2007-11-06: Breaking News


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Summary: As they prepare to go back home, Niki and Cam happen to catch a news update that interrupts one channel's election coverage — and interrupts a few lives in a way Niki didn't see coming.

Date It Happened: November 6th, 2007

Breaking News

Peter Petrelli's Apartment


There isn't much to get ready, once it's time to leave. It's been a couple of days. If anyone's come looking for Niki or the boys, she doesn't know about it. She's had time to think. To escape. It's time to go home to face the consequences and pretend everything is fine — one in the same. It's the only tactic she has, save for one that leads to prison.

Peter Petrelli's apartment is minus one Peter Petrelli, but it still seems very much like his apartment, with all his things lining the space. The TV is on in the living room, broadcasting news of the election for Senate, as it has been off and on all day by default. Polls are now closed, the news ticker reports. "Do you have everything together?" Niki calls out — to Cam, since Micah's in the shower — as she finishes making the borrowed bed with clean sheets, smoothing down a corner.

Cam calls back, "Yep! All my homework stuff's packed, and got my cellphone in my pocket." He's been watching the news at least half-heartedly. Rather boring for a 12-year-old, but at the same time Mr. Jones will probably be talking about it the next day in Civics. Not to mention, he recognizes one of the candidates thanks to his time in this apartment. Still, he's filled his time with helping to pack and reading comics (brought back from his locker at school) to keep from being *too* bored.

Bed made, Niki stands up and runs her hands through her hair wearily. She stays like that for awhile, frozen — she's been taking lots of little moments like that to stop, think, get it together. Finally, blonde hair swings back onto her shoulders as she lets her arms drop. She glances around the room to see if there's anything left; there is. The apartment key, on the corner of the bedstand. She swipes it, looks at it in her palm — and hesitates before tucking it into the pocket of her jeans. The television gets an idle look as she emerges into the living room — Petrelli versus Crane imagery still going strong. "I forgot to vote," she says absently.

Cam looks up to Niki as she comes out, and grins, "Promise I won't tell Peter." He glances back to the TV a moment and then down to the comic in his lap. Oh, right. He stands up, taking the comic and quickly stuffing it into his bag. *Now* he's packed.

"I'll feel bad if his brother loses by one vote or something." There's nothing left to take except— well, Micah. Which is pretty important. And so, while she waits, Niki sits herself down on the arm of a chair and watches the TV with a dull stare. The race to Senate isn't very exciting for a 12-year-old, and evidently, it's not very exciting for this 33-year-old, either. (Sorry, Nathan.) The woman's expression starts to change when the news filler between the polls closing and the winner being announced is interrupted. Sudden panic sparks in her blue eyes and her mouth drops further open in shock.

Channel 7 News Break

City favorite News Anchor, Ted Raimi, is wearing a grim expression. The picture in picture next to his head shows the last known picture of Isis Thigpen. Ted has to take a moment before he can start the story, "Isis Thigpen has been missing for two days. Authorities have been unable to locate her for quite some time. That is, until tonight." Ted doesn't seem happy about this news. But it's quite somber, indeed. "Two hours ago, Isis Thigpen's body was found on the steps of the 14th precinct of the New York Police Department. Right here in Manhattan. She was, allegedly, killed by this man…"

The picture in picture changes to something more familiar to some: D.L.

"His name is Daniel Lawerence Hawkins and he has confessed to the murder of Ms. Thigpen. Whether this is true or not, the police have not said. They have, however, taken Mr. Hawkins into custody as they have no other suspects." The visual switches back to just Ted.

"This isn't the happy ending that I know most was hoping for, but our hearts and prayers go out to Ms. Thigpen's family and we hope that they can find some sort of closure in her killer being brought to justice. For Channel 7 news, I'm Ted Raimi."

Cam looks up at the screen again as Isis is mentioned, blinking. As the story plays out, his eyes widen and he just stares at the screen. When the story's over, he looks back up to Niki, "You… you said there was an accident. Was that…?"

"No," Niki answers, breathless. She seems to lose her ability to balance on her perch, sliding down carefully 'til both feet hit the floor; she holds on to the back of the chair for an instant before starting to back away, fingers trailing off of the furniture and falling — all the while, she's staring at the television screen as if the flash of D.L.'s face is still there, not the publicity photo of Nathan Petrelli that it switches to once the news break ends. In a whisper, she voices, "Damnit, D.L."

Cam bites his lip, looking to the TV and then up to Niki, confused and just a little worried. He glances towards the bathroom and then back up to Niki. "Did… do ya think he did it?"

"I know he didn't." But is it better to let Cam think he did, rather than— ? "As soon as Micah's out, we're leaving," Niki says with urgent authority. They were going to leave all the same, but now? Now she's in a hurry.

In the background, a whole other world away to Niki, a reporter is announcing on TV, "…Nathan Petrelli elected as New York's senator in an unprecedented second landslide victory…"

Cam blinks, but then nods quickly, standing up and grabbing his bag, getting ready to go. Still, he's confused. "If he didn't, why'd he tell them he did?"

Cam's simple questions are difficult ones to answer. Whisking into the bedroom to grab the messenger bag full of clothes off the bed and onto her shoulder, Niki simply doesn't answer at first. Then, "To protect someone else."

Cam blinks, "But who…" He looks up to Niki, but then blinks and trails off. His eyes widen a moment at first, and he takes a slight step back… but then he stops, looking at her. He had an instant of fear, but then sudden understanding, making a connection in his mind that makes more sense to him than Niki killing on purpose. "Did your power go off by accident?" *That* is something he understands all too well.

Yes and no. Niki stands in the doorway of Peter's room, eyes fixed on Cam regretfully. She sees that fear, however short - it's familiar, not just from Cam — and seems worried for what he might think. "Kind of," she eventually answers, but she's … hesitant. She approaches the boy and leans down, hands on her knees to be closer to his (growing!) height. "What happened to Isis was …. terrible," she explains, "It was— an accident, just like you said."

At the 'kind of', Cam looks a little confused again… until her explanation, and he nods a little. "Knew you wouldn't do it on purpose. I won't tell anybody, promise." Then he glances towards the bathroom where Micah's still showering… or, by now, probably getting dressed, and then back up to Niki, "What happens now?"

"I don't know." Honesty, the best policy, but not exactly heartening in reality. Niki reaches out to hold onto Cam — hopefully, he's not skittish now — one hand on each of his arms. She looks into his eyes. "All of this — it doesn't change anything. Family services, this thing with Isis, being shuffled around. I'm still going to make sure you're safe no matter what." The blonde straightens, hands on her thighs, "Right now, I'm going to take you two home."

Cam is still a little scared, but of the situation and not Niki it seems, as he doesn't pull away in the slightest as she reaches for him. Once he's given his trust, it seems to be total. He nods a little and says softly, "That mean they'll be coming for Micah and me still?" Still slightly more worried for Micah than himself, but he doesn't want to go anywhere either, at least not until his own parents come for him someday.

"Not if I can help it." Niki gives Cam a smile that starts out shaky and ends strong. She strides into the bedroom, stops, and starts up again toward the bathroom and back in a flurry of activity that gets her nowhere except more restless. "Micah, hurry up, we have to leave!"

Cam smiles back, reassured by the smile at least somewhat. He nods again and says, "Ok." He goes back to the TV to watch while he waits for Micah to finally finish.

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