2009-11-19: Joining a Cause



Date: November 20, 2009


Anais meets Brayden (Nathan) and the two discuss him volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, including Anais' concerns.

"Joining a Cause"

Frazier Management Office

There are nicer offices in New York City, offices with walls of plate glass that look out on magnificent views, offices with shining mahogany furniture, silk wallpaper and sound-absorbing carpets. This isn't to say that the floor occupied by Frazier Management is in any way dingy, or poorly appointed, but it lacks the luxurious touches that typically go hand in hand when associating with New York's Old Names.

Stepping out of the elevator will land a person in a small reception area, complete with large desk and a pretty young woman seated beneath gold lettering on the wall. Her smile is quick, practiced, her phone manner excellent, her brain razor-sharp; Lenore is an asset and Anais has frequently pledged her first-born to the woman for her organizational skills. At the moment she is juggling one call, two people on hold and handing a manilla folder to the tall redhead standing beside the desk.
"Janet said she'd call back about the build this Saturday, the caterers are on line three and Nathan Petrelli is due in five minutes. Oh, and you owe me for lunch."

Anais takes the folder and flips it open, glancing down at the single page inside. She's dressed in a pale grey today pants suit, her bright hair caught up in an American twist, sensible heels on her feet. "That puts me at, what…fifteen hundred that I owe you? Do you take checks?"
"From you, never. I'll send in tea?"

As if on cue, a suited figure enters the office. Dressed in his new navy suit, white dress shirt, and red tie, Nathan is decked out much like the American flag itself: patriotic. A dimple appears on his chiseled face as he approaches the reception desk, a toothy grin spreading on his lips, "Hello. How are you this morning?" He beams at the girl sitting behind it, and then offers the same easy smile to Anais. "I'm Nathan Petrelli, I believe I have an appointment? My publicist set it up…"

"Tea? Do you think? He looks more like a coffee drinker, doesn't he—" Oh, dear. Someone is early. Lenore looks up, her smile near as dazzling as the Nathan's, and Anais turns the little bit needed to bring her face to face with him. Her smile is less radiant but perhaps slightly warmer than the receptionist's. "Mister Petrelli! Yes, of course. I'm Anais Frazier," she says, extending the hand not holding the folder towards him. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Lenore? The coffee, please? If you'll follow me, Mr. Petrelli?"

The redhead turns to lead Nathan through the doorway that separates reception from office. Again, it is not so large and sumptuous as, say, a U.S. Senator's office. But it certainly could outdo a monastary. There's a dark desk, a bank of windows, a pair of comfortably stuffed chairs separated by a low table. It's towards these that Anais leads him. "Ms. Muth said you'd had a recent interest in donating some of your time to a charity."

"Call me Nathan, please," Brayden requests with that same easy smile. "I'm sorry I'm early. I thought it best to not waste anyone's time," the apology is sincere enough. "Ms. Frazier, it's a pleasure to meet you," he shakes her hand and releases it moments later. "Of course, Ms. Frazier." He continues to smile as she takes him through the doorway into the office. He grins as he takes a seat on one of the chairs.

"Your office is beautiful," he observes as he glances about the room. "Have you been here long?" But like all of the women in Brayden's new-found life, Anais is already down to business, "Well Helen certainly has a way of putting things," or maybe Anais does that on her own. He grins at her as he leans back in the chair. "I can wield a hammer and I enjoy working with people towards common goals." Pause. "Beyond that we're in some very trying times Ms. Frazier, and I think we all need to believe in something. I want to give more than my time. I want to give my money, my energy, anything that can help this cause." Grin.

Ahh, small talk. Anais is prepared. "If I'm to call you Nathan, then it's best you call me Anais. I still expect my mother to appear every time I hear Ms. Frazier." The woman's smile, the warmth in her brown eyes, they do not waver as she takes the chair opposite the gentleman. Her hands fold neatly in her lap. "And thank you. We've been here…oh, three years now? Maybe four?"

And then there is a brief silence while Anais conducts a polite but thorough study of the man seated before her. The constant grin prompts a slight tilt of her head. "Did Ms. Muth prepare that statement for you, or are you ad-libbing?" She sounds amused.

"Alright, Anais it is," Brayden chimes as his eyes light up. "Well that's a good amount of time. Have you worked in this office long or is it new to you?" He unbuttons his suit jacket (it creased slightly as he sat down) and shifts in his seat. "Did you have any influence in the office's design? I have to say it isn't what I'd expected…"

"Helen didn't prepare a statement for me," Brayden chuckles. "Although, I'm sure if she had it would've been far more eloquent. No, that was all me." He pauses. "I've just been feeling like we're giving into fear too often in his great nation and we need to be better than that." He smirks, "Perhaps it's naive or idealistic, but it's what I think." He shrugs as he tilts his head slightly, "Tell me, what do you think about it? Where things are at with the government and its fear-mongering?"

"Three years now? Four?" Anais repeats in almost the same tone as before, her smile deepening. "My father decided that he wanted to visit Sri Lanka, and that I was ready to take over his business. What were you expecting, if you don't mind me asking?"

An answer might have to wait, as Lenore chooses that moment to appear with a coffee service held between her hands. Both of them are treated to her megawatt smile as she sets it on the table between the chairs and makes a hasty entrance, closing the door behind her.

Anais scoots forward in her chair and turns over the first coffee cup. "Naivete and idealism are generally praiseworthy, I think. Especially if they motivate one to use their resources in a beneficial way. I'm afraid I'm less knowledgeable about the government and its fear-mongering, as you say. I could wish they did more for humanitarian causes, but…do you take cream in your coffee, Nathan?"

Brayden smiles and opens his mouth to explain as the coffee service comes, but closes his promptly upon the entrance of Lenore. He offers her a silent smile in return as she places it down and disappears. He turns back to Anais and stifles a chuckle, "I think I was expecting something less grand? Not that this is over-the-top. Non-profit doesn't exactly instil images of comfortable chairs." He smirks.

"Well, perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions about the fear-mongering part. I have been out of the political loop for some time. It just seems like, as a country, we've been stuck in a very dark season." He purses his lips together. "I think we, as citizens, need to embrace everything American was intended to be." He grins at her. "And this, of course includes humanitarian causes like Habitat for Humanity." Pause. "And while I won't be able to change everyone overnight, I have resolved to change myself. To be better." He smirks and glances at the coffee, "Yes please, and a bit of sugar." He pauses and adds with a smirk, "Just not sweet enough, I guess…"

Anais glances up at him briefly, brows quirking in curiosity. "Non-profit…? Oh! No. Frazier Management involves itself in real estate, Mr. Petrelli. Nathan. The family business. I involve myself in non-profits. You could say I have something of a reputation as a bleeding heart." Though she looks far too composed and cultured to go throwing her arms around trees any time soon. The coffee is poured, cream and sugar measured out to suit the man's taste, and the cup offered with brisk efficiency.

"I had heard that you've been on something of an adventure, yes." Anais busies herself with preparing a second cup. Rather more sugar is added. She asks, taking care to maintain a respectful tone, "I think your intentions are very sweet, indeed. I do have some concerns, however. Is this…something you intend to do in the long-term? Or you simply looking for a photo opportunity?"

"Ah," is all Brayden manages with an equally easy smile. "Well, it's good that you put your resources to good use then, Anais." He sighs as he shifts in his seat again, and accepts the cup of coffee. He raises it to his lips and sips at it. "I have had an adventure. It's been an interesting year and a half. And on this adventure I've… I've rediscovered what it means to be human." He smirks as he admits, "I performed some rather disreputable acts," some of which were photographed in the tabloids, "but I also lived as a Buddhist monk for awhile. I want to help the poor and destitute. This isn't about a photo opportunity, it's about long-term sweeping change across this country. I want people to think of charity. I want it to come easily to mind." He peers at her and tilts his head, "Do you believe me, Ms. Frazier?"

Anais is silent for a time, but perhaps that's simply because she intends to savor that first sip of coffee as well. She settles back, one hand cradled beneath the cup, the other curled around the handle. And, of course, she watches him. Smiling. "I don't doubt your passion, Mr. Petrelli. I've seen it often enough in new volunteers. I do think that it's natural to want to lay a strong foundation, when one has suffered upheavals in life, and you do seem to have enjoyed a great deal of that recently." She pauses, appearing to consider her next words. That's as good a time as any to sip again, her eyes turning briefly to the side. Away from him, away from the grins and the smirks.

"Mmm…I couldn't in good conscience turn you away. We are short-handed, short of funds. Short of everything. Perhaps…perhaps you might come out on Saturday. But." Another pause. "I think it might be best if the press were not alerted until after your first and second day of volunteering?"

"Well, I'm glad to hear that I'm better than nobody," Brayden quips while suppressing a chuckle, and raising his own coffee cup to his lips. After he swallows his latest bit of coffee he smirks again, "Agreed. I don't really want to be photographed everywhere. Quite honestly, I'm not entirely used to the attention." He offers her a bright toothy grin. "And how about you, Anais? Do you get your hands dirty or man the front lines, choosing who should and shouldn't belong in your volunteer pool?" He offers her that same easy smile.

It's the grin that Anais can't entirely trust. It's so…politician. She regards him quietly, head tipped to the right, smile fading just a hint. "I'm certain you'll put your best work into it but I have the charity to think of as well. In the world of non-profit, bad publicity is not good publicity. And people using these organizations for their own ends…well. I'm sure you can understand my concern. Fortunately, it sounds as if we're in agreement on how it should be handled, so I'm quite looking forward to working with you. As will the Board and the other volunteers, I'm sure." She finishes the explanation by setting the cup back on the tray. "I do both, as my schedule permits. But I'll be there on Saturday as well."

Brayden nods at Anais, "Alright then. We understand each other. I want good things for Habitat for Humanity." He too returns his cup to the tray and stands to his feet, offering Anais his hand to shake, "We have a deal then. Saturday will be a day to remember." He offers her that same easy smile. "And it's good to know you're involved in the trenches as well as the organization component. I'm sure both are rewarding in their own ways…" His lips twitch slightly before he adds, "I know you're a very busy woman, I don't want to take up any more of your time unnecessarily…"

"Extremely rewarding. I'll have Lenore contact your office with the time and the location. Oh, if you have steel-toed boots, I would wear them. We'll provide the hard hat." Anais turns the smile up again, brown eyes crinkling at the corners as she takes the man's hand. "I find I'm happier when I let business wait for the important things. This seemed to quality. It's been a pleasure, Mr. Petrelli. If you've any questions, before Saturday, please do just call."

"And it was lovely meeting you Ms. Frazier," Brayden nods at her. "Well I'm excited to be working with you in all of this. I believe it will be good for me." That said, he releases her hand. "Have a wonderful day, and I will see you on Saturday!" Turning on his heel, Brayden sees himself out… to go buy steel-toed boots.

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