2007-08-23: DF: Hell And High Water

Starring:

DFTrina_icon.gif DFNathanReal_icon.gif

Summary: A homecoming is planned, bargains made with hope and forgiveness.

Dark Future Date: August 23rd, 2009

Hell and High Water


Over the Radio Waves between the Saints HQ and a Manhattan Rooftop

Another day. It's another day. Trina tells herself this, although she couldn't tell you what day of the week it is. Or how many days it's been since she heard the news. Everything has been a blur of time and numb, foggy, muddled action. Moreover, she hasn't spoken a word since she resolved herself to just accept that Jack was dead. Really no point in talking, anyway. No one was going to be able to tell her anything she didn't already know, nor would she be able to communicate any new fact. One, after all, can drive without talking.

Not that they're letting her drive, anyway. No, she's been cooped up in headquarters, bound by a siren's command. At least she has access to the garage.

And that's where she is now, clad in her nearly entirely devastated blue denim jeans and a faded and torn Metallica tee shirt. The tarp has been taken off of the '67 Mustang known affectionately as 'Baby', and she is waist deep under its hood. Regardless of the fact that the car hasn't been driven outside, other than a few minutes every week to keep the motor charged and whirring, she's decided that every single belt needs to be replaced. Why? Because it's something to do that allows her to think about something else. That's why.

Somewhere in Manhattan, Nathan hides in plain sight. He's learned over the years that rooftops can be incredibly private places, and if not that, then convenient landing pads, and so now, he sits on top of some sort of office building, he's unsure, legs loosely folded and taking a moment to recover from the long flight from upstate.

But not for long, not about to delay this any longer than he has to. The hand held radio is taken out of his jacket pocket, switched on. On the back of his hand in blue ink, he's written the frequency number, and this, Nathan checks, before listening for more than static as dials are carefully wound. "Hello?" he eventually says into it, and then just waits, hoping for a reply. He'll try all night if he has to.

There's a sharp hiss of pain as Trina stands upright with a start, slamming the back of her head on the hood. As she rubs where, no doubt, she's gonna get a bump, she peers in the direction of her tool box. Her blue eyes narrow suspiciously, and then she wordlessly makes her way towards the trusty, rusted container and picks up her radio. S'not Elena. S'not anyone that she immediately recognizes. And she's heard all of her teammates a good bit over the radio. What another fabulous reason to not talk.

Instead, she settles the device into the palm of her hand and uses her thumb to press down an archaic button designed for morse code. Unfortunately, she only knows one word. Hopefully it'll be enough to prompt the other party to continue.

Four dots. Dot. Dot, dash, two dots. Dot, dash, two dots. Three dashes.

Hello.

The lack of a voice in response makes Nathan hesitate, though he rustily understands the message sent his way in place of it. Call him paranoid, but there are just too many factors involved to start talking to an unreliable source. But what choice does he have in this scenario? He'll just have to trust that Jack got the frequency right, that Trina wouldn't leave her radio around carelessly.

Nathan gets up to pace, restlessly, and after a short pause, he finally sighs and speaks again. "Trina, if that's you, this is Nathan. We should talk."

For a long time, there is nothing but silence. Trina breathes in. Breathes out. What the hell does she have to say to him? He's alive. Her husband's dead. What the hell else does he want? Angrily, she clenches her jaw and then lays her thumb on that button and holds it there.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

There's another moment of silence, that radio finally coming to rest up near her lips. To talk? Not to talk? Her gut is a rolling ball of emotion, and her desire to spit venom overrides whatever noble desire she had originally. She'll just tell Jack that she loves him all over again — he can hear her in heaven, after all — and then go back to letting those be the last words on her lips. He'd forgive her one little slip up to tell Nathan to go fuck himself, she's certain. "And I hope you had that right in your fucking ear you gawd damned fucking sonuva bitch."

FGE%R*&)RFTY.

Nathan sharply pulls the radio from his ear, from where he'd been straining to pick up any kind of sound, but not that. Ow. He glares down at the radio before bringing it back to his mouth. "Fine. I deserved that," he mutters back to her. "But you need to listen to me. Jack isn't dead." Cutting straight to the point before she switches the radio off in disgust, or something more violent - something he would have likely done in her shoes. He waits for her to reply, anxious, needing and wanting to say more than that, but first? That hurdle needs to be cleared.

Fucking damn it. Nathan is apparently psychic because his last words catch Trina right before she does just as he fears she might. Her other hand is lifting for the switch… and then stays. "You're an asshole," she hisses, using the beautiful mask of radio to hide the fact that she's fighting the urge to break back down in tears. Her voice, however, begins to grow more husky and choked as the threat becomes distinctly more imminent. "And I think you've done more than enough. You're why he's dead." Her jaw sets, and she leaves her right hand hovering over the radio. Choose your next words carefully, Nathan Petrelli, they may be your last.

Mayday, mayday. Nathan leans heavily against the rooftop ledge at her accusation, briefly resting the radio against his forehead as he tries to think. Finally, he attempts again, fully aware that this is his last shot. "He's alive," he repeats, quieter, but still clear. "And he said to tell you 'North Dakota'." No idea what that means. Please let Jack know what he was talking about.

Blue eyes narrow again, still suspicious. She dares not hope. Jack died. Hope died. Love died. Everything is dead and cold, and she can't afford to lose any ground in accepting it. The Saints need her. She needs to move on to be what they need. There will be time to be the dutiful, weeping widow for years after the war is done. Now? Now she needs to do what is in the best interest of her ability to keep fighting. She needs to hate. She needs to be angry.

For what feels like another eternity, Trina stares at the radio in her hand, debating what to do. In the end, however, her heart speaks more reason than her mind. It's Jack's passphrase. His emergency passphrase, speaking of a long ago devised escape plan meant for simpler days and serious but smaller problems. The code he gave to her, and her alone. Never to be whispered by one to anyone except the other. And somehow, Nathan's speaking it.

She swallows. Hard. "How in the hell did you get that code?"

Not quite time to breathe yet, but Nathan relaxes. Just a fraction. The long pause is enough to make him wonder if she just left him talking to thin air, but when her reply does come, he wastes no time in responding. "He gave it to me," he explains, not really seeing his surroundings as he focuses almost entirely on what he can hear, what he can say. "Said that it would be a way for you to know he was alive, that you could trust me." That last addition contains a trace of cynicism that's even translatable through radio. "As far as Jack is concerned, in any case." Pause. "He also says he's sorry he broke his promise."

"Oh, God." There's a gasping cry that can be heard over the radio, and the loud clatter of metal against concrete. Never fear, it's only the sound of Trina losing control over her knees, falling to them as they buckle and taking the tool box down with her as she goes. The radio gets hugged to her chest for a moment, trying to muffle with her breasts the sound of open crying for a moment. This time, however, it's in relief.

The mechanic is faster to come back to speaking this time around, however. Her voice is unsteady, and she cannot will it to be otherwise. The important thing, fortunately, is only that she retains the ability to speak. She's managing that, although barely. There are a great number of questions that need answers, but forming them proves to be something of a problem. It's relief, panic, and the violent resurgence of hope, clouding everything in a murky haze and making it nigh impossible for her to get her bearings again. "Oh, God. Thank God. Oh my God. Where is he? God, how bad is— We— His leg. Oh, God, Nathan. We— Is he—?"

Nathan's own legs fold so he can sit back down, back against the concrete ledge, trying to collect his thoughts, put them in order. What he can say, what he can't say. "Right now, he's in a maximum security facility for Evolved, but he's safe. I'm not letting anyone get to him." Besides Logan, apparently, but that's a work in progress. "His leg is…" Gone? She knows that, she must know that, what with the utter mess left behind in the god forsaken meat packing plant, a place of nightmares as far as Nathan is concerned. "It's been seen to," he finally states, flatly.

"He just wanted me to tell you that he's trying to find his way home," Nathan adds, steering away from the talk of Jack's physical health. "I'm working to make this happen."

Trina's face is twisted in a contortion of a pain that is infinitely more bearable than with which she has been wrestling. And, somewhere, her features know this. Maybe that's why the smile finds a tiny crack in which to grow, watered by her tears. "…If you get him back to me, I'll forgive you. I swear. I'll forgive you for everythin' I ever cursed you for." And forgiveness is not something that has never come easy. While Nathan may not realize, what she promises is no light affair. She doesn't tell him that it may be a long thing in happening, but he doesn't need to know that. She'll will herself to forgive him until it is so; she'll hold to it. "Just tell me what I need to do, and I'll do it.

Nathan'll take forgiveness where he can, honestly. Whether Trina would know that or not. "I want to get him out of there, and I will," he promises her, voice grim with determination. Least he could do. Last thing to be set in motion before he allows fate to do what it wants on its own. "I'll need your help to bring him home once he's out, so all you need to do is be ready and stay in contact. I'll have good news for you in the next few days." If it all goes smoothly. If it doesn't, then… No, it will all go smoothly. It will have to.

"I…" Can't get out of the building. McAlister's orders. Well. There may need to be some creative getting around things. It doesn't matter. Trina will find a way to do it. One that won't risk everyone else. Jack did it, and Trina's just learned from his example. After all, while it would not be in any way near fair, there is always the distinct possibility that Nathan is lying. Or that too many people will attract unneccessary attention. Elena will just have to forgive her. Yes. She will handle this herself if she can. Minimize risk. "Okay. I'll keep my radio nearby. Next time, just hang tight. I may not be able to answer right away."

"Thank you," Nathan says, once she agrees. Not so much that he expected she wouldn't leap at the opportunity to bring her husband back, but, well… it's the Saints. They blew a hole in the wall and escaped via helicopter upon kidnapping him, and Nathan just doesn't want to risk the explosions and death that breaking into Level 5 would bring. "We'll talk soon." Pause. "And I'm sorry this happened. It'll be made right." He draws the radio away, but lets her be the one to hang up should she wish to.

"It will," Trina agrees, voice wavering again as her eyebrows flick upwards. "Because if you're lyin' about Jack bein' alive, I'm gonna make you wish you had never, ever learned his name. Count on that. Over and out." There's a sniff after she releases the 'talk' button as the lean woman composes herself, and then the grease monkey drops the radio onto a nearby worktable. Time to clean up this mess and start figuring out a plan as to how in the hell she's going to get out of here because, come Hell or high water, she is getting her husband back.

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