2007-06-29: Diamonds Aren't Forever


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Summary: Diamonds aren't a security consultant's best friend.

Date It Happened: June 29th, 2007

Log Title Diamonds Aren't Forever

Location NYC - Hyde Park - Petrelli Mansion - Nathan's Den

The den is never anything but dimly lit. Even during the day. Can't have a proper brood room otherwise, now can you. It's evening, besides, and he only has the desk lamp on, lighting up his immediate area. A glass half filled with some kind of amber liquor sits currently unattended just in front of him, and Nathan sits back in his chair, a phone pressed to his ear, the conversation wrapping up. "Have it sent directly to me, if anything comes up," he's saying, other hand up and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Thanks." The phone is set back into the cradle, his glass of scotch picked up instead.

It took Jack less than fifteen minutes perched in a tree with a high-power monocular to scope out the Petrelli estate. By his estimation the guard presence is light and the security setup looks mediocre at best. He drops down from his roost and lands in a crouch, then zig-zags through the shadows until he's pressed against the mansion's exterior wall. He gets lucky; the second window he peeks into has none other than Nathan Petrelli on the other side. The Irishman produces a handful of small tools and goes to work on the alarm and latch. When both are disabled, he slides the glass aside silently and hops over the sill. He spends several seconds looking at Nate's back, then closes the window none-too-gently.

It doesn't take Nathan long to react. He knows he keeps the window shut, he knows he's alone in the room, and he knows the only way in is via the door directly in his line of sight. When someone shuts the window just behind him, he spends half a second remembering these facts before he's out of his chair, hand reaching towards his desk drawer. The movement is aborted, however, in confused hesitation when he actually sees who came in - and it's not anyone he'd deem a threat. Still, there's a pause, before he slides the desk drawer open anyway. You never can be too careful. "Most people use the front door in this country," he says.

Jack is pleased with himself for making it inside undetected and it shows. He grins crookedly and brushes an imaginary speck of dust off of his shoulder. He might be retired, but he's still got it. The grin fades as fast as it crops up, though. He's here on serious business. "Sorry to bust in, but the guards turned me away and I needed a face to face," he says, his voice quiet and unassuming. There's something different about him tonight. Something peaceful behind the normally volatile bartender's eyes, despite the unfortunate nature of the question he's about to ask. "Have you heard about the danger your wife may be in?"

Nathan has a moment of internal debate, before finally, the desk drawer is closed, the handgun inside it left alone. Against his better judgment, in some ways, despite his initial paranoia being displaced. At ease, soldier. He turns only to pick up his glass of scotch, taking a generous sip before nodding once. "I'm aware," he says. "Probably why the guards turned you away." Now, he glances over at the window. The man scaled a wall. Christ. And all he has is magic tricks. "You know about it?"

"I do." Jack bobs a nod of his own. "My niece is another of the people who may be at risk." Yet he's still composed. "I know your brother's stayin' here to keep an eye on things, he's the one who gave me the heads up. But he can't be here all the time, and the guy's gotta sleep eventually, right?" He pauses to chew at his lower lip absently. "I came to see if you needed a hand with security around here. I can't rightly shadow my niece without runin' her adult life, but I wanna do somethin' to help."

Jack may have scared the bejesus out of him for several seconds, but that's no excuse to be a bad host. Actually, it's plenty of excuse to be a bad host, probably, but either way. Another glass is set out, expensive scotch poured to settle in the glass-crystal, then extended out to Jack. Of course Nathan Petrelli's office is well stocked with expensive liquor. "Considering your entrance, we may need all the help we can get," Nathan says wryly, with a raised eyebrow. Then he considers the weight if Jack's offer, and looks a little surprised. It earns careful consideration for a few moments. "Heidi doesn't plan on hiding herself away, and we need something more subtle than an entourage of security following her everywhere," he explains.

"What… You mean subtle like creepin' in through your second story window without you bein' any wiser?" It's a gentle jab, but there's a hint of truth to it as well. Jack inclines his head gratefully and accepts the glass of scotch from Nathan. "First, wot say I come over with a guy tomorrow so's we can fit you with new locks and a proper alarm? He's reliable as hell, so long as you don't ask where he learned his trade."

What's the harm? Nathan can get new ones refitted without too much trouble if need be, but he's pretty sure Jack knows what he's doing. Or knows people who know what they're doing. "Wasn't planning on it," he says, and nods his agreement to this idea. Though, he goes on to add: "The man who killed these women, did— your niece?" We're all connected, alright. "Did she tell you how? He made them kill themselves." He swirls the amber liquid in his own glass once, before finishing it off and setting it aside. "Will it even matter if he can get in?"

Jack holds his scotch glass up to the light and peers through it thoughtfully. "I know about his methods, but I'm not sure how close he has to be," he replies honestly. "One can never be too safe. It seems like doing anything is better that doing nothin', y'know?" He tilts his head back and downs the entire drink with measured, practiced gulps, then lets out a satisfied sigh. "S'good. Anyway, I've got a bone to pick with this bastard. Anything I can do that might trip him up, I'll do."

"Fine by me," Nathan says, resisting the urge to pace and settling for shifting his weight from foot to foot, subtly. "All I want to do is to protect my family." No crusading for Nathan Petrelli, in other words. Yet, anyway. He raises a hand to wearily rub his face. "What else needs to happen," he mutters, mostly to himself as he thinks out loud. He… pours himself another drink, is what apparently needed to happen. "The security I have is— well they're kind of trained to deal with threats that don't have supernatural abilities," he says, tone dry. "Someone around who knows what's actually going on would be a big help."

Knowing that Nathan is nothing if not a cordial host, Jack gazes longingly at the scotch bottle for several seconds, then caps his hand over his glass. Surprisingly, no refills for him tonight. "I had given that some thought," he replies. "The Den, man." For the first time, his peaceful, relaxed expression falters. "It's been flooded. Long story." He grimaces. "I set some shit on fire and the sprinklers went off. So I guess it's a short story. Anyway, the Den is flooded, and until things get sorted, I'm out of a day job. So wot say I keep an eye on things whilst Peter is out, or sleepin', or whatever it is you Italian kids do?"

The scotch bottle is capped, then, and set aside. He raises an eyebrow at the news of the Den getting itself water-destroyed, and considers the rest of what Jack has to say. He can't imagine Heidi being comfortable with an obvious bodyguard, nor can he picture it being a discreet way to go about things, at least on a constant level. "Tell you what," he says, after a moment of thought. "I could hire you on as personal security, no one will bat an eye because of the election. You'll get paid, be able to keep an eye out for this guy, and— do you need help covering for damage done in the Den?" Nathan's willing to shell out some cash if it means getting his dive bar back.

"Personal security? That has a classy ring to it. I'm in, so long as I don't get stuck on babysitting detail." Jack grins and lifts two fingers to touch his brow in an abbreviated salute. "And I appreciate your offer of a donation, but I think I can handle it. Money's not a big deal when you can do… THIS!" With a flourishing gesture, Jack does something very stupid. He relocates a small tray full of button-sized diamonds from a broker's office in the Financial District. Remember, with diamonds, the word small is relative. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ice, here.

Jack promptly freaks out. "Oh shit, man. Shit! Somebody's gonna notice this is missing! Damnit!" Panicking, he shoves the tray at Nathan's chest. "Here! You rich people know what to do with diamonds, you take it!"

Impressive. Very impressive. For about three seconds, until suddenly it's Nathan holding a small fortune of illegally acquired diamonds. Oh you have got to be kidding. "Wh— Jack," Nathan hisses, unable not to feel somewhat panicked as well. "Not this rich. Jesus Christ, put it back where you got it!" Hell, he doesn't know how this shit works! Alarmed, Nathan shoves the tray back at Jack's chest instead.

Jack shakes his head back and forth several times. "Nuh UH! That's not how it works, man! It's a one-way trip! Shit! Nonono, don't give 'em—OHGOD!" Instead of accepting the tray, Jack pushes away from himself. NO DIAMONDS FOR JACK!

But the tray isn't covered. Imagine this shot in slow-motion. Nathan holding the tray of rocks. Jack pushing said tray, knocking it out of Nathan's grip. Cut to a tight shot of the tray as it inverts, threatening to spill a king's ransom of cut gems from its velvet surface.

Instinctively, Jack pushes harder, but he's also using his will. Tray and diamonds all vanish a fraction of a second before things get terribly ugly in Nathan's den.

Nathan winces just as a shower of diamonds is about to explode from his grip and scatter everywhere, likely into every nook and cranny and places otherwise unreachable save for a very inconvenient time— but it never happens. Nathan jerks his hands away from open air, instinctively looking around, then looking at Jack. Cool. The realization that he won't have to explain away a tray of stolen diamonds is jarring enough to make him smile. And cackle, but only subtly. "Nicely done, Jack-o." That's only half sarcastic.

It starts with a nervous giggle, which grows into a chuckle, and then finally he's laughing too. There are beads of sweat at his brow, he's looking decidedly pale, and the whites of his eyes have gone heavily bloodshot. He blinks, then reaches up to dab a finger at one eye. "Holy shit, buddy. I did it! I sent somethin' back! Y'know what's weird? I can tell it went where it was supposed to go." He winces. "Oooh. Head hurt. Pour me another scotch?" Wearily, he sags back against the wall.

Nathan first reaches out a hand to nudge his office chair around, before he moves to refill Jack's glass. "Do me a favour, siddown?" he says, gesturing to the chair with a tilt of his head. Jack has that Peter-about-to-coma look about him, and no matter how harmless the movies make it seem, the collapsing to the floor part is always unpleasant. He holds out the glass should Jack comply. "You've never done that before," he says, not really a question. "That's. That's a handy twist." Flying is so lame.

As directed, Jack slumps into the chair. He accepts the glass from Nathan, then tips it back and drains every drop quickly, like a man taking his medicine. "Jesus. That's better," he says, his voice rough from alcohol and exertion. He reaches up with his free hand to massage at his temple. "Nah, I never did that before just now. Couldn't have picked a better time, though." The thought of all the diamonds hitting the floor causes him to shiver. "I hope I can remember how I did it when I feel well enough to try again."

Nathan picks up his own glass of scotch and leans against his desk, studying Jack a little. No passing out. Good. That would have been pretty inconvenient for everyone. "You did pick the right time," he agrees. He considers something, then adds, "If you do end up talking to Heidi, she knows about abilities, but I'd rather it be an off limits discussion point." A shrug. "Not sure she takes it as seriously as I need her to."

"No problem," Jack replies. "I'd be more comfortable if we kept my ability under wraps, anyway." He stretches, then reluctantly hauls himself from his comfortable seat. "I gotta go, man. My head's swimmin'. If I stay here any longer I'ma fall asleep." He's moving slowly but not unsteadily as he makes his way toward the door. "Make sure and re-set the alarm, okay? I'll come back tomorrow to change it out."

"Alright," Nathan says, hesitating before simply letting Jack go on his way. "Feel free to use the front door when you next come by," he adds, with a half-smile, before moving to pick up the phone and alert security not to shoot the man about to leave the house.

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