2009-11-12: He Has Amnesia



Date: November 12, 2009


Hallis' quest to save the homeless leads to George identifying Nathan Petrelli.

"He Has Amnesia"

Nordstrom's - Washington D.C.

The air is rather cool today, winter is coming and the dress of the inhabitants of the nation's capitol (a.k.a. The Anti-Disneyland) are bundled up appropriately, all but one. Hallis Van Cortlandt, visitor to the place, and appropriately bored celebutante walks among the natives dressed in a trench coat and pair of high heels. It is uncertain what she is looking for, until… Bingo!

Ducking through a retailer's door, the young blonde is surrounded by the scents of home. Designer clothes and designer shoes. It is a Nordstrom outlet, not the best, but it'll do. Taking off her coat, it is plain to see why she's here. She is dressed in nothing but a man's button down shirt and a belt. The sales clerks are avoiding her for the most part, that is until one recognizes her from this week's people magazine.

DC was the perfect place for a rest stop in Brayden's travels. He's been flying all day, and is now quite exhausted and walking around DC in search of a waffle house to get some brinner (yes, that's breakfast for dinner). Of course, Brayden's never been to DC so it's really no shock that he's gotten himself lost in his haphazard meandering. He pads into the retailer to get directions. Like Hallis he isn't dressed remotely appropriately for the store wearing a worn (and quite faded) brown leather coat open over a flannel plaid shirt paired with equally faded blue jeans and a pair of rugged looking hiking boots. A large duffle bag is slung over his shoulder.

A number of clerks stare at Brayden, some with mild recognition, but none approach him; he's not one of them. Or, at least, he's not dressed like it. Spying around the retailer, his gaze lands on Hallis; a woman who doesn't look like she belongs here either. With a large toothy grin, he strolls up to her, "Hey there. You familiar with DC?"

"I was afraid it would be that bad," Brayden muses with a smirk as he runs a hand through his thick hair. "Just stopping through, on my way to New York, you know? Was hoping to have some fun, but if it's all that bad…" He peers about the room only to notice that every clerk is now staring at the pair. "Well that's just creepy," he mutters motioning a bit to the peanut gallery. "You'd think they'd never seen plaid before." He, of course, isn't familiar with Hallis living under a virtual rock this last year and a half (and before that? He can't remember either!).

The young woman gives him her widest smile, "New York! Of course I know! That's where I'm from." Holding out her hand, she offers it in greeting. "Hallis Van Cortlandt, and you are?" She pauses for his response, but it is just then that one of the sales women comes over, fawning at the pair.

"Excuse me? I was wondering if you needed any help. We have a new selection of L.A.M.B. and of course the Channel line just shipped in this morning, you would be the first one in town to be wearing it." The clerk is very familiar with Hallis' shopping habits and being the first of anything just brightens the socialite's day.

Giving Brayden a cursory glance, she nods and motions to him to follow the sales lady. "Come on, we can shop and talk shop at the same time. Do you have your card?" She scrutinizes him for just a moment but then a streak of generosity takes over. "It'll be on me."

Brayden accepts the hand and shakes it firmly, professionally, in a way that doesn't go together well with his outward appearance. "Brayden Calvert," he winks jovially while his grin broadens. "Good to meet you, Hallis!" He raises an eyebrow at the clerk, before redirecting his attention to Hallis. "Th-thanks? I don't really need clothes though… was going to look for a waffle house…" He glances down at his get-up and kind of shrugs, "I think my clothes suit me…"

"You're kidding, right? Waffle House? Is that like… a house made of waffles or something?" Hallis is taken aback, her confused blinks speaking for themselves. At his objection to the offer of new clothing, she slips her hand out of his and smiles quite cordially, "Nonsense, you don't have to be modest. Plaid is for Catholic schoolgirls and old professors. Get him something business casual, something that will be good for day and evening." Then she places her hand on his shoulder and guides him after the woman. "Trust me, you need this." George would be so proud, it's a good thing to help the less fortunate.

"It's a place where you buy waffles. To eat. You know those things that ice cream cones are made of…" Brayden blinks back at her rather blankly as she pushes him after the sales clerk, "B-but —" All he can do is blink and sputter. He may as well kick those waffles goodbye for the night. Moistening his lips his glances helplessly at the clerk, "No suits! I don't wear suits! Can't move in them. Too stiff." Oh irony.

"Don't worry, it's not a whole suit. Just a good jacket, a nice shirt that's a little more in style, and jeans." Then she looks down at his feet and closes her eyes, rubbing her forehead. "And shoes… He really needs shoes." Then she turns to him and looks up, opening her eyes to give him the most serious of expressions. "I am warning you now though, stay away from women with bad hair. There's one in New York that puked on my last pair." She ignores the protests about the waffle house, there's plenty of time for waffles… after shopping.

"I love these shoes! So comfortable! Walked all over Ireland in them!" A faint groan is emitted from Brayden's lips, but he doesn't protest further. "It better not be a whole suit," he mutters as he gets ushered towards a change room. He furrows his eyebrows at the notion of women with bad hair, "Well, I tend to pursue women with good hair… can't see why I would spend time with some chick with bad hair. Why did you?"

The sales lady leads them to a pair of dressing rooms and seats them down in a couple of very comfortable arm chairs. Immediately the pair are offered refreshments and espresso, to which the female of the duo accepts. "I didn't spend time with her, I was trying to get into my apartment while her and her boyfriend… who I'm sure were just looking to rob people… loitered outside." Then, two models begin a little fashion show for the pair. Hallis, points out a few outfits which are put to the side. "Why did you walk? Don't they have cars there?"

"That's strange. Mental note: avoid women with bad hair," Brayden notes as he leans back comfortably in his chair, watching the models display the clothing. He wrinkles his nose and shifts in his seat. There's something oddly familiar about all of this, but he says nothing, choosing to clear his throat instead. "They had cars. Just chose to walk," or fly as the case may be. "And I did drive some. Drove a lot in Germany though." He side-glances her and then asks, "How is it that you chose those, but are wearing that?" The tone is light, non-critical, merely observant and punctuated with a smile.

Giving him a sidelong glance, Hallis takes a small sip of her espresso before turning to him and giving him a sly grin. "I was a bit naughty. So I had to borrow a shirt. I need to get some clothing to actually wear." She doesn't even blush at her confession, in fact, she seems a little bit proud of it. One of the sales ladies sidles up to the gentleman and slips him a copy of today's paper, turned to the gossip column. Displayed in all of Old Glory, is Hallis, being searched by airport security.

Brayden just smirks at Hallis' confession, saying nothing until his attention is diverted to the paper. Suppressing a chuckle, his grin broadens, "So this is why the sales people were staring at us. For awhile there, I thought my plaid was particularly appalling." His tone stays light. "So… was the naughtiness directed anywhere in particular or just a general, gonna walk through DC in next-to-nothing kind of naughtiness?" He raises his eyebrows and continues to smirk before sipping at his espresso.

Nordstrom, one of the few places of comfortable refuge for Hallis Van Cortlandt. At the moment, she is sitting in one of the plush chairs near the dressing rooms with a relative stranger (her good deed for the day). They are sipping espresso and chatting while two models are giving them a show of designer clothing. Beside the socialite is a growing stack of outfits, beside him? Nothing yet.

"I was trying to surprise a man I've been seeing." She admits casually, crossing her legs one over the other. "I think it worked." Then she eyes the paper in the man's hand and a slow smile spreads across her face, "I wonder how much trouble he got for that… He'll either keep it secretly framed in his office, or he'll scold me the next time he sees me."

Rewind to half an hour ago: George is on the road when his cell phone chirps its I'm-about-out-of-juice chirp. No problem, he reaches for the charger… only to discover that the end that plugs into the phone must have had something heavy on top of it, because the plastic cover is broken off and the innards have been reduced to a useless tangle of fine copper wire. Mentally rearranging his schedule for the day, he pulls off the highway and into a parts store…

…only, on his way out again, to glance over at the clothing chain next door. Wait a minute, he knows that person inside. Strike that, he knows both those people inside. Taking it as a sign, he pockets the replacement gear and heads inside, walking up behind Hallis just as she's telling Nathan about her morning. "Can't it be both?" he murmurs, resting a familiar hand on her shoulder.

"I hope he was surprised in a good way," the words are punctuated with a dimpled smile before Brayden lifts his espresso to his lips once again. "If I was him, I'd frame it and put it on the wall for the world to see. Screw the world!" Brayden turns to face George and furrows his eyebrows before thrusting his hand towards the man to shake, "Brayden Calvert. Guessing you're the surprised boyfriend, then?" The question is punctuated by two deep dimples pressed into his chiseled cheeks.

"You're sweet, Brayden, do you think I could keep that copy?" Hallis reaches toward the paper on his lap, only to be held back by a surprise hand on her shoulder. Turning swiftly, she almost spills the partially full demitasse in her other hand. "Oh! George you scared me!" Then she leans back and puckers her lips, obviously expecting a kiss. Yes, it's a public display, but with the picture in the paper from this morning, along with all of the gossip rags, the whole world knows about them anyway.

First things first, George leans down and gives Hallis what she expects - and then some, because when your girl is wearing very little except one of your shirts, then why the hell not - before reaching out to return the handshake, looking distinctly confused. He does not know this guy. "George Dawson. I am. And— you look an awful lot like my old boss. He didn't mention any identical cousins…"

The paper is handed over to Hallis casually with that same broad grin, "Of course you can have it! You should frame it and put it on your wall! It took guts. Look at you. Getting searched in an airport." He winks again. It's not a flirtation, it's just something he does. Brayden furrows his eyebrows slightly, but continues to smile easily, "Really?" He studies George for a few moments and then asks, "How long ago did you work for this boss, exactly? I mean… if you don't mind me asking."

Hallis is reeling from the kiss, just a little, and accepts the paper albeit a little dizzily. The saleswomen that have surrounded the now trio, gasp and titter at the congressman's little display. Otherwise they leave them alone. When the conversation turns from interesting things, like herself, to more boring things, like political bosses, she begins to concentrate on her choices of clothing.

"Up until about a year and a half ago," George answers. "He disappeared around then— I figured maybe he got in a nasty car crash or something and they couldn't identify him." Now? Now another possibility is suggesting itself, albeit one straight out of Nathan's favorite soap opera. He doesn't continue the train of thought out loud, though, let's hear Brayden's side of the story first and see if it still makes any sense then.

"Huh," Brayden's smile disappears as his eyebrows knit into a deep v. "I —uh… woke up in Ireland a year and half ago, remembering nothing before that… not even my own name…" He tilts his head a bit, "How much do I look like this former boss of yours? Like related-looking or… exactly like?"

A quizzical glance is tossed toward Brayden and Hallis' lips puckers just a little in thought. "This is like a movie I had a part in once," she quips, trying to edge into the conversation again. The only way she knows how. "I played this woman's daughter, and she had something called amnesia." And that's where the made for TV movie's similarity ends. Then she holds up a delicate little olive green number and nods to a sales woman who leads her into the dressing rooms.

And that would be a match. "Pretty much exact," George continues, finding a seat nearby. "Your hair's a little different, and you're not wearing a tie— Nathan had some, uh, interesting ties. He was… well, you were, I guess. You were a Senator. Eventually they declared the office vacant— Hey, I'd better go recharge this," taking out his cell phone along with the new cable, "you'll want to call your family, right? If they are yours." Hallis might have her phone, too, but it wouldn't have their number on it.

"My name is Nathan?" Brayden blinks as he glances at Hallis and then back at George. The moment is anti-climactic for him. He thought his name would just create a spark inside. The name doesn't even feel like his own. "I —I was heading to New York because something felt… familiar about it on TV." He frowns at the mention of calling his family, "I have a family? I've been gone so long and heard nothing… I thought…"

So much confusion. And no recollection. He glances at one of the models and points to the entire ensemble: jacket, pants, a white dress shirt, and a sapphire tie. "I need to try that on." The clerk quickly compiles the clothing, and seconds later Brayden disappears into the dressing room. After a couple of minutes he comes out look like Nathan Petrelli in all of his glory. "So?" he turns in the suit.

About the same time, Hallis emerges in a thin olive green wrap around. Glancing over at Nathan, she snaps her fingers and exclaims, "Hey, I know you! You're Nathan Petroski!" She beams a smile and seems more than a little proud as she passes the sales woman a platinum card. "He'll take that one, and a better pair of shoes. Ones that go with the suit." Then she twirls to show off the number she is wearing and glides up to George, "Well? Is this one good?"

George nods to the man in the new suit. "Looks good on you. They looked for you, I know, but… Ireland. They probably had no way of knowing." He perks up as Hallis makes her grand re-entrance: "That one is excellent. But you should still keep the other outfit, for special occasions." A little bit weird talking about it in front of someone else, but she already brought it up earlier, so… Leaving them to get the clothes bagged up, he steps outside long enough to get the phone charging.

"Thanks. So I wasn't in Ireland when I disappeared, I guess…" Turning to look in the mirror, Brayden adjusts the tie. There's almost something familiar about it. A tinge of familiarity. But no grand feelings of deja vu. As George leaves, Brayden turns to the clerk, "I think I'm going to wear this out. Apparently it suits me." The clerk thrusts some shoes in his direction, which he's delighted to find surprisingly comfortable. He smirks a bit before glancing back at Hallis, "So… I'm Nathan Petroski? Sounds Russian. You've seen me before then?"

"Petrelli," George automatically corrects, walking back into the store. "And you might still be, it's not like you got caught flying to Thailand to—" Well, never mind that joke. "Anyway, I'd welcome the chance to work with you again." A subtle issue of wording, 'with' rather than 'for'. "So you explained about New York, what brought you to DC?"

"Nathan Petrelli, then? Sounds like a pizza shop owner," Brayden half smiles before narrowing his eyes. "I don't really think of myself as the presidential type. Of course, I guess I don't really know myself either." He smiles that same dimpled smile as he explains, "Well, after travelling around Europe trying to figure out who I was, I wanted to try alternate methods. So I went to Red Valley, California and joined a Buddhist monastery for several months. But it wasn't for me. Not enough to do or keep me busy. So… I hopped the first flight out of California yesterday, planning to slowly make my way to New York." Not entirely true, but the important facts are there. Hallis is given a nod and another grin, "I would appreciate that. Hadn't booked a flight yet." Or at all.

"Great, I'll book us a flight for the morning." Then Hallis turns to George and raises her eyebrows and gives him 'that look' the one that was on the cover of People last week. "Will you be coming back with us? You should, after all, Nathan needs someone to show him where he lived and keep the press away. Just in case? I'm no good for that." Then she slips her hand into his, as though it might turn the tide of the decision her way. Her fingers are laced within his and she turns toward Nathan. "If he doesn't come, I'll have Daddy send a car."

A monastery? Oh, that definitely doesn't sound at all like the Nathan he used to know. It makes sense for an amnesiac trying to discover himself, though. He turns back toward Hallis, starting to answer…

Ooh. That look. He hasn't seen her expression go there before - he was looking the other direction last week when it happened - and it catches him up almost as short as the surprise Petrelli did. "I. I think I can arrange that," he finally says, "given the circumstances." Hallis's fingers are taken and drawn close.

"Excellent," Brayden grins at Hallis and then George. "I really do appreciate the help. Been a very confusing year and a half…" And then as a kind of side-thought his expression turns serious, "I still need waffles." His straightened lips crack into a smile shortly thereafter. "Do you know any good waffle houses in this area, George?"

"Oh yes, waffles. George, do you know where we can get a waffle?" Hallis' body turns toward the congressman while she turns her head to look between the two of them. "I haven't had a waffle in… uhmm… They're kind of like crepes, right?" Apparently the woman has started eating, all beginning with a tub of Hagen Daas while consoling herself over a pair of barf shoes.

"I don't think there's a good Waffle House in this country," George murmurs, shaking his head. "But there's an IHOP down the road, they do crepes too if you like." Slipping an arm round Hallis's waist, he motions to the car waiting outside.

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