2007-10-10: Grey

Starring:

Nathan_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: Heidi stops by to visit Nathan in the lab, where he is quarantining himself. There are in no way any beakers involved in this scene.

Date It Happened: 10 OCTOBER 2007

Grey


Bat Country Labs

It's a moment of peace for Bat Country Labs, Peter having retreated to Elena's room and Cass probably studying quietly in some other corner. It's the main room that Nathan is occupying, which seems more like a living room than the laboratory it's connected to, furnished comfortably - beanbags, couches, even a bookshelf of miscellaneous reading material, which Nathan is currently using. Somehow, a Stephen King collection of short stories has made it's way there, so Nathan has grabbed that, relaxed into a couch, and is reading. For pleasure. A rare sight. Every now and then, he checks the time on his watch, waiting for either a knock on the door or for Heidi to show herself in.

—-

When there's not a lot to do, reading is a good option. Heidi's sure Nathan would much rather be doing political things, like having dinner with the president of— Asia or something. Really, though.

Heidi's pretty worried, and has been since she got the call from Nathan when he first checked himself in. Now that she's been given the all-clear to visit, she doesn't take too long in arriving. Over her shoulder is a duffle bag with some clothing and other necessities inside, as well as a card from the kids that really just looks like Simon and Monty had a fight with markers all over a folder piece of computer paper.

She decides to show herself in upon reaching the designated place, pushing open the door just a crack before stepping inside. "Nate?" she says quietly.

—-

The book is tossed aside, Nathan pushing himself up from the couch when Heidi makes her presence known. He's dressed in jeans and a sweater much more suitable for winter rather than mild fall weather. It's clear his fever's increased somewhat, still fatigued, still sick, as can only be expected, really, but he stills offers her a warm smile. Glad to see her. That— might make her worry more than she already is, really.

"Hey," he greets, moving towards her, arms outstretched so he can pull her into an embrace. "Thanks for coming. Found the place alright?" It's a little confusing, this place being the basement of some other place of a different name, and he woulda waited on the sidewalk for her, but— that wouldn't really defeat the purpose of his whole staying here thing.

—-

There's no real way to describe the face she makes. Worried, perhaps. Somewhat pitying - just a tad, though, but she has the right to that - Relieved, concerned. It's a lot, all rolled into one brief glance before she wraps her arms around him. "I knew you didn't look well," she mutters into his shirt, sighing. Really, it took awhile for her to get here, since she couldn't just ask the driver to take her to 'Bat Country,' but Heidi nods anyway. "Yeah, it was… I'm just glad to see that you're doing okay." So far, anyway. "What can you tell me about … any of this?" They haven't had a long time to talk on the phone, after all. It looks like she wants to say something else, too, as she looks up at him with concerned blue eyes. Her lips part to speak, but she says nothing.

—-

Nathan's hands smooth her hair back from her face, and he finally backs up, taking the duffle bag from her and setting it aside as he leads her to go sit down in the couch he'd been occupying. "I can tell you what I know," he says, folding a leg under him as he sits, keeping that hand entangled. Their family is touchy, there's no doubt about that, but he's not often clingy, even with Heidi. Such gestures are usually economic, used as emphasis, another way to communicate - here it seems he just wants a hand to hold. "What were you gonna say?" Yeah, he caught that, and considering this virus has been discussed so often, he's more than ready to let her talk first.

—-

Her fingers remain wrapped in his; the engagement ring he gave her is on her hand, and it becomes clear what she's done with the old wedding ring - it's on a silver chain around her neck. It still means something, after all.

Her expression finally starts leaning more toward relieved than anything else, even slightly annoyed. Not at Nathan, but at the situation. Unfortunately, what she's about to say involves the same virus Nathan is probably tired of hearing about already. "I didn't bring the boys." And she wants to know why she couldn't bring them, but why she could come without worry. "They wanted to come. Simon … knows all this stuff about viruses from class, I guess, and he was trying to argue his way into the car… How bad is it?"

—-

On his hand is his old wedding ring, still. They'll need to buy new ones sometime— after he's not quarantined, and. All that. "It's not terrible," Nathan says. "But we're not sure how bad it's going to get." He didn't explain the dream, which is why there's such a panic, but maybe they'll get to that. What seems important to Nathan is the here's and the now's, rather than a dreamed up outcome. "You could come and not the kids because it seems to be affecting only people with abilities. I don't— we don't know if the boys might… have something, one day. Didn't want to chance it." Which might explain his sudden disappearance from the estate, leaving only a note and a later phonecall.

—-

Not terrible yet is the translation. Her eyes narrow, she shivers as the bottom kind of drops out of her stomach. The kids. She's already determined that they must have something about them if she and the boys were in that file. There's no way to be sure, of course. Neither of them have demonstrated any odd abilities, and if they have them, they certainly aren't telling. But pre-teen boys don't keep secrets that well. That their kids could be infected with some unknown illness — All the same, she closes her eyes and nods, swallowing the lump in her throat. They worry about that if and when they get to that point.

Heidi gives Nathan's hand a squeeze, before turning to lean against him comfortably. "If you get too warm, let me know, okay?" she says quietly, holding one of his hands in both of hers. After some silence, she says, "So, Cass works here?"

—-

Nathan's arms shift to hold as she leans against him, trying to offer that kind of comfort that transcends words and explanation. Her worry isn't missed on Nathan, because he's felt that himself, and even if he has to spend his time trying to figure out how to run his campaign in the basement of a medical clinic, it's something that's been on his mind. "Cass runs the labs, I think, yeah," he says, thumb brushing over Heidi's fingers in an absent, affectionate gesture. "If it'd make you feel better, maybe we can convince her to take a break from here and visit you to test the boys." Not that he really wants anyone poking needles in his children for no reason, but maybe there is a reason. He'll pretty much blame himself forever if anything happens to them, but.

—-

It didn't seem like too terribly long ago that Heidi and Cass were planning a spin the bottle game for Peter and Elena. Yes, mature. But it would have worked if Peter hadn't disappeared to the future, where things were Not So Great. As it stands, there's no real need to worry about that now. "You mentioned her on the phone," Heidi mutters, still holding onto Nathan's hand.

Maybe there's nothing to worry about. Maybe this is just some sort of passive virus that only affects people with abilities. Then again, parvo is a horrible disease that affects only dogs, maybe this is kind of like that…? "Maybe we should ask," she agrees. "Just in case." Tilting her head back, she meets Nathan's eyes. "Tell me that I shouldn't be worried, and I'll believe you."

—-

Nathan glances down at her, and there's a little bit of silence before he shifts just enough to kiss her forehead. "There's nothing to worry about. This is just a precaution - just in case, like you said." He shifts back enough so that he can lean against the arm of the couch, but Heidi is drawn with him, an arm still wrapped snugly around her. "Impromptu time off is killing me, though. I'm meant to be salvaging some public opinion and I can't even walk out the door right now."

—-

Like last time, she doesn't entirely believe him. But it helps to hear all the same. Maybe it's the note in his voice, the sure-sounding promise. Who really knows? Why worry, though? Why spend your time wondering about what's going to happen, when you could be in some sort of crippling accident tomorrow? Of course, everyone does, and Heidi's no exception, but back to the original point. It's never helpful to worry.

Considering what he says, she gives the whole campaign thing a moment's thought. She could try to campaign for him, but they'd wonder where the heck Nathan went. She could do some damage control, though. Speak to the press — Heidi's good at that sort of thing. It's just that no one wants to be badgered. "It's 'cuz you don't have grey hair," she explains, perhaps in a non-sequitur.

—-

Nathan goes with it and gives an audible sigh of mock-annoyance. "I knew I was missing something," he says. "Just give it a few days, there can't be much more trouble that Peter can get into before I start going grey." A beat, pausing as he remembers something, before adding, "Peter's still staying here, I think he's asleep right now. He needs it. Elena— she has it as well. Those're the only people I know who caught this thing."

—-

"You can have some of mine," Heidi says, smiling. Really, take all of them. Even if they don't show, she knows they're there. Waiting. "Anyway, you can't be a politician unless you're old." She wants him to win the election, to be successful, even if he has worries about what that means for the future. It's starting to not look so good, though, so Heidi's doing her best to make possible defeat just a little easier to deal with. "Just get better. We'll spend as much time as we can improving your chances in the polls."

There's another silence as she learns of Peter and Elena's illness, as well. "More people for me to not-worry about," Heidi sighs. Her eyes close again. "Maybe I should stick around 'til morning. Make sure everyone's okay."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License