2008-01-02: Return Of The Dinosaurs


Nathan_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: It's what Nathan tries to talk about, but his wife won't let him. So he tells her about his doctor's appointment, and promises pizza upon his inevitable return.

Date It Happened: January 2nd, 2008

Return of the Dinosaurs

The Petrelli Roof

Heidi is on the roof.

Obviously, she didn't fly up there, as evidenced by the ladder sitting against the gutter nearby. However, for the lack of anything else to do, she's working on taking down Christmas decorations before a predicted snowstorm makes the roof too slippery to stand up on. At the moment, bundled up in a coat and gloves, with a scarf wrapped around her face, she's attempting to pull a staple out of the shingles where lights are being held down. Directly next to her is one of those wicker reindeer with lights stuffed inside so that it's visible at night. Next to that is another deer - in fact, there are eight of them.

And down the line is Santa's sleigh.

Working staples out of solid material with gloves on is hard. Even harder when your fingers are starting to go numb from the cold. She should probably be heading inside shortly to have some coffee and warm up, but if she can just work this string of lights free, she'll feel accomplished.

Indoors, Simon is complaining to everyone who will listen that he's Not Allowed on the Roof Until He's Older. How is he supposed to rescue earth from the impending alien invasion if he can't get to the roof!? It's not fair! Mom's up there, and she's not even a soldier.

It's hard to sneak up on people when they are on the roof. The ladder will inevitably rattle under the strain, the roof does not make for quiet stepping unless you are a ninja. God knows how they do it, they can probably do it even with all the ice up here— ice which Nathan readily sweeps out of the way with his shoe as he approaches, having mysteriously appeared several feet behind Heidi. Perhaps it's not just ninjas who have such means.

He, too, is bundled up warmly in this late afternoon winter day, a sweater and a jacket over that, and a Christmas scarf he got as a present. Thanks, boys. It has a snowman on it. In his hands, ungloved, are two warm mugs of coffee. No one can ever say he's a bad husband. When it comes down to the littler things, at least.

"Thought you could do with a break," is his explanation should she turn at the initial sound of ice and snow being kicked off the roof.

Blue eyes that are, themselves, the colour of winter, look upward as Nathan is suddenly there. She looks toward the ladder, as if that will give her some sort of explanation, then back at her husband. Right.

Turning carefully, so as not to go falling down the slight pitch of the roof, Heidi digs one heel in while holding onto the string of lights. They actually make relatively good anchors, considering the fact that whomever put them up stapled deeply into the roof. That's bad. They're going to have to get a new roof. That's doable. Pulling the scarf down around her neck, she smiles up at Nathan.

"I was thinking about going inside," she states. There's a pause, before she reaches up for the coffee. "I think if I had, I wouldn't come back out, though. It's freezing up here. Probably good that you arrived when you did, or the Christmas decorations would be up 'til August."

It's sad, though. The amount of time spent putting up the decorations was extensive, only for them to be taken down and boxed up for next year. No wonder people put up decorations earlier and earlier. "Too bad it can't be Christmas all year," Heidi adds with some disappointment.

Shuffling closer on the awkward angle of the slippery roof, Nathan moves to sort of… couch-sit just next to Heidi, one leg out and braced against something sturdy that will probably break eventually, but hey, he can fly if need be. That fact has always made him a little bolder about heights, ever since he discovered what he could do. All the same, Nathan's other hand reaches out to anchor himself with the same set of steadfast lights.

"It wouldn't seem like Christmas after a while," Nathan says, getting comfortable after a bit of a struggle. Coffee in hand, he brings it up to sip. It's a rather nice view of the grounds, which always transforms depending on the season. He breathes out a breath of steam, watching the view as he continues with, "It would feel like normal after a while, the presents and everything. I like New Years more."

"Yeah?" Heidi asks. She's quiet for awhile, enjoying the view, too, as she warms up her hands with the mug of coffee. It's kind of a good way to look at things, since New Years is a new beginning, the start of something that will hopefully be better than the last twelve months - and… You don't have to go shopping for New Years presents. "The boys have certainly moved on. It's not dinosaurs anymore." She arches an eyebrow at Nathan. "Apparently, Simon really enjoyed the Stargate DVDs. He's John Sheppard, and Monty is a Wraith."

Dinosaurs will return. Eventually.

There's still obviously a lot of decorations to take down up here. "You didn't come up here to help, did you?" Heidi inquires hopefully, before taking a sip of her coffee. She might be able to get things done in less than half the time if he's up here to help. Not that she really minds the work, though, and there's still plenty of time to work before the decorations become 'normal.' "Next year, I think we should go with all white lights. That way we can just leave 'em up."

An eyebrow raises at the newest cool fad the boys are enjoying. Having never watched any form of Stargate, this makes little sense to the Senator-elect. "Uh huh," he says, without comprehension. "Dinosaurs are easier. I only just figured out the difference between a brontosaur and brachia— whatdoyoucallem."

At her question, Nathan twists around a little to observe the light set up, before settling once more. "I have some time," he says, after a moment and with a sideways glance. "I suppose I can do a husbandly duty once in a while, like taking down the lights. I actually came up here to let you know I'm not gonna— " He halts that sentence, squinting a little as if he can see it manifest in front of him, and seems to discard it, starting against with, "There's a thing I have to do tonight. A doctor I'm going to be seeing. I think he can help with this…"

His head tilts a little, trying, not for the first time, to figure out how to say it in a way that satisifies him. Not for the first time, he fails. "The split personality thing. Before it can start," he's quick to add.

Heidi knows a little about this Stargate, because she had to make sure it was okay for kids to watch first. It's not awful. A little scary at times, but watchable. "I think brontosaurus and brachiosaurus are the same dinosaur," she says flatly. "Really, all I know is that Tyrannosaurus Rex eats everything except Velociraptor, because Velociraptor is too awesome." If you're awesome, you are apparently exempt from the food chain. And according to Simon, you also wear sunglasses. And a tie.

"I could use some help getting Santa down. The guys who put him up here apparently thought he was going to fly off." She gestures toward the sleigh, which is secured down with metal ties and a whole lot of staples. "After coffee, though."

Though Nathan's next line of conversation didn't come completely out of left field, it still surprises Heidi. No one likes to think about the fact that someone they love might be sick. "Oh, yeah," is her initial muttered response. She sighs, scooting a little closer to Nathan, leaning against him for warmth and comfort. "Well. I'm proud of you for going." Transferring the coffee to one hand, she reaches out for his. "I can go with you, if you want."

Nathan similarly leans against his wife, and tangles her hand with his when she reaches. He doesn't respond immediately, just takes a long sip of coffee for a moment, enjoys the panoramic tranquility of a rooftop location, as awkward as it might be. "I'll see what this guy has to say first," Nathan finally states, squeezing her hand. "This probably isn't going to be a quick fix in one appointment, you know? I'll take you to meet him once I know the coast is clear."

"You sure?" she asks, though the question is half-hearted at this point. She's just offering, in case he wants the support. Something like a split personality has to be frightening to face. "I did a lot of reading on it. Case studies, things like that. It looks like there's a lot that they can do for multiple personality disorder now."

At least one thing can be said for them being up on the roof. It's really hard for anyone to listen in on this conversation. "…So, tonight. Little late for an appointment, isn't it?" Casual question. Still, in this past year, a little suspicion has crept into Heidi's mind. Kidnappers using her as bait, for example, makes her a little wary. Then, of course, there was the affair. That's farther back in her mind, but she still thinks about it sometimes. "You gonna be okay?"

"It's 2008 in New York City," Nathan says, with a wry tone. "The guy's probably fully booked until April with psychopaths and other wackjobs." Because it's far, far easier to laugh at the concept than to embrace it. He's pretty sure Cass had used the word sociopathic at one point, and he's pretty sure that's the worst outcome. Sounds a helluva lot more intense than simple MPD, too, but he doesn't voice this. "I'll be fine. I don't know how long it'll take or— what it even entails. And since when was a brontosaurus different from a brachiosaurus?"

"You're not a psychopath." Heidi pauses. "I think you might be a little crazy, though, but I won't tell anyone." Even if she's not as keen to make a joke out of the whole thing, at least she can smile a little. What she hopes is that it's at least marginally encouraging, and she did mean what she said. She's proud of him for even going. "You're changing the subject," she points out. It's just a little subtle shift, but this really could turn into an argument about dinosaurs. Nathan is a politician, thusly he's good at diverting subjects. Luckily, Heidi is immune. "Who's this doctor? Where're you going?"

"No, I'm serious, I feel so let down," Nathan says, squeezing her hand again as if to say - caught me. He leans right back against the angled roof, an elbow bracing himself up. "Dr. Mohinder Suresh," he says, without too much hesitation. "He also knows about… you know. People like me and Pete and Elena. He explained it to me in science-speak last year— no, the year before that one." Time flies. "He's been… I don't even know. I guess he's looked into MPD happening with— " If he has to say 'people like me' one more time… Nathan opts for, "Mutants," with a glance at Heidi. Her fault.

Following that is one of those knowing expressions, and acceptance of the situation, before she says, "Well, you are a mutant." If he's not crazy, he certainly is that. Mohinder Suresh; Heidi will file that name away in her mind for later, as she generally has a good memory for things like names. At least it's a starting point. Something she can look up if she needs to. "You should pick up a pizza on your way home," she says. It's one way of asking when he'll be back without actually asking the question 'when will you be back?' "We can talk about what the doctor said, if you want."

Somewhere along the line, she managed to finish her coffee. How did that happen? Sliding down the roof - carefully - she places the empty mug safely inside the gutter and pushes some snow around it so it won't fall. "If there's anything I can do…" she starts.

"I'll pick up two pizzas," Nathan says, staying where he is for now, quickly draining his own coffee cup, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand when he's done. He leans right forward so she can take his and place it similarly, before he's moving onto hands and knees to experimentally pulling at the lights. Huh. "We can have some for breakfast tomorrow." And he knows the code, so simply looks over his shoulder at her, smiles, and adds, "I don't know how long it'll be." He returns to tugging the light chord. "I'll let you know. Wow, they really hammered these bastards in didn't they."

Nathan's coffee cup goes next to hers, and Heidi works her way back up the roof to where she was before. She has come to the roof readily equipped, though, and while Nathan is working on the staples with his fingers, she pulls out a pair of pliers.

"Next year, we might want to tell them that the lights won't go anywhere if they're just tacked down," she says, pulling out a staple and putting it into her pocket. "That's one down, a thousand more to go."

Her worries are mostly alleviated at this point, and she's willing to let the conversation wander elsewhere. She has a name, at least, and her own willingness to trust, and that'll have to be enough for now.

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