2007-03-17: Cold Showers Fix Everything

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Get your minds out of the gutter.

Date It Happened: March 17, 2007

Cold Showers Fix Everything


Mara's Flat

It's not that Nathan has forgotten that the force have their eye on Mara's flat. It's just that he's beyond caring at this point. Having waded through a small group of reporters outside his home while still dealing with a residual headache, it's remarkable he even stopped to pick up coffees - just two flat whites, he has no idea what the detective would drink. Other than a Collins, and it's far too early. Even for him.

Climbing the stairs, Nathan glances at the two cups of burny hot coffee in his hands, then at the door, before knocking with the toe of his boot. Sometimes, life is too hard. But at the very least, he's wearing fresh clothes and has encountered a shower, with a pair of 'fuck off, daylight' sunglasses to ease his pain.

Sometimes, daylight is just way too early. After hearing Nathan let himself out sometime around sevenish, Mara took her pillow and her handgun and stumbled off to sleep in her own bed. /That/ was horrifically shortlived, wasn't it? Who the hell is knocking at this hour? They had better have a /damn/ good reason.

The disheveled, disgruntled, and dislumbered detective unlocks the door and opens it wide, wearing the same excuse for pajamas she was the day before. The shirt she wears would keep her just on this side of decent, but the shorts don't hurt. "What the fu- …Nathan?" Mara stares blearily at the lawyer and blinks several times. "The hell are you doing here?"

"Good question. I was going to go home and sleep it off." He came all this way - Nathan isn't going to wait for anyone to let him in, so as politely as possible, he maneuvers his way inside. "If it makes you feel any better, one of these are for you." He sets the two cups down on an available flat surface, and he's already looking the floor over, scanning for something.

Mara grins slowly and snatches up the coffee, leaning against the door after she locks it. She looks like a cat who's just gotten a taste of cream. "Admit it, you just wanted more gin."

"I'm never going to drink again," Nathan says, easily. It's a lie, and they both know it, so he doesn't amend it. When he doesn't immediately find what he was looking for, he finally looks back at her, glancing her up and down in her rumpled state as he lifts his right hand, waggling his fingers once. "Left something behind."

"Yeah, I found that little prize under my pillow this mornin'. I suppose you want it back?" Mara chuckles softly, taking another drink of coffee. She doesn't make any move to go retrieve the ring just yet.

Nathan picks up the beverage he'd brought for himself, peeling back the cap to blow a cooling stream of air across the surface before taking a sip. "I figure it might be handy to have. Or else it turns out that my divorce is caused by the fact I left my wedding ring at a woman's flat."

Mara snorts and starts choking on her coffee, doubling over quickly as she begins coughing.

Reasonably satisfied by this reaction, Nathan moves to pat her on the back, helpfully. "Exactly. And it's too early in the morning for irony. Where'd you put it?"

Once able to breathe again, Mara straightens up and starts off toward the bedroom. "Just a sec. I think I left it on the nightstand." She pauses briefly to stoop down and pick up the clothes that she left on the floor wherever she managed to squirm out of them the night before.

"Thanks." Moving to perch on the arm of the couch, Nathan pulls his sunglasses off. He looks slightly apologetic when she goes to gather up her clothes, having kicked her out of her own bedroom last night, but not too sorry. Her choice, after all. "If you get any visions between your room and here? I don't want to know."

"If I get any visions between my room and here, I'll wonder why you slipped acid into my coffee," Mara assures as she disappears into the bedroom. Quiet cursing follows.

Nathan nods once to her before she disappears, lifting his coffee to his mouth before he pauses when the muffled cursing starts, raising an eyebrow. "Uh. Mara?" he calls out, voice filled with hesitation, not sure if he /wants/ to know.

Mara comes rushing out of the bedroom, grabbing the door frame to swing herself around the corner and into the washroom in a flurry of striped dress shirt and dark hair. "Shitshitshitshitshit!" There's the sound of rummaging around before she finally sighs with relief.

Should Mara turn to head out, Nathan is there, having followed the sound of rummaging. He leans into the frame of the door, and squints at her. "You didn't just lose my wedding ring for about 10 seconds there, did you?"

"Of course no-" Mara barrels right into Nathan in her haste to prove she didn't do exactly what she just did, gasping sharply as she bounces off his chest… and so does her coffee, splashing the contents onto the front of her shirt. Somehow, Petrelli is spared. She starts pulling at the fabric to get it away from her skin. Hot!!

Nathan jumps back, quickly, mostly to get away from the explosion of burny hot coffee as she goes running into him. "Jesus Christ," he breathes out. "And that's how law suits are— here." He grabs a washcloth, and he starts instinctively to help her mop up the coffee— then just hands it to her. "Nicely done."

"Bite me, Petrelli," Mara growls as she sets her coffee on the sink and starts trying to mop up the hot liquid soaking her shirt. It's not working as well as one would hope. "Out," she orders firmly, steering him back to the living room as she barricades herself in the washroom.

Nathan turns back to find the door shut in his face, and he rolls his eyes ceilingwards. "I'll just wait out here," he says to the door, before heading back into the main area. He finds himself peering into the bedroom, and then walking further inside, heading towards the photos, which he regards curiously. Sipping from his own coffee, which has gone unexploded due to instinctive, caffeine-preserving reflexes, he observes the different photos vaguely.

Water from the shower runs for a solid five minutes before Mara emerges from the bathroom, wrapped in a bathrobe and shivering as water drips from her hair onto the terrycloth fabric. "H- Here." She holds out the wedding band, fingers trembling.

Nathan turns away from the photos, and nods his thanks, taking back the ring. It goes back onto his finger without hesitation, although from there, it's fidgeted with, minutely. "Thanks. Who makes coffee that hot, huh?" He waits a beat before canting his head a little to the side, asking, "You okay?"

"Y- Yeah. C- Cold water fixes everything." Mara smiles shakily, wrapping her arms around herself tightly. The coffee can just sit on the sink for a while while it cools, yes. If it's ever revisited at all. "Don't tell anybody I managed to burn myself, 'kay?"

Nathan lifts his own beverage in a sort of cheersy salute. "Secret's safe with me," he says. He shuffles slightly, as if about to sidestep around her and make to leave, but he pauses and instead goes on to say, "Do you…" This is one of those moments when he's unsure exactly how insane what he's about to say is going to sound, so he proceeds with caution. "Did Hiro ever tell you about paintings? Ones that predict the future?"

How to answer this question carefully… Yeah, there's not much point in making /that/ attempt. "/Nakamura/ didn't, no." Mara starts to gnaw on her lower lip before she's painfully reminded that it's still healing. "Mendez's paintings, right?"

"Correct," Nathan says with a slow nod. He and Mendez paintings do not get along, after all, and the reservation in his voice shows this. "There are more than I thought, apparently. One is of a murder, it shows— well, Peter and Hiro think it's our mother in the painting, as the victim. Killed by Gray."

Mara nods slowly and moves toward the kitchen as she listens. Juice. Must have juice. "Your brother and Nakamura think this… But you don't?" Call it a hunch.

Nathan moves lean, once again, against the couch. "I don't know. I'm no art critic. It could be my mother, it might not be. And Gray goes after… people like us. With powers. Right?"

"Yes, Gray goes after people like us." The look on Mara's face suggests she's fairly certain she isn't going to like what she's about to hear. The juice - grapefruit and not the customary orange one might expect - is put back into the fridge after a generous glass has been poured for the hungover woman. "What are you getting at, Nathan?" She tries to keep the exasperation from her voice.

Nathan shakes his head. "Not a thing. But see, my brother kind of has it in his head he's meant to save the whole world, and thinks the paintings… or trying to prevent them, is the way to go. And that the first step is getting rid of Gray. You're the only I know who seems to have a clue about the guy - Peter didn't even know his real name."

"What are you asking?" Mara narrows her eyes in a very admirable impression of Nathan's own squinting expression. She sets her juice down on the counter and moves to the living room to lean against the opposite arm of the couch. She looks terribly serious, except for what she says. "You want me to whack him?" She gives him her best accent straight out of the Godfather. "Is that it?" Her eyebrows hike up toward her bangs. Somebody is in a quirky mood.

Nathan has to grin at that, because for real, this is ridiculous, and there is no denying that within this room, two people are probably experiencing a headache worthy of three. "Hey, he's all yours," he says, gesturing wildly, before shaking his head. "I guess… I just wanna know if going after this guy is a suicide mission. That I should be home and talking sense into Peter."

"Your brother's got a better chance at him than I do, Nathan." Mara leans back to cross her arms over her chest, bouncing lightly in an attempt to keep herself warm. "The kid was a freaking bomb. Maybe next time, he can take Gray with him." The instant it flies out of her mouth, Damaris regrets it. She slaps one hand over her mouth and looks horrified. "I'm sorry."

Getting indignant and offended is Peter's thing. Nathan sort of just smiles sarcastically, and finishes his coffee. "It'd do the trick," he agrees. "Unless the man's a cockroach. I am, however, attempting to maybe come up with a plan that doesn't involve Peter going nuclear."

"Understandable," Mara mutters against her palm. Idiot. Jesus. "Gray is a dangerous man." Her hand falls limp at her side, toying with the fabric of her robe anxiously. "Could he kill Peter? Very possibly. Could Peter kill him? Also possible. If I thought running would do any good, I'd be hiding in a cornfield in Iowa right about now. I don't know what to tell you. Just make sure your brother knows what he's dealing with." She fixes the flying man with a skeptical look for a moment. "Were you kind of hinting that you would like me to make another prediction?"

"Not today," Nathan says, pushing himself up to stand. "But it had occurred to me. Kind of tired of prophecies, though. Figure it's easier to make your own destiny when you're not entirely sure what's coming." He starts heading towards the door. "Sorry about the coffee, thanks for the ring back."

Mara sighs and rakes her fingers through her hair, "Yeah, no problem…" She follows Nathan to the door with a small frown on her face. "Next time I tell you that I don't want to tell you what I saw, don't make me do it anyway."

"Yeah, well. It was my first time getting my fortune told. Trust me, I'll know better next time," Nathan says as he steps outside. He turns back to her, and sighs, slipping his sunglasses back on. "I can't blame you for that, okay? So I don't."

Mara nods weakly, unable to keep the guilt out of her expression. "Take care of yourself, okay? … Tell your brother he can come see me, if he feels like comparing notes on Gray." The dark haired woman leans against the frame of the door, wincing against the daylight.

"Will do. Thanks. I get the feeling he needs some allies," Nathan says with a one-shouldered shrug. He holds out a hand to shake. "Well you have my number." A semi-awkward smile goes her, but it's genuine enough.

Mara takes Nathan's hand to shake, her own sort of rueful-yet-genuine smile in place. "And you've got mine."

And with that, Nathan heads down the stairs, already pulling out his cellphone to get himself an especially nice car to drive him home. And catch up on some sleep and Tylenol.

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