2007-04-25: Good Luck With... Um. Everything?


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Summary: Nathan and Jane talk as they walk after the telepath Elle asked for is done.

Date It Happened: April 25th, 2007

Good Luck With… Um. Everything

Outside the Eastern Centennial Building, Lower Manhattan, NYC

Nathan and Rianna emerge from the building, and should Jane leave as well just behind them, she for now goes unnoticed as the two exchange some quiet words. But Jane won't have made it too far down the street by the time Nathan is opening and shutting a car door for Rianna, left on the sidewalk as the telepath drives or is driven away. Briefcase held loosely in hand, Nathan considers calling a cab for home or something sane like that. Probably like most of the people involved in this, he looks like he could use some shut eye. Instead, Nathan finds himself walking briskly down the sidewalk. "Jane," he says, just loud enough to get her attention. There's no real urgency in his voice or posture as he moves to fall into step beside her, however.

She does in fact emerge from that building a short time later, at most only a minute or two after them, having needed to collect her gear and bring it along. Jane's features are stark with emotions from all that happened with Elle over recent days and the personal demons it all dragged out for her to wrestle down again. That expression she had when Rianna made her report, certifying that not only had Miss Bishop's mind been raped on this occasion but others as well, Nathan's seen that before. It's what she looks like when chaining down a potent scream, the kind only she can loose as far as he knows. True to herself, he might also expect, she'll be seeking out a street spot to sit and play. It's what she does. So she's walking slow, eyes scanning for a place to occupy and use her best coping tool, is easily caught by him.

"Nathan," she replies solemnly when the voice is heard and he falls into step.

He's not so much as following her as walking with her, perhaps companionably. Well, that's what Nathan is hoping, anyway. His free hand slides into and rests in his jacket pocket, mostly just keeping his eyes on the ground in front of him and their surroundings, but on occasion, he flicks a glance towards her. "So," he starts. "You and Elle were friends. Small damn world, huh?" It's a lead in, small talk, and it doesn't fit him very well. Still, there it is.

"Yeah," she replies in a quieter voice. "It's amazing sometimes the way common ground appears. We had it, and were able to bond. Now we have… more." Jane's steps match his without much effort to keep the pace, she's become accustomed to walking around New York in her musical travels and at five feet eight without heels, as she is now in running shoes, the brunette is only two inches shorter than him.

More? Nathan ponders that one for a moment. Similar traumas, experiences, maybe, but all the same… "I was gonna say it seems like you got less now," he says. "Even after what happened today." There's a pause, in which Jane would have room to reply, but he starts speaking again. "I was sort of tempted to advise Pete to let her go. I'd've told you the same."

She chuckles slightly, a strange tone settling into it, as her reply is framed. "I get that, Nathan," Jane replies. "Elle's dangerous, but oddly enough, we bonded. Her life has been so devoid of normal experiences that simply treating her with respect goes a long way. She trusted me enough to be honest and share things, that's how we started talking. The whole alliance thing, she was first to mention it to me. The day before her world was rebooted, she brought me breakfast and shoes. I gave her an iPod and we watched movies. Simple things. It helps on my end, too, that lately people I can be completely honest with are in short supply. And I don't have it in me to abandon people like that."

"Well, it worked out okay for you," Nathan says. "But then, you're not the daughter of the guy running this operation." So this, it seems, is what Nathan wanted to talk about, or at least this is half of it. He probably doesn't dare try and bring it up with Peter. At least not today. "When's it gonna end for her? I don't want to see a repeat of this."

She's pensive, and listening, though what she's thinking may be difficult to guess at. "Neither do I, Nathan," Jane answers. "Some things we just have to feel out one day at a time, you know? I hadn't expected she'd drag me to Cass's place and flip out like that, but… after Pete and I both spoke to her soon after she'd been mindraped, the seed was planted. She'd eventually see the sense of things we said then. Sure enough, she came to find us on her own and get answers. When I realized what happened, Nathan, I lost it. I screamed. Now I need a new tv and apartment window. It… brought the whole thing back."

What to say to that? It draws Nathan into silence for a few moments, letting out a sigh as they walk. He allows a silence to settle for a few moments. Then, he goes on to say, "And was that for the best? In practical terms, Jane. Believing what they told you, over knowing what they really did and knowing you can't get those memories back. Not being able to remember the initiative you took in walking up to my house to help me get my brother back, or the rooftop meeting and the faces that go with it. And who's to say Elle won't go through that all over again? If Bob wants his little girl back…" He trails off.

"Practical terms, Nathan." Jane's eyes close slowly, her mood darkening some as she walks along and listens. "In practical terms, if I don't help her pick up and recover each time this happens, I can't live with myself. The strongest memory I have of that time is being alone, Nathan. The others involved all assumed I was captured and held, no one came looking for me to make sure. There was only you. For that, I'm eternally grateful. I can't do that to her or anyone else. No matter how much sense it makes to run. And I don't believe you would either. You didn't ditch me, after all. I… just have to be more prepared. If she gets erased again, first thing is to start carrying a super soaker water pistol. Water makes her manageable until she sees sense."

"Well, we aren't lovers, Jane," Nathan points out. "I can appreciate you helping her to save your sanity, maybe her's - I really can - but I'm not sure Peter can take this." But he doesn't press the issue any further than that. Because god knows Peter is stubborn, and Jane seems to be similar. "My concern is that the Company won't let up for Elle. They might, but I doubt it. But if you want to keep this up… that woman I brought. Rianna. She's the head of the Foundation, an organisation that… well I guess it offers what the Company enforces. Maybe you and Elle and Peter can seek help there in dealing with the Company." And thus, he gives his reluctant advice.

She nods, quietly. "No, we're not, Nathan. Not that you aren't a catch, but, you're married and we don't fit that way." A hint of a smile shows, and vanishes, as she continues. "Thanks for being concerned, Nathan, really. I do hear you. And I know you worry about your brother. I do too sometimes. Pete's a good guy, tougher than he gives himself credit for. It's like… the biggest thing he needs is confidence." She studies the potential Senatorial Candidate's face to see if she seems to make sense to him. And she's thinking more, absorbing, processing. "Foundation. She's a councilwoman, it struck me after things were over."

The comment on being a catch actually incites a chuckle, mirroring that hint of a smile before Nathan too sinks back into seriousness. It's the comment on Peter's toughness and confidence that earns Jane a studious glance, because really, Nathan is a prime culprit for forgetting that also, and he has enough insight to know it. So the silence Jane gets for that is grudging agreement, and he's happy to move on to this next topic. "She is," he confirms. "I knew her through politics before I knew her through certain talents." Okay, so, the latter didn't take very long to establish, but still, it's true.

"My brain is sometimes resourceful and practical, Nathan," Jane remarks with a chuckle. Her voice lowers to a tone only he can hear, if someone happened to come up nearby. "Once I talked with Pete, a few weeks back, and told him he had to believe in himself, or he'd never be able to beat Sylar. I think that's the difference between them in control of what they've got. I also recommended he go meet someone on purpose, specifically to copy her power, then practice and master it as priority one. It's the ability to locate people. We need that to take initiative and make him be the hunted instead of hunter."

"I can't say that wouldn't be handy," Nathan says, lightly. Albeit tensely. It seems he's not so thrilled about this, despite himself. "But he's already got a long list of powers." His tone dips lower, quieter when he reaches that last word. "Last time he took on too many, he went into a coma. There's being confident in himself, but then there's overdoing it. I don't trust what we can do, Jane."

"If I could pin his location down, Nathan," Jane admits, "the idea I'd use would be a massive assault, to put him down with overwhelming force. Lots of people with powers would be nice, but I'd also plan for them to be no more effective than just keeping him busy. The real weapon is a pair of snipers on a nearby roof." Practical, like she said.

Oh, god. Nathan doesn't quite tune out - he still listens, because she's not wrong, but the observant can tell that he's already quit this conversation, in a way. Not that what she's saying is /bad/, but the idea of Sylar is enough to make him feel drained. "Well, that's a plan," he says, with a put upon sigh. "Better than Peter throwing himself at the guy." Better than hiding. Both plans pretty much failed. This, however, Nathan leaves unsaid. "Keeping it to good ol' fashioned firearms has my vote. Who exactly is pulling the trigger in this scenario?"

She pauses, it hitting her about that time he'd already moved on, and her features showing a bit of embarrassment that she'd still been there. "Maybe another time," Jane suggests. "I… I sometimes brainstorm too much, can't let go of things that scare me, and being more the type to go get them before they come at me. This… would be one of those times. Sorry, Nathan." Switch of topic in three, two, one. :I landed a contract for recording and studio session work. Cutting Room in Greenwich Village"

"No…" Nathan starts, and shrugs. "It's fine. You have the right attitude, if—" A glance at her. "A dangerous one. As long as you keep quiet… in all respects… Gray doesn't have a reason to come after you. But if you wanna go be a hero, then…" He gestures, absently, because he can never ever stop people from doing that. "Try not to get killed. And a contract, that's good. Surprised you got time for music between planned sniper assaults and tying best friends to chairs." This is said lightly, although there's an ever-present trace of snark there too.

"It isn't easy," Jane replies with a grin. "Hero." She turns back to solemn, adding "Not so much that as a woman who doesn't want to die, and is afraid he'll find her someday. With him, for all of us, he plans it to eventually be kill or be killed, so it's an easy choice. Too easy to get spotted. If someday a dog whistle blows and I react, he's watching and does the mental math, game over." In a nutshell, this is why she thinks of it so much. Fear." And she's going back to the contract. "Happy coincidence. I was going in there about session work and nearly got run down by a skateboader. We talked, he went in with me, and talked ne up. Jaden Cain."

"Jaden Cain?" Nathan repeats, with surprise. Most news-savvy New Yorkers will know that name, and some of the stories behind it. "That's… definitely a remarkable coincidence. Congratulations, in any case." They reach a corner, and Nathan pauses walking there, glancing towards where he's meant to be going - homewards. "Guess life goes on even with superpowers and psychokillers."

"We make it go on, Nathan," Jane replies with a chuckle. "because if it doesn't, they win. I won't let that happen, no matter how dark and broody I sometimes seem to be. I believe in having command." She pauses, thinking of Cain again, and smiles. "He's silly, could learn to be more serious and will probably have to, but… I think I'm attracted to him. I'm sure you'll agree I need more silly pure fun in my life." Her eyes glance ahead, then back to him. "Take care, Nathan. Be in contact soon?"

Oh boy. 'Attracted'. RUN AWAAAY, JANE. Not just because it's Jaden, too. Okay, no, Nathan doesn't say that, just offers an uncertain smile at the news, although amusement manages to seep in, and he nods once. "I'll see you around. Good luck with…" Um. Everything? He gives a shrug to articulate this, before flashing her one of his politician smiles, and heading off in the other direction.

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