2007-05-16: Misery Loves Company


Nathan_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif

Summary: By chance, Nathan and Cass meet at a bar. They start on the floor. It can only go uphill from there.

Date It Happened: 16th of May, 2007

Misery Loves Company

Fly By Night Cocktail Bar, then later, Cass's Apartment

It's getting later at the Fly by Night and once again, Cass is using this expensive bar as a hiding place so that she won't run into Lachlan before she feels ready to see him. This isn't quite an epic battle is their last fight was, but she has to think things through and in order to do that, she figures some alcohol may be a good way to make it through. While earlier in the evening she was with friends from college, they've all departed and now she's left by herself at the bar, nursing a gin and tonic and trying not to brood. Because they had no idea what she's been going through the last few months and they can't ever know. Feeling silly in her dressed up skirt and top, she self-consciously pulls her hair back and stares at the ice in her glass.

It's probably an amazingly bad idea to rock up to this particular place right now. However, it's late enough for this place to have turned into a bar rather than a social ring, although how much Nathan took this into consideration is hard to tell. He's already well on his way, and looks about as morose as at least one other person in this place. And like her, he's alone, something a little odd considering the setting. He leans heavily on the bartop, approached by a wary employee. "Evening, Mr. Petrelli," the bartend greets, putting on a smile. "What can I get you?"

He's been drinking straight whiskey all night, so Nathan reconsiders when he goes to order the same. "CC and a coke," he finally says. It's a girly drink (in his book) but he's been drinking manly-like all night, he's allowed. He tosses a couple of bank notes onto the counter and pulls his drink closer when it's served up. And groans as his head spins just a bit without even /sipping/ it.

The name 'Petrelli' jars Cass out of her spiral of thoughts and gin. When she turns to look up and down the bar, she doesn't see Peter. Though her eyes glide over the politician, she doesn't give him more than a cursory glance. Never having met Nathan, she can't identify him as someone related to her friend. However, he's the one that replies to the question and she can't help but stare at him. Why is /he/ answering to the name Petrelli? And why does he look so familiar? In her liquor addled mind, this is something that doesn't equate. She should realize she's staring, but she doesn't. Instead, she just concentrates /really hard/. Then, it hits her.

"Smarmy smile!" Whups, that shouldn't have been said out-loud. He's Peter's brother, the politician. And now she's turning a bright shade of pink and hoping that he didn't hear her. He doesn't really look like he's in a good mood either, so she might as well just say hello. "Excuse me…" she starts, cautious. "Are you Nathan Petrelli?"

Oh he heard that. The glass that was on its journey up to be sipped from is paused, as he looks over at the woman just as she makes her introductions. His smile is not smarmy, it— well maybe it is. But it /works/. "Yeah," he answers her, shortly, very much telling her through tone and body language that he's really not here to socialise or pick up anyone or listen to your problems or whatever else it is strangers do in bars— before he looks back at her with a slight squint. "Do I know you?" Because she looks very, very vaguely familiar, and every time that happens, it's usually someone important.

Whups? Cass keeps the smile in place and tries to forget about the fact that she just called Peter's brother smarmy. Or at least his smile. "Um, sort of. Not really. You're Peter's brother, right?" It doesn't take a psychologist to read his body language, but she at least has to explain herself before he tells his brother about this crazed drunk he met in a bar who called him a smarmy smile guy. "I'm…" how do explain who she is to him? "…his new boss. Cass Aldric. I own Enlightenment Books?" It's possible that he's heard of it, but who knows? "Anyway, he's a friend of mine. And…I just thought I'd say hi. So, hi. Enjoy your drink. Sorry to interrupt." She doesn't want to interrupt that whole bad mood thing he's got going on, as she's wallowing in it herself.

Huh, not the answer he was expecting. Nathan could have sworn he's walked past this store before, but he didn't match her face with this, but the name is definitely familiar, as is her explanation. "Peter said he was working at a bookstore," he mentions, mostly a mutter as if to remind himself of this. "A year or whatever at law school, switching to pre-med to be a nurse lookin' after dead people, now he works in retail." Naturally. However, Nathan moves his foot to nudge the stool next to him out from the bar a little, an invitation to join him.

Well, misery loves company, right? Cass can see the truth in that. Picking up her mostly empty drink, she elegantly glides off her stool and slips into the one that Nathan has kicked out for her to join. At least, in a perfect world, that would be the case. However, this is Cass. Cass a few drinks in. So, when she tries to stand up and walk the few steps over to join Peter's brother, she foot catches onto her recently vacated seat and she goes pitching forward right into Nathan with a quite unladylike yelp.

Nathan suavely catches Cass and sets her on her feet, looking concerned, and asking if she's alright before chivalrously helping her back onto her seat.

/In a perfect world/.

Nathan barely even notices Cass's slip until she's plowing straight into him, which gives him enough time to do exactly nothing. The stool he's sitting on and had been trusting to stay upright now teeters precariously, and there's a moment of limbo where this could be saved or end /very very badly/. The former is if he steadies himself on the bar. The latter is if he steadies himself on Cass. He's very much a man of bad decisions and, right now, poor reflexes, so they both, instead, go crashing to the ground when the chair slips out from under him on it's inadequately spindly legs. Nathan and Cass, meet floor! At least it is clean.

Hello floor! Cass squeaks more when Nathan goes flying to the floor with her and though she's managed to land right on top of the former Senator, she just lays there for a moment. Ow. Even with the cushy landing - sorry Nathan - it still hurt. "Ow. Geez." And that's when she realizes what just happened. Whups! "Oh! Oh wow! I'm so sorry!" Trying to extract herself from the tangle they've found themselves, it's hard. She's not about to just push herself up by putting her hands on his chest, so she goes for the tried and true of just rolling so that she's on the floor too. Suddenly, this is funny and, still on the floor, she starts to giggle. "I…I didn't…hurt you did I?" Only in her world could she manage to nearly kill a politician completely without meaning to.

Ow. Ow. He'd probably feel it more if he wasn't so drunk. Nathan grunts in discomfort as Cass struggles to get off him, because there are elbows and limbs and you know, delicate areas, but she figures out the logical thing before Nathan can really do much other than blink up at the ceiling and wonder if he smacked his head against the floor or if he was just that dizzy before. "No," he answers, and he gets to his elbows. He's too old for this! Now there's a depressing thought. He looks over at Cass, and sees her giggling, and— god help him, he actually grins. Wearily, and with a sense of 'I'm going insane', but it's a smile, and an amused chuckle is actually drawn from him, before he works on standing up. "Not quite how I intended that to go," he says, gripping the edge of the bar and pulling himself up.

At this point in her alcohol binge, Cass is at the 'everything is funny' stage. Really, she tries to stop because if Nathan really /is/ hurt than this is not helping the situation in the least. However, he grins back at her so that gives her leave to think this is as funny as, well, as it would be to a drunk. "Good. Man. I would /hate/ to have to tell Peter I drunkenly broke his brother." Another giggle and then she starts to pick herself up off the floor. "No, me neither. We can never tell anyone this is how we met otherwise we'll never live it down. In our version, I was perfectly poised. Got that?"

"Agreed." Nathan even rights the stool, glancing towards the bartender who /is just staring at them/ before Nathan turns back to Cass, after picking up his drink - the only thing that didn't get tackled to the ground in some way. "Let's maybe grab a booth, you really have to /try/ to knock those down," he says, dryly, then tosses an instruction to the bartender to refill Cass's drink. Apparently, his bad mood has subsided, temporarily. Either it wasn't all that bad, or he is just that drunk. And needs the company. He makes his cautious way towards the leather couches.

The bartender is given a grin once Cass finally picks herself up off the floor. The glass that she was holding is all over the floor, but at least it wasn't very full and the glass itself isn't broken. Sheepishly, she puts it down on the bar and picks up her fresh one and /very carefully/ follows Nathan to a booth. Her eyes dart from her drink - so she doesn't spill it - to the floor - so she doesn't trip on it - to Nathan - so she can figure out where she's going. It's complicated, but she does manage to drop onto one of the leather couches without maiming anyone else. "Phew." No more damage! "Really, I'm sorry about that. This things aren't very good for my balance."

Now this is better. Stools are stupid. Nathan sets his drink down, though hovers a protective hand over it in case Cass, I dunno, knocks it down or something. "I wasn't much better," Nathan points out, though nods at the apology, picking up his drink once more. "I didn't steal you away from meeting someone, did I?" Because not everyone drinks alone when they're unhappy, right? It's been a /long time/ since Nathan has had a drink in celebration. Even when they popped bottles of champagne back at his headquarters when he won the election, every glass felt like he was drinking to dull some kind of ache. How depressing.

That's not something to be put pass Cass. She can spill or trip over just about anything. And has! "Nope. I was here with some friends earlier. But they kind of just came by for a drink and then went off to their other plans. Last minute sort of thing." So, she's just here drinking alone and unhappy. "How about you?" Who knows who he may be here to meet? It's a little late for that, but then again, she was alone here, too. It's not been that long since she's had a drink in celebration, but it seems like lately she's only out to avoid problems with a drink.

Nathan shakes his head - slowly, carefully - now not really looking at the woman. She's a stranger, and he shouldn't— well actually. A stranger might be a good idea. Certainly, Nathan is /tired/ of being around people who know him well, because he keeps disappointing them, damnit. "Nah, just came by to…" He gestures a little with his glass, giving Cass a tense smile. "Drink and be merry."

For most of her career in New York, Cass has been talking to strangers. For some reasons strangers feel the desire to tell her some of their deepest secrets because she owns a store and they need help. So, talking to Nathan about her problems and him telling them to her is not exactly out of the realm of normality for her. The tense smile isn't really fooling her, but she'll play along for now. Raising her glass, she leans over so that she can try to clink his with hers. "Well, then. Cheers. Let's start with the being merry!"

Caaareful. Caaaaareful. *clink*! Okay, glass-to-glass contact achieved. They haven't lost complete control over their small motor-functions. Cheers complete, Nathan downs half his drink, and winces… not at the alcoholic burn, but the sweetness of the coke. Not as bad as shnapps, though, so he knocks back another sip. "That may take some work," Nathan answers. He looks at her. Okay, it's inevitable. Nathan, for all his social graces and careful politics, isn't actually good at dancing around the heart off the matter. He gets impatient. So he taps his hand on the side of the table, prompting. "How 'bout you can go first."

Aha! Cheers accomplished! Raising her glass again, Cass takes a long swig before lowering her glass. It's not exactly half the drink, like Nathan achieved, but it's a bit more than her usual drinking amount. "You too?" The bookstore owner raises an eyebrow sighs. As for dancing around the matter, she's had quite enough of that lately. Taking the subject full on is quite alright by her. "I guess two people can't drink alone without having a reason to, huh?" She thinks this over. While she's alright with talking to strangers, talking to Peter's brother about what Lachlan was planning, what spooked her so bad is a little taboo. But, she can always try to just omit certain details. "Oh, you know, relationship issues. The guy I'm seeing turned out to be different than I thought he was. And it just kind of…scared me. What he's capable of." Vague, sure, but still sharing. Another drink. "I mean. Who thinks the the man they're in love with could actually plot to /kill/ someone? And be more than half serious?" A little less vague, but okay, alcohol lessens inhibitions. More alcohol. "So, I guess it's your turn."

…unfair. Nathan let her go first just to spare her the fact that she was drinking with someone in a worse situation than she is - and no one likes to have their misery outclassed right away - but damnit, that's actually pretty good. He blinks at her, looks down at his drink, back at her. "People can surprise you," he offers. "Not always— in good ways." Right, his turn. Clinkyclink - the sound of ice in his glass as he twirls the liquid inside it absently. He can't be blunt honest - he's a public figure, she probably knows exactly who he is, she could sell this story away as soon as he steps up for senatorial candidacy. So he too, keeps it vague. "Marriage problems, with my wife." (NO REALLY? Who else do you have marriage problems, seriously?) "Didn't turn out to be everything she was hoping for either, so I'm not— I don't know if it's a fixable situation. No plans to kill anything, though."

And Cass wasn't even trying to top any story. Obviously, as she went first. This is what's weighing on her mind at the moment. There are a ton of other things she could say that would earn just as much of a sob story as that one. "They can," she gives a bit of a lopsided smile to Nathan. And, of course, Nathan doesn't know Cass so he couldn't know that she would never do anything like that to him. Anything said to her in confidence would stay that way. Hearing about his marital problems, she frowns and leans forward a bit, giving him a sympathetic glance. "I'm sorry. I mean, killing things is obviously not a right answer, otherwise I wouldn't be here with a mostly empty gin and tonic." Trying to make light of the situation. She can't help it. It's what she does. "Marriage is…tricky. Not that I would know or anything, but they don't seem to tell anyone that enough."

"It has its ups and downs," Nathan agrees, very dryly at this point. Because wow, what ups and downs. Wait, mostly empty? He looks down at his drink, which only has a thin layer of liquid settled at the bottom. This is taken care of before Nathan gestures for an employee to rock on up. They know him. He always tips well. "The same. Only no coke." So basically whisky with some ice. He waits for Cass to place an order, should she wish to, before speaking up again as the employee wanders away. "This was my fault, anyway, that's been made clear. Least you get to be the innocent victim."

Putting in an order for another gin and tonic, Cass smiles at the attentive waiter. Man, she's got to drink with senators more often. Or, former senators. Or maybe just rich people. "Since relationships without walking down the aisle are up and down, I can only imagine what it's like after the 'I do' thing." More to drink is always the best choice in this situation. "Your fault, huh? What'd you do, cheat? Lie? Father a love child with some stripper somewhere?" These are, obviously a joke and she says it with that kind of tone. She can't imagine Peter's brother doing anything like that. Because Peter is such an upstanding citizen that that means Nathan should be, too. Plus, he was elected to be a senator! "Victim, maybe. Innocent, less so. It's all too complicated."

Nathan is drinking his whisky when Cass asks him what he did. Now, he no longer is, having choked on that sip in reaction and is bent to the side, coughing, because hard liquor is the worst thing to choke on and /it burns/. /As does the truth/. /Woe/. He holds up a 'one moment' finger as he recovers, sitting up straight again and smoothing out his shirt. Don't say it, don't— "All of the above." Damn. "Ish," he qualifies. He shakes his head. "Disregard that, I… it's complicated."

Concerned, Cass gets up to see if she needs to give him a hit on the back in order to dislodge something like an ice cube or the like. Who knows. He looks like he's choking. And, then, when he turns out to be fine, she sits back down again on his couch. Might as well since she's there and they're talking. His answer makes her eyes go wide and she just /blinks/ at him. "Wow. /Seriously/?" Pause, drink of her gin and tonic. "That takes some work." Okay, that's not exactly the best way to word that and she grins sheepishly at him. "Oh, disregarded. Okay." Frown. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'm still with the guy who cheated on me. He didn't father any kids - as far as I know! - but maybe you could still work it out." Whups, wait, wasn't there something about not talking about that? "I mean, if we were talking about a subject I totally disregarded before. That's what I would say. Yeah." Time to take another long drink. That will help things

Yeah, burning liquor going down the wrong pipe just is not fun. But no back hitting necessary. Nathan shifts over a fraction to give her sufficient sitting down room, listening, before turning his head to look at her. "You fail at disregarding," he informs her, rather seriously, before looking back at his drink. "Well say if he did." Nathan fails at disregarding too. "If this guy you're with just keeps… disappointing you and more lies come out and you would rather just…" He had a way to finish that sentence. Maybe it's at the bottom of his glass. Nathan takes a careful mouthful of his drink, but no, still no end to that sentence, so he starts a new one. "I mean. Is there still room for that?" Then, he adds, "Let's just pretend I didn't say anything /after/."

The sheepish smile breaks out into more of an impish grin. "I do." Cass laughs and swirls around the remaining liquid in her glass. "Oh God. Lachlan with kids is the scariest thing I've ever thought of," she laughs. "It's not that he /disappoints/ me. He just…keeps having these sides of him that I don't expect. Not all of them good." Sighing, she shrugs. "I don't know what I'd rather." There's a pause as she looks at her own swirling liquid. "Man, we both definitely fail at disregarding. And at drinking merrily. There's got to be something happy we can talk about. Puppies and rainbows. Something like that." Pause, laugh. "So, how 'bout them Mets?" Because when you have nothing else to talk about, you talk about sports!

Nathan snorts softly. "Better than the Yankees, they don't have murders and suicides to deal with at /their/ games." And partake! He breathes out a sigh as the alcohol creates a base warmth in his chest, stomach. "Sorry. Puppies, rainbows." But see, you're talking to Nathan now, not Peter. "You gonna leave him?" he has to ask. Because if Cass doesn't leave this Lachlan guy, HEIDI WON'T LEAVE NATHAN!

"Well, there we go." Even if the topic is very briefly touched upon, at least it /was/ talked about. "Sometimes I think that's what the Mets need in order to get their season going. Actually, I have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't know baseball from football." And she doesn't know football from anything else. The question about Lachlan is met with silence for a moment. "No. He's a good guy he's just…I don't know. He loves me. And he's a good cook. That's hard to pass up, you know?" But that can't be taken for whatever Heidi may do!

Nathan actually makes a small, pained sound, there. "I don't cook," he mutters. /Well fuck/. He takes a long sip of that Canadian Club. "Football and baseball are very different," he says, now needing the subject changed, pronto. Because this is confusing. "Different… rules and a whole other— you were joking." Keep up, Petrelli. "Well. Baseball is better," he sums up.

The pained sound that Nathan makes causes Cass to give him such a very sympathetic look. "Yeah, but you were elected to Congress. You can probably get someone to cook /for/ you." Which is just as good. In the classic 'drunk buddy' move, she attempts to put a hand on Nathan's shoulder. "Just talk to her. You'll manage." Then, she laughs. "Yes. I was. But that's okay."

Somehow the two missed the last call completely and it's now just call time. The lights of the bar flip on, the music cuts off and it looks like it's time to go anywhere but here. Blinking at the sudden flash of light, the book keep rubs a hand against her eyes. "Ow. Geez. They could at least use a dimmer. Looks like bar time is over." Straightening, she looks over at Nathan. "Thanks for the company, Mr. Petrelli. And for the drink." A pause as she looks him over. "You going to be okay?"

Oh. Crap. This bar closes? Unfair. Nathan winces at the bright lights, grunts unhappily, and slides back the rest of his drink, setting the empty glass on the table once he's done. Visible shudder goes here. You don't down whisky like that without paying for it. Awkwardly, he stands up, and assuming Cass is in the same blurry place he is, he offers her a hand up. Her question receives that same tense smile from before - nothing is ever going to be okay ever again! Because he can't cook and Heidi hates him. And such. "I… well. I need to go find myself a good hotel room, I suppose," he says, glancing at his wristwatch. "Or 'nother bar that doesn't end." Wait, there's laws about that, isn't there? Stupid laws.

When Nathan offers her a hand, Cass holds up a finger in her own 'please wait a moment' gesture. Because she still has drink left! And she can't just leave it. Downing it, she rests the empty glass on a nearby table and /then/ accepts the hand to help her up. After what she's shown she can do on her own, she certainly should use it. Giving Nathan a skeptical look, she frowns. "Naaah. You're Peter's brother. You can sleep on my couch for the night. As long as you don't mind dogs." Because family of Peter's is friends of hers. "Plus, I think I've got a bottle of scotch lying about." Lachlan's scotch. But he won't mind if she has some, right? "All the bars around here close at the same time. I promise, I won't take advantage of you in your drunken state."

He can afford a hotel. Hell, even at this hour, he could probably score a good one. But then he'd be alone in the hotel, and. Alone isn't a good idea. It just is not. He's liable to have a /breakdown/ if he's not around people keeping him in line simply by existing. Wait, scotch? "Sure, I can get us a car," Nathan says. Easily sold. At that last comment, he almost smiles. Almost. "Well, that's good," he says. "Been told I'm easy." And we are walking to the exit!

"Car?" Cass' ears perk that that. Taking the subway home at this hour of night is such a pain. This is just showing that good actions are rewarded! Now she has a car to ride home in. "Excellent. Then let's hoof it on home." Though Nathan almost smiles, she actually does. Because it's hard to keep her from doing so. "But expensive, right? That's always the catch." Already, she's not so steadily walking for the door.

Nathan is doing his own fair share of zigzagging, or else he would help Cass out. Well, he tries, actually, placing a hand on her back as they walk, other hand digging around in his pocket for his cellphone, which is flipped open. "Absolutely, I have standards," he counters, absently, and frowns at the little screen on his phone. Calls from Peter. None from Heidi. He clears his throat, hits speed dial for his usual car-drivey-service. Sleek-black-cars R'Us, or something.

"As it should be," Cass replies wryly. When the sleek-black-car pulls up, the book store owner gives her address and off the drive to Brooklyn. It's not a very long drive, and at this time of night the traffic is not severe at all. Up the stairs to the third floor, unlock the door and poof! They are now in Cass' apartment. It's obvious she wasn't expecting company. It's not a mess, but there are a couple of dishes kept out and medical texts laid open from where she left them. Bonnie the dog comes happily loping up to greet Cass and her guest, who she sniffs curiously. "Home sweet home. Take a seat. I'll find that scotch."

Scotchy scotch scotch. Nathan doesn't seem particularly judgmental of Cass's place, not really taking the time to inspect it, moving towards that seat as offered and trying to avoid the dog. He's not a dog person, let's just say it. Or a cat person. Probably not a goldfish person. Or a potplant person. He's a /scotch/ person, though. He doesn't shed his jacket, just sits down on that couch as Cass goes about finding some alcohol. This… this feels familiar. He makes sure his phone is turned off again, but he keeps that hand in his pocket when he goes to put the cell back, for now.

As it's her apartment and she basically knows where everything is, Cass doesn't take long to find that bottle of Scotch and from there two glasses. They don't match, but they're not standing on ceremony here. Bonnie follows Nathan around, even if he doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with her. He's someone she doesn't know, and therefore must be /watched/. "Tadaa!" Cass holds the bottle up as a prized trophy and then makes for the couch. Putting down the two glasses, she pours a liberal amount into both of them. "So, it's not exactly a fancy cocktail bar, but at least it still has some good liquor." She grins. "It's a place to crash, though!"

"All I can ask for," Nathan agrees with an almost soft smile, which looks very different from either the smarmy kind by which Cass identified him, or the usual stoic seriousness by which he goes by. He eyes the dog, then… reaches down to pet her head. Pat pat. Just like that. He picks up his scotch once the glass is filled, lifts it up to do another /very careful/ cheers clink with Cass. "Thanks…" Oh. Oh /shit/. Nathan closes his eyes, forces himself to ask: "'Cass', right?"

Sinking onto the very same couch she was aiming for, Cass clinks glasses with Nathan again. "Cheers." The patting of Bonnie is met with a grin. "That's Bonnie. Don't worry, she's really friendly. I've spoiled her way too much." Bonnie, for her part, takes the pats with a lolling dog grin and then paces in a circle and curls up. He gave pats and therefore is allowed to stay. She can go back to sleep. And Nathan not remembering her name - or needing a refresher of it - is met with a laugh. "Yeah. Cass. And you're Nathan." She has more of a head start, though, since she's talk to Peter about him and he has obviously not talked to Nathan about her. "Might as well be on first name basis after hearing each other's dirty laundry."

"You've barely heard the half of it," Nathan says, with a shake of his head. "Which. Is probably a good thing." For now, he takes a good long sip of that scotch. After whiskey burning away most of his sense of taste, he can appreciate the flavour underneath the sharper taste of alcohol, the latter doing little to bother him. "This is good. Reminds me of when I used to care about what I drank." Hey, after being /that guy/ drinking straight whisky in a fancy cocktail bar, there's no beating around the bush when it comes to /that/ fact.

As for Cass, well, she's never been that big of a scotch drinker. Whenever Lachlan drinks it, she's normally having wine. Or vodka. Or something less…brutal. And her face shows that right off the bat. Of course, it happens right after Nathan tells her it's a good idea that she doesn't know the half of his dirty laundry. And she quickly tries to bring her expression into something more acceptable for that sort of statement. "Oh. Well. I'm sure a few more of these and we'll be telling each other about our first times or whatever it is you do when there's not chance you'll remember what happened the night before." She laughs and shrugs, glancing at the scotch label, as if that would help her decide how good it is. "I honestly can't tell if it's good or not. It's Lachlan's. I'm more for the girly drinks," she confesses. No shame in that as she's a girl and all. Careful not to spill her drink, she falls back against the couch with a bit of a laugh.

Nathan gives a faint smirk at the mention of girly drinks. "I started off the night with girly drinks. Pete's got horrible taste. We got whisky before I had to lower myself to peach shnapps, but, it was a close call." A mouthful of scotch is slid back, and the world spins just that little bit more. "/You/ can talk about first times. Mine was too long ago to remember." …depressing. More scotch is sipped.

After all the movement, sitting down is nice. Cass' slouch against the back of the couch is just as much because she really shouldn't be sitting upright all that much more as it is for comfort. "Eeew. Peach snapps? You're right. Peter's got /horrible/ taste in drinks." Even /she/ isn't girly enough for that. "I'd only be drinking that if I was very hard pressed for any other sort of alcohol." And she can't ever think of herself as being that in need of a drink. Grinning, she shrugs. "That's 'cause you're old." Teasing? Yes. They're drinking in her apartment, she's allowed. "Don't worry, I won't hold it against you."

Cass gets a glare for that one. A half-hearted, angled glare, but a glare all the same! "Yeah, yeah," he mutters. "40 is the new 50, apparently. But my wife is 39, she doesn't have long until she's…" She's… something. He's forgotten, because he's suddenly /slammed/ with wall of morose. It leaves him breathless, but see. /This is why he's not alone/. Because he can't let it get to him when there's someone there to witness it. It has him finishing off that glass of scotch, all the same.

The glare is met with an innocent smile. Cass only meant it as a joke and she's going to keep it like that. So what if he's 40? "Interesting. I, luckily, have a while to go until I have to test that theory." Ribbing a bit more? Why, yes! However, his trail off stops Cass' drink halfway there. She swallows and lowers the glass from her mouth, the grinning and good humor switched off quickly. Frowning, she watches Nathan and then picks up the Scotch bottle, holding it out to see if he would like another refill. Drink in the face of sadness, right? That's what they're doing here after all.

Misery. Nathan wordlessly holds out his emptied glass, trying to, you know, seem dignified despite the fact he's crashing at a relative stranger's place because he's drunk and that's how bad his marriage is at the moment. It takes a lot of work, and probably fails save for the fact he's at least keeping it all together. "Be glad you got a while to go," he says, with a flicker of a bitter smirk. "Heidi and I, we sort of— had out future paved out for us, young. Even if it was slow, didn't get married years later. You'd think that'd be enough time to figure it out, right?"

It's hard to not see Nathan's pain. Because, well, it's right out there for anyone to see. And he's crashing at /her/ apartment instead of being able to go home. Setting the Scotch back down on the coffee table, she doesn't move, but she outstretches a hand to put on Nathan's cheek. It's not done in any sort of sexual manner, but in a way to comfort. It's the same as the gesture she had for Peter during his Elle trials and for Elena earlier in the day. Sometimes contact is the only way to get through to someone. Words don't always do it. "Hey. Hey, it'll be okay. If you guys have been married this long, you'll work it out. That's something you work at to fix, not something you simply throw away." It's in her nature. She can't try to /not/ reassure him somehow.

And hey, it works. Nathan isn't completely aware of personal space either, and that's just when he's sober. Sometimes it /is/ the only way to communicate. His eyes shut briefly at the touch, hand comes up to grip hers, just for a moment, before falling away again. They don't /know each other/, but for right now, Cass is all Nathan has. He could go back to Peter's apartment, but he doesn't have the will to man up to that tough-love style advice from his little brother, not right now. Going home is— out of the question. Other friends expect more from him. Mara… is not someone he expects to see ever again. Chaos theory, alright. Despite all this going through his head, he speaks flatly, if a little more graveled than usual and slurred due to drinking. "It /is/ something you work to fix," he agrees. "I'll…" Almost a shrug. "Get round to doing that." Another sip of scotch. "If she wants it. I'm the one that made the mistakes, if you'll recall."

Sometimes all it takes is a kind word and gesture to help, even if it's from a stranger. And Cass doesn't mind being that stranger. Or semi-stranger as she knows Peter. It's the six degrees of Petrelli. Maybe it's exactly what's needed, too, since she doesn't know Heidi and can't be angry at him for cheating on her except in a theoretical way. After a few moments, she lets her hand drop back down into her lap with her drink and she listens. "But the fact that you want to fix it…that helps. It's something." She gives him a lopsided smile. "Even if you were a bastard." Then, she slumps back down against the couch some more. "Thing about forgiveness is, you've got to offer it to get it. Or, well, you've got to apologize to get it. Or…I dunno, it sounded more profound in my head. I think I may be just a little drunk."

Snrk. Nathan actually now rests an arm over Cass's shoulders, polishing off his renewed glass of scotch as he does so. Okay. That has to be it for the night unless he wants to throw up in the nearest pot plant somewhere around 5 am, and he's not quite prepared to throw last shred of dignity away. "Got the gist," he assures her. "Language of… of drinking. I know I'm well on my way."

When Nathan throws an arm over her, Cass doesn't move to dislodge it. There's no harm in an arm around the shoulders and she doesn't even really register it at the moment. She's much too involved in finishing her own last bit of scotch. The room is starting to swirl a bit and so that is /certainly/ her last glass. "Ah, it's the only other language I speak. Other than that college Spanish I took. I can ask where the library is, for two beers, and some very excellent cuss words." Letting her head rest against his shoulder, she sighs softly. "Very useful."


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