Date: December 22nd, 2009
It's Santa Van Cortlandt!
"Presents For All"
Nathan Petrelli's Offices
After having been lectured about sending their sons home early, Nathan is glad to be off the phone and standing at the window. Unlike his Brayden form there is total conformity in his clothing. In fact, his well-tailored black suit, white shirt, and solid blue tie are oddly normal. His socks don't even have a print on them, but he manages to wear a large dimpled smile despite himself. He pushes Brayden to the front of his mind and memory — Brayden's thoughts, feelings and motivations are close at hand. He's practicing, exercising. Silently he sits back in his desk and hmms quietly to himself.
Tracy is a busy woman, running from here to there making sure everything is on track for the new Senator should feel like she's getting back to her life, to what she's good at — but while, yes, there is some exhilaration to be had in the familiar patterns, it's not the same. It isn't her old life. There's so much wrong here. Besides which, she can't go forward like she used to without the risk of being recognized… so it's to Nathan she is making a bullet-straight line for through the offices now, determined to do what she signed on to do, which right now, might just mean being his shadow.
There's a knock on his office door before it opens right up to admit "Linda", a trim, fitted taupe skirt and jacket dressing her form over a white blouse, coloured hair straight and down. "I saw you on TV this morning, quite a speech, Senator. If you're for real about those initiatives, we have more work to do."
In through the front door breezes Hallis, she is all smiles and dripping with sparklies. Thank you Mr. Cain. Her choice of clothing is muted to basic black in favor of showing off the beautiful pendant that is hanging from her throat by a white gold chain. She is carrying two large paper shopping bags filled with small wrapped gifts. Unlike everyone else in the entire city/state/country, she didn't watch the news in favor of catching up on some cartoons. If her boss likes them, she's going to like them.
"Knock knock everyone! It's Santa Van Cortlandt!" She sings out in her sweetest voice. Not only is she there to deliver some presents but she has a thick stack of envelopes and strict instructions from her Grandmother, the only person aside from her boss that she actually takes orders from. "I brought presents!"
Nathan flashes the most Brayden-smile he can muster (which admittedly isn't as easy as Brayden's, in fact it's almost a little forced) as Linda enters the room. "Thank God it's you," he murmurs as he lets the smile fade into a stern expression. "I have lots to tell y—" And then Hallis prances in.
Forcing another dimpled, Brayden-smile, he greets, "Hallis. Welcome." The tone has an edge of sentiment, but it lacks some of the genuine warmth his former-self had. His eyes are wearier than Brayden, but he also seems more confident, stoic, perhaps. His posture is naturally poised.
The perceptive eyes of Nathan's advisor lock on him with a measure of intensity, inquisitive… critical on that stern expression, the little but significant changes. Poised to question, she's delayed by the newest arrival. Just past the threshold to Nathan's office, Tracy, alerted to the presence of Santa Van Cortlandt — much like everyone else in the offices at large — turns with a vaguely surprised expression. The young woman's Christmas cheer doesn't seem to inspire the same in her: her smile is delayed, but bright all the same even though it's via courtesy and not sparkle. "Ms. Van Cortlandt," she greets, stepping aside in anticipation of Hallis coming through with her many bags.
"Hi Nathan, hi Linda! I brought you things." The young blonde steps into the office and places the large bags on the floor. Slowly, she begins unpacking them and placing them into small piles right on Nathan's desk. "Okay, these five are for you, Nathan. These three are for you, Linda, and I've got about six for Trey…" Once again, she's babbling, but it's all for a good cause. Fashion. Each pile contains one tin, presumably full of Christmas baking. Good news for all recipients, she didn't do the baking herself. "I think I guessed right on your size, Linda, I have a sixth sense about that… or something." Then she steps back and casts them both a smile. A smile that wanes just before she smacks herself on the forehead. "Oh! Almost forgot, Grandmother sent these for you." She digs into one of the bags and passes them each a cream colored envelope with gold embossing.
A more genuine smile spreads over Nathan's lips. "Hallis you didn't have to get us anything…" He says idly as he glances at the packages. He peers at the baking with moderate suspicion as he recalls the woman didn't know how to make pudding, but he manages a smile anyways. "Thank you." He glances at her again and furrows his eyebrows, "You didn't want us to open them now, did you? Christmas is still three days from now. And we've got lots of work to do —" Beat. "Did you see our press conference? I wore one of the suits you brought me. Thanks for that." His cheeks begin to hurt from grinning so much. How did Brayden do it so easily?
A reserved look of very vague skepticism on her face, her smile only half-retained, Tracy slowly follows Hallis further into the office, smoothing down the front of her blazer's faintly reflective fabric idly as she comes to a stop near Nathan's desk. "You… got a gift for me too." Pause. Eye. She has only met this woman once, and the display of generosity is somewhat unfamiliar in her world. As such, a questioning glance is sent, briefly, to Nathan. "You shouldn't have." Nevertheless, she turns a smile on Hallis that could even be construed as warm as she accepts the gold-embossed envelope. Envelopes evidently do not fall under holiday gift-opening time rules as far as she's concerned, since she carefully opens it at once.
Hallis beams as Linda begins to open the invitation. In Nathan's case, it's an invitation and a pledge of monetary support. "They're for Grandmother's party of Christmas eve, it's formal so Linda, you'll have to wear a ball gown… Nathan you'll have to wear a tuxedo. If you need to, I can find something for the both of you." She leans against the desk and shoves one of the boxes toward the new senator, "Open it! You'll need them for the party… if you go. Grandmother will be very disappointed if you don't. Trust me." The small socialite carries an expression of extreme seriousness while talking of her Grandmother. Lizette might not be a powerhouse physically, but the sharp old woman has monetary connections everywhere.
"Well considering Ma's in Fiji and the kids are in California —" Nathan shrugs a little. Plus it'll give him an opportunity to schmooze with more politicos. "I'll be there if Linda comes." He offers a faint smile that he punctuates with a rather awkward wink (oh yes, Brayden used to wink easily) as he too opens the envelope and looks at the invite. "Alright. I'll open them, but afterwards, Ms. Johnson and I really need to get some work done —" With a half-grin he opens the first of the five packages.
The invitation is pulled neatly out of the envelope, layered on top as Tracy examines it. It's actually given a faintly wistful look before she finds herself imparting a rather odd and skeptical look for his wink and comment; she'll have to decide if the party is worth the risk of being recognized in at a public event such as that. Easier here than D.C., certainly, but one never knows. Noncommittally, she folds her arms with that reserved, barely there smile present, silent.