You Can't Save Him



Scene Title You Can't Save Him
Synopsis Her journey through time comes to an end.
Date November 8, 2011

Screams fill the air amid a roar of gunfire.

The crowds flooding down 8th avenue away from the Midtown Memorial look like a flowing river when viewed from the air. From the top of the New York Times building, the undulating wave of bodies moves at a breakneck pace. It's hard to see from this elevation where individual people trip and fall and are trampled by the fleeing crowd. Gunfire from police further up the street toward Midtown drive the crowd like sheep dogs herding a flock. Overhead, a pair of police helicopters roar toward the memorial site, while others circle distant sections of Manhattan where plumes of smoke rise up from the onset of riots. The largest gout of smoke, though, churns in a black plume from the financial district where a DHS holding facility once stood.

Moving to the edge of the roof, Jolene Chevalier clenched her hands into fists and scans the horizon. There, set against the backdrop of Midtown's jagged skyline, two streaks of light burn through the air. They dive at one another, colliding with cacophonous resonance, then crash through the wall of a crumbling building in a plume of stone dust and fiery debris.



November 8, 2011

3:43 pm

Down on the street the chaos is deafening. Hugging the walls of derelict skyscrapers, Jolene is still in danger of being swept away by the panicked crowd she moves against. Strong legs carry her in sprints and gallops when there's openings in the screaming throngs. Eventually, she breaks through the back of the crowd and stares wide-eyed at the path of trampled bodies writhing in the street behind the head of the panicked mob. "Fuck," she hisses, clenching her hands into fists and breaking into a job that turns into a desperate run as she hurries back toward the Midtown crater.

An explosion and shockwave knocks Jolene off of her feet as a nearby building erupts in a fiery explosion. Huge pieces of concrete and steel rain down from above, crashing onto parked cars and some pulverizing stunned civilians who had been trampled during their flight. Jolene is knocked backwards by the force of the blast, landing flat on her back, staring up at the sky as two darkly dressed figures break into the air. She's close enough to be able to make out Peter's face as he soars overhead, heedless of her presence with Sylar hot on his heels. Her voice is caught in her throat, jaw trembling, hands unsteady. "Dad!" She cries into the sky, but he is moving too fast, and both father and his nemesis are too far away to synchronize with.

"Fuck, fuck!" Jolene screams, pushing herself onto her feet and looking at the fiery debris. A man lays half pinned under a heap of broken rock, screaming for help. Not far away, a parked car is pinned under a steel girder and flames roll across the ground closer to the vehicle. Pedestrians who had taken refuge in the vehicle hammer on the glass, shouting for help. Lene's green eyes flick from one desperate sight to another, and then she jerks her attention toward another resounding thunderclap that booms from behind several tall buildings. Teeth clenched together, Jolene looks back to the people in the rubble.

They're already dead. I wasn't here she tries to justify to herself, in spite of the hypocrisy of the notion given what she's attempting to do here.

Ultimately, she leaves them to their fates, turning her back of those screaming in need. Instead, she runs toward the sound of snapping electricity, explosions, and shouts. Ever since coming back to the past, Jolene had been fraught with indecision over whether or not to reveal herself to her father. But she thought she had plenty of time, years yet where she could look into his eyes and get to know the man her mother loved so much. Where she could see the person she idolized and emulated. But her presence in the past had changed so much, had set things on a course they never should have been on. Lungs burning from smoke, Jolene runs with all her might, sprinting across West 35th Street past rows of stopped cars gridlocked amid the chaos.

As she rounds the corner onto 7th Ave, the construction equipment around Penn Station comes into view. She climbs up onto the hood of a taxi trapped in traffic, bounding onto the roof and then down the back of the vehicle moving atop the parked cars amid confused and angry shouts from drivers desperate to get out of the chaos. From her right, Lene spots Sylar and Peter, grappling one-another as they crash into the red crane looming over Penn Station. The impact spins the crane around like a top, sending its arm crashing into One Penn Plaza, ripping out a row of windows and sending glittering glass raining down onto the street. Jolene breaks into a run when she sees the pair settle atop the glass ceiling of Penn Station, hoping to be able to catch up when she's blindsided by a figure that tackles her off of the roof of a car.


Crashing down onto the street, Jolene has the wind knocked out of her when she feels hands at the collar of her jacket. "No." Is the stern voice slammed into her. She can feel his weight atop her, a knee on her hip, holding her down to the street. Jolene stares up into Hiro Nakamura's eyes, then winds up and punches him square in the jaw, sending him reeling back as he clutches his face.

"Fuck you!" Jolene shouts as she rolls onto one knee and then gets up to stand. She advances on Hiro, swinging out to kick him, but he disappears in the blink of an eye and reappears behind her, grabbing her right wrist and slamming her forward against the side of a stalled city bus. A moment after she impacts, Jolene teleports in place to switch her facing from back to front and headbutts Hiro in the nose. Blood sprays down Hiro's face and he staggers back, quickly finding her boot slammed into his gut. Hiro stumbles away, teeth pink with blood in a snarl, and he disappears a second time. This time when he reappears it's above and beside Jolene, and she's not ready for the downward swept kick that strikes her shoulder and knocks her to her knees.

"Just listen to me!" Hiro shouts, and Jolene swings around and backhands him across the jaw. Stars blossom in Hiro's vision, and Jolene disappears in a rush of displaced air. "Goddamnit!" Hiro shouts, disappearing in the same rush of air and reappearing atop the roof of Penn Station. Glass explodes the moment Hiro appears, emanating from a shockwave that sent both Peter and Sylar into the air as they continue their battle. Jolene, having nearly closed the distance between them, falls backwards and catches herself on a twisted metal girder as she dangles from the skylight.

Legs kicking, Jolene struggles to keep her grip on the skylight frame even as onlookers below shout in shock and horror, while those who had been below the windows as they were blown out stagger away glittering with glass. As Jolene gets an arm around the frame and starts to pull herself up, she feels a hand at her bicep, and then a momentary rush of weightlessness before she is relocated to the rooftop of the Deveaux Building. The moment she sees those cherubs, Jolene lets out a strangled cry and wheels around, swinging a wild punch through tears at Hiro. She misses, not because he'd teleported away.

"Jo-lene." Hiro over emphasizes the syllables of her name. She focuses blurry vision on him, and in the distance she can hear the cacophonous blasts from her father's battle with Sylar. Red faced and flushed with rage, Jolene stares at Hiro with jaw trembling and tears streaming down her face.

"You have to help him," Lene pleads, voice cracking. "He's going to die. You're his— you're his friend." Her emotional plea visibly wounds Hiro, and she can see it in the way his jaw unsteadies for a moment and his attention moves to the battle raging in the skies. Hiro blinks a look away from the fight, and to Peter Petrelli's only child standing in front of him. He swallows, tightly, and approaches her with a gentleness his struggle earlier did not possess. One calloused hand comes up to Lene's cheek, and she can see the tumult in Hiro's eyes, the struggle he is fighting to do exactly as she asks.

But he's been down this road before.

He knows how it ends.

"You die." Hiro says flatly. The implication has Jolene's chest tightening, heart racing. She had never once considered that she was absolutely no match for Sylar, even with her father's help. The certainty of Hiro's words don't feel cautionary, but lived-in. She knows the truth of time travelers' warnings. She'd lived them.

"You saved your father," Hiro admits with a weary smile, shaking his head. "But you died." Dark eyes look away, and Hiro looks back to Jolene with a gentle brush of his knuckles along her jawline. "Your father asked me for one thing. To save you." Shoulders buckling, Jolene starts to sob as her jaw unsteadies and trembling lips give way to strangled noises of sorrow. "You can't save him, I've tried to find a way."

"No," Jolene whines, pleads; she wasn't ready to say goodbye to him. She wouldn't even get that chance. "Please, H-Hiro, you— he can— I need his help. I don't know what to do." The moment in time she'd abandoned, where Heller had cornered her friends and the people that counted on her, was the horrible truth she'd been sprinting from at full speed. A moment yet to come to pass, and one that was getting closer by the minute.

Hiro lowers his hand, looking past Jolene to the battle raging in the sky. "You are Peter Petrelli's daughter," he says resolutely, moving that touch to her shoulder. "You're strong enough." He doesn't know the moment in time she'd come from, doesn't know the struggle, but he believes in her as he believes in his old friend. "Find an opportunity," Hiro says, "and seize it." Something in that resonates with Jolene, and she sucks in a sharp breath for a moment, then exhales a shuddering sigh.

"But there's a way to save your father," Hiro adds with a sly smile. "To stop all of this without diverging too far." Stepping to Jolene's side, Hiro watches Peter driving Sylar down to a nearby rooftop. "I just need time to find the right moment." He looks back to her, certain of this course of action. "I think Walter is the key, but… I promise. I'll do everything in my power with the time I have left."

Jolene closes her eyes, swallowing audibly. She feels Hiro set a hand on her shoulder again, and when she looks up to him it's with suspicion that this may just be an attempt to coerce her into going back, to letting things fall as they were. She can't be certain, but she also knows that if she died here…


…so would her friends.

"Can you find your way back to where you belong?" Hiro asks with a squeeze of her shoulder. Jolene considers the question and in her moment of hesitation he adds, "Not a minute earlier, not a minute later. Those choices have heavy consequences. You may have already pushed things off of their original path, spun out a consequence that will snowball. Some ripples can spread very far."

"If you get back," Hiro warns, "and it isn't the then you remember, then there's no going back at all." That doesn't set right with Jolene, and though she narrows her eyes, she can see from Hiro's expression he's disinclined to explain more. Not with the city exploding at his back. "Go," Hiro says, "please."

As she closes her eyes, heart aching for the father she is certain she will never know, Jolene thinks back to the moment before her departure, a moment weeks from now, a moment in which her father is presumed dead and the lives of her friends hang in the balance.

Is this how it happened? Dread coils in the back of Jolene’s mind. Is this how it went? She wasn't even born yet. Did we stop anything? The pool of black vapor at Vincent’s feet swirls in frustration, turbulent in the ways air pressure isn't causing.

Jolene breathes in once, as an explosion rocks the horizon.

What would mom do?

Give them what they want, to save the others. Jolene doesn't like the answer.


What would dad do?

Do something stupid and get probably killed. Equally unpalatable.

Breathe in.

What do I do?

Do something stupid to save the others.

Jolene disappears in a rush of displaced air. Hiro exhales a steady sigh, then looks back over his shoulder to the battle raging in the skies over Manhattan. He exhales sharply, then closes his eyes.

And disappears.

Isaac Mendez's Loft

One Week Earlier

Once, the loft belonging to precognitive artist Isaac Mendez was raided by the Department of Homeland Security. For a time, it sat abandoned, traded hands, and eventually — when larger problems drew authorities attention away from a derelict building — became the roost of a man on the other end of the spectrum from a prophet. The loft has become a labyrinth, of sorts, a tangled maze of easels that once held paintings, colored strings dangling with newspaper clippings, personal affects, and Post-It notes of varying colors. In the center of this menagerie is a painting on the floor of a vibrant orange atomic blast tearing apart a city. It is a highlight that expresses the futility of prophecy, the failings of visions, the inertia of time.

With a roar of wind, Hiro Nakamura appears atop the painting, one hand clutching his head and brows furrowed. He slouches, an elbow falling to rest down on the seat of a tall stool. There's a noise in the back of his throat, raw emotion mixed with physical pain. With one hand he wipes under his nose, smearing blood across his upper lip. Shakily, he levers himself up to stand, jaw trembling and eyes closed. "I'm so sorry," he mutters to himself, to the woman he just left behind after tearing her heart out. He's alone, if only for just a moment.

"I'm not sure you are," comes from somewhere else in the apartment.

But that's a story already told.


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