2008-01-02: Just Imagine

Starring:

Niki_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Niki extends an offer of help to Nathan.

Date It Happened: January 2nd, 2008

Just Imagine


A resident of a house in Queens hesitates only for a few seconds over dialling the number of a recipient on the other side of the world. …metaphorically speaking. Niki is standing in her bedroom, now and then pacing in front of the mirrored door on her closet, over which a bathrobe hangs on a hook, obscuring half of the reflection. There's a phone book open on the bed. A simple phone call with good intent is proving to be … a challenge. "Hi, my name is Niki— " Pause. "…my name is Niki, I need to speak to Nathan." Pause. "…Mr. Petrelli," she adjusts. "Can you— "

"I'm sorry, Niki," says the glorified-receptionist, otherwise political aide named Peggy. The sound of nails tapping against a keyboard can be heard even as she speaks in a bored tone. "Mr. Petrelli isn't in his office right now, but I can certainly leave a message…?" She trails off as said politician, whom was in fact in his office, strolls out with a folder in hand, glancing at her with a wryly amused smile. He's not busy, exactly, but he owes phonecalls to at least three other people before this one, and waits for Peggy to field the message before he can ask. "What name shall I note down, just Niki or…?"

Okay hang on. Nathan pauses, then points. "No, it's fine," he tells the aide. "Put her on line one, I'll take it."

Peggy hesitates, a hand clasped over the mouthpiece, and one nicely shaped eyebrow raises. "Okay," she says, hesitantly, then turns her chair away as she speaks into the phone. "On second thoughts, he's in after all," she says, a little snippily. "I'll put you through." One manicured finger presses a button on her phone as Nathan moves back into his office.

A beep, and then it's Nathan's voice that projects tinnily down the line. "Hello?"

"Just— " A vexed knitting of her brows takes over Niki's face while the glorified receptionist tries to turn her away, but she's patient enough, despite that. It's not random women are generally allowed through to the Senator Elect right away. Or maybe they are, maybe Nathan is just that kind of man, she's caught thinking, just before things take a turn for the better. "Thank you," she replies politely (a little too politely) to Peggy. Then, finally… "Nathan, hi." In her room, she turns around and stops her pacing, back to the mirror. "I'm sorry about calling you at your office…"

"No, that's…" Actually, it's not entirely fine, and so the sentence trails off. But perhaps better than calling him at home. Nathan shuts the door, and only gives Peggy a look when she peers curiously at his interior window, and he closes the horizontal blinds with a very decisive movement. Moving towards the exterior window, Nathan leans a shoulder against a wall, peering through the glass at Manhattan - more towards the sky than the buildings and cars and people. A pause. "I should have given you a private line. What can I do for you?"

Niki could have also gotten such a phone number from Peter, in theory, but she didn't. So here she is. In lieu of apologizing again, there's a short silence before she answers, "Nothing." Anti-climactic? Not exactly. She sits down on the edge of her bed. "But … I might be able to do something for you."

Not often do politicians get such a statement from attractive blonde women. Well actually, maybe often. A lot often. Nathan stays at his post by the window and manages not to jump to conclusions right away, considering all they've talked about and discussed. No, his mind actually makes a correct turn, even if he doesn't know it yet. "I'm listening."

Besides the very words themselves, there continues to be nothing in the woman's tone that suggests a proposition of any kind — at least not of any untoward nature. She's serious, as she goes on. "I've been visiting a doctor — a scientist. Dr. Suresh. He developed this … serum — it's working. There's no one else when I look in the mirror. I thought maybe … you might want to visit him, too."

Niki is rewarded with a certain sort of silence. The name is familiar, of course, but Nathan makes no indication of such a pre-existing relationship, and little does Niki know… it gives her claim much more credibility. His focuses shifts away from the skyline and focuses, briefly, on his own reflection, transparent and barely visible in the window glass. No one there, of course. Still, he turns away and wanders back towards his desk. "I might want to," he agrees. His tone is guarded. His gaze flicks towards the window he's hidden from view, his own door. Keeps his voice low but clear through the line. "Better than the meds?"

"No contest," Niki answers with a light and slightly lyrical laugh, half under her breath — but when it fades, a stern silence follows. "There's a side effect," she admits. "And, it might be different for a different person. For me it's— nothing. I'll gladly deal with it, because this is … it's working better than anything. Just … imagine, Nathan. What if you could stop it from ever happening to you? Like a preventative measure."

It's a change. This hope. Niki is normally a sad creature, it seems, even that first time in Vegas, before she— well, Jessica took the reins. Nathan perches on the edge of his desk, feet braced against the carpeted ground. Another telling silence as he debates his affirmation, and instead goes with, "What sort of side effects are we talking about, here?"

"Little things." Even though Nathan can't see her, Niki shakes her head, smiles. "I'll forget … where I put my keys for a second, or… I don't know. I'll just … just forget. But Dr. Suresh said that's normal, and— once I take the last dose, it should even out."

A small, gruff sound can be a heard, a slight 'humph' of contemplation from the Senator-Elect. Nathan brings up a hand to rub the bridge of his nose, as one might if one had a headache. Don't they all make sacrifices to stop bad things from happening? Niki, hell, even Sylar of all people… "Then I guess I'd like to talk to Suresh. Can't hurt."

"I'm going tonight." Niki seems to have left this phone call to the last minute. She ventures, one part tentative, one part hopeful: "You could— come with me then."

A brief pause, and then: "Sure. I could do that." Sort of like plunging off the deep end. After all, Nathan never did find time to take those yoga classes Ramon only slightly sarcastically recommended. "You were right," he ventures, deviating off the path of cut-and-dry logistics for a moment. A glance about his spacious office. "I have a lot to lose."

"You know, it…" The woman on the other line trails off with a small sound, some tiny exhalation of breath, altogether giving the impression that Niki is rethinking whatever it was she was about to say. And so she does, given the fact that her next words are, "Never mind. I'll see you later?"

Nathan hesitates, then decides to let it go. "Right," he says. Back on track. "I'll see you tonight, Niki." A brief pause, but not too long, getting in a last word before she can hang up: "And thanks."

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