2007-07-31: I Heart Merlot


Nathan_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif


Nathan shows up at Enlightenment Books with a bottle of Merlot. Talk about the past, the possible future, Peter's time traveling and flying. Oh, and Nathan's ties. We can't forget Nathan's ties.

July 31st, 2007:

I Heart Merlot

Enlightenment Books

It's pushing 8 PM when Nathan moves alone through the East Village. It's been a godawfully long day, if the fact that he's still wearing a formal daytime suit matched with a very enthusiastic tie are of any indication, along with a briefcase in one hand. In the other hand, however, is a brown paper bag of distinct liquor store quality, the shape of a wine bottle easily made out as he grips it by the neck. Somewhere, a radio plays, advertising that stupid Cain reality TV show Nathan will never, ever admit to watching at least twice on his days off. Soap operas are where its at. As someone should very well know. Glancing at his watch, as it is a little late for stores to be open, let alone quirky book shops, he lifts a hand to at first knock on the door before trying it.

Quirky new age bookstores sometimes stay open later then the chain stores because their customers have more quirky schedules. However, 8PM is when Cass locks the door and flips the sign to a definitive 'Closed'. She's moving about the store and cleaning things up for the morning when Nathan knocks. It is, indeed, her store that the radio noise is coming from. And, while she smiles at the ad, she would never admit to watching it once in awhile. Just out of morbid curiosity out of the fact that she actually knows Jaden. He helped pay for her lab. She never watches soap operas. Ever. Other than maybe once a day. Or twice. But she can stop any time she wants to, really. She just doesn't want to! Walking up to the door, there's a look of surprise when she sees who is standing there. Not only because she's been meaning to talk to him, but because of what she's found out about the future. Future President Petrelli comes knocking on her humble door. She can't wait to tell everyone "She Knew Him When."

Yeah, it's. He. Stopping by here is not a usual detour, and Nathan knows that, shrugging a little at Cass when she seems to blink at him. He holds up the wine, shaking it a little to indicate. "Busy?" he asks, hesitating before stepping inside. Because this is always awkward when they aren't sober, but at least Nathan has wine to make up for it. Elena's assistance isn't needed. "Merlot, picked it up on the way here. You got any wine glasses lying around?" Siddown, Aldric, we're drinking.

Ah, always a romantic, Petrelli? Either way, Cass opens and shuts the door behind Nathan, locking it just in case. "Um, not really. Just closing up. Come in." Which he already has done, but that's okay, she's being polite. "I've been meaning to call you." About a couple of things, but most of them dealing with Peter not showing up for work. Meaning, he's gone to the future. "Not really any wine glasses. I don't exactly get much wine for the store. But, I've got coffee mugs. We can be very classy and drink Merlot out of I Heart New York mugs." Who is she to break the trend of them always managing to be chemically altered around each other?

It's probably a bad thing that Nathan has some form of liquor container at his work place, and he chooses not to enlighten Cass as to this fact. "Sounds great," he says, slipping the bottle out of the paper. "I do happen to… heart New York." The fact that she's been meaning to call him definitely catches his interest, although it causes him to become a little guarded. That would be because he's entirely misinterpreting what it is she has to talk to him about. "About that," Nathan says, as he works the bottle of wine open, moving further into the store and looking for a good spot to sit down. "I gotta say, that was a weird night. I hope there's no misunderstanding of any kind, I'm a married man and you have La— I mostly came here to drink, by the way." Because it occurs to him that showing up unexpectedly with wine is sort of suggestive. Just maybe.

Already moving to pull out the mugs from the cabinet, Cass throws Nathan a smirk over her shoulder. "I know. I've seen the ad." As for a misunderstanding, she blinks and just laughs at what Nathan says. It's not that she finds it particularly funny, but because that's the first thing that he jumps to. She can't really blame him, but she also can't help but find it funny. "I meant to call you to apologize for Lachlan trying to rearrange your face. I felt so horrible about it. You really don't have to worry about me. You're not exactly my type, Nathan. I don't go for married guys." She grins and hands over his designated mug. "I'd enjoy a good glass of Merlot in a coffee mug with a friend any day, though." Suggestive? Maybe. But Cass didn't even really pick up on it. Engaged, giddily happy with Lachlan, the very idea of a liaison with another man just doesn't even enter into the equation.

Oh good. Because liaisons with other women seem to just keep entering Nathan's equations - even when he doesn't mean them to. Cass is rewarded with a small, even grateful smile, before it disappears again. Tell no one, but even future Presidents could use a friend. Pouring himself a liberal helping of wine, he hands the bottle over for her to partake. "Well, your boyfriend punches like a girl," he says, tone highly ironic, as he brings the wine up to sip.

Everyone likes power, it seems, but if that were a major turn on for Cass she wouldn't have left being a doctor for owning a small bookstore in the East Village. And the one thing Cass is good at, that she always likes to be, is a friend. Even to senators and future presidents. Seems like a kind of lonely life to her. "You're just saying that because you've got a police detail." She grins, and takes the bottle from Nathan to pour her own glass. It's not quite as full as Nathan makes it, but it is a good amount. "So, have you seen Peter lately?" It's a complete shift in gears, but something else she needs to talk to him about.

For the first time since stepping into the store, Nathan actually seems to unwind. And not just because Cass and he have some kind of curse placed upon then, but. Long day. And perhaps he's not comfortable in going straight home to the wife and kids and cracking open a bottle of expensive liquor, even if it's just half a drink. "No," Nathan says, and casts a glance around the shop. Quite clearly, they're the only ones here, but still he adds, "I thought he might be here, actually, he mentioned he does Friday shifts."

This is why Cass loves owning a bookstore. While it can be crazy and busy and stressful, it's a bookstore and not politics. She can unwind with customers and employees and, really, it's a good job. "He asked me to talk to you, just in case something like this happened." She's not sure how she can say what she needs to say next without sounding stupid. "I think he went to the future." Okay, there is no way to say that and make sense. "Someone made another prediction. About the storms and the future. It wasn't good. He said he was going to try and find Hiro. And he hasn't come back yet…so…he just wanted to let you know and to not panic." Settling into a chair in her office, she takes a drink from her mug. "This is good Merlot."

God, if there is any power in the world Nathan actively doesn't like, it's the precognitive crap. He doesn't comment on it, his mouth twitching into a brief frown as he observes his drink when Cass brings it up, but his attention is quickly on her when he realises exactly what she's saying. That 'went to the future' isn't some crazy slang that the kids are making up these days, although he really wishes it was. "He— he went to the future," Nathan repeats, sitting back in his chair. He looks to be somewhere between pissed, and… well, mildly panicked, despite this preemptive message. "…how far are we talking, here? Flying cars and robots?" he asks, a little snippishly. "Jesus, Pete."

What could Went to the Future be slang for? Hm, now that's something that warrants looking into. Whatever it may be, it's not what Cass is talking about. "Yeah." She knows that this is a serious topic. So, despite having a mug full of wine and her legs pulled up to her chest so that she's curled up on her chair quite comfortably, she looks serious. "Two years." That's her answer. "It didn't look like a happy future." Sighing, she looks down into her drink. "I know."

Two years. How does the world get that dire in only two years? Nathan just frowns across at her, then takes a long drink of wine. This was not the purpose of this meeting - in fact, it had been purposeless. Now, Nathan's brain is racing ahead to everything that could possibly go wrong, even as he asks rational things. "What's he expecting to find, exactly?"

That's a question that Cass would like answered, too. Hopefully as soon as Peter comes back, she'll know. But until then, she's just left with a lot of whys and why nots? She'd also like to see if she's alive in said future, as the future for her looks kind of dim in that regard. That causes her to take a long pull from her mug. She may heart New York, but she certainly hearts Merlot just as much right now. "He hopes to find a way to stop it." That's simple enough.

That could be reacted to with a reverent nod, or broodiness, or even confirmation. But what kind of big brother would Nathan be? He almost tsk's and rolls his eyes, shifting restlessly in his chair. "He's pulling out all stops to save the present, now he's trying to save the future," he mutters, almost to himself, but he's aware Cass is there, and meets her eyes when he adds, "We talked about it. The— the precognition. We agreed that not knowing what it is does half the work in preventing it."

"He's big on the saving thing. He's a typical Conrad Archetype." For some reason, Cass just expects Nathan to know what that is. "Not in a bad way. I like Peter. He's a good friend. He's just…he can't bear to see other people suffer. When I first met him he explained to me how his power was kind of like an empath. I told him he was more like a sponge." A bit of a wry grin at that. "But, I think he was right. He just feels…everything. Maybe he can't help it." As for the knowing the future… "It's kind of a double edged sword. Either it stops everything that was supposed to happen or it somehow brings it about. But we were running out of options. So seeing what happened was the best way to fix it."

No point in arguing with Cass, of all people. Now Peter, yes, but he's two years in future. Where Nathan can't strangle him. Damn. He swirls the liquid in his I <3 New York mug, formulating all kinds of arguments, and abandoning them. He sighs, nodding to Cass. "So, what's so wrong about two years later?" he asks, almost conversationally.

A humorless laugh escapes from Cass about what's wrong with the future. The answer is too long to start. But, that warm feeling of red wine in her stomach is starting to spread a little and that makes it easier to talk. Maybe this is really why they became friends so quickly. Alcohol can do that. Instead of looking down, like she would like, she trains her eyes right at Nathan's face. "Oh, well, most of New York is destroyed and never gets built again, lots of people are dead, and apparently I have no future, either." Just a few things wrong.

Considering their first encounter? That wouldn't be entirely surprising. So much can be said and it's okay! Speaking of that, Nathan tops up his drink with a slight splash, but cocks the bottle upwards to look at her when the penny drops. Oh. "You die," he says, for confirmation, then sets the bottle down. It's easier to picture an abstract dystopia when you're not actually putting names to the faces of victims. Not that the concept of a ruined New York doesn't chill him, but— he's prevented it once before. This thought occurs to him, draws some bitter laughter out of him. "Maybe we should all just head west, because apparently, this city won't let itself be saved."

"I die." It sounds weird for her to say that out loud, confirming. Cass has been so used to talking about this with Lachlan, who simply will not accept that future, that it's strange to hear a sort of agreement to what has been a question in the back of her head since she first saw what may lay ahead. Picking up the bottle Nathan put down, she pours a good dose of the wine into her mug. This conversation needs a fill up. "First thing Peter painted when we tried that ability of his. It wasn't just me, either. Hundreds of other people. All in a ruined Times Square." A droplet of red starts to run down the outside of her mug and she quickly catches it with her finger. Licking the stray bit of wine off of her fingers, she returns the bitter smile. "Something tells me that if we moved to Chicago, Chicago would be in danger. Same with LA, or, hell, even New Jersey. I think it's more the people around than the city itself."

"Wonderful," Nathan sighs, a hand coming up to rub the bridge of his nose. "New York City becomes a graveyard because of…" Well, no, he doesn't know the cause. That's why Peter's gone in the first place. He just gestures vaguely with his mug before taking another sip. "What if it's still dangerous? Peter gets killed, does he— no, he won't, he'll just stay there." Don't panic, right. Nathan can't help but label Peter as 'baby brother' before he can label him as 'potentially the most powerful Evolved in the known world'. "There had to be another way."

"Because of storms, apparently." That's all Cass knows about how things happen in the future. "Storms unleashed by an Evolved destroy the city and it never recovers. But we don't know who and we don't know /when/ and we don't know how to stop it." It's not like she didn't think of the future being dangerous for Peter. "Peter can take care of himself. He's powerful. More than he thinks himself, even." She's seen it. What he can do. And in the hands of someone else, knowing it would scare her. The mention of another way makes her frown and get a little defensive. As if she purposefully sent Nathan's brother off to get killed in some unknown future. "Maybe. But we don't have any /time/. Everything we've been trying here hasn't helped. Isaac Mendez paintings, Peter's paintings, visions…all anything can give us is the result. Not the actual occurrence. I'm getting to the point where I want to post flyers all over the city that read, 'Have anger problems? Have the ability to control the weather? Are you coming close to destroying New York City? If so, please call this number.' I've been /looking/. Believe me, if anyone wants to stop that future, it's me. And I can't find a damn thing that's useful."

Trust Nathan to bring a defensive rise out of Cass here and now. "He's my brother," he says, after a short moment of silence has passed. That's his explanation, as well as a hint of apology. "I'm not— he didn't say anything about this to me. I probably would have tried to talk him out of it." He makes a vague gesture with his hand. "Then he would have gone and done it anyway." He sets his mug down, hands rubbing his face wearily. He has to add, though, "I'm not blaming you for anything, Cass. Peter will… do whatever he wants, in the end." A hint of bitterness there, built from years of family tension when it's come to Peter doing whatever he wants.

The defensive nature is probably a residue of some guilt that is left over for Cass herself. She really believed that Peter would be gone and come back in only a couple of hours after he left. The fact that it's been days is more than worrying. She's wondering if she should have stopped him herself. "I know. Sorry." While he has a hint of apology, she can't help but say the real thing. "He's pretty stubborn," she admits with a bit of a lopsided smile. "I like that about him, though. His morals. His determination to stand up for them." There's no bitterness there about what Peter has done or will do. But, then, she's not related to him and hasn't had to live through it.

"Determination to take the highground," Nathan corrects, with a wry smile, then just shakes his head. "You couldn't get dad and Pete in the same room without some kind of fight starting. Dad did what he thought was realistic, and Peter expected more." Hey moar wine. He picks up said drink and finishes it off, not going for a refill immediately. "Can't really knock it. He has the ability to inspire… good, I guess." He wrinkles his nose at this choice of phrasing, but there it is.

At that, Cass can't help but laugh. "It's so funny, the way siblings turn out. Here you are, a senator to be…er, well, hopeful, that is, a man who brings about change and good to the state and to the people. And you're getting all uppity about Peter trying to do the same thing on a grassroots level. You two are so similar, you know? Stubborn, trying to do the right thing, just two totally different ways of doing. And Peter has better taste in ties." Not that she's ever seen Peter wear a suit. But, well, he's got to have better taste than that orange eye-bending tie that Nathan is currently sporting. Then again, who knows. Maybe bad tie taste runs in the family like abilities do. "I think you have to do more than just inspire good. You have to /do/ good, too."

"…I'm not getting uppity," Nathan mutters, though he does share a brief smile with her, even as he continues. "The difference between us is that I try to do it without… going into the future and turning invisible and exploding things, I guess. Being a hero. Politics… is real. It's grounded." All the while, he's taking off his tie and stuffing it into his jacket pocket, undoing the top button of his shirt. So there.

The smile is returned as they continue. "Okay, maybe uppity is the wrong word." Cass will concede that point. "I bet if you could do all that stuff, you would." She pauses and watches Nathan. "So, your ability." It's not really a question. She can't help but phrase it that way. Knowing Peter, she just assumes that his brother has one, too. Especially when she was told how he helped save New York before. "What's it like?" She's not even sure what it is, but, well, she's curious. And now a little tipsy, so she feels like she can say things like that. "Oh, don't do that. I was kidding. I like orange." But, she giggles a little at the end of that. She can't help it.

The tie? No we're not talking about the tie. Nathan waves a hand dismissively, and leaves it where it's been stashed. It's done now, Aldric. "My ability," he repeats, a little warily. It's just not something he ever actively pursues to discuss, even if it's, often times, the elephant in the room, especially at home. But considering they've just discussed Peter going foward in time to save the world from destruction, well. "It's, uh… well everyone dreams of flying, don't they?"

Poor tie, banished to the pocket region. However, Cass doesn't feel /too/ bad about it. She's got wine, which she helps herself to some more of and then listens closely. Peter was never specific about who had what ability when he explained what happened and how he got what. However, now that she's friends with Nathan, she can't help but ask. Now, though, she wishes she didn't. Just /thinking/ about flying makes her pale slightly and she slowly puts her mug down on her table, stomach twisting. "Oh. Oh God, no. Only when I've had too many nachos with spicy cheese and my brain wants to punish me. Nevermind. Forget I asked." There's this thing about heights.

That's. That's surprising. Most people react with envy or wonder or similar. Cass? Cass feels sick. Nathan just blinks at her for a moment when she seems to suffer some preemptive vertigo. Then… then he smiles. Brightly. And even laughs. Could just be the wine, but that's the best possible reaction ever, in Nathan's book. "Forgotten," he says, now reaching for a refill. "Thank you."

It's not /Nathan/ she feels sick about, obviously. Just the thought of being up that high. Especially being up that high with the only thing between her and falling to a messy death being how strong something else is. That's too many ifs and maybes and oh god we are up so high, let me down, let me down, let me downs. Gathering herself again doesn't take very long, because it was only a momentary panic of /thinking/ about being up too high, but she gives Nathan a very puzzled look. "Forgotten what? What?" That's not exactly the reaction /she/ was expecting either.

"That you asked," Nathan says, almost cheerfully, then refills Cass's mug too. "No. Everyone thinks it's the best damn thing ever, so let's just say it's refreshing to get a different perspective." He clinks his drink against hers, sitting back. "So, cheers to vertigo."

"Oh." Cass demurely takes a sip of her wine to cover up her little bout of forgetfulness. Or ditziness. Whatever it may be called. "Oh. Well. No. I. It's…you know, it's great!" That sounds hollow to even her. "Flying! Yeah. I just…" she shivers. "No. Never for me." Planes make her nervous, so flying without tons of metal to keep her seated and belted in is not going to make her feel any better, for sure. Oh well, time to lighten the mood. "Cheers! Your ability makes me kind of want to throw up when I think about it!" That didn't sound so funny when she said it aloud as it did in her head. "But…you know, in a good way. I'm chalking that up to the booze."

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