2007-09-18: Family Dinner Night At The Petrelli's

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Julius, Caesar, Snowy, Monty and Simon Petrelli.

Summary: Family Dinner Night at the Petrelli Mansion. There's food, there's talking, and… are the adults drunk? Also there's a wonderful example of someone being really lazy with the first pose.

Date It Happened: September 18th, 2007

Family Dinner Night At The Petrelli's


Petrelli Mansion

Julius is lying sprawled out across the table, a puddle of drool gathering beneath him.

—-

Family dinner night. Peter sits at the table quietly, with a little white dog that he brought over for the night so he could come straight home from work and stay the night as well. She's wagging her tail, and avoiding the bigger dogs, and definitely anxious for a treat, though she probably won't want what her couch happens to be having quite as much as she'd want what his brother would be. The Petrelli's don't do this very often at all— or ever really— but here they are, gathered around a table, with a young Hispanic woman cooking their meals. And no, she's not a maid, she's a house guest who decided to pay everyone back for their hospitality. And there's an empty chair next to the younger brother of the household for her, even, because she's not just their cook and house guest, she's his girlfriend.

"How's school going?" he asks his two young nephews, trying to engage in conversation, despite the somewhat awkwardness of this unfamiliar situation.

—-

The food cooked, she'll let the servants handle in actually serving them. Ditching the apron, Elena smoothes down the simple dress she was wearing, sleeveless with a loose skirt that fell to just above her knees. Sandaled feet finally take her to the living room, tugging absently on her hair and seeing Julius sprawled on the floor, a puddle of drool slowly accumulating under a jowl. "Aw," she says with a laugh, reaching down to ruffle the sleepy rottie's head. And then she goes in further into the dining room. Seeing Peter accosting his nephews, she can't help but smile, reaching over to ruffle Monty's hair too. "Hi, kids," she greets with a grin.

It is an odd situation for the Petrellis (and Gomez), especially in the past couple of months. The days Nathan keeps lately are demanding and he has about as much patience for formal dinners when he doesn't need 'em as as he has patience for, say, modern art. That is to say, very little. But he's here, sitting opposite Peter, and doesn't seem particularly tense, just perhaps a little tired from what was probably a long day, sipping a glass of water before glancing towards his sons when Peter asks them about schoolwork. "Keeping the parents as busy as they are the kids, I imagine," he interjects. Well, keeping Heidi busy - Nathan gets to excuse himself what with the whole political career thing. "We need to start capping the amount of volcano dioramas the curriculum requires." He nods to Elena as she approaches.

—-

Heidi got to hear all about the wonderful time the kids had with their sister. Said babysitting episode ended with Heidi returning a little later than she said they would - but all three of them were curled up on the couch - with the dogs and the cat - sound asleep when she finally walked in the door. And Simon and Monty had underwear on their heads.

But today, they're wearing nice clothing - not suits, but something that's also not Spiderman pajamas - and they're ready for dinner. "Did you make hot dogs? Monty asks Elena as he reaches up to push her hand off his head. Simon? Simon will field the school question.

"We had a fire drill and the school burned down. And the firemen came and they said that it was solar radiation from the core of the earth. That stopped spinning. That's why the pigeons ran into the glass."

—-

"…" Considering the world that he's come to live in recently, that kind of situation sounds somehow plausable. Peter looks towards Heidi with a hint of alarm. His eyes almost project: Their school really didn't burn down, right? Once he's sure it's just his nephew's way of chatting, he looks back towards the kids, and his brother and says, "Sounds like an interesting school year so far." Hopefully they haven't tried to jump off of buildings yet. They are Petrellis, and Petrellis do that at times. Ruffling the dog on his lap's head, he pushes her towards the ground, where she runs around, then sits and looks up at him. Lap again please? She'll start running around again when she's denied, then she ends up going over to Julius and using his rump as a pillow.

—-

Nathan blinks across at Simon. The core of the world— what? It did what? He glances to Heidi. "How much are we paying for their tuition a year?" he asks rhetorically - then starts when suddenly there's a dog putting his head down on his leg, Caesar pre-emptively begging for scraps. "We should really put these guys outside," he mutters, nudging the rottie away - and sort of under the table, the large dog defiantly sitting down on one of Nathan's feet.

—-

Hah hah. Elena takes a seat next to Peter once the servants bring out the food - chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese for the boys, pot roast, potatoes au gratin, and an apple and walnut salad for the adults, and a spinach-and-cheese quiche for Peter. She brought a lot of food back into the house, namely because when she said she wanted to cook for everybody, she meant it. Dessert remains in the fridge for later. But she does grin over at what Nathan says, undoing her napkin and setting it on her lap. "Sounds like one of the firemen just watched Day After Tomorrow," she responds dryly, picking up her fork and passing the pot roast platter to Nathan. Man of the house gets first dibs.

—-

"It was just a fire drill," Heidi confims with a little chuckle. She gives Simon a Look — No worrying your father and your brother, please.

"Yeah, but we got to go outside," says Simon, which is really close to 'school burned down,' in a roundabout sort of way. Talk of the school burning down, however, is tabled, because… Because of the table! Macaroni and cheese is the best dinner ever, especially when their parents have to eat grown-up things like pot roast. What part of the pot does the roast come from, anyway? And what kind of animal is a pot? Perhaps these are questions better never answered.

"Simon, that's a fork, not a shovel," is Heidi's first comment on Elena's cooking. And then, "Elena, this looks very good. Thank you."

—-

Julius' rump is a pretty good pillow, so Snowy stays there and waits for someone to inevitably drip something. She's watching. She's waiting. It will happen, and she will run over and snatch it up— if Julius' brother doesn't beat her to it.

"…Actually I think that was from The Core," Peter speaks up, glancing towards Elena at her movie reference, and then defending himself a moment later, "I watched it with them one night while I was staying here." It was not awesome. He'll skip it next time. But he doesn't have the heart to tell that to certain members of this table. "It looks delicious, Elena, thank you for cooking," he responds politely, though there's a smile that's definitely not as polite, and he reaches over to take her hand under the table very briefly. Girls may have kooties to some of the boys at this table, but not to him. "Nathan— have you talked to them about a possible trip soon?" He doesn't say where, but the way he's looking at his brother, he should know what he's talking about. And yes, this is him trying to make him bring it up if he hasn't already.

—-

A good helping of food is neatly applied to plate after Nathan tosses a "thanks" Elena's way. At Peter's question, Nathan shakes his head. "No, not yet— "

"Are we going to Disneyland?" Monty has to ask, a fork carrying macoroni and cheese lifted and paused.

"You guys have had enough Disneyland to last two lifetimes," Nathan says, then returns his attention back to his brother. "Life's kind of busy at the moment, Pete." Then, "You still in that vegetarian phase?" he asks, glancing at the quiche - although truthfully, that's more dryly put than serious, he knows well that it's not just a phase, it's just Peter.

—-

"….oh, right. I didn't know which one was more impossible," Elena says, looking over at Peter quizzically. Yes, she did watch the Core, and honestly she thought it was entertaining. It was terrible, but entertaining. Plus Aaron Eckhart is hot. She smiles over at Heidi. "Thank you, it's the least I could do….for you guys putting up with me for an entire month." Especially Nate over there. She flashes a grin at Nathan. She seems to have forgotten about his little joke, because she's chatting amicably with everyone. But this is just to lull him in a FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. Hah hah hah. She waits for the food to get passed around. Meanwhile, she feels a warm hand on hers under the table, and her fingers curl around Peter's to squeeze warmly. Hi there.

—-

Heidi smirks as she reaches over to cut Monty's chicken into little tiny pieces. Despite the fact that they're finger food, yes. Blue eyes look up with interest - the only vacation Heidi knows about it the one to the beach, for her very late fortieth birthday party, and she's sure people have heard about that one. At this rate, they may just hod off 'til she's a year older, since it's been over a month now. Some things couldn't be helped, though. Like Peter having to save the world and all that.

This is a normal family. Really.

"Come on, Nathan," she says, refraining from his very special nickname for now, but Heidi will drag it out, if she has to. "What trip?" Once she's done tending to the boys, she waits on the dishes to come around so she can serve herself.

—-

"If'd you'd rather wait til after the election, then I guess we can do that, but I don't think it's a good idea to try and plan for something— since I'm thinking it's a little late to go to the beach— unless we want to go for a bonfire." It's just getting a little too chilled, but a bonfire might be a neat idea— he's sure the boys will love it. FIRE. SIX FEET HIGH. But Peter's doubting that's what they all wanted for a birthday beach trip. A fork is stuck into his spinach and cheese quiche— which required him to take his hand out from under the table after a final squeeze. Instead she'll find a foot dangerous close to her own. His, not the dogs. No, not to play footsy, but it's there.

His brother is given an ever suffering glance before he downs his first fork full. Yes, he's in that stage still— that stage known as being his younger brother. Even if he hadn't been one when they grew up—

—-

"But it was a month that just flew on by. Think nothing of it," Nathan says to Elena - which is actually rather nice and gracious, but there is always irony in his tone. Always. A flicker of a smirk softens the jab (because my god it was a long month, but not exactly a bad one, no), and he passes the salad bowl to his wife as he shrugs a little. "Peter was thinking about a trip to Vernon," he says. "We still got that house up there, it'd be nice to use it on occasion." Not exactly Disneyland, or Hawaii, but a vacation of sorts all the same, in relative luxury. "Lots of room, too." They could bring people, even. Friends, presumably!

—-

It sounds like a family trip. "A bonfire sounds good if so long as the boys behave," is Elena's teasing comment, her eyes falling on Simon and Monty. They might try to set Nathan on fire or something. Or fall in. She didn't want to think about it, but an open fire is certainly very attractive to children. To what Nathan says, she laughs. "Well it certainly wasn't boring." Oh no. It was very interesting. Interesting was, to her, always a good thing. "But what the birthday girl wants should be what the birthday girl gets, eh, Heidi?" She winks across the table at her friend. However when the house in Vernon is brought up, she takes a bite out of her food. She's heard of the house before.

—-

Heidi feels as if she didn't get to spend enough time with Elena - with everything being busy with Nathan's campaign and the boys starting school, she just hasn't been home enough to just kick back and hang out by the pool. "As long at it's on a weekend," Heidi cautions, briefly pointing her fork at Nathan after taking a bite of the potatoes. The kids have school, after all! But a small trip would be awesome. They could have cake and ice cream! Yes, Heidi still wants some sort of birthday celebration, even it it's small.

"I want to go to AUSTRALIA!" Monty pipes up. "They have kangaroos there."

"Kangaroos are from Antarctica," Simon says, though he's teasing. Heidi hopes.

Pulling a napkin away from Monty as he starts to hit Simon with it, Heidi says, "If it wasn't getting into fall, I'd say we should go to the beach, but it's nearly October now. By the time we make plans and get there, it's not going to be much of a beach trip, huh? Why don't we go to the house?"

—-

"Wouldn't take too much to plan to burn down the beach," Peter says, a hint of a smile in the corner of his mouth. Though it does look as if he's proud of Nathan for at least bringing it up. He was willing to let it pass off as something else, if his brother really didn't want to do it yet. Before poor Monty things he was wrong, he does speak up, "They also have koalas in Australia. I always wanted to see one in person— but I think that might be a bit far for a weekend trip. Maybe in a couple years. During winter break— since it's summer there when it's winter here." Thus the best time to go, or so he would think. He could be wrong. Maybe there's no best time to go see the koalas and the kangaroos (and the wombats and the wallabies and all those crazy critters).

There's a pause. "If we go to the house we might have to invite Elena along— since she's my girlfriend now…" That was a very awkward 'oh, by the way'. But… there it is! GIRLFRIEND. SHE HAS A SIGN NOW. Though he already told Nathan, the boys and Heidi may not know of the sudden girlfriend status. Heidi knew they were dating, but he's not even sure the boys knew that… He occupies himself with his food to avoid the embarassment.

—-

That was a very clumsy 'oh by the way', Peter - or it was in Nathan's book, who sort of gives him a pitying gaze across the table before disguising a smirk by sipping some wine. Truly, he's glad that Peter and Elena managed to hook up even with Mehtloafio and the Three Accordions interrupting their date - it shows they have staying power! Yes, Nathan was just testing you.

Meanwhile, Simon is eyeing Peter suspiciously about this whole 'winter when it's summer' thing, and he turns to his parents to ask, but Nathan is already fielding it. "Australia's on the bottom of the world, so it's backwards. And upside down, people have to walk on the ceilings," he tells them, quietly, in case Heidi is listening. He's banking on her focusing on Peter's 'oh by the way', though.

—-

She can't help but try to hide a smile when Monty declares he wants to go to Australia, and nearly chokes on her beef when Simon pipes up Kangaroos are from Antartica. Sadly she doesn't have the heart to correct him. He was probably just kidding, right? Still, the birthday does sound like fun, and she tries to think of a present already. "Fall could be nice upstate," she says contemplatively. "You'll get to see the colors change there a little clearer than in the city." She glances over at Peter. Australia? Okay maybe after he saves New York - that would be an excellent time to go on vacation. Though when he puts his awkward BY THE WAY, she gives him a look…even if she's trying to hide an amused grin. She's trying not to tease him. Really. Totally.

"It was totally the impromptu band act that made me say yes," she says, giving Nathan a glance….and yes, she deliberately picks the moment to say that JUST AS NATHAN IS DRINKING HIS WINE. Brat.

—-

Heidi just smiles, quietly looking down at her food at this announcement. It's adorable, and she's about to say something when Monty yells, "DOES THAT MEAN YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED?!" because children are innocent like that. That's what happens after you have a girlfriend, after all! You get married. Even Simon is looking at his uncle expectantly now, because he likes Elena, and it'd be awesome if she STAYED FOREVER.

"Monty!" Heidi laughs, covering her mouth and refusing to look at either Elena or Peter. She'll be embarrassed for them, kay. And she's really not sure how to explain that people who are together aren't necessarily going to get married, because— Well, even Heidi doesn't have all those answers. Still, at least Elena seems to be handling Peter's awkward announcement with some grace. That's one little beacon of hope - let's hope that grace carries over.

—-

As his brother fields the question he didn't really want to answer anyway, Peter does smile and toss out to the older of the two brothers, "And the water goes the other direction when you flush the toilet." But seriously, Nathan, the ceiling? Now the boys will really want to go there! So they can be like Spider-Man, or something… Oi. Elena's words make him glance over. For a moment one might think he really believes her when she says it was the impromptu band— but it's Monty's outburst that makes him look back, eyes widening a little. Um.. Uh… NO. "That— that doesn't— it— people usually— are boyfriend and girlfriend for a while first— a couple years, but it does mean that she'll be… uh… around a lot still… sometimes." And… he's going to eat his spinach and cheese now. He actually almost shrinks into his chair. At least he doesn't turn invisible.

—-

Ha. Ha HA. Nathan doesn't choke on his wine, but he does rather quickly draw the glance away, casting Elena a quick mock-glare - then grinning a little wider at Monty's outburst. He suppresses the smile, though, as he addresses his son with a quasi-serious, "no yelling at the table" before skewing a piece of salad onto his fork. "A couple of years, huh?" Nathan says, looking across at Peter. This is fun. "Well let me know when you do decide to propose, maybe they'll swing some violins along with the accordions."

—-

What. WHAT? Elena stares at Monty at his outburst, even as Simon glances at his uncle expectantly. When Heidi laughs, and Nathan DOES NOT HELP AS ALWAYS, she grins sheepishly at Monty, though her mind is reeling. Why does EVERYONE THINK she's going to get married just because she finally got a boyfriend for the first time ever? Even her FATHER thought so. Was it because it took her this long that it had to be the next step? What if she and Peter break up? What if she decided being related to Nathan was not worth it? So many things could happen! She isn't even out of her twenties yet! "I….uh. Potatoes?" She offers the serving plate of cheesy, potato-y goodness to Heidi.

—-

They wanted to go to Australia, anyway. Toilets flushing in the opposite direction just makes them want to go there more, because that will be the highlight of the trip - seriously. Forget the awesome landscape, forget Sydney, forget the animals and the zoo, they'll just spend all day parked in frot of a toilet. With popcorn.

Only not.

Monty appears confused, and Simon dejected, when Peter attempts to explain this dating thing. "Aw, okay," is Monty's answer as he pokes at his macaroni and cheese, and soon forgets all about why he was upset in the first place.

Heidi just shakes her head, glancing at Nathan with a smirk. He doesn't know what she told Peter last time they sat down and talked about this, but it was pretty damn funny. Sure, it kind of turned around on her at the end, but she'll forget about that. Taking the plate of potatos from Elena, she puts more on her plate, then sets the serving dish back down in the centre of the table. Change the subject! Elena already know a little bit about this one, but… STORY TIME. Just to take the attention off poor Pete and Elena. "You know, when Nathan and I were around your age, Pete, he found one of my old licenses."

—-

"Yeah— that'll get me to tell you," Peter says with a glare across the table at his older brother. No way is he telling him now— except when he goes and tells him, because he's his brother and he trusts him. Maybe the prank war between them will be over by that point, or he can tell him he's going to propose but not details of exactly when or where! Maybe he can decide when and where spontaneously to avoid any possible disruption! HAH. Send in the wannabe Meatloaf now. But— anyway… He continues to stay slinked down, especially when Elena tries to ignore the topic. Well, she should, he guesses… they're only boyfriend and girlfriend. But then there is sudden storytime. He glances up and raises his eyebrow at Heidi. Old driver's license?

—-

Nathan glances towards his wife, curiously. Throwing herself under the bus for the sake of Peter and Elena? Well, she would. All the same. Shrug. "We must still have it somewhere," he says, because hell no would he be letting go of that little piece of excellent blackmail. Though it's now becoming less like blackmail if she's going to tell everyone, and Nathan hides his slight disappointment by refilling Heidi's glass obligingly, offering the bottle of wine to anyone else interested - not his sons, though. See? He's not a terrible parent after all.

—-

She takes more potatoes for herself, and hands the plate to Peter. Her foot nudges slightly on his own. Awww don't be embarassed. They're just kids. Still, Elena never really discussed her views on marriage. Or whether she intended to marry. She was independent, sometimes to her detriment, it could be something she never considered at all! But when Heidi launches on Storytime, she blinks. "Old license?" she wonders out loud, looking a little confused. She glances at Nathan suspiciously. He didn't try to dress up as Heidi to get in an all-women's club, did he? Because if he did…that would be HILARIOUS.

—-

"No, you still have it somewhere," she says. She suspects. Because it went missing and she never found it! Who else was in the room at the time? Nathan. He's got it, she just doesn't know where. Also.

She isn't about to give up her name that easily.

"He decided it'd be funny to photocopy it and wallpaper the house with it," she says. And everyone - or almost everyone - hates their old drivers' license pictures. "We were having company over. I know I didn't find them all by the time they got there, it was horrible." She's willing to throw herself under the bus, sure! But she's not going to completely humiliate herself. So! She's told a story, now it's someone else's turn! Stuffing her face with potatoes, she waits.

—-

With a foot nudged against his own, Peter hooks his own foot against hers until— well— it's like holding hands just with their ankles. It's cute, okay? And it allows him to take the cheesy potatoes and spoon some onto his plate (they're good for him, he shall have) before he passes the pototoes on to someone. It's Heidi's story that makes his eyebrow raise in surprise. He knew his brother had prank-like moments (his bratty activities with Elena as an example) but this is one he'd never heard of. "I don't remember that…" Learn something new about his brother every day!

Boy he's glad Nathan never saw his passport— OR DID HE?

"Nathan bought me woman's shoes for my graduation present when I finished nursing school," he adds on, giving even more 'my older brother is a little jokester' fuel to the fire. …Of course now the boys will think this is appropriate behavor. They should have waited til they left. Food. Food is good.

—-

Nathan innocently takes a delicate sip of wine as his shenanigans are totalled together. "That was quite a few years ago," he says, of Heidi's story, then shrugs and gestures to Peter with his glass before setting it down. "Well that wasn't." And neither was the whole rivalry with Elena, okay, MOVING on. He could share a story, but honestly, he'd rather keep the details of such stories held close to his chest - it's called avoiding blackmail! Still, he does nod to Elena. "I want you to know the portrait was destroyed and will never see the light of day," he says, which. Is a total lie.

—-

"Oh Goose, I'm sure you still have it. I want a copy of that tape, by the way." Consider them trophies for the ensuing prank shenanigans going on between them. But Elena smiles at Nathan. She'll bide her time. And then, when HE LEAST EXPECTS IT…

She looks over at Peter, and she laughs. "Did you keep them?" she asks. He probably did. He didn't seem to be the type to throw away anything from Nathan, but at what Heidi says, she can't help but laugh. "Yeah, sounds like something he would do. At least it wasn't a chicken suit. Which I'm setting fire to the moment I can manage to find the time, by the way." This to Nathan. Of course, she won't either. It's being mounted somewhere in her new apartment.

—-

Wine is good. Though Heidi's a little disappointed that Nathan's not sharing a story with them, but she's the one who volunteered storytime in the first place. She does give Nathan a look when Peter mentions the shoes, though - as she said then, she told Nathan it wasn't funny, and she sticks by that. Picking up her own glass of wine, she sips at it and tries to prevent her oldest son from getting his hands on it. It's harder than one might imagine.

Aaaand just like that, she's completely lost. Chicken suit - that one she can picture. The magenta one, though! A portrait? "Goose?" she finally questions. She can at least wrap her mind around that one.

—-

"That's a shame. I was looking forward to seeing the portrait," Peter says, still not taking any of the wine, even as he eats. "I still have them, in my closet— and no, I never wore them." But he doesn't return gifts from Nathan, even if he doesn't like them. He loves his brother. But— no chicken suit? "So I won't get to see the return of CluckCluck?" he has to ask. He had to do it. Goose? Does he need to call his brother HonkHonk now?

And to think, he's not even DRINKING.

When Heidi seems to not understand what they're talking about, he looks across the table and pipes in, "Remember that outfit Nathan wore to the costume party while I was in the hospital? Apparently Elena took a picture of it and made a hologram portrait— one side showed him all on his way to being senator, while the other…" Well, she gets the picture. "And Jack was in it too." The two of them, all glammed up.

—-

The nickname is frowned at - because Goose dies, and every guy wants to be Maverick, not Goose. Except in hindsight, that movie really is kind of gay, isn't it? …and speaking of gay. Nathan glares at Peter in a 'what did I do to deserve that?' kind of way, when the younger Petrelli explains to Heidi about the portrait. "Goose was from Top Gun," he mutters, in an effort to divert from the subject, and NO, no he is not about to elaborate as to whether or not the portrait has gone un-destroyed. It is, in fact, still hidden behind a filing cabinet, because he hasn't yet gotten around to sneaking it out of the office. He'll have to find some sort of disguise for it, maybe recycle the box to—

"Dad, what're they talking about? What costume?"

"I'll tell you when you're older, eat your chicken fingers." Nathan points at Elena. "That was an expensive chicken suit, I'll have you know."

—-

"You assumed the risk that I would just keep it, you didn't have to send that tri-colored monstrosity to me, at work, for all of my coworkers to see." Elena groans and looks at Heidi. "My coworkers started thinking that I had this….thing….." She pauses. "Okay fine they thought I was a furry, okay?!" She can't help it. It just COMES OUT LIKE MAGIC. "It took me WEEKS to quell the rumor. Every time I went to lunch in the Evosoft caf, people just stared at me. It's all your husband's fault." She mock-glowers from where she is sitting. Feeling Peter hook his ankle on hers, she nudges his leg playfully. NOW it's footsie.

—-

Heidi— Should not be drinking. This is a problem. When Heidi drinks, she tends to get silly. Thankfully, this is only her second glass of wine in as many hours.

"It's a chicken, I tell you, a giant chicken," she mutters, mostly to herself. The kids giggle - what child doesn't know Chicken Boo? A sheltered one, that's who! But their attention seems to be more for this mystery costume that no one will explain. Heidi's staying suspiciously quiet on the subject - see, she was a lion, and so if Nathan doesn't want the kids to know how ridiculous he looked, that secret is safe. However, that doesn't stop her from attempting to hide a huge smile, which she completely FAILS at. Blue eyes look to Elena. "You did? Really?"

The subject changes are almost too much for the kids, but Simon and Monty are rather bright boys, and follow these threads with rapt attention. They are still young, and they narrow their eyes when Elena mentions this 'furry' thing. Animals are furry, people are not, so… It's finally Monty who asks, "What's a furry, Auntie 'Lena?"

—-

All of a sudden there's a streak of white from under the table. It's finally happened. One of the boys dropped a piece of their chicken fingers and Snowy leaped up from her resting place on Julius' rump and is now picking it up in her mouth and running away with it. Caeser will likely follow. Good thing she's small. She'll find something smaller to hide under. FOOD.

Peter grins as his brother explains the nickname, though he pipes in, "You always struck me as more of a Val Kilmer, honestly." It's somewhat of a defense for his brother— because yes, Goose did die and it was very sad. He cried when he saw it at the young age of 6. Especially since his brother had already started naval academy, and it struck a pretty strong cord with him. They probably shouldn't have let him watch that movie, but… there we go. The question of a furry earns a frown, because, honestly, he has no idea. That's not a particular lifestyle he participated in, geekdom. But— he thinks he's getting the idea. "Chickens are feathery, though."

—-

THUDTHUDRUMBLE. Nathan quickly moves a hand to hover over his wine glasses protectively when the large dog beneath the table jumps up to chase Snowy, shouldering a leg of the table - but luckily not knocking anything over. They are so getting new dog trainers, swear to god. "You're not allowed to complain," Nathan then says, to Elena. "Not after sending that portrait to my office. Someone almost saw it which almost got her fired." He came very close, but then took pity on the poor girl - plus she actually makes good coffee, so. "What's a furry, anyway?" Like father like son. He doesn't know! He'd old!

—-

No one on the table knows what a furry is.

Elena stares at all of them, feeling, suddenly, much younger than Peter, Heidi, and Nathan, and much older than Simon and Monty. It was hard being in the middle. She laughs. "I'll tell you all when you're all older." That means the secrets of the dark underground that are furries will have to wait until Nathan and Heidi are both grandparents, Peter was forty, and the kids are at the very least sixteen years of age. And by then they probably would've found out on their own already. By then, they'll have access to Youtube and spend countless hours clicking on copyrighted material.

—-

No, Heidi knows what a furry is. She's just remaining silent on the matter. Dude, who doesn't watch TV? Law and Order, or CSI, or whatever the hell it was made such an uproar - yeah, Heidi's a perceptive girl, and it's not like she has much else to do when she's hanging around the house all day. Someone needs a job or something.

She just snickers behind a hand as Elena says she'll tell everyone later. Heidi will tell Nathan tonight. And then his sons will be forever banned from leaving the house or watching TV, or going on the internet, or owning pets, they'll be locked in a box. Okay, it's not that scary.

When the boys look at their mom for answers, Heidi is suddenly very interested in her pot roast.

—-

Mmmm. With the animals chasing each other through the house over a piece of chicken (minus one sleeping doggie), Peter can't help but smile a bit at the table jokes that are half flying over his head. He does have an idea what a furry might be, just not quite in as much detail as them. He missed that episode, and he didn't hang out with the right type of people in college, apparently. The smile is genuine, and as he looks around at all of them, he suddenly bursts in, "I love you guys. I think we should do this more often." It's one of the few family dinners they've ever had— and it's a nice one. And he means it sincerely— it's something he's said a lot more since he got back. And the footsie under the table continues, to clue her in that 'yes, he means her too.'

With a lot of the food eaten, he pops in with a subject change, "So what's for dessert?"

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