We Are Broken


gillian_icon.gif peter7_icon.gif

Scene Title We Are Broken
Synopsis Even if the scars have faded, some wounds never seem to disappear. Gillian finally wakes up after surgery with Peter at her bedside.
Date January 18, 2010

McMurdo Station

She can still hear the blaring warning of the helicopter's avionics going mad.

She can hear Elisabeth screaming.

She can hear her heartbeat in her ears.

The world didn't end.

Did it?

"…take care of it from here, okay?

She knows that voice.

"…anything happens, I'll let you know…"


Darkness does not pull away to reveal Antarctica, not in the way Gillian Childs would have expected it to at least. When her eyes open blearily, it is light that she's staring up at, throat tright and lips dry, eyes unable tof ocus on anything other than the glow of fluorescent bulbs shining too clean and too sharp for first waking eyes to handle. When she squints reflexively against the brightness, her unexpectedly warm hands feel lopsided, one of them having pressure on it.

She's in a bed, blankets tucked around her body, one hand hanging out over the bedside. Tubes go into her arms, an IV stand is near the bed, bandages over the fingers of her other hand. When her head turns, she sees him sitting there at her bedside, both of his bare hands holding hers. Peter Petrelli does not look like she remembers, not in any incarnation she's ever known at leash. Blue eyes are brown now, and the scar he has always worn around her has disappeared. Gone forever is that sliced mark across his brow and down his cheek, now just an ordinary looking man— like anyone else.

"You feeling alright?" He asks her in a quiet tone of voice, squeezing her hand gently. This isn't the first time she's woken up in Antarctica, but this is the first time he'd stayed by her bedside when she did.

It's an unexpected turn of events.

In some ways, it seems like only a moment passed, in others it feels like a lifetime. Gillian blinks a few times at what she sees, as it processes. Brown eyes— no scar— Is she hallucinating? She'd thought she might have been on the helicopter, but she didn't know if it had been the pain clouding her mind, or…

Her hands twitch, and her eyes slide down enough to see if what she feels is real.

"You— you're touching me. And it doesn't hurt…" As soon as she says that, she tries to sit up a little, and one of her hands tightens a little too much. "Ow— fuck…" It hurts. Just not because he's touching her.

Settling back, she bites back more curses as tears want to form. Some pain she could handle, like tattoos, but others… The pain killers can only do so much, and they probably don't want to risk overdosing her entirely.

Once she blinks a few times, she looks back at him again. A face she remembers well…. but one she's never seen before at the same time. "What happened to your face?" That didn't quite come out right.

Peter laughs, smile creeping up in lopsided quality across his lips, brows raised. "Well…" he offers with a rub of one hand across his chin, "you can probably blame my parents for it, but I was always kind've partial to it." His smile turns into a grimace, hand returning to Gillian's with a squeeze. "I regenerated," Peter offers in a way that almost makes him seem more like Doctor Who than a Petrelli, with how differently his attitude seems to be played off as.

"Kazimir's gone, for good." Dark brows furrow, and Peter gives a squeeze of Gillian's hand. "He sacrificed himself to stop Wagner, we worked together. I… thought I was going to die, actually." Brown eyes angle to the side, away from Gillian. "But Cardinal… he had a syringe of the Formula. I— I don't know how but he did, and it worked." Swallowing tensely, Peter looks up to Gillian and offers her a warm smile. "I got my old ability back." Then, there's something of an awkward grimace. "Sort of."

Looking down to Gillian's hand, Peter brushes his thumb across the back of it. "I'm borrowing Rene's power right now. They had him watching over you, in case your ability was still…" there's a shake of his head, "everyone figured it was better if you were negated for the time being, and no one has any of the drug around. So— I took over for him." Then, a question is asked that seems almost too unreal. "You feeling okay?"

It's really Peter.

If anything, the way he talks and the things he says tug on past memories. "You're more like how you were… the last time we were in Antarctica. And a little after," Gillian says huskily, voice rasped slightly from all the things she's gone through, making the worlds sound difficult. In fact she's hesitating to recall the time when he stopped being like that. It hadn't been long, but it started before his father got hands on him— before Kazimir.

"I— I didn't even notice I couldn't feel my ability…" There's a lot she's having a hard time noticing. Like everything that happened. Peter's alive, when Kazimir said he was gone. Alive, with brown eyes— no scar— a mimicing ability. She got shot, and someone said something on the helicopter that…

Gray's dead.

One of her hands squeezes tighter to his, as if afraid he might pull away again. She could barely look at him. And unless he pulls another miracle out of his ass… Why was Elisabeth screaming? Why didn't the world end?

She's crying before she even realizes it, and not just because it hurts when she moves. Or breathes too deep. The loose hand, the one with a bandage around the palm, pulls away to cover her face. The IV tubes move a it with her. "Fuck— I've wanted to talk to you for— I don't even know how fucking long— and…"

The hand slips a bit, so she can look at him. "You're really here? The whole world didn't blow up?"

"For now…" Peter offers ambiguously, not really explaining what he means by that. "Francois and Richard didn't make it…" there's a lump in his throat when he says their names. "Cardinal… he did something to the bomb, turned it to shadow. He saved us all." Dark brows crease together, and Peter's hand squeezes Gillian's just a bit tighter. "Gabriel didn't make it out either. Danko… Danko killed him." Biting down on his lower lip, Peter's dark eyes sweep to the floor, then drift back up to Gillian awkwardly.

Nodding his head once, he offers her something of an understanding expression. "I'm sorry." It's all he really can say to her about all of that. "Gabriel… everyone, they died heroes." Maybe in a way, that's what Sylar always wanted; to be a hero. Now, that's how the people who know how the end happened will remember him.

"Cardinal?" Gillian chokes out, even more shocked by that than the mention of Gabriel. Eileen had been holding her hand, that's coming back now— she'd told her what happened, in little detail. But it absorbed, she remembers it. That's what might have started the tears, but… They died heroes, but… She didn't really know Francois, but…

"No— it's— it's okay. You don't have to apologize for it. I'm just… fuck. I don't even know what to think right now. I thought I was going to die for a while there too. I also thought I fucking killed everyone… and I'm glad I didn't, but…" What if she hadn't gotten shot and lost control? Would Cardinal have had to sacrifice himself? Those kinds of questions are never good to have, so she shakes her head and focuses on him.

"I was told you weren't coming back. By Kazimir. I'm… glad he was wrong at least."

It would seem Gabriel is too difficult a topic to talk about, especially considering who she's talking to.

"We had to lie." Peter offers in a hushed tone of voice to Gillian, "I'm sorry." There he goes apologizing again. "In order to fool Wagner into believing we were Kazimir, everyone had to believe that there was no chance that I was still around. We had to convince everyone that Kazimir was completely in charge. I'm glad we did, because of him having the telepathic abilities he had been siphoning." Offering another squeeze to her hand, Peter leans up out of his chair and uses the back of his free hand tobrush across her forehead, checking for signs of a fever.

There's a relieved smile on his face a moment after, and he settles back down onto the stool at her bedside. "You just got out of surgery," Peter adds in a quiet voice, "doctors had you under for a while. It's been almost a day and a half since we got back here. We're— at the McMurdo station, tha place we were at before we headed out to Amundsen-Scott."

While no fever, her face does heat and redden. We. "Fuck. So you were— fuck." Gillian's eyes close, and this time she's actually covering her mouth with the bandaged palm, as if she feels sick, or as if trying to hide the mouth away. We. So it had been as much him the whole time. It'd been…

"You must think I'm…" Crazy? Stupid? A complete child who doesn't deserve to be in any position of importance? Yes, all of that. It's never how she wanted anyone to see her, but it's not like… "That mind wipe guy can't just erase your memory so I don't look like a complete ass, can't he?" Cause it'd be helpful right now. "I feel like I should apologize." The telepath thing she understands, she felt the tickle in her mind. She heard what Wagner said. She saw what happened to their illusions, even if she didn't really want to watch it.

"I think you're young…" Peter offers with a faint smile. "I think you've been through a lot, and most people would've snapped." His lips faintly rise into a nervous smile, taking her hand in his again. "I think you're a good friend… but…" Peter shakes his head slowly, brown eyes lifting up to Gillian. "This isn't that future, no matter how much either of us might want it to be. I don't think we would have ever worked out anyway. It just…" he hesitates for a moment, eyes down to their hands, "I don't think either of us are ready to be with anyone else, not until we start becoming happier with who we are." Then, with a smirk, Peter adds, "Or— you know— figure out who we are."

After a moment of silence persists, Peter casts his eyes to the door of the hospital room. "Our criminal records are all cleared," he admits quietly, "we can start fresh. Start over." Dark brows furrow at the notion. "I think… I think I'm done with all this fighting. I think it's time I try and just… get on with my life."

But. The pain in her hand and stomach gets a new friend. A pain in her throat, as it tightens, spilling down into her chest. Gillian doesn't look at him for a time, biting back more tears and hating them for showing up at all. What she wants to say at first doesn't come, because of the tension, and also because it takes time to feel safe to say them. Even then, her voice cracks. "I didn't think you knew about… that." The future. Part of her wished she never had known. She'd wanted to forget it.

They never would have worked out anyway.

Not ready. Not until she's happier with who she is. It's not the first time she's heard it, and in some ways it pisses her off.

Suddenly the pain seems worse, and she lets go of his hand, pulling away from his grip and glaring through teary eyes. "Why the fuck does everyone have to say that. How the hell am I supposed to be happier with things when everything I fucking want keeps disappearing. Or— fuck." She starts to move as if to sit up, like she might try to just jump out of bed and storm out. But that's unlikely to happen, due to many things…

Peter doesn't really have anything to say to that, save for a frown that silently expresses disappointment, but in what isn't clear. "I heard…" Peter explains quietly about the future, "I think there's a lot more important things in both our lives right now, than focusing on someone else. I… I haven't been able to just… to live in a long time, haven't been able to be free or be myself. It's been three years since the bomb, and I think I'm finally ready to stop feeling sorry for myself, and start moving on, start making life better for people instead of just— " Peter shakes his head, silently.

"I thought about leaving." His admittance to that is a bit awkward. "Maybe running off to Vegas or something, just disappearing." A wry smile crosses his lips. "But I think there's enough to do back in New York. I've lived there all my life, I think it's about time I start giving bac to the city, helping people out the way I was meant to." Gillian's hand is offered another squeeze, as if to wordlessly imply lay down goddamnit. "You've got a whole new life ahead of you too… I know I'm not going to let Richard's sacrifice go to waste."

In some ways it feels like being broken up with— by someone that she'd never been with in the first place. Gillian drops back down onto the bed rather suddenly, letting out a pained breath that escapes a tight jaw. She stays silent for a time, but let's him keep her hand, even if her own fingers are loosened. Her pulse has sped up, growing louder in her ears, until she finally opens her eyes again. His choices, everything he's saying— they're exactly what she'd been wanting to punch into him when the first met. When he let himself be locked up.

Long before it changed.

The reasons it changed may not have even been real.

"Sorry," she finally mutters, against the renewed pain as well as the tension. Trying to move was a bad idea. Even if she failed. "You want to try to help people… and you might actually be able to." What's she going to do, help them find a book? "Are you— are you going to go back to nursing?" It's almost as if she's trying to ignore that her tantrum ever happened.

Peter's eyes stay locked on Gillian for a while, in silent observation as he keeps her hand held and power negated. "No," he answers with considerable affirmation. "No I can't go back to hospice work, I've seen enough people pass away for a lifetime. I don't think I could handle it any longer, not after everything I've been through." But somewhere in Peter's answer, is a light of something else. "I'm going to try working trauma," he offers as an alternative, "ambulance work, first responders, that sort've thing. I figure it's where I can get the most hands on work done, and where my power can be the most useful."

Another squeeze is given to Gillian's hand, reassuring that he's still there, even if it's clearly not in the capacity she'd hoped. "Not right away, though. There's a lot of things that I need to think about… My family, the people I've made a connection with here. I think I just need to take some time off, become myself again. I've been trapped with Kazimir Volken for half a year. It's… kind of hard being spiritually alone now. I sort've need to find myself."

"Trauma'd probably be better for you, yeah," Gillian admits softly, though there's a kind of distance in her voice, as if she's thinking about other things while she talks. Part of her really understands, but on the heels of everything else that's going on… "I think I'll— uh— try to get a job at a library again. Maybe take a few classes. I don't know." She never did. Her voice still seems absent, far off. The pain probably isn't helping too much.

Biting back another couple of words, she finally looks back at him for an extended time again, keeping her eyes there. A determined tone comes to her voice, the kind that always seems to challange what people have said. "Why don't you think we'd ever work?"

It's hard to stay smiling when Gillian asks that question, and for all his want to, Peter can't. Brows furrowed and lips creeping towards a more neutral expression, he gives her hand another squeeze, thumb rubbing across the back of her wrist gently. At first, he doesn't have an explanation for her, not one that would satisfy her desire to understand. But what he does come up with, is perhaps something more colorful, and more open to interpretation. "Because, even without our scars… we're damaged." His smile comes back, this time more bittersweet than earnest.

"And we leave people broken behind us."

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