2008-01-12: Beautiful Friendship


Logan_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Or at least, the start of one.

Date It Happened: January 12th, 2008

Beautiful Friendship

Fort Lee, NJ - Pinehearst Research

It's noon, which means the sunlight isn't flooding direction into the room, and so the curtains have been flung wide. Overcast enough to send a grayish quality of light into the room, it makes for good reading. The hospital bed has been abandoned in favour of a comfortable chair near the window, where the Senator-elect is currently residing. Recovery hasn't been easy - it's still slow going, with a couple of surgeries to mark the past week or so - but he trusts everyone knows what they're doing. Trusts them so much, in fact, that he hasn't even requested to talk to his family. He's been assured they know what they need to know and to Logan, this is fine by him.

He's dressed in what a hospital patient is normally allocated with the addition of a comfortable robe to protect against winter cold that can't quite be shaken even with central heating. His feet are bare against the floor, an open magazine in his lap that Logan currently is not paying attention to. Instead, he watches out the window - not towards the city scape, but the sky. An opaque reflection of himself is visible, too, but it does nothing a reflection shouldn't.

Niki has often been in this room, though never when the Senator Elect happened to be having a moment of consciousness. Pinehearst has had her busy the last few days. She's coming to know the facilities quite well. Presently, the blonde appears in the doorway, and at first, she's taken aback by the figure by the window, a reaction that causes her to hesitate and stare for a few moments, wordlessly agape, but it doesn't last long. She steps in, closing the distance.

There's something decidedly different about the woman. Little things. The way she walks with a bit more poise, the way her hair is pulled loosely back; even her clothes are of a different style and make, the soft red of her shirt and its feminine ruffles around the V-neck, the dark brown pants that look like half of a professional suit; a heaviness in her eyes, lifted. She's not such a sad creature today. "…Mr. Petrelli?" A tone of hope

There's a silence when he's addressed, no reaction for a second and maybe a fraction longer, but Logan then turns to look at Niki before she can try again, expression at first flat and almost suspicious, looking the blonde over from head to foot. Assessing. Then, a slow smile, an attempt at warmth. "Niki," he says, with a little more familiarity, closing the magazine - some sort of coffee-table kind of thing, read only out of boredom than interest, and it's readily set aside.

His hands go down to the wheels at his chair, and with a slightly unpracticed movement, Logan manages to turn towards her. He might well be confined to a wheelchair - or so it seems - and dressed as casually as he is, but he's shaven, hair combed, somehow to still dignified. "I was told you visited me. I didn't know you'd still be here." The sound of footsteps outside cause him to glance in their direction, but there are always footsteps outside, it seems.

Niki stops a few feet away, but after a few seconds, steps closer until she's standing in front of the wheelchair. With dark blonde brows knit together just a hint, her expression gives away a certain amount of trepidation. In front of her, as far as she knows, is the only person in the building who knew her personally before … all of this. "I work for them now," she states simply. "I'm glad you're up. You look good. Better." The footsteps go unnoticed on her part, too. She moves aside, sitting gently on the window ledge overlooking the dull outside world. "You … knew me," she starts in quietly, hesitant. "Before, you… knew who I was."

Logan leans back into his wheelchair, hands clasping together. "Thank you," he says simply, on her assessment as to his health. He spares a glance out the window, as if to check if there's anything worth seeing, but mostly, he watches her. There are differences, subtle ones, and out of Nathan's confused memories of their last moments together, nothing really indicates why. But that's alright. "I did know you," he says, wheels creaking a little as he moves to face her a little better. He doesn't asl who they are, yet, the people she works for, what exactly she does, but he does ask, "What have they told you?"

"Not much if I don't ask." And Niki hasn't been asking all of the numerous questions she has. This limbo is too perfect. She glances out the window also, looking along the line of her shoulder. Pursing her lips for a moment, she focuses at the wheelchair-bound man, searching his face. For what, she's not even sure. "You're a politician. Almost a senator. How did we…?"

There's a short silence, interrupted by the quiet hum of hospital equipment not yet turned off, but sitting idle by his bedside several feet away. Then, his hands tighten along the arms of the wheel chair, feet finding their way off the fixtures and onto cool floor. No matter how nice a medical room can be, the floor is always hard and cold.

With a slow movement, Logan gets to his feet, numbed aches in his abdomen and torso reminding him why the medical experts told him he should probably stay seated for the next while yet, but he ignores it admirably. He's been in worse pain than this and even then, he made sure to walk on occasion. It can get to the point where legs protest even worse than the injuries, and that's never good. With careful steps, he moves for the window, to lean against it, hands more concerned with straighten his robe around him than helping himself.

"We were friends," comes the simple, slightly clinical and maybe slightly untruthful reply, absolutely no strain in his voice from that effort, shoulder coming into contact with the glass of the window has he leans, arms folded casually. "We had known each other since I was campaigning for congressman."

Niki slides off the ledge as if she might help Logan get mobile, but instead winds up simply watching in concern, caught between moving closer and staying where she is. He seems to manage it well, and so she just turns to face the window. "Friends." A smile comes and goes. She looks across at the man she apparently knows — or rather, used to know. "I'm sorry that I don't remember. This is all so…"

"That's alright," Logan says, with a faint smile, eyes searching. "We can start over. New beginnings, I guess. I haven't exactly gotten my head straight either ever since… what happened to us. Before here." A film of condensation clings to the window, and gently, Logan runs the tips of a few fingers down it, collecting water and creating absent-minded streaks on the glass. "What sort of job have they offered you?"

New beginnings. Niki's certainly heard that a few times over since finding herself here; she's said it, too, and it's no less true when Logan says it. She offers him a smile that sticks around, this time. "There's … some division called the Field Agency," she explains without quite explaining; in other words, she's not exactly sure what it actually means. "I've …just been learning a lot about what they do here."

"I'd ask if you could educate me," Logan says, drawing his hand away from the window and studying her own reflection in it, rather than her face, "but I'll find out soon enough." There's a parallel to this, two very similar people standing at a window in Vegas over looking the nighttime view. The overcast image of New Jersey from a hospital wing in a biotech company is hardly as profound, but perhaps more apt, considering the people they've become, by choice or not.

The parallel is lost on Niki — even the meaning of her reflection in the glass is gone, the fact that when she catches sight of it, it's utterly normal, but she stares at it for awhile all the same. It might be the dull grey world outside that prompts her to change the subject. "I was in the Caribbean the other day," she says with a suddenly upbeat tone. "One of the people who brought us here— " Or both, but her brief memory of Mariska is rather a blur. " —she can just… go anywhere," she smiles, unable to hide her amazement. "Jersey to Bermuda in the blink of an eye."

"Really?" Logan says, with a curl of a smile. Must be a politician thing, seeing as it doesn't quite reach his eyes, still studying her in the opaque reflection. "There's a lot of people out there who can do miraculous things. Seems like this place understands it." A glance to her actual form, now, brief scrutiny. "And understands people like us." A hand goes out, now, to touch her arm just above the elbow - gentle, if somehow clinical in sentiment, but that's not an easy thing to split the difference on.

"I keep hearing that," Niki comments with a quiet little laugh under her breath. "'People like us.' 'Special.'" It's hard to say how she interprets the small touch, particularly not knowing much of Nathan's mannerisms to begin with (let alone Logan's), but it at least draws her attention away from the window and onto him. With a light smile that's almost joking, she goes on to ask, "I take it can do something miraculous, too?"

The touch is fleeting, hand withdrawing as she turns to him and arms folding (carefully) over his chest, now that he has her attention. "You can," Logan confirms, all seriousness in contrast to her almost-joking tone. "Why, you don't think so?" A pause, studying her, and says, "We were kidnapped for a reason. For what we can do." Another pause, less deliberate this time, a shimmer of pain. He plants a hand against the wall to lever himself off it, hesitating before making a step for his wheelchair. "Don't be surprised if you wake up to find that the world is against us."

Just as she's starting to shrug, honestly not sure, a concerned look dawns on Niki — while it's not exactly confused, she's a little thrown by Logan's words. Watching him, she moves to slightly turn his wheelchair toward him, some instinctive action to make things easier for him. "Didn't I?" she responds. Brows raise. "That place. Where we were being held. With the doctor." Whoever was responsible for that seemed pretty against them.

There's a rough laugh in response, actually genuine - albeit pained - as he makes his way back to the chair. "That's true," Logan says. "That's very true." His hand goes out again to grip her arm again - less affection, more necessity, to lower himself back down to sit. When he's done, he doesn't remove that hand, however, letting it rest and linger there. "Did they tell you any information about that? About what they wanted from us?"

The blonde makes for solid support — her arm is strong as she makes sure Logan sits down with ease, but she doesn't seem to notice her lack of strain. "Only that … they wanted us … because of what we are. I got the impression that there was a group of them? Like terrorists." She hesitates a moment, glancing down at the floor tiles in the short distance between them. "Questions aren't my forte lately."

"I'm sure you got plenty of them to deal with," Logan says, hand slipping down to her wrist, giving it an affectionate squeeze, thumb brushing along the back of her hand in a more familiar, perhaps even a more friendly manner than the two people here would have otherwise been, with that exception of one night. It's there to suggest history. "I'm sorry about what's happened to you, Niki, but I can't say I'm not glad you're here at least. If there's anything I can do that these people haven't already done, you can trust me to help you."

Everyone here has been accommodating, so far; but it means something more coming from someone who has a connection to her, to her past. "They've given me everything I have." A broad statement, but it's true; she came here with nothing but the clothes on her back. "But they can't buy everything." Niki pulls her wrist up only to be able to squeeze Logan's hand, just for an instant, a small, friendly thank you.

"And not everything can be bought," Logan adds, letting that clasp linger before he pulls it away, resting his hands on the wheels of his chair. They move soundlessly against the floor as he pushes himself back from her, more towards the bed. "You'll come again, won't you? I could use the company in here."

"I've been coming," Niki admits, watching Logan's slow trek to the bed until she finally turns around. "Almost every day. You were sleeping." That's a yes, then. She strides toward the door, facing inside again to linger while she touches the doorframe. "It was good to see you, Nathan." Since she's sure she knows him, she drops the 'Mr. Petrelli'.

Logan lifts his chin a little in a quasi-nod of approval at the more familiar mode of address, that curl at the corner of his mouth, suggesting a smile, returning. He picks up the magazine he'd discarded "Thanks, Niki," he says. "And uh," he adds, before she can disappear from view entirely. "Maybe bring a book or something with you next time. The view of New Jersey's gonna get old pretty fast."

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