2009-11-29: Do You Trust Me?



Date: November 29, 2009


Anais agrees to meet Braythan (Brayden/Nathan) for lunch. She questions what he did on the Habitat House and gets more information than she bargained for.

"Do You Trust Me?"

Madison Ave. Bistro

A call was placed, Ms. Frazier's people calling Mr. Petrelli's people to request that their meeting be re-scheduled to 1pm, at the Madison Ave. Bistro. No mention was made of the original suggestion being for breakfast at a place known for its crepes, nor that the offer had not been made in a businesslike manner. Everything is filed through the proper channels, in the most proper of ways.

Clearly, Anais is onto Nathan.

Still it might be seen as a positive sign that she's meeting with him at all. The restaurant is not simply a bistro, but a fine dining experience, according to its staff. Inside, it's all freshly pressed table linens and crystal decorating the small tables. A scattering of white-collar types have been seated and are enjoying various discussions over martinis or scotch on the rocks. Anais herself has been seated near one of the windows. She's dressed in a simple black pants suit, with a thin gold chain around her neck. A small cross pendant dangles from that. Her hair is swept up in a chignon, giving her a rather severe look.

Currently she is checking the time on the slender gold watch around one wrist, and toying with the stem of her glass of water.

Onto Nathan or not Anais agreed to meet with him. All things considered the ex-senator has won in a way. Dressed in a black suit, white shirt, and red tie, Nathan pads into the Bistro looking quite put together. Cameramen have been following him for several blocks, but he's not doing anything outstanding so before entering the Bistro he gives the photographers a friendly wave.

The hostess leads him to the table where he extends a hand to Anais, "Hello Anais." He smiles.

Cameramen? It is probably good for Anais's blood pressure that she is unaware of Nathan's pack of followers. Her smile when he greets her is immediate, and she releases the glass of water to accept the offered hand. "Nathan! Or should I call you Brayden? It's good to see you again. I apologize for having to re-schedule, I've been so busy…please, sit?" After the entirely proper shake, she slips her hand free in order to indicate the opposite chair.

She waits until he's settled himself before asking, "How have you been? I'm afraid I wasn't able to make it to the build last Saturday, were you able to go for the house's finishing?"

"I'd prefer being called Brayden, but out in public I've been advised to go by Nathan," he quips. "So either name is fine," he chuckles ironically while settling into his seat. "It's good to see you too!" He unbuttons his suit jacket to keep his suit from creasing. Finally, he answers the questions, "I'm well. And the house is incredible! Seriously! I love the process. There's something gratifying about the entire thing."

"And how're you doing? Keeping busy with work, I take it? Or another project of interest?"

Before Anais can answer, the waiter comes around for their drink orders. "Just water for me," Nathan quips.

"Nathan it is, then." Anais is nothing if not pleasantly agreeable. "It is satisfying, isn't it? We've been blessed with mild weather so far, it was fortunate we were able to finish that one before it begins snowing. After that, we'll have to wait until spring. But I'm sure we can find something else for you to do in the meantime." She pauses to smile slightly, and draw the napkin from the table to drape across her lap. "If you're interested in continuing your good works, of course."

An answer to his questions has to be put on hold when the waiter approaches. "A glass of your Pinot Blanc, please," she requests, tilting her head up to smile at the server.

Then it's back to Nathan, observing him with that same mild sense of amusement. "Tis the season for charity. Between that and work, I have been keeping busy, yes. Although I did visit my father's favorite gun range to test a rifle he'd sent me. That might qualify as fun."

"I like doing good works," Brayden quips with a smirk. "There's something oddly freeing about it. It helps me find value and brings me joy. And the people on site are really awesome. Seriously, Anais, they're awesomely kooky. In a way that both odd and endearing."

He leans forward slightly as he nods, "If you have suggestions, I'd be willing to use what resources I have to help more. I'm not exactly used to the attention my face seems to get, but maybe we can use that for some charity's advantage?" He chuckles a bit, "I can't say I've ever fired a gun. Not that I remember anyways. How was the range? Do you do that a lot?"

"Kooky," Anais echoes, chuckling softly at his use of that word. "There is a camraderie among the volunteers that's difficult to find elsewhere. I'm told you've done a wonderful job of integrating. Mm…how fond are you of children? If you appreciate 'kooky', you might enjoy spending time at the Boys and Girls Club. They seem to have the same appreciation there." She toys with the edge of her napkin while a reply is considered to the next questions, her eyes shifting briefly towards the window. "I'm proficient with small handguns. It was something my father encouraged when I was younger, we traveled a great deal and not all of our destinations were considered safe. It was…well, I suppose fun does work as a description. It made a satisfyingly loud bang."
"I like kids," Brayden nods before tilting his head, "What kind of activities are involved with the boys and girls' club? Would I need to dress up like a clown or something. Not that I'd complain. In fact, I'd do it if I needed to, just not often." He beams at Anais now. "Can you imagine me with a red nose?" Brayden really knows nothing about the Boys and Girls Club and what they do. "I should learn how to use a gun sometime. It's a good skill to have regardless."

Anais is forced to place her hand over her mouth to prevent laughter that would no doubt draw disapproving looks in so refined a setting. "I…actually can imagine you with a red nose and a clown suit," she confesses once the urge has passed. "But I don't think you'd have to there, unless you wanted to. They're for at-risk youth, a safe place where they can go to play sports, do their homework, receive counseling or education on various things their home life might not provide. It isn't something I've done, personally, but you seemed the sort who might appreciate a good game of basketball."

Another pause follows when the water arrives with their drinks, poised to take their lunch orders. Anais hesitates, caught off guard. "Ah…a caesar salad please, with a grilled chicken breast on the side." Then she reaches for the wine, lifting it for a sip while Brayden places his order.
Once the waiter has glided of, the conversation resumes. "It is a good skill to have, I agree. Knowing how to handle a gun…although aren't Senators assigned security? It would make sense you would have left that to them."

Brayden beams at Anais' laughter. "Well I certainly have a goofy demeanor!" He winks at her before nodding his head, "I do like basketball actually. I don't know whether I'd be a very good mentor unless I can remember who I am. Honestly, I don't really have a youth I can remember at this point. That said, I could play basketball and hang out. I can't help much in the way of advice is all."

"I'll have the same, except just put the chicken breast in the salad and mix it all up," Brayden grins at the waiter before sipping at his water.
"You'd think they'd have security detail. I don't remember though. Soon hopefully."

"No success on that front, then? That's…disappointing." It's awkward, addressing amnesia that may or may not be a boon to the man affected by it. While he doesn't appear troubled by it, Anais errs on the side of sympathy. "You wouldn't be required to give advice, although I imagine the children might ask you to field questions on what being a senator entails. So perhaps after you've successfully won your campaign?" she suggests, regaining that earlier smile and applying a light touch of humor. There's a moment of silence then, a pause that's loaded with things unspoken.

"So," Anais goes on, slowly turning the stem of her glass between her fingers, a more thoughtful look appearing in those brown eyes, "Have you saved any lives since the last time I saw you?"

"It's distressing in a way, but I haven't been able to remember for a year and a half. It doesn't exactly distress me anymore," Brayden explains with a weak smile. "There is little that I can do about it though, so I've made my peace with it." His cheeks flush slightly, but he just reaches for his water and takes a sip. "Well hopefully I win my next campaign. Although, the Senator who took my seat has since disappeared. It's a seat that's doomed I'm afraid." Brayden shrugs.

He chuckles a bit and shakes his head. "It was just right place, right time, Anais. It doesn't happen often, but when it does a person needs to act. Anyone would've done the same… you know that… I'm sure you would have…"

A blush? Anais lifts her brows and tilts her head. When she speaks, there's a gentleness to her tone that is at odds with the more leading remark made previously. "You know what they say, the third time's the charm. I don't doubt you can win if you put your mind to it. That seat needs stability, though…the reports of Senator Wynn's disappearance…it's troubling, isn't it? I hope he's alright." Not that Anais knows the man but U.S. Senators don't simply vanish into thin air.

She too pauses for a sip of her beverage before going on. "Mm…you know, I was quite willing to accept that, on site. But I've had some time to think about it now. I'm not someone who is prone to dramatizing what I see," the redhead says quietly, "And had I attempted what you did, I'd have fallen. If you'd rather I not bring it up again, Brayden, I'll understand. But I'd rather know there was some rational explanation for a man…tilting at the angle you did without falling."

"Yes, it's disconcerting what's happened to the Senator. I hope he's okay. Maybe he's just on an odd hiatus…" And then muttering under his breath Brayden adds, "…or forgot who he is…" He frowns a bit as he nods at her.

"Adrenaline, I guess," he shrugs a bit. "Adrenaline really is a wonder drug and even with angles… people do impossible things with adrenaline."

The woman mirrors that frown. While it might be encouraging that he didn't simply ask that the matter be dropped, neither is she pleased at the continued attempt at justification. Leaning towards him slightly, Anais lowers her voice to near inaudible levels and says as politely as she can manage, "Adrenaline does not, in fact, allow a human being to hover."

Swallowing, Brayden's frown deepens before he sips at his water once again. Clearly Anais isn't buying the story. He crosses his arms over his chest as he studies her intently. He's never actually told anyone about his ability, not that he can remember, anyways. Nathan had. He hadn't. "Well…" His eyes narrow as he tilts his head at her. "… some people can do extraordinary things… some can run fast, some can see better than others…"

"And you can hover." It is no longer a question. Anais settles back in her chair upon receiving what she chooses to believe is confirmation, and pinches the bridge of her nose between two fingers. Her eyes close. "If I hadn't seen it myself…" She trails off, a soft and utterly ladylike sigh leaving her. "Alright," she says, opening her eyes to look at him. A pale smile is summoned. "Thank you. I was beginning to suspect I might be losing my mind. People have suspected my father of that for years, now."

Brayden hrms as he pushes back his chair and stands to his feet. He reaches into his jacket pocket and places some cash on the table, more than enough to cover their meal (that they haven't even eaten). He offers her his hand. "Do you trust me?" It's an Aladdin type moment. He tilts his head as he peers at her.

The sudden departure from the table was unexpected, and Brayden earns a blink as a result. "I…trust? Trust you to do what?" But after a moment's hesitation, Anais rises as well, slipping the strap of her purse over one shoulder and letting her fingers rest on his wrist. Hand-holding would be inappropriate at this stage of their friendship, after all. "You aren't about to give a demonstration, are you? Here?" What a horrifying thought.

"Just come on," Brayden urges with a smirk as he leads her toward the kitchen. "Sorry fellas!" the ex-senator apologizes as he traipses through the kitchen to the back door. Decidedly he opens it and steps outside into the cool New York air. With a grin he looks up and down the back alley. There's no one around. His lips curl upwards as he asks, "Have you ever wanted to fly?"

Anais clutches her purse as she hastens to keep up without stumbling, caught entirely off-guard by this sudden change in venue. When they emerge into the alley, she looks around with something approaching dread, only to blink at the ex-Senator again upon being asked that question. "Fly? You mean…what, up there?" Uncertainty has temporarily stripped the woman of her intelligence; fortunately she recovers quickly. After a brief hesitation, she crosses the purse strap over her chest to prevent it slipping off and says (not without some unease), "I can't believe I'm doing this. You really can…fly?"

"Yes," Brayden answers simply. He places his arms around her waist, and glances around the block one more time, ensuring there aren't any spectators. With a smirk he swallows, "You might want to hold on…" That said, he kicks off the ground and takes off into the air, Anais in his arms.

No second reminder is needed. The instant Anais feels her feet leave the ground, she throws her arms around the man's neck (dignity being thrown out the window for the moment) and buries her face against his shoulder. "Oh my god oh my god oh my god," she might be heard murmuring, once her lungs decide that it's alright to breathe again. She isn't quite brave enough to peek yet.

"It's okay, I got ya," Brayden soothes after they're safely above the skyline. He grins a little as he stares down at the buildings. "It's all so small from up here. I always liked the view from high up. I find this is the one place in this city I can really think." He continues to grasp her waist in a kind of hug.

"I…" Anais finally dares to lift her head and directs a look at the ground so far beneath their feet. It's a view she's never enjoyed without there being a window between herself and the sky. The arms locked around Brayden's neck spasm and then tighten still more. "You…you can think up here?" she asks faintly. "This is…you can fly. Not hover. Is this really happening?"

"I've been doing this a lot over the last year and a half," Brayden answers with a grin. "So yes, this is where I go to think. And yeah, I can fly. This is really happening." He's just floating now though. Flying itself takes up much more energy, kind of like running and walking. "Are you… okay?"

"I don't know. I don't think I'm going to faint. It just…that was very fast, and we're very high." Well, at least she's honest. Anais draws a deep breath and closes her eyes for a moment; when she opens them again, they are still airborne. Hovering. It takes a little time to process. "Did you…what happened to you? Is this why you disappeared?" The questions emerge in a rush, accompanied with a brief sidelong glance at his face. Due to the requirements of not falling, their heads are uncomfortably close and she's forced to draw hers back at an awkward angle to get a good look.

"I honestly… I don't know," Brayden answers with a frown. "Maybe this is why I disappeared. I mean, I woke up in Ireland. To get there most Americans would need to pass through some kind of security measures. And the first thing I remember is… falling to the ground." He shrugs a little. "I don't really know if this is something I've done forever, or only after I ended up in Europe…"

Anais bites her lips and looks downwards again. "I…could see how this might be traumatic, the first time it happened. Not that I understand neurology at all, but…if your first memory is of falling…I…" There is a brief pause, before the most ridiculous question possible pops into her mind. It is so silly that the woman almost doesn't give voice to it. But, this being a ridiculous situation, it seems fitting.

"Have you ever hit a bird while…zipping around?"

"I wonder if that's why I don't remember. Like it messed with my brain that much…" Nathan says. Although, his mother had told him that she had his memory erased. What that looks like he really has no idea. "No, I've never hit a bird. Not that I can remember anyways," he chuckles through a dimpled smile. "I can imagine that could be a problem though, couldn't it? So… I can tell you that you aren't crazy. I definitely hovered. I would've flown to catch him if he'd fallen, and would've suffered consequences for it, I'm sure…"

"You would have to visit a doctor, I imagine…" The answer to her question summons a small smile, the first she's shown since they took flight. That they're hovering and not 'zipping around', as she put it, does help somewhat. "For the best that that wasn't needed. I can see the headlines now…" Pause. "I apologize for prying. In hindsight, I shouldn't have, but…" Another pause, this one as Anais fights the smile, trying to adopt a look that's more severe. "You haven't brought me up here to silence me, have you?"

"You think I'd drop you?" Brayden asks skeptically with a raised eyebrow. "I wouldn't bring you up here to silence you. And I'm sure I would've pried if I'd seen what you had." He smirks a bit as he shakes his head. "I'm not a criminal or some kind of bad guy. I just fly. Like Superman." He grins a bit.

"No," Anais assures, "I don't believe you'd drop me. I was teasing, I promise. It just…" Very, very carefully she pries one hand loose from the other to gesture at their surroundings. "This was not at all what I expected, when I woke up this morning. A lunch with Superman." Another long breath is drawn and slowly expelled as she steals a peek at the distant buildings.

"Can we…go down? Maybe sit for a moment? It's colder, up here."
"Sure, we can go down," Brayden smiles with a slight nod. His arms tighten around her as the pair soar towards the ground. And before they reach it he slows down substantially, no pomp or circumstance in the landing. They land in the same back alley from which they'd taken off. Gently he comes to the ground and releases her from his arms. "Better?"

As with the ascent, Anais refuses to look, still finding the effect of the ground receding and approaching somewhat disconcerting. With solid earth beneath her feet again, she loosens the hold she'd had on the man and lifts her head—only to grip Brayden's shoulders when her knees threaten to buckle. "I…just a moment. I just need a moment." And indeed, after a few seconds of willing herself into steadiness, the redhead is able to stand unassisted.

She looks around as if suspecting that the alley might have changed in some fundamental way in their absence. Then Anais shakes her head.

"That's…simply incredible."

"It's just… something I do," Brayden answers as casually as he can with a soft smile. "I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have… I've never told anyone about it before." He blinks a few times as he studies her. "Are you going to be okay? I just … " he frowns a little.

Anais shakes her head again, finding a smile meant to reassure. That expression is accompanied with the gentle pressure of her hand against his upper arm as if she were trying to emphasize the point. "No…no, I mean yes! I'll be alright. It's just…beyond my experience. Being able to fly is not just something. Most of us require an airplane and you just…you fly. It's amazing, Brayden. A once in a lifetime gift. Thank you." Pause. "Thank you for trusting me to know."

Brayden's cheeks flush pink at Anais' words. He tries to shrug nonchalantly, "You kidn of already knew. And… and I didn't want you thinking yourself crazy. You're not. You saw what you saw. And it's real. I wasn't going to let you think yourself delusional." He smiles softly, "But I do trust you. You didn't laugh at my amnesia-story even though it sounds insane… I wouldn't believe it if someone told it to me."

"No…I think you would." Anais allows her hand to return to her side, curled loosely over her purse. "There are strange things in the world. I saw some of them, with my father. Yours is…well. Certainly of a positive nature, isn't it? Excepting the amnesia, of course." More and more of her composure is returning, and with it the warmth of the woman's smile. "You're no more insane than I am."

The grin broadens at Anais' words. "Thanks, I need reassurances like that." Brayden purses his lips together before he states rather seriously, "I know you won't tell anyone, but I have to say this anyway… you can't tell anyone. Apparently people like me are being pursued by the government. They think we're dangerous." He pauses, "Do you remember that video that aired a few weeks ago with the girl that could turn into water? Well… my sources tell me that it's true…"

The smile fades as if he'd slapped it from her face. "It's true? The government…" Although Anais already possesses a fair complexion, she grows even more pale. "I…I won't breathe a word of it to anyone. Except…my sister. I should go. I'll need to speak with her. I'm sorry for rushing off, Brayden. Thank you…thank you for lunch, and flying, and telling me." She reaches for his hand, intending a quick shake before going.

"Yes, it's true…" Brayden frowns a bit, "What's wrong with your sister?" He frowns and then he nods a bit. "If you need anything, don't hesitate to call. Sorry to drop this bomb on lunch…" He accepts the quick handshake and then offers her a small wave.

"She's like you. Not like you, but…you understand. It's alright! Better to know, and I promise I will. Take care, Brayden. And thank you again." Anais leaves him with that as a parting, replacing her purse-strap on the proper shoulder and hurrying down the alley out of sight.

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