Rating : PG-13 (possibly)
Pairing : Peter/Niki(Jessica)
Spoilies: Five Years Gone
Summary : Peter runs into a broken Niki's who's mind has broken to the point where reality means nothing any more.
Peter hadn't been living in LA for long when he found himself in a small club in one of the harsher parts of town. Signs everywhere advertised that this was where some woman named Jessica was well known at. Entering the club he decided to stand by and see who this person was.
A few other patrons seemed to be there to see her and were commenting on the fact that she always came on at the same time doing the same exact dance and then walked off. Someone had attempted to start a conversation with her and had been struck to the floor while she made a very odd comment about how they got into her garage. Peter figured most of the stuff was hype to try to give her an otherwordly view.
He waited and soon the woman appeared. He realized that he knew her that it was the woman Nathan had spoken to him about many years ago before he had given up on his family to be president. The woman who came out did not seem to even realize where she was and he wondered if maybe she was strung out. It would not have been an uncommon thing in the business she was in.
The dance ended and she walked off he followed because something about her intrigued him. She appeared to be having a converstaion with someone, taking on both parts. He came up beside her and was about to say something when she turned around.
"I know you...Yes it is him....But its been so long...No only 5 years..." Niki trailed off and Peter realzied there was more then just outside things affecting her. That whatever this future had done to him it had clearly broken her even worse. He remembered the last time he had seen her standing over the body of her son and husband. Nathan had been so aloof by that point that he had gone to comfort her and she had simply looked at him and told him that it was fine that Jessica would protect them that she always did. He had wondered if she even realized her loss at that point. Looking at her now he still wondered.
She gestured to him to follow and he did so. It seemed that even that small gesture took a lot of effort and she went back to her ramblings. The part of him who used to work hospice felt pity for her. She reminded him of those he worked with the few people who's minds had gone.
He followed her as she entered her house. It was the same one she had always lived in and she quite enjoyed living there with Micah and DL. As she entered she called out to them and was pleased to see Micah tinkering away at an old mother board while DL slept. She informed them a guest was there and snaked a glance at a nearby mirror and commented that Jessica better behave herself.
Peter walked into the dilapidated house. Most of the furnishings were falling apart and he was surprised that someone could live there. He watched Niki walk into a nearby room that seemed to have once been Micahs. An old motherboard lied on the table in a pile of dust tools used to tinker by long dead hands still in their places. He followed her into what he beleived was her bedroom. The bed was made on one side as if never touched and the other side was rumpled and dust covered as if waiting for a man to sleep in it that would never return. He noticed the only thing in the house that were clean were the mirrors. The house was full of them like a fun house all polished completely as if most of Niki's attention went to their well being. He would think she must be vain if it werent for the unkempt appearance hidden under her clothing. THe bones ready to pierce skin so taunt that he was surprised if she even weighed a thing.
Niki started getting dinner ready for her family and guest. She turned to Peter, "I hope you like spaghetti its the one thing these guys love the most." She turned to the table smiling at her family, "Right, guys? You must love that i make it every night."
Peter walked up to the table looking at the bowls of rotten spaghetti carefully placed around a spot that obviously was set for her son and husband. Comic books laid out covered in dust and he noticed one was the 9th wonders series Hiro had carried around. At the spot that was obviously her husbands layed a ring with a skull on it. He was beginning to pity this woman before him. Who obviously had lost more then just her family. He glanced over where she was stirring a pot of spaghetti it apepared to be what she mostly lived on.
"Do you live with anyone here, Niki?"
"Well of course I do you've already met DL and Micah. Jessica shows up sometimes, but not as often as before."
Peter recognized the names from Nathan speaking about Niki. He had heard once that Niki brought up a woman named Jessica as being after him and wondered if they were one in the same.
"Well are you going to stand there all day? Take a seat..." She started pulling the chair out for him when her entire demeanor changed. Suddenly she grabbed his arm. "You have to help her! I can't live like this any more!" As fast as it happened it was gone and Niki continued, "...the boys are ready to eat."
Peter wondered what had just occured. The person speaking to him had not been Niki. Though quite distraught the words had been they had been far more lucid then the speech Niki was currenly going on about as she doled out the food. He was glad to see the plates she chose for them were clean and he attempted to not react oddly to seeing her put more food on top of hte already rancid food in the other plates.
The conversation at the table had to be one of the oddest ones Peter had ever been in. Niki held up a one way conversation with the places her son and husband had been. Well, technically it wasnt a one way one. Every so often mid sentence Peter would hear what he now called the other voice. Obviously it was Niki speaking but the intonations were differnt, harsher almost, and if he could call it anything it was almost a voice of reason. The lilting quality Niki's voice held that screamed edge of sanity was not in the second voice.
Niki abruptly ended the meal and excusing herself and her unseen family members informed Peter that he could sleep on the couch. What Peter didn't know was that his night was about to get even odder.
Peter was half asleep when he he felt someone shaking him. He looked up to see Niki over him but her eyes showed something
more behind them then the shifty eyes of one seeing a reality not there.
"Wake up! She fell asleep finally so we can speak now."
Peter jolted up. "Wait who are you?"
"Jessica. Look there is not time to explain all this. To put it simple I am part of Niki and Niki is part of me. But as you
can see she is quite broken and I do not wish to head down that path myself."
"Obviously you can take over why don't you do so and save yourself if you feel your in danger."
"You do NOT realize what it takes to take control. It hurts her to wake up and find herself not able to have her reality and
it's not just me i wish to save but her as well."
"Then why not do something when your both aware."
"Aware? You call this life NIki leads as her actually being aware? We speak to each other yes but there is no way to grab
hold when the footing you are looking for is constantly ripped away."
Jessica calmed herself down and looked Peter directly in the eyes.
"For all purposes I have no control. Neither does she. She can't deal with all the loss shes had so she ignores it. I'm not
even sure when shes speaking to me if she really means me."
Peter looked at her oddly.
"How can I help when I'm not even sure what is happening? You say Niki is sick but you ARE Niki!"
Jessica sighed and quietly said, "There's no way to make you understand how it is...Just if your going to stay help her,
don't become another figment in her imagination. And don't forget she's not the only one here."
With that Jessica looked away and suddenly her eyes open wide and she gasped, "How'd I get here? I was on my way to bed and
then suddenly I'm here."
Niki looked at Peter, "Do you know how I got here I don't want DL to think I came to you."
Peter realized that Jessica had been truthful about being someone different. The extreme change caught him by surprise but he
caught himself and said, "No, it wasn't that you were going to show me where to get another pillow."
"Oh yes I remember now." As she walked off she she suddenly quite lucidly said, "I know you spoke to Jessica, I don't mean to
hurt her you know it's just too hard." Niki saw Jessica looking back at her from the mirror pracically in tears. "I wish I
could help you you know make it easier, but...."
With that Niki trailed off and Peter could see that she was gone once again into her own world.
Peter tried to catch her attention, "She knows that you know."
Niki blinked and looked at him, "Hmm...Who knows what? You know I really need to sleep Micah has school early in the
Peter watched her go off sadly realizing just how much help she needed and vowed to help her and Jessica.