2007-06-07: I Wanna Be A Superhero

Starring:

Heidi_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Guest-Starring:

Simon and Monty

Summary: Nathan and Heidi tell the kids that what Monty saw wasn't just a figment of his imagination.

Date It Happened: 6 JUNE 2007

I Wanna be a Superhero


Nathan's Office, Hyde Park

It's been a little while since Monty's accident, and while he hasn't exactly been talking about the event - since Heidi asked him not to - he's been hinting about it, and it's pretty obvious that he's told Simon by now. It's getting to a point where Nathan and Heidi have to make sure this doesn't go beyond what it already has.

Entering the den, Heidi's followed by two puppies. Julius still has a bow on his collar, but it's pretty shredded by now, and Caesar seems to have eaten his… Or buried it. Whatever the case is, they seem to be enjoying their new home to a point where they're perfectly content to crash right in the middle of the floor. They've had a long, productive day of cleaning out the basement. By eating spare toys.

Puppies chew. Puppies chew a lot.

"Nathan, are you in here?" she asks as Caesar rolls over on her feet, preventing her from taking any steps further into the room. Smiling, she kneels down so she can give him the attention he so desires. Thankfully, he's still small enough to lift, so Heidi picks him up and moves him out of the way. This is taken as an invitation to play, though, which means Heidi is soon covered in puppies, and also a cat, who, defying all logic, loves her new brothers to little bits and pieces, and wants to play, too.

—-

All the curtains are pulled closed, so no sunlight is getting in. To compensate, Nathan's switched on the desk lamp, and that in combination with the glow from his laptop is enough to aid him. Why use natural resources when you can waste electricity! At the sound of someone opening the door to enter the office, he doesn't immediately look up, seemingly occupied with typing away at whatever it is he's working on. "Mm? Yeah," he responds, distracted with finishing up this last sentence, before he partially closes the computer and looks up— and blinks to see his wife getting swamped by dogs and a cat. Cat is okay. Dogs, in this room, not so much, so he tenses a fraction but otherwise, doesn't complain. Yet. He is /watching them/, though.

"What's up?" he asks, gaze breaking from the puppies and back to his wife, putting on an amiable 'you are totally not interrupting me' smile.

—-

Usually she'd walk in and open up all the curtains and get some /light/ in here. Silly Nathan, darkness is for the stone age or something. Today, though, the curtains remain closed, and once she disentagles herself from the animals, she actually goes to peek out a couple of the windows to make sure no one's around. Not that they'd be able to hear through the windows or anything, but something like this, has to be handled with extreme care. Look out, Nathan, Heidi has /ideas./

They'll close the animals out when the boys are in here, to cut down as uch as possible on distractions. "I think we need to talk to our sons," she says pointedly, coming around to look him in the eye. She's still got that look in her eye that says 'we should tell them about /you,/' but… she can keep quiet on that for now, at least. "Monty's starting to ask me about what happened, and I can't… I can't keep explaining it away. He knows what he saw."

Everything it okay, right? They're here, in the same house, no stress between them… And yet it's still difficult to reach out and touch his hand. Her own remains on his for a couple seconds before pulling away. "It's up to you."

—-

He watches with wary curiousity as Heidi goes about checking the windows. That kind of behaviour can either lead to a serious talk, or something more pleasant. Whether the latter ever actually happens and may or may not just be a dreamed up hope, is insubstantial. Even if it'd be awfully inconvenient to arm-sweep the desk with his computer resting on it.

Not that it matters, as it seems to be the former. Sigh. Nathan turns his hand to touch hers before she can pull away, but when it comes to that last statement, he just gives her a skeptical look. "If this was up to me, we'd be going about this differently," he says, quietly, then raises a hand as if to dismiss this. They'd come to an agreement, that they'd tell the boys. No sense in trying to rationalise backwards from there. However, he's drawn the line at telling them he can fly. That just… is a can of worms that can stay closed, as far as he's concerned.

"You want to talk to them now?" he asks, then glances at his laptop, hand reaching out to shut it all the way. "First, go over with me what happened, exactly." They hadn't really talked about it, but this plus a confusing letter sent his way prompts him to ask now.

—-

A serious talk is, indeed, in the cards. Heidi just wishes Nathan was a little more on board with this than he is… A little more serious about the issue rather than dismissive like he has been. They can't just sweep this under the rug and hope they forget about it. They won't— they're kids. They'll talk. And she can't just let that happen. This is her protecting her family, making sure the boys know the severity of this, and also… Well, they should know about Nathan, because this is what they could be facing one day. What if Simon discovers he can fly? What if Monty does? What if their reaction is like Nathan's— to hide it?

He never does change, does he? "I know. I know." If it was up to him, they'd never find out at all, and in a perfect world, they'd never have to deal with something like this. Either that, or everyone would have some sort of uniqueness about them, and there'd be no reason to hide it. If things were perfect, Heidi wouldn't feel inferior, she wouldn't still worry that Nathan went to someone else because she wasn't up to his standards. "Nathan, the boys should never have to feel like I do," she says quietly. It's stated as steadily as possible, though there's something about the words that illustrates the fact that she hasn't healed yet.

But yes, she does want to talk to them now. Why now? Because they're all here, and it's at a point before Nathan really gets back into the public eye, before they can bring this crashing down around him by accident. She's thought this through, and now's the best time. Taking a seat in a chair, she attempts to describe what /she/ saw. "Monty could tell you better than I can," she says first, looking at her hands. "There was a woman crouching over the hoses. We'd just gotten back from putting Monty in his swimsuit. There was water everywhere, some sort of party thing." In fact, she still needs to talk to Nathan about making some calls about that, but not right now. "When I looked over, his hands and feet were /in the sidewalk./ Sunk right into it. I knew something was— I started running over there, and the hoses just kind of… melted? I don't know, that's the only way I can describe it. They were so backed up by that point, that they just exploded."

—-

He has no real argument, when she says her piece about her feelings, the boys feelings. Or, at least, no argument he's willing to impart. Nathan knows that his ideal would be to keep everything buried so deep that it wouldn't matter what was the truth and what was not. But he knows that if he had it his way, he would have told her in his own time, when things proved to be impossible to hide. And now, there's no hiding what Monty saw, what he'd have told Simon by now. Nathan raises a hand to rub his face wearily. Keeping them all safe from this shouldn't have to be this difficult.

Then it's story time, and Nathan leans back in his chair and listens, serious expression in place with a hint of a frown, especially when it just gets… confusing. "Are you saying the ground melted, or something?" he asks, and then just shakes his head. "I'm willing to tell the boys the truth, but do we even know what that is?" How do you explain what you can't put into words? That's half the trouble Nathan had with getting around to telling Heidi. 'I can fly' is too impossible.

—-

It really doesn't have to be this hard. Is that what Nathan's scared about? Just /how to tell them/? Standing again, allowing a bit of a smile, she takes his hands. "Yeah, we do." Does he still not get that they all have to trust each other? This is the roadblock that's separating them, even if this is Nathan through and through. He's so guarded — when did things become this hard?

Were they always this hard? Did she just not see it for almost twenty years?

"You have to be willing to open up to the boys. They trust you, they want to know. Who knows the truth better than you do?" Pale eyes say everything - just /tell them./ Not just to get it over with, but because it's the right thing to do. If he'd just open himself up for once in his life, he'd see this is so uch harder than he's making it.

Letting go of his hands, she returns to the door. "Simon, Monty? Come on down here for a few minutes." It won't be long before they arrive now.

—-

NO BUT IT IS DIFFICULT. Well maybe it's not, but Nathan is stubborn, and had a hard time explaining this to /himself/ for so long that he gave up entirely. If he doesn't understand it, how are little boys meant to understand it?! Although, maybe that's the problem. Maybe he just doesn't let himself have the imagination to fit such things into his view of the world. He still doesn't, in a way.

When Heidi calls for the boys, Nathan stands up from his chair to move around his desk, and lean against it. His arms fold, and he doesn't look happy about this, overall. But he looks resigned to it, rather than disapproving. The fact that she's resting this all on him, it seems, probably isn't helping matters. "They trust you too," he has to point out. "You know the truth as well as I do. Better, seeing as you were there."

—-

She's not throwing this all on Nathan, but she doesn't want him to decide at the last possible minute that he doesn't want to tell them anything after all, and that it's TIME FOR BED in the middle of the afternoon or something. When Simon and Monty arrive, the latter with his lime-green-casted arm still in a sling, Heidi shoos the puppies and Spike out of the room.

Monty takes a seat on one of the chairs, which he very rarely gets to do, because this is Daddy's office. "Can I play on the computer when we're done?" he asks, looking longingly over at the closed laptop that he only gets to look at and never touch. "Is this about that girl? The one who melted the ground?"

Heidi sits down next to Monty and looks up at Nathan, and over at Simon, wherever he's lighted himself. "Well, I told you not to talk about that, remember?" she asks. "And we're going to tell you, but it's very important that you don't tell anyone else. Okay? We're trusting you. Both of you."

And yes, she was there, Nathan's exactly right, so she looks up at him without saying a word at first, then says, "Do you want me to tell them?"

—-

Simon climbs onto another chair, and gives his brother a look when he brings up the melting ground. The look says 'I told you not to tell mom and dad that you told me because you weren't meant to and anyway you're crazy and you're gonna get in trouble'. All of that, pretty much communicated in a frown, before he impatiently looks towards his parents. "I /told/ Monty that the ground can't really melt," he says. "But he says it did anyway. What do you wanna tell us?" He looks to Nathan, because Heidi is looking to Nathan. Well, dad?

Nathan is watching his wife, wondering if this is like a test or something. Then, he relaxes a fraction. Not everything is an obstacle to overcome, he supposes, and he rubs the back of his neck, looking back towards Monty and Simon. "I don't see why we both can't," he says. "Listen…" He pulls up a chair, now, so he can look at his sons properly. "Your mom's right, we need to keep this between us four, okay? Because the thing is, Monty's not lying, Simon."

So many ways to patch this over - hell, they could probably find a way to explain it away logically. That's pretty much what science is /for/, right? But he should be able to be honest with his family. That's kind of what it comes down to, not whether or not he can lie effectively.

—-

Unable to help it, Heidi smiles at Simon's defense, because he's /so much like his father./ Things that are weird just can't be real, because they aren't! And despite a couple ideas he'll grow out of eventually, like the fact that he believe there really are velociraptors in the garden, He'll pretty much grow up to be just like Dad.

She's about to explain the entire ordeal to Simon when Nathan speaks up instead, and… Heidi is surprised. So is Monty, actually, because the younger Petrelli boy was sure that they were going to tell him that he was just seeing things, and he already had a whole argument prepared that essentially equated to 'NUH-UH!' But it seems like all te thought he put into this was for no reason. "See? I told you, Simon," he mumbles, though he doesn't seem to happy about it. "The ground melted and so did the hoses. I saw it."

And, yeah, at this point, Heidi does look pretty helpless. This should be easy, just telling them the truth, but it really isn't. "There are people in this world that have these abilities. They can do things that other people can't do. I don't know what that lady was doing, but she's— " Heidi doesn't want to say 'one of them,' especially around Nathan, so instead, she just trails off.

Monty's silent for a moment, looking at his brother, then at Heidi. "Well… If no one's supposed to know, how 'come you guys know?"

—-

Yeah, see, Heidi? SEE?! Not easy at all. Nathan glances to her as she explains her piece, and then looks to Monty when he asks that question. Simon, you little loudmouth, say something. No, he's looking expectantly at Nathan too, clearly a little stunned that his brother was actually /right/ if his wide eyes have anything to do with it. Well, dad, /why/ do /you/ know about this?

We're part of the MiB. What you saw was AN ALIEN. Tempting, but, no.

"Because I know people who… have abilities like this," he responds. Well, it's not a lie, is it? "They can do special things, like… well." What's not scary? Telepathy and invisibility might be. Healing might be a little complex, seeing as doctors are supposed to do that anyway. "Fly," he says, with a flicker of a nervous smile. He's not linking this to himself - but it's the most simplistic power he can think of, something the kids can actually understand. "Or melt things, like that lady did. But it's supposed to be a secret."

—-

Yeah, the thing about kids is, they think this is the coolest thing ever. They're still at that age where even though they might TRY to be grown up like Mom and Dad, they're still big fans of the X-Men and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And… Pretty much anything with 'mutant' as some part of the plot, to be honest. Also, robots. "So you're not gonna tell me that the sun was in my eyes r' somethin'?" Monty asks incredulously.

Heidi can't help a chuckle at Nathan's choice of ability to use as an example. Blue eyes look at him with that little expression of knowing humour, but if she was going to say anything, she probably would have by now. "No. But to protect the people that your dad and I know, you have to keep it a secret that you know. We're telling you, because we think you're old enough to know the truth." Are they? Heidi believes they are. She thinks they're mature enough to—

To—

"Monty, what are you doing?"

He's pulled the blanket off the back of the chair, and he's tying it around his shoulders. "I can /fly./ I'm /Superman./"

—-

"No, /I/ wanna be Superman!" Simon insists, making a grab for Monty's cape, but lets go when he does, because he can't be /too/ mean to his brother when both his parents are in the room. "You can be Spiderman," he allows, with a darting glance to both parent, sitting back in his chair.

Cute, Monty. Except that gives Nathan nightmares about his kids attempting to test out any powers they might have, and he doesn't even crack a smile at either child. "No one's gonna be Superman or Spiderman," he says, firmly. "Just because people can do things /like/ that, doesn't mean it's like TV, okay?" It's not fun. It's not adventure. It's real. This is, to Nathan, what is important to communicate.

—-

Oh, Nathan. If looks could talk, that'd be what Heidi's would be saying. "Come on, guys," she says, making a grab for her youngest and pulling him into her lap so she can de-blanket him. "You have a broken arm. You can't be Superman until it's better. Deal?"

Maybe she's not helping, but they're /kids./ They're going to do things like this, and as long as they're acting it out instead of telling people, that's— Well, provided they're acting it out by /not/ jumping off a roof, that's okay.

"Oh, I guess," Monty says, though he's clearly not happy about it. "So… So no lie? You know people who can, like, fly? And— and walk through walls, and— "

God, if Nathan would /just tell them,/ they'd think he was the coolest dad ever, in the whole wide world. "Nate," she says matter-of-factly.

—-

See, jumping off the roof? PETER DID THIS. Nathan would prefer to have less family members that think they can fly when they can't. Even now that Peter's absorbed Nathan's ability properly, he /still crashes/, for god's sake. When Heidi reassures Monty, he shoots her a look. This is /serious/, says the look. His expression converts, however, to one of guarded fear when Heidi says his name /like that/, because she wants him to…

No. Nathan nods once to Monty. "That's right. But they want to keep it secret too," he says, gently. "And we need to respect that." His expression is much milder as he addresses his son, but there's still some thunder, there.

"Do they save people?" Simon has to put in. It's what you do, when you have superpowers! Dad says nothing, looking all serious like he does when someone's going to get into trouble, so he looks to mom instead. "Because if you're gonna have powers, you have to do stuff like that."

—-

Heidi closes her eyes, obviously /slightly/ disappointed, but she was the one who said that they didn't have to tell the kids about his ability. She just wishes he /would./ And the look she offers back is something along the lines of 'you tell them you can fly, and I'll stop encouraging them.' Oh, if only Nathan had telepathy.

She thinks this is hilarious, really. Except she doesn't, because Nathan's right, it is serious, and she shouldn't be joking about it. But the way his sons just glommed onto /flying/ out of everything they could have is almost too perfect for words. Maybe they'll take after their father for real. C'mon, Nathan must at least see a little humour in it.

"Come here, Simon," Heidi says, holding her arm out so that he can sit in her lap, too. "I know you guys think this is really cool, but you have to /promise/ that you aren't going to talk about it, to anyone. That means your friends, too." They seem to get the gravity of the situation, because neither of them are arguing the point. Even so, Heidi adds, "There are good and bad people in the world, and people with special powers can be good or bad, too. You have to be very careful."

As for the question of saving people, this earns Nathan another look, something different than before. Tender, loving. It's still there, even after everything that happened. "Yes, Simon, some of them do. Just like Superman."

—-

Unfortunately for Heidi, Nathan sees no humour in it. He sees irony, perhaps, but he's never been a big fan of irony, not when it happens to him. And he knows full well that his sons will think he's awesome for being able to fly, that their reaction won't be anything like Heidi's, and hell, maybe they'll even keep it secret.

But to Nathan, it's like sharing something freakish about himself, something that doesn't make sense according to who he's trying to be. And Heidi might be disappointed in him for not, you know, coming out as it were, but he's not so happy with her either. He told her he wouldn't tell them. This was their compromise.

"So that's what we wanted to tell you," he says, with a tight smile for his sons. He pulls them over for a hug each, before standing up. "And I got a /lot/ of work to do. Why don't you two go back to playing." Family dismissed, Nathan needs to brood, apparently.

—-

Well, that's what they did agree, and it's for Nathan to tell them one day, not her. It /is/ a little disappointing, and it was a test of sorts, even if it wasn't fair. It's not like her, really, but if he can't trust his sons with something as important as this, how is he going to trust /her?/ How is /she/ going to trust /him?/ It's not something she's consciously thinking about, but…

The traces of a smile are gone from her face. At least they told them what they intended to from the start, but Heidi was just hoping… She stands up as Simon and Monty head off to /not play Superman,/ though she's sure she can see Monty trying to tie the blanket around Caesar's shoulders. Hey, if /he/ can't fly, then maybe the puppy can.

Eventually, Heidi heads for the door.

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