Date: April 11, 2010
"Life, Or Something Like It"
It's been a busy day at the safehouse. Mostly because Tracy's been gone for some it, and for reasons unknown, Nathan is the only adult around. Standing on the last step of the landing, he runs a hand impatiently through his hair, "Just share it. Share the doll. It's not a big deal. She plays with it for and hour and then you play with it for an hour."
"It's not fair!!" the little blonde also known as Nathan's corrector stamps her foot angrily, causing the house to shake just a little. "Why does she get to go first?! She shouldn't be your favouritest Mr. Petrelli!!"
"I dun't want-ta share!" the curly haired red head objects loudly as she clutches the doll.
At this moment, Nathan is thankful that he's only parented boys, somehow they seem so much easier. "If you're going to fight, I will take the doll away and you'll both sit in opposite corners of the house." He glances from one girl to the next while raising a hand to his forehead.
"But she started it!" the red-head screams again.
"She wouldn't share!" the blonde retorts.
"Don't make me count," Nathan warns as he glances from one to the other. "One…"
Quiet footsteps precede Tracy appearing near the top of the stairs. Though she has dry clothes on — white pants, grey cardigan; as casual as she gets, and it's not very — she is otherwise soaked, as if she just stepped out of the shower, wet hair pulled over one shoulder. She definitely wasn't upstairs before; she definitely didn't use the front door or the back door to get inside the house.
Such defiance of logic is irrelevant to Tracy, who seems in a grim mood, a distant expression already on her face. She steps back around the corner nonchalantly, half out of sight, leaning into the wall of the upstairs hallway; unless the squabble between the girls becomes somehow dire (a possibility, in a place housing people with abilities), she doesn't really want it to be her problem.
"…Two…" Nathan continues to count, his patience wearing thin. His eyes glance from one girl to the other and back again.
"NO! It's MY doll!" the red-head quips, angrily as she reaches a hand to the other girl… making all of her blonde tresses fall out. The red head smiles wickedly at her handiwork as the former blonde begins to scream blue murder. Amongst the chaos Nathan has lost his count and gapes at the pair, eyes wide.
The blonde stamps her foot again — once more causing the house to shake — the vibrations from her action more than apparent.
It's Tracy's turn to bring a hand to her forehead, closing her eyes to process this new annoyance. Her patience is already thin and she just got back. Stepping into sight once more, she moves down beside Nathan and looks at the children. While that look is stern, it would take a giant leap to call it motherly — no, she just looks like she's going to kill them. She won't, of course, but she's at something of a loss for what to do. "Quit it, you two. Before you hurt someone."
"SHE MADE ME BALD!" the former blonde screams now. This causes ripples of sound waves to vibrate towards the redhead, sending her to her butt. The redhead begins to cry as the blonde smiles with triumph.
Nathan turns to his blonde mentor and shakes his head, "That wasn't nice. And you heard Tracy. No more." He peers from one to the other and plucks the doll from the redhead's hand. "I'm keep this now. And I don't share," he blinks and shakes his head to further his point. "Now. You," he points to the redhead, "Go to your room." Beat. Unfortunately sending them both to their rooms isn't an option because they share a room. "And you," he eyes the now-bald-blonde "go to Tracy's. Stay there until you both apologize to one another."
Sulking, the pair of girls saunter off — one destined for the room they share and the other for the one Nathan and Tracy share.
With a heavy sigh, Nathan then directs his attention to Tracy. In one fluid moment he tosses her a cellphone. Her cellphone. "I think you got a message amongst the chaos." He sighs and rakes a hand through his hair.
Tracy watches the girls go their separate ways and gradually starts to look worried, all things considered. "…God, do you think they're going to kill each other?" Once they're not separated. Sighing, she takes her phone, though she doesn't check her messages right away; instead, she sits down right where she is, upon the stairs. Leaning a forearm into her leg, she turns her phone around and flips to the new message.
REBEL: TRACY. I NEED YOUR HELP.
She stares bleakly at the small screen moment. She hits delete. "I'm sorry I left you in this madness," Tracy says, looking up to Nathan. "Sometimes it's quiet, 'n' then, other times…"
"I…" Nathan glances from one end of the hall where he sent the first girl and then other end where he sent the second. "…have no idea. Never parented girls." Although he's fathered one. The admission is weary at best. "I interrupted the fight and tried to come up with solutions, they just got angrier." Boys are easy, they deck each other and then are over it moments later; girls often hold grudges.
"It's fine. I've dealt with — " worse? Maybe? " — regardless, I think it'll be fine. Probably. In the meantime, let's just keep them away from each other."
"Sounds like a plan to me. I imagine it'd be hard enough without abilities thrown in… these kids, they get upset and…" And fill in the blank with bad things happen. Tracy turns the phone over several times in her hands, a faintly uneasy method of distraction to keep herself busy.
"Yeah. Makes me thankful neither Monty nor Simon are like that. I can't imagine what it would be like to be a teenager with an ability. Can you imagine?" Nathan's eyes narrow. "All of those hormones and unpredictability mixed with a deadly talent…" he shakes his head. "There need to be more schools and such for kids that are special." Beat. "I mean when thins get resolved."
"Any word from Dawson on the press conference? I haven't heard anything yet, although there's this rapid-spreading rumour he and his ladyfriend are engaged," he drums his fingers on the banister before recognizing he's standing on the stairs. With another sigh, he begins to tread down the stairs.
"A school?" Tracy repeats the idea in question, thoughtful. As Nathan moves down the stairs, she eases to her feet, following him down step by step. "No, I haven't." At the bottom of the stairs, she reaches for Nathan's elbow. "Let me handle Dawson. I'll get in touch with him," she declares, coming out of her more thoughtful demeanour and coming back into her confidence. "You know the President's going to be at an anti-terrorism conference this week at the UN building in New York, it might just be the perfect time for what we have planned."
Reaching the bottom of the stairs Nathan nods thoughtfully. "Seems like good timing. And it's a good moment to push the President into addressing the issue." He smirks. "An anti-terrorism conference." And then he frowns. "You don't think…" his eyes narrow and then he shakes his head. "Well, hopefully things can be resolved and the world will be as it should be." But will his place in it be when all is said and done? He has no ideas.
"Ironic," Tracy comments cynically. An anti-terrorism conference in the midst of … everything that's been going on, and with their plan to reveal the truth — it's almost laughable. Mostly, however, it just paints a dismal picture of the state of politics and the world. She lets go after having caught Nathan's arm, and comes to stand beside him at the base of the stairs. "I dunno about how it should be…" she says, looking across at the Senator. "…but we can certainly try to make it better."
"At least this time we can't make it worse," Nathan replies with a smirk. "If we can minimize some collateral damage, we'll have done our job well, I think." He eyes Tracy carefully. "Are you okay?" he finally asks. "Things around here are getting loopier. They kids are getting stir crazy." Not that they can't go outside, but wandering out and about is out of the question, really. "I'm anxious to get my land legs back and getting back to life." He shrugs, "Whatever that means." He doesn't even know.
Tracy looks at Nathan frankly on the simple question of whether she's okay or not. For reasons not unlike what he says afterward — life, whatever that means —her answer is a definite: "No." But apparently she has no more to say on the matter; briskly, she moves down away from the dimly lit staircase toward the sunnier living room, running a hand through her damp hair.
Eyes are narrowed at the response. It's simple and unexplained. He follows after her despite himself; if he'd given someone that answer, he wouldn't want them following up. Particularly that answer to abruptly. With a frown, he too steps into the living room, but he lingers near its entranceway. He just stands there. Unsure of what to do or say. Crossing his arms over his chest and crossing his ankles he leans against the wall of the entrance, watching her intently. Are any of them okay? Will they ever be again?
The safe house is woefully quiet now that the loudest of the kids are in separate rooms and the other adults are out; a necessity, sometimes, to keep the place running. They need supplies.
Tracy is quiet too: she whisks around the living area, setting her phone down after another quick check — 0 messages — and tidying the things that seem to have accumulated on the coffee table. Papers, computer, cups, glasses. The woman is well aware that she's more or less being watched, but seems cheerlessly focused on diligently making things neat above all else at the moment.
Still watching her, Nathan silently considers what to say — if anything. He finally turns his gaze to the window — the sunlight blasting through the glass like an odd kind of promise. "I…" he looks down at the ground, considering everything before looking back up at her. He's watching her again, and still with nothing to say, he steps into the living room and reaches over to squeeze her shoulder before he joins in the tidying, still silent.
Leaning over the coffee table in the beam of late afternoon sunlight, Tracy pauses her neat shuffling together of a few papers. Some are somewhat important notes; others have drawings on them, undoubtedly from the younger refugees, unless an adult has taken up drawing ponies. She looks over at Nathan, half over her shoulder — pale eyes study him for a second or three and, silently, express some measure of gratitude or understanding, however passing, before Tracy sets half the papers down and strides into the kitchen with the glasses, keeping herself busy.