eyes, reaching out to join hands with his better half. "I'm only doing this for — "


A spray of red explodes out of the side of Agent Petrelli's head, his right eye turning a deep crimson color as he slouches to one side, and then collapses down onto the street. Blood immediately pools out from beneath his body, an ever-growing pool of dark crimson and exploded brain matter. Peter's eyes grow wide, his mouth falling open, and he watches as his double does not move to stand, does not speak, does not say a word.


Peter's shoulder explodes from another gunshot, and he's spun around, smashing up against the hood of the SUV. He raises his hand, palm glowing brightly, but this time he sees the muzzle flash on the nearby roof.


A flash of red hits the center of his chest, and he crumples down to his knees. From across the street, men in black body armor begin circling out from the adjacent buildings, assault rifles leveled and black masks covering their faces. HOMSEC is stenciled in white on the backs of their flack jackets. Peter struggles, then watches as the pupils of his counterpart turn a milky white coloration. He groans, loudly and a sudden wave of grief washes over him. Was this what Brian felt? Oh god, it hurts so bad.

Chatter comes over radios, boots thumping across pavement as dozens of Homeland Security agents circle around Peter's prone form, his one bare arm running with blood. He can feel a lifetime of experiences and ideas flashing and surging from his mind, pain, suffering, hope and anger all blending together as faint hints of memories from the Agent come filtering to him like something read in a book long ago.

Peter slumps forward, he's so tired, but even with the bullet having perforated his lung, he knows he's not going to die. He hasn't been given that grace. He gets to live with the memories of all the people he hurt.

This is how it ends.

Not with a bang…

But with a whimper.

Present Day

With her brow furrowing, her eyes narrow faintly as she tries to solve this mystery that is this Peter That Should Not Be. “You’re not in my head. I can always tell when you’re in my head, Peter.” Odessa smiles hesitantly.

She needs to turn around. She needs to walk away.

She needs to run.

She won’t.

Setting a hand on the back of one dining chair to lean against it slightly, Odessa stares down at the grain of the table, following its gentle waves and curls. Letting out a quiet breath of laughter, she asks, “Do you remember that time you caught me dancing in my office without pants on?”

She needs to run.

“You know me,” Peter says with an awkward smile, “picking up abilities left and right, sometimes I don’t even realize—” He stops, looking at the boxes of tea as if they were the suspicious thing in this moment. “Sorry.” He starts moving again, putting the mint ginseng back in the cabinet. He takes out two bags of lemon ginger tea and sets them in a pair of mugs, then grabs the electric kettle and heads for the sink.

“I’m kind of uh…” Peter dithers with a grimace, turning on the faucet. As he fills up the kettle, he looks back to Odessa. “My memory’s full of holes. I feel like scrambled eggs at the best of times. It’s been—it’s been a long road between here and there.” He corrects himself. “Here and then.

Watching the water fill to the two cup line, Peter turns off the faucet. “I don’t know, I guess. I didn’t recognize you when you came to the door and then… I did? Maybe getting fried the way I did in Detroit screwed up something with my ability,” he says as he turns back to the counter and sets the kettle down on the heating coil, flipping the toggle switch to turn it on.

“I haven’t tried copying anything since the fight,” Peter admits, turning his back to the counter as he retrieves his crutches to take the longer walk to the kitchen bar where he takes a seat on one of the stools. “But, no. I don’t remember catching you dancing in your unmentionables.”

“I should’ve left it unmentioned then,” Odessa darts a glance in his direction, her hand coming up and rubbing against the back of her neck briefly. “Well, I still remember you in your briefs, so I’m sorry that’s not a fair trade.” Her apparent sheepishness is shoved aside and she makes her way further in, coming to sit at the bar with him.

Blue eyes study his face, there’s sadness in her rather than distrust. Odessa laughs, just once. “I want to reach out and touch you. Make sure you’re real.” Her hand lifts briefly like she might do just that, but she stops. There was a time where she wouldn’t have. He must remember how often she didn’t. “I always liked you, Peter,” she admits with a smile that matches her melancholy. “But you’ve been dead a long, long time now. How are you here? Making tea. For me.” Reaching out again, this time she only does so with her senses, trying to wrap herself up in what Peter’s feeling, hoping to gain insight into what he’s thinking.

“I wish I knew,” is the single-most unsettling answer Odessa could have ever expected. Anything would have been better than that.

“The thing is, I…” Peter sits forward on the stool, resting his forearms on the bar counter, “I remember dying more than once. I remember being in Brooklyn, running Walter Trafford through some training exercises, when a DoEA Hunter caught up to us. Walter got away, but I…” Peter closes his eyes and sighs, running his hands through his hair. “I remember flying over Manhattan with Sylar. Trying to get him away from the city before… before he exploded.”

Head in his hands, Peter looks over at Odessa. “But I don’t remember how I got here. I remember waking up in the middle of nowhere, and once I got my bearings I just…” Peter laughs, then looks back down to the counter. “I hid, for a long time. Out west in the Dead Zone. Then for a while I… was hunting Adam Monroe, trying to make a difference in the world. Put an evil in the ground.”

Peter lets his hands slip from his head, and he looks down at his palms as if he doesn’t recognize them. “Nothing really made sense until I met Sibyl.”

Peter looks up to Odessa. “For a little while, anyway.”

“Holy shit,” Odessa whispers when he finishes his explanation, her eyes having gotten wider and wider the whole time. “You’re like me.” Her brow furrows, amending, “Sort of.” Shaking her head back and forth quickly, she tries to explain. “I remember Edward Ray slicing open my throat beneath ConEd in the dead world. I remember staring down at James and knowing I had to save him, even if it meant losing myself, because even if I could outrun the Hunters, there’d be no point to it on my own.”

Sometimes she’s able to talk about the other lives like they aren’t hers. And while they aren’t, they are now. Separating them from herself is impossible now that she carries what’s left of her other selves inside of her. At times it’s terrifying and confusing. “I died far beneath the waves in 2019 and, ah… Woke up in 2011 with no idea I was me until I got back and completed the loop again.” Odessa tries to laugh, but it doesn’t come out as more than a quietly vocalized breath. “It’s some fucked up shit. We’re not exactly the same, but… I think I get it on some levels.”

Odessa meets Peter’s eyes. “It’s okay if you don’t understand what happened.” She rests one of her hands on the bartop, palm up and open to him to take if he wants. “You met Uluru. What was that like?”

Peter is silent through Odessa’s explanation. The crease between his brows almost looks like the scar he once had, but only just. It’s only the last question that brings his eyes back up to Odessa from the countertop, as the whistle of the kettle turns into a scream.

Peter says nothing, sliding off the stool. He takes his crutches and ambles back over to where the kettle is. All the while that high-pitched whine fills the air. He pours himself and Odessa both a mug, then sets the kettle down. He doesn’t move to bring the mugs over yet, they need to steep. He remembers that much from Sabra. From Alice.

Adam called her that.” Peter says with a hint of distaste in his voice. “I knew her as a scared child. Not…” He looks away, shaking his head. “Whatever Eve became.” Blinking a look back up to Odessa, Peter searches her eyes, curiosity blooming in his emotional spectrum.

“I was there. Detroit. The last time she and I met…” Peter trails off, looking at his crutches, “that’s how I wound up like this. I turned on her.” His mouth twitches for a moment. Curiosity, then, is replaced by something else.


“It’s the only name I’ve known them — her as.” It’s offered with a tone of apology. Her hand untaken, she draws it back toward herself. When the tenor of his mood changes, hers moves in the opposite direction. It’s her curiosity he’s drawn now.

“Do you regret turning on her? Or not being able to stop her?” Odessa asks with a tense brow, a scrutiny that’s gentle, without judgement. “I’ll be the last person to lay blame at your feet for your decisions on that front. Or your feelings on the matter.”

“I don’t know.” Peter says, which sounds a lot like both from where Odessa is sitting. “The person she was in Detroit was… nothing like the one I spent time with in the Pine Barrens. But I can’t be the only one who saw the change,” he says with a shake of his head, “Samson Gray wasn’t there in Detroit helping her. So… I don’t know where he went.”

Odessa sits very still in the wake of what Peter’s said. It was too much to hope for, she supposes, that he’d gone and fucked off somewhere to die in a hole. Alone, where he wouldn’t haunt anyone any longer. Where he couldn’t ruin more lives.

The breath she didn’t realize she was holding is let out slowly. “I didn’t realize you two had been working together.” Though she pretends not to be ruffled by this revelation, she knows he must sense it. “Had you met him before? My… memories kind of jumble. I sometimes don’t remember what’s now and what was there.”

The look from Peter shows his surprise plainly. He didn’t expect Odessa to know who he was. “No,” Peter says with a shake of his head. “I didn’t even realize he was Gabriel’s father until later. He seems nice, though. Sad, but… the way he cared for Sibyl was like a father.” Nothing Peter says tracks with anything Odessa has experienced in the presence of Samson Gray.

“I suppose—you were Company, he was Company—of course you’d know each other.” Peter says, assembling the pieces of a puzzle backwards and upside-down. “He might not even be alive anymore. I—I don’t even know how she got into Eve. I…”

Peter sighs through his nose, running his hands through his hair. “I don’t know a lot of things.” He looks up to Odessa. “How… did you get the way you are? Scattered. Maybe that’s the same thing that happened to me.”

Unlikely would be one answer.

But Odessa’s bedside manner has improved dramatically over the years.

She isn’t about to correct his notions of how she and Samson came to be acquainted, and she isn’t about to cause him pain over this. Not intentionally, at any rate. “I don’t know. You picked up my ability at one point — or Hiro’s. Maybe it’s something to do with that. But I think…” Odessa remembers back to the Ark.

Both times.

“I think she touched me in some way. Changed me.” Her shoulders come up in a shrug. “I wish I could help you understand that, but…” Lifting her eyes first, then her chin, Odessa tilts her head, approaching the next topic with an expression that denotes caution. “You said you feel like a broken mirror. But I think I… can fix you.”

Peter’s brows furrow together. The expression reminds her of the Peter that lives below the ground, in the sewers and tunnels with the survivors of the virus. Suspicious, broken, lost.

Fix me?” Peter says with a squint. He doesn’t like the sound of that.

Odessa is quick to backpedal, a hand held up. “I mean help, heal. I’m not like Sylar. I can’t… put your pieces together or whatever he always thought he could do.” Her head gives a quick shake and her hand stays held up, fingers splayed.

“I just mean… You’re a mosaic, right?” Treading lightly, she approaches this with caution and care. “Your ability, to the best of my understanding, is empathic mimicry.” Odessa meets his eyes, coming to the crux of her offer. “I’m… an empath. Maybe… an intentional encounter with my ability can make yours whole again.”

Peter looks down at the counter. He’s silent for a while, and Odessa can feel the singular emotion driving his silence.


“I don’t… know if I want that.” Peter admits after a bit of soul-searching. “I—I could barely control it at the best of times. I don’t know. I…” He sighs, loudly. “Let’s say it does work. I—I’d need to think that over. I never wanted power. I just—I just wanted peace.”

“You haven’t felt peaceful since I stepped up to the curb,” Odessa chides, but not sans sympathy. “It’s your decision. This isn’t a one-time offer. If you decide you’d like to even just… spend time together, talking about what it feels like…” There’s a shy smile, but without any of that girlishness that he might remember from her. She’s backing off from that curiosity of hers that’s always bordered on a hunger on its own.

There’s no shying away either when she confronts her memories of the dichotomy of the two different versions of Peter she’d known when he was this one that remembers her as the pretty golden bird trapped in a cage. One without enough sense yet to fly away.

“I don’t know if you remember the schism you experienced when you picked up the ability to clone yourself, but I like to think that because I saw both…” There’s a pause as Odessa tries to come up with an adequate description before she shakes her head slightly. “For lack of a better word, I saw both sides of you. I’ve seen the one whose heart bleeds for others and just wants to help.”

Taking in a steadying breath, Odessa doesn’t try to soften the blow by making any kind of assertion that the actions she’s describing were taken by someone who looked like, but wasn’t Peter Petrelli. He was, just… one who had so much of his balance stripped away. They both did, or it wouldn’t be balance.

It’s a brief series of rapid blinks she forces on herself that keeps her from staring off some distance past him and letting the fear of the moment she’s about to describe grip at her throat, as though it were happening to her all over again. “And I’ve seen the one who just wanted to gather that power. You tried to take my ability without knowing what it really was or how it could work. But it was like trying to hold water in your fists. You’d still have a shallow amount in your palms, just enough to attempt some application, but not enough to know the larger purpose. So…”

Despite the fact that she made a promise to herself that she wouldn’t go back there in this conversation, it’s cold stone Odessa feels at her back. Darkness at the edges of her vision. The flap of wings and the restless and bloodthirsty cawing of carrion crows eager for the scraps of her their master would soon throw to them. He’d let them have a taste of her already, after all. It takes effort not to reach to touch a scar that isn’t there any longer.

“You tried to dig into my mind, but the Company trained me for years how to keep someone out of it — as if all that time spent studying the technique was to lead me specifically to that moment — and you tried so hard.” In her memory, red hot tears of anger spill down her cheeks, blood mixed with saliva tastes like copper on her tongue and all she wants to do is spit it into his face. He warns her one last time to show him how to use her ability — whatever her ability truly was — or…

The pathetic whimper she gave when his fingers first delicately brushed her hair aside, only to skip their way across her forehead still fills her with shame. I might be compelled to see what he sees, he’d told her so sweetly, too close, lips too near her ear. A girl who went straight to dissociation at any touch beyond the professional, whose mind immediately shut down at the notion of intimacy, had experienced the most terrible version of both. He had broken her, but in the way that resulted in a snap.

God, what fucking artistry on his part. The admiration of it brings her back to the moment, to warmer thoughts.

To being startled at herself for finding a sick kind of enjoyment in what was one of the most terrifying and traumatic moments of her life.

“But you couldn’t break in,” Odessa sums up her thoughts kindly, leaving the bloody details to herself. “But the you I had come to know… You…” she makes sure she’s looking squarely at Peter again to make it clear that he, the Peter Petrelli in front of her, impossible man that he is, is the one to whom she’s referring.

“You would’ve picked it up in a heartbeat. Because you would have asked for it. You would have asked me to show you how to use it well and responsibly.” There’s a smile for him in which she hopes he can find some encouragement. “I’ll get the tea,” she offers softly, allowing for the comforting illusion of privacy to mull his thoughts and feelings over while she sets about squeezing out the bags before discarding them.

Peter hadn’t even noticed the water had come to a boil, it isn’t until Odessa moves that he stirs back to life. It’s hard to tell if he heard everything she said, or if he’d just been so engrossed in listening that he’d tuned everything else out. But when he twists on the stool to look over at her, his follow-up question feels like a non-sequitur.

“Why’d you, uh…” Peter waves a hand in front of his face. “You in hiding too?” Apparently he missed the publicized trial.

“I, ah… More or less. I’m on the radars I need to be on.” She accepts it as a given that he doesn’t know about her situation, doesn’t feel the need to elucidate him. He’ll find out later and be mad with her, or he won’t. Odessa figures that if anyone can find empathy for her having been manipulated, for having hurt people even after she stopped wanting to, it will be Peter Petrelli.

“I’m still surprised you managed to recognize me. With the new look, the new ability… You going to tell me my soul is the same or something?” She laughs, but it’s a half-hearted thing. She goes on to explain herself further. “I’m trying to build a better life for myself. I finally have a home, financial stability, a job where I’m doing good in the world, another one that fulfils me creatively… I have someone who loves me for who I am — he’s going to marry me next month.”

Odessa blushes, partly self-consciously and partly because just having said that out loud makes her giddy in unexpected ways. “I have a dog,” she laughs softly. One of the mugs of tea is set in front of Peter. “It’s still very hot,” she warns him in a gentle voice, briefly touching his arm to make sure she has his attention, because she suspects she’s lost it again somewhere in there.

When Odessa stumbles over herself and asks questions and talks, when she fills the air with the sound of her own voice it gives Peter the opportunity to blend into that background conversation. He smiles, glancing to the hand at his arm, then the tea.

“I’m glad you found somebody,” is the conversational thread Peter chooses to latch on to. Not identity or dogs. But then he’s quiet again, looking down into the surface of his mug. “Did you come here for Gillian, or Jolene?” He asks without looking up from his wobbling reflection in the tea. The question feels as important as the answer.

Just that simple sentiment of felicitation is enough to bring Odessa to still. The words, which she always seems so keen to let tumble from her lips, seem uncertain of what to do with themselves for once. She smiles, too. At the hand on his arm. Her tea.

She’d like to slip into the comforting lie of the moment. To just be two very old friends catching up over tea. Her heart twists and she feels tears pricking at the corners of her eyes, trying to well up there to spill out. Odessa blinks them away. There’s something very wrong with Peter, and she can’t just ignore it. It isn’t fair and it isn’t kind.

It probably isn’t safe.

“Jacelyn,” Odessa reminds him gently. “My niece? The girl Gillian adopted.” Her hand stays where it is, like maybe if she feels the shift of him under her to go along with the shift of his emotions, she’ll know something he possibly doesn’t realize himself. “But… Gillian too, since I wanted to see if Jac can come out and play.” The tone is kept lighthearted. If she doesn’t let on, he doesn’t have to either.

But god, how badly she wants to fix him. What happened to Peter Petrelli over, and over, and over isn’t fair. Just once, she’d like to be able to protect him from the world.

Ah,” Peter says with a hint of surprise. “Jac’s been gone more often than she’s around. I… sometimes I forget she still lives here. She’s been going through a lot, but I know she doesn’t really—our relationship is a little awkward. I give her space, mostly.”

Peter keeps his attention focused down at his tea. “She’s taking courses at Brooklyn College, sometimes she stays late but… I doubt that’s where she is now. Might be with Lance—her friend? I don’t know if they’re dating, but he’s nice. He lives with a few friends in a converted fire station uptown. I could give you the address if it’s an emergency?”

“I know the place,” Odessa assures with a small smile. “And for what it’s worth, I don’t think they’re dating. I think she’d tell me.” Wouldn’t she? An incredulous little laugh escapes her.

How domestic this is. “Are you happy, Peter? Here with Gillian and Jolene? Do you think you’ll ever go back out there to try and… I don’t know what we want to call it anymore. Fight the good fight?” The tea is brought up for a sip, her brows lifting briefly.

“I did.” Peter says with a gesture to himself. “I think I was forcibly retired, too.” His smile hasn’t changed, a hopeless and lopsided thing, forever a little clueless. “Look, there’s more good I can do here in the city, with…” He hesitates, looking down at his coffee, “with family, than I can out there.”

Peter looks to the window in the kitchen, then back to Odessa. “My fighting the good fight got a lot of people hurt over the years, because I let people lead me around by the nose. Tell me what was best for me. What I should be doing.” He picks up the mug by the handle, still smiling. “This is a choice I made on my own. For myself. And for the first time… it feels like the right choice.”

Suddenly, Odessa’s throat is too tight and the pricking of tears becomes too insistent to ignore. One slides down her cheek and she sets her mug aside to hastily wipe it away. “Sometimes it’s like we’ve been on the opposite sides of the looking glass. Both of us just trying to do something good, but the face of the mirror twists it all wrong. Gets it all backward.”

Sniffling quietly, she smiles, even if it’s a tremulous thing that doesn’t want to stick. “I know you barely remember me, but I’ve seen you in so many different lives now. You’ve been my enemy, you’ve been my friend, you’ve been… You’ve just been. And I never thought I’d see you again.” Odessa takes a second to breathe, her eyes closing tightly, expelling two more fat tears to roll down her cheeks. They’re left unhindered this time.

“I’m so— I’ve never had… good choices to make. Not ones I live long after making, anyway. But this? What you’ve got?” Odessa nods her head quickly. “This is a great choice. I’m… I’m really happy for you.”

“I guess that’s the funny thing about good choices,” Peter says as he continues to look down into the steaming surface of his tea. “You don’t know the good ones right away. But everybody knows when they’re going to do something bad. It’s just that the hardest part?” He looks up at Odessa. “Is choosing to not.”

“Yeah…” Odessa feels a little chastised, and she probably should. “So often, I thought I was doing good for others. I listened to false promises and had my head filled with false hopes and I wanted so badly to be a force of good that I didn’t stop to… To understand the world around me. I know I’m not the only one who got duped by the Company.” And on that one, she’s willing to extend herself some grace. “But— No… No, I let my pain and my anger dictate how I acted.”

That blonde head tilts curiously to examine Peter, like she could read his past in the lines of his face and the ripples of calm emotion he puts off. There’s a peace there, right now, that she doesn’t think she’ll ever know. “You always seemed above that.” Most of the time. Wiping her face with one hand, she nudges his shoulder gently with her own. “I admired that about you. I wanted to emulate it in the only ways I understood how.”

By now, the alarm bells in her head have been relegated to something as easily unnoticed as the wallpaper. It’s just there. It’s always been there. Why note it now?

The hand on Peter’s forearm slides lower until the tips of her fingers brush over the back of his hand. To get his attention or to better form a connection with him, she isn’t sure. Something inside just spurs her, and she acts. “Peter? I’d like if we could keep seeing each other. Maybe we can pick a book to read. So we can have new things to talk about, and not just the old times to bind us.”

Only then does Peter look up from his tea. His expression is hard to read, but his emotions aren’t; Fear, confusion, worry.

“I don’t think we should,” isn’t the answer Odessa wanted to hear. Peter glances past her to the doorway out of the kitchen, then back again. “You should try looking for Jac at school tomorrow, or maybe the ferry out to Governor’s Island, she’s interning with SESA again.”

“Peter, what the hell is wrong? Why are you afraid of me? Why are you confused that I’d want to— We were friends.” It hurts. Odessa withdraws and wraps both hands around her tea, wearing her emotions on her sleeve.

Don’t.” Peter says with a familiar heat in his voice, brows knitted together. He starts to slide off his stool and forgets for a moment that his legs are weak. They buckle but he catches himself on the counter and in doing so knocks his teacup to the floor. It shatters, spilling tea everywhere.

“Just—just go, Odessa.” Peter hisses, angrily grabbing his crutch. “And stop trying to read me and—” Fear turns to frustration, frustration turns to anger. “Please. Just go.”

The shattering of the tea mug brings Odessa to jerk back with a start and a sharp gasp. “I— I’m not trying,” she insists, trying to clarify. Exonerate herself. “I can’t—” It doesn’t matter how or if she explains. He’s done.

Odessa slides off the stool she was occupying and carefully backs away first before she starts to skirt the spilled tea. “I’m sorry, Peter. Whatever it is… I’m sorry.” She thought things had been going well, but maybe this is just another example of how she’ll never escape her past. The person she used to be will continue to ruin the chances of the person she is now to move forward and form the sorts of meaningful connections she craves.

Closing her eyes, she lets out a heavy breath as she retrieves her coat and pulls it on. “I hope you continue to do well, Peter. After everything, you deserve it.” As she walks for the door, she stops, catching sight of herself in the mirror in her periphery and almost jumping. The pad of her finger pats at the skin under her eyes briefly to fix up the smudged make-up before she moves to turn and reach for the door to let herself out.

Peter doesn’t say anything as she retreats. She lets her apology hang both heard but unacknowledged. The last thing Odessa senses as she hurries out the door is relief, and then… suspicion.

“I’d help you clean that up, if I could.” A voice says from over his shoulder.

Peter turns a dark-eyed look at the man standing in the kitchen, white brows raised with his shoulders in a what can you do shrug. Walter Renautas’ expression slowly slides into a smile, but Peter does not seem amused.

“Who are you?” Peter asks, looking Walter up and down. “Why’re you haunting me? Isn’t it a little early for a Christmas Carol?

Walter takes an immaterial step through the island and comes up to Peter’s side. “I just need a moment of your time,” he says in a hushed tone of voice.

“For a walk down memory lane.”

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