2007-05-16: Chaos Theory


Nathan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Guest Starring:

snowy_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif

Summary: After Elle is recruited to babysit Nathan's children, it's up to Peter to babysit Nathan. There is shnapps, whiskey, and advice to be had.

Date It Happened: 16th of May, 2007

Chaos Theory

Downtown, NYC - 1407 - Peter Petrelli's Apartment

Today was a long day. It's not even evening yet. After a few rounds of schnapps, Peter called over to Elle to tell her he was stuck at the apartment. Nathan's a dick. He can't leave him tonight. Oh yeah, if she wants to help the boys might need a baby sitter. That leads to her saying she needs a key to the mansion, and he says to come and get it— and oh yeah, bring some whiskey please. This is where they all are. Snowy's still hiding under the desk, and there's a few lights on, and some sports commentary on the radio. Nothing says manly more than sports commentaries.

For her part, Elle finds that chain of logic almost impossible to fathom…but hey. It works. And besides, she has a delivery to make anyway. So she gets her things together, hops in her SUV, and a quick stop at a liquor store later, arrives at Peter's apartment. Knockknockknock.

You know what isn't manly, unlike sports? Goddamn shnapps. But Nathan isn't quite ballsy enough to bitch about it, so he'll drink his fruity alcohol until something better shows up. He's currently slouched on a couch, and is about to reach over for a refill when the door is knocked upon. HEIDI— no. No, logically, he knows it will be Elle. The glass is refilled, the alcohol is sipped from, and, because he's been quiet all night so why start being vocal now, he barely bats an eye when Peter goes to let her in.

Sitting on his chair, Peter stands up and walks over to the door. He doesn't look as if he's going to fall over and pass out any moment, but he does look paler than normal, red around the eyes, and a little sweat. The apartment isn't even warm. He unlocks and opens the door. "Hey, thanks for stopping by. Let me grab the keys. You can put the whiskey on the counter. Nathan's getting pissed off at my choice of drinks." He's not totally blind, right? As he says this, he moves away to his coat and fetches the keyring he has, searching through it for the right one.

Elle comes inside, carrying a small bag. "Here you are. I didn't know what kind or how much. So there's two bottles in there." She sets it on the countertop. She turns back, and looks over towards Nathan. She considers him, but she doesn't say anything…trying to be nice. She waits, as Peter gets the keyring. As he is, she slips a hand into her pocket, taking something small out in her hand.

Elle. Nathan tilts his head to the side, trying to figure out how he feels abou— hey. He cranes his neck a bit to see what's been set out, and slowly, because it's polite, he sets his drink down and gets to his feet. It's clear he's had a few, even if it /is/ shnapps. "Elle," he says, by way of greeting. "Thanks for…" What's she doing? Babysitting his kids? God. It'll have to do, though. He tries to smile. "Doing this, such short notice."

With the key coming off the ring after a little searching, Peter takes it over to her and holds it out. "This should let you in. If there's any guards that give you trouble still— just tell them to call my cellphone and I'll clear it up." Yeah, Nathan, look, she brought whiskey. He's had a lot less to drink, saving most of it for his brother. Even if he's insulting the drinks Mara brought him. Not that he says who brought him schnapps. "Yeah— thanks for doing this, Elle. It means a lot to me." It really seems to.

Elle smiles just a little. "Not a problem." She reaches out to take the keys with the same hand that she put the whatsit into, and as she does, she'll press it into his hand. "The bottles are for your brother. Those are for you." The requested pills, inside a small zip bag.

That's RIGHT they're for your brother. Nathan may regret being so obvious in front of Elle later on, but tonight, he has a mission. He wants to see exactly how drunk he can get until he feels like someone completely different. Aiming for new highs - or lows, rather. Kind of like that one time years back when he kept flying up and up to see how much cold he could tolerate until… A little shakily, he opens the bag, extracts one of the bottles and glances at the label, largely ignoring the other two for a few moments before he twists open the cap, looking back at them again. "Sure you don't want to stick around for a drink?" he offers, although it comes off flimsy, almost bitter. Not forced, exactly, but sarcastic. Sure you don't wanna stick around for /all the fun we're having/? Still, he has to offer. "Mandy'll hang around 'til you get there anyway."

"Not if she's going to be watching your kids, Nathan," Peter says, glaring towards his brother until he takes the small zip bag of pills and— he stares at them for a moment, almost as if he's not sure he recognizes them. And when he does… there's a quiet look of breaking in him. He steps forward and wraps his arms around Elle tightly, holding onto her more than he probably needs to. "Thank you." The tone says so much more than the words do. And a moment later, when he pulls back and he nudges his nose against hers— she'll hear one of the other things she could have gotten from the tone, "Love you." After that— there's kissing. Enjoy your drink, man.

Elle points out. "And not if I need to drive over there." she answers Nathan. Responsible girlfriend is responsible. She doesn't know the details, just that there was a fight. She puts her arms around Peter and hugs him tightly when he hugs her. "Love you too." And it's warm, and happy. She kisses him, though she breaks it after a moderate time. "You taste like alcohol." she says, just mildly chastizing. "Call me when you wake up." To let her know how it went, and whether she still needs to play babysitter. "You can reach me on my cell."

For a moment, Nathan is annoyed. He's used to Peter's moral highgrounds, but it is /unfair/ when it coincides with logic. However, Elle points out the obvious too and so Nathan gets over it, and just kind of… grunts bitterly when they go to kiss, turning away to take up his perch on the couch, and downing the shnapps so it can be filled with some real booze. "Don't let Simon rope you into reading the Jungle Book," Nathan says, not actually looking at anyone as he gives this instruction. "It's the real one, not the Disney one. Takes forever."

"I know," Peter responds, to more than just her love. "I didn't drink that much yet— it's strawberry." Schnapps is after all sweet and fruity— but with an alcoholic aftertaste. "I'll call you in the morning. And— if anyone shows up to relieve you, you can go home." Anyone meaning Heidi. Or possibly Angela. But he doesn't want to speculate on the likelyhood of either. "Make sure that they feed Spike, too. That's their cat." There's a lingering touch from him, before he sighs and pulls back reluctantly. "Hopefully we can spend some time together tomorrow."

The blonde replies "We'll see." Translation: Unless it's Peter, Nathan, or Heidi, don't count on it. This is her job-of-the-moment, and she takes that seriously. And she wouldn't trust Angela Petrelli as far as she could throw her, thanks. But then she answers the second and third parts. "I'll make sure the cat is fed. And I hope we get to spend some time together soon too." Touchcheek. "I'll get over there and babysit."

They're talking between themselves, really. Being coupley. Nathan just feels sidelined and morose and… and… kind of drunk. That has something to do with it. Definitely getting there, anyway. He doesn't interject, this time, setting the bottle down on the table, not bothering to cap it. He glances at the radio when the commentators get excited about something, and he settles in to listen, glass brimming with whiskey in hand. He does, however, lift that glass to Elle in thanks/goodbye, should she turn to go.

The cheek she touches is a little warm. Yay for overloading boyfriend. But he should be fine as long as he stays in. Peter leans down one more time to kiss her on the cheeks. "Be careful," he adds, before he'll wait to close and lock the door behind her. She's a wonderful girlfriend sometimes. He glances over towards his brother and frowns a bit. Man… how is he going to deal with this tonight. Oh hey, someone just scored on the radio.

Elle turns, and she heads to the door. "Good luck." She tells both of them, and then the door opens and electroblonde is gone. Off to her Very First Babysitting Job.

Wahey. Good for them. The radio-athletes, that is. Nathan takes a gulping sip of whiskey, but despite himself, despite his Mission, he slows down after that. You can't slam whiskey without severely paying for it, and he's not /that/ submerged in self-loathing. The last thing he needs is to force Peter into calling 911 for alcohol poisoning, right? Right. He lets out a shuddering sigh when that initial mouthful packs its punch, glancing towards the door when it closes. He looks back at Peter, whom he hasn't said much to aside from 'shnapps? oh, got anything else?' and 'does the dog bark like that a lot?' and similar. Maybe he should say something about… about Elle! "Seems like it's going good now," he comments, idly.

The schnapps is more in Peter's area. So he pours himself more of that and settles down. It's like having shots of candy that makes you feel tingly deep down. So it works. He doesn't mix with the 7-up, though. No Fruit Brute for him. "…Yeah, I guess so. I couldn't do it, Nathan. She— practically begged me not to leave her. And now after— I don't think I can. Not unless there's no alternative." And there's a few situations when there'll be no alternative. As far as he knows they haven't happened yet. "Elena forgave her too." That's a big deal to him. If Elena can forgive her… "And she's trying really hard. These…" He holds up the bag with the pills, before he stands back up and hides them in a drawer on his desk. Okay, that's fairly safe. "These'll help out a lot."

Nathan glances down at his drink, contemplative. The situations are so different, it makes him uneasy to think that Peter is following some example set by him of What Not To Do. Nathan and Heidi, Peter and Elle… one works and one should not. Ha. Irony. Look at them now, after all. He squints at the pills, glances to Peter. "Those the… that the medication the Company gave you?" he asks, taking a stab. He's pretty sure Peter isn't sick or in pain to warrant /real/ medication, so…

"Yeah," Peter says with a nod, settling back into his seat to take another shot worth of the schnapps. Yeah— he'll be feeling it in a little while. But at least he won't have to worry about a hospital trip. And— it should help him sleep. "We called them the Haitian Pills. Elle and I. She swapped them out and gave me vitamin pills instead, giving me enough time off them that I could use my abilities again. Going to try to duplicate it. Somehow. For use against Sylar— maybe— or to keep me from taking on new abilities for a while. Got reason to believe there's a girl who could cause the tornado in that painting. I definitely don't want to meet her and end up being the cause because I can't control it."

Busy times. Nathan listens to Peter with a frown. Tornado, well, at least someone's got an idea about that. He recalls, months ago, promising Peter he'd help if he could. Save the world again. Now, he just wants to know when the storm's going to hit so he can make sure his family is safe. "Those pills," Nathan says, drawing the subject back to this. "They shut down your abilities? They got that in," slight shrug, "permanent?" Suresh. Another name Nathan hasn't reflected on in a while, drifts to the surface of memory. Talking about how to 'cure' these abilities, or at least, that's how Nathan saw it.

"They were supposed to be working on a cure," Peter says, relatively loose lipped for the moment, downing another shot before he goes on. "Reason I was staying there. They promised they'd cure me. But the guy in the cell next to me said they'd had him there for thirty years, promising they'd find a cure— and they hadn't found it yet." No one's told him Adam isn't to be trusted still. He remembers his friend from the cell… who also gave him some clothes recently when he wound up naked in the street. By accident. Best not to think on that. "Even what happened to Sylar wasn't permenant. We both know that one." There's a sigh. "Nathan… Heidi— she thought she wasn't enough. For you. Because she doesn't have an ability." Tangent. But— hey, he's buzzing now.

Tangent indeed. Nathan almost flinches, but he has a better poker face than that… usually… well tonight is special. It's just a little wince, followed by a liberal sip of whiskey. It's not even the subject, just the mention of her name. "She's more than enough," Nathan mutters, turning his glass between his hands. "I don't call being a mutant being some kind of…" Words are failing him. It just seems so ridiculous. Instead, he sums it up thusly: "It's not like I fucked Mara because she can see the future." And here, have some crude language! "I want to be like Heidi, not— not for her to put up with what we have to put up with."

"Didn't you?" Peter asks, looking towards his brother quietly. There's not quite the accusations of before, but— "If she hadn't seen the divorce… if you hadn't had that seed of doubt— would you have had sex with her? Would you have kissed her that first time? Based on what I've seen of Isaac's paintings… they tend to come true just because we saw them, Nathan. The bomb, yeah, we stopped that— but if I hadn't sketched Ted at Kirby Plaza and used the bomb paintings to know what was going to happen— I never would have been the bomb. I might not have met him at all. And— It's like if you accept it as a possibility it becomes more possible. Gives you room to do things you might not have done. Not saying you've never cheated on Heidi… I mean Niki… or Jessica, whichever, but— With Mara it was different."

This is too philosophical. Another sip before the glass is set down in favour of Nathan bringing his hands up to rub at his face wearily as Peter talks. "You're probably right," he says, once Peter is done, looking back at him and hands dropping down again. "Mara, she even said something a lot like that. I just mean… I didn't— it's not because she has superpowers, it's not about Heidi not being good enough. Why would she even think that." Yeah. It's all /Heidi's fault/ that this is depressing. Logically, Nathan doesn't actually think that, but he sounds resentful that so much is misunderstood and tangled.

"Because /she wasn't here/, Nathan," Peter says, actually raising his voice. "You sent her away when you needed her the most. I know why you did it, but— /you needed her/. And worst— she's found out about all of this by surprise. On accident. Without you meaning to tell her. Except for Claire, that's the only thing you didn't fuck up." There's some major tension there. He pours another drink and realizes he's out of strawberry after this one. Time to break out the peach.

At least he knows Peter isn't going to bullshit him. Even so - owch. Although, ironic that the topic of /Claire/ isn't the thing he fucked up on, and Nathan tries not to smile grimly, just reaches for that glass again, polishes it off, refills. Rinse wash repeat. "I was— " He takes a moment to steady his voice, emphasis or booze or something a little worse adding a tremor to it. "I was going to tell her. Everything. You know - I /told/ you that. But… not about Mara, that— that was supposed to stay buried. Why the hell were they even in the same room?" His voice raises here - not shouting, but there's an edge to it, irrational anger welling up.

"Heidi has a key to my apartment," Peter says, not exactly lightening the tone of his voice so much as the volume. He's still not pleased. Not pleased at all. The apartment is supposed to be his haven, and his brother's home-life drama invaded it. "From what I gathered— she showed up to play with Snowy," he glances back towards his poor puppy, still hiding under the desk. He gives her a sad look before he stands up to go and fetch the peach schnapps. Bringing the bottle back he continues, "Mara was drunk, probably came over to see me. You know Heidi— she's nice to everyone." Heidi's a lot like him. Only even nicer than that. "Mara should've known better than to demonstrate her ability on Heidi's wedding ring— unless she wanted to see for herself exactly what you both were ending your 'relationship' for." He's not sure what to even call it. Love affair? Liason?

She did /what now/? Oh, Mara. Nathan isn't quite disbelieving, it's… something Mara would do, he knows that. Hates her for it right now. "She should have just left," he mutters. "Can't believe that's all it took." Such simple decisions and actions that create just huge problems. Talk about a butterfly effect. Nathan's never been one to reflect on the chaos theory until now. He shifts a little in his seat in order to dig around in his pocket, until he tosses the wedding on the table in front of him, it bouncing once with a *clink*. It's obviously a wedding ring in design, and feminine. "She left that, here," he says, not something he's mentioned until now, leaning back into his seat. "It— it came true, Pete. Everyone Mara said would happen."

"Took a lot more than that, Nathan," Peter says, pouring himself a shot worth of peach schnapps and then grabs a nearby napkin left over from a few nights before and leaning forward to pick up the ring. The napkin keeps him from touching it, in case it would trigger him face planting into the table. That's the last thing he needs right now. "Listen… was really young at the time, but I remember your wedding vows. On this ring— you vowed to honor her. You've broken that vow. I have no idea how many times, and I really don't want to know." The more he knows of, the more likely he'll be steaming mad and angry enough to toss him out a window and hope he can fly drunk. "If you want any hope of fixing this— you better put everything on the table. She's your wife. No matter how many secrets you think you're entitled to— she's your wife."

Even now, the prime time for Nathan to learn his lesson, this idea of flat out honesty makes him uneasy. Vegas. Pretty blonde woman who, at the time, would mean nothing, and certainly wasn't as pretty as his wife. But she was a warm body who was able to feel things from the waist down and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and all. That was how it was /meant/ to go. The idea of unearthing this, on top of today's discovery… it's enough to make him feel cold. "No," Nathan says, not looking at Peter, now only look into his glass. "This… this is enough, she doesn't need to know everything else. That's exactly what it would take for her to never come back, to destroy her." He's thinking, now, as opposed to before when he was just trying to hard, rather than solve the problem. "Need to patch it up, start over."

"Then tell her the truth of what could affect her right now," Peter says, shaking his head at his brother's denials. Sure, he can see why the long gone past would be a bad idea, but— "Whatever your deal is with the Councilwoman from the foundation, for example." Something he only knows much about from the news. "You saw what happened with your ability to fly— and with Mara. She's here— she found out. I'd be prepared to tell her everything about it, because she's going to have questions. When it started, when it ended— but most importantly you have to tell her what she means to you." As she's a lot like him, he knows that's one of the many things she needs. "And don't give her your fake politican smile when you do it, either." Cause it's /fake/. And they know him well enough to see it. "I already told her about the paintings and what you did last year— what really happened to you— but you should give her your version. Tell her why you sent her away, and why you didn't ask her to come back."

Nathan points at Peter, here - the rest of his fingers are still wrapped around that glass, but his index finger is freed up to accuse. "You've been telling a couple've people 'bout what I did last year," he says, mildly, slurrily at this stage. Hey subject change. For now. "That Elena girl, she. She said you did, acted like I was some kind of…" He shakes his head, letting that drop. He almost doesn't want to talk about it with Peter. Those last few moments when they flew together were so sickeningly painful, the physical kind, and that feeling of preparing to die isn't much better, in hindsight. Best to leave it alone. Besides, Nathan doesn't /really/ want to argue about whether or not he had acted heroically. Kind of nice, even if he doesn't believe one good action takes back what he had been about to do instead.

"Heidi, too. You told her that." Another sip is taken from his glass, no shudder this time. Nathan barely even tastes it at this point. "Doubt it counts for anything now. And it's not a /fake/ smile." When you barely do it genuinely, it may as well not be. "I'll talk to her when she wants to see me again," he finally promises. He sounds like he dreads that - it would involve Heidi speaking, too, and what she might want to say could mean the end. "I'll tell her what I can. What she means to me… she means /everything/." Okay, a little dramatic, by Nathan's standards, but maybe he's trying to speak Peter's language. He fixes himself a third glass. Second? Fourth. He's lost count already.

"Heidi and— and Elena— aren't a lot of people," Peter says, putting the ring back down finally on the table, and moving to retrieve his puppy from under the desk. Sorry, Snowy— he'd like to say it to her personally, but he doesn't think he could understand what's going on in her little puppy brain beyond… well… she's worried and scared. That's obvious from the droop of her ears. Carrying her over, he tucks her under one arm and depowers the radio completely. "Besides— what you did meant a lot to me. I'm entitled to tell people I'm close to why I allowed the Company to lock me up for almost five months." Because that's exactly what it had been. He allowed it.

"If she means everything— then make sure she knows that. Find a way to show her. Remember how things used to be, what you used to have." The past is what caused the blow up, the past is what can also fix it, he hopes. "I'm going to take my dog for a walk." With his free hand, he takes the whiskey bottle and pours him another glass, and then takes it into the kitchen. "Milk that glass for a while. You're not poisoning yourself in my apartment while I'm gone." True, he can just walk over and grab one of the bottles and go at it again— but maybe this way he'll slow down.

"Be careful," Nathan says, absently, because he's /seen/ all those shnapps you've had to drink, Petey! Okay, he's not near where Nathan is, but all the same. He sneers a little when the main source of alcohol is taken away, even if he can always stand and go get it again, and watches Peter make moves to leave. Ideally, he wants Peter to stay put - someone to talk to a distract him is what's needed - but he doesn't protest. Just leans forward to pick up and pocket Heidi's ring once more. "See you soon."

However, when Peter /does/ return, Nathan has sought greener pastures. And has turned his cellphone off.

It's not the schnapps his brother needs to worry about so much as the impending overload that's rendered his skin pale and his body flush. But at the same time… moving around will help get the blood circulating and keep him from falling down into a drunken coma. Not that he's /that/ far gone. Or anywhere close. Peter nods at the concern, though. Of course when he comes back and finds his apartment /empty/… he curses softly, glancing towards the door with temptation to go right back out. Instead he lets his puppy go, locks the door, makes sure she has food and water, and then works to clean up any messes that they made. The activity is much needed right now, before he finds his phone and lays down on the bed, trying his brother's number, but hanging up before it switches to voice mail, ponders trying a few more, and then ends up resting on one, which he never sends off.

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