2007-06-08: More Than Meets The Eye

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: The morning before Nathan's rally, Elena stops by the Petrelli mansion to visit Heidi and the boys after having heard of Monty's broken arm. She gives them Transformers. LIME GREEN AND PURPLE Transformers!

Date It Happened: June 8, 2007

More Than Meets The Eye


The Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park, New York

Today finds Heidi sitting in front of a closed phonebook, trying to figure out - really /rationalise/ - why she's contemplating making a few calls on behalf of Ms. McAlister, who she barely knows. Really, she /is/ a nice girl, and there's no reason /not/ to, but there's also no reason to do it, either. In the end, it's really a question of 'what does she have to lose' versus 'is this /really/ a good time for this,' considering the fact that she should be preparing for a night of politics in the park.

For now, she pushes the phone book aside.

"Simon, Monty, are you awake?" she calls up the stairs as she walks past.

There's some frantic stomping on the floor that follows the question, a race for the bathroom, and then Monty's voice saying, "Come /on,/ Simon! I was there first!"

And then the thundering of puppies coming down the stairs. Heidi's learned that it's probably better to just stand still while they sniff around her feet, because if she tries to step around them, she inevitably trips or steps on either Julius or Caesar, and then they yelp, and then the boys feel bad, and she feels bad because the boys do, and… "It's already lunch time, kids!" she calls, reaching down to scoop up the larger of the brothers - Caesar. Heading toward the front door, she opens it to see if there's a newspaper out there. Nathan's so distracted, she wouldn't be surprised if the morning news is still on their front porch.

And when Heidi opens the front door, she'll find Elena standing there, about to ring the doorbell. She's dropped by a few times already, so the security outside already knows her face. She blinks, and she's laden with two wrapped packages tucked under one arm. Seeing the lovely Mrs. Petrelli, she grins at her. "Heidi! Hi, I was just about to…" She glances at her finger, poised at the doorbell, and laughs. "I was just about to ring your doorbell." She also blinks at Caesar cuddled up against her arm.

"I take it he's one of the brothers Peter told me about," she says with a grin, reaching out to try and ruffle the puppy's ears. Turning to the older woman, she gestures to the packages under her arm. "Peter told me about Monty breaking his arm….I thought I'd visit you and the boys, see how you guys are doing. It's been a while since I've seen you." Just a few weeks, but Elena made herself especially available to friends. Especially friends with children who managed to injure themselves seriously.

Notably, Heidi didn't expect to see anyone standing on her porch, and so for a moment, she looks almost completely lost. Just a moment, though, before recognition dawns and she smiles. "Elena!" is exclaimed, and she's either genuinely happy to see her, or relieved that it's someone she actually knows, considering the potential for media intrusions lately.

When Elena tries to pet the puppy, he naturally tries to get his mouth around her whole hand, because this is what puppies do. Meanwhile, Julius is sniffing her shoes. "This one's Caesar, and…" She pushes the other one aside with her foot, so Elena can get into the house without dogs running out past her. "That's Julius. Nathan named them. Come on in."

Once the puppies are out of the way, Heidi, too, steps aside. Chuckling a little, because Monty has been /so spoiled/ lately, she says, "He'll love seeing you. They just got up, though, so you'll have to wait 'til they're not grumpy anymore. Monty's feeling a lot better, but he's still a little sore." Especially in the morning when he's gone a few hours without any Tylonol. Turning toward the stairway, she calls, "Boys, Elena's here!" And there's another thump on the bathroom door, and Monty saying /SIMON, HURRY UP./

"How are you?" she says - first things first - setting the puppy down, closing the door, and reaching to give Elena a quick hug all at the same time. She's getting good at puppy wrangling.

OMNOM.

Elena blinks when Caesar manages to get her entire hand in his mouth - so surprised is she that she can't help but stare just a bit. Finally? She -laughs-, and gives Heidi a look. "Your staff's got their work cut out for them, they're going to be -monsters- when they grow up," she states with a laugh. And feeling movement around her shoes, she manages to extricate her hand from Caesar's just so she could crouch down and pet Julius too, the smaller of the two. "Julius and Caesar, huh? Fits what I know of your husband," she says, grinning up at Heidi from her kneeling position. "Veni, Vidi, Vici, and all." 'I Came, I Saw, I Kicked Righteous Ass' (okay it's actually 'I Conquered'), basically what the infamous Roman emperor announced to the Senate after crossing the Rubicon and whooping ex-best-friend Pompey.

She reaches out to hug Heidi, squeezing her warmly. "I'm doing okay, roused from my zombie-like state from the summer cold I managed to get over the last week or so, but I feel as right as summer showers now," she jests. "But enough about that, how are -you-?" she says with a laugh. "I mean….how are things?" She searches her friend's face carefully - she can't believe Heidi's almost forty. She could pass off as 10 years younger. Who needs Botox when you clearly have -excellent- genes?

Well, they're earning their keep already, see, because they're eating a whole bunch of OLD TOYS. Which means there's more room in the basement or something. This is despite the fact that every chewed item is met with a flurry of 'BAD DOG' and 'NO,' which they only dimly understand at this point. "That's… what I told Nathan. I don't think he realises how huge rottweilers get. But… He brought them home, he can't complain." Beat. "Besides, they'll be getting obedience training as soon as possible." Which should cut down on things like chewing shoes and peeing on the floor. They're already learning to ask to go outside, /thank god,/ but they're still a long way from being trained.

She isn't about to tell Elena that Nathan has a history of weird names, like /Monroe./ That's actually grown on her, but after the whole Adelheid incident when they were first married, she was /sure/ her husband would choose something a little more common. Oh well. "He says it's because the kids named the cat 'Spike,'" Heidi explains.

Heidi can't believe she's almost forty, either. For some reason, she thought approaching 'over the hill' would make her feel more mature, but… She doesn't. It's like another year. Except for the fact that there's going to be a four in front of her name now rather than a three, which is just a /little/ mid-life crisisy, but she'll handle it. "Ah, well… I'm okay." She looks toward the steps, can hear the boys starting to head toward he downstairs - because they sound like elephants. "Yesterday afternoon, we told the boys about people with abilities. Monty saw— That's how he broke his arm. We couldn't really hide it anymore." Well, they could have, but Heidi didn't want to, and she's still a little upset about one little omission. "Nathan didn't want to tell them about himself, though."

"If you two need a professional dog trainer and someone who -really understands dogs-," Elena says, emphasizing the last words subtly and giving Heidi a significant look. "I can recommend someone. Actually, you've met him. Lachlan Deatley, Cass's boyfriend." It's a hint, that Heidi in her intelligence can probably catch. Lachlan was one of THEM. See? Romantic relationships between Normal and Evolved do exist, as Cass was as normal as they come. Unfortunately she also doesn't know that Lachlan and Nathan aren't exactly on the best of terms. So…ooops. Still, if they want a dog trainer with quick results, Lachlan was their best bet, because dogs, even puppies, actually -listen- to him.

At the last, she laughs. "Spica?" she says. At least she remembers the cat's proper name. "Watch your sons butcher them anyway, I can see them calling the puppies Cecil and Julie." Well, if Spike is a girl, the dogs will probably be given girlie nicknames. "Though since they're boys and their puppies I think they might remember."

When Heidi tells her about the talk with her sons, her expression turns somewhat serious. "How did they take it? And…..maybe it's for the best, Heidi - like you said, they might talk about it in school. At the same time in retrospect, who would believe them?" That and if they said such things at school, other kids might make fun of them, and they'd be compelled to have it proven in the next birthday party or something, leaving Nathan in a rather sticky predicament and the last thing the Petrellis needed was have the boys be mad at their father too for making them appear liars in front of their friends.

"Peter told me that much," she says, following Heidi further into the mansion and toting her packages. She turns her head towards where she hears the herd of elephants stomping down the stairs. "Any idea as to who might've done it?" Water, water everywhere…..water reminded her of Aspen St. James, and if she had been there, she'd be just a touch worried.

Heidi met Lachlan in the hospital, and she had no idea he was evolved at all. It's hard to tell just by looking at someone, though. Like, Elena? She'd never be able to tell, and never would, if she hadn't been told. Peter… Well, Peter, Heidi would have been able to figure out on her own, considering the mess she saw him in when she was in the process of being rescued. Back on topic, though. Heidi shouldn't be surprised that there are people out there who can communicate with dogs on their level, but her expression says otherwise. "Y— yeah, okay. I won't say no to a little extra help. How's Cass, anyway?" Last she heard, Cass was okay, but it's been a little while.

"I'm already calling this guy Juli," she says, smirking, and leaning down to roll Julius over on his back. He shows his little puppy teeth and GROWLS FEROCIOUSLY and RAR RAR, until Heidi scritches under his chin, then he settles right down. So cute. Apparently, the kids aren't the only ones who can give their animals silly nicknames. "Simon was disappointed. He wanted to name them Bumblebee and Deceptacon.

"They took it pretty well, actually. Monty tied a blanket around his neck and decided he was Superman." Appropriate. The memory makes Heidi chuckle again. "I think they'll be okay. I was a little disappointed that Nathan didn't— "

She's cut off when Simon and Monty hit the bottom of the stairs, both of whom run over to give Elena a HUG AROUND HER LEGS. The younger of the boys has a bright green cast around his right arm. "I really don't know," she says, which is a safer topic of conversation. "I'd never seen her before."

"Cass is fine - I've been told she's awake, but I ….actually haven't seen her awake. The last time I saw her, she was asleep, and then I got a little sick in turn. I spent most of last week catching up on my reading and getting a perpetual IV of chicken soup from Dezi." She pauses, and when she realizes that she hasn't explained who Dezi is, she gives Heidi a smile. "My father's girlfriend. …sort of. They're dating." She just doesn't know how exclusively as her father isn't really the 'talk about your relationships' sort of guy. Ramon can be a bear, but with his family, he could be a teddy bear. He just doesn't like the fact broadcasted out loud.

She watches when Julius rolls on his back, and growls ferociously - as ferociously as a puppy could be anyway, and she -laughs- when the puppy settles down with the scritches. "Looks like they're becoming Mama's Boys already," she teases Heidi. She would say more, but this is when CHILDREN ATTACK, Simon snagging her right leg, and Monty snagging her left leg. She almost falls over. "OOF! Hey, guys!" she greets brightly, extricating herself a bit so she could get down on one knee and sweep both of them in a one-armed hug. "Have you two been good and taking care of Mom?" she asks - though she refrains from the baby talk. They've probably outgrown them already. "Aaaand I got you both something." She gives the children identical packages, and grins at Monty. "Your first broken arm, you know if my Papa was here, he'd tell you you're a real man now," she tells the younger, more timid boy with an encouraging smile.

To Heidi, she looks up. "He didn't— ?" she prompts gently. But when she switches topics, she nods. "Yeah, it's pretty hard to tell in those cases….still I'm glad it wasn't as bad as it could've been." She's familiar with people who can cause earthquakes, electric storms, and people who can tell others to kill themselves.

It does make her kind of proud that her little brother is out saving peoples' lives. What he did was amazing, and he did it even knowing that he could be hurt badly in the process. And then with Elena helping Peter— well, at least everyone has a back-up plan of sorts. Heidi still wishes she could have done more besides standing around and hoping things just got better, but at least she was there. "Desiree was there when Monty broke his arm. She put it in a sling before the ambulance arrived. She's sweet." And Monty seemed to respond to her well enough, even while he was in pain.

"This house has so many boys in it," Heidi says. "Might as well spoil all of them equally." Sitting back on her heels as Elena's attacked by her children, she has to ask Monty to /please be careful/ so he doesn't re-fracture his arm. He's not really listening, though. In this first test of 'Not Saying Anything,' they seem uninclined to tell Elena they can fly.

Little does Heidi know that they've decided to /keep it secret,/ because they /never know who's watching./

"If I'da known breaking my arm would be this cool, I'da done it a long time ago!" Monty says, taking the offered gift as Simon takes his. Simon can't complain, either, because no one wants to leave an eight-year-old out of the gift giving. The only one who's more spoiled than he is at the moment - and then only slightly - is his younger brother.

"Nah, mom takes care of us," Simon says matter-of-factly, completely missing the point as he RIPS OFF THE PAPER. Presents are much more important than parents, at least at this age.

"A couple hours in the hospital as all we needed," she says. Heidi and Elena both probably know that Peter could heal the broken bone with no problem at all, but then people would wonder where the cast went. "Just wish he didn't have to— Well, he's not really suffering, is he?"

Heidi was a breath of fresh air, and if she had ever told Elena her own misgivings about not doing more, she would've told her that unabashedly. "Oh she was?" she asks, looking up, wondering for a moment if Desiree had been there because of her visions. And then she gives Heidi a smile. At the moment, she doesn't see the need to tell Heidi that her father's girlfriend was a veritable Delphic Oracle. "Desiree spent a good chunk of her life as an emergency paramedic," she explains to her. "So if anything, Monty lucked out in his share of good samaritans. But yeah, she's very sweet. Excellent cook too, she's teaching me how to make a proper fondant."

At the next, she laughs. "What, you don't like being one of the few girls?" she teases. Granted Heidi probably likes it, but she ribs her more or less anyway. It's just what friends do. She does observe, however, that they don't ask her if she could fly, or do any superhero things - so if anything it looks like the Petrelli sons are discreet about what they just learned.

She laughs at what Monty says. "Please don't," she tells him with a grin. "You'd only worry your Mom and Dad if you did it too often, you know, and your Dad won't look as handsome with gray hairs before he's sixty. But she lets the boys have the packages, and when they open it……they're robots. And not just robots, but TRANSFORMERS. And not just transformers, but LIME GREEN AND PURPLE transformers. EvoSoft paid her well these days, thanks to Jaden's generosity, and as always she spent her money on other people.

And of course Simon misses the point. She just laughs, and flashes Heidi a look from where she is as paper is ripped and tossed haphazardly to the side.

"Hardly," she agrees, standing so she could move over to where Heidi has planted herself. "They're very sweet boys," she observes. "And smart, I noticed they haven't said anything despite your talk." She laughs. "I hope you're ready for them to be heartbreakers when they grow up."

The whole thing did seem rather perfectly executed. Someone with a phone, someone with medical training. Heidi really wasn't, nor is she /now/ thinking about that. The only thing she was concerned about at the time was that her son's arm was broken, and there were people there to help when Monty needed it. Heidi does know that Desiree is aware of people with abilities, at least, given how she was speaking with Elena at the party.

"I'm really glad she was there. You can tell her that when you see her. Put my mind at ease a little." Because if they were just sitting there waiting while Monty was wailing? Yeah, that wouldn't have been fun at all. They could have gotten into the car and driven to the hospital, but letting Monty go was out of the question, even if he was sitting right next to her in the front seat.

"There's too much testosterone around here," Heidi mutters with a smile.

Monty somehow catches that, and asks, "Mom, what's stesterone?"

To which Heidi replies, without missing a beat, "I'll tell you when you're older."

Default answer for everything. Still, though, there are now five boys in the house, and only two girls, if one doesn't count the hired help. She got the cat to even things out, and now she's right back where she started. "So you're more than welcome to come around here whenever you want." Because conversations with other women don't usually involve belching contests, like when Heidi's trying to talk to her boys. Or even sometimes Nathan.

Monty just smiles when Elena tells him not to go around breaking his arms often. He won't, because it /really hurt,/ though if he's going to be jumping off buildings, he might end up with a few bruises. JUST SAYING. Yes, Monty is an aspiring young Peter Petrelli. "Oh /wow,/ this is /SO COOL!" he says of the robot, while Simon exclaims, "I don't have this one yet! Monty, it's /like your cast!/" Except, you know, without the purple.

And so they run off, and Heidi has to call and remind them to say 'thank you,' which they do. But they're already gone, and the puppies are chasing after them because they like chewing on robots. Actually, they're pretty much non-discriminating when it comes to what toys they'll chew up. A few moments later though, Monty returns to give Elena another hug, and a more personal thank you. "Thanks, it's the /best,/ Aunt Elena."

And then he's gone again.

"You really didn't have to do that," she says. "They like you anyway, trust me. Ice cream is the way to their hearts." Sitting back on the couch, Heidi nods. "I don't think they'll say a word, to be honest. I knew they wouldn't. I mean… I guess I was worried, but…"

"I'll pass on the word," Elena promises with a hint of a smile. "Dezi's got a very good heart, I think ever since she started living with us, Papa's been a little more easygoing than he usually is. Most of the time, he isn't - he worries plenty. He's been having cardiopulmonary problems lately…it's been a collaborative effort between myself and Dezi to make sure he eats healthier, although…" She pauses, and she -bursts out laughing- as she remembers something. "There was some night, I forget how long ago, but Dezi walked in on him in the sink -eating raw fondant- because he's been deprived of unhealthy sugars. I thought it was hysterical."

She hides a smile when Heidi turns to her son and indicates that she'll tell him what Testosterone is when he's older. "…..like when he's thirty?" she teases Heidi.

She laughs and gives her a wink. "I'll take you up on it. I actually don't have a lot of girl friends. I have Cass, who's like an older sister to me, and Jane…..Elle too, on a -very- weird level, I'm not quite sure what to call her. But while I'm close to Cass, I don't…well, I've told you before why it's so difficult for me to talk to anyone on a deeper level. Even Cass. The closest I've ever gotten to that for the very first time in a long while was you. Though….Peter made me promise him to confide in him when things get rough, so I've been trying….with him too." She shrugs a bit, and looks sheepish. "Apparently things got difficult when I didn't talk to him for a week."

When the boy squeal over the Transformers, she smiles - just a little indulgently. And when Monty comes back to hug her, she hugs him back, and ruffles his hair affectionately. "You're welcome, kiddo," she says with a laugh. "You just go on and get your arm better, okay?" And then he's off again. She stares off at the retreating boys, and the retreating puppies. "……..how do you DO IT?" she exclaims with a sudden laugh. "Just…trying to keep up with them. It's amazing."

At the last, she grins. "I know," she says. "But I want to. In a way….I guess I just miss indulging kids. I have a younger sister, Juanita, who just turned eight this year. And a little brother, Luis, at 12." So around Simon and Monty's ages. "Papa moved them out of New York when things got a little dangerous for our family. They're staying at my grandmother's. I haven't seen them in a while. "As for the children saying or not saying anything….they seem to take after you and Nathan and you're both really smart, so…"

It strikes Heidi as odd that she really doesn't know more people… At least not people she can hang out with on a regular basis. Desiree seems nice enough, knows Elena… Heidi should thank her in person next time she can. "Are— you serious? That's like pure sugar," Heidi laughs. Really, she /tries/ to keep her kids away from sweets, but she doesn't deprive them entirely, because something like /that/ would happen. She'd catch Simon with his face in the sugar bowl or something.

"Oh, I'm sure he'll figure it out long before he's thirty." Boys. Especially boys with Nathan as a father, but that's… just not going to be said, or even /thought about./ The fact is, Heidi's not going to tell him /now./

Still uncomfortable with what Elle did to Elena, Heidi has to frown. She isn't going to tell people who they can and can't be friends with, so the frown is all Elena will get. She's /worried,/ because this is what friends do! "Elena, if there's /anything/ I can do for you, all you have to do is ask. I mean it." Heidi will never make up for the save, as far as she's concerned. "And you shouldn't be afraid of talking to people, really. Especially Peter." There's a smile there. No, Heidi's not hinting at anything, /really./ Okay, maybe she is, /a little./ Peter's just awesome to talk to, though. "He really missed you."

Keeping up with kids isn't easy, especially two young boys, who now have PUPPIES. "I really don't mind. At all. It's… a challenge sometimes, especially when they both have different ideas." They're her kids, though, and she loves them. That makes keeping up with them a lot easier than some people might think, even if she's exhausted at the end of the day.

"They going to come home eventually?" she asks. She doesn't ask what the 'danger' is, though Elena can volunteer it if she wants to. Heidi can fill in blanks well enough on her own, though danger can really mean any number of things. No one wants kids around that, though. It's why Nathan asked her to take the boys away to Florida.

"I wanted Nathan to tell them about him, but he doesn't want to. I can understand that, it's just that I'm tired of— " It's not really a lie, is it? "Secrets. I guess I'm just as much at fault, though. I would have kept this whole thing from them as long as I could."

"I know, right?" Elena says with a laugh. "But that's my Papa. He's so…so stubborn. But I suppose ever since then, Dezi bakes him things. Healthier things, and he eats them. He enjoys them actually…I tease him about it and every time I do, he just ends up telling me to go to my room with this grumpy expression." It's clear by the way she talks about him that father and daughter are rather close, but that was typical of Elena. She seems to forge close relationships wherever she goes. Though when Heidi tells her about Simon, she grins at her, but doesn't say anything more about her children and testsosterone.

At the next, she nods. "I know. To be honest, you're the only one I know these days that I could talk freely about other things." And it's evident, because she's talking to Heidi so easily about this without the pauses, and halting dots that usually haunts her speech whenever she talks to Peter. She looks at the older woman quietly for a moment, before a soft smile tugs upwards on her pliant mouth. "…I don't….really know why." She closes her eyes and takes a breath, and with the smile it looks like a dreamy expression. "There's something about you that makes me so…..at ease. With everything."

She laughs, glancing over at Heidi. "He told me that much," she says with a grin. "I….." She pauses, and she bursts out laughing again, burying her face in her hands. "Oh, Heidi. Did I tell you? I -broke into his apartment-. I thought he was being attacked, he was having this crazy nightmare so I thought some burglar broke in his apartment and was trying to kill him. So after trying to break through his door like a MORON, I decided to go up the roof and….-jump into his balcony- like a crazy Batman impersonator. And when I woke him up, he gave me this look." And she flashes Heidi a pantomimed, and comical expression that she passes off as Peter's, blank and uncomprehending. "And the FIRST thing I tell him after a WEEK of not talking to him is…" She clears her throat, and exagerrates the sheepishness. " 'I'm sorry, but…I think I committed a felony just now.' " She grins. "That got him to laugh through the snips of nightmare at least but holy seabass I'm never doing it again."

At the last, she nods. "Eventually - once this entire thing is over. Ever since Papa started looking into Mama's murder, things were getting a little hairy. I was threatened twice before, and if anything Papa should've been moving -me- to Albany, but….I had school." School > Life? School = Life to Elena anyways. She was an Academic. She had a scholarship. And damn it, she was too tough to run away.

The last, she nods, and she lifts a hand to squeeze Heidi's shoulder. "Like I told you before….you're the mother, you've got better instincts about your children…more than anyone else in the world. I think you should trust them, if nothing else."

Most men /are/ stubborn. Seems to be something they're born into. Either that, or some macho 'I have to prove myself, so I'm gonna be an asshat!' thing, which also wouldn't surprise Heidi at all. At the moment, Monty still isn't afraid to cry, but Simon's getting to that age where he's growing to be a little man instead of a child. And he's Nathan's son through and through.

It's really nice to hear from Elena that she's easy to talk to. She tries to be. In fact, that's probably one of her strongpoints, because she likes to listen. It's humbling to hear, though. It might have to do ith the age difference… It wouldn't be impossible for Elena to be Heidi's daughter. Unlikely, but not impossible. Considering that Elena lost her mother, it makes sense in a lot of ways, but the sensitivity of the subject means Heidi isn't going to say that. She's not trying to be a replacement mother; not only is Desiree filling that role, but no one can replace a parent. Heidi's just an older friend. "You can't… Really go through something like we did without feeling friendship from it," she says. Elena didn't have to do anything, but she did, and that means a whole lot to Heidi. Plus, the fact that they both know about these abilities that people have, and given that Heidi doesn't have any, maybe it helps to get someone else's perspective. And lest Elena thinks that little bit of wisdom came from Heidi, she adds, "I read that in Harry Potter. The chapter about the troll." Anyway. "Doesn't matter why, I guess. If it makes you feel better, I don't know why it's so easy to talk to you, either." They just have a lot in common, they're both nice people.

Barking comes from upstairs, and there's a brief argument abouut which robot gets to be named Optimus Prime, and which one has to use the name on the box.

"…Elena!" Heidi exclaims with a burst of laughter. Just… picturing this girl climbing around on Peter's roof is enough to make her crack up. Seriously, who does something like that!? Then again, if Heidi thought Peter was in trouble, she'd do the same thing. Minus the climbing on the roof part, probably. "…You know, with everything Peter can do, I think — " He can take care of himself, but sorry, Elena, she's just lost it again, because of the line about the felony. And she'll keep laughing for awhile.

Blue eyes which are just a little damp now, smile over at the younger girl. "You're a good friend," she says quietly, still sensing something else between Elena and her brother-in-law. The question on her mind is a hard one to ask, especially since she's asked it once before already, and got her answer. Even so, maybe things have changed maybe the question will be better understood this time. Maybe she should keep her mouth shut, but eventually, she says, "You really like Peter, don't you?"

Heidi, too, was really academic some time ago. She's really /damn smart,/ but she never uses that intelligence against people. She could probably go back to school if she wanted to, and she's /been/ thinking about it. "Trust me, I know what that's like. I had a four point all the way through college. Then again, I was a liberal arts major, and you know what people say about that." USELESS DEGREE. "I don't think I missed one day while I was there. I was too afraid something important would happen."

And all that schooling, only to marry some rich guy that she loves dearly. She wouldn't trade her choices, though, and she doesn't regret them. Or, well, she didn't /before,/ but now that Nathan's had an affair…

Shaking her head, she banishes those thoughts. "Ah, I just wish Nathan would trust them. He… I don't know what he thinks. I guess my reaction when I found out didn't help anything. Still, his boys would think he's the coolest dad in the world. I just… hope he tells them one day, before they find out by accident."

With the other males in her family, Elena can at least partially blame it on the culture. Spanish and other latin american societies did subscribe to the concept of machismo. It was difficult, sometimes, especially when her father and Manny decide to be stubborn. Luis seems to have escaped the mold, however, having effectively cloaked himself in an impenetrable shell of creative apathy.

Heidi looks too young to be anyone's mother, even if she is one. If anything when Elena looks at her, she saw someone just a little bit older, not someone twenty years ahead of her. "I know," she says, sliding her hands in her pockets. "I mean, granted in many ways, relationships born out of intense and extremely stressful situations don't tend to work out very well, but….I don't know. Considering we didn't really meet in catastrophic circumstances, I think we escaped that." But when Heidi mentions Harry Potter, she can't help but laugh. "I actually haven't read them. All I know is that Dumbledore dies on page six-hundred-something," she admits - since it was a popular Internet joke and she mostly hung out with geeks.

When Heidi laughs over Elena's tale about breaking into Peter's apartment like Batman, she actually has the good grace to look sheepish. "I did! I somehow managed to transform myself into some giant, spastic suburban monkey. HOPEFULLY that's not happening again any time soon, I'd hate to go through millions of years of human evolution just to revert back to my simian roots." And when she laughs harder at the felony line, she grins - there's an embarassed flush in her cheeks. She plants her hands on her hips and gives Heidi a look. "I'm glad my sudden moment of sheer lunacy amuses you," she huffs. But she's obviously not angry about it, she can't help the grin on her mouth. As much as she screws up, and not think things through, she manages to be able to laugh about it afterwards.

She pauses when Heidi asks the question about Peter, and she doesn't say anything - she seems content to let the topic of Nathan sweep that under the rug. "Maybe…" She pauses. "I mean I know your children would probably think it's cool but maybe….look, I don't really know your husband very well. But he reminds me of the way Papa is in a way." Except the cheating smarmy part. "He doesn't seem to really… be… -okay- with the fact that this is happening. Maybe it's really not about him trusting the boys so much as him not…just wanting to tell anyone anymore than he has to."

She watches Heidi. Smart, intelligent, witty, perceptive Heidi. She exhales a breath, and shakes her head, giving her a rueful smile. "And no," she says with a laugh. "No, I don't like Peter."

She is silent for a bit, her eyes roaming above the ceiling for a bit, to hear the bark and the argument of the boys, and then she exhales, and turns around to face Heidi, still with that same, slight smile on her face.

"I love him," she continues. The answer is so simple. So straightforward. So crystal-clear and honest coming from someone who tried to tell the Truth as much as she could, and admitted just like that, when some people have struggled to admit something like this to themselves for months or years. Maybe she just didn't get to what Heidi was getting at until now, or maybe because Heidi didn't just phrase it right the last time she asked.

Hey, she's not too young! She's just /aged gracefully./ Though she'd take that as a compliment, considering the fact that she's now pushing forty and really isn't looking forward to hitting that point. Not that forty is a bad thing, it's just become one of those social things that no one likes. Halfway through the expected normal human lifespan and all that— Moving on to less depressing topics.

"Ah, well!" She'll share Harry Potter with Elena! "The three main characters didn't like each other at first. Then one of them got trapped by a troll, and the two boys saved her life. And after that, they were friends." It's a little more involved than that, with Quirrel and Voldemort on the back of his head and that Sorcerer's Stone and Hedwig. "You should have Simon read it to you sometime. It's his favourite." Besides Pokemon.

"Hey, you're the one who told me in the first place!" See, Elena? This is YOUR FAULT. Yours! If you'd just kept quiet, Heidi wouldn't be laughing with you. (not at.) Ah, the situations people get themselves into all in the name of storytelling. As tales go, though, this was a pretty good one, based in friendship and carried out through the same. "At least he was okay, and you didn't fall off the roof." Jeez, that could have ended really badly.

It's pretty hard to argue with what Elena says about Nathan. Heidi knows him better than she knows anyone else besides her children, and even he has secrets that he won't share. That's been a common theme through their marriage that she's just now become aware of. "I guess it's a little weird," Heidi says, with a humoured look on her face. "And… you're right. That's exactly right, I know why he won't tell them. Right now, there's really no reason too. I'd just like them to really see for themselves that not all— " She struggles for a word, before just settling on "You…" and hoping it's not offensive, "People are /bad./ What Monty saw… Shouldn't have happened. That's going to be his memory. At least if he knew someone else… You know. I just hope Nathan tells them himself one day."

It does seem like Elena's caught the meaning of her question this time, though, by the way she answers, her expression. And… Admittedly, the blue-eyed Petrelli is just a little disappointed. Still, it makes sense, because with Elle still in the picture, and knowing Elena is fairly religious—

The fly ball into left field hits Heidi square in the face, and she's so dazed that she's practically seeing stars. /What./

And when she stops staring, there's just the barest hint of a smile tugging at one coorner of her mouth, before she raises a hand to her face to hide the /huge smile./ And she squeals.

Yeah, /so/ not forty years old.

"Ah, I see. That's a pretty cool way to set it up actually," Elena says with a laugh when Heidi tells her about the troll in the bathroom. "And sure…I hear those books are massive though, but I'm not one to discourage kids from reading. The more nerds on Earth the better, I think." She grins. "I have a feeling that particular destiny isn't -quite- meant for Simon though." He was way too much Nathan's son, or so Heidi tells her anyway.

As Heidi explains her misgivings, she nods. "I understand - to be honest I didn't think of it that way, that…you know. People like me could be perceived like that after an accident. But at the same time, like I said - you're the mother, your instincts are better than anyone else's in the world for that sort of thing." She grins. "Actually the period of time where a mother's carrying a child, the phenomenon is pretty amazing. Not just….you know, the entire 'bringing new life to the world' thing, but….when a woman is pregnant, her body actually adjusts itself to strengthen her immune system incredibly to protect the baby. Maternal connections run pretty deep, so if you feel like someone ought to tell them about…Nathan, maybe you ought to listen. At the same time if you're uneasy about it, then don't. It'll sort itself out."

But there. The admission is out, though it was less of a confession and more like Elena giving an honest answer to something she knows. But when Heidi hides her face… and -SQUEALS-, she can't help but 'grk' just a bit, and she bursts out laughing, lifting her palms up. "WHAT?" she exclaims. "I'm -19-. I'm due to find my -first- love eventually!" She turns a bit to the side, her fingertip dropping down to touch a vase contemplatively. "By all rights these days I think I'm relatively slow on the draw…"

She falls quiet, and when she speaks again, her voice is softer.

"It's not like the movies though….and definitely not like the books." She turns to face Heidi then, the laughing expression switching to something softer, more earnest. "Seeing how my parents were…I half expected it to be this…crazy, all-consuming thing, you know? Something that just smacked you over the head and scorched you right up. Doodling his name on my notebooks and imagining this giant, lavish wedding, wanting it to be returned so bad that you can't breathe or can't think of anything else. But it's….not somehow. It's….just the way it is. This…warm thing that you can keep to yourself, something that's yours that you can use to gain strength when you need it, or lend it to others who do. Him especially. In a way, I'm relieved - I thought for a while I wasn't capable of it because I looked at Papa after Mama died, and….I promised myself I wouldn't go the same way. Wouldn't lose myself like that."

She rocks a little bit on her heels, her eyes reflecting a far-away cast. "I'm glad to find out…that I can still feel this way, and still be my own person. I still know myself enough to realize that I'm also -nineteen-, spending huge amounts of time with someone I shouldn't be. As much as I'm sure now, I don't know how long it's going to last. All I know is, is that I'm nineteen….and I have a lot of growing up to do, just yet."

Alas, Simon will grow up to be just like his dad. Monty might even go that route, who really knows? At least when they're still young, they can enjoy Harry Potter just as much as anyone can, even if they won't admit it when they're older. And now, they have even more of a reason to like Harry Potter, given the fact that people like Harry and Ron and Hermione actually exist now. Okay, so not /quite./ It's a lot different, and no one's going to cast /locomotor mortis/ on anyone and then /wingardium leviosa/ in the next breath. Except Peter. Peter could do that.

"I don't think they're too upset right now, but if they get to thinking…" The thing is, if Nathan himself didn't have the ability to fly, he'd be very anti-evolved, and she doesn't want her sons to turn out like that. Heidi has no idea if they'll inherit what their father did. "Right now it's a game, but it won't be forever. Right now, it's the coolest thing in the world to them, but— If Simon gets to fifteen, sixteen before finding out that it runs in his family? I… Don't know how he'd react."

Again, Nathan's son.

"I'm not going to say anything, not without him." Heidi's already come to the conclusion that if anyone does tell them, it has to be their father. Trust goes both ways— If she expects it, she's going to have to recipricate. Despite her disappointment that Nathan didn't tell them, despite the multiple openings he had to do so, it was /his choice./ "We'll see what happens. The kids are still young."

Moving on, though, to more exciting topics! Not just exciting, but— God, she was /so spot on./ This is one of those moments where she should be yelling 'I KNEW IT' so the neighbors can here, but Mrs. Petrelli is the pinnacle of maturity. Right. "Because I could /TELL./ You and him /BOTH./" She needs to shut up now, seriously. This is embarrassing.

So she composes herself for the most part, except for the smile, which doesn't go away until Elena speaks again. "Nah, it hardly ever happens that way. Nathan and I dated for a long time before it hit us. I mean, I liked him, I felt — " It's hard to talk about, because some of those feelings she had for him when they'd just met aren't nearly as strong, even if they're rebuilding their relationship slowly. "I felt like it was right, and then one day, it just occured to me how much in love I was." She's a romantic; as far as Heidi's concerned, the entire thing was perfect. She married a military man, he was cute, he was smart and funny, and… It was just right.

Then she's quiet. She still listens to what Elena says, nods a bit, but love… Well, to put it bluntly, she feels betrayed. All the trust in the world, all the work that went into their relationship, and then she came face to face with the fact that Nathan was having an affair. It's sobering, painful, and it always will be. Getting over it is possible, but the reminders will be there forever. "You know, it's funny. Doesn't matter how old you are, you'll never really grow up. I think that's just something parents tell their kids. You just… grow into something else."

"…….I don't know about -both-," Elena says, more of a levelhead about it, simply because she doesn't see Peter as the type to be able to do that when his heart is taken up by someone else. Unrequited or no, the young woman looks strangely at ease about it. There was no nervousness, no palms sweating or anything. But this is Heidi. Heidi Petrelli. Heidi who somehow had the power to make her feel at ease. She probably wouldn't have spoken about this so openly to anyone else. But she can't help but smile at the enthusiasm. "Wait…wait. What. -What-?" She points towards Heidi dramatically. "-What-. Did….did…oh my god. Nathan MARRIED A ROMANTIC?!" She bursts out laughing, all of a sudden, despite the seriousness of the issue, flopping next to Heidi where she's sitting as she laughs and laughs and laughs. Not just seeing Nathan in a new light, but Nathan probably having to do a bunch of CRAZY and UN-SENATOR-like things to win her while they were dating. Visions of Nathan in a huge sombrero and a poncho serenading Heidi beneath the window of her parents' house, and then later chased by the giant family dog out of the property SOMEHOW gets into her head. Because let's face it, it would be awesome if it actually happened.

She listens to Heidi's story - though she also knows she's treading on dangerous territory. While she's content to feel the way she does, and not acting on them as was proper, she's also well aware that being reminded as to how it was back then could hurt for Heidi, who's doing her best to patch up their marriage together.

"That's what I mean," she says simply. "I don't know how long…this is going to last. Things change. People change. I think part of me is so at ease with this because there's always a chance that….you know. That it isn't real, some sort of phase or passing fancy or the typical tensions present whenever a guy and a girl are friends. I mean…what do I know, Heidi? I'm not exactly well-versed with this stuff. Even if I know, I can't do anything about it….and I'm not sure if I should even if the circumstances are right. I'm…I guess you can say I'm content to leave it to Destiny. Just like you did at one point."

Nah, it's both. Heidi knows, even if Peter hasn't told her. She could see it in his face in that movie, which actually makes her smile just thinking about it. He was happy, and she's sure Elena was, too.

Elena's reaction, again, hits Heidi from somewhere out in left field.

"I'm /allowed/ to be romantic," she states almost indignantly, though she doesn't seem truly angry about this teasing. Seriously, though, look what she's put up with in the name of love. That's not /all/ naivity, there; it's a good deal of hope, as well. Memories, happiness that she'll never forget, just like she'll never quite banish the idea that she somehow wasn't enough in the end. It's because she's a romantic that she's still with him. It's supposed to work like it does in the movies and books, even if this is the real world, and Heidi damn well knows it.

And /HEY,/ Nathan wasn't always a stick in the mud! He was young once, too! She's pretty sure there weren't any sombreros involved, at least as far as she can figure, but there were flowers, walks on the beach… Cheesy stuff. And now there are puppies.

It's probably not a good idea to steer anyone in one direction or the other, so in regard to how Elena should think about this, whether it's real or not, whether the circumstances are right, are just met with a shrug and another smile. "Well, they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem." There's a beat, then, "They never quite tell you what 'recovery' is, though. It could go either direction, so… Don't try to steer yourself." In other words, yeah, leave it to— "Destiny. There's that word again. You know, I think you might be a romantic, yourself."

Happiness didn't always translate to that! Or could it? She didn't know - or where Heidi was getting it from, but she was rather certain the older woman was exagerrating. Peter wasn't like that. ……..well, he wasn't!

When Heidi scowls at her and says what she does, Elena laughs harder. But she wipes the tears from the edge of her eyes and grins brightly at Heidi. "I'm only teasing, I was just thinking about what you may or may not have put Nate through while he was trying to woo your affections. My little daydream involved a giant sombrero, a poncho, and a very protective sheepdog."

Well she supposes the cheesy stuff remains. Nathan did bring home puppies. In a way part of her can't help but feel a little relieved. It seems slow-going, but they're -trying-, and that's all she could ask for. Deep in her heart of hearts, she only wanted this entire damned family to be happy. If the Gomezes can manage it despite the dead mother, the deranged serial killer, the crazy daughter, the fuzzy animal-slaughtering father-and-son duo, and with the southern psychic that saw Death and mayhem almost everywhere, the Petrellis can certainly pull it off. She hoped so, now that she was getting more and more acquainted with them, all she wanted was to see them happy. Even Nathan. Especially Peter and Heidi.

At the last, she laughs. "You make it sound like an illness," she jests. "Just -can't- be something I can just live with, huh? Can't be that simple?" she teases. But at the last, she pauses, and then she laughs. "Oh. Yeah. -Great-. That's just what I need. Flowers in my bunsen burner. Chocolates in my petri dish." she jokes. After a few more moments of silence, she speaks up again. "I don't know. Maybe I am."

HEIDI KNOWS. OKAY? SHUT UP.

Unfortunately for Elena, and despite the fact that she doesn't /try/ to be, Heidi is /Naive./ And also a romantic. And the two don't always mix.

"There wasn't a sombrero," Heidi muses, eyes glancing upward in thought for a little while. There aren't many stories she can tell that Nathan would let her live for. She can say one thing, though, which she states with a rather sly smile: "You should see him in a uniform." /YEAH./

As far as managing goes, the Petrellis do have it a little easier compared to some. Still, it's hard to go on sometimes with everything that's happening, even if there are people who are worse-off. Besides, it's easier to try to fix things than break them… Well, that's not entirely true. Fixing things is /hard,/ but at least when Heidi's trying to put things back together, there's light to see at the end of the tunnel, whereas if she just let things fall apart, she'd be buried.

"Oh, I have a story— " she starts, then she's interrupted by wail of "MOOOOOOOOOM!" from upstairs.

"What's wrong, Simon?" she calls, turning around to look over the back of the couch.

"Monty's got his head stuck under the bathroom sink!"

Heidi looks at Elena, bites her lip then calls, "How did that happen?"

After a long pause - "I have no idea!"

Then Monty speaks up, finally, with a "/YES YOU DO!/ Mom, Julius is stuck under here, too!"

Closing her eyes, Heidi sighs. "Any chance I can get you to help before you leave?" she asks Elena.

YES MA'AM.

Well, Heidi's also lived on Earth for 20 years more than she has, in terms of life experiences, she's got her beat by a couple of decades. So when she speaks, Elena quirks a brow slowly at the expression on the older woman's face. And then…her jaw drops at what she says. She is a perceptive creature by nature, she knew thanks to Peter that Nate was a Navy Pilot, but the comment blindsides her. So her laughter is rather delayed, but when it sinks in, a fresh gale of laughter escapes from her mouth.

And all she can say to that is: "Got pictures?" Followed by an innocent smile. She wonders just how far Nate's going to let her go calling him 'Goose' from Top Gun. And if he kills her, IT IS SO WORTH IT.

When Heidi begins to tell a story, she perks up, tilting her head at her curiously…..only for Simon to wail. She looks up suddenly, towards the stairs. And when she hears of the predicament, she facepalms. Looking at Heidi, she grins. "Look at it this way, Mommy," she says, patting Heidi's shoulder lightly. "At least stitches won't be involved."

There is a pause. And she looks at the stairs uncertainly.

"I think."

At the pleading request, she laughs, standing up from the couch. "Come on. Let's get Monty's head out from under the sink. I'll grab the Crisco."

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