2007-03-23: No Peter Pan

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Gin and morphine do not mix. In fact, Gin + Morphine = Bad Ideas.

Date It Happened: March 23, 2007

No Peter Pan


Mount Sinai Hospital, THE GODDAMN SKY, a Rooftop Somewhere in New York

It's not quite o'dark thirty, but it is the edge of evening and teetering into the hours of night. Mara spent most of her visitor-less day sleeping or flipping through magazines. This, of course, means that once the hour grows late, she's wide awake, in spite of the calming morphine. There's only one thing to be done, and that's sneak the bottle of gin out of the bottom drawer of the nightstand. It's an awkward way the woman has to lean to do it, but she does manage to get her prize without causing herself /too/ much pain. The reward is well worth it, if you ask her.

Visiting hours are over, and that is exactly the time Nathan chooses to stop by Mt. Sinai. A better chance to avoid such people like his brother or supposed Company agents when he makes his visit. He carries a paper bag, perhaps making up for not being the bringer of gifts in the last couple of days, and he's only stopped once. Nothing that a quick smile and explanation can't fix, and soon he's knocking once on Mara's door in announcement, opening it a fraction and stepping inside when he sees she's not asleep. "Evening."

Mara's bottle was stuffed behind a pillow, upright so as not to spill it, as soon as the knock came. When she sees it's 'just Nathan,' she relaxes and brings the gin out again. "I didn't think you were going to come," she says quietly. "Come on, then. Sit'cha down. I feel like I haven't seen a soul in weeks. Has it really only been a day?"

"Been a day. No visitors?" Nathan asks, shutting the door behind him. Figures. He twitches a smile when he sees the gin, moving to sit down at the bedside chair. "So you got your painkiller cocktail with the gin after all," he comments, focusing on opening the paper bag and taking out a rather thick paperback novel.

Mara sets the gin aside on the nightstand after carefully recapping it. But even then, that was only after another drink. "You brought me a book?" She smiles that wide, gap-toothed smile of hers.

"Mmhm," Nathan says, handing it over. It's a shiny new looking copy of The Corrections, by Franzen. "Picked it up today, I got my own copy that I never finished." A shrug. "Not that it's bad, it's actually very good. You can tell me what happens." He then sets a small bottle of cranberry juice next to the modest bottle of gin. "Chaser."

Mara smirks and takes the book to set in her lap. "Thank you, Nathan. That was really thoughtful of you." She holds up the Cosmo that was discarded at her side. "I've been reading this stuff all day long. It's got me wondering what I'd look like as a blonde." She drops the magazine back down.

Nathan raises an eyebrow at that, and picks up the discarded magazine, flicking through it. He can't help but at least scan the five recommended tips on dating. "I dunno if you could get away with it," is his assessment.

"Me either," Mara admits with a shrug. "But that's all you can find in these rags. Makes a girl think stupid things. I can't believe this is supposed to be the kind of rubbish my gender reads." She adds in a quieter voice, possibly quiet enough for Nathan not to hear, "The sex tips are always interesting, though."

"Makes me sort of glad I only raise sons," Nathan says, eying a page suspiciously before shutting it again and handing the Cosmo back to Mara. "Maybe the book will help to counter it, though apparently it is on Oprah Winfrey's list of… whatever." He starts to take the gin for himself, though hesitates, giving her a 'may I?' look.

Mara nods her head. You may. "I'm sure I'll love it." She smiles and peers at a framed photograph on the far side of the nightstand. It depicts a man and a woman with a very happy toddler between them. The toddler has a wide gap between her two front teeth. "Nathan, could you?" She sets the book aside and reaches a hand out toward the photo.

Nathan uncaps the gin, taking a modest swig. It is, after all, her gin, and he at least isn't bedridden to the point of not being able to get more should he choose. At the request, he picks up the photo, taking a look at it himself before handing it to her. "Cute," he says, perhaps with an edge of teasing.

Mara blushes faintly. "It's one of the few pictures I have of my parents together." She reaches to brush her fingers over the frame before taking the photograph. Suddenly, the woman falls back onto the bed, completely unconscious. Nothing changes in the rhythm of the equipment monitoring her at first. But then her heart rate begins to pick up. Not to any alarming sort of level, but enough to be noticeable.

It takes Nathan a second to react, and he stands, glancing towards the monitors. He can make vague sense of them, and so he doesn't immediately rush for the door and grab anyone in a white coat. Besides, he remembers what Mara had said about the black outs. He takes the photo out of her grip, replacing it with his own hand in one of her own. "Mara?" he says, in an urging voice.

The woman doesn't respond to Nathan's touch, or his voice. Her eyelids flutter, as though dreaming.

No response. Torn, Nathan glances to the door, and after about ten seconds, he sits back down. The gin gets tapped once more and then put away, and… he waits, hopefully. He keeps his hand tangled with hers, the other supporting his chin, elbow on his knee.

It's a full quarter of an hour before anything happens. And when it does, it's all at once. Mara sits straight up, screaming in a combination of terror and pain from the sudden movement. She tries to scramble about, only bringing herself more agony. It's the pain that causes her to realize that she's awake again. And that she's in the hospital and her leg is /fucked up/.

Nathan can be quick when he wants to be, and here, he is, on his feet and grabbing Mara before she can do something epic like fall completely out of her bed. "Mara," he says, sharply, hands holding her arms to still her. "Mara, it's okay. You passed out."

The arms holding her down only cause Mara to freak out further. "Let go of me! Let go! You don't have to do this! DON'T!" She tries to flail about and hit him until his voice sinks in and images start to register with her brain. "Nathan!" she gasps.

She probably gets in at least one good smack, and at that point, Nathan would probably just back the heck off. Instead, he tries to grab her wrists, not willing to let her do anymore damage to herself. "Yes, Nathan," he confirms, with relief, when she gasps his name. "It's me."

"I've been made," Mara breathes out. Her eyes are wide and filled with terror. "Those two men… I saw them in my visions of Boone- Ed. I should have recognized them. But I was just too confused. I couldn't place them…" She absently asks, "Did I hurt you?"

Nathan slowly lets go of Mara's wrists as she talks, and sits back down again. "No, I'm the one that's fine. Not so sure about you." He hesitates, regarding her. "What two men?"

"They're from the Company." As she speaks, Mara's voice quivers. "Jack Butler? He tricked me. I let him into the house and then he and his partner, a black man… South American?" She shakes her head. Why does 'Haiti' spring to mind? "The nameless man took my memories. Butler said he was going to give me information about Gray. I tried to fight them off. He had taken my gun. He was just too fast…"

The name Jack Butler escapes Nathan, but the mention of memory-taking does not, and he rolls his eyes skywards. "The Company… yeah, they do that," he mutters, leaning back into his chair. "So… you had a vision of a… memory they took away?"

The photograph is looked at. "Yeah. He was… holding that picture when he threatened to erase my memories of my mother." Mara tries to hide the fact that the thought has her choked up by coughing into her hand. "The most unassuming son of a bitch I've ever seen. But he was scary. Cold. He was enjoying what he was doing." She shudders. "I'm never going to be able to look at a man in horn-rimmed glasses the same ever again."

The mention of godawful glasses makes Nathan frown a little deeper. "Well there are only so many ways to look at such people," Nathan says, barely listening to himself. "Do you know what he wanted?" And was he unreasonably tall? Nathan only just manages not to ask that question. Can't be him. The world is not that goddamn small.

"He wanted to talk about Gray. He said his daughter was in danger…" Mara suppresses the urge to wrap her arms around herself and cry, though she still shakes like a branch in a storm. "Said he'd do anything to protect her."

Nathan just. Closes his eyes for a moment. Christ. "His real name is Noah Bennet," he says. "As far as I know. He's the… dad of my daughter. Claire. The one Gray was after." He opens his eyes, only now really seeing how shaken Mara is. He lifts a hand as if to comfort, but instead, the movement is aborted and he just speaks softer. "It's true, he would. He probably wants the same thing we want."

"He said he's not allowed to kill him," Mara presses her lips together. "I lied to him. I said I wanted him locked up." She rubs her face with her hands, taking a breath, deep and gasping. "With Gray, I know I've got something he wants. I've got a bargaining chip. I had nothing with this man. If he wants what we want, why is he with the Company?"

"To protect his daughter," Nathan says, rolling his eyes. "He was willing to go to war against them for her, but I guess he struck a deal instead, not without trampling a few people in order to seal it." Himself included, if the bitterness in his tone holds any implication. "Company or not, there's no reason to trust him. Avoid him."

"Gee, great advice, Nathan. Next time, I'll be sure not to let him pull a gun on me and wipe my mind." Mara's tone is similarly bitter at the implication that she really had any choice in what happened to her. She turns her head to stare out her window.

Nathan gives an impatient sigh at her response. "I'm just saying," he mutters. "Don't make the mistake I did." A pause. "And I don't know where you stand with the Company, what with the telling me to run from the guy you seem to be pals with? Ed?"

"I don't… /didn't/ know for sure that he's with the Company," Mara responds. "I only had suspicions. He claims to be FBI, but I've seen those two in visions I got from him. I thought they'd been wiping his memory. Maybe they have been, to make lying easier? But I wasn't sure if he was Company or just a misguided FBI man." She pinches the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger. "You can see why it was easier to just tell you to run."

"Yeah," Nathan agrees, shaking his head once in disbelief. Sure, everything is connected and all that nonsense, but does it have to be quite this tangled and confused? "Tell me to run, though, and I'm inclined not to, what with…" He gestures vaguely to the length of her bed.

Something flashes in Mara's eyes. An emotion that's difficult to place, but strong. Finally, she manages to smile, tilting her head to one side, "It was incredibly sweet of you. I was so worried about you, though. I would never have forgiven myself if something happened to you on my account."

Nathan kind of winces at his allegedly being sweet, and he shrugs it off. "The Company don't seem especially interested in what I do," he says, in what he hopes is a reassuring way. For both of them. "It wouldn't have mattered. Now… you, on the other hand. Just look after your self. Maybe stay away from this Ed guy if you can help it."

"I keep him close. If I start to draw away, he might suspect that I know." Mara purses her lips. "I can't give them any excuse to take my memories. Not again."

Nathan looks doubtful as to this logic, and it shows. "And you're so sure he hasn't, before?" he asks, a hypothetical point to be made. He raises a hand to clarify. "Not saying he's done anything wrong, here, but…" He trails off, wearily, and shakes his head. "Okay. I trust you know what you're doing. You just… like I said, seem to fall in with the bad guys."

There's no response to any of Nathan's points. Probably because he's just voiced all her own concerns. She's quiet for a moment, almost reflective.

"Take me outside." Mara glances to the window and then to Nathan. "I need to feel the air on my skin. I need out of this /room/."

The look Mara gets is nothing short of 'are you serious?' Nathan glances towards the window, then to the door, then back to the crazy lady. Despite this, he does check the hour on his watch. "You remember how entirely unfun the journey here was, right?"

"The promise of morphine kept me going. And now?" Mara waves the hand that's got the morphine drip, "I've got plenty in my system. And the gin kind of helped, too." The joking is dropped quickly in favour of seriousness. "I usually have to walk off my jitters after a vision. I don't really have that choice right now." She shrugs, "I'm not above calling a nurse and asking for help into a wheelchair so you can take me for a walk, Nathan." There's some hesitation on the word 'walk,' but it's still spoken with a straight face.

Well we all have buttons that are pushable. Nathan watches Mara for a moment, and another look is given to the window. He stands, moving to open it even wider, and a doubtful glance is given to where Mara's leg under the covers are. "You're sure."

Mara nods quickly, carefully pulling out the tube leading from the needle to the bag of blissful medication. She presses a stopper on the drip so that there will still be plenty to come back to and turns her attention back to Nathan. She shifts carefully in the bed and pulls away the covers. The nice thing about extended hospital stays mean none of those open-back, tie-closed gowns. She has her own bedclothes - a modest, but pretty, indigo gown made of shiny sateen fabric with black lace trim and a matching robe, which she checks the tie on. Good, everything's covered. Especially the awkward shape that is her right leg. "Take me."

Nathan flickers a smile when he sees what she's dressed in. "Hospitals are getting fancy these days," he teases, mildly, before picking up the bottle of gin and handing it to her. "Hold onto this. Could come in useful." When he goes to pick her up, he's careful, making sure that her injured leg would be secure, before he moves to the window.

"Bite me, Petrelli," Mara grins cheekily and takes the gin in one hand. "Do you like it? I never wear it." If what she wore to bed when he spent the night was any indication, she usually has an aversion to girly things like what she's wearing. She shifts her grip on the bottle before wrapping her arms around Nathan. She only tenses slightly when he lifts her from the bed. Her right leg stays more or less straight, proving her knee is pretty well immobilized. "Thank you for this."

"You can owe me later," Nathan replies wryly, and… they fall out of the window. Dropping a few feet, before in a slow and careful, swooping movement, they start to soar up into the now very dark sky, the lights of buildings becoming indistinct, quickly.

Mara gasps with the initial drop, but the fear turns into wide-eyed delight quickly enough as he begins to fly with her. "Faster," she urges. "Higher." She watches the lights beneath them, a smile on her face.

Faster and higher. Nathan almost smiles as well— no, fuckit, he does. Because at the end of the day, he enjoys this more than he'd ever care to admit. They gain speed, easily, spiraling up into the endlessness above them until it's cold and windy and eternally high. The movement stops, although it's hard to tell, and he leans back, almost letting her sit in his lap as they hover. "Good weather for it."

"It's beautiful," Mara breathes out, staring down at the city below. "God, I love it up here. I feel… alive. I feel safe up here. There's nothing that can touch me." She smirks to her 'pilot', "Besides you, of course. I'd really rather you keep that promise you made to me before when you said you wouldn't let me fall."

They do fall, just a foot or so. But Nathan slowly reigns it back into a hover, sparing Mara the jolt. "Yeah well, I make no promises, but I'll see what I can do," he says, before they begin moving again, at a slower pace, over NYC.

Mara seizes up a moment when they begin to fall, but she quickly relaxes again. She carefully begins to unscrew the bottle of gin behind Nathan's back. She frowns as she carefully disengages one arm so she can bring the bottle to her lips.

Nathan looks both envious and amused of the gin partaking, but really, he doesn't have a free hand, so makes do, keeping his grip on her secure as they fly. "How's the leg holding up," he has to ask.

"M'fine," she assures him. "Do you want some?" Mara gives the bottle a little shake and raises her brows. "You're giving it that look."

"No I'm not," Nathan says, with just a touch of defensiveness, decidedly looking elsewhere, although really, the scenery is mostly just darkness unless one looks below. "Don't want to rack up a reputation for flying under influence. Unless you can see a suitable rooftop somewhere."

The Psychometer cranes her neck to look while taking another drink. "How about that one?" She points off to a building in the distance. "Looks level enough." Mara peers at Nathan again, "And I only know that look, because I've worn it myself. Takes one to know one and all of that."

He doesn't bother denying it. Instead, Nathan just make a non-committal sound of acceptance of this, before they suddenly dip down, zeroing in on the building pointed out to him. The landing is smooth, Nathan walking off the momentum for a few steps before he finds a place to set Mara down, carefully.

Mara looks a little ill when she's settled on the ground. It's not an easy task for either of them. But she lays back flat on the rooftop and stares at the stars, holding up the bottle as she takes in a few deep breaths to steady herself. "I'm fine," she insists before he can ask.

Nathan sits down, giving her a shrug of 'if you insist' at her statement before taking the bottle from her. The pull he takes from it is generous, but he hands it back rather quickly. No true drunk-flying tonight. He leans back on his elbows. "Well. This is very irresponsible of us. Can I blame it on a mid-life crisis?"

"You could, if I'd let you say you're old enough for a mid-life crisis. You can blame it on me. I'm probably high on morphine, really." Mara watches the sky with a smile on her face. "I wish I could do this every night."

"I'll blame it on you," Nathan agrees with a faint smile, tilting his head back now to regard the night sky as well. "Oh, I dunno. It must get old eventually." Clearly, it hasn't yet.

"Nah." Mara sighs quietly. "The skies are filled with diamonds. How could that ever cease to be wonderful?" She reaches out for the gin as she boosts herself up into a sitting position.

Nathan moves the bottle closer to her, watching every movement she makes with a hint of concern. He can't help it. People laid up in hospitals aren't supposed to be not laid up in hospitals. Then again, how many times did he wish he could fly away, when he was? He relaxes a fraction, and takes back the bottle when she's done with it. "It can quickly cease to be wonderful if it's raining, I'd think."

"I like the rain," Mara decides after a long drink. "I like it on my skin. It's like… It's renewal." She shakes her head and smiles at her companion. "Am I making sense?"

"For someone mixing morphine with gin on a quasi-regular basis?" Nathan says, casting her a smile. "Yeah, I think you're making some sense."

Mara blushes just a bit. It could just be the cool air and the gin warming her. "Can we do this again tomorrow, too? And the next night? And forever?"

"Forever's an awfully long time," Nathan says, sitting up a little more now, running a hand through his hair. "And I can fly and all, but I'm no Peter Pan." He caps the gin bottle and hands it to her. "We should head back, before they think I stole a patient."

"Thank God for that," Mara quips, "You'd look horrendous in tights. And don't even get me started on that green leotard thing and the hat…" She trails off, looking sad when he suggests heading out. "Just… a few more minutes?"

"Only if we don't imagine me in tights," Nathan says, resting back on his elbows once more. Gin is uncapped. "Ever again." Gin is swigged from.

"Deal." Mara's fingers brush over the bottle, but she never takes the gin. She's looking at Nathan, like she's studying him.

If Nathan notices the studying, he chooses not to draw attention to it. He takes in a deep breath of night air, as the gin begins to do it's thing, and the bottle is set down. Then he manages to catch her look, and it's held, returned with a quizzical one of his own.

Mara doesn't smile. Normally she would, but there's this feeling in the pit of her stomach that just… doesn't let her. It has nothing to do with her leg, which is really starting to bother her more than she will admit. Because even though there are painkillers at the hospital, there's no open sky. No fresh air. "Nathan…"

"Mara," Nathan states back at her with a faint smile, perhaps in an attempt to lighten the mood. Or diffuse it. It doesn't work, either way, as he reaches out a hand to brush a lock of hair out of her eyes, behind her ear. "Gotta take you back eventually," he adds. Apology is in his voice - an odd fit for him.

"I don't think it's eventually yet." The emotion held in those hazel eyes is tremendous. They flit briefly between Nathan's eyes and his mouth. Mara has her own apology, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She leans in and closes the distance, pressing her lips firmly to his as her eyes shut tightly. As if it could block out the guilt.

Nathan does something very, very bad. He doesn't pull away. Eyes shutting just as the contact is made, his hand rests gently at the back of her neck. The kiss is soft, shallow, and he ends it almost as quickly as it starts, forehead resting against hers. "Me too," he murmurs.

Mara doesn't pull away after the kiss ends. She just reaches up to brush her fingers through Nathan's hair with one hand, keeping herself braced with the other. "I want to do it again," she whispers over his skin.

"Can't," Nathan says quietly, keeping his eyes shut, and proving himself wrong as he nudges her back into the kiss, hand sinking into her hair.

Mara reaches up with her other hand to grab a handful of Nathan's dinner jacket to pull him in closer. And down on top of her, being as how she starts to tip back without her arm to hold her up.

Nathan goes with the movement, cautiously, hyper-aware of her injuries. But he's siding with impulse, pressing close to her as much as he can let himself, a hand still tangled in her hair and other resting on her waist. Conflict. The kiss is broken and he rests his head against her shoulder. "Mara."

"Nathan." Mara's voice is shaky, as are her fingers, as she traces over the buttons of his shirt. "Oh, Nathan." This is bad. This is so bad. And so wrong. So why does it feel so good and so right?

Nudging her jaw up, Nathan kisses her throat, gently, an arm pushing beneath her hips, the other beneath her shoulders. For a moment, the hold is intimate, promising, before he murmurs against her skin: "We gotta go." Smoothly, he lifts himself and Mara up off the ground, his hold on her tight as he pulls them upright, a few feet above the roof. From here, they can look at each other, and regret and guilt is plain in his face.

The lips on her throat draw a moan from Mara. Instinctively, she wraps her arms around Nathan when he does the same for her. When they're off the ground, she shudders with the effort it takes not to groan. Her expression is a mirror of his own, perhaps with a hint of frustration. A tear slides down her cheek as her lips tremble. "It's all right… You can blame it on me." She swallows uneasily. "Get the gin for me. I'm going to need it to get through the night."

Nathan looks like he wants to argue, but… he finds himself instead perching Mara carefully down, walking back to where they left the bottle. It's half full by now and he rattles the liquid inside a little. A swig is stolen and he looks up at the sky, just for a moment. Saving the world suddenly seems so much easier, in hindsight. Nathan hands her back the bottle, and cautiously moves to pick her up once more, arm under he legs, arm under her shoulders. "High and fast?" he asks, with subdued dryness.

"Make it hurt." Mara's sad gaze fixes on Nathan's. It's clear it already does.

"Can't," Nathan says quietly, with a shake of his head, although he doesn't look at her. They're flying again in the next moment, a slow ascent, and much the same as when he had first carried her to the hospital, he holds her close, protective, and makes the journey quick but smooth.

Mara plays with the hair on the nape of Nathan's neck absently as he returns her to the hospital. She can't help it. She has to fidget, and it beats squirming about. Her face is buried against his shoulder so he doesn't have to see her look so anguished.

The window is tricky, and the maneuver doesn't go without Nathan knocking his head against the frame at least once in the effort not to do the same to Mara's leg. But it's achieved, and Nathan almost wishes they were still flying. The gravity of both being on solid ground as well as what just happened is jarring, but he tries to keep these thoughts hidden as he lays Mara down on the hospital bed, reaching to help pull the sheets up for her. No eye contact.

Mara gasps in sympathy when Nathan bumps head, fighting back the instinct to reach up and feel it. Once she's laid down, she spares a glance to the morphine, but… oddly, doesn't move to hook it up again. "Are…" she pulls the blankets up gingerly and she winces as they put a little pressure on her injured leg. "Are we supposed to talk about this or something? Do… Do you think we should?" I don't know what to do! Tell me!

"I think we… don't. Maybe." Nathan finally glances at her, straightening out his jacket, grim. "Not sure what I'd say if we did, so." He tilts his head towards the morphine. "You'll regret not putting that back in."

"I don't want it." Mara shakes her head firmly, eyes on Nathan. "I don't deserve to feel numb right now." No. She wants to hurt - physically and emotionally.

Nathan lifts his hands, a gesture of defeat. "Fine. I'm going to go and… find a wall to beat my head against. Enjoy the book." He starts to go - he wants to be that callous, and he usually is, but his hand rests on the door handle and doesn't turn it, pausing with a sigh, other hand coming up to pinch the bridge of his nose.

Said book goes SLAMMING against the door, inches from Nathan's head. "How could you DO that?!" Mara screams. She isn't even sure which one of them she's yelling at. "How could /we/ do that?!"

Nathan flinches, although in a way, that was expected. Picking up the paperback, he moves to patiently put this on the end of Mara's bed, still not looking at her. "I don't know. Because I'm stupid. Because my wife is too good for me, evidently."

Mara stares at the book for a long moment. She really wants to say 'I can't reach it there, asshole,' but… That would be admitting that she's helpless. One thing she doesn't want to be tonight is helpless. "You weren't alone in this. /I/ kissed /you/." And then you kissed me back. But I'm trying to take the blame here.

"And then I kissed you back," Nathan says, unintentionally voicing it anyway. "It was definitely a mutual fuck up." Admitting that it was - or at least, trying to label it as - a mistake, Nathan steps back from the bed. "But we both know it's me that's got something to lose, in this."

"Oh yes," Mara says with a distinct, biting edge of bitterness. "Because I have absolutely nothing at stake. Dignity, reputation… Nothing like that at all." Then again… considering recent events? She probably doesn't have much either of those left anyway.

"I'm not talking about what would happen if someone found out," Nathan says. For all the non-eye contact before, he's making up for it now, pinning her with a hard look. "Because no one is going to find out. I'm…" He loses his edge, glancing towards his feet, restless. "It's more complicated than that."

Mara actually shrinks back when he fixes her with that gaze. That gaze is for other people, dammit. Not for me. Okay, maybe it is. She's beginning to look a little green and glances down at her knee, then to her hand where the IV needle sits lonely, waiting for that blessed, blessed tube to be hooked back up. But that would really ruin the 'I'm being brave and punishing myself for this' thing that Damaris is trying to accomplish. "More complicated," she repeats. "How in the /hell/ does it get /more/ complicated?"

Nathan flicks a glance to the IV, and he sighs. He doesn't, however, bring it up again, although he looks like he wants to. Instead, he looks back at Mara, and almost smirks. "Because I didn't drink enough tonight to make it unerringly simple?" he says, then shakes his head, picking up the book and moving to place it on the bedside table. "I'm gonna go. You should get some rest."

"I'm going to be sick," Mara murmurs quietly, throwing her weight to one side in an attempt to reach the rubbish bin next to her bed.

Nathan instinctively moves to hand her the bin, hand coming to rest on her shoulder to comfort, or brush her hair back, or… something, but we'll never know, because his hand withdraws. He's been here before. Call it that, or even cowardice, but he heads for the door either way without another word, taking the distraction as his cue to escape.

As the Amazing Cowardly Petrelli makes his retreat, a nurse comes dashing down the hall to hurry into Mara's room. After the sounds of the Psychometer reliving all that gin subsides, it's replaced by her screams. "Don't! I don't need it! I don't /want/ it! Let it HURT!" And then nothing but miserable tears.

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