2008-03-13: Fixer Upper


Niki_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif

Summary: Away from watching eyes, Niki mothers the wounds she inflicted on Hiro, and they gain an ally in each other versus Pinehearst's plans.

Date It Happened: March 13th, 2008

Fixer Upper

Manhattan, New York City

"Haaang on…" Niki, crouching in front of a plain white couch which she has deposited one Hiro Nakamura, fusses with a tissue as she wipes blood off his face. She's not even sure if he's awake or unconscious, but she's trying her best to fix the result of her violence all the same. It's been mere moments since she brought him here, straight from the car after a twenty-ish minute drive.

Where is "here"? Nowhere familiar to her … guest, save for the fact that it's in NYC, evident by the telltale skyscrapers viewable from the large window. It's a high loft, spacious and barely furnished, and a bit chilly from disuse. It's also a little dim, lit by a standing lamp that's too far away to spread enough light, and an overhead light in the open kitchen space that's more close-by.

Hiro slowly begins to stir, shifting from side to side on the couch and blinking repeatedly to try and focus his vision. Of course, there is no success - his lack of glasses leads him to near-blindness. Too groggy to quite recall what happened, he does not immediately shift to English when he asks, "<Where am I?>"

Niki, not being remotely fluent in Japanese, doesn't answer the right question — but answers, all the same. "You're okay," she says, a much warmer voice than was heard outside of Pinehearst. She's trying to be reassuring. "I don't think it's broken." Peering this way and that with the tip of her tongue on her upper teeth as she examines Hiro's face, and her handiwork, she dabs at the bridge of his nose. "I'm really sorry."

"I cannot see properly," Hiro mumbles, switching to English as he gradually comes out his daze and recognizes Niki's voice. He reaches up to touch the space where his glasses usually sit, frowning as he squints again to try and get clear look at his assailant, "Have you seen my glasses?"

"… uhmm, yeah, about that." Niki stops cleaning off the poor guy's face and plucks the pair of glasses, such as they are, out of Hiro's own pocket. Pieces of them. "You might… need some new glasses." She sets them down — on top of the shirt pocket they came from. Worried blue eyes watch him carefully and, brows raised high, she winces a little as she asks, "Does it hurt?"

"I will be alright," Hiro states confidently, sitting up although the fact that his head is swimming causes him to fall right back down on the couch. He takes the broken pieces of glasses, running them through his hands and sighing, "<I just know I left the prescription in Japan … I'm going to have to get new ones.>"

He squints up at Niki for a moment, "Did they believe it?"

"They better." Niki stands up with a bit of reluctance, looking down on Hiro like a fretful mother, even though this is all her fault. … Okay, well, partly his fault for being there in the first place; better he ran into her than someone really dedicated to Pinehearst! "…I'm going to get you some ice," she says, despite Hiro's claim of being alright. She disappears somewhere behind the couch — in the kitchen area — and the sound of her rummaging in a freezer can be heard. When she returns, she sinks down onto the very edge of the couch by Hiro's head, carefully handing him a cloth and bag of ice.

Hiro places the ice right on his nose, beginning to feel better already - thankfully, nothing appears to be out of place (his nose isn't squished all over his face) but there is a deal of swelling and what has the potential to be a nasty bruise in the future. All the same, he's grateful for the ice.

"Thank you. Where are we?"

"Back in New York," Niki answers - vague, but she clarifies a moment later, "An apartment. It's mine. For— business." Not much less vague. "They'll know I hauled you off," she says somewhat quietly, a serious tone settling into her voice as she looks down at Hiro. "You know, it'd probably be best if they thought you were dead."

Hiro looks worried for a moment, as though he might believe Niki is contemplating putting him in such a state, "I can pretend. But … I have to get the blood. It is very important. I will wear a disguise … " He looks at the pocket of his jacket thoughtfully before he turns his attention back to her.

"As long as you stay away from the bosses, you should be okay," says Niki, moving up off the couch. She doesn't stroll far. "And soon as I can, I'll find out where that … blood is," she shakes her head, brow knit. "And then you go in and get it, no big deal 'cause you can … stop … time, right?"

"Hai, yes," Hiro says with a nod, still fondling the broken glasses that he holds tightly in his hands, "Once I have the blood, they will help me find my father's formula." He doesn't seem to be very interested in explaining his copious 'missions' today.

But one of those words— one of those words interests Niki, sparking some recognition. She whirls around, pinning Hiro with a sudden look. "Formula," she repeats. "What formula? What do you mean 'they'?"

"The people who are helping me," Hiro says warily, as though he's not quite ready to reveal their identities in case it puts them at risk, "But there is a formula my father was holding that could give people power. A speedster stole it … I need to get it back and hide it again to save the world."

Father, speedster, save the world— Niki just seems to process the important parts, which, right this second, don't happen to include any of these. She shakes her head, quickly sauntering closer again. Darkly, she says, "Pinehearst is already testing some kind of formula. On— people."

"A formula that gives people powers?" Hiro asks, looking quite concerned now, "If … if Pinehearst has that formula I have to get it back. It was stolen by … " Gah! He tries to remember what she looked like … "Blonde. American. Moved very, very fast."

"I'm not— sure," Niki is forced to admit. She folds her arms; still wearing the same thing, the business jacket, the lines she makes are unintentionally neat and bold. "And I don't know who that is. I just know that they're working on something to do with human genetics. Experiments. Some kind of formula."

"It might be the same," Hiro says quietly, but in truth he doesn't know - that would certainly be very convenient, though, "Can you … find out where they got it from?"

Niki crosses her arms tighter, standing slightly off-kilter with a hip jutting to one side. She considers, but her considering serves to provoke a troubled expression. She shakes her head. "Mm-mm. No. But— I can maybe find out what it does." The blonde strides toward the kitchen, swiping a piece of notepaper from her purse on a counter surface; she brings that, and a pen, back to Hiro's blurry vision. "Just give me a way to reach you."

"My number is 283-1212," Hiro recites, patting the pocket which thankfully still holds the little device, "You can contact me on that. If you need to see me in person, I live at the Deveaux Building on the Upper West Side."

Niki jots down the number on the paper herself, messy since it's against her hand, then tucks it away in her jacket somewhere. "Deveaux, got it," she says offhandedly, too distracted to be surprised. She knows the building thanks to Peter. And Nathan. "Hey, if you need to crash here for tonight— I don't think Pinehearst knows about this place yet."

"I don't want to get you in trouble," Hiro says quietly, shaking his head, "I have somewhere I can go. You should be careful … I will stay out of sight for a few days."

Despite herself, Niki smiles — sure, it's a little wry around the edges, but she gives a small laugh to Hiro. "I'm already in a world of trouble and it has nothing to do with you," she says good-naturedly and reaches an arm out to Hiro to help him up. Hopefully he can see it. "Are you always this trusting?"

"Only with heroes," Hiro says plainly, spotting the blurry formation that could be an arm and using it to help himself to his feet, "You will help, I think. You are a good person."

"Not always," Niki states with a distant, bitter tone. Whether she means she wasn't always a good person, or she isn't always a good person now… well, she doesn't clarify. She simply helps Hiro to his feet and keeps a hand clasped around his arm as if anticipating him to fall over. "You sure you're gonna be okay?" Is blind teleporting safe?

"Yes," Hiro reassures, nodding his head, "Please remember to tell me anything you find out about the formula or the healing blood … and any way to get past security if we can."

"I will. But you didn't hear it from me," Niki says with a small grin which can be heard in her voice — but the gravity isn't lessened. "And hey, you can stop time and teleport around, right? You've got it easy." Her methods are considerably trickier, she thinks.

"You know I will help you if you need it," Hiro says seriously, brushing off his jacket and preparing for teleportation now he's not so distracted by the pain, "Just call."

"Good to know." Niki steps back, away from Hiro, expecting to do that thing where he disappears from existence. She's strangely used to it, though her familiarity with the disappearing acts isn't strictly because of this particular teleporter. "Be careful, Hiro."

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