2007-03-31: Dirty Laundry

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Mara and Nathan share their dirty little secrets. Tell no one.

Date It Happened: March 31, 2007

Dirty Laundry


Secret location is secret. And posh.

It is late, maybe pushing midnight, when Nathan arrives in front of Mara's door. He tries the doorknob, but as expected, it holds fast. He hns in disapproval, and leans against the door, fishing for his cell phone. This quick are-you-still-alive visit is turning out to be far too complicated, as he tries to remember exactly how to gain control over small motor functions and press the right buttons. Soon, he sends a text to Mara's phone, reading, 'n frevr- opn door', before knocking.

The text message that arrives less than instantly, and more like two or three minutes after it's sent, draws a puzzled frown from Mara, who was settled into bed with her book. 'Just a second. Walking is hard.' she texts back. That one at least arrives by the time she gets to the door in the same nightgown she wore the last time he took her flying. The door opens a crack and hazel eyes peer out. "What the bloody hell, Nathan?" Despite the British language, more of the Cajun is leaking into her accent tonight, as it has a habit of doing when she's sleepy. "Do you know what time it is?"

Nathan takes his weight /off/ the door as soon as the sound of a lock unlocking occurs, and Mara's question causes him to glance at his watch, puzzled. "It's not that late," he says, mildly defensive. There is a trace of a slur in his voice. "It's fine. Checking that you. I'll see you tomorrow." Complete sentences are for the weak. He starts to head back to the elevator.

"Get in here," Mara groans, swinging the door open. "Ah'm not letting you go home until you've had some coffee." Normally, this would mean /he/ gets to make it for her, since, really, /she/ wants coffee. But he'd probably just burn himself badly and then she'd have to call 911 and then nobody would be happy. Least of all her.

"I have a driver," Nathan states. One who must be oh so thrilled he got hired. Despite this protest, Nathan steps back those few paces and veers into the apartment, heading for the kitchen space. "Can't do anyone any favours anymore."

"Favours?" Mara leans heavily against the door to shut it, reaching behind her to lock it without even looking at her movements. "Go and have a seat on the couch, Nathan," she murmurs gently. "Ah'll have the coffee ready in a jiff, okay?"

Fine. Nathan changes course back to the couch, where he sits down heavily, tilting his head back to rest against the back of the furniture. He shuts his eyes. At least the world isn't spinning. "Kind of figured I'd… catch you up on some things, too," he says.

"Go on, then. Catch me up." Mara rakes her fingers through her hair briefly before she ambles (read: hobbles) toward the kitchen. At least she's left everything out on the counter so there's no pesky reaching, and she had the foresight to set up the coffee maker so she could just flip the switch in the morning and start a fresh pot. That was easy. The drunk on the couch get a critical look. It can't be /that/ bad, or he wouldn't be drunk. …Right?

"Mph." Nathan refocuses on her, with a slightly unreadable expression that has nothing to do with whiskey intake. A hand comes up to rake through his hair. "Claire. Talked to her today. Told her… this." A vague gesture to Mara is the only clue she gets. "She said no. But then she said she'd think about it. Then I met her boyfriend." A brisk head shake.

Nathan is just stared at for a very long moment. Okay, so she said no. Then she said maybe? Okay… This could be good. This could be fine. This is… Maybe we can work with this. Finally, the woman in twilight purple speaks: "You were more upset about meeting her boyfriend than her saying 'no,' weren't you?"

"No, not upset. That part was just disturbing," Nathan corrects, holding up a hand, which then goes to pinch the bridge of his nose. "And I wasn't upset… well the 'no' wasn't good." Obviously. "But she's just confused about, you know, the morals behind it. She'll come to her senses."

"The morals," Mara repeats to herself. Right. Those. Pesky things, those. Two mugs are retrieved from the cupboard, as well as cream - real cream - from the fridge, which is added to the bottom of Nathan's mug before Mara moves the coffee pot out of the way and puts the cup under the dark stream of caffeine instead. The movement is repeated again with her own mug.

"I know, right?" To Nathan, time and circumstance had always seemed to get in the way of having a moralistic attitude. There's a trait he didn't pass down, for certain. Now noticing the progress of coffee, he holds out a hand for it expectantly, before remembering her leg. With only a little bit of difficulty, he pulls himself up from the couch, walking over.

Mara is truly, and secretly, pleased that Nathan was at least sober enough to realise that she can't carry their coffee out to the living area. "We have to do it, though. Something terrible has happened. Ah can feel it." She can't explain why, but she knows she can.

Leaning heavily against the counter, Nathan draws his coffee cup closer. No sugar is added - he normally drinks it black as pitch anyway. The cream's a bonus, all things considered. But here, he glances at her, looking vaguely unsettled for a moment before closing up again. "It's a risk," he puts in. "There's no definite."

"It's… a risk Ah'm willing to take," Mara admits. "It's better than-" She doesn't finish that stream of thought, as though vocalising it makes it all the worse. "You aren't going to wuss out on me, are you?"

"No." Sometimes the truth comes easy. Nathan lifts his coffee mug to take a long sip, tolerating the slightly too hot temperature for want of being able to think clearly. "You trust me. That I can make this work." He glances at her.

"I do trust you, Nathan." Her own coffee is finally sipped appreciatively. "I trust you more than anybody else right now." Mara waits for him to meet her eyes, as she's giving him a Very Serious Look. "And I don't fully trust anybody. Ever." Except for you. Except for now.

No pressure or anything. Nathan pushes himself up to stand properly, although grips the counter when his balance isn't quite up to scratch immediately. "Well, you sure do know how to pick your heroes," he says, cautiously making his way back to the couch.

"Get back here, dumbass." Mara holds out her coffee with a frown. Two crutches requires two hands. I'm not carrying the coffee on my head. Once he takes it from her, she makes her own slow way to the couch. "Save me the sprawling room or Ah'll kick yer drunken ass," she promises. Even though she says it with a smile. "Hey, Ah'm a good judge of character. And you are /definitely/ a character." The drawl is coming back, meaning the serious moment must have passed for now.

With the approximate turning circle of the Titanic, Nathan does manage to veer back and take her coffee from her with a dark look, before he finds himself back on the couch, very carefully setting the two mugs down. "Ah, well, that's great. You know you have the strangest accent?" It had to be said.

"Ah'm well aware, darlin'." Now she's just trying to thicken it up. Mara settles herself down with a grateful groan, swinging around so she rests her legs over Nathan's lap, whether he likes it or not. "Makes me unique, yeah?"

Nathan starts a fraction when her legs land in his lap. "Careful where your-" Half-hearted glare. "There's unique, then there's weird accents." He reaches for his coffee again. "You need to get off painkillers so I don't have to deal with you sober when I'm less so."

"You like me this way," Mara chides. "We just need to get me off the crutches. Then you'll /really/ like me." There's a dark promise in there somewhere. Something best not thought about too hard. "Why don't you send the car home? Tell them Ah'm a wreck and need supervision."

That derails his train of thought, but likely not for the reasons Mara might have expected. Nathan delays his response to that by taking a good long sip of coffee. "Can't. Should go home. Unless you /are/ a wreck and need supervision, but as of now I think you're winning in stability out of us two."

"Ah can pretend to be a wreck if it'll make you stay." She smirks in spite of herself. This is really terribly wrong. It's bad. But she just can't help it. It could all be over soon and she may not get another opportunity like this. "Please, Nathan? I'd like to… try not waking up alone for once." The vanishing accent signifies a seriousness Mara's trying to mask.

Nathan casts a look her way - trying to figure out how much of this is just playing and how much is real. How much he can afford to stay. With a put upon sigh, Nathan takes out his cell phone, presumably dialing out the number for the car parked outside. He closes his eyes, tilts his head back as he cancels the drive. Goddamnit. Women.

"Thank you." It's sincere. "I'll save the more serious discussions for tomorrow morning," or maybe afternoon, "when you're sober." Mara leans further back on the couch and tips her head back against the arm. God dammit. It's not fair. None of it.

Nathan closes the cell phone when he's done, tossing it somewhere onto the couch and placing that hand down on her leg - the one that isn't a point of torture. "I'll be looking forward to it," he says, opening his eyes to glance at her.

"You shouldn't," Mara tells him with a sad smile. "I'm certainly not." She stretches her good leg a little when his hand rests there, pointing her bare toes for a moment. She half props herself up with one elbow and shoots him a smirk. "Why, Nathan Petrelli… Is that a grey hair?"

"What?" Nathan looks at her, and narrows his eyes when he sees the smirk. "Cute. Just wait 'til you get there." A pause. "Can't be that far off, now can it."

"Way ahead of you." Mara sits up and starts parting the hair on the crown of her head. "Do you see it?" she asks, tipping her chin down so he can get a better look.

Nathan leans right over to inspect. It's really a very serious matter, after all, god knows. "No, I think… oh, wait." A nod. A flicker of his own smirk. "There it— they are."

He can almost hear the blood drain from her face. "/They/?" Mara's head snaps up and when she sees his own smirk, she shoots him a scowl. "Jerk." She brushes her hair into place and then flops back again.

"You deserved it," Nathan says, decisively. He's not sorry, not even close, and takes a victory sip from his mug of coffee. "For what it's worth, I think you're imagining things."

"It's okay," Mara grins in a decidedly wicked manner. "Ah may have grey hair, /you/ may have grey hair, and we may know each other's dirty little secret, but…" That grin widens, there's that gap in her teeth. "You don't even know my real name."

Okay, what? Nathan just looks confused at this statement, then just shrugs a shoulder. "Well I suppose no sane parent would name their child Mara Da-mar-ris," he says, quite deliberately pronouncing her last name wrong. "So what's the real thing."

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Mara closes her eyes, grin turning into a very self-satisfied - and decidedly closed-lipped – smirk.

"Oh please." Nathan refuses to take the bait, it seems, settling back into his corner of the couch, toeing his shoes off. If he's gonna stay, may as well make himself comfortable. The silence doesn't last very long, however. "Is it a different first name? Because that's not fair."

"You really didn't figure Ah'd change my name to /Damaris/, did you?" Mara rolls her eyes. "Silly Nathan." Just proves he doesn't pay attention to the name tag she used to wear. Not that he really saw her on duty much. …Or at all.

"Right. Silly me." He's still eying her, perhaps to try and gauge out whether or not she's just fucking with him, but he seems to decide this isn't the case. Nathan finishes off his coffee, before nodding. "Was it Ethel? I bet it was Ethel. Or Gertrude." He shifts her legs out of his lap. "Where's the bathroom in this place, Gerty?"

"Wrong and wrong." Mara shakes her head. "Gertrude Lee Damaris? Not a very good name. Not that the actual version is much better." Well, she just gave him her middle name at least. "Mara Lee isn't very good either, come to think of it."

"I like Gertrude Lee more," Nathan says, struggling himself up to stand. Turns out it was a serious question. "And it's staying that way until I'm told otherwise."

Mara only hisses momentarily as she pulls herself back into an upright position. "S'just off the bedroom. /You/ picked the place, shouldn't you know?" She grins as she watches him get up and amble out of the room.

Nathan doesn't even have a comeback when he returns, just a glare. He doesn't, however, walk back into the living space, and instead lingers in the bedroom doorway. His jacket is gone and draped somewhere, and he grips the door frame for maximum balance. "I'm going to bed. Real name, now, or you're not allowed in."

"You can't kick me out of my own bed!" Can he? Mara sits up and fixes Nathan with her best pout. "You wouldn't do that to me, would you?"

"Is this a locking door?" Nathan glances to check. "I can always barricade it." He looks serious, too, moving to half shut the door should she somehow will herself to charge.

"Hey!" Mara squeaks out a cry in protest, scrambling for her crutches. Must… make it… to door!

Click. Nathan smoothly shuts the door, leans against it, turns the lock. Helps to not be crippled. "Night, Gerty," he says, through the door. Now to work off his shirt and get some shut eye. This is gonna be more difficult than it should be.

Especially with Mara pounding on the door when she gets there. "Open this fucking door, you fucking tosspot!"

Shirt is shed, without any tangling. That has to earn him points. Nathan does, however, wince at the banging at the door, even as he moves to collapses down onto the bed.

"All right, all right! Ah'll tell you!" Mara stops pounding and thunks her head heavily against the door. "Just let me in. Please."

"I'm all ears," Nathan calls out, only lifting his head to do so. Otherwise, he's avoiding this whole moving thing.

"Ah don't trust you. You have to let me in. Then Ah'll tell you." Mara actually scratches at the door with her nails pathetically. "It's not like you can't sling me over your shoulder and dump me off out here if Ah go back on my word."

Let's not correct her on that one. It takes a few moments, but finally, there's the sound of footsteps, and the door swings back open. Nathan gives her a look, and wanders back towards the bed with a sort of 'well?' gesture.

Only once she's safely sprawled out across the bed with her crutches set aside does Mara finally speak. "Kaydence."

Nathan is, by then, settled onto the bed, eyes shut and mostly on his stomach. When she admits her name, Nathan only opens his eyes to blink before he shuts them again, a /severely/ amused smile tugging at his mouth. "Kaydence. Kaykay. No, you're right, I like Mara more."

Mara actually looks a little hurt when he makes fun of her name. She pulls the covers over her and turns mostly on her side, keeping her back to the politician.

Luckily, he's not quite coma'd enough to miss that. Nathan considers for a few seconds, before edging his way closer, placing a hand on her side. "Thanks for telling me," he says.

Mara rolls onto her back again, resting her hand over Nathan's. "Ah would let you call me Kay," she drawls huskily. When she glances over at him, she looks almost vulnerable.

"Kay," Nathan repeats, with a slow nod. His own annoyance melted away and seemingly hers as well, he shifts closer, tangling up with her comfortably.

Mara snuggles up closer, kissing Nathan briefly. Then once more, taking her time before she pulls away and licks her lips. Whiskey. Nothing quite like living vicariously, right? She rests her head on his chest again, like the last time they shared a bed. The rhythm of his heartbeat against her ear puts her to sleep quickly.

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