2007-03-30: Keep Your Friends Close...


Nathan_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Discussion of info sharing techniques and Mr. Bishop's offer.

Date It Happened: March 30, 2007

Keep Your Friends Close…

Den Of Iniquity, Brooklyn, NYC

Evening, about eight pm. Jane's here, playing the gigs Jack paid her for in advance. There's a decent crowd in the place, some shooting pool, some just enjoying drinks and relaxing. She's visible through the window from the street outside, playing in a space in front of it. Dark jeans, Eagles concert tour t-shirt, heeled boots which lift her height to five feet ten inches. While she plays with no microphone, the woman walks back and forth, her eyes scanning the crowd to make the occasional eye contact and give the impression she's playing directly to that person at the time. Mutedly, her music and voice can be heard. Right now it's an AC/DC tune. TNT.

When Nathan enters the bar, he moves to go and get himself a drink. He didn't drive (or get driven) all the way to Brooklyn without some kind of reward, so some whiskey is splashed over ice in a lowball glass. He hears Jane before he sees her, so he lingers for a moment, sipping his drink, waiting for the familiar tune to wrap up while he moves through the crowd to find himself a table. He's dressed conservatively, slightly cleaned up, and he places a manilla folder down on the table. At one point, he raises a hand in a still wave to Jane should her gaze sweep his way. He's patient, though, and enjoys his drink.

She spots Nathan and nods in his direction, a sign of acknowledgement, as she continues playing. The song at hand is nearing its completion as he catches her attention and enjoys his drink. Moments later her fingers go still and she bows to the audience, then slides the guitar around behind her. "Breaktime, folks," Jane announces, and walks toward the bar. When the senior Petrelli is reached, a quiet smile is offered. "Nathan. Good to see you."

PHONE: Your phone begins to ring. The Caller ID says 283-1407.

"Evening, Jane," Nathan says, raising his glass casually in a light greeting, another sip pulled from it. He gestures absently towards the bar. "Can I get you anything? Singing must be thirsty work."

She chuckles a bit, and reaches for a bottle of Pepsi kept behind the bar within her reach, holding it up for the variously pierced female bartender to see and make note of, then opens and begins to drink from it for a moment. "Thank you for offering, Nathan," Jane answers, "but it's covered. Part of the deal with the owner here." Her phone rings then, and she holds up a hand. Excuse me for a moment, please." The ID is checked, and she answers.

PHONE: You answer your phone, "Hello?"
PHONE: Jane says, "Jane Forrest."

PHONE: Peter says, "Jane? Hi. It's Peter— I'm calling about… the 'Plan'. Or— what we have of it so far. What all have you been up to, since we talked last?"

Nathan makes a 'go ahead' gesture, turning back to his drink. He finishes it off rather quickly, it was only one measure of whiskey, after all, and when asked if he'd like to top up, he shakes his head and gets a glass of water instead. Absently, he listens to the one side of the conversation he can.

PHONE: Jane looks at the person next to her as she speaks. "Hey, Pete. Coincidence. I'm on break during my gig in Brooklyn, and your brother came out. He's here now. About that thing, it's in a holding pattern, like we talked about. Word was put out to some people I know, and the ball's in your court." Coming through the phone there might be the sounds of a bar.

Nathan rolls his eyes a little at the news that it's Peter on the other end. He then flips open the folder in front of Jane. It's the same content she had written up to be handed out, about Sylar and then some. "Tell 'im 'hi', and that I probably want to talk to him about this stuff too," he says, quietly.

PHONE: Peter might well be giving of a smile right now, from the sound of his voice, "Really? A gig in Brooklyn? Good to hear. And I'm glad Nathan's there. Maybe I could come out and see you both, talk to you once you're finished performing. There's some… progress that we could discuss. Where in Brooklyn are you playing?"

PHONE: Jane watches Nathan as she listens to the phone, silently, and replies when Pete goes quiet on the other end, her time to respond, with a puzzled expression on her face. "Pete. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, you should maybe come out here. I'm at Jack's place, and… your brother says hello, he wants to talk aout that thing. He rolled his eyes when I said your name. I'll probably be playing again when you get here, but it won't be long before the next break, we three can talk then. Cool?" She looks at Nathan again after saying that, to get his reaction on her end.

PHONE: Peter sounds vaguely surprised, "He rolled his eyes? What for? I guess I'll have to ask myself. The Den, right? Yeah, I'll be there in a bit. I look forward to hearing you play, and talking to you about the plan."

Nathan sort of chuckles when Jane adds in the detail about him rolling his eyes, and just shrugs a little. He turns his back on the bar, leaning against it. He nods once when she looks to him for his approval.

PHONE: Jane listens again, and after a few moments replies. "Kind of curious myself, Pete. Yes, it's the Den. See you soon, and thanks for calling." She closes the phone to end the call and lifts her soda bottle again, taking a long drink.

"Good timing," Nathan comments, once he hears the click of the phone closing, gaze turning back to the woman. He closed the folder, pretty sure she knows the contents of it and he doesn't want to flash it around that much. "So I hear you put this together?" he asks, mildly.

"I did," she answers quietly. Her thoughts turn more fully to the subject of the contents, it brings out worry and yes, fear into her eyes. "That guy," Jane states in a voice held low in volume with the goal of only Nathan hearing her as they speak near the bar, "scares crap out of me. I don't know if I might've met him before, or seen him around. Elle approached me a few days ago, she and I talked, then I called your brother and worked out a message to put out." She watches Nathan, and something starts to dawn on her. Why is Nathan asking about this? "You… didn't know about this?" That's a possibility she hadn't considered.

"Can't say I did, no," Nathan confirms, with a shake of his head. "Found out through Jack, met him by chance. He gave me one of these." He brings a hand up to rub his chin, thoughtful. From whatever tension had been caused by finding out about the folder, it's mostly drained out by now, but there is a level of unquestionable seriousness in his tone of voice. "He's dangerous, people should know who he looks like, to call the NYPD if they see him. But it says too much."

"How does it say too much, Nathan?" Jane seems confused by the statement. In her mind, she held back, there's nothing in there about what she was told is at stake if Gray gets cured, what Molly is capable of. That very thought makes the fear increase in her eyes. What if this guy saw her somewhere getting hit by a dog whistle and guessed something was up? She can't remember one way or the other. "I put them into sealed envelopes, given to people I know with reason to fear and one other person Pete and I both trust." Her voice lowers still. "Can the police even handle him, Nathan? Firestarter." That detail has her even more careful of being overheard.

"I don't need my brother's name circulating amongst complete strangers in association with someone like Gabriel Gray," Nathan says, putting it plainly. "He might be alright with advertising he has anything to do with special abilities, but I'm not. Some of us are taking the duck-and-cover approach. I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong. I'm saying you need to find a better way of doing it."

"What do you suggest, Nathan?" Jane replies, mulling over the words. "Would you be happier if it were just me mentioned?" Her fingers tilt the Pepsi bottle again, they shake a bit, and she drinks more of the liquid. "I'm thinking I want a beer now." Scared? Definitely. In favor of proactivity instead of letting fear rule? That's her way. But she's open to suggestion and guidance.

Two beers are bought, one for her and one for him. Helps with the casual. Nathan opens the folder once more, and takes out an unfamiliar sheath of paper, handing it to her. It has the same photo of Gabriel Gray photocopied onto it, and brisk instructions, mostly taken from what was already there. Don't engage. Danger. Parkman's number. "If you must include your details or Peter's, consider not mentioning the name Petrelli."

She examines the paper quietly, mentally noting the absence of mentioning the nature of that danger. After some moments of silence, Jane replies simply. "I do admit it makes sense to hope that certain people are able to do mental math, given that only they are directly given information, and figure out it pertains directly to them. And your family name won't be mentioned again, Nathan."

"No mention of abilities is needed," Nathan agrees. "If they need further clarification, you can always tell 'em. I just don't want it in writing. As for… this plan…" He glances at her, uncertain. "You're likely part of it, I'm going to guess. To rescue Molly and Suresh." He talks with hesitation, obviously unknowing of the details. "I'd be selective with who is recruited." The word 'recruited' has a slightly sarcastic bent to it. "As in, I wouldn't put it on a flyer."

"Of course not, Nathan," Jane answers. "That whole thing is in a holding pattern until word is received anyway. We don't even know where to find them. But I have given some thought to possibilities, if it comes. There needs to be some way of preventing fire, like a dump of chemicals, the heavy duty extinguisher stuff." She doesn't elaborate on how it might be delivered. "I intend to assist however I can, the consequences of inactivity…" She trails off, not wanting to think like that. "It would be far better if they could be gotten into the open and taken down by snipers."

Remember that sign? Unmarked Nuclear Warheads? Well, here he comes again… walking into the bar. Still clothed rather neatly, as opposed to his more casual attire, the only way Peter could have dressed up more for today is if he'd worn a tie. Had to draw the line somewhere, right? He only wears the suit and tie for his brother's parties. Stepping inside the bar, he looks around once, and then smiles, approaching the woman musician and his brother, whose eyes were rolled at him across part of a city. "Traffic wasn't that bad, surprisingly," he says, commenting on his quick travel into Brooklyn. Via cab, not the sky.

"Pete," Nathan greets, perhaps glad for the distraction of his brother's arrival. Jane's meandered the conversation into ground perhaps of a nature Nathan would like to steer clear from. He has his own priorities. "Beer?" he offers, gestures with his own bottle.

She is, notably, careful not to be overheard when speaking, and wary of anyone getting too close, but also not objecting to a topic change. Her fingers close around a bottle of Rolling Rock, Jane drinks lightly from it. "Pete. Good to see you."

"Yeah, sure," Peter responds favorable to the idea of beer. After the day he's had, he might need it. "Wish there were a more private room, but— I need to talk to you both. About… well… you're both lawyers, and I could really use your help. Especially yours, Nathan." Lawyer and a leader. "Think we could move to a table? Try to— I dunno, get out of the way a little?" It seems he's very cautious about this. More so than normal.

Peter gets a suspicious look for his efforts, squinted and thoughtful. This wasn't exactly what Nathan was expecting. Rarely, after all, do X-Men-wannabe-groups need lawyers. He shares a glance with Jane, before ordering Peter that beer and handing it to him. "Table free by the corner," he suggests, standing up from the bar stool and picking up the folder he had brought with.

She stands and follows, her guitar held behind her as she walks. "Jack didn't say how long breaks can or can't be," Jane remarks, "and he'll get his four hours worth. Just with an extended gap in the middle tonight." One hand snags her beer and brings it along, when she reaches the table she sits and crosses her legs at the ankles. Eyes rest calmly on both Petrellis.

"Thanks," Peter says, taking up his ice cold beer and walking over to the table, settling down in a chair. Once they're both seated, he takes the time to open up his bottle and take a generous drink before he sets it down and looks across at them rather seriously, if quietly, "Of everyone, you have the most reason to be against this, so I wanted to talk to you first, Jane. The plan… involves the Company. The Company you both helped 'rescue' me from, and the ones who erased your memory— and put you through hell. Working with them, instead of against them."

Her back stiffens, the hands take a grip on the table's edge and the knuckles seem to whiten a bit, as she looks directly at Pete. Stern? Yes, Jane is. The voice is quiet, and laced with pain from remembering that experience. Her verbal reply is terse and simple. It's a question. "Why would I want to do that, Pete?" She isn't, however, dismissing the idea entirely. Because she trusts the Petrellis?

What /have/ you been up to. Nathan is puzzled, but. He listens. He looks like he has something to say, but he glances to Jane when she offers her question, and instead waits for Peter to address it, for now. So in the meantime, he takes a pull of beer.

"Because they can help us, Jane," Peter explains, looking down towards the rim of his beer bottle. "They have resources and information. And I've already made the man in charge of them promise that what happened to you. They won't erase memories of people that are working with us, they won't hold them prisoner. They won't even mark them— tag them anymore. They'll have amnesty. And if they want to leave, they can, and nothing will happen to them. As long as they promise not to interfer with them." Looking up, he has a hint of guilt on his face. "It's the only thing I could come up with, Jane. The only place I /knew/ could help us." He'd mentioned it to Nathan before in the past too… He's still talking softly, though, "Maybe they can give your memories back. I know that it won't change what they did to you, but— this way we'll know they won't do it again, or to anyone else we work with. Right now we don't have that."

"I don't know if I trust people like them to just keep their word," Nathan puts in, because he has to. "Their reputation is what it is, built on lying, doing what they think is best without regard to what's welcome." A gesture to Jane goes here. He states all this quietly, a bit of a lecture but not an argument, as if he's reminding Peter of things his brother already knows. But he's not disapproving. Not yet. He doesn't know enough. "What deal did you make?" There had to be a deal.

"The things to be done require support and coordination, this is true," Jane admits. "How sure can you be he'll keep his word, Pete?" She watches for a long, silent moment while taking in more of the beer, before asking "And what does non-interference mean, for that matter? That if they abduct people, we won't try to help them, ever? Does this in any way entail betraying confidences people place in me?" Pause. "Define tagged, Pete." Lawyer mode, on. Focused and inquisitive is the guitar playing attorney.

"I don't really know what the tagging meant, but Mr. Bishop said it wasn't even used anymore. All I know…" Peter puts a hand against the back of his neck, as if to indicate, "Is that some people I met who worked with the Company in the past had marks on the back of their neck. I don't know what they did." It's the honest truth. "And the only guarantee I have that he'll keep is word is that I'm dating his daughter. And at least this way he'd be able to keep some kind of an eye on us. It benifits him as well." He doesn't think he lost the whole farm, but he knows he didn't walk out of the business meeting totally on top. Glancing towards his brother, he hesitates for an instant, then looks back at his beer bottle. "Mr. Bishop has offered to fund a satelitte company. An affilitate. Dedicated to stopping disasters, saving the world— that kind of thing. And I'm going to run it." … "With help, of course."

Wait, what? "A satellite company," Nathan repeats, uncomprehending for a few moments. He sits back in his seat, looking at his brother in mild disbelief, as his mind leaps back and forth to the pros and cons that instantly crop up. A glance to Jane to gauge out her reaction, as well. "Firstly… not sure if dating his daughter is that great a leverage. Second… what's he getting out of this besides…" He tries to think of how to put it. "…being allies."

"Mr. Bishop," she repeats, committing that name to memory. "Elle's father." Jane saw what Pete did when he talked about tagging, how he touched the back of his neck, and she gathers her hair up to pull it over one shoulder, then leans forward so the area on her own body is exposed. Visible there, at a spot where she can't easily find it even when looking in a mirror, just past the curve of it, are the twin brownish lines. "Tell me," she says, in a hushed voice that isn't in any way asking.

"I don't know what it is, Jane, honest," Peter says, shaking his head, "If anyone could tell you, it'd be Mr. Bishop. That's one of the conditions. He wants to meet everyone working with me. Everyone he's going to grant amnesty to. I said I'd leave it up to them to decide, and if they choose not to— then all they have to do is not interfer with the Company, which includes talking about it, and avoid… avoid displays of power in public. He also wants weekly reports, and he'll give us some missions, but I'm allowed to argue them— and I will if they— if they're something I wouldn't want to do. I'm not saying we shouldn't stop them from doing some things. From holding people captive, but there's way to deal with that without… without guns blazing or declaring war, right?"

If that was a dig… Nathan semi-takes it as one, but with no real offense, just a quirked smile before he brings his beer back up to his lips to take a long pull. When the bottle is set back down, Nathan just says, "Make sure you don't get owned by them." In a lower voice, he says, "But I think this is a good opportunity to get what's needed from them if and when the time comes." Approval? If Peter was searching for it if even a little, he seems to have gotten it.

She's not looking up at Pete as he speaks, or Nathan, for that matter. Jane's head is still bent forward, with one hand holding her hair out of the way, and the marks she bears visible. It might seem this is what she intends to be told about, from her behavior, and she's still waiting to hear. Holding that position, she speaks plainly. "They will continue to exist, and may do things unpalatable. I've no wish to be smeared with that brush in the eyes of my friends, of people who trusted me, but… keep your friends close and your enemies closer. My trust, Pete, Nathan, is in you. At my lowest point, only you took the time to come find me. Not even Elena thought to check whether or not I was at home." One hand rubs the back of her neck, as if to feel for anything there she doesn't know about.

There it is. The support. Sort of. Peter lets out a long breath of relief and takes a moment to drink from his beer before he continues, just as soft, "I haven't signed anything. I want you two to look over the contact for me. Make sure I'm not getting owned by them. You're lawyers— I only finished a year of law school before I quit. I do hope this isn't a bad decision, and we will have some rules and restrictions, but— I know you wouldn't protest about them at least, Nathan. They just want to avoid spreading too much information to people who don't need to know." Right up his brother's alley.

Nathan glances to Jane, recalling that first meeting - quite literally the first meeting, as far as she is concerned. That last comment earns a nod. "Sounds like a good idea to me," he agrees. Especially considering what he had only just finished addressing Jane about. "No doubt they'd like to keep themselves a secret by association, but." He glances to Jane, speaks for her: "We can take a look at this contract. How negotiable is it?"

Her head is still bent forward, with the hair held out of the way and her marks exposed, she waits to be told whether or not anything is there. With the conversation going on around her, however, and no comment on the information she sought, Jane raises her head and lets the hair spill back freely down her neck and over shoulders. It's a pained voice she speaks with, stating simply "It's there, because you didn't say it wasn't." Her eyes close, the mouth parts slightly, she's clearly chaining something back. Silence is kept as she wills down the urge to scream.

"It's there, yeah. And— you have every right to ask them what it was, what it meant. Bishop assured me that tagging is meaningless now, so— maybe it was just an old habit." Peter's not completely sure why they would do something he claimed to be out of practice. Maybe she'd even been tagged /before/ and doesn't know it. "I don't know how negotiable it is. But I won't sign it otherwise. Maybe… maybe I can make a condition that he'd turn over all the files of people working with us. I already made him promise to tell me anything that happens with them, but I hadn't said anything about the past. That way you can know exactly what they did to you, Jane. And what they did to others."

Nathan simply raises an eyebrow when Peter mentions it as an 'old habit'. Be more critical, little bro, the look seems to say. He leaves it at that. "Once I see the contract, we can figure out some terms," he says with a slow nod. "We need to know exactly what we're getting out of this as well as what they expect." Hey look, the use of 'we' is cropping up. He speaks to Jane, too, here, as he says, "And I don't see why the sharing of information can't be part of it too. Just don't expect them to be completely honest, they don't have a reason to be."

The urge she was resisting passes after some seconds, and she speaks again in a subdued voice. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. This company is quite possibly both, guys." Jane takes a further moment to think, and adds "Mr. Bishop may not even be willing to have me aboard. They went to great lengths to ensure I was neutralized, after all. I'd like to see and read the contract, give an opinion of it." She chuckles bitterly. "Part of the rationale in doing law school was I'd be able to help people not get robbed by documents. Seems my chance is coming, yeah? Came to New York for an eventful, non-boring life. Be careful what you wish for."

"Guess that's where mind reading might come in handy," Peter mentions softly, looking down towards his beer bottle. "I don't really like to use it, often. I'm not even that good at it. I'd guess I'll need to practice if I want to try to read his mind when we negotiate again…" No, he hadn't even tried at all. And for a moment he looks as if he's /trying/ to consentrate… but eventually sighs and just drinks on his beer. "He didn't say he could deny anyone I'm already working with. We might have to add that on. He can deny anyone I try to bring in later, though." Finishing off his beer, he glances at his watch. "I shouldn't keep you from your gig. There's a lot I still need to work out— think about. He actually wants— my company— to have an offical-like cover. Need to come up with something I could actually stand running. A paper company isn't top of my list."

A soft snicker comes from Nathan's corner. Some of this is just surreal, after all. "I'm sure you'll come up with something," he says. That was his attempt to not say anything snarky. Although hey, Peter might be able to /mind read/ it anyway. Yeah, Nathan hasn't given a lot of thought to Peter's powers other than his ability to explode - the idea that he's also psychic is jarring and puts some stiffness in Nathan's posture. "Well let me know when you get a copy of this contract."

"Time will tell," the guitarist replies, standing and taking her beer along. Jane remarks "I'll look forward to seeing that contract, and reading it over, as well as whatever occurs with that other… project. Good night, guys." Boots carry her away from the table, the guitar is brought around front, and she takes place before the window again. "I'm back!" she calls out. "Sorry for the delay. Here's some rock and roll!" And she plays just that… Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll.

"You didn't know I could read minds?" Peter asks, raising an eyebrow at his brother's changing expression, even if— he didn't actually hear the thought. Sometimes you don't have to read minds to know someone's reactions. "Of course I'll bring you both in as soon as I have the contact." Looking up towards Jane as she goes to start playing, he stands up and glances back at his brother. "This might also be a way to get Mara the protection she needs."

Nathan pushes himself up to stand. No sense in lingering. He slips the file under his arm, and shrugs to Peter. "Well you haven't exactly given me an inventory on what you can and can't do, Pete," he says, moving to walk with his brother towards the door. He glances back at where Jane is playing. "And yeah, that occurred to me. Not willing to count on it being enough, though. Might only be a matter of time."

"Don't you start that too," Peter says, giving his brother a stubborn and determined look. The kind of look that has gotten him killed, or at least very nearly killed, more than once. "I'm not going to let it happen." Taking his beer bottle to find a trash can and throw it away, he adds, "I'll see you later, Nathan."
"No one's going to /let/ it happen," Nathan mutters, argumentatively, but he waves his hand in dismissal. "Yeah, see you. Try not to… do anything stupid." With that, he turns and heads away, to where a nice car is parked and waiting for him.

"Been a long time since I rock and rolled…" Jane sings, her fingers moving over strings and frets to produce the sound of her guitar. It's an edgy performance, one delivered with feeling and energy. She lets the activity drain away the demons that conversation raised in her mind, her general coping strategy. The guitar is her best outlet.

"You too," Peter says back, frowning faintly at his brother, but looking no less determined. While he walks off, the younger brother moves back towards the bar and settles down. Least he could do is listen to a few songs before he leaves.

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