2007-04-10: (Not-)Home(not-)Sick


Nathan_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: A phonecall between husband and wife, when husband is trapped in a hospital during quarantine. The usual.

Date It Happened: 10th of April, 2007


Mt. Sinai Hospital and a Bedroom at the Petrelli Mansion

It's pushing 1 a.m. when the bedroom phone starts ringing. On the other end, there is a very tired, cranky and slightly rumpled ex-politician, finally finding himself a corner to ring his wife. Mostly for the first time, setting aside the five second 'I'm in hospital and they're not letting us out, I'm okay, gotta go' call from before.

Having not slept at all after that initial phone call, Heidi practically jumps on the phone when it rings. Not because she's afraid it'll wake the boys, but because she's waiting for news from /anyone/ as to what's going on. "Hello?" is demanded into the reciever, and when she hears it's Nathan, there's a sigh of relief. "What's going on?"

"Hey," Nathan says, also sounding vaguely relieved that she's not yet asleep. "Nothing. There was some quarantine scare at the hospital and they locked the doors so they could test everyone. It's gotta be on the news, they shut the whole ER down." His voice sounds more graveled than usual, as if he's done a lot of talking today.

"It was," Heidi says. "I've been trying to get ahold of /anyone/ since you called. I wanted to know…" She trails off. Apparently news that Nathan has a daughter hasn't made her care any less for him. "Neither of you came home tonight, I haven't seen Peter at all." Her voice is frantic, despite Nathan's reassurances, but she doesn't ask anymore in-depth questions. "I'm just glad you're okay. Have you heard from your brother?"

"He was there," is Nathan's uncertain answer, cropping up after a slight pause. "But we got separated and I haven't heard anything about him since. They're not giving us much room to move around. I was hoping they'd let him out but the doctors are telling me exactly nill."

"I'm not sure I like the idea that they're holding you there without contacting anyone — family, /someone./ It doesn't seem right." Surely she should have gotten a call. If there's an accident, the first person the doctors call is the spouse or parent. "What are they testing? What do they think it is? Did you hear anything?"

There's some silence on the other end, then a slight shuffle as Nathan moves around. To the very perceptive, it sounds as though he's found himself a bed or cot or something to relax in. "Some kind of virus. They're not releasing any details save for what the symptoms in case we get any. If it makes you feel any better, I feel fine." He clears his throat a little, continuing with, "I don't like them holding me here either. And believe, they know exactly what I think about it. But there's not much I can do in this situation." That almost sounds like apology. "I'll be home tomorrow."

The squeaking of springs alerts Heidi to the fact that at /least/ Nathan is resting. It doesn't make her feel better overall, though, because the idea that he might have a virus is disturbing. "No, not really," is her answer to whether or not she feels better. Her own silence follows as she thinks about what to say. They haven't exactly been talking much the past week or so, except for the revelation of Claire. "…I don't want to hang up."

"Me neither." Hey, they're allowed to have moments. Somehow, there's something easier about the phone when it comes to this stuff. Nathan forces a tired sounding chuckle. "First week home, how's that working out for you."

She laughs as well, relieved. "Ah, well…" Does she really need to expand on how it's been working out? "Seems I worry about you more now that I'm home than I did while I was in Florida," Heidi eventually answers. She pauses, then, "What were you doing at the hospital in the first place?

Nathan actually smiles a little when she talks about worrying about him more now than she's home, and there's a short pause after she asks him. "I was looking for a friend," he answers, finally. "But didn't have any luck anyway. It was just a stupid coincidence - wrong place, wrong time."

Heidi wants to ask why Nathan has a friend in the hospital, but she bites the question back before it's asked. He's probably worried enough without her asking things like that. "Are they making you share a room? You must be going crazy." Is he sick? Is he just /saying/ he's fine? Is there anything she can do? "…I, ah… after you called, I tried to get in. They wouldn't let me." Yeah, quarantine, /duh,/ but you can't blame her for trying. "The boys are worried too."

"Crazy is right," Nathan agrees, a little bitterly. He's not one to be very content about being trapped anyway - let alone with other people. "Managed to find my own lonely corner for now, anyway." The idea of sleeping in the same room with a bunch of strangers is enough to put him off sleep altogether. "Yeah, the hospital's locked down." Obviously. "Tell the boys that I'm okay," he glances at his watch, "well, tell 'em tomorrow. I'll come straight home."

"I didn't tell them that you were in the hospital, but they know something's going on," Heidi says. "And they wanted to know when daddy would be home." They're smart kids. Uncle Peter's gone, Dad's gone… that means something's happening. "They'll probably be up as soon as the sun comes up. I'll make sure I tell them then." At least it's the weekend, which means no school tomorrow, so the fact that it took hours to get Simon to bed won't make much of a difference. "…I know this sounds selfish, but you couldn't call any earlier?"

A pause, and when Nathan speaks next, he almost sounds defensive. "Well I was trying talk to someone so I could come home /tonight/, you know, see if they couldn't push the test results a little faster. Didn't think I'd have to be calling you again except to tell you I was on my way."

"I know, I know. I was worried." When someone calls and says they're in the hospital, then makes themselves unavailable… "I didn't know if you were sick or were going to /get/ sick, or if there was an accident… I wasn't even sure if your call and the news reports had anything to do with each other."

There's a sigh on the other end, one of frustration, but Nathan's tone has dropped the defense, at least, when he continues to speak. "Sorry. I know you gotta be worried but I'm trying to think about what's happening here, not just over there. I'm not sick, probably not gonna get sick, most of staff here seem to be pretty cynical this whole thing is even necessary."

Heidi honestly hadn't even considered the hospital staff. "I just wish they'd give some damned details," she says quietly, but doesn't press the matter. "Just… take care of yourself, don't give the nurses too hard a time. And Nathan, see if you can bring Peter home." She pauses, then adds - not /quite/ reluctantly - "I love you." After waiting for a reply, she turns the phone off and leans back in her chair.

"I love you," Nathan says, inevitably, as the phonecall wraps up. He listens to the click as her end is put back in the cradle, before looking at his cellphone, reluctantly shutting it. Outside, the sound of people walking back and forth drift inside, and he rolls his eyes ceilingwards. It was going to be a long night.

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