2007-09-21: It Could Have Been Worse

Starring:

Nathan_icon.gif Cyprus_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: The legal aftermath of a certain incident. Even extraordinary people get real world consequences.

DISCLAIMER: The players in this scene are not police officers, lawyers, criminals, or prison guards. Details will be fudged over and may be inaccurate. We ask for the audience to suspend disbelief as much as they would for invisible peoples.

Date It Happened: September 21st, 2007

It Could Have Been Worse


Downtown, NYC - Police Station - Holding Cells and Interrogation

Sunday. Bail may not be able to be posted until Monday morning, but those arrested can still speak with their lawyers. The Police Station has holding cells and interrogation rooms, and private rooms for meeting with lawyers, Peter's been allowed to keep his own clothes, though has been relieved of his personal possessions (and also his coat), leaving him in a off-white button up shirt, untucked with the top two buttons loose, and a pair of jeans. He's sitting down on a chair at a table, looking a little dirty— but none the worse for wear— not handcuffed, but with guards nearby until his lawyers are led inside— then the guards will leave, to give them privacy, but they'll lock them in the room with him.

Time and processing seems to drag forever in police stations, but finally, after what might feel like a reasonably long time, the door is opened, Nathan shown into the smallish room. He's dressed from the work day, even wearing one of Cass's ties along with a grey suit and white shirt, but despite his kept together appearance, he seems tiredly frazzled, and flicks barely a glance towards Peter as he waits for the guards to give them some privacy - along with Cyprus Donovan who is shown into the room along with Nathan. He doesn't take a seat, hovering (no, not literally) towards the further corner of the room, hands on his hips, jacket drawn back slightly. As soon as the door is shut, Nathan looks towards Peter and gets in the first words. Not entirely useful, they are, "What're you tryna do to me?"

Walking alongside Nathan is Cyprus, his canter easy and carrying a briefcase in his right hand. A suit jacket makes him look official alongside the candidate, and the look on his face is relaxed. It's a walk he's done dozens of times. There's recognition in the face of several of the officers, as a reputation moves fast in tight circles, and none of the looks are approving. It's just part of the company he keeps, though. Once they are inside and the door is locked, Cyprus moves over to the table in the center of the room to place his briefcase on it. He opens it as Nathan begins to speak, and pulls out several forms by the looks of it. He also removes a pen and a card, setting them on the table and closing the briefcase. He glances towards Nathan, then Peter, but seems to know better than to step between brothers

At first, Peter's eyes go towards his hands on the table, fingers still dirty from fingerprinting. It isn't until things get sat on the table with him that he looks up and even notices Cyprus Donovan. There's a blink and he sits up, eyebrows raising just a fraction. Surprised to see him? More or less. Isn't he actually in charge of the law firm now? His brother didn't pull any punches… There's definite worry in his eyes, though— he may have not met this man since he was younger— but he just saw him a month or so ago too. When his brother speaks, he looks over. "I'm sorry, Nathan," he says, eyebrows lowering, shoulders slumping a little. That's really about the only thing he can say to it. He's sorry. In some ways he isn't, though. He'd hit the man again for his implications. He looks back towards my lawyer, "It's good to see you again, Mr. Donovan."

Nathan fixes Peter with a skeptical look for his apology, and resists the urge to pace. Swear to god, if Nathan didn't know any better, he'd guess his family is out to get him, dating right back in the day when Angela was stealing socks, forchrissake. He's learned patience since then, however, not about to just yell at Peter and walk out the door. These are crazy times. Well. Learned it to a degree. "Sure you are," he says, lightly, with a dismissive gesture, but otherwise, he's going to let Cyprus at least get a word in edgewise.

There's little that catches Cyprus Donovan off guard, and he doesn't often have to deal with it. This moment, however, does. He glances up sharply from his preparations to look at Peter when he is spoken to by name. Confusion flickers across his face, and he glances a moment at Nathan before turning back towards Peter. He seems to consider the situation for a moment, then plays it off with an easy smile. "Likewise," he offers. "Though I must confess, it could have been under better circumstances. Assault and battery, in public? With photographs?" There's a bit of a wince, and he shakes his head. "And you should have seen the photos on the 9 o'clock news. But, still, it's not the worst that could have happened." He picks up the forms, and hands them over to Peter along with the pen and the card. It's the standard legal agreements, the preliminaries and protections placing Peter as Cyprus's client. "When was that last time we met, anyways? Must have been at that function." This is called leading the witness.

As he's practically dismissed by his brother, Peter flinches again, emotionally hurt, but visibly withdrawing from the situation. There's a stubbornness starting to settle in. "Yeah— could've been better. But could've been worse, too." He's pretty sure he started to use an ability when he punched the man, and if that's the case, it could have been a lot worse, especially with photographs. He made the news? There's that grimace. He looks towards his brother, opens his mouth as if he has a question, and then chooses not to ask it. His brother probably knows what it is anyway. Sitting back up, he takes the pen and starts to fill out the forms. Having gone to law school himself pays off on this, he knows the forms, more or less. "Um— I guess a year and a half ago," he responds softly, consentrating on the form. But also lying.

"It could've been worse?" Nathan has to repeat. Honestly, he did want to be more helpful than to simply snap at Peter while Cyprus handles what's necessary, but right now, he can't completely help himself. But at least it might detract from Peter's lie. "Yeah. I suppose it could have been worse. You could have punched the guy in the middle of a cafe. Oh, wait." He brings a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose for a moment, but visibly calms, gestures at Peter. "Okay." They can have that particular discussion later. "Why don't you start by telling us what you told the cops."

"That would be the prudent thing," says Cyprus simply. He opens the briefcase again, and pulls out a pad of paper, another pen, and a tape recorder. He presses a button, and the red light goes on. He looks up at Peter, then Nathan. He states "Be advised that there is a recording being taken of this conversation. If at any time anyone wishes for the recording to stop, merely say so." There's an air of formality to it, and Cyprus smiles. If he caught Peter's lie, there's no sign of it. "Start with whether you got the name of the arresting officer, and if they made sure to read you all of your Miranda rights. If we can get you out on a technicality, right now, that might be for the best." There is a pause. "Once you've done that, we'll go into what you've told the police."

The recorder is glanced at, but Peter nods, understanding why it would be used. Easier than taking notes, really. Still, there's a moment when he glares over at his brother. He'd know he would be getting killed by him for this, but it still hurts to get verbally batteried, and doesn't help with his anger problems. But he doesn't stand or swing a fist yet, instead he glances back down to look over the forms again. "They read me my rights, and made sure I understood them. But I haven't answered any of their questions yet— not until I could speak with my attorney." He did go to law school for a year. It won't be THAT easy. "I doubt the reporter will drop the charges, either." Though he could probably make him drop the charges if he really wanted to…

The glare is met squarely, Nathan narrowing his eyes at his younger brother. But… saved by the recorder. There doesn't need to be documented evidence of Nathan continuing to lose his temper with Peter, so as he is wont to do, he holds it in check, merely standing in the background for now, arms folded across his chest. He is mostly overseeing, here - perhaps not wanting to simply leave Peter to fend for himself even with a lawyer sent by Nathan. He might not be a source of comfort and sympathy right now, but he is at least here, and for now, quiet, letting Cyprus do his job.

"It's not a matter of the reporter at this point, Peter," says Cyprus simply. "It's up to the State, currently. You're being temporarily charged with assault of the second degree." Which is a felony, hence the State intervention. "By the time you're formally charged on Monday, I'll have talked them down to third degree. There's not much we can do to get you out tonight, so try not to get into any fights in here. The reporter may still press civil charges for medical bills and emotional trauma." The lawyer flashes a bit of a smile. "If all goes well, you'll have your arraignment early on Monday, and we'll have you out of here by the afternoon. It'll be two months at least before you'll have to stand for charges, and during that time, you'll be remanded within the state of New York." And with that, Cyprus reaches over to turn off the tape recorder. Because it's good to get some things on record. He removes his hand from the recorder, and focuses on Peter, with a bit of intent. "Now, tell me what happened."

Felony. There's a wince, and Peter's eyes are definitely on the forms on the table again. Civil charges he can handle, but a felony? That's… he glances up briefly towards his brother, before looking back down and nodding in response to what Cyprus has to say. He knows he's staying the night here— and he won't hurt anyone unless it's to defend himself, but… "The reporter was asking me questions on things I didn't want to answer." Things he couldn't answer. "I got up to leave and then he asked me about… Ramon Gomez, Chairman of the Board of Evosoft, and his daughter. How Mr. Gomez donated money to my brother's campaign, and how I'd been seen in public with his daughter recently. The… the implications he made upset me. I was already frustrated because he kept bringing up my mental health problems," he adds on, glancing up towards his brother at that point.

"That history might be your ticket out of this, Peter," says Cyprus easily. "You have a history of depression. Don't worry about the reporter. It's in his best interests to settle. We make it part of the agreement that he doesn't testify in court, and we can handle this quietly." The lawyer takes a bit of a deep breath, and reaches up to to run a hand through his hair. "There is always pleading out to Assault Three. I can approach the DA with a deal for a plea bargain, you'll get five hundred hours of community service, a fine, and anger management classes. It would be the best plan of action, all things considered. We might even be able to get a court date set up quickly, and have it handled within a month." Before the election.

All things considered, this situation could have gone so much better for him if he'd just used certain things to get out of it. It'd certainly have saved his brother the problems. Peter finishes looking over all the paperwork, filling out all the forms, and signs and dates the last page and slides it back over. Cyprus Donovan is offically his lawyer, now. "I'd rather not use my 'condition' as a…" he trails off, shaking his head a little. "Fine. If that's what you can get me, I'll take it." It could be better in the long run, especially if he gets to do his work in the medical field— he's already trained for it.

The look Nathan gets from that isn't missed. Okay, point to Peter, but then again, the man did jump off a building, so Nathan just raises an eyebrow at him and comes to rest his hands against the back of the chair he'd otherwise be sitting in, leaning. He's quiet for the most part of the exchange, more or less studying the table. He's about as hesitant to use Peter's 'condition' as a crutch as Peter is, perhaps for different reasons. Especially if evidence of therapy is required. Nathan doesn't speak up, however, because perhaps that kind of thing can be finagled. He was, after all, attending a facility. "You should have just walked away," he says, quietly. "Did he try to stop you, grab you? Anything?"

There is a glance at Nathan, and Cyprus turns back to Peter. He reaches over and turns the recorder back on. Because sometimes, you do want things on record. "Did the reporter attempt to stop you from leaving the premises after verbally badgering you, Mr. Petrelli?" the lawyer asks clearly. Even if the recording is only for internal records, Cyprus is a careful man.

What's going to be on record won't really help their case, any. Peter shakes his head. "No. He never grabbed me or attempted to keep me there beyond verbal requests. He asked to join me, I decided to do it in case it was a serious reporter. When it became obvious he was only interested in gossip I got up to leave. But that's when he brought Elena into it. I know I messed up, and I know I could have handled it differently…" But he didn't. He got angry beyond words and decked the man. He knew he could have avoided it, could have forced the officers to make an error, could have had them let him go. He could even ask the judge tomorrow to be lenient, and maybe get it… but…

Come on, Peter, not even a little shoulder touch from the man? An arm blocking the path? Something they could effectively blow out of proportion with the right witnesses? This is America, after all, and Nathan gives a sigh when Peter denies anything nonverbal from the journalist. "At least we know chivalry's alive and well," he says, dryly - not without a hint of disgust. Which is hypocritical, it's not like Nathan hasn't done his fair share of unlawful things in the past lifetime or so, but not quite so publicly. He's never sat where Peter is sitting.

Cyprus reaches over and snaps the tape off. The look on the face, while not incredibly pleased, is at least satisfied. He glances over to Nathan, and smiles. "Your office should be able to handle this matter fine, Mr. Petrelli," he says calmly. "If Crane tries to make an issue of your brother's problems… well… It's not above politics to go after family members, but your continued support of your brother will show you to be the better man." New Yorkers don't like perfection… They like someone who works hard and protects his own. He looks over at Peter, and tilts his head to the side. "I know it won't be comfortable, the next night or so, and I'll be certain to keep any comments about your mental health from reaching the official record. If we make it the pink elephant in the room no one can talk about, everything should work out fine. You're not the first guy to punch someone, Peter. Just show contriteness in court, and don't do it again. The DAs knows better than to step up against their top dog's little brother."

There's a slow nod, but Peter understands that things aren't looking great right now. He does glance back up towards his brother, minus the glare this time, and has to ask, "Did you call Elena?" It's not something he looks forward to explaining to her— especially since he never showed violent tendancies like this in the past, so he's not exactly sure what she'll think of it. Future her would have been proud— but the one here… he's half afraid she'll break up with him over it. But… when he looks towards the lawyer again, he nods, grateful. "Thank you. You're a good man…" The way he says that seems like a much different relationship than they might have had before. Peter'd been distant from his father, hadn't liked his work, and probably seemed to dislike the people he worked with— but now… his feelings have changed. For more reasons than just this. "To have on our side, I mean…"

Nathan hesitates, with half a mind to keep Peter in suspense over it. But he doesn't trust Peter not to use some kind of superpower to visit the girl if he's kept in the dark over it, so he simply rolls his eyes. "Yes, I called Elena," he says. "I told her where you were and that she won't expect to see you until at least Monday. I'm leaving the rest up to you to explain." He glances to Cyprus, now, as Peter addresses him, and his hand moves to the side to briefly grip the lawyer's shoulder. Because he does that. "This is appreciated. And you have amazing timing." Considering this arrangement was only made within the same month? Yeah. "Am I able to speak to my brother in private when you're done here?"

Cyprus narrows his gaze on Peter again, but seems to let it slide for the moment. Maybe he's putting more than just spin on the story of mental illness. "Save the praise until I deliver," he says with a nod. "Right now, it's just conjecture. We might wind up drawing Judge Thomas, and all he'll see on the docket is the name Petrelli, and he'll let his party do the deciding for him." He gathers up the forms, and places them in the briefcase along with the tape recorder. He snaps the briefcase shut, and nods to Nathan. "It seems I do, Mr. Petrelli," he admits. "Rest assured, I will not let your family down. Now, then, I don't see why you can't get a moment of privacy… After all, I have to pick up the arrest report, and get all the necessary information while I'm here." He lifts the briefcase up, and flashes a confident smile that might just be a little too familiar for Peter. He pushes the card across the table to in front of the younger brother, with the Symbol. "I'll be here when they transport you for your arraignment, Peter. Just don't say anything until then." He nods to Peter, then to Nathan. "Good day to you both." And with that, he's heading over to the door. He presses a button by it, and speaks into the microphone. "This is Mr. Donovan, Mr. Petrelli's lawyer. Get this door open, and I want a copy of the arrest report immediately." And with that tone, he'd sound scary… if he wasn't on their side. The door buzzes for a moment, and Cyprus shows himself out.

If that happens… Peter might have to be forced to say something to the Judge that would sway his opinion. Especially if it would lead to not getting the charges lessened, or making him stay in jail through the entirety of the lecture. Sure, he probably broke the man's nose and jaw both, maybe cracked a few teeth, but he doesn't think that deserves a felony charge. People have done as bad to him— including his brother's own wife. But we'll leave that alone, yes we will. "Thanks," he says, taking the card and keeping it. "I'll be quiet until then." As much as he can, at least. If he has to defend himself, he will, though. With the other man leaving him and his brother alone, he looks toward the door until the man's outside, and then he pushes up to his feet. "Thank you for calling Elena." And telling him— because he would have probably tried something drastic, yes.

Peter doesn't stay seated, so Nathan doesn't sit down, taking his weight off the chair, hands in his pockets as Cyprus leaves the room. "Only did it so you wouldn't have a reason to do something stupid," he responds. Like… walk through a wall, or teleport, or something. "You've already done enough damage for one day." That sharp tone of voice is back now that they're alone, and considering how well they've been getting along over the past five or six months, it might even be jarring.

"If I really wanted to risk the trouble we'd get into by walking out of this place… I would've already done it," Peter says, shaking his head a bit before he starts to move closer. Almost as if he's seeking comfort of some kind, approval that he swallowed his wounded pride and didn't run away from arrest, or use an ability that might have backfired in public to get out of it. There's definite tension surrounding his eyes by this point, but he's not angry, really, just…

The look Peter gets in return is still angry, but it's not quite as blind as it had been when Nathan had first walked in. No comfort is offered just yet, he still has things he wants to say first. "Yeah, well, you didn't have to put yourself in this position in the first place," he insists, unmoving even as Peter approaches. "The world isn't supposed to work this way, Peter. I don't even know if you realise that anymore. You jump all over time and space, you can fade out of sight anytime you wanna hide, you break a man's face in multiple places when he pisses you off." Yeah, there's no doubt in Peter's mind that Peter had to have some kind of supernatural help in the damage he dealt - Nathan's been on the receiving end of quite a few of Peter's blows and he's never broken a bone. "There are still rules. Laws."

"I know that, Nathan," Peter says, raising his voice a little bit even as he does respond to it in the affirmative. "I didn't do it because I thought I could get away with it, or because I knew it wasn't wrong. He insulted her, he insulted me, he insulted her father… he even insulted you. I highly doubt I'm the first person to deck him. And I hope he files a restraining order against me if only because then he has to stay away from me too," he says, shaking his head and looking away. His hands go back to the table, as if for support, fingertips touching the flat surface. He's angry again, but… "I didn't mean to do more than punch him," he adds. That's all he did— except with superhuman strength thrown in. It's that he didn't mean to use.

"Of course he insulted me," Nathan says, flippantly. "And anyone even vaguely connected to me. But he's nothing, Peter, let him imply whatever he wants. Make up stories about Ramon's connection to me, Elena's to you - deny it, move on. Lashing out only makes us look like we had a reason to react." Yes, 'us', because Nathan is really only thinking of this in terms of his campaign right now, and he points at Peter. "Promise me this doesn't happen again, no matter what journalist prick is saying what to you. Avoid the press altogether, if you can. I'll handle it."

"I think I had a reason to react," Peter says, not looking back at his brother, and in fact lifting his hands off the table and moving away now. He's not happy, and he's not sure what else he can really say in this matter. "It won't happen again." He'd allowed the questioning up to a point because he'd wanted to help his brother, show his support in some way, and look where that got him? "I'll see you tomorrow, Nathan," he says, jaw setting, still not looking at him.

The anger doesn't go unnoticed, and Nathan feels a flicker of his own indignance in return. "I get reasons to react every time they ask me about Heidi's accident," he says, sharply, louder. "But I don't have assault and battery on my record. Lose the entitlement, Pete, it's getting old." And with that, he's striding for the door, hitting the buzzer to be let out.

"I said I had reason, I never said I did the right thing," Peter says stiffly, glaring at a spot on the floor instead of his brother. He doesn't move to stop him, or sit down, he's just… angry. The mention of entitlement has made him close up. If he'd have the opportunity, he'd probably be finding an exit and leaving invisible— such a chance won't happen now, though, so he'll just have to let his brother leave.

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