2008-01-10: Glorified Beasts

Starring:

Angela_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: Angela appears to discuss her sons. Heidi has a habit of not sleeping when she's worried. Caesar and Julius break something. The kitchen is miraculously pristine.

Date It Happened: 10 JANUARY 2008

Glorified Beasts


Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park

A wonderful racket comes from somewhere in the house. A thump-thump, SMASH, crunch, that makes sure everyone home at the time is saying something along the lines of 'What the hell?' at that very moment. If there was anyone asleep, they're awake now, as two boys and two dogs run down the stairway, bull-in-a-China-factory their way through the kitchen, knock over a chair, and run out the back door to the yard beyond. Heidi quietly follows after them and picks up the chair, putting it back where it belongs at the kitchen table, before sitting down in it.

Nathan is still missing. She tried to tell the boys the truth - she's a fan of talking to them, and not down to them - but in the end, she could only come up with 'Daddy's in Washington.' Now she has THAT to worry about, as well as the fact that there's been no word about her husband.

Slowly, she drops her head onto the table, enjoying the cool surface for a few minutes while she can. Without her permission, her mind drifts off into sleep. It's no wonder; Heidi needs it.

—-

The Petrelli mansion, with its elaborate design, its familiar walls, its art chosen many a year ago by Angela's own hand and expensive taste in conjunction — sometimes — with Arthur, has been home for what seems like an era. Yet the matriarch hasn't been as steady a fixture, these days, as she has been in the past; and her reasons, save for the threat of a virus in recent times, have been mysterious at best.

Presently, however, Angela is home in time to witness — at least in part — the ruckus of dogs and children. And she stays by the front door, slowly peeling brown leather gloves from her fingertips, one by one, until the noise dies down. The matriarch is still wearing her winter coat when she strolls into the kitchen; a dark grey wool number, just heavy enough to keep out the chill, the collar turned sharply up. Yes, one of her sons is missing; yes, another is involved in a complicated tangle, but her face is a strong one. There may be the hint of dark circles under her eyes, but she stands tall, alert. "I am continually surprised to find this house intact." No matter that Heidi is dozing, she's expected to wake up. "You're letting it be overrun by those behemoths, I don't know how you stand it."

—-

One thing can be said… The house is certainly large enough to accomodate two rottweilers. Eventually, she's going to have to get them more sophisticated training. As it is, everything they learn is unlearned when the boys take over. There's been more than once where Heidi's caught Julius' face in Monty's plate on the table, or when she's seen Caesar drinking out of the toilet.

Pale blue eyes open, and Heidi sits up with a grunt. She wasn't sleeping, honest! "Had to close my eyes," she explains, as it slowly dawns on her that there's someone else in the kitchen with her. Notably, Heidi's a little surprised, but she hides it well, rubbing her neck and looking back down at the table. Okay, time to wake up.

"The kids love those dogs," she says. There's also a cat around somewhere, probably hiding from the noise. And there is more than a little affection in Heidi's voice for the little monsters, as well. "I'll make some coffee." She pauses, then asks, "What brings you here?"

—-

Angela would rather not think of the heinous things the … "pets" do when she's not looking, but she does say: "They're glorified beasts. Pests. You ought to put them in a kennel." She folds her gloves onto the table, certainly a temporary thing. With her coat still on as it is, heeled shoes clicking on the floor as she strolls along the table's edge, echoing in the silence left behind by dogs and children, she very much gives the impression that she'll be on her way out soon enough. As for why she's here? "I'm worried about you, Heidi," she states simply, crisply. "You're obviously not sleeping. You wearing yourself ragged isn't going to help them find Nathan any faster."

—-

Charming, Heidi thinks to herself. She'll momentarily take Angela's kennel advice under consideration before she rejects it outright. Heidi grew up on farmland. Cows and sheep belonged outside in pens. Dogs? Belong on the couch with the family. Can't take the farm out of the farmgirl. Not entirely, anyway.

Making good on her word, Heidi starts the coffee - some expensive stuff she's come to like in the years she's been living here, and while she draws the line at things like Civet Coffee, she can enjoy some of the fancier stuff.

"No, it's not going to help," she admits. As the coffee finishes, she pours some for herself, and another mug for Angela. "I don't really have a choice in the matter, though. As soon as I lay down, I think about the fact that he's not here. And… How I should have insisted on going with him. I had this feeling when he went that… Have you heard anything? The boys want to know why they can't call him, and I don't really know what to tell them anymore." Taking her coffee, she sits back down at the table. That she fell asleep even for a moment was kind of a fluke.

—-

Angela follows Heidi a certain distance through the kitchen but stops near the table's end, watching her critically — but instead of a disapproving glare, her stern countenance is flecked with hints of concern. "No, nothing," she admits with woefully unhelpful honesty. "It's as if he simply disappeared." A vague smile borne of politeness is given to Heidi as the coffee is acknowledged. She draws it into her hands, but doesn't sit down. "The boys should think what the rest of the world should continue to think: that nothing is amiss, that he's in Washington on business."

—-

"But that's not where he is," Heidi says. She sighs, using the mug to warm her hands. At the same time, she knows Angela is right - that telling the boys that Nathan is 'missing' would worry them. They're too young to really understand that bad things really do happen to good people, even if Monty recently went through a bout with a broken arm. Talking about it won't do any good, and the truth won't bring Nathan back, just like not sleeping won't bring him back. "I want to be able to do something." Besides sitting here in the warm house while he's god-knows-where. "I'm worried about Peter, too." Angela might note the fact that the table is brand new, and that a good chunk of the cupboards and counter is recently renovated.

—-

"It may as well be, for all they know. They'll have to get used to their father being away, if he reappears in time to step up to his place as Senator. God willing." God, more than likely, has little to with what's become of Nathan. Sliding into the seat just around the table's corner from Heidi, Angela settles in and wraps aged fingers about the mug of coffee. On the verge of replying on the subject of Peter in a reluctant fashion — the unimpressed look that often goes hand-in-hand with the subject of her youngest son — she's momentarily rerouted by eyeing the table. "This isn't our table." What else has been changed? The elder woman glances critically around the kitchen, quietly displeased by the renovations.

—-

For the sake of her sons, Heidi's been stoic, serene, motherly. As she looks toward Angela again, though, it's clear that those eyes are more than just tired. They're clouded with worry and uncertainty, even pain, as she rubs at a spot on her arm where she'd been stabbed by a large flying piece of the last table. The injury is gone - thanks to Peter - but it was Peter's fault that it was there in the first place.

Sometimes, she's not entirely sure if she can trust Angela. It's nothing the older woman did or didn't do, it's just what she says, the detachment. There's no reason for Heidi not to tell her what happened, though, even if there's a good pause before she does say anything. "Peter. Wanted to find Nathan. He couldn't, so he threw the table." Her words are chosen carefully, neither implying nor denying that abilities had anything to do with it. "Most of the past couple days was spent repairing the kitchen. I sent the boys to a friend's house."

—-

Peter, throwing a table in anger? The explanation does something strange to Angela Petrelli. It surprises her. She tips her head back, eyes widening just for an instant — and thus ends her noticeable show of shock at her son's apparent outburst of destruction. "I see. A shame. It was an antique." Angela stares grimly into her coffee for a moment before taking a sip of it as an afterthought of sorts. "You're not the only one who's worried about Peter."

—-

"I liked it," Heidi comments absently about the table. That's not really what's on her mind, though, but at least it explains why she's been unable to sleep, in addition to her worry about Nathan being missing. The strange phone call still gets to her. Sometimes she wonders if it'll happen again, or if other things in her life are just pretend. No. If she starts thinking like that…

"I never had any siblings, so… Peter's like a little brother." She smiles, the worry and pain leaving her face. "I know he's worried about Nathan, but I've never really seen him— It seemed like it came out of nowhere. And he has a right to be angry. I am. There's not a lot we can do." She pauses, then adds, "You worried, too?"

—-

"Peter is getting into things that are beyond his understanding," Angela states, matter-of-fact, disapproving, and dismissive. That's all she's willing to remark on in Heidi's presence. She leans ahead over the table then, reaching out to grip onto the younger woman's wrist. Her pale fingers are warm from the mug.

"Heidi," she speaks the name with an insistent tone and looks up, directly into Heidi's eyes, dark to light. "You've always been strong." A tight but sincere comes and goes transiently along Angela's lips. "You're strong now. Nathan's disappearance is a vexation on all of our hearts." If her daughter-in-law were to look closely enough into the dark eyes that watch her, she might detect a hint of pain. Quiet acceptance of Nathan's fate, since she's been so far unable to see it, let alone stop it. "There could be any number of explanations, but given that you and I both know there's more than affairs of state in Washington at work, you should be prepared."

Angela is great at being comforting, don'tcha know.

—-

That's kind of what Heidi was afraid of. Actually, she's getting tired of not knowing anything, even if she's right in the middle of it all. She's resolved lately to figure things out - or do the best she can to try. After all, if she's so strong, she should be able to handle things like the truth. If her husband can fly, if Peter can do just about anything, of her boys might grow up to become like others in their family, Heidi is prepared for anything else that might come her way.

As she turns her hand up so she can take Angela's, she knows the other woman is hurting, too. Anyone should, when their children are in trouble.

"I am." Her fingers close a little, only for a moment. "And trust me when I say that I will do anything to get Nathan back."

At the moment… Heidi doesn't know how hard that'll be.

—-

The moment lingers on in acknowledging silence of shared concern, Angela watching Heidi's expression very closely throughout, until it's broken. The elder Petrelli slips her hand away only to clap it over Heidi's briskly for an instant. She reclaims her expensive coffee. "Well, despite himself at times," she begins suddenly, leaning upright to her well-poised position, "Our Nathan is a survivor. If he survives his mystery vacation, it's only a matter of how well."

—-

That doesn't sound promising. The longer it gets from the day Nathan disappeared, though, the more worried Heidi is that he won't come back. How long can someone be missing before they stop existing? And why is he gone in the first place? Heidi puts a hand against her head, closing her eyes again. She can't think in terms of when they'll locate his body. Heidi has to believe that he'll come home safely. It doesn't seem like there's much else to be said on the matter, so Heidi pulls her hand back, wrapping it around her coffee.

Thankfully, there's no time for awkward silence. The boys, tired of the cold, come running back into the house, throwing off their winter clothes behind them. Monty is the first to notice: "GRAMMA!" He says, before practically leaping into Angela's arms, followed by Simon.

—-

A word or two of caution, a sip of coffee, and Angela is ready to drop the topic of her son's mysterious disappearance. But she's not ready to depart, no, not when there are two lovely children piling into her arms. The grandmother's face lights up, the childrens' appearance breathing warmth and light into her sternly-lined features. "Hello, boys!" Smiling fondly, she obliges their clambering, turning to wrap her arms around both at once. They get a grandmotherly squeeze. Hopefully, they left the beasts outside where they belong. "Mmh, I've missed you. My dears, you're freezing! Heidi, Monty and Simon would like some hot chocolate, wouldn't you, boys?"

—-

The conversation doesn't really make Heidi feel much better. She knows what it's like to be kidnapped, but this time, there's no miraculous, daring rescue. If only she could fly in and save him.

For now, she'll put it out of her mind. The transition from worried wife to tired-but-happy mother is seamless and instantaneous as the boys reappear. Caesar and Julius are still outside, or they'd likely already be up in Angela's lap.

Hot chocolate!? HOT CHOCOLATE?! Two hopeful, bright red faces look at their mother, and what else can Heidi say except "Yes, Mother," as she stands, abandoning her coffee for the moment so she can make some hot chocolate for her sons.

—-

What were the boys doing outside, did they have fun in the snow, do they want marshmallows in their hot chocolate? Angela titters over as any grandmother would, and for a lovely instant, the kitchen of the Petrellis seems a world away from their myriad of troubles, dark, looming futures and unanswered questions.

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