Word Count: 1,658
Characters/Pairings: Mohinder Suresh, Peter Petrelli, Nathan Petrelli, Elle Bishop, Charlie Andrews, Isaac Mendez, (Hiro Nakamura), (Angela Petrelli), (Samuel Sullivan), (Lynette)
Warnings (sexual context, non-con, violence, strong language, characters death, etc) None
Peter witnesses a new ability and prepares for his trip. Elle is already in Texas, admiring an ability.
They probably sounded insane, Mohinder thought ruefully. And yet, just like back home, everyone politely pretended to ignore the crazies talking about superpowers and stoutly refused to make eye contact. They couldn’t be afraid that Mohinder or Peter would attack them in a fit of insanity. Or maybe they did. He sighed. It was hard to tell what people were thinking sometimes.
Though not with Peter. Judging by Peter’s earnest enthusiasm, even talking about something so silly as abilities, Mohinder found it hard to believe the young man could hide or lie about anything. After Nathan's lack of enthusiasm, Mohinder couldn't help but wonder at Peter's continued interest. Peter had called to excuse himself from their meeting the next day, something about a last-minute trip. Mohinder had offered to buy them both tea when Peter returned, only to have Peter call back and say he had some free time. Something about a meeting with his brother not going as planned. Whatever discontent Peter may have felt was covered by his excitement in telling Mohinder about a new ability Peter had seen, and how Mohinder really had to meet a man named Isaac Mendez.
So he was more than a little surprised when Peter suddenly changed the subject, grabbing his arm and telling him about a man who had just been there, how Mohinder had been frozen in time, and something about “Save the cheerleader, save the world.”
“Peter, how many times have I told you? You can’t-” Nathan drew closer and lowered his voice so the bodyguards outside the closed door couldn’t hear. “You can’t fly. That guy you helped your girlfriend with can’t paint the future. Super powers don’t exist.”
“Mohinder says he can figure out what’s happening to me.”
“Mohinder. That Indian guy? The one that attacked me earlier?”
Peter nodded, then quickly shook his head to get his bangs out of his face. “He didn’t attack you. He works with a company that-”
Nathan’s blood ran cold. “No. Absolutely not. You are to have nothing else to do with that guy, Pete. He’s a nut. And no more jumping off rooftops, either.” He stuck his finger in Peter’s face, grasping his brother’s shoulder with his other hand. “You hear me? I’m serious, Pete.”
Peter hesitated, and Nathan could almost see the wheels turning in his little brother’s head. Peter’s shoulders fell in defeat. “Promise,” he mumbled.
Nathan slapped him on the shoulder. A promise from Peter, no matter how unenthusiastic, might as well be set in stone. “Great. Good man, Pete.” He spun and headed for his desk. What he needed was a way to keep Peter busy, somewhere Nathan could keep an eye on him. Nathan had vowed to always watch over his little brother; watching Peter jump off that roof had been one of the worst moments in his life. He glanced absently at his calendar. “Now. What are your plans for the weekend? I won’t lie, Pete. I could really use you here.” A complete lie, but he could always come up with something for Peter to do. “It’d mean a lot for me to look like a family man right now.”
He took up his pen to start signing campaign letters for some of his bigger contributors. He glanced up when Peter’s response lagged.
“Actually,” Peter began, and Nathan’s eyes flashed. Other people might think Peter’s tone meant he had only just thought of something, but Nathan knew his brother well enough to catch how off Peter’s voice was. It didn’t reassure him that Peter wouldn’t look him in the eye, instead staring at Nathan’s desk. “I was thinking of taking a vacation.”
“A vacation,” Nathan repeated flatly. “Pete, it’s an election year. I’m behind in the polls-”
“You can tell the press I wanted time away,” Peter said quickly. “Time out of the spotlight to regroup. Tell them I’m visiting with my grief therapist in Las Vegas.” Grief therapist. Right. He and Nathan both knew that it was just another woman he was cheating on Heidi with. “Or whatever she is.”
Nathan’s hand stilled. “Niki. She’s a good woman, Peter.”
“Great. Does she have a family that can be ruined by all this, too?”
Nathan slammed the pen back on the desk. “Pete-”
“Forget it, Nathan. I’m taking a vacation.”
“Oh yeah? Where?” Seeing that Peter was on his way out, he played the guilt card, by far the most effective card he had. “I promised Ma I’d look after you.” He paused, and when he next spoke, he kept his voice resigned, as if he were making a monumental concession to his baby brother. “Just in case there’s an emergency and I have to reach you. I’d still worry if I didn’t hear from you, Pete. Heidi would, too. And the kids.”
Peter paused. “I’m going to Texas. Call me if something comes up.”
“Texas?” Nathan put his hands on his hips. “What the hell’s in Texas, Pete?” He only knew one person in Texas, one reason to be there. And Peter didn’t know about Meredith.
“I’ve got to save- Look, I’ve got to go. You want to know more, talk to Simone.”
“Si-” But Peter was already gone. “Why the hell would I talk to Simone?” Nathan muttered to himself. Nonetheless, he hit the intercom button and called for his driver.
Elle looked more closely at the redheaded woman as she used Frank’s ability. She’d overheard the waitress’s conversation with the wannabe cops. What if… “You’ve got a great memory,” she said, lips spreading into a smile as she saw the woman’s ability. She’d never expected to find someone with an ability in this dump. The hometown sheriff and goofy deputy, sure, even the four-eyed businessman getting hit on by a blonde. The Japanese tourists were out of left field, but so long as they didn’t try to take pictures of everything, Elle could deal with them.
“Yeah, it’s just somethin’ that started recently.”
Elle grinned. “It’s impressive.” But then, so was the size of that aneurysm in the girl’s head. She handed over her menu. “You talked me into the pancakes.”
The waitress, Charlie, smiled brightly and turned.
“Oh!” Elle exclaimed quickly. “Where are the bathrooms?” She grinned, abashed, and pointed to her eyes. “I’m near-sighted. Forgot my contacts.”
“Oh. Right over there by the kitchen.” Charlie pointed, and Elle squinted in that direction. Charlie grinned and beckoned Elle with a hand. “C’mon and follow me. I’m headed that way anyway.”
“Thanks.” Elle followed her and passed her into the bathroom, waiting thirty seconds before walking back out and ducking into the kitchen. She checked to make sure she was alone and held up her fingers to slice.
Two hours later, Elle was pulling up to a light around the corner from the diner, and her mood had gone from bad to worse. If it weren’t for that Japanese guy getting in the way, she’d have enhanced memory by now. It wasn’t a flashy ability, but it could have been useful. The girl had been going to die anyway. And what had she gotten instead? A bunch of meaningless crap about how she was going to die powerful and alone and no one was going to mourn her. As if she would ever die. Once she got the cheerleader, such concerns would be a thing of the past.
She should have just killed the dork. She’d manage time travel better than he did. But no, every time she’d tried, he’d just… moved. He’d even laughed at her. She hated him.
But this was the last straw. She could understand mugging people who deserved it, but those two had chosen the wrong victim. Elle stuck her hand out her car window and blasted one of the two men outside of the diner with electricity until he let Charlie go. She strode over, leaving the car parked at the red light.
“I just saved her life,” she snapped. “And I’m not even happy about it. So if you’re going to kill her, you need my say-so.” She hadn’t gone through all that work and bitching at that Japanese dork to have it come to nothing. They messed with Charlie now, they messed with Elle. And Elle was pissed.
The other man, with dirty nails and a goatee and the clothes that suggested he’d just escaped from some sort of carnie disco, lifted his hands in an appeasing gesture.
“Don’t even.” She flung him and the other man down the alley and glanced at the wide-eyed Charlie. “Don’t you think you’d better run? Idiot.”
Elle watched her move away, slowly at first before breaking into a run. She turned back to the two men. Neither seemed much of a threat, and a glance behind her told her the light was about to turn green. With a sniff, she got back in the car and drove toward Odessa. She watched in the rearview mirror as the younger man, the one with the goatee and nail fungus, stumbled to the sidewalk and picked something up. She wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of Charlie’s stray hairs or something.
Elle shook her head. “Pervert.” People really did disgust her sometimes.
Charlie peeked around the corner, watching as Elle drove away. She frowned, trying to work the woman out. Hiro had said she was a killer, and Charlie believed him. Elle had only cured Charlie because Hiro had struck some sort of deal, but why hadn’t Elle killed her just now? Or those other two men? She could have, and easily.
She took a deep breath and walked back to the diner, going around the back and watching carefully in case those men were still around. Hiro wasn’t in the dining area, and Charlie looked out the window before stepping outside.
“Lynette? Do you know where Hiro got to?”
“He was just here a second ago, honey. I’m sure he’ll be along before long. No man in his right mind would leave you waiting.”
Charlie managed a weak grin, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. What did it take for a time traveler to stand someone up?
Peter waited until he was through security at the airport to call Isaac, telling him about his conversation with Hiro on the subway. “He said his name was Hiro Nakamura. And ‘save the cheerleader, save the world.’”
“He said his name was Hiro Nakamura?”
“That’s the name of the guy who’s been calling me.”
“Are you serious?” Peter hurried to get in line, his ticket in hand. “Does- does he know what to do?”
“Yeah. He bought a comic book in the future. He said he’s on his way to save the cheerleader.”
Peter grinned. “You wrote about this in a comic book?”
“Yeah, well. That was apparently the last issue.” They were both quiet as the intercom announced the final boarding call. “I’ll tell him to meet up with you, okay?”
“At the high school. I’ll watch for an out-of-place Japanese guy who can stop time.”
“I couldn’t make this stuff up,” Isaac said wryly. “I’ll let him know. And Peter… Good luck.”
“Yeah. You, too.” He hung up and handed his ticket to one of the attendants.