When The Dead Are Dead


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Scene Title When the Dead Are Dead
Synopsis Seeking out a survivor of Messiah for aid in surviving the coming storm, Peter Petrelli instead discovers a haunting application of the Russian's ability…
Date November 8, 2010

The Rookery

The bar called Digg's hangs off the Rookery's coastline like a canker-sore. It's a crumbling dive bar out on the wharves, sucking in the low-tide stink of early morning air. The chill keeps the smell down, even if the noise of gulls isn't dissuaded by the cold. This place wasn't always a bar, the fire-scorched sign out front, only half visible now and with an apostrophe and 's' added to the 'Digg' once read Diggetto's. A tiny seaside Italian eatery has come a long way in four years.

No which way about it good.

Fatigue draws dark circles beneath Peter Petrelli's eyes as he pushes open the door to the restaurant-come-bar in the middle of the morning. Sunlight makes alcoholics scatter like cockroaches to a light, in so much as they squint and grumble disaffectedly at any rate. The bar isn't very busy, not at this hour, though the television showing morning memorial coverage of the four year anniverssary of the Midtown explosion.

Casting a look up to the television, Peter's lips downturn into a frown just as the door swings shut, the countenance of Sylar's face on the screen along with images of the city ablaze and America Remembers making his stomach turn.

As much as the television is a distraction, Peter had come here looking for someone. His clothing is still dirtied from the night before, dark denim pantsa and jacket hiding bloodstains in the dimly lit bar. Information he'd managed to pry from Melissa said this was one place she knew Sasha Kozlow frequented.

It's unfortunate coincidence that brings he and Peter closer together today, providence that inspired the meeting.

He isn't a hard man to find if you know where to look.

Fortunately, Melissa does, and Peter isn't disappointed when he steps into the bar. Seated at the table directly beneath the television, Sasha Kozlow picks at a sloppily put-together plate of fish and chips spread out on top of an oil-sodden newspaper several weeks old while nursing a bottle of beer with the label peeled clean off. He's looking neither better nor worse since the last time Peter saw him, but exhaustion is one thing that the two men have in common.

He squeezes a bottle of vinegar onto the potato wedges in front of him, and is rewarded with a low squelching sound and a torrent of liquid that spatters across his plate, the newspaper, and leaves dark smudges where it comes into contact with the ink. There's ketchup at the table, too, but he doesn't seem particularly interested in it.

What kind of Italian eatery serves fish and chips, anyway?

Booted footsteps clunk up behind where Sasha is seated at his table, trying to enjoy something of an odd cultural juxtaposition to his breakfast. The smell of perspiration is stronger in the air than blood when Peter approaches from behind, but both are there, one more cannily masking the other.

"Hey," is a softer greeting than most people who sneak up on Sasha give, especially once Peter Petrelli's slim frame is viewed in the Russian's periphery, brows furrowed and dark eyes downcast at his meal. The vinegar is only slightly more pungent than Peter himself is. "Thought you might've gone up in the smoke or gotten rounded up by DHS after the raid…"

What sounds like concern might have some legitimacy, but overall Peter's demeanor is more business than pleasure. He looks like he hasn't slept, but that at least is par for course.

"The same I can say for you," Sasha returns, voice slurry and a little bit thick. It's not even seven o'clock and he's already drunk.

Maybe he hopes that if he eventually passes out on the floor in a pool of his own vomit and urine, fate will turn up its nose, skip over him and pretend he never had a vision at all. It's a thought that has him snorting when it occurs to him, then shoving a potato wedge into his mouth past grimy lips and teeth with reckless abandon. He washes it down with a swig of beer, wipes off his beard with his sleeve. "How is Melissa?"

"Bad," is an easier answer than the more complicated one about his own well-being and how he came to be that way. "She's had a rough couple of days, I figure it's only going to get worse once the worst of this comes," and that much has Peter looking up to the television screen, then down to Sasha. "Messiah's… I don't even know. We did something for the dead at dawn, but we've got a lot of injured and I can't keep them holed up in Midtown all day. Now when…"

Peter strains a sigh out through his clenched teeth, lifting a hand up to rub at the back of his neck. "I need to borrow your ability… There's going to be a lot of wounded, come when this all starts up. The best I can do is hope to try and mitigate damage that I can." He's counting on his combination of regeneration and Sasha's gift to save lives.

Peter is unfortunately not aware of how cruel fate will actually prove to be.

"You should get out of the city," Peter offers, his worry more earnest, "just pick a direction and go. It's going to be hell on Earth here in a few hours if nothing changed."

The word mitigate gives Sasha pause, not because he abruptly understands Peter's meaning, but because he doesn't understand at all. It takes him a few additional moments to make the approximate translation, and when he does the corner of his mouth hooks up around a lazily wolfish smile.

He sets down his bottle of beer on the coaster provided — a damp, circular thing made of cork with worn edges and dried glue where a decorative sticker used to be. "There is going to be a triage center here on the island," he tells Peter. "This, I see. Bring them if it is too much for you — but a warning, Pyotr.

"It is about my ability."

Things Peter Petrelli could have been told months ago.

"Wh— " Both of Peter's brows furrow, brown eyes squared on Sasha with nervous uncertainty. All thought of the triage center can go to the wayside for now, though it at the very least is a destination for Peter to end his pilgrimmage — as it were — on, if nothing else than to ease the suffering of those who are too far yet gone.

"What is it?" Peter's voice is tight with anxiety as he asks the rhetorical question. What could he have possibly not noticed already?

"When the dead are dead," Sasha says, "so they are meant to stay."

He leans forward, resting an elbow on the edge of the table, and uses his thumbnail to pick a piece of flaking fish from between his faintly yellowed teeth. He flicks it away off to the side. "Maybe you are tempted to change things. Return the people you care about to living, only living is not living at all after you have stopped."

Maybe you are tempted to change things.

Peter's heart skips a beat, his eyes falter away from Sasha's and in one quick sentence the Russian has managed to conversationally disarm Peter like a skilled fencer against his opponent. Sliding his tongue across parched lips, Peter turns away to look up towards the television, then exhales a slow breath through his onse.

"Every day," Peter reluctantly admits, "every… goddamn day, I want t'change things. But I don't think me'n you are talking about the same things, or the same consequences." A worried furrow of Peter's brows crease his forehead where a scar once was, "I appreciate the warning. Hell I… didn't even know it had that kind of capability. It's too tempting, though, sometimes. I think after today… it's better off in your hands after today."

Offering up a hand, as if in parting handshake Peter offers Sasha a wan smile. They both know it's for more than mere formality. "Keep your head down, Sasha. If I make it back out here t'Staten Island… where's that triage center you warned me about going to be?"

Sasha rolls his shoulders into a languid shrug. "In my vision, I am in what you call a parking structure," is the most information he has to offer Peter on that front. "John Logan is with me, and a dying woman. Her daughter— Tasha— she is one of the Ferrymens."

He reaches up and takes Peter's hand, greasy and slick with sweat, and firmly clamps his fingers around the other man's in a shake that's a just a little too tight to be friendly. "If you see her and you are coming, you will bring her, da?"

A light exchanges between the handshake, a side to side blur of yellow-gold illumination like some sort of xerox machine. Peter's handshake is reaffirmed, and his head tips down into a nod. There's just a smile from Peter at that, even if a wary one. Sasha Kozlow is a butcher, a murderer, an assassin and a torturer. The sickening sensation of guilt that he gets just hearing his voice at times is haunting like deja vu.

But even with all that blood on his hands, Peter cannot be the one to judge. At least Sasha is honest about who he is, about who he is presenting himself as in their handshake. When their hands fall away, Peter tips his head forward into a nod of silent agreement and thanks.

Even as he turns to leave, he is proclaiming his status as a liar. On the television above Sasha's table, the face of Gabriel Gray is shown for all to see, along with the fiery remnants of Midtown Manhattan on that day four years ago.

"Be safe," is Peter's one benediction before he makes break to leave.

Leaving the world to continue blaming Sylar for his crime.

Sasha Kozlow may be a murderer, but at least he is true to himself.

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