2007-08-24: Plot Twists


Elena_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Guest Starring:


Summary: Elena discovers Nathan's dirty secret when she arrives at her temporary residence.

Date It Happened: August 24th, 2007

Plot Twists

The Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park, New York

What do you do, when your beloved younger brother is probably DEAD IN THE FUTURE, half the electorate still opposes you, and it's the middle of the day? Here is the how-to guide to feeling better. First, you situate yourself in the comfier room in the mansion, the one with the wide screen TV that's perfect for such things like football watching. Second, you make sure a cold can of beer is within easy arms reach. Third, you catch up on the trials and dramas of One Life To Live.

It's been a while, and Nathan has lost some of the plot. Who's that guy and wasn't she dead, and so forth, but it's not too hard to get back into the swing of things. They have it tougher than you, or so it seems, and that's really all that's required. He slouches right back into the couch, feet in socks and ankles crossed in front of him as he cracks open a beer can. "Oh come on, he doesn't love you," he mutters at the TV.

Heidi had taken the boys to see their maternal grandparents this week, so it's just been her, Nathan, and the dogs for a couple of days. Still, before Elena left for school today, Nathan DID ask her to buy some popcorn, for some reason. This surprises the young, college-aged houseguest since…well, she had absolutely no idea Nate liked the stuff. He didn't seem to be the popcorn kind of guy. Using the spare key Heidi had given her, she opens the front door, closing it behind her. Julius and Caesar and Snowy bound up to greet the young woman, and then, she's promptly attacked by Spike, descending from above like an avenging angel.

After prying the cat off her, she heads for the kitchen. She's got the shopping bag, so she figures the least she can do is pop Nathan's popcorn for him. He mentioned he was going to be around most of the day today catching up on some work. So she waits for the microwave to do its business.


Buttery goodness wafts out of the thing as she opens the small door and takes the warm bag out by the top. Closing it, she goes to Nathan's office, peering inside. Not there. But she does hear noises in the living room. TV on? Maybe he was talking a break, and so, she goes there.

UNEXPECTED ELENA. Nathan would only get the few-seconds warning of footsteps heading for the door to the living room, and it swinging open. "Nate?" Elena calls, stepping inside.

Nathan at first doesn't register the sound of footsteps, caught up in the fact that one of the doctor's is operating on the woman he DOESN'T KNOW IS HIS MOTHER!!!, but the sound of the door opening is definitely enough. Nathan looks to Elena, blinks. hfdsjgdfhgkier. He snatches the remote control and points it at the TV, pushing buttons. Any buttons. JUST CHANGE ALREADY.

The screen flicks from the close up shot of the doctor's worried, masked face to—

"But my sister is home, we can't—"

"Maybe your sister will join in."


— hardcore pornography.

Nathan relaxes, tossing the remote onto the couch with him. "Hi Elena," he says, casually.


Elena stands there for a moment, watching the remote get tossed to the couch, and the sounds of EXPERIMENTAL ESCAPADES coming from the television. She didn't even know the Petrelli mansion had the Playboy Chann— oh wait. Maybe she should've expected it. Still, she's looking at him, popcorn bag in hand, hearing the keening sounds of a young woman getting dumped on the dinner table by the overly muscled man in the milkman's uniform. Do they even have milkmen anymore? And were there ever ones that buff?

Walking over to Nathan, she hands him the popcorn bag. "Hi Nate."



"So. Porn, huh?" she says. She's blatantly NOT looking at the TV, and there's a hint of pink on her cheeks. But she's TRYING to keep a straight face.
Okay. In hindsight? Maybe porn wasn't a good thing to land on. He would have taken a football rerun, or a fishing show, or even cartoons. But hey, at least it's guysy. He doesn't try to explain why he would be watching an adult channel in the middle of the day, just takes that bag of popcorn, as on the screen, a second blonde, overly tanned woman saunters into the scene.

Maybe, if Nathan makes no sudden movements, Elena'll just go. Then he can see if the doctor learns of his mother before or after she dies. "Porn," he confirms, resolutely Not Looking at her.

"…..porn." Okay. She can't help but repeat it. Elena turns, and….takes a seat next to Nathan. Now she's not looking at him, and not looking at the TV. But why is she sitting on the same couch as him? Is she going to watch porn with him? THIS WAS SO NOT CREEPY IN ANY WAY AT ALL. She folds her hands primly on her lap, and leans back against the backrest of the couch…..

Right next to the remote control that he dumped on the cushions.

This one, before he has ANY IDEA what she's doing, she snatches it up, and hits the 'Last' button, switching the television back to the channel he HAD been watching last before he did his oh-so-graceful remote fumble.

"But I love you!" weeps the pretty brunette. "I've ALWAYS loved you. Ever since we were kids!"
"WHY then? Why are you -marrying- him? He's only using you for your money, Annette! Derek Jackson is a -criminal-!"

"…………." Elena STARES at Nathan. "You were watching ONE LIFE TO LIVE?" she blurts out.

Oh god why is she staying. Slowly, Nathan sinks just a little further into the couch, tensely watching the TV screen without actually seeing it. Because something in the back of his head refuses to allow himself to watch porn next to his brother's not-at-all-girlfriend, so he sort of unfocuses and watches the blank space in front of the TV instead, bringing his beer up to sip.

And then the screen changes, and he snaps his gaze towards Elena. "…brat," he mutters, darkly, and slumps further in his seat. "You made me miss the surgery scene, too."

Nope. Elena as of this moment is Heidi's friend and Nathan's Package Buddy (as wrong as that sounds). She hasn't actually talked to Peter since their major falling out last month. Not like she would ever tell the senatorial candidate that. Granted, Peter's apologized since then….but it was through voicemail. Voicemail doesn't count. Voicemail NEVER COUNTS for a girl.

Anyways, nothing answers Nathan but….laughter. Lots of laughter. To add to the effect, Elena actually POINTS AT NATHAN and laughs at him. And then, she grabs onto a pillow, smothers her face into it, and laughs some more. If there was a perfect opportunity to shuffle the Gomez girl out of this mortal coil, it would be now. But she's not laughing as hard as she should be at least. SEE? She's trying to be nice. And when Nathan calls her a brat, she laughs even harder.

Finally, she pulls the pillow away from her face, and wipes a tear from her eye. "Oh, Nate…it's…it's…nothing…to…to….be ashamed ab…about…" she wheezes. God, she can't even talk. "I…th…th…if anything if people know about this, you'll snag the female demographic pretty easy."

Oh hooray, he is now being laughed at. Nathan pinches the bridge of his nose and waits for the giggling to die down, though that doesn't look like it will be happening any time soon, so he takes up glaring darkly at her as the soap continues in the background.

"This time tomorrow, I am taking a plane to New Zealand. If I never see you again, it will be too soon."
"But you can't! I love you! Damnit, I love you!"
"Then why did you sleep with - my - gardener!"

Once the pillow is pulled away, Nathan extracts it from her grip, then— FACE PILLOW. Not hard, just a gentle toss across the couch, but it makes him feel slightly better once it's thrown at her. "Look, it's addictive. When I was laid up in hospital, it was about as thrilling as anything else." A little haughtily, he picks back up the popcorn to partake. With dignity.

"I…I….it was a phase! A passing fancy! YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE!"
"A -phase-??? You've been out of college for a -decade-!"
"You're so cruel to call me OLD!"


Elena takes the FACE PILLOW, collapsing on the other side of the couch. She can't help but laugh again against the pillow, clutching it to her face. At least she takes the facepillowing in good grace. She knows she's being mean. But when she straightens up from the couch, she's smiling at him, her cheeks glowing a little bit from the hilarity. "Heidi mentioned that," she says. Well, Peter did too, but… she was trying not to think about her in-limbo connection with his brother considering he RAN AWAY TO THE FUTURE before she could even call him back and ask him what the eff was up with the half-dozen messages he left on her phone while she was in Spain. "It took you a while to recover. Truth be told….when I heard about what really happened, I was really surprised you made it. I guess you Petrellis really are immortal in a way." She winks at him at that.

When she turns to look at the television again, she's staring as she watches the blonde cling to the handsome, middle-aged man as he tries to walk out the door after the row about the gardener. "….he should totally dump her," she says with a nod.

And in response to all that… Elena is awarded with a grunt and a shrug. Nathan could explain that he was brought back to life by the daughter he thought had died some sixteen years ago, but. Um. The soap opera in front of them is more than enough for such stories. Besides, it's not a time period he likes to reflect on - even if he still enjoys the soap operas he used to watch. "We're just stubborn," he ends up adding, once a long sip of beer is taken, can set aside.

Nathan tilts his head then at the screen, and sighs. "He should," he agrees, seriously, then offers the bag of popcorn across to her. "He probably will, though— look, there he goes."

A close up pushes in on the blonde woman's teary eyes as she cries pretty for the camera.

Popcorn? FOOD? MINE? MINE? Elena glances at the popcorn bag, and she digs out a handful, cradling the kernels as she pulls her legs up on the couch to settle in comfortably. It was weird, watching television with Nate - she knew Heidi and Peter well, but the senator-to-be (if the elections move to his favor anyway) was a mystery to her. What she knew of him, she tended to splice together through either hairy situations, situations involving Heidi, or…well. Just those really. The transition from casual acquaintances to housemates to eating popcorn while watching soap operas was a little sudden. But like always, she'll go with the flow.

The last crack from Nathan causes her grin to play up on her mouth, tossing a kernel of popcorn in. "Well, I figured it could go two ways. Either he finds someone else on the interim and she angsts over him until she realizes she's pregnant with his baby and tells him so he reasseses whether to get back together with her or not, or…..well. She dies. Only to come back four weeks later."

The scene cuts back to the handsome Australian doctor checking in on the amnesiatic patient. Whoa. He's pretty cute. She tilts her head a little bit. Cough. I mean what.

"I give her three weeks before she gets her memory back."

Honestly? Nathan's had the strangest friendships over the past few months. Hiro Nakamura probably claims the title for the first one, then it all went downhill from there, from passing out on Cass's apartment floor after his wife almost left him, to the strange and bizarrely glittery interaction with Jack, and other strange alliances forged here and there when the time is right. Settling down to watch bad daytime TV with a girl he only met when he went to save Heidi from kidnappers is almost relatively normal. Or. Well. No, it's not, but Nathan barely notices. It's not like you need to be close friends to appreciate the prettiness that is Taine Whitaker and Erin McCarty. Even Nathan can admit to both.

"The revelation will come in the form of an ex-husband, that's where I'm putting my money," he says, relaxing once more. "Or maybe Dr. Pryce is…" Then he trails off, and looks at Elena. Glares. "Oh sure, laugh at me then become the expert. What's your excuse?"

"Maybe it'll be a love triangle!" Elena says, pointing a finger upwards - possibly as a means to distract Nathan with the gesture as she steals more popcorn from him. She nibbles on one of the buttery kernels. "You know, the ex-husband shows up, by then dramatic sparks would've been flying between the patient and Dr. Pryce who somehow doesn't see the tanline in the woman's ring finger…..though I think for even more dramatic effect they would've consumated their relationship already before the ex-husband shows up. And then it'll give daytime soap watchers everywhere a few months' worth of fodder. Everyone seems to like love triangles." She shrugs. "I personally hate 'em but…I dunno. Most girls seem to think it's romantic. Guys know better."

She looks over at Nathan when he CALLS HER ON IT, and she chokes on a piece of popcorn. "Well— I— I— " Yes, she has the good grace to sputter. "….Mama used to watch them when she was still alive. I'd come home after class and sit with her and we'd watch stuff like this. Not One Life to Live though….something else. All My Children, I think. Because she was all about the kids, I don't know. But….yes. So I watched enough of these when I was really young, but….not so much anymore. I fully blame it on parental influence at an impressionable young age." She nods sagely.

The popcorn is confiscated for a brief while, because that stuff can be eaten through like lightning, and he scoops up his own handful worth of the snack, picking at it as Elena talks. "I was never a fan of love triangles," he agrees, rather flatly. Take that as you will.

And then, Nathan almost smiles when she wraps up her explanation. To be honest, it's probably too smirky, still smug that oh no, he is not the only one here with a dirty secret, but there's a nicer element to it as well. "There are worse legacies," he tells her, turning his attention back to the screen. "At least she didn't get you into reality TV. They replaced Young and the Restless with Survivor reruns at some stage in January. I almost wrote in." Pause. "You know, it's been a while since a decent amnesia plotline started up. I know I'm excited." Very, very dryly put.

At the smug smile, she glowers. "-Parental influence on an impressionable age-," Elena stresses. But she does smile at Nathan afterwards, and she almost makes a pathetic-looking face when he confiscates the popcorn. But she's got her own handful and she's nibblefacing through it as she listens to Nathan say that he hates love triangles too. "Word," she says with a nod, and lifts a loose knuckle to tap it lightly on Nathan's hand that she could reach. That was ONE thing they had in common.

But when he mentions reality television, she wrinkles her nose. "I know my generation is all about the genre, but I never really got into it," she says, adjusting so she could curl up a little more comfortably on the couch, hugging the pillow to her and balancing the popcorn with one hand. "First it was Survivor! Watch 12 strangers as they try to kick each other off some remote location while they live off insects and the desire to thwart, crush, and destroy their fellow men for a million dollars! …and then there's Big Brother. Watch as 12 strangers live in a house together and get spied on by a bunch of cameras while they live off each other's drama and misery for a million dollars! And then there's A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila. Watch as 12 strangers get down and dirty and engage in catty tactics just to date a celebrity who isn't really a celebrity but some random hot chick that got famous because she had a pimped out Myspace page."

"I have one thing to say to you, and one thing to say to you only. Stay away from my husband."
"Oh I'll stay away from your husband. I just can't guarantee he'll stay away from -me-."
"He will when he realizes you're -dead-!"


Elena stares slackjawed at the television. "Holy— !"

"Frankly I think Survivor could do with a little Lord of the Flies influence— " he starts to say. Then!


Nathan drops the popcorn kernel he'd been holding, and blindly points to Elena. "Shhh," is his only instruction, before leaning forward to watch how the rest of the sequence plays out. CASS HAD BETTER BE WATCHING and it'd be slightly too gay to check via text that she is, so, we'll leave it to fate. "Bitch had it coming," is his only comment, breaking his own rule, before pointing at Elena again in case she feels the need to reply. Ssshh. It's TV time in the Petrelli household.

Almost immediately, Nathan's phone emits a sound that conveys he has a text message. When/if he checks his message, he will see a text from Cass, "Are you watching?!" She never uses text speak, which might show why it took her a little while longer to send what should have been a very quick message.

The body of the homewrecker drops lifelessly on the ground. The disgruntled wife glowers at the body, and even blows the smoke out from the muzzle of the pistol, Dirty Harry style. And then, she'll start rolling the body in the carpet, lugging it to the door. And she came prepared. The trunk of her car is opened, revealing a bag of fertilizer, and a shovel. The body is dumped there, and the trunk is shut. She proceeds to drive off. Possibly to look for the nearest, abandoned back-40 she could find.

Elena doesn't have to be told twice. She even forgets about her popcorn for a while. She keeps staring at the television screen. What the hell? WHEN DID ONE LIFE TO LIVE BECOME EDGY?! Did they manage to steal one of the writers from Desperate Housewives or something?! She gropes around, digging into the popcorn bag for more, and starts gnawing on the kernels. All she knows was that the disgruntled wife with the gun and an old-school western style of justice was awesome. She should get her own show!

She glances over when Nate's phone goes off, but she turns back to the TV.

Nathan pauses to take his phone out, checking the message and rather seriously writing out a reply. He is not like the Kids Of Today so it goes a little slower as well, even if he doesn't spell out every word like Cass does, and at one point, he curses under his breath. "Where do you get exclamation points?" he mutters. Finally, he sends off the text. It reads as, "yes!!! stil dont think she is mysterous serial kiler 2 frm last week tho" before looking back at the TV, just in time to see…

…the shovel head burying itself in the dirt, an ominous indicator the activity to come, which slides neatly into a shot of a man cutting his knife through a hunk of steak in a different location. The phone rings, and he picks up. "Honey, that you? I'm making dinner, will you be home soon?"

Close up of the disgruntled wife smiling darkly. "Yeah baby," she purrs. "I'll be home soon." She lifts her gun to inspect it with a twinkle in her eye. "We got some things to talk about."

"Well fuck," Nathan comments, slumping back against the couch. See? Soap operas are awesome.

The only reply that Nathan gets is during the next commercial break. The telltale beep and then Cass' number flashes. "Serial killer is totally Lorelei. Bet second victim not really dead." Really, who texts like this? It reads more like a telegraph.

And this is how this particular episode ends after the commercial break, with previews for the next episode coming up, with a close-up shot of that dark, satisfied, sultry little smile on the vengeful wife. Elena blinks when the credits roll, and she gets a glimpse of the name of the actress who plays the character. She leans back on the couch, and when Nathan breathes what he does, she just nods slowly. "…did….did they get a new writer?" she asks Nathan, because Nathan is OBVIOUSLY THE EXPERT when it comes to all things daytime. She gives the senatorial candidate a glance, and nudges the popcorn bag in his direction. Before she eats it all. "Because that…that was pretty unexpected. Usually they draw out the love triangle until the season premiere, but……" Wow. Really? Oh how things have changed since she actually watched an episode of this.

He needs a cigarette after that. For real. Nathan just shakes his head. "Either they're building a fanbase or compromising the one they already got," he comments, picking up the popcorn bag and shaking out the last few kernels into his palm. "Not sure about a new writer, but I like it." The phone beeps, and he doesn't send a reply to Cass this time. They'll have to gush in person, maybe over another bottle of merlot, or tie-selection process.

Draining his beer, Nathan stands up, dusting himself off of popcorn crumbs as he does so. "I gotta get back to work, but I have copies of Eastenders you should be interested in."

"…." Elena gives Nathan a mock-glower. "I know what you're up to, Nathan Petrelli," she grumps. "You're trying to convert me." But the mock glower fades, and she gives him a cheerful grin. "Alright, I'll bite. I'm always willing to give something a chance." She watches the older Petrelli brother get up, and she does the same. "I should go do homework," she says, stretching her arms out absently. "And try and figure out if there're any new theories on space-time manipulation." She frowns. Because the last thing she wants to think about is Hiro and Peter, two veterans of this entire 'save the world' business, might be stuck in the future FOREVER. She'll do her best to look into the mechanics, just in case. Even if she needs to wrangle Gene into building a time machine. She smiles over at Nate. "I'll see you later, though. Have a good rest of the day at work."

Nathan pauses when she mentions time travel, looking almost pained. Just the teensiest bit, and if you'd blink, you'd miss it, but he's worried. To the point of his gut twisting when he tries to think of where the hell Peter is because it's been far, far too long for something to not have happened, but the mask easily slips back into place and he gives Elena a smile. "Good luck with it," he tells her, sincerely, before brushing past and on out. At least he has one other person to watch completely brain-frying daytime TV with.

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