I proudly wear the scars // I've challenged every crutch so far
Please don't blame me / Please don't blame me
'Cause I'm in over my head, in over my head
Over My Head - Furslide
The man with the scar walks round the corner of the office building. There's a press conference not far away from here. A press conference called by Nathan Petrelli. A press conference that will change the world. The man with the scar cocks his handgun and turns another corner.
He's not far from it now. The people in the offices or at the coffee makers are buzzing with anticipation. What is Petrelli going to say? But the man with the scar already knows what he's going to say and he can't care. He can't care because there's only one thing on his mind right now.
Right now, all he cares about is stopping what's happened.
He needs to stop it because no one else will.
The man with the scar no longer has a scar, and an officer nods to him, recognizing him instantly. Peter Petrelli, of course.
"Do you really think this is clever, Peter?"
Peter spins around and he's there. The only other living time traveler he knows.
He hasn't looked the same since Hiro died, shot down by Ando. The man's sideburns are crusted with white, there's a shock of it through his hair, and he's got impressive crows' feet forming at his eyes. He's given up the blue suits and brown suits that Peter remembers from before for a black suit. Blue pinstripes, white sneakers.
"You don't belong here," the Doctor says.
"Neither do you," Peter replies, and his palm glows blue. One hit to the right heart, then the left, burn them both out, keep him from regenerating.
A reporter runs past to another room, and he lets it go down. Can't expose himself, not in public. Not like this. It's why the Doctor chose to reveal himself here. He's safe from powers stronger than him with the force of his favorite, powerless species wandering around him.
"You can't rewrite history, Peter," he says, his voice low and angry. "Not one line."
"Just because you're too afraid of causing some little paradox that you can't fix!" Peter cries out angrily. "The world was dead, Doctor! Dead because of us!"
"And that's the way it has to be! This timeline has no flux!" Oh, and there he is again. Flex and flux. Hiro tried to explain it to Peter once, but all he ended up figuring is that the Doctor would say things that he couldn't understand. Show up where he wasn't expected and say things he doesn't expect.
But showing up now is going to make Peter run out of time.
"If you stop me you crack the world like an egg."
"We can't interfere." He says the last word like it's a vile thing; like he's an ex-addict talking about heroin.
Peter lets out a rueful laugh. "Interfering? I'm talking about fixing what's broken in the world."
The Doctor shakes his head and takes a step forward. "You can't fix it, Peter. It's already done."
"But I can."
"Only terrible things come from changing the past."
Peter glares. It's always about changing the past. Always about what should be versus what shouldn't be. And as much as Hiro wanted to believe that the Doctor was fueled only by goodness, Peter knows differently.
"Stopping me won't bring Martha back."
It's a cruel thing to say, but it's effective. The Doctor freezes, then takes a step backwards. Martha Jones. It's a name no one in his time remembers but him and the Doctor. A name unwritten in history. Peter remembers watching the Doctor change that day, watching the weight of her loss hold him down.
"It isn't about her," he says.
"It is about her," Peter insists. "It's about her and Hiro and Maya and Luke! Everyone lost because of what happens right here."
"It's not just about right here," the Doctor says, and he points a gnarled finger in Peter's direction. "You and Hiro both saw it wrong. You can't see time like a Time Lord. This is just a piece of everything that happens to this world. And killing Nathan won't fix it."
Peter raises an eyebrow. "Who says I'm going to kill him?"
The Doctor sighs. "I do."
"I'm a better shot than that."
"I know. But it's a shot you can't take." He takes a breath, then holds out his hand. "Give me the gun, Peter. Please."
Peter looks down at the weapon, then back up at the Doctor. He's like Claire, changed in ways Peter doesn't understand. Maybe they all are. All of them. Pieced together like a broken puzzle.
He lowers his gun and steps towards the other man. Another step, then another, but the Doctor's shoulders don't relax even in this surrender
"It's time this stopped," the Doctor says. It sounds defeated, and for a moment, Peter wonders if he knows what's about to happen. It would make sense. All the precognitive dreams in the world can't match what the Doctor and Hiro could see with the TARDIS. It would make sense if he knows.
It's not like the Doctor ever gave a straight answer. Peter'll just have to accept there are things he doesn't know about him.
"You're right." Peter holds out his hand, and the Doctor vanishes. He can't risk him traveling back, so he sends him somewhere secure. The core of the planet.
There's no other way. The Doctor is far too addicted to interfering.
And he can see all of time and space, but he can't stop a simple teleport. Peter turns back around, and then slips on the baseball cap. He thinks about Claire, broken and changed. Hiro, struck down by his best friend. The Doctor, a crumbled idol of the way things were. And of Nathan. Peter's best friend, his brother.
He doesn't want to do this and what's left of his heart is caught in his throat and his feet are too light for how heavy he feels. But there's no more options. No more choice. No more flux.
No time like the present.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,019