2007-08-19: DF: Psychopathalytical

Starring:

DFNathanReal_icon.gif DFRamon_icon.gif DFLogan_icon.gif

Summary: Therapy begins. Not everyone is happy about it.

Dark Future Date: August 19th, 2009

Psychopathalytical


Weischel Carcass House - Packing Room

It's reasonably early in the morning, and Nathan is wide awake. And apparently, having a conversation. The BDU shirt that Jack had offered him during Ramon's last visit is now torn in a few places, and bloodied, although in odd locations, and there's a myriad of fresh cuts and grazes that have since been medically seen to, scarps of bandage here and there. On the plus side, his living space isn't entirely empty - a rucksack is shoved into the corner, a few bottles of water, a rolled up sleeping bag. Meanwhile, Nathan paces restlessly within his cage, muttering to himself. Occasionally, his voice will raise to an audible degree, carrying snippets like, "…matter how long it lasts, you don't think you— oh really?" and so on, like a one-sided phone convo.

Ramon comes down and looks at Nathan. He doesn't interrupt immediately. He just…starts listening, wanting to hear both sides of the conversation for now. Wanting to understand this 'argument' that's happening.

Nathan doesn't notice Ramon right away, arms folded around himself and wrapped up in the conversation. Logan isn't really much of a mirage in this case, just a fleeting presence in the distorted reflection off the bars, and Nathan doesn't bother looking in that direction. But Logan's voice is strong enough either way.

"Something will give, Nathan, you can't run a country. You can't even run yourself."

"That's rich, acting like you're the sane one in this scenario."

"What did Cass say to you? You're the person, I'm just the face in the mirror. But you need me."

Ramon has thought up some sort of a strategy. And he asks, quietly, without ever opening his mouth, *So what happened on burn day?* He may be unique in that he does not know the infamous story of how Nathan turned into a burn victim…or how he stopped being one. But he figures it's important. And he figures if he talks to Them like they're One, it will help. He leans against the wall and takes out a black rubber ball. He hurls it at the far wall, then catches it on the rebound.

Nathan's head snaps over towards Ramon, startled, and is silent for a moment - which seems to give Logan the opportunity to murmur, to Nathan, almost sweetly, "Should I tell him, hero, or should you?"

"Shut up," Nathan mutters, before moving closer to the cage bars, hands wrapping around them as he regards the other man. "Peter lost control of his powers, few years ago," he says. "He was meant to go nuclear and wipe out New York." Meant, as if it had been arranged. He glances to the side, and Logan is there, almost summoned by the story, wearing exactly the same clothes but with his body and face as distorted as it once had been. One still seeing eye watches Nathan, before watching Ramon with a lot of wariness, leaning against the bars. Nathan speaks up again, as if to do so before Logan can. "So I flew us both into the sky. I got injured. I wasn't supposed to make it." Wasn't supposed to wind up crippled.

*You meant to suicide,* Ramon says slowly. *Heroic sacrifice. And you say meant, like you were involved, so you were trying to atone. Only it went wrong. You came back — burned to a crisp and unable to so much as take care of yourself, everything in your life taken away from you.* He nods, mentally sort of nudging. Go on. Talk more. Either one.

Nathan's hands grip the bars a little harder. He's had a lot of time to think about this, but never has he really spoken about it. He goes quiet, so Logan takes the opportunity to put in his two cence. "There was a plan," he says, now wrapping an arm around a bar. He's honestly not sure if Ramon can just hear him, or maybe see him as well, but he talks directly towards the telepath, a little hostile. "Let Peter wipe out a city, take leadership, take it all. And he threw it away. There was so much to gain." He sounds disgusted. "But no, he couldn't do it, put it on his conscience. And what thanks did that bring you?" That last part, directed to Nathan, who ignores him. This is an old argument - one he had debated with himself while laid up in bed, one he now can have with a whole new personality.

*You feel it's wrong to love your brother?* Again, Ramon addresses them as if they are one person. They are. They're just effed up. There is no secret Logan entity, there's just Nathan, who can't reconcile this part of himself, can't accept it, and so let it run off and become its own thing. Who needed to protect himself from it. Ramon wonders what his own demons would look like if he did the same. Then…he rather thinks he is the demon.

"No," Nathan says, shaking his head. "Letting him destroy Manhattan would have ruined him. No turning back from that. It's just what I had to do, for his sake. For New York's." He sounds a little defensive, as if Logan's presence basically implies that Nathan regrets this decision.

"He left us," Logan then says, watching Nathan, aggressive tone hollowing for a moment. "He left us to heal on our own, dropped off the fucking map. You call that gratitude? Months went by."

"There was no 'us'," Nathan growls, now unable to just ignore the delusion-presence beside him, glaring.

Logan ignores this, however, impatient. "Ramon? There's no fixing this. Best thing you can do is throw him in a psych ward and call it a day. Not my favourite destiny but maybe it'd be a kindness if you're not gonna let me take the wheel."

*So part of you would like to just say fuck it to all of it,* Ramon observes. That ball slams into the opposite wall, then he catches it. *You expected him to heal, not die.* He nods. This makes sense. *So you can put that guilt you feel to rest. You weren't really sacrificing your brother.* Just. You know. Thousands of other people. He slings the ball again, and it hits the wall with explosive sound, and then he catches it. *But if he'd just gone nuclear, isn't it more reasonable to assume he /couldn't/ come back?*

With a sneer, Logan paces away when he doesn't immediately get what he wants, as if allowing Nathan to deal with Ramon for the rest of the visit. Nathan nods silently for a moment, clearing his throat. "I know. But all I knew is that he wasn't dead, because someone got me to hospital," he says, quietly, voice barely carrying across the room. "But I…" He sighs, confirming Logan's more savage criticism. "I didn't hear a word from him for a long time. After that, I knew it was because he was letting the Company keep him safe, to treat him. But at the time… I had a lot of time to think."

*Sure, that makes sense. Anyone in your position would.* Ramon says quietly. *And then, when someone else came along and effectively did what Peter didn't do…you decided to channel all that anger into doing what you were wanting to do all along. The opportunity arose again. Second chance time. But then…you also knew it was wrong.*

"Please." Logan, now, from where he's pacing seemingly just behind Nathan, who stays leaning against the bars closest to Ramon. "Don't give him that much credit, Mr. Gomez, you're not talking to a hero, here. When the opportunity rose again, it was his to take. Then the kid died, the wife got hurt, and yet again, he couldn't do it. So I did what had to be done." And Nathan is quiet, though disliking what he's hearing… he's heard it a lot.

*Why did it have to be done?* Ramon asks, seemingly unperturbed. He is just trying to understand now, not actively asserting any pressure. If Logan tries to come 'drive' he'll shove him back, but he'll let both men have their say. The first step to stopping it, he's sure, is getting it.

Good question, and it stops Logan for a moment. It always seemed so obvious to him, that asking why is enough to off-balance him. But he doesn't let it catch him for too long. "Because had Nathan been left to his own devices, there'd be no campaign, no presidency, no ambition. He wanted to give up— "

"I wanted to mourn," Nathan mutters, casting a hateful glance back to the mirage.

"There was no time," Logan snaps back. "The world doesn't wait for you to feel sorry for yourself." He looks to Ramon. "So I picked his name back up and made something out of it again. He wasn't prepared to be strong enough for this country, after the war, but I was."

*Why you? Why did it have to be you?* Ramon asks quietly. *There are thousands of politicians. There are probably at least 100 Evolved ones. You already knew you didn't have all the wisdom in the world—you'd had to change your mind on your course. You already knew you were not the most powerful of Evolved. Charisma you have, when you're not being smarmy. When you're being yourself, really, you have charisma. But others have charisma. So. Why you?*

The 'smarmy' comment gets synchronised "…hn" from both egos, but it's Logan who steps up. Quite literally, this time, sliding like liquid back into their shared body, pulling himself up closer to the bars. "Because I wanted it," he says, harshly, with a deranged smile. "What the fuck else did I have left? It was the only destiny I knew and I wanted. it."

*Ah,* Ramon says, nodding as if he understands. *You needed a crutch. You needed an identity. So, ironically, you turned yourself into two men and went and got it. So then, once you had it—why did you make the choices you made? Why this dark reign of terror and not something better and more positive? Why did you want this world of pain?* He thinks he knows the answer, but he's not here to project.

Logan has spent a year smoothing over such questions, taking the bad things and rewording them into good things. Detainment became protection, and so on and so on. Here, there's nothing left but simple honesty. He remains in the shared body, and away from him, Nathan slumps in the corner, silent for now. "Do you know how much pain we went through?" Logan says, quietly, still with that smile. "So much pain to save this city and no one could ever know. The war needed a solution and this was mine. Oh but wait, you know pain, don't you. One wife, sure, but it must be a bitch to not even know what happened to the second. Maybe that's just plain carelessness."

Ramon's face twists into an expression of sheer horrible hurt, but he recovers. *This is not about me,* he says simply. *This is about you. So you've taken out your pain on everyone your long arm can reach. Do you feel satisfaction at that? Stronger? Empty? Full? Does it end when you stop hurting?*

"How do you think you would feel?" Logan says, with an almost cheerful smile. "Come on, don't you wish you could just take it out on the world, what you feel inside? Probably just jealous." Then, his expression darkens, and he sharply rattles the cage door. "Therapy's over. I'm done with this." He steps back.

That gets Nathan's attention, and he stands up, about to protest should Ramon take Logan's advice, but he waits for now, to see what happens next.

*Then let Nathan back in your body or I force you back.* Ramon says simply. *You are in control right now because I have allowed it. But if you're not going to co-operate, then back you go. Give me too much trouble and I start experimenting. I'm thinking of all sorts of ways I could simply trap you.* Though he does expiriment. He tries touching only the /Nathan/ part, just to see if he can think only at the one. A bit of Shakespeare. *Two houses, both alike in dignity.*

Logan gives Ramon a hard look, but he's caught off guard when the Nathan-mirage approaches the bars and says, "Wasn't really the literary type."

"What?" Logan says, not understanding - having not heard Ramon's thought at all. Nathan raises an eyebrow at him and doesn't elaborate, and there's a moment of silence. Then, Logan murmurs, "Whatever," and it's Nathan glancing back at Ramon with physical eyes, looking a little bewildered.

He takes a moment, glancing about the cage, before shrugging with some uncertainty. "I think he's sulking," Nathan says, with an almost nervous flicker of a smile. It fades quickly. "Is he really a part of me?"

Ramon drops to normal speech. "I spent lots of time last night reading, and that came with plenty of pat shit to tell you," he says slowly. "But it's not entirely accurate. Because…I can't just say, 'that's your Shadow side. It's all the parts of you that you don't accept.'" He looks Nathan in the eye. "Because at one point you accepted it enough to be seriously tempted to go through with this plan. You overcame that, but it didn't immediately fill you with shock and horror did it? Something else changed your mind." He holds up a hand. "I'm not judging you, man. I'm just…trying to understand."

Nathan nods once, because. That's fair. "It was a hard decision, and it shouldn't have been," he agrees, gravely, then shakes his head. "Now Logan makes decisions like that everyday. I tried not to care, but he flat out doesn't." He grips the bars again a little hard, as if wishing to remove them, as if the lack of a barrier would help Ramon understand. "That's what people need to understand about him. He doesn't care about anything."

Ramon is quiet for a long time. "Well," he says. "Caring hurts like a son of a bitch. And it does mean having to feel all that shit." He looks at the other man, arching his single eyebrow. "How long has he been in control? What was the first day you saw him? How many times have you been out since it all went down?"

That's a tough question, one Nathan has been trying to figure out the answer to for a long time, so when he speaks, it's with uncertainty. "He took control since around the end of the war," he says. "Day one when…" Slight eye roll. "When 'Nathan Petrelli' ran for office. That was all him. And I'm taking his word for it because I wasn't awake for a long time. Weeks, months, something like that. But I was never in control even when I knew what was going on, I didn't…" Frustrated sigh, absently smacking his palm lightly against a bar. "Couldn't figure out how to do it. Between then and when I got thrown in here…" How many times? He thinks for a moment. "Twice. First time… there was a mirror, and he had told Kate Petrelli the truth. She helped. Second time wasn't so long ago. He got shot in the shoulder, was riding on medication, and I figured out how to take it back for a few hours. Then after that, well…" A wry, slightly scratched smile. "I have Jack to thank for scaring him off again." He gestures slightly with his four-fingered hand.

Ramon considers that. He says, "Nathan, I can sit here and try to play armchair shrink all night long. And…I can probably do something to him, chain him up in your head or stick him in some dream world where he thinks everything's back in control or compulse him away or order him into your subconsicous or compulse /you/ to keep him back. But all of that will ultimately fail. All of those are temporary fixes doomed to failure. Someday we'll figure out how to make you one again. But I think what I've learned tonight is this…we've got to get it to where you are the stronger partner. The one in control. You are now fully aware of what's going on. So now, the only way he gets control is if you allow it. I can come up with exercises to force him into the forefront…and you can try to take back the wheel. And we can vary on that theme. But at the end of the day, there's the core of it."

He understands it, the temporary fixes. It's why he turned down the drugs from Cass, because if Nathan ever wants control back, it has to be done the hard way. Doesn't mean he has to like it, that there's no easy solution. Still, he nods to Ramon, smirks faintly at the idea of what is essentially training. "Practice makes perfect," he says, but his tone is one of consent to this idea. "Thanks for… this. You don't owe me it."

Ramon scowls and grunts something that will have to pass for whatever reasonably social thing people say to that. It probably means 'you'd do the same for me.' Or it means 'shut up and stop getting mushy.' "Do you want to try now or tomorrow? How tired are you?"

The grunt gains an amused smirk from Nathan, and then he gestures around himself. "Got no where to be," he says. He doesn't really comment on tiredness, he's always tired it seems, so it's shoved to one side. "I'm willing." If a little nervous, by the looks of things, but willing all the same.

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