2007-04-03: Heidi Is Home

Starring:

Heidi_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Nathan comes home, and Heidi is there! She was getting tired of waiting.

Date It Happened: 3 APRIL

Heidi is Home


Petrelli Mansion

It's the afternoon when Nathan slides his key into the front door, pushing it open and moving into the foyer. Certainly not an ungodly time of night, at least, as has been the habit for a multitude of reasons. He's dressed reasonably warmly against the lingering chill in the weather, struggling out of a coat and hanging it up, before he moves towards the stairs. In contrast to how he dressed half a year ago, he looks different - scruffier in general, however clean-shaven and in need of a haircut.

—-

Heidi hasn't been home long, though there are minor signs that someone other than the maids have been here. There's no longer the tell-tale signs of wheelchair tracks in the carpets and area rugs, but a scarf, her shoes…

When she arrived, Nathan wasn't here. The kids went to bed a couple hours ago, leaving her to wonder where he's at - worry, even. He was in the pulic eye for awhile, so it's hard for her to have not at least caught a /little/ news, but it was very little. He couldn't have thought she'd stay away forever, right? Of course not. He probably just wasn't ready, but Heidi needed to come home.

She gives him a moment, as she stands in the shadow of a hallway doorframe, eyes narrowing when she sees his face. She expected— Was /prepared/ for— "Nathan?" she asks.

—-

Nathan stops dead in his tracks at the sound of his name. Claire, Angela— no, he knows his wife's voice too well, so when he looks towards her, he's not startled. "Heidi," he says, after a moment. He looks like he's been pushed on stage without a script or a clue of what to do. He takes a step closer to her. "You're home. When…?"

—-

"Earlier today," she answers. There's a slight smile, she takes a step from the doorway toward him. In some ways, she seems more guarded than usual, but she isn't completely closed off. It's just been awhile since they've seen each other, she's got questions, including one in particular that isn't going to rest until she asks it. The smile remains on her lips, eyes narrowing ever so slightly. "You look a lot better," she notes, the statement more of an inquiry than a simple truth. In other words, /how?/ People with scarring like that kind of have scars for a very long time. It's another one of those Weird Things that's been happening, one of those events she can't explain. First her back, now Nathan's appearance.

—-

"Thanks." Probably not the right reply to that, but while Nathan may be as calm and stoic as usual on the outside, inside he's scrabbling for clues and excuses and answers, things he was going to work out eventually to say to her but never got around to it. But his wife his home. There's time. Nathan actually manages a smile, here, holding out a hand for her. "It's really… good to see you." Then, he admits the thing that's obvious: "We got a lot to talk about."

—-

Thanks? Well, okay, that's a start, but the somewhat exasperated expression that briefly appears on Heidi's face says that that's not what she really wanted to hear. She really can't imagine what he's been up to, why he needed months to 'adjust' if he's already gotten better. "I was waiting for a call or… something, Nathan, you can't just…" She sighs, shakes her head. "I've been worried about you, the boys missed their dad. I couldnt stay any longer. I think we were all getting a little homesick."

Taking his hand, she gives a little pull toward the kitchen. "Made some coffee about a half hour ago. You can tell me what you've been up to."

—-

Oh boy. Nathan follows her towards the kitchen, looking grim. She's right, it's been months - even after the healing. It all seemed so necessary. "I didn't mean to just leave you alone out there," he says, the beginning of an explanation. Maybe the beginning of an argument. He leans against the table once in the room, hands on the edge on either side of him. "But I was trying to protect you. At first, for the boys, because of the scars. Now… things haven't been okay over here, Heidi. It's been dangerous. The last thing I need is for you to have to deal with that."

—-

"We had fun. The kids loved it, so it wasn't as if they were bored." But they can only see Mickey Mouse on Stage and ride Space Mountain so many times before they begin wishing daddy was there. And Heidi, well… Her whole vacation was spend wondering how Nathan was faring, if he had to go through rehabilitation, if he was in and out of the hospital in pain… She might not show it, but she's a little /angry/ here. Surely there's a reason, though, that will calm her nerves.

She pours a mug of coffee for him, bring it over to the table along with her own half-gone drink. His is steaming, hers has gone cold. "Protect— I appreciate it, but…" Does she need to say it? She hasn't been through a lot herself, but wasn't the accident enough? "But I don't buy it. I read, Nathan, and I've seen that excuse a dozen times in fiction, and at /least/ double that on TV. Why didn't you call?" She's /just/ bordering on accusing. She hasn't quite gotten that far yet, though. It could be the truth, she might even already believe that, but… Months.

—-

Nathan picks up the cup of coffee, looking into the suitably non-milky pitch blackness of it for something else to look at. "I was going to call," Nathan says, meeting her eyes again, painfully aware of how much of an excuse this sounds like, but he continues with it anyway, rather firmly. "I was going to call when I knew it was safe for you and the kids to be here." Wow, finally telling the truth (mostly) and having no way to tell it. "I can't help how ridiculous this all sounds, because. It does. It sounds ridiculous." He covers one of her hands with his. "There's someone out there, a— bad guy." This isn't sounding any better, is it? "He came to our home not long ago. He's a threat to people like me." Talk about stepping off the end of the cliff.

—-

He says it, and she believes him. It's not really naivity, but instead a desire to hear the truth, even though she's /worried,/ somewhat disillusioned by all this stuff she doesn't understand. And Nathan can't deny that everything hasn't been hidden from her - hell, she's /walking,/ which is impossible! "I know you were. But I wanted to be /here./" She can keep up, but only if she knows what's happening. So she isn't the strongest person in the world, she couldn't defend herself against dangerous people unless she was very lucky, but still, she has a right to know.

"Okay, okay," she states. So there's someone after Nathan, but he knew the risks when he stepped up onto the political table. There are going to be people who Don't Like You. Clearly, she doesn't understand, nor does she seem shocked, because a political careers is a /risk./ She doesn't get it. "You call the police and let them deal with it. If you know who this guy is, then we can deal with it. But don't ask me to leave again. Don't do that to the boys."

—-

A blink, then… relief. A delay before he has to do this. Thank god. As Heidi forms her own conclusion, Nathan simply nods, not wishing to do anything to put any doubt in that. Not yet. "Police are all over it," he assures her, with a faint smile, hand squeezing her's. "I just didn't want to scare you, instead let you and the boys have a nice vacation. But I'm glad you're home." Now at least that's not a lie. He goes to kiss her, almost chastely, before drawing back and to take a long sip of coffee.

—-

Not that she has one hundred percent faith in the police, but at least Nathan's not handling it on his own or something. So he was trying to protect her— she can buy that, really. She can't not. Once upon a time, she trusted him because she needed to have hope, but now, she just hopes that things can start getting back to normal.

He's leaving something out.

"It was. It was a nice vacation." She smiles, turning her cheek to him as he kisses her. "You're trying to distract me," she scolds gently. Heidi pulls back a little bit, blue eyes searching his face before meeting his eyes. How much does she have to say? Nathan must know that she's not dumb, she knows there's more to it than that. In the end, she can't see any reason not to be blunt anymore. "Your face." Pressing her lips together, she reaches for his hair. It /never/ would have grown back in, not like that. "Tell me."

—-

It's not a wince, exactly, but his frown deepens. Nathan's hand intercepts her's, as if not wishing for her to touch anywhere near where the injury had made itself obvious. "A miracle," he says, quietly. Hell, that's how he'd described it at the time, too. But he knows that's not going to get him very fair. Not anymore. "The press say it was a freak recovery, cosmetic surgery at its finest, and anything else that sounds normal. Heidi, I don't know—" A sigh. Just say it. She was blunt, now it's your turn. "I was healed."

—-

He's keeping her from touching him. There's a /reason,/ because there's always a reason, she just doesn't know it, hasn't put it all together yet. Cosmetic surgery has done wonders for people but it takes years, and her own experience with mangled nerves reknitting themselves hasn't left Heidi unable to draw her own hypothesis. Perhaps it's them, perhaps it's the family, luck of some ungodly degree, and maybe she shouldn't be complaining about this 'miracle.' But.

Again, the doubt is written on her face. Healed. What other explanation is there? It's not like he went out and made a deal with the devil and got a new face, and she certainly isn't stupid enough to think he could have faked that accident - Heidi was there. She saw it. "No," is her response, though, despite the fact that there's no other reason it could be. "Nathan, I saw you."

Does it feel like she's going in circles yet?

"I saw you, you were a —" Sighing, she closes her eyes. "You were a /mess./ You don't just /get better/ from that." Pot, kettle. But hers were internal injuries, and they might still look pretty ugly in there! Even though follow-up MRIs showed that that wasn't the case. "Healed /how./"

—-

This is too much. This is it, isn't it? This is what ruins everything. When he has no answers that don't make him sound insane. Nathan brings a hand up, rubbing the back of his neck, watching her, waiting for that breaking point. "Well I got better from it," he says, exasperation now leaking into his tone. "Like you just stood up from your wheelchair one day." He sets down his coffee mug, tries to take both of her hands. A tender movement, but his voice sounds as though he is debriefing her. "I don't understand it enough to explain it. I was injected with something, I healed over night. This had to be enough for you, for now."

—-

Heidi allows Nathan to take her hands, but her eyes are looking away, somewhere off to the side of one of his ears, at the fridge, maybe out the window now and then. He got better. From burns so terrible that they should have killed him. But she can't disbelieve him, because he's right, and she did just stand up from her wheelchair one day. "I think about that every day, trust me. It doesn't mean it makes any sense." This doesn't either, and she isn't going to pursue it, but Nathan must know she isn't going to stay in the dark forever. Give me some credit, she wants to say, but doesn't, can't. "Okay. All right, if that's what happened, then… I'm glad." She forces a smile that actually turns out to be genuine. Hell, she can't complain. Maybe Heidi wasn't the shallowest person on the planet, but she likes Nathan much better when he's not horribly disfigured. "You should go upstairs and say goodnight to the boys."

—-

This will do. For a time, it will do. Nathan even matches that smile. This should be ideal - being able to stand together like this is something they had rarely been able to enjoy in the past year. It hadn't been long after she was healed that he became laid up himself. "Yeah, I will. C'mere," he says, tries to tug her closer, for an embrace, an arm moving around her waist. "Thanks. For coming home."

—-

Despite the length of time they've been apart, Heidi really missed him and can't find it in her to be very angry. Why would she, now that they're all home again, and have a chance to get back to how things were before everything started happening? At first, it's just that she allows him to pull her toward him, but it's not long before she's leaning. "I just wish you would have called me sooner," she mutters. She shouldn't have ever left, it was against her better judgement. "Don't ask me to go again. I won't do it."

—-

"I don't want you gone," is how Nathan answers that, holding her as she leans. "I won't ask you to again." Despite the mad panic of figuring out how to be honest without actually telling the truth, he feels… better now. That won't last. This situation has just gotten a whole lot more complicated. But his family is home. That can't be all bad. He keeps her with him, a hand tangled with hers as they move to go see their sons.

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