2007-04-08: On The Line

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Desperate times and desperate measures.

Date It Happened: April 8, 2007

On The Line


???

Simultaneously...

It's getting late, and the Petrelli brothers are walking through uptown, heading towards the old, ritzy apartment building that's become familiar. Nathan is dressed almost nicely - a suit and everything, although the tie has been loosened. "I'm not delaying," Nathan is saying, glancing towards Peter with vague defense and resentment. "But she only just got home, she needs to get the boys settled back into school. If I'm going to tell her everything, it'll be when it's the right time. Until then, you can deal."

"I'm not the only person involved in this, Nathan," Peter responds, looking mildly cranky and annoyed at his brother as they move towards the ritzy building. To be honest he's mostly arrived here in the morning, not the evening, but he still knows the route well. "Fine. It can wait until you think the timing is better." He gives in finally, almost dropping the topic. With a condition, "Just don't make it wait too long. Heidi deserves to know." And it's not just about the abilities, or other strange things going on, but… "Claire… also deserves to be able to meet her half brothers." Brothers are important, at least to him. She should get to meet hers, no matter the age differences between them.

Nathan casts Peter an incredulous look, and when he sees that yes, his younger brother is being serious, he has to just shrug. "Heidi will know about Claire too, but I somehow doubt Claire wants anything to do with me." Looking left and right before crossing the not-too-busy road, Nathan's voice becomes a little less edgy and defensive as he continues. "I'm working to fix it. That, you'll just have to believe." And as for Mara… well, much like when he insisted Peter come with him that one hospital visit, Nathan is dragging Peter along for his usual evening round to check on their hide-away-cop.

"I know you are," Peter says, shaking his head. That's not even the most important thing. After a moment he adds on, "I think you can, Nathan. Fix it. Not just with Heidi, but with Claire too. I'm not sure what you did to upset her…" He shakes his head. "You should give her a phone call, wish her a late birthday. Even if it's just a text message. You did know it was her birthday, right? On Thursday. I got her a gift card, to a sporting store— for ice skates. I… promised to teach her how."

Birthday? Nathan gives Peter a brief 'oh?' at the news of a birthday gone by, then kind of just looks uncomfortable. "You think?" he says, at the suggestion of calling Claire, then just shrugs once. "I'll see what I can do." A vague but final confirmation on that. Do either of them want to fix anything? It's hard to tell. Nathan heads into the apartment building, towards the elevator. "Well it's nice that you two are getting along, anyway." And a little useful.

"We're getting along okay, yeah," Peter says, following towards the elevator. "…Why are you bringing me along tonight?" he asks, giving his brother a sideways glance. He's not stupid. He knows the last time his brother brought him along for something involving Mara, it had been because /something happened/. "Is this because Heidi's back now?" He draws a small conclusion, though it's not one he's completely sure on.

Damnit. Nathan's getting predictable, now. "…no. Not- directly." Come on, elevator doors. "You and Mara are friends, I don't see why you shouldn't come with once in a while. Breaks up the monotony."

"I usually stop by in the mornings," Peter explains, standing before the elevators and shaking his head. No, he's not really buying this. "I bring her breakfast. She's a fan of bacon, and scrambled eggs with cheese, by the way, though she liked the waffles I brought too. …But it's okay. You don't have to tell me." What the indirect thing happens to be.

Into the elevators they go, Nathan hitting the level one button before his hands clasp back behind his back, looking up at the numbers along the top of the sliding doors. "I think whatever it was is ended," he finally explains. This is said tonelessly, perhaps with some bemusement. "And I'd rather have someone else there for her to focus on if she decides not to speak to me." And Peter is just handy that way.

"I'm sorry, Nathan," Peter says, and from the sounds of things, means it. Even if he'd been disappointed and upset by the developments… "I know you said it would have to— but— I'll be here," he adds, reaching out to touch his brother's arm while they ride the elevator to the familiar floor. The squeeze on his brother's arm is firm, intended to show some kind of support.

Nathan glances down at that hand, then to Peter. He looks a little helpless, and sort of shrugs, like, 'what can ya do?' "It'll blow over," he says, as if to dismiss it, even as one hand does come to cover Peter's in a silent thank you. The contact is broken when the elevator doors slide open, and he goes to say more when his phone suddenly rings out from his pocket. Checking the caller ID, he's surprised to see Mara's name. "Well, we're here," he mutters, not answering yet as he heads to the door.

Nosy younger brother that he is, Peter can't help but recognize the name on the caller ID. "At least it looks like she'll still talk to you, right?" he says, following to the door and reaching up to knock. In the grand tradition of his previous visits, he already tells who who's at the door, "It's Peter." And with a glance towards his brother, he adds on something else, as if this is an inside joke between him and the friend who's supposed to be inside right now. "You prefer bacon to sausage." He gives his brother a shrug, hinting that this is a code they must have worked out between them, so she knows for sure that it's /Peter Petrelli/ at the door and not Sylar pretending to be Peter.

Nathan shrugs back, and clearly expects for her to hang up when there is a knock at the door. But no, it keeps ringing, and Peter's ingenious code is met with silence. "She's not usually out at this time," Nathan mutters, before finally opening his cellphone, pressing it to his ear. "Mara? We're just outside the apartment," he says. When silence on the other end greets him, Nathan's frown deepens, pulling the phone away to check to see if she had hung up. Nope.

That is weird… Peter doesn't try to knock again, but he glances towards his brother, then towards the phone. "What's going on?" No need to panic just yet, but— if she doesn't /go out/… There's something off. He's just not sure what that something is. Nervously, he starts to tug on the cuff of his coat, looking up towards his brother and waiting for some word.

Nathan puts up a one moment finger, trying to listen. He looks more confused than worried, but all the same… It seems there are noises on the other end, quiet ones, and he's trying to decipher them. Damn it. He switches the phone to speaker for Peter's benefit, holding it between them. There's a muffled sound, as if the phone were dropped, and even more muffled as if spoken from a short distance, Mara's voice: "Don't hang up."

Hearing the same thing his brother hears, Peter frowns, not catching anything more than the older man catches over the phone. In fact, he's not sure he even caught the words the woman said, just— recognizes that she said something. "Nathan…" It's very clear he doesn't like this. Pressing his hand against the door, he listens for any corresponding sounds, from the phone and the apartment— but there are none. He's almost afraid to say more, in case something's said over the phone.

Nathan is also quiet, watching the phone and then watching Peter. He glances towards the door. There are more muffled, indistinct sounds coming from the phone. There's talking, likely Mara, and it's hard to pick out anything useful. Voice barely above a murmur, Nathan says, "She's not in here," with a head tilt to the door. There's a louder sound, something knocking against the phone, then the thud of footsteps, someone moving quickly. It's aggravatingly unclear. "She said she wouldn't go back to her apartment," Nathan adds, almost talking to himself. "I told her not to." But then, that was before they'd… argued.

"…he knows where her apartment is, doesn't he?" Peter asks, looking away from the door, and accepting this grave knowledge with a serious expression. He can feel his stomach twisting the longer this goes on, the more noises can be heard, the more silence. "That's where the clock is…" he continues, face actually turning pale. Part of him wants to take off now, but… he doesn't know where her apartment is. And… "Nathan…" he says his brother's name again, worried, tone whispered. "If it's over— if she…" Yes, he's thinking the argument could have broken said promise.

"If she's there, I'll kill her myself," Nathan mutters. But he's obviously worried, now that he knows he's not the only one here who is suspecting the same. Fear is not something he's very familiar with, but it looks like he is, now. "Do you— with Hiro's power, can—" Then, the indistinct sounds on the phone suddenly become obvious. There is a thud, then Mara's voice. Thin as it might be, the words are clear:

"NATHAN! Nathan, he's here!"

"Nathan, I…" Peter starts, but what he said gets cut off by the thud, and the yelling. A sharp inhale, he looks up towards his brother, eyes widening. There's not much time to register the full level of shock before he glances down the hall— and sees a window. Running down to it, he unlocks it and pushes it open as far as he can, before he steps out of the way and calls back to his brother, "You have to go first. I don't know where it is. I'll be right behind you." That's the quickest way to get there, because honestly? He's never teleported in his life.

There's not much more to listen to. The phone is clicked shut when Peter goes to push open the window, knowing exactly what the /second/ fastest way to get to Mara's apartment is. And how little choice they have. "Keep up," is Nathan's advice. Hey, he goes fast. With that, he moves quickly to the window, brings a black shiny leather shoe up to step on the sill, and simply… launches himself out into open air, almost casually. In the time it takes to blink, he's gone, rocketing up into the dark sky.

This would be a bad time to have a false take off… Even without the danger and the situation, Peter probably wouldn't hesitate to do the exact same as his brother did, and step up onto the window sill. And luckily… when he tries to mimic what he'd just seen happen, he doesn't end up falling to his death. Luck, or the situation. Either way, he's rocketing after, squinting against the dark sky to keep an eye on the trail left by his brother. Not going to catch him, but they're both going as fast as they can. …The FAA station is probably going nuts right now.

Suddenly!

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