2007-08-18: DF: Between Brothers


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Guest Starring:


Summary: Between brothers are secrets shared.

Dark Future Date: August 18th, 2009

Between Brothers (a.k.a Cock Block)

NYC - Weischel Carcass House - Packing Room

The cage gets many visitors, doesn't it? Well into the evening, though without a clock or light it might be hard to tell, really. There's clanking of metal, doors opening, and someone who's never visited this room enters. It would have been a quiet entrance if not for— well— it's an old factory. Dressed in loose fitting jeans and a white shirt, he doesn't look much like the man he became in this time— except for the most basic of identifiers. There's a curl of hair hanging in his forehead, a hint of the hair that would need to get pushed aside all the time, but not long enough to actually fall into his eyes. More than before, on the rooftop, Peter's cleaner shaven and showered, and looks less hopeless and wounded. "Nathan?" There's a pause. "Logan?" Which one is he talking to?

Across the large room, a cattle cage has been secured to the wall, altered enough to house a human. Back against the fixed side of the four, a man sits against it, apparently sleeping. The President, or former President? He hasn't technically been fired yet, he's just on the vacation of his life. He's dressed strangely in tuxedo pants and a very loose-fitting BDU shirt, made for someone somewhat bigger than he is. One hand, his right hand, is very messily but thoroughly bandaged, almost disguising the fact a finger is missing. A rucksack is pushed into the corner of the cage, and he's wrapped himself up in a sleeping bag before resting against the bars.

Now, though, at the creak of the door, he starts awake. Nathan squints into the mostly darkness, and Peter's voice identifies himself. "Pete?" he calls out, now abandoning the sleeping bag and pulling himself up to stand. He's unshaven and unshowered - not his proudest moment - but he's at least hydrated, fed. He moves towards the bars. "There's a light switch, by the door— it's… it's Nathan."

"Nathan," Peter says into the darkness, squinting across the room for a moment as if to confirm this. That's good— and at the same time… He moves over to find the light switch after securing the door again. Not that his brother has the skills to break out of the cage, much less the room, it's still a precaution. When the light floods them, they can finally see each other well enough. A shaky breath follows his first sight of his brother in a cage. "You look terrible," he says. In another situation, it might be toned as a joke. Not right now. Before… he'd been the one who looked terrible. But now… There's no fear as he walks over to the cage, approaching rather boldly, and sticking his hand on one of the bars in an offer. "Had thought I wouldn't get to see you again until I went back."

The fluorescent lights that flicker to life are very unkind, harsh and bright. They show off every bruise as well as the colour of his skin, which seems to have taken on a permanent paleness ever since the severing of his finger. But at least they can see each other. "Oh? Well they're not letting me near any mirrors so I'll have to take your word for it," Nathan states, wryly, now looking this younger, non-scarred Peter over. When Peter puts out a hand, Nathan clasps it in both of his, rough bandages on one side, roughened skin on the other. The bandages, well, they look like they've been applied by. Well. Nathan. With just one hand and his teeth as a resource. He's not the nurse of the family, damnit. "I thought the same thing. Thanks. You could've stayed away." Even if Elena did give him a 'what are, you stupid?' look when he questioned as to whether Peter would or not.

"I wanted to see you immediately, but— after I heard about— Logan… I was going to talk to Mr. Gomez first…" That'd been the idea, but… Peter reaches up with his other hand and it joins the first, clasping right back. The bandage draws his eyes and he starts to move his hands a little, pushing the poorly done bandage around— looking as if he may well take it off. "I can fix this," he says softly, a determined set to his jaw. Whether he means the bandage, why his brother needs the bandage at all, or everything that's happened ever… that's up for public debate. Likely… he's going to do his best to fix everything— because that's what he does. Even if he fails miserably. But right now— it seems he's starting with the bandage.

"That would be swell." And Nathan knows that Peter means far more than just his poor first aid skills, and it's just so… Peter. From a time before everything went to hell. He leans against the bars, and offers out his right hand for inspection. Should the bandages be removed, well, it's less than a pretty sight. Somehow, the wound is relatively clean, but it's messy and still bloody, obviously not taken care of by any doctor. The finger is shorn off beneath where the middle knuckle used to be. But that isn't what Nathan is watching - he's studying this version of Peter's face, eyes. "Know where to start yet?" Obviously not talking about his hand.

With the hand under careful inspection, Peter doesn't start rebandaging him just yet, consentrating on a vague feeling from the long past. There's so much that he needs to fix— a hint of warmth follows, and then… some of the wound will start to fade away. No regrowing of a finger, nothing of that sort, but at least it doesn't look like infection will threaten him. Still, the younger brother looks disappointed, even closing his eyes and leaning against the bars for a moment. Where is he going to start? He doesn't look back up just yet. "We found out— someone who caused the tornado— it wasn't Sylar, it was… someone who didn't mean to. I'm going to find her somehow." Then he opens his eyes and looks at his brother through the bars. "And I need to help you, too. When— when did this start happening?"

Nathan's gaze darts down to his hand when it begins to feel warm. He's seen and experienced miraculous healing before, and so there is a twinge of hope… but no. The wound clears, healing accelerating, the pain lessens. That will do. He allows his hand to remain there for rebandaging, but he's no longer looking at it anymore. When did this start happening? Nathan sighs, hating this subject so much, but… "There was an explosion, in a department store. A terrorist act, early on in the war. It caught— Heidi was injured." Say it, just say it. "Monty died before they could get him to a hospital." He gives Peter a shaky smile, one far different from his circa 2007 counterpart, the brother Peter knows - it's too vulnerable, subdued, pleading. "I kind of lost it for a while, Pete. After that… that's how it started. Elena says the trauma kind of…" Shrug.

The rebandaging started slowly, even if it's less needed now. The bleeding has almost stopped. Peter regrew a hand, very painfully, but he's discovered that his healing with others isn't quite as powerful— and he really wishes it were. A clean bandage would have been best, but at least this one is wrapped better. He ties it off right as his brother starts to explain. The war— it started after the war at least. But… Heidi was injured and… Monty. "Monty…" The sweet younger nephew of his— the one who'd broken his arm and idolized healing when it was used on him— the one who always seemed quick to hug and say how he felt. There's pain and surprise— he'd not know this, but he shifts a hand through the bars to reach forward and touch his brother's heavily stubbled face. "If I can stop the war— it'll be like this didn't happen… For— the Nathan back when I'm from. I don't know for sure what will happen to the rest of you…" But… "Maybe I can… fix some things… before I go back… Nathan… can I… talk to Logan?"

His good hand clasps on Peter's arm. "I wouldn't say no to not existing anymore," Nathan says, gravely. "If that's how this works, if this place vanishes when you fix it." Not if, when. "If it doesn't, then… we'll all have to keep dealing." He let's go of Peter's arm, gestures around himself. "It can't get much worse than this." But… then we have that request to the man that took advantage of an injured world and made it worse. His expression darkens into wariness. Does Peter want to hurt him too? is his immediate thought. A moment passes. "Maybe. I'd need a mirror, I think, if… Why?" He has to know. He's not about to compromise this control without asking.

"Part of me doesn't want this world to just vanish," Peter admits, a soft expression crossing his face. There's something here that he's going to miss, by the looks of things. Something very precious. A sacrifice, surely, but some things are worth giving up even the most precious things for. "But this isn't the world that I want, either— I want to make a better one." For everyone back where he's from, for himself… It isn't without some selfishness, there. A mirror… That shouldn't be too difficult. He knows where one is back at the building. He can call it to hand. But… His brother wants to know why. "I need to tell him something. I was going to wait til I could talk to Mr. Gomez… so we could come up with a plan to help you, fix this— but Elena came back tonight and…" The look in his eyes isn't murderous or dark like his other self. He's not likely to start slamming him into the bars. However… There's some anger— disgust— "Elena didn't tell me what happened, but she— I read her mind— by accident. And even if I can't do anything to make him go away— I know I can do this much— make sure he doesn't… do that… again." It's a firm sound to his voice.

Oh god. Nathan steps back a little. At least… Peter is drawing a line between Nathan and Logan, separating their actions, but all the same, he looks faintly sick that his brother knows exactly what Logan is capable of. Probably for the best, in the long run. His voice is even more subdued when he says, "Please don't tell anyone what he did. It's… it's her secret to tell." And also out of the selfish desire to block out the memory. And there's more memories, but none he wants Peter to know, for the best or not. "A mirror," he says, a little louder, with a nod. Anything that will stop something like that from happening again, even handing Logan a moment of control.

"I know," Peter says softly, sad, disappointed, still disgusted and angry, but more in the sense of… this is something he has to stop. Stop for good. As te steps back from the cage, he looks down at his hands, consentrating. "I can go back— stop it from ever happening. But if this… time exists after…" Then he wants to make sure it never happens again as well. Ever. It takes some time, before the small handheld mirror will appear in hand. Not risking it getting taken away into the cage— though he could easily retrieve it as well, he turns it towards his brother, and waits.

Nathan moves a little closer again, eyeing his own reflection. Peter wasn't wrong. The smattering of stubble on his cheeks and throat even has a hint of grey to it, which just adds insult to injury, really. With a sigh, he tries to concentrate on what he's supposed to be doing, not vanity. "Come on, you son of a bitch," he murmurs, and then it just…

…happens. No drama. Logan just glances to Peter's face, indirect hate and anger filling his eyes. "The hell do you want," he grinds out. He had been enjoying oblivion.

Turning the mirror around once the expression completely changes. Peter'd never even seen a transition between Niki and Jessica (or any of her other possible personalities) so the sight itself is new. Still, he can't help but say something. "I'd say I'm here to invite you to Fight Club, but…" he trails off. It wasn't a good joke anyway. The mirror is placed at the ground, bending down to do it, and when he stands he looks him over, checking for subtle changes from his brother's behavior. "Hello, Logan. You've done so much damage in my brother's name— ruined so many lives— and I asked to talk to you… because I'm going to make sure you never… do one of those things ever again." So many crimes he could be speaking of, to, but it's one in particular. "You disgust me."

Logan stares at him blankly, then glances around. He sees the rucksack, the sleeping bag, and gives a snort of disdain. Whatever he's thinking, though, he keeps that to himself, and turns that cold look back to Peter. "You're not exactly hard to disgust, Petey," he says, now moving closer, pressing right up to the bars, curling his arms around them. "What, did I kick a puppy you were fond of?" He's not exactly trying to hide who he is anymore, it seems - and being in here has unhinged him even more.

"Logan," Peter starts out, setting his jaw with determination. This is not an ability he uses often— one of the times he used it, he felt bad about it for— he still feels bad about it. But this time… he knows it will actually help people, stop something from hurting more. "You will never be able to have sex with anyone ever again." No specification of consent or otherwise. There's just some things that people like him don't deserve. Never. Ever again. Now he'll just hope for his brother's sake that it's specific to this personality.

…oh come on. Logan looks at Peter with disbelief, suddenly moving away from the bars as if he'd been struck. "Oh won't I?" he spits back, then… then blinks. God. He won't. He knows he won't. It's not that he doesn't want to, it seems as desirable as before, but he just knows he won't. That smug look changes into one of contempt, and he folds his arms around himself. "Nice work, you little shit. Just know that I was always here, from the fucking beginning. Your brother will never shake me, not here, not in the past. I was always in the mirror and whenever he breaks, I'll be right there."

"That's a good thing to know," Peter actually says, inclining his head a little when he gets this piece of information. "I'll just have to make sure that he'll always have me to keep that from happening." And he just proved, in one way, he's stronger than anyone hidden away in a mirror. The damages have been done, but at least now… the one who deserves to pay… will pay for it bit, by bit. Compared to how he'd been when he first got here— he's stronger already. Not just in powers, or in physical strength, but in everything else. The world tried to break him, but hasn't yet.

"It won't work," Logan snarls. "You won't stop a war, you won't stop me." Trying to break Peter's spirit is probably a bit like flinging himself at the cage door - useless, ultimately, but Logan has a learning difficulty, to say the very, very least. But it's clear time spent here has done damage, and it doesn't take Peter lifting a mirror for Nathan to decide it's time to tag in. Not as easy as it had been when Logan had been desperate to get out, but the psychopath isn't hell bent on remaining anymore either.

Nathan takes a breath, trying to brush off that lingering feeling of anger, before looking at Peter again. "Not from the beginning," he says, quietly. "I don't think so, anyway. But after— you'll recall it. When we flew into the sky. Just flashes in the mirror, but it was the war that did it. So… that's a start." Pause. "Did you really just do that to him?" He doesn't feel the affects of Persuasion, but he can guess from what he heard.

A year ago (for him), such a phrase would have made Peter slink back in doubt. But now… There's that determined set to his jaw again. "I will," he responds stubbornly, drawing on strength from another location, as he always has before. He's about to bend down to fetch the mirror again when he sees the change happen. At which point he steps forward, reaching into the cage again, and trying to offer a hand to his brother. The bomb started it. But the war brought it out in full. It makes sense. There's a tinge of guilt. He'd been gone so long after the bomb, which probably didn't help. "Did we… grow apart during the war, Nathan? Because of— everything that was happening? Because of…" There's a grimace. How can he ask this? Then again, how can it be so difficult. "Because of Mara?" He's still not used to the nickname. Katy had just been given her nickname not weeks before leaving, and he'd only done that to try and make her smile. There was no way he could have expected it would…

He moves forward to take that hand, grateful for human contact that isn't, you know, violence, and at the question, Nathan winces. Just a fraction. "It wasn't entirely about Kate," he says, because the name Mara just seems alien to him now, or a barb used to throw at her at the right moment. "But it didn't help matters." And that's all he'll say on that, releasing Peter's hand. He kind of wants to say 'so don't marry her' but really, what good would that do? "We went separate ways during the war, we had different agendas. Then Logan came around and he rubbed salt into the wound. He made you— not you, but the you here, into a wanted terrorist."

In some ways… he doesn't have to say it. It didn't help matters. Peter grimaces, not quite understanding how he could go from where he'd been to where he is now— but he does have a few clues to point to why things became that way… "Surprised that didn't ruin your campaign," he says softly as his hand drops away from the bars. It'd been released anyway. "I saw her— Kate. On the rooftop of the Deaveux building." A rather destiny filled rooftop, isn't it? "She gave me some of his clothes…" he says, looking down at his jeans and his shirt. They're not his, but they fit a lot better than the hand me downs he got from Jack and Daphne at the Zoo. "And… I'm actively working to… stop… what brought us together." Something it sounds like he's not exactly proud of. "I'm not… in love with her, though. And… there's someone else." Someone he wants to fix things with. And, also, the most important person in his life may just need all the strength he can get. Something he's mildly ashamed of, even if he hadn't done anything yet. "She told me to— have her find a way to get rid of the visions. Permenantly."

That's somehow reassuring, to hear that this version of Peter isn't in love with Kate. Lessens that betrayal, even if Kate was never really his, even if he had once upon a time had a happy marriage, would give anything to rekindle that marriage. The principle stands. Nathan raises an eyebrow at this last bit, smiles sadly. "It would help her," he agrees gently. "She's not coping. If she starts on those negating pills, takes enough of them— there's research now being done on how to give and take Evolved ability," not to use the lexicon his alterego helped nurture, but, it's kind of instinctive, "but you'll have to wait a few years." He knows he's rambling, and he sighs, bringing his good hand to rub his face wearily. He falls back on encouragement. "You can fix it, Peter," he finally states, moving forward. He wants to hug him, but the bars make that awkward. "Me, Heidi. Jack. Kate. Least I'll know that somewhere, things are better."

"The pills are an option, yeah," Peter says, thinking it over. There's also the chance of learning to control it— or maybe just THIS future drove her crazy. None of the visions he's had here are nice. None of them leave him feeling good— and… he hasn't slept more than a few hours at a time since he got here, all night's except one littered with terrible nightmares he can't even remember. It would be enough to drive anyone a little crazy. "I will… Cause I won't be working alone. I'll have all of you." Except Mara. She specifically wanted to learn nothing of this future. It would be cruel to tell her of something she can't have. If they were ever happy at all. It's hard to tell… Stepping back to to the bars, he pauses, frowning at them. It's very possible that he could break in, but then he'd have the issue of… explaining to Jack why he broke the cage. Instead… he closes his eyes. It worked once. There's a sudden shift. It's so unlike the teleportation that his older self uses. But there he is. Inside the cage, opening his eyes to look arond. Oh good. He didn't end up in the Bahamas. And this is when he moves forward and hugs his brother.

Definitely not the Bahamas. It's way too dreary and Fight Club-like. Nathan looks stunned for a moment when his brother suddenly appears next to him - perhaps even alarmed. He's getting used to steel bars separating him from the world. But that reaction disappears quickly, as he moves to meet the hug, holding Peter tightly, good hand gripping his shirt. "Hell, fix yourself too," he murmurs. "I'd like my brother back."

Not in the cage to fight, or punch, or maim… in the cage to hug. And hug tightly for that matter. Peter looks over his brother's shoulder and stares towards the cage that he's stuck in. It's a tight squeeze, but they have enough room to stand and hug for a time. "I'm glad mine was still in there," he admits, before pulling back to look at his brother's face in the harsh lights again. "Though it's hard to tell under all that," he says with a lopsided smile that's barely got any humor in it. "While I'm in here… might as well get you cleaned up. It'll probably take me about twenty tries to get out as it is…"

Once the hug is broken off, Nathan raises an eyebrow, then lifts a hand to scratch at the somewhat whiskery texture that is his jaw. "Yeah, well. They're barely trusting me with spoons, let alone razors," he says, a little defensively, but he looks hopeful. Vain brother is vain. "You serious?"

An electric shaver would be safest, but unfortunately Peter doesn't have one. So— it'll have to just be a risk. "If he takes over and he tries to cut me, the most it will do is get blood on my shirt." And it's not like he's using a straight razor. The first thing to appear in his hand is a bottle of shaving cream, which he sets down, then a bottle of water he had stashed in his room for midnight drinking, then a towel— after a pause, he calls a comb too, and finally, the razor itself. He's really getting better at his abilities— then again, his current self is REALLY good at his abilities…

Christmas. All over again. "You'll be fine," Nathan dismissively agrees, because though he doesn't exactly want Peter getting sliced and diced, he'll get better, damnit. Besides, not much damage one can do with with a shaving razor. He moves to sit down against the bars. "Next, we can braid each other's hair."

There's a laugh as Peter settles down to the floor as well, getting the water and wetting a corner of the towel to clean off his brother's face to start. "Don't think I'll be here long enough for our hair to grow out enough for that, so we'll have to settle for getting you into a clean set of clothes next time." He could use a shower, he's sure, but a shave will at least make him feel a little more human.

A shower would be ideal, but Nathan is used to taking what benefits he can. The lack of a mirror makes up for the help of a Peter, and he's not about to complain. "Thanks," he says, once they're done, wiping his face down with the towel and feeling a fraction more normal. "You should probably take all this with you." He's not sure why, but he feels like he needs Jack's permission for what he can and can't have with him. Maybe once things balance out again, that will fade, but he certainly feels more prisoner than permanent guest at the best of times.

Right— Instead of worrying about teleporting all of it, Peter just moves everything through the bars and sets it outside. "I'm glad to help— and I am a nurse— I've done more for my patients." Sponge baths for old men? Yeah, he's done that. It's not his favorite job, but someone has to do it! Anyway… Standing up, he closes his eyes. It shouldn't be too hard to get back out— he got in just fine.

He squints harder. Come on…

Yeah we're not going to delve into sponge bath territory. Nathan is a forty-something, damnit, and doesn't need a mirror for that! "Take care, Peter," he says, when he sees his brother about to teleport away.

…or not? Nathan raises an eyebrow up at him, before getting to his feet, rolling his shoulders. "Technical difficulties?" he asks, and there is a hint of a smirk. Just a little one forming at the corner of his mouth.

That's one way of putting it. Peter frowns visibly now that he's inside the cage and can't seem to get out. But his face does relax a little and he looks over at his newly shaven and hair combed brother and… "I— can't get back out," he finally admits. It's NOT SOMETHING HE'S PROUD OF OKAY? It doesn't make any sense… he can do a lot of his other abilities just fine and this one fails him. "Maybe I can try again in a few minutes…"

Don't alienate an ally. Even if his misfortune is funny. Nathan raises his eyebrows at Peter and is silent for a long moment, then nods once. "Well it's not like I had time to clean up the place but I suppose you can hang out in here," he says, completely seriously, but if anyone recognises his dry brand of humour, it's Peter. He gestures around. "Over there is the door, which is very locked. Then there's, well, bars, not the fun kind." Okay, don't tease him too much. Nathan hesitates, then shrugs. "I could use the company a little longer."

Very funny. Peter actually smiles, though, because he's glad to see his brother's humor is still present. Even if it's stilted by the conditions surrounding it. "Then I can stay— not like I had anything waiting for me back at the base except for a empty bed and nightmares." Well— there's a pause, a hint that he might be able to have more than those two things… if he were willing to take the leap to get them. Instead… "Want something to drink? Or a snack? I cook for them, so I know most of what they have in the cabinets."

Instead… here he is, in a livestock cage, under buzzing fluorescent lights, actually responding positively to Nathan's offer. Nathan tries not to look surprised. Hell, tries not to look too happy. That would be telling. "I have this," Nathan says, moving towards the rucksack. A can of crisps is extracted, held up for presentation. "Jack felt guilty, I guess, left behind a few things. But I'm not about to say no to a drink."

"Well… we got some options back at the base, but I think Trina would kill me if I snagged some of them…" Peter thinks back on what looked the least touched, and oddly enough— he realizes it's the bottle of gin. Settling back down on the floor again, a small bottle appears in his hand, very similar to one that they drank from before, a long time ago. "I promised Elena I'd stop drinking, but— this is in celebration, not depression." So it doesn't count! Twisting off the cap, he passes it over to him first.

Celebration. That might be stretching it. But it's certainly closer to that end of the spectrum, so Nathan lets him have that. Taking the bottle, Nathan looks it over… savoring the moment, just a little. Logan never drank, for reasons unspecified to Nathan, so it'll be the first taste of hard liquor in a while. But sip from it he does, a pretty liberal sip, considering it's gin of all things, without a mixer to taste. But the sting of it is actually savored, and Nathan sighs happily, passing the bottle back and moving to sit down. "That's the best thing I've tasted in ages," he says. "Pull up a…" He gestures, offer to sit down a little limited, but there.

"…A bar?" Peter jokes, leaning back against the bars, and taking his own first sip from the bottle. Not his favorite drink ever, but— it is in celebration of sorts. He's got his brother back. And maybe he can keep him a while longer. "You wouldn't happen to remember who won the Super Bowl in 2008, would you?" The storm may change all of that, but it's worth asking.

Legs sprawled out in front of him in the usual position, Nathan leans his head back against one of said bars, looking over at Peter in amusement. "The Giants," he says, with a hint of a smile. "They beat the Patriots by 3." What else? He holds out his hand for the gin bottle. "Michael Phelps kills swimming in the Olympics," he adds. "And the new Indiana Jones film is underrated."

"Seriously? The Giants?" Peter repeats this— yeah, that's not something he'll forget. Everyone will think he's insane, though. The Patriots have been kicking ass the last few years… How did the Giants even make it to the Super Bowl? Then again… if New York was nearly destroyed by a tornado, they might have had a boost of support from fans that drove them to do better. Phelps in the Olympics. Indiana Jones… "Really? I somehow missed they were even making another. Huh." He'll keep that in mind, too. Speaking of which, as he passes the gin bottle over, he adds, "I really missed you."

Carefully, Nathan fairly pours the next sip into his mouth, letting it go down without too much tasting, despite his earlier exclamation. It's not exactly light drinking, and it gathers warmth in his belly, unwinding. When that sentiment is spoken, he tugs Peter over for a quick, one-armed hug, pushing the liquor bottle back into his hands. "I miss you too," he says, because really… they have a whole dimension between them. It's the day that the present-time Peter says those words that things will be alright again.

"Good thing I'm going back," Peter says softly, though there's a hint of something else under the surface. He's not yet had enough to drink to say it, though. At least he's still smiling. Celebration of having his brother back.

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