Date: December 23, 2009
Angela gets two visitors and convinces one to hire the other.
"Hiring Cary Grant"
Angela's Hotel Room — New York
The hotel room belonging — for the time being — to Angela Petrelli is no cozier than it has been in days past, but there is a certain hustle and bustle in the air as the resident matriarch of hotel lounging makes use of her time.
The open door separating the bedroom from the rest of the accommodations is open, and within the elegant but generic space is Angela, standing out starkly against the white walls in a severe black pantsuit. A suitcase is open upon the bed; small, insufficient, were these normal circumstances. She has little with her, now, to be on the safe side, but what she does have is being rearranged. First and foremost atop the rest of her belongings is a row of neatly bundled socks, which she touches as she waits for a telltale knock on the door.
There it is.
A faint smile appears on her face as Angela glides slowly through the hotel room, a pair of plain, soft, grey socks still absently in one hand. She checks the hall, first, through the fisheyed peephole before opening the door.
He's had his memory back for several days — almost as long as he's been Senator for New York. Consequently, it's been a busy few days. At the door stands Nathan, dressed in a navy suit, light blue shirt, and solid navy tie. After knocking at the door he adjusts his tie and clears his throat as the door opens. He forces a moderately ironic smile, "Ma." Beat. "It's me."
His eyes have lost their innocence again, and his smile isn't nearly as easy. In fact, it's strained, tainted, even. Perhaps by the memories regained, or perhaps by something else entirely. Unlike Brayden, he wears the weight of responsibility — of expectation — tensing his shoulders considerably. Yet despite all of these things, he's here. Visiting his mother.
There is no surprise to be found on the face of Nathan's mother. The news of her son's memories may not have reached her face-to-face until this moment, but there's a knowing smile to suggest that, maybe, somehow, she already knew. It turns bittersweet. Nathan is a burdened man with a heavy past, but he's Nathan. "Was it Peter?" She studies his face, happy to see him, but she is not nave. She knows how this process is meant to work, and that somewhere in there must be memories — pieces — of Logan.
Regardless, one hand — absent the socks — goes to his shoulder — taller, nearly, than she is — and she straightens up, up, for a peck to Nathan's cheek. That's only the beginning, though, since she then hugs him tight. "I know it's been a rough road, Nathan. It's good to have you back."
The hug and peck are returned albeit somewhat more hesitantly, but they are returned. "Yes. It was Peter," Nathan says quietly with a very small smile. Despite Angela's words, Nathan's inner conflict isn't uttered, speaking it aloud would give it truth. Instead, he offers a bitter smirk to his mother. "Thanks." He'd say he's glad to be back, but that would be stretch at this moment between the random appearance of Stephanie in his office and Anais' coma. "You okay here, Ma?"
"As okay as can be expected," Angela dismissively answers, stepping back after the tight embrace. There's no worry in her tone. It's flat; factual. "I'm moving somewhere else, somewhere less conspicuous for awhile. I've been in this old hotel too long, I know when it's time to go." She seems unconcerned. She's sure. She spends a moment regarding Nathan with those shrewd eyes of hers. "You're managing— ? This has been a long time coming…"
"Where are you going?" Nathan asks as he furrows his eyebrows with concern. He steps into the room and glances around. "I don't really understand the lack of colour in these rooms," he muses before he even considers if he's managing. "I'm managing well enough." It's a political answer, grey in its weight. "I've had an unfriendly visitor in the office though." Beat. "And one of my staff is in a coma days later." He clears his throat and tries to keep his tone casual, "The two may be unrelated —"
The walls are given a bland look and agreeing raise of brows, briefly. The manor the Petrellis knew as home when the boys were growing up — and beyond — were always rich with colour. These rooms don't inspire the familiarity of a home. A concerned look is given to Nathan, a crinkle around Angela's eyes giving away her care for his state of mind. It escalates into a calm cross-examination in glare form. "Unfriendly visitor? Who?" Too many possibilities even for Angela to narrow down without more information… one would presume. She turns away at a quick pace. "That reminds me— " The woman's voice elevates as she whisks away, through the hotel, back to the room where the small suitcase gapes on the bed. "I hope you haven't put your security team together yet, I have someone to head it up for you," she says casually as can be as if there ought to be no contest, no complaint. Why should there be?
"I don't remember her," Nathan says blandly, "even with my memory back. But she's familiar with Niki and Linderman." Beat. "And the Company. She cornered me and my advisor with some kind of nuclear vision. Or something." He frowns as he still hasn't figured out exactly what happened. "At the time I remembered none of these things." He paces after her, but leans against the doorframe of the bedroom. "I haven't put together a security team. Before I remembered … well it didn't seem necessary." Now? Now it's total necessity. "But I'm capable of hiring my own staff." And there's the contest.
"Of course you are," Angela replies easily — easily being with a snap to her tone. "But you'll need someone you can trust and who's capable. "You remember Lawrence Church— " The pair of socks she happens to be holding are placed within the suitcase and its cover nudged shut. She's made no move to explain where she's going. Explaining her whereabouts isn't her priority at present. "Clearly, it's a dangerous world you're walking into. I already told him you'd be fine so I hope you are." Fussing with the suitcase desists and Angela turns to face Nathan's direction. "This person who's … giving you trouble. She must have wanted something." This is where Nathan is supposed to explain without Angela having to outright ask.
Nathan hmmms. "Yes, I remember him." He crosses his arms over his chest. It's a defiant move. He's not entirely sold on his mother's plan. "You told him I'd be fine? Is this fine in general or fine in the sense that I'd be fine with your decision?" He tightens his jaw and studies his mother, but manages to blaze passed the conversation, "She wanted information. I've hired a Niki-look-alike and she was convinced we had information about Primatech. The Company. Linderman." His lips twitch, "I don't think she'd hesitate to hurt anyone to get it. I'm glad to boys and Heidi are in California."
He told Angela that Nathan could of contested him- and here he is, doing just that. The conversation inside of the room, somewhat on cue- is cut into by a sharp rapping on the door to the small living quarters that the Petrelli matriarch is now in the process of vacating. Lawrence doesn't wait for much of an answer- he has a key, even if the door is locked- and in the next few seconds he happily lets himself in. Already his ears are perking at what words he can catch. There's no reindeer tie, not today- but he's got a jingly tree pin on his coat lapel! Not nearly as tasteless.
"Avez-vous termin d'emballage?" At least Church sees fit to herald himself from the next room, using such alerting pretense only for Nathan- whose voice he'd know anywhere- to become aware. "What's this I hear about violent shenanigans?"
"That you'd be fine with hiring him— look, he's more capable than anyone you could hire off the street. Plus, he's useful for dealing with problems." Angela turns grim-faced, frowning. Problems like the person Nathan is describing in bits and pieces. Before she can comment — and Angela's thoughtful, pre-emotively knowing moue seems to suggest that she has comments quite prepared — is interrupted by the entrance of Lawrence. "Church," she greets reservedly but with a smile, albeit thin, given the process of convincing Nathan is still underway. "It seems Nathan is having security problems already. Perhaps an old friend of the Company's." Friend, enemy … the words may be interchangeable.
"Ma — I just like the liberty of hiring my own staff —" he starts until the voice cuts into his thoughts. With eyebrows raised, Nathan glances between his mother and Church and then back again. Apparently this plan was well in motion before he'd talked to his mother. "Unbelievable," he mutters to himself as he steps towards one of the room's armchairs. He doesn't sit, instead he places his hands on its back and leans against it semi-comfortably. "Church," he greets, finally. "And yes, we are having troubles. She's blonde. Around Claire's age. Thin. Full of vengeance. Sound like most people you both know, doesn't it?" He smiles bitterly. "And she stole the Alpha Protocol personnel list. My advisor had the file, and then it was missing. I warned Bennet."
He knows he won't throw her off track- she has had much too long to practice; Lawrence does know, however, that his sudden presence has stilted Nathan into perhaps something more guarded. All he does is offer Angela a small look of 'I told you so'(he never gets to do that! It feels great!) before lifting a hand in greeting to her son, a smile on his face. "Old friend, hm?" He pauses now to listen the further explanation, an inwardly pained expression on his brow as it goes. "Wow. Just- wow, Nathan. You really screwed the pooch on that one." To put it nicely.
"I'll skip wanting to know why your advisor had that information within thieving range- do you think that she'll be back, and were there security cameras?" Warning Bennet is one thing- to be more specific, one agent- but something like that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Now he really understands why Angela asked him to get in on it.
Brayden was much more agreeable. She will give him that. Nathan earns a briefly unimpressed glare from his mother while Church, who earns the same look a moment later, says his part; then, she wanders to the chair Nathan happens to lean against and sit upon it herself, craning her neck ever-so-slightly upward. The mention of Bennet gains zero input. "Any number of people could have a chip on their shoulder about the Company, but based on what you've said… I have a little more than an inkling. More than likely she's just misguided, but she's not someone you want on your bad side. Unfortunately, if it is who I suspect it is, everyone is on her bad side." A glance is shifted to Church and back to her son. He must see how his security problems are not that of a normal Senator. Come on, just hire the poor man already.
"She said she'd be back," Nathan answers as he straightens and raises a hand to his forehead. "She wants information. And she got it, but not on what she wanted to know about. But she seemed determined." His eyes clamp shut as he nods and runs a hand across his forehead, "There's a security camera outside the building. At the time I didn't think it necessary to have one inside the office. That's getting rectified now."
"I don't think I'm responsible for this one," admittedly, Nathan has done some nasty things in his life, and not all as Logan, but he has no memory of Stephanie. "Not this time." Maybe, but he really can't remember. "I do need better security," he concedes. It's not a job offer, but his resolve is weakening.
"I'd say. It doesn't sound like anybody's fault this time, thankfully- just someone that landed her fish on the wrong boat. Even if you don't take me in, I'm not going to let it stew- you can't have people like that coming in and out causing a ruckus." Lawrence glances down slightly towards Angela, mostly checking to see if she has a visual cue he needs; his expression went from mildly content since he entered now to one that mirrors his decades of hard work. He is no HRG, but Church can pull off that serious face too. "I'd at least give you the ability to finalize the security teams- if I choose someone to hire under me and you don't like the way his big gorilla-suit fits, go ahead and kick him to the curb. But make no mistake- I have the right experience."
While the men speak, Angela — now silent — makes her own plans with nothing but an impassive face. Make no mistake, the woman is listening intently, despite every so often eyeing her nails or plucking at a silky thread on the arm of the chair.
Weighing his options in his own mind, Nathan stays silent for several moments as he once again raises a hand to his forehead. "Alright. You're hired. BUT I get last word on the team. And we need to handle things quietly. I'm trying to get into a top secret government agency I'm supposed to know nothing about — I can't afford any unnecessary attention." He presses his lips together as he steps out from behind the chair to look at his mother, his expression distinctive — it simply says, 'Happy now?' With a sigh he sits in armchair opposite Angela.
Lawrence allows Nathan his silence, already having used his skills to get himself hired; the key with stubborn people and things they have to do, is to give them something that only they have final control over. Simple as that. It seems to have worked, and the elder Petrelli son gets a nod of accord. "I'll be using an alias to add to the buffer between myself and anyone that used to know me- just in case. And quiet, I can do quiet-" Church glances to Angela, already preparing for the 'you're loud' look back. "And nobody noticed us til someone told them- so- I'd say we're skilled with that …diverting attention thing."
Angela simply smiles at Nathan. She is happy now, thank you for asking with that rude glance, dear. Church does, in fact, earn a skeptical look around the word quiet, but she says nothing, perhaps a testament to her faith in his professional skills. "Good, I'm glad we're all on the same page." Now that the business of getting Church onboard is out of the way — mostly — she pipes up in Nathan's direction, quite out of nowhere: "It's Peter's birthday today, did you remember?"
"Diverting attention is good," Nathan murmurs as he runs a hand through his hair. "What alias? If you're heading up my security, I'll need to tell my staff." He smirks, "I'm sure they'll want to meet you, especially with Anais in the hospital. It doesn't exactly leave everyone happy." Eyes are shifted towards his mother, "I didn't forget, but I'm not supposed to be talking to Pete. Did you read any of the papers?" His expression reflects his regret. "We're publicly distancing ourselves so I can get on the AP. And I can't seek him out, if I want to get a meeting with the President."
Oh, oh, oh! "I remembered." Church adds this in a timely manner, his aura bubbling with …well, with bubbly, and one of those doggish smiles on his face. He may or may not be rocking slightly on his feet. "Oh, right- alias- Cary Grant."
Yeah, he is entirely serious. El-oh-el, talk about not drawing attention to himself. Mister Grant sounds good though, right? "My mama liked the picture shows."
Angela turns to give Church a long-suffering stare, punctuated by a shake of her head. Subtle. As she looks upon Nathan, she does the opposite, gradually nodding. "And yes. I know." Indeed, the elder Petrelli's smile is one of understanding. It does not, however, contain matching regret. "But that's not to say I can't see him. Quietly, of course." Since she's supposed to be in Fiji. Not to mention Peter can come and go quite mysteriously if he puts his mind to it; when he has all his mind. "I'll tell him you said happy birthday."
Nathan arches an eyebrow at Church remembering Peter's birthday and the alias. "Cary Grant. Huh." He says nothing else about the name, and moves past it. "Thank you, Ma. I'll get him a gift when all of this blows over. And we'll have a real family Christmas. I promise." If it blows over. "But, I should go. I need to try to meet with the President."
With another sigh, he marches to the door and unlocks the bolt. But before he opens it he turns back to Church, "Come to the office tomorrow. I'll be in early." Beat. "And as always if you have any problems in my employ, you can go to Hel," At this Nathan smirks broadly. He means Hel as in Helen. This is a joke he used frequently in his campaign for congress.