2007-12-08: Pull Up A Skyscraper

WARNING: contains Season 3 Material.


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Summary: A night of errands leads two brothers to have a conversation about a serial killer and the borrowed time he's living on.

Date It Happened: December 8th, 2007

Pull Up A Skyscraper

The Sky

It's getting to that point where it will be too cold and wet to fly. Even too cold and wet to teleport, especially where they're going, but regardless, two figures hurtle through the night sky, one moving bolder and quicker, clearly leading the way - although their destination isn't exactly obscure. The Woolworth Building might not get as much press as some, but it's iconic enough to know where to go.

On the upper levels, Nathan touches down easily, walking off the momentum for a few paces as he glances around. Further away, the darkness made things hard to tell, but at this level, it's clear he's alone - that is, until Peter joins him - and he lets out a sigh, a stream of visible breath that is whipped away easily by the buffeting winds that make his coat tails flap against his legs. He takes out a piece of paper, which rustles in the breeze too. Conundrum. Nathan turns to peer up at the sky to see if his brother has caught up yet. He hasn't entirely told Peter why he's here, just that he was 'running an errand' and Pete was free to join him. He had the slightest feeling that perhaps Peter liked to fly with him, and Nathan didn't entirely mind it either, especially now that he could.

In the cold, Nathan folds his arms about himself and watches to observe Peter's inevitable landing.

The ability comes from the man leading the way, so inevitably he would be better at it, faster and more able to avoid tall buildings and other obstacles. Luckily, he'd given an idea of the destination before they left, so Peter didn't need to try and keep him in sight to follow. He lost him moments after he took off, the dark suit blending into the sky, and his own lack of skill in the ability made keeping a similar speed difficult. After arms are folded, feet can be tapped, but moments later he'll come into sight, visible mostly due to his pale skin. His dark clothes help camouflage him in the night sky. Moments later he lands.

This time there's no stumbling, no slamming into the side of the building through one of the windows, he just sets down, letting out a puff of breath-steam into the cold air. He's breathing a little heavy. "You never said… exactly… what we… are here for," he comments, half asking. His hair hangs onto his forehead, but not far enough it's in his eyes, just touching his eyebrows.

Similarly, Nathan is also dressed darkly - a black coat that hangs to his knees, zipped closed from waist to neck, is almost a dramatic garment suitable for someone who flies and skulks about on rooftops, but underneath that, more conservative dress - the collar of an egg-shell blue shirt is just visible, slacks grey, shoes polished. His other hand, the one not holding the note, dips into his pocket for a moment, and he lifts his chin to Peter in a sort of greeting. The non-question goes ignored for the moment. "Can you Jack?" he asks. "I need a rock or something heavy."

"You need me… to Jack something?" Peter asks, shaking his head a bit. There's still no explaination for this particular decision. "I wonder if he knows how well his name works as a verb for what he does…" He's actually used it a few times. "It won't be really heavy, but yeah, I can Jack you a rock." There's a quiet moment of concentration and then a rock appears in his gloved hands. The upper maximum weight for what he can move from one place to another. He holds it out.

Nathan reaches out to take the stone, own hands bare in contrast, and seems to weigh it in his palm. "Thanks," he says, once it proves to be satisfactory, and he moves towards a spot towards the structure of the building. They're not on the very top, just an expansive, wide ledge-like area that encircles it, and he crouches to set the note down and capture it beneath the jack'd rock. Obviously, he needed it so that the paper wouldn't blow away. Done in just a moment, he moves back towards Peter, then past him, to sit down at the very edge, letting his legs dangle over it, and he gestures. "Pull up a skyscraper."

"You're leaving a note on top of a building?" Peter asks, looking down at it. "For a moment there I thought I was going to be involved in crime— by you." There's a shake of his head, before he moves over and sits down, dangling his legs over the edge too. The wind might be more intimidating if it weren't for the fact that they can both fly if they get knocked off. "I talked to Sylar today. Asked him some of my questions," he seems to be dropping all his questions about their crazy mission to leave a note on top of a building. Does his brother have another flying friend?

If Peter isn't directly asking, then it doesn't seem Nathan is willing to just give up the information. He does chuckle a little at Peter's guess as to this little errand. Considering his squeaky clean record, such a thing would seem out of the ordinary for him. These days, probably not. He knows he's killed at least one person in the past year, a man with an accent who had threatened to kill him and do even worse to his wife.

Perhaps the way Nathan's expression hardens some at the mention of Gabriel Gray in his detainment might be related to such measures he'd been willing to take, even in a moment of passion. He's berated Mara for not pulling the trigger on the killer when she'd had the chance. He'd berated his brother of the same.

A flask is taken out of his pocket, uncapped, and offered to Peter. Should the younger man take the offer, he'll find himself tasting genuine Russian vodka that should never be mixed with anything, and isn't. "How'd that go?" Nathan asks, voice carrying a clipped tone.

Peter expects to be involved in crime thanks to people like Jack or Claude (though he's not seen that man in a year). Even Lachlan. Elena has more chance of involving him in crime than his squeaky clean brother. Such a thing would have been very out of the ordinary. The flask is taken as it's handed over, a small sip from it all that he takes. Though the quality of the vodka might tempt him to take more. He hands it back. "I wanted to find out how he became this way— He explained part of his ability to me. It seems to have… a side effect. He described it as a hunger. To have more."

There's a pause, he keeps his eyes forward, out to the city lights, toning his voice loud enough to carry, "I don't know much about it, but I found part of a Company file on him that I think he stole. It gave an idea of who he was before and he wasn't… this until the middle of last year, when he discovered his ability. The Company found him soon after he first attacked someone— sent— An Agent— to… I don't know. Test him, maybe? They drove him to kill again, practically hand delievered a victim to him."

When the flask is taken back, a slightly more liberal sip is enjoyed, before he clasps the flask in his hands just between his knees, enjoying the view despite the severity of his expression. "I see," Nathan says, voice a little flat, but it's clear he's giving this new information some thought. "That sounds like something the Company would do, I'll grant him that. How do we know he's not lying?"

"We don't," Peter says, shaking his head a little. There's a small sigh as he has to admit that— there's a few ways he could tell, but he'd not wanted to invade his mind just yet. "I have some people I can call on to help with that. A dreamwalker who can take me into his dreams. She told me that people can't really lie in their dreams, that they tell the truth as they know it. As long as she can disguise herself so he can't see who she really is— then I'll ask her to help me."

Apparently, thinking and using people he knows of are two of the things he really is working on. "And there's also the person who took away my abilities just by being on the same floor of the building. I can put her in the next room and see if that… feeling goes away along with his abilities. But even then I'd have to take his word for it, cause I won't be able to read his mind while she's in the next room."

He glances over and shrugs mildly, "I can't really ask the Company about it. Not unless I want them to figure out I have him. If he really does want to be helped, he's not going to get it there."

"And neither are we," Nathan agrees with his own mild shrug. "They try to keep him in a cage, seems like whenever he breaks free people wind up dying. Or getting hurt." There's a certain tone to his voice even if he doesn't voice the implication: don't repeat their mistakes. His hand comes up to grip Peter's shoulder in a companionable touch, squeezing once. "I know you. You like to see the good in people and try to help them. I can't help but look at what they've done and work from there, but you're— different. Just don't— " Sing it with me now, 'do anything stupid'. He manages not to verbalise this old refrain, however, and finishes with, "Don't let that cloud your judgment."

"Nathan— you saved me," Peter says, looking over at his brother with that intensely serious expression he sometimes gets. "If you hadn't stopped me that night in Kirby Plaza, I'd have far more blood on my hands than he ever could. And it's like Niki and Jessica… Niki didn't want to become what she did, but she did— she lost control of an aspect of herself and she murdered people. But she wanted to stop and wanted help." There's a pause, where he takes in a slow breath. "He had no one to stop him from becoming what he is, no one who even really tried. I'm not saying it'll work— I'm not even completely convinced he deserves it yet." He's grasping at straws to be convinced, though. "If I can't… help him at all— if he proves he really doesn't deserve a second chance— if he hurts people again— I'll kill him. It's my responsibility."

Something unwinds a little in Nathan, something relents. His hand even slackens on Peter's shoulder, and it's about when the subject of Niki and Jessica is brought up. He looks away and out towards New York City, one that could have been blown apart in an explosion of nuclear light and heat, or ripped apart by war and terrorists, or devastated by a tornado. Perspective. Perhaps Nathan wouldn't assign the same glimmer of hope to someone like Gabriel Gray if not for the fact his brother reminded him of a woman whom he'd talked to about his own future, becoming a man who'd have more guilt on his conscience than Sylar could ever dream of.

Nathan rolls his eyes, and takes a drink of vodka.

"You're damn right it's your responsibility," he says. "That monster's done enough to the people I— " His eyes close, a sigh breathes steam into the air. "To the people around me, and then some. This isn't his second chance. He's running on credit, here."

"Fair enough," Peter says, leaning a little into the hand on his shoulder, before he lifts one of his own to reach over and take the vodka flask away— if allowed. "He's on his last chance— credit. Borrowed time, I guess you could say." Since he's a watch maker. He takes a more generous drink from the flask, before handing it back over. "I'll try to move him out of the Labs soon if I can— but I need to find somewhere secure, with good locks. Cass brought him out of the coma while I was gone." He wasn't too pleased by the sound of this. "Shot him full of the stuff that took away his powers— but he wrecked part of the lab." There's a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. "Maybe…" he trails off and suddenly looks behind him, toward the building— the rock. "What was this errand for, anyway?" Ninja subject change.

Busy taking a last sip of vodka until only a few drops rattle around in the bottom of the flask, Nathan doesn't notice the purpose of this diversion, just glances over to where the note is held secure under the rock. The flask is closed, slipped back into his pocket. "Trying to catch up with a friend," he says, more willing to admit this now that the vodka settles warm in his stomach. "Need to do the same thing on the Empire State too." A hint of a smirk follows, enjoying only telling Peter pieces of an answer.

"Oh," Peter says, his curiosity perked again. There's only a few people who could get to these places to find a note, but he seems to accept that as a reason. If only because he asked it to cover up his near-miss on a possible lie he doesn't want to spread. Until he has some kind of confirmation. "Empire State building?" he adds, shifting to glance in that basic direction, whether he can see it or not. "Race you there?" He can't help it.

A beat, then Nathan is getting to his feet, which takes more effort than he'd like. Clearly needs to take up jogging again now that he's not dying and carrying any infectious diseases. "Not giving you a head start," he says, flippantly. Like he ever did before. Peter'd be lucky if Nathan didn't trip him up first, thirteen year age gap or no.

There's a movement to get back to his feet, even so close to the edge. Peter looks down over the city, and then back at his brother. "Like you ever have before?" he asks in a joking manner, eyebrows raising despite the cold. It is rather chilly up here, but the longer they sat, the easier it got for him. Since meeting an ice manipulator his cold-tolerance has gone up quite a bit. "What'll it be, ready, set, go?"

And as soon as the word 'go' passes Peter's lips, question or not, Nathan jumps off the edge of the building, dipping on a fraction as if to fall before he's rocketing away. That would be a 'yes'.

"Son of a— " Peter starts the curse, the one that would insult himself as well, before he too leaps after.

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