Til The End Of Forever


f_gillian_icon.gif f_peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Til The End Of Forever
Synopsis The last day of never
And through all of your life in this world
Promise me you'll always remember
My love will follow you anywhere
Til The end of forever,
I promise I'll always be there
Date May 5, 2019

Petrelli Household

It doesn't have to be late for the house to be unusually quiet. Lights in the hallway remain on for easy navigation, and the main foyer has a lamp lit up. The only noise in the house would be upstairs, a soft whisper of pages turning, with the light breathing of a five year old sound asleep nearby. Gillian stopped reading outloud a while ago, but the pages continued to flip. All of this has happened before and will happen again. The famous opening line of Peter Pan. But will it really happen again? And will things ever be the same when they happen again? These are questions she can't answer as she closes the book and reaches to turn off the lamp near the bed.

A nightlight still glows near the floor, warding off darkness, evil pirates, boogiemen and monsters under the bed all—

Quiet steps carry her to the ajar door, which she sneaks outside and pushes most of the way shut with one hand, the book clasped against her chest as she stands in the hall looking into the room.

There's a clink and a clatter downstairs, a moving of glasses followed by an audible plunk of a stopper being removed. Gillian doesn't hear the door open, just the sound of footsteps and someone making themselves a drink at the minibar. It's all too coincidental to be anything other than Peter finally coming home. He's been like a ghost the last few days, avoiding Gillian whenever possible, but sneaking in time to spend with Nate, even Kayla at his office hardly knows where he's been or what he's been up to.

But at least right now she knows he's trying to get himself drunk, for all the good that will do.

The sound of the minibar draws eyes away from the sleeping boy in bed. Gillian's continued about her day as much as possible, but their bed has been, for the most part, empty. The few times he'd come in to spot her, she'd usually been asleep in one of the chairs. Either a chair near the front door as if trying to catch him coming home— not that he ever uses the door— or the chair next to their son's bed. More than a few nights she even slept with their son, the comfort of a small hand against hers, and the sound of someone breathing.

Quiet steps of bare feet take her downstairs, the book still clasped tightly against her until she gets close enough to the bar that she can speak up, "And you yell at me for drinking at night…" she says with a shake of her head, before she steps further inside. The normally raspy voice grows even more tense and harsh as she adds, "Don't you dare teleport away from me, Peter." The avoidance certainly hasn't gone unnoticed.

Hand on the bottle of Vodka, Peter hangs his head when he hears Gillian's voice. Eyes close slowly, and from the worn look of his clothing, he hasn't changed what he's been wearing since the last time she saw him. "I— " There's a weak, weary sound to his voice, "I'm not going anywhere…" Whatever desire he had to try and intoxicate himself fades as he settles down the bottle, dropping his glass on the countertop with a loud clunk, one hand shadowing his eyes as he takes a few staggering steps away from the bar.

"We— " His words come out a bit tired sounding, like how he looks, "Nnhh…" all he does is groan, then shake his head, looking away from her. He's not telling her something, and he's not even trying to hide it now.

All this has happened before… Gillian sets the book down on a nearby countertop before she steps closer, floor cold against her bare feet. "Christ, Peter— you look like…" Like he did before, years ago. Close enough, at least. The year after the bombing, when people would say that the death of a few saved the world. The death of a few destroyed him, in ways most people probably never saw.

While he avoids her eyes, she steps forward and reaches up, touching his face with fingertips. "You haven't changed." The words have multiple meanings, even as her hand drops down to his worn clothes, "And I'm willing to be you haven't slept much, if at all. Peter— I don't know what you're doing, or— you can't do everything by yourself. And…" Such arguments had been had before, probably always will happen.

But as she looks up at him pain enters her eyes, whether he looks at her or not, and it creeps into her voice too, "Why haven't you been here?" Since he came back, since before that…

There's an anxious swallow at the touch to his face, a look of guilt washing over his features, one that doesn't entirely fade as he turns his face against Gillian's palm. But then, with a disguised look dawning where once contentment would be seen, Peter pulls his face away and takes a step back, the dark bangs beneath his eyes so evident now. "I— had to ditch regeneration. I— I'm tired, but I needed to take a different power, I— " He had to ditch the what? "I'm— I'm sorry, Gillian. So much is going on right now, I— " he looks towards the stairs, towards the direction of his son's room, then down to the floor.

"We have to talk." It's the tone everyone in a relationship hates to hear, those sounds of nervousness and anxiety, the four words that could spell doom to any happy couple. With those words said, Peter begins slinking towards the sofa, head bowed and eyes closed.

Ditch regeneration. Gillian's lips part as if she's about to speak, trying to figure out exactly what it is her husband would be saying, but none of this makes anything resembling sense to her. The hand drops away from him, even before he moves back to slink off toward the sofa. Some dreaded words there, but she couldn't have said anything differently. "From the looks of things we've needed to talk for a while." A long while.

With the nightrobe and gown wrapped around her, she reaches to pick up the book and carry it with her as she follows after him. Rather than the couch, she chooses to sit on the closest chair, with the book in her lap. Physical distance may be part of the reason, but the chair allows her to face him while he talks. So much that hasn't been said, and the longer she watches him… "What's going on?" Even as she says it, there's a set in her jaw, in the way she holds her shoulders, as if she's perparing for the worst.

"Back… two years ago, during that eclipse we had?" Peter's brows furrow together, "There was an accident, I— I was helping my dad doing research in the Pinehearst labs, we were going over a new version of the formula with the doctors there, and— when the eclipse happened I— I lost control. Everything. Radioactivity, lasers, aerokinesis— it just— " he covers his face with one hand, "My dad had to step in, strip away my powers from me, to stop me from— christ— from doing it all over again."

"The— the doctor's said that the gamma radiation during the solar eclipse might have made my ability go haywire… but— he— after he took my ability, my father gave me an injection of the Formula, to— once the eclipse ended."

Rubbing his hands over his face, Peter slouches down on the sofa, resting his head in his hands. "It didn't come back right. I— Something was wrong. I could— I could only have one ability at a time, and I had to touch someone to mimic it. My— my dad worked with me, tried to help me overcome the obstacle, it— I can only have a handful of abilities at once now, five." Peter closes his eyes tightly, "So— I have to let go of some things to get others. I— I met up with Kent not long after figuring out what happened, mimiced his teleportation."

Peter shakes his head slowly, "I— I didn't want you to worry about me." Licking at his lips, Peter whispers, "Now— now Helena wants me to send her back. My— I think my dad plans on locking them all up— Helena, Alex, Elle— All of them. He— he's been putting together a special team to go back in time, people he's going to send to…"

Trailing off, Peter blows out a sigh and rakes his fingers through his hair. "Helena convinced me to send her back. I— I went and saw her. I— got rid of my regeneration to take her power again, so— it— " His jaw tenses, "So I could keep something from her…"

"Why didn't you— " At first Gillian was listening intently, but the further he goes and the more he says… It isn't til the last words come out that she looks away and stands up, carrying the book with her under arm, clasped against her chest by her elbow. "You've been keeping all of this from me for— for almost two years?" The eclipse had been in the summer— and she vaguely remembers it, however certain things she'd not been privy to, and this would be one of them. It's a huge thing to hide. Hands go up to her face, with moisture already gathering, thinking back to all the times she expected him to have more abilities than any one person should rightfully have, and it turned out he had none of that. Just one. One at a time.

That it happened doesn't bother her so much as… "You hid this from me. You didn't— how could you not tell me? Fuck." There's an exclaimation as she keeps her hands over her face, pacing a few steps away from him. No wonder he'd been gone so much. No wonder he stopped coming home. No wonder he couldn't look her in the eyes.

And he wanted to keep something of hers…

The tears are still in her eyes, streaking down her cheeks as her hand drops away so she can look at him, "Would you have kept this from her?"

"I would've." Peter says in a hushed tone of voice, head tilted to the side and away, brows furrowed. "I— I'm sorry." For a long time, Peter's silent, silent for too long really, and when he finally speaks up again it's in that distant and dismissive tone he uses when he's trying not to think about something that bothers him. "I— I'm going to send them back in time… all of them." Jaw tense, Peter finally looks up to Gillian, redness rimming his glassy eyes, "I— I'm going to send them all home. They— they don't belong here, Gillian. This— my father's wrong. I— I can't just— "

Exhaling a sharp, pained breath, Peter rubs his hands over his face slowly. "The only problem… is that I don't have Hiro's power anymore. My father does." There's a tensing of Peter's jaws, brows furrowing, "I— I'm not going to be able to take it from him either, not since he took the Haitian's ability. I— he's going to try and stop me. I— it's not going to be safe here for you and Nate."

As if he could do this without Gillian, "You… you need to go. Somewhere. A-anywhere." As if there was anywhere that they could hide from Arthur.

Not going to be safe. Gillian shakes her head in disbelief as he continues, trying to rub away the tears with one hand. At least he would have kept all of this from her too. But that doesn't make things any easier— it's still a secret, and one that's been driving a wedge between them for over a year now. The only problem… There's a lot of problems here.

Never just one.

The hand drops down to hold onto the book, the shifting grip perhaps giving the illusion that she may want to fling it at him. "I went to see her after you did," she explains, continuing to watch him. "And I said I would help send them back. I said I would help send her back…" It was something he'd never needed to ask of her, but how they're going to do this now… "I'll send Nate somewhere— " Not that sending him away will do any good if his grandfather wants to track him down. "But I'm not going anywhere, Peter."

Even with the tears fresh on her face and in her eyes, her eyebrows lower, eyes narrowing with determination. "We already know our future is disappearing and if this is all I have left then…" The volume of her voice lessens as it trails off, before she rasps out stubbornly. "I'm not leaving you."

That nearly kills Peter. It's like a knife driven through the middle of his chest, twisted and ripped out, stabbed in again repeatedly. He clenches his jaw tightly, rubbing one hand over his cheek as his eyes fall shut. "I cheated on you," the words come like a gunshot in a crowded room, a blinding flash of clarity and truth in a shadowed cell of so much deception over so many years. "Frequently — I— had a mistress." He exhales a shuddering breath, voice low, hands covering his face as his shoulders lurch forward.

"I kissed Helena on the roof of Cat's apartment… a few days ago." Another gunshot, almost like the Kennedy assassination, but instead it is firing into the heart of this relationship. Peter's fingers curl into his hair, tugging at dark locks as his hands shake. "The latter— I— I meant. The others… the— the women they— " he swallows tightly, "I was punishing myself."

Cheated. The conviction and determination in her eyes might as well have been slapped off her face. Gillian's lips part again, a breath knocked out of her by a blow that isn't even physical. Though she may have suspected such a thing could happen, hearing it is different. And the betrayal of a kiss on the rooftop stings for far more reasons than it having happened. She poured her heart out to Helena, told her things she couldn't tell anyone else, worries she'd never shared…

And the woman had sat beside her and not told her about the kiss. Had even gone as far as to say she was jealous. Jealous of what?

A decade ago, the man dreamed of her. Moments before a death that never found her, where she swung her fist at someone threatening her freedom, and even in defense of someone who must have been her friend in that future that never happened.

That same fist goes swinging at his face now. Only it happens to have a diamond ring on it, one that only half belongs to her. Fitting in this case. It definitely won't soften the blow. Indeed it might make things worse, considering he can't regenerate anymore. On the plus side, it will hurt her quite a bit as well. Faces are painful to punch with bare fists, especially untrained.

"You— god damnit Peter. You didn't… why would you have to punish yourself like that?"

On the floor from a punch is a place Peter hasn't been in a long while. Covering the bleeding spot on his face with one hand where the diamond of the ring slashes open his skin, he lays there on hands and knees, hunched over, droplets of blood staining the cream colored carpet. Working his jaw from side to side, Peter's fingertips feel the spot of torn flesh where the ring slashed him, and he looks up to her not with frustration or anger in his eyes, but rather acceptance. How it is, is how it must be.

"I was punishing… myself for being happy." Dark brows furrow together, and Peter looks away from Gillian, "I couldn't save her." And there it is, once more circling back to Helena, and Peter's inability to truly cope with her death, "I— all the power in the goddamned world," his voice becomes more a growl than a shout, "and— I— what— what good was it?"

Forcing himself up with one hand, Peter finally pulls his hand away from his cheek, looking at the blood on his fingertips. "I— I was punishing myself for being happy with you— for— " his eyes close slowly, "for loving you more than I loved her."

Is he happy?

I wish I knew the answer to that question.

And the answer is given, in a way Gillian could never have imagined. The flash of anger drains from her face, her fingers unclench, even with the pain racing up her arms from her fingers, especially the one with the ring. A ring partially stained with pink from the blow. In some ways, he's down on the ground from a punch to the face. In other ways he's coming up swinging.

Only the swings touch a totally different place, rip at her heart in a completely different way.

For a while we were happy and? now he won't even say he loves me.

Another question answered.

She drops down to her knees, reaching you to touch his face. "Peter… It wasn't your fault. I know you tried to save her— and I know that…" Everything that she had been wanting to say and yell— he got rid of them with a few words, answers to questions she'd been carrying for years. Questions that she certain started to doubt in the last year, when the distance of secrets came between them far more than ever before.

Ignoring the tears in her own eyes (though they're from an entirely different sting) she pushes his hair away out of his face. The wound won't just go away— it might even scar for all she knows, but… "I didn't agree to send her back so I could have you to myself… I wasn't sending her back so she could die, just so I could have you." She'd not intended to tell him this, but mutual confessions all around… "I was sending her back so that— if this is all really ending— if it's already changed— I wanted something that I love in this world— one of the things that matters most to me— I wanted to know it be able to be happy. Somewhere." Her voice breaks, throat tightening.

"That's all I ever wanted and fought for. I wanted you to be happy. And until now I didn't… I didn't know…"

Something between a smile and a grimace crosses Peter's face as he listens to Gillian, listens to the way that she talks, the way she leans down to touch his face even after he's told her the terrible things he's done. Eyes fall shut, words weak and wavering in response to all of this. "I— I don't deserve you…" they come out wavering and swallowed back by the emotion he's trying to keep in between shuddering breaths. The cut on his cheek doesn't even hurt compared to all of this.

"I— I don't deserve any of this— I— " his fingers curl into the carpet as a thin, dribbling line of blood rolls down the side of his face and drops off of his chin, spattering on the back of his right hand. "I'm sorry… I— I'm so sorry." All he can do is swallow back a strangled breath, eyes wrenched shut because to look at Gillian hurt far more than it should. To see the look in her eyes, combining that with hearing the sweetness of her words would strangle him in the guilt and resentment.

The book is finally set aside, so that Gillian can take his face in both of her hands, minding the trail of blood that they'll need to do something about soon, but shaking her head at his guilt. "Stop— just— the only thing you'd have to feel guilty about is if you'd never told me." People rarely deserve those they end up with… but no, that's not right. "Listen to me, Peter…" she takes in a slow breath, fighting back the tears in her eyes so she can smile. "Shit, I wish you would have said something before— but don't think for a second longer that you don't deserve me."

Leaning forward, she presses her forehead against his, eyes closing as she continues to stay close and touch. While shaking, her breath is warm as she exhales so close, whisped sigh playing against his mouth in ghost of a kiss. "I will never understand your never-ending need to punish yourself for everything…" Any other circumstance, same situation and she couldn't have forgiven something like this, but everything changed with a couple words.

"I love you, Peter," she whispers against him, still close as she is. "I'll help you any way I can… anything at all I can do to get them back." Which isn't much, notably, but she's always been willing to toss herself into a fire for those she loves the most. "I just want you to promise me one thing…"

Everything in Peter's expression shows that he doesn't want to accept Gillian's forgiveness, doesn't want to accept that she can still love him after everything he did. Jaw trembling, he listens to her, though his eyes are halfway lidded in some partially sapient expression of disconnection. Swallowing tightly, he bows his head when finally she asks something of him, and it takes a moment to form words that are anything other than just strangled sounds of disapointment and confusion.

Finally, after a moment, he rasps out, "What— could I possibly— what could I ever do for you?" He asks in that tone which implies his inability to make anything right again after all of this, his inability to prevent their relationship from being the lie balanced atop truth that it is.

"If this is the end— if everythings really over… Then I want you to try to give me now until the end of forever." Which if Eve is right, forever won't be that long at all. She can see that he doesn't want to be forgiven, that his incurable need for self-blame will never be completely satisfied… So Gillian pulls back so she can look at his face. "If you need to blame yourself… then be glad you don't have regeneration anymore. This can remind you of what you nearly messed up." Her fingers shift, so her thumb can rub along the blood, touch the skin that must still burn. A diamond cut. "You always liked baring scars… Make that enough."

She said one favor, but, she doesn't stop there, forcing his face to tilt upward in an attempt to make him look her in the eyes.

"But if this isn't the end— and if by some stroke of luck or fate that we don't fuck it up… Then no matter what happens, I want you to be happy as long as you can." If forever is longer than a few days, then maybe that's what matters most. As happy as he can be, as long as he can be. "Even if you're happy with someone else."

Closing his eyes, Peter nods and bites down gently on his lower lip, reaching out one shaking hand towards Gillian's face to brush his fingers across her cheek. In a slow, subtle motion, Peter lets his forehead touch hers, eyes falling shut as his words become not much more than a distant whisper. "Till the end of time," he murmurs, a hesitant smile creeping up on his lips.

Swallowing loudly, Peter opens his eyes and leans back to look at Gillian, watching her for a long time the way one might a transient spectacle of nature, like a meteor shower or the northern lights, something ephemeral that would only be around for a short time. Nodding once more, Peter traces his fingertips down along Gillian's cheek to let his touch rest at her collarbones. "We should— "

Whatever it was Peter was going to say, is abruptly cut off by the sound of knocking on the door to their apartment.

It seems there's no rest, espescially not for Peter.

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