2007-03-13: Safe Places

Starring:

Nathan_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif

Summary: After time spent in Company captivity, Nathan comes crashing home to find Angela, and a distinct lack of Peter and Claire.

Date It Happened: March 13, 2007

Safe Places


Petrelli Mansion, New York

It's very late at night when a man dressed in black comes falling out of the sky and lands with semi-grace on the lawn behind the Petrelli estate. A muttered curse is barely heard when he picks himself back off and wipes dirt off his hands, and, having been seen by at least one very confused security guard, Nathan's walk back to his home is interrupted. "Sir? Are you alright?" the guard says.

"Peachy," Nathan says, stepping around the uniformed man, uninterrupted, though his hand makes for his wallet as he goes.

"With all due respect, how did you—" Questions are put to a stop when a tidy bundle of cash money is pulled from said wallet and handed to him, Nathan smiling brightly once at him in the darkness before continuing his way into the house. The security guard considers something for a moment, pockets the cash, then makes a call to the matriarch of the house, informing her her son is home.

Inside, having gone around the back entrance, Nathan moves briskly towards the foyer. "Ma! Claire! Peter!" he yells out, despite the late hour. He's still dressed the way he left, all in black with the evidence of a bulletbroof vest beneath his shirt.

There is no sign of Nathan's mother, brother or daughter when he enters the foyer. Instead, he's greeted by a long, smooth gash in the floor that looks as though someone dragged something sharp and heavy across it. After a few moments, though, the soft sound of footfalls on the steps begins to echo through the mansion, and Angela Petrelli appears at the bottom of the staircase. Although she's dressed in slippers and a white robe, loosely fastened with a silken black sash, she doesn't look as though she's gotten much sleep. Her dark eyes are bright and alert, her short hair styled in such a way that she appears to have been expecting company. "Nathan." His name comes out in a short rush of breath.

Nathan's pace slows when his eyes catch the marring in the floor, and it gets a derailed, puzzled moment of contemplation until Angela steals his attention away. Turning towards her, Nathan can't help but dart his gaze hopefully behind her, in case she were followed by one of the two people he had called for. Upon seeing no one, he simply steps forward. "Are you okay?" he asks, in a tone that resembles requesting a debriefing, even as he draws her into a hug.

Angela places her hands on Nathan's back, her long fingers splayed, and rests her head against his shoulder. He might detect a faint tenseness in her body, the last remnants of anger, but that soon melts off, swept away by the closeness they share. The embrace does not last, however; Angela draws back before she can get too comfortable, moving her hands from Nathan's back to his shoulders so that she's holding him at arm's length. The expression on her face is stern, but not unkind. "Noah's taken Claire," she murmurs, "and your brother's gone." She is most definitely not okay.

That was not the answer Nathan was looking for, and it shows, even if his expression remains impassive. Subtle cues like a tense silence for half a second too long, frown deepening. "Gone. What do you mean gone?" Despite himself, there's the suggestion of hope in his voice. "You mean Peter was here?" He shakes his head once, and continues before Angela can answer. "Noah's taken Claire /where/?"

"Peter was here," Angela confirms, "so was Sylar." She decides to leave out any mention of Elle for now, lest she give Nathan the impression that she knows more than she insists she does. "It's for the best," she adds, slowly shaking her head. "Your home is no longer a safe place for her." Or anyone, but she lets this go unspoken.

"As long as she's with Bennet, she's not safe," Nathan insists. He doesn't react to the news of Sylar. He will, as soon as he's done reacting to everything else. He steps away from Angela, hand raising to rub the bridge of his nose as he tries to collect his thoughts. "Bennet's a traitor. He sold us out to the Company for Claire's safety and they laid a trap for us. As long as he's one of them, they can keep tabs on her." He's more thinking out loud, here, and the look he gives Angela when he pauses is apologetic and weary.

"Traitor is such a strong word," Angela says, "more importantly, it implies that we're on different sides. You and Noah want the same thing, and that's to protect your daughter. You may not approve of his methods, but the man has his heart in the right place." She raises both her dark eyebrows at Nathan as she moves into the sitting room, presumably to rest her feet. "If he truly betrayed you, how is it you're here with me?"

"Would you have gone along with it, if you'd known?" Angela adopts a seat of her own, legs crossed, hands in her lap. A small, wry sort of smile is beginning to tug at the corner of her mouth, though she swiftly and ruthlessly subdues it. "You did what you set out to do. At a personal cost, true, but in the end that shouldn't matter. Peter is free, and Claire is with someone who would lay down his life for her. We'll have her back soon enough."

Nathan gives her a long look, before he seems to concede her that point, glancing away and into the shadows of the room. A silence follows, as he thinks, and though it's unclear as to how much of this he's in agreement with, he moves on to the next family member his mind is on. "Peter. He's in hiding?" he asks. "Do you know where he is?"

"Peter is off being Peter," Angela says, not without a hint of bitterness and exasperation in her tone. "He called me from a hotel to ask how I was doing, so I can only assume he's all right." She pulls down a book from a nearby shelf and opens it, revealing a baby blue post-it note that she was using as a bookmark. "I took down the number, in case you might want to track him down."

Nathan stands, hand out for the note without even an iota of hesitation. "I think I'll do that," he says dryly. "He doesn't need to run, I…" He lets out a frustrated sigh, rolling his eyes, even as he speaks of what is apparently good news. "I don't think they're going to try and track him down, anymore. I think they're going to leave all of us alone."

"That would be uncharacteristically wise of them," Angela mutters as she passes the note to Nathan, "but I hope you're right." She closes the book and places it back on the shelf, pausing to run the very tip of her finger up and down its spine. "You should know that he might not be alone," she says in afterthought. "He had a girl with him."

Nathan looks down at the note, as if the numbers will tell him anything about Peter other than what to dial, before he gives his mother an arch look. "Then they got a room?" he asks sarcastically, gesturing with the note. "I need to see him, Ma. You get some rest." At least someone should be asleep, tonight, and he starts to head for a phone before his memory shifts into gear, a name making a connection in his mind, and he's stopped in his tracks. "Sylar? What was he after?"

Angela's response is a weak smile. Adjusting her robe, she rises from the chair and seems to take Nathan's advice, leaving the sitting room in favour of the foyer, and then the staircase. "I'm sure that your brother will be able to explain what happened much better than I could," she says as she begins to climb to steps. "Looking back, it's still so much of a blur to me."

Nathan manages to look guilty as he follows his mother out, watching her head for the staircase. What with his brain going 'Bennet traitor Peter where Claire in danger' at about a hundred miles an hour, the name of 'Sylar' barely has room to fit itself in. Although now, Angela's response is unsettling, although he doesn't seem to read it well. "If you need anything," he says, a little lamely, "I'll be home soon."

"Of course you will." And then Angela is gone, her departure punctuated by the gentle click of her upstairs bedroom door as it closes. She might sleep, she might not; at the very least, she's out of Nathan's hair for the time being.

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