2007-03-17: Let Me Help You, Peter


Peter_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Peter's cooking breakfast, Nathan comes home hungover. The two share information about the Mendez paintings and what they'll do to protect the future and each other.

Date It Happened: March 17, 2007

Let Me Help You, Peter

Kitchen - Petrelli Mansion

It is an ungodly time of day. Ungodly for Nathan as of now, anyway, although to be fair, it's only just nearing 8 AM when he opens the door and heads into the house. He starts for the staircase, then seems to change his mind, veering unsteadily towards the kitchen. In a word, he looks like hell. Wearing, still, his clothes from last night, he is very obviously hung over, with a permanent squint against the brightness of the room and a cautious way of walking, as if trying to prevent movement despite, you know, moving.

The kitchen smells of /food/. Someone is cooking. There's also a coffee smell. But the most distinct smell of all would be carefully cooked hashbrowns, salted and seasoned, being shifted around in a pan. The cook isn't even one of the hired cooks, as they'd been waved off to allow for the youngest of the Petrelli brothers to cook as if this were his own apartment. Peter's even wearing an apron over his clothes, which consist mainly of a plain blue polo shirt and a pair of loose dark sweat pants. A manly apron, to be sure, but still an apron. At the sound of someone approaching, he turns and looks first relieved, then surprised. "Nathan? Were you out all night?"

Nathan gives a vague 'nn' sound as the smell of breakfast food hits him before he really registers that Peter is cooking. And wearing an apron. At the question, Nathan shhhh's him, before ambling towards where the coffee must be. "Quiet. Inside voices, Peter," he says, though doubtful there was anything said louder than a normal conversational tone. "Yes, I was out all night."

Giving the potatoes a final shift, Peter sets them down for a few moments, hoping that he doesn't get distracted and burn them. "This is an inside voice," he continues in normal conversational tone, before actually lowering his voice to accommodate his brother's condition, "What's going on? Did something happen?" Concern and worry starts to push through the smile that he'd been wearing while cooking. Overall, he'd been in a pretty good mood— and now he's wondering what's the matter with his brother and radiating the natural amount of concern.

Nathan is slowly but surely getting himself a coffee, abandoning cream and sugar in favour of having it black as pitch. "A few things most definitely did not happen," he says, his voice far rougher than usual from the drinking, and he glances at his brother. Despite himself, he detects the concern, and shakes his head once. "No, I'm fine, Pete. How was /your/ night."

As soon as he's sure his brother is fine, the rest of what's going on processes and Peter has the good nature to turn around and hide his face. Cause he's smiling a little too much. "It— it was good." Turning his attention back on the breakfast he's cooking, he shifts it around a few times in the pan, and then removes said pan and slides it onto a plate, half on one, half on the other. At this rate he's going to need to let them cool more than he'd intended… "I guess— you heard." At least he's polite enough to look embarrassed when he finally glances back at his brother.

Casting Peter a look that is half-glare, half-amusement, Nathan nurses his coffee. "I think they heard you in Jersey," he says, before lifting his coffee to take a good long sip, almost instantly feeling a little more human. "Ah, well. Good for you. I went out and had a couple of drinks. Nice apron."

With the majority of his breakfast cooked, because there's a question Peter still needs to ask his girlfriend before he can cook anything else… he undoes the apron and begins to fold it up, still looking embarrassed. "I didn't want to get grease on clothes," he says plainly. At least he knows how to cook, unlike some people. "I was trying to be quiet," he adds sheepishly, taking off the pot holder from one hand, and running his hand over his hair. He really was, but— try telling that to his girlfriend. "I probably would have taken her back to my apartment…" But that didn't work out so well. "I'll saw Hiro yesterday. And… I'm not sure mom should be left here alone. Not with Sylar on the loose."

A highly amused chuckle is Nathan's response to Peter's comment about trying to keep quiet. Oh surreal. He's about to take another sip of coffee before that name comes up again, and the cup is lowered. "What do you mean?" he asks, eyebrows furrowing. "What does Gray have to do with Ma?"

"Gray?" Peter asks, confused. There's never been any name he's heard connected to the man who'd tried to kill Claire and had successfully killed him at least once. There's a long pause, and this is where his eyes linger on his brother's hand a little longer than necessary. "Maybe I should explain when you're not hung over…" he says softly, before glancing towards the door, as if checking to make sure none of the maids or cooks are about to come wandering in. Or worse, mom herself. "I'd feel a lot safer if she went to stay somewhere else— since he knows where we live. Maybe you can convince her?"

"Gabriel Gray, Sylar, same guy," Nathan explains. Not being particularly perceptive even when he doesn't have a killer headache, the look to his hand goes ignored. "I was talking to… Detective Damaris, she's… well, she was working on tracking him down. I can talk to our mother, but. Peter. Your girlfriend can wait on the hash browns until you tell me what's going on."

So he has a real name. That's new. Peter puts it to memory, one that's actually fairly easy to remember. Kind of like his own. The Detective's name isn't recognized, but he nods and lets the plates rest. "Just a minute, it's better if I show you." Leaving the apron on the counter, he steps around his brother and moves quickly up the stairs and towards the guest bedroom, where he's quite a bit quieter. When he returns a minute later, he's carrying an envelope, whose contents are put into his hand and held out. They're digital images. "They're paintings by Isaac Mendez. The last few he did— apparently Sylar killed him." Something he hadn't known until someone informed him. "One of them…" Pushing through the first few, he puts one on top, specifically one with an older woman with dark hair, who may or may not be their mother, with a line of blood drawn across her forehead.

Nathan stares down at the photo he's been given, coffee set aside as he grips the images. He says nothing, and slowly, he fans them out a little, looking at the others. One of a tornado gets a long look, as well, before they're reshuffled, and it's back to the dark-haired woman. You know, Nathan really has too many dark-haired women in his life currently to feel very good about this. He looks grim as he hands the photos back. "I'll talk to Ma, see what she wants to do." He hesitates, thinking for a moment. "I'm not sure if heading out of town will help, she just needs to be somewhere with decent security." As opposed to the losers keeping an eye on the Petrelli estate.

"Hiro thinks it might be mom, but I'm— not quite so sure. He only tries to cut someone like this if he thinks that…" They have an ability. That's not finished, because Peter's far too worried. Even a night of sex doesn't get rid of this kind of worry. "There's really no way normal security can stop him. If he's as powerful as he was at Kirby Plaza a few months ago…" There's a thought that Peter's having— and it's a very bad one. "The only place I can think of that's built to fight off Sylar… is where I was being held. The Company."

That suggestion doesn't quite get a 'crazy talk!' reaction, just an arch look, as Nathan picks up his coffee once more. "You know, somehow I don't think they're going to welcome us with open arms if we go to them for any kind of help," he says, just a little condescending.

"Probably not," Peter says, glancing away from his brother, suddenly self conscious for even suggesting it. "But maybe we could learn from them. Hiro— made enough friends that had abilities that we could… get a place where we're all staying." Running a hand over his forehead, he tries his best to keep explaining, "Where we can protect each other, watch each other's backs. Elle— she might know something about training, or…" This doesn't sound too childly idealistic, does it?

"Well," Nathan says, tone becoming a little more patient, if only for Peter's sake. "Elle did manage to throw him out the window, like you said. With lightning." Perhaps there's something to that, and Nathan brings a hand up to rub the bridge of his nose, wincing. "The Company makes good use of people with… with these abilities. I don't see why we can't."

"Just— to protect each other. Not try and control them, or tell them what to do. Not like them. But— we need to do something about this," Peter says, pointing at the paintings. "A lot of these show Sylar, or something that he might do, and the Tornado at the end. Last time— with the bomb. It felt like all these people were helping us, and they were all there at the end. I can't help but think things might have gone better if we'd all… worked together earlier?" There's a confused look on his face, as if he's really not sure.

"Easier said than done," Nathan says, sparing a glance down at the photos before looking at his brother. "I understand the sentiment, Pete, but I think we should be prepared for the idea that not everyone will be willing to jump for the chance to join the X-Men, you know? Perhaps it's better for most to go into hiding rather than put themselves at risk. But you know I want to keep my family safe as much as you do."

"We're all in danger, Nathan. How can we— any of us— hide from something like that?" Peter says, pointing towards the paintings again. There's so much they don't really know, but standing by and hiding and doing nothing… "I'm not hiding. They already risked their lives to break me out of that place, and I'm not going into hiding." There's a determination forming along his jaw, around his eyes. It's the same look of someone determined to fly, even if it means jumping off a fifteen story building. "I want mom safe, but I can't— how are we supposed to ensure their safety if all we're willing to protect is what's ours?"

"We look after our interests," Nathan says, with a sort of sad, rueful smile. "They look after theirs. I dunno how to stop a tornado other than getting the hell out of the way and hoping the people I care about have the sense to do the same." He places a hand on Peter's shoulder, and he almost looks sorry for his younger brother. "You have a plan to keep Ma safe? Then tell me what you need and I'll do what I can. I just don't want you thinking you have to be some kind of hero when all you have to be is safe."

Even as the hand touches his shoulder, Peter's shaking his head, reaching up and finally pushing the arm off and turning away towards the food he'd cooked, which is definitely on the way to getting cold. He could always reheat it before he takes it up stairs, but either way, he's not pleased by what he's hearing from his brother. "You saved the world, Nathan. You saved me— stopped me from killing millions of people." His voice is definitely tight, tense and emotional. He won't shrug off placing of hands on his shoulders, but he's definitely busying himself with simple things, like getting silverwear out. "I don't have a plan yet. I just— I have to do something to stop this. I owe it to you."

Nathan sighs, sliding his hands into his pockets as he watches his brother busy himself. "The only thing you owe me," he says, softly, "is not putting your neck on the line when you don't need to. Then maybe I don't have to come get you out of trouble every time." He probably should have partook in more coffee, as that's worded a little harsher than intended, but he stands by it, watching Peter carefully.

Placing the silverwear on the tray that the two plates sit on, Peter adds a set of folded napkins, the nice kind, and then turns to face his brother again. Expression still extremely serious, his jaw tightens before his gaze shifts lower, avoiding direct eye-contact, "I'll be fine. I know you'll come through for me, you always have— but maybe it's time I figure out how to deal with things on my own." It doesn't sound like he wants to do things this way, but… "You almost died last time. And I don't know how you got healed…" No one's told him yet. "… but maybe you should worry more about mom— and your wife and kids." He nods towards his brother's hand, trying to indicate the lack of a wedding ring there.

Peter gets a puzzled expression, before Nathan follows that glance, looking down at where his ring should be. An impatient sigh escapes him, and he clenches a fist. "I left it somewhere," he says, clearly annoyed at himself. "Never mind that." Then, he casts Peter a cautious look, and for a moment, just looks very tired. "You know, we've averted the future before. I sure hope it can be done again. For more reasons than you know. Let me help you, Peter." Better Nathan than anyone else, right?

There's a quiet pause, where Peter just breaths a few times as he looks up at the slight distance of height between him and his brother. Then he steps forward, and suddenly Nathan will find himself wrapped in a tight hug, this time with his eyes closing. "Of course I'll let you help me," he whispers hoarsely, staying in place where he is. "I just— I don't know how yet. But I'm not going to hide. I'm going to try to stop this— if you're going to help me— that's what you'll be helping me with." Not exactly what his brother might have wanted, especially since he has no idea what to do, how to do it, even what half the things in this painting /mean/… but he's not going to hide, that's for sure.

Nathan lets out a sigh, and hugs Peter back. At least from this position, Peter can't see the look of 'jesus god' on his brother's face, before that expression smooths out and Nathan carefully tugs him back, hands on his shoulders. "Okay," he agrees, with a strained smile. He's trying! "We'll think of something. Save the world again."

"Right— shouldn't be too difficult. What's a tornado compared to a nuclear bomb?" Peter says, reaching up to rub at his face as the contact breaks between them, trying to avoid any sign that there were tears. No sign at all. "At least this time I might be able to help stop it, instead of becoming it." Or at least he's going to hope history doesn't repeat itself there. It's not a very good joke, considering.

Nathan squeezes Peter's shoulders once before dropping his hands again. "Do you even have a place to start?" he has to ask, almost tentatively trying to feel out what exactly he just signed up for. "Have any idea what's gonna cause a tornado?" A pause. "You know. Besides it just happening naturally, in which case I think our options are a little limited."

"Not yet," Peter says truthfully, taking back the pictures and dropping them into the folder. "Hiro's in a few of them— fighting. Maybe that's a clue. And there's that vial. Elena seems to think it's a virus. That might be separate. There's also Sylar. Maybe if we stop Sylar, and whoever he's with, the woman in those pictures— maybe none of it will happen. Maybe all of these— Hiro's fights, Sylar's victims, the virus… Maybe it's all connected and causes the tornado. I don't know. There's got to be a clue somewhere. And we'll find it." How— he has no clue. But he's not about to give up hope.

Nathan listens, attentive, expression unreadable. After a moment, he nods. "Maybe stopping Gray is the first step," is his suggestion. "Sounds like a good place to start to me, personally. I don't want him ever setting foot in this house again." Perhaps that hits closer to home, as it were, close enough for Nathan to throw Peter a bone in this.

"I'll talk to Elle about it," Peter says, turning back to his plates and lifting them up. It's the last thing he wants to do… but he takes one over to the microwave and places it inside, and hits the half a minute button. "She's definitely a blunt instrument, and she knows how to use her ability to take someone out. Not sure how we'll track him down— but at least we know what he's after. Claire. Noah might be able to keep an eye on her, but I'd feel safer of we had someone by her hotel. That's where I think we can bring the people Hiro found in. Or Elle and I could stay there instead, try to get a room close to hers." That would spare his brother having to listen in. "If you think you could keep mom safe, or convince her to go somewhere that Sylar doesn't already know."

Nathan considers this for the time it takes to finish off his coffee, and he moves to place the mug in the dish washer. "I'll take care of Ma," he agrees, then. "Focus on making sure he doesn't get to Claire. The detective knows she's who he's after, and I don't wanna know what happens when he gets her."

Taking out one plate, Peter switches it out for the other and hits the same button, while nodding. "I have Claire's number," he adds after a moment, looking up towards his brother. "It's her personal cellphone. You should call her sometime. Let her know you're okay. I already told her— but she might want to hear it from you." BEEP BEEP. Yes, this would be a meddling brother removing reheated breakfast from the microwave and placing them both on the tray. "And you should drink some water along with the coffee."

"Thank you, Nurse Petrelli," Nathan says with a small smirk, although yes, he goes to fill a glass with water. "I'll call Claire, right after I go— and do something." Stupid ring. For a moment, he looks pensive, then downs the water. "Go, have fun with breakfast. I'll see you later."

"See you later," said nurse responds with an incline in his brother's direction. They've both got a lot to do. Peter's going to try his best to save the world, singlehandedly if he has to, and Nathan's going to try to help him so his brother doesn't get himself killed— permanently. It never ends in the Petrelli House.

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