2007-10-28: Second Opinion

Starring:

DrAldric_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Dr. Aldric makes a housecall.

Date It Happened: October 18th, 2007

Second Opinion


The Petrelli Mansion

At a brisk 7:25AM on the dime, the doorbell to the Petrelli mansion kicks in. Outside the door, a man stands, clad in a pale tan corudory jacket, darker brown slacks, similarly-hued loafers and leather gloves, and … a bright red, orange and green wool scarf wrapped thrice around his neck, covering his chin and the scruff growing there. Otherwise, he's the picture of boring professionalism. Oh, the scarf would throw Dr. Aldric's image off entirely, if it weren't for his knit brow and serious moue, the dark-framed rectangular glasses and the black bag he holds tightly clamped in one hand. It's a medical kit, old-fashioned.

She has never met Dr. Aldric, so when the door opens with Elena holding a wad of kleenex over a very sore nose (from all the rubbing, and blowing, and other sick-like tendencies), she doesn't recognize him. Her eyes are a little teary, and it looks like the older man had managed to catch the young woman in an attempt at a sneeze that doesn't really go off. Her eyes fall to the black, old fashioned medical bag in his hand, and then up his face. "Goof mowwing," she says, a little stuffy and the tissue muffling her doesn't really help. But hey, she sounds cheerful! "Can I heff woo?" she asks.

From a different corner of the house, Nathan is also summoned by the doorbell at Oh God It's Early o'Clock. He's not really awake at 7:25 AM, but at least he's dressed. Er. Covered. That is to say, he is barefoot, and pyjama pants are mostly obscured by a kneelength very warm looking bathrobe, securely tired in place. In one hand, he has a steaming mug of some sort of tea that he'll deny ever knowing about, because, manpoints. Zombie-like, he moves out of the kitchen and through to the main room, but pauses upon seeing the door already answered. He's tempted to just retreat, but with a sigh, he moves closer to at least see who it is.

A funny thing happens, once the door opens. Typically, if one rings the doorbell, they expect the door to open. They anticipate being ushered in, welcomed by the persons they're visiting. But when Elena, in all of her ill glory, opens the door, Dr. Aldric takes a hurried step backwards and squares his shoulders underneath the already squared lines of his coat. "Is there a…" A Nathan? Why yes, there is, he determines by leeeaning to the right to peer critically around Elena. He clears his throat. "Mr. Petrelli," he greets formally, muffled under his scarf to the result of 'misserpehrtttli', but it's cool, man, he doesn't move the colourful winter (…autumn?) accessory. "And you must be…" He eyes Elena expectantly. Almost warily.

The sudden temptation to declare herself yet another bastard child of Nathan Petrelli's was overwhelming. Because it's Nathan and she was a teenager. But she does recognize that the doctor's bag with the man at the door is…well, a doctor's bag, so she gives him a small smile under the kleenex. Not like he could see it, but it reaches the corners of her eyes. And her hands are, at present, covered in gloves. "Elena," she says simply. "I'm a houseguest." She says that clearly at least. But when movement shifts at the corner of her eyes, she finally stops pinching her nose so she could talk normally as she turns to Nate. "You have a visitor," she says, stepping away from the door and giving both men some space.

Maybe it was a good thing that Elena answered the door, despite the klneenex snuffles, because the first thing Nathan says in response to both of them is a very gravel-throated "mmrr". Then, he takes a long sip of honey-flavoured tea, and tries again. "Morning," he says. The tiredness seems to take over most of his demeanor, but it's cleared that, much like Elena, he has the same fevery qualities, looking too warm for the chilly morning. "What can I do for you?" he asks, now taking a step closer, next to Elena and absently pushing the door open a little wider.

Elena. Name assimilated. "My name is Dr. Aldric," the man announces soberly. "I'm working on a particular matter. Having to do with your— " He instinctively places his medical kit between himself and the door, now that it's open wider, and gives Nathan a narrow-eyed look, taking in the sickly aspects of the politician. "…your well-being," he finishes decisively. "I believe you're acquainted with my colleague Dr. Suresh and, ah…" He hesitates. "Cassandra."

Now recognition sets in. Elena's expression, despite being sickly, brightens considerably from its miserable state. "You're Cass's father?" she says, a little disbelieving that he's here. "It's very nice to meet you. Are…" A brief flash of worry. "…are Cass and Dr. Suresh okay?" She hasn't heard from Cass, but perhaps her father has. Seems she knows the other man too. Or at the very least, knows of the other man. Still, she shuffles around Nathan and a bit behind him. Not because Dr. Aldric is scary - he seems to be, overall, a nice guy. But so she could get out of the man's way so he can get out of the cold outside.

Cassandra? Okay so sure, the man did introduce himself with the name 'Aldric', but it still takes Nathan a moment. It just seems ludicrous for her to be identified as such. "Oh, Cass," he says, once Elena makes the connection. "This is, uh. A surprise." Nathan glances to Elena when she asks the important question, and back to Aldric, expectant for the answer, even as he steps back at a gesture. "Come in, please."

"Yes. I'm Cassandra's father. They're fine." Dr. Aldric shuffles into the mansion, nodding in thank you. He glances over his shoulder once out into Hyde Park as he does so, but otherwise paying very close attention to those within the foyer. He keeps a particular distance away from both of them at all times, seeming generally on edge. He stands, stiff as a board, holding onto that kit with his handsomely gloved hands. "Cassandra is going to be very busy once she is back in the lab. I take it you're both ill. I'd like to collect some new samples to run against the old ones, as there's been…" Trailing off, he eyes the adjacent rooms, squinting, as well as the staircase. Suddenly, the gentleman starts to fidget around the handle of the black bag. "…Your." Spit it out, Aldric. "Your mother." No, this isn't an ill-conceived 'your mom' joke directed at Nathan out of the blue. "She isn't in this morning, is she?"

Click! The door is shut, and you, Dr. Aldric, are now trapped in a house of sick people. Except not really. Nathan lifts his cup up to sip— and promptly pauses when, speaking of parents, his mom is brought up. "Uh. No, she's not in," he says, sentence almost turning up into a question as he narrows his eyes over at Aldric, moving now to lead all three of them towards the warmer sitting room, with a beckoning head tilt. "Why, she's not sick too now, is she?" he asks, somewhat sarcastically. And if he notes the distance being kept from he and Elena, he doesn't mention it, nor does he do anything to maintain or reduce it. Guy can take whatever precautions he wants, after all.

Dr. Aldric doesn't look particularly relieved by this news - his jaw clenches, a twitch visible behind his scarf - but it is, clearly, good news. He doesn't answer Nathan, exactly; he just regards him… and regards him… and regards him. So that's a no? Yes? A maybe? A maybe. "I'm not sure how informed you are about the nature of your disease," he's more blunt than his daughter, "But I have concerns that the virus is… making certain… advances. I didn't want to waste any time. I'd rather have you in a clinical setting, but I'd rather you not make the trip. Is there somewhere we can sit? And if I may ask, who else is home? Your brother…?"

"Peter's sleeping still," Elena informs Dr. Aldric. "But he's here too. Do you want me to wake him?" She can also get the sample for him, but this does sound extremely important - she might have to draw his own blood while he's asleep so she could hand it to Dr. Aldric. If what he says, and what his says is worrisome, is true and that he thinks the virus might be making certain advances… She looks over at Nathan then. It was his house, it was his choice to pick where to talk. Meanwhile, she slides her hands in the pockets of her pajamas and rocks back a little on her heels. Whenever they get moving, she'll follow them though.

The steps he was already making towards the sitting room are halted briefly, especially when Aldric doesn't quite answer his question. "Advances?" Nathan repeats, voice losing that previous sleepy quality, taking on a sharper tone, then just shakes his head. "Yeah, this way." And his edging is resumed, now turning away from them both to pace barefooted towards the sitting room, leading the way. No other occupants at this time of day, save for a cat curled up and completely asleep in the center of an armchair. Nathan moves to open up the curtains a fraction to spill some light, gesturing for Aldric to choose a place to set up. "What kind of concerns do you have, doctor?"

"If you would," Dr. Aldric tells Elena as he follows Mr. Petrelli at a distance. He places his kit on a table and opens the magnetized medal clasp that was keeping it shut. He pulls tugs his scarf away from his face, peels off his coat to reveal not a lab coat, but a plain grey t-shirt. He takes off his gloves, neatly setting them aside, and replaces them with a bright blue protective pair. "Since the initial blood tests, our samples are… well, to be frank…" Glove snap. "It's becoming more aggressive." Which must be why he ties a face mask, also blue, suited for an OR rather than a sitting room.

"Alright, I'll see if I can wake him." Elena leaves both men to talk, moving towards the stairs, and hurrying up - though she's careful not to stomp around like a stampeding elephant. The mansion is big, and sounds carry rather easily. Still, she vanishes from sight once she hits the second-floor landing.

Nathan sets down his tea and mostly just stands, watching Aldric go through the motions as Elena goes to try and summon Peter. The look on Nathan's face is certainly troubled, as if trying to take what Aldric's saying to him and pick out the useful parts. Blunt as he may be, it doesn't seem specific enough for the politician, who quite abruptly coughs into his hands, body shuddering a little with the movement. The fit is over quickly, arms refolded over his chest— only to unwind to take off his bathrobe, revealing the plain white T-shirt underneath along with the blue pyjama pants. "Anything you can tell me about this thing is appreciated," he states. Be honest, is what his tone says.

Dr. Aldric doesn't look up from his preparations as Elena disappears on her mission, but he halts to eye Nathan as the man has his little cough and shudder fit. He sets out a clean blue cloth on the table, placing such things as a syringe and some sort of small device on it. "I don't know as much as I'd like," he admits as he loops a stethoscope around his neck. "And I'm unsure the extent Cassandra and Suresh's endeavours were out of state. But I can tell you one thing, it hasn't run its course yet. The way its cellular structure is laid out…" He advances on Nathan with a blood pressure cuff. "Have a seat," he interjects himself before going on to say, low and sombre, "I can tell you it's just beginning. I feel that it may be moving from one stage to another. If so, we're approaching the third stage, which I personally fear might be further contagion. I know that's not good news. You have an election. You know, I can't stand that Crane fellow."

He sits as directed - while he was never really a good patient when it came to general life rules like 'get rest' and 'don't drink' and 'don't fly', Nathan is reasonably obedient when it comes to tests, if only to let whoever is taking them get it over with. He keeps his reactions fairly stoic, regarding Aldric as he talks - although when it comes to that last bit, he allows a rueful, mirthless smirk. "I'm afraid a majority of New York seems to disagree with you on that part. But they deserve a healthy Senator." Moving on. "What do you suggest if— you mean it's gonna get more contagious, right?"

Dr. Aldric allows a thin smirk of his own, but it's entirely hidden underneath his mask and doesn't reach his eyes and may as well have never existed. His mask simply twitches. "Very possibly." The cuff is attached to Nathan's arm, the chilly stethoscope placed, and the measure is taken, prompting silence for a few seconds. "Low," he determines before removing all that gear and replacing it with a simple blood glucose monitor — the tiny device. "Your hand, please, there will be a small pinch." A prick of the skin later and he says again, this time with a hint of cynicism, "Low. It would be nice if we could at least get one of you to come in for some medical imaging. A few of the levels don't make the most sense, for a virus, see. Mr. Petrelli…" Dr. Aldric drifts back to the table he's set up. The equipment he's used goes into a separate bag which is sealed. Just in case. "I fear this may not be happenstance."

It takes a few moments for Elena to return, though she's empty-handed. "It's taking him a while, but he'll be down in a few moments," she tells Dr. Aldric, taking a seat a bit aways from the doctor and Nathan. She doesn't want to get in the way after all, it looks like the blood drawing is commencing. She doesn't know what they've been talking about since then, but she inclines her head curiously, listening quietly to what's going on. She heard something about even more weirdness over the virus coming in, and something about it not being happenstance - but she'll be quiet for now. It isn't hard to do, she's too busy worrying.

Nathan's gaze follows the way the equipment is put into a sealed bag. Despite the fact he's almost handing off his career in favour of quasi-quarantine, indicating that he does take this seriously, the way Aldric takes his precautions seems to highlight it all the more. It's not a nice feeling. Rubbing his thumb over where the device had pricked his hand, he glances about the room, contemplative. But that last revelation derails his ponderings, squinting up at Aldric. "What do you mean, not happenstance? How could it be deliberate?" That's about when Elena walks in, Nathan sparing her a glance, but— Aldric doesn't get time to respond right away, Nathan shaking his head. "I can come in for— the imaging, whatever it is you want to do. I want to know what's wrong with me." Yeah, someone's getting a little tired of this, and he seems verging on shaken, but covering well with annoyance.

"I'll be honest, Mr. Petrelli, I shouldn't be telling you this, but the Company is aware of your situations. We don't have time to beat around the bush of loyalty. I don't have the energy to cloak and dagger my way through this crisis." He nods to Elena, belatedly, before going on. "Strains of this virus have been used in the past purposefully to dampen abilities. Of course, it had side effects. This strain… I don't want to think that it could have been released on purpose, but humanity… lets me down, sometimes."

"I'll be honest, Mr. Petrelli, I shouldn't be telling you this, but the Company is aware of your situations. We don't have time to beat around the bush of loyalty. I don't have the energy cloak and dagger my way through this crisis." He nods to Elena, belatedly, before going on. "Strains of this virus have been used in the past purposefully to dampen abilities. Of course, it had side effects. This strain… I don't want to think that it could have been released on purpose, but humanity… lets me down, sometimes."

Her dark eyes move to meet Nathan's, something about what Dr. Aldric says startling her because she hadn't thought it would be brought up - though she doesn't look surprised. Peter had told her a couple of nights ago that there were three strains of the virus, and that what they had was some sort of third version. Elena presses her lips in a grim line, sliding down on one of the chairs and hugging her knees as she listens. She doesn't ask any questions yet - Nathan seems to be fielding them just fine, but the more Dr. Aldric talks, the more nervous she's becoming. What was he getting at? How bad was it going to get?

Nathan isn't particularly at ease either - tense, and tension only heightening the more Aldric speaks. There's a pause, and his mouth twists into a smile that doesn't at all meet his eyes. "You know, as time goes on, I'm liking your people less and less, Dr. Aldric," he says, leaning back against the couch he's perched on. "If this thing is— created, there's gotta be some kind of antidote, right?" There's a sarcastic note to his voice, as if he doesn't really believe what he's saying - he's making a point. "I mean, if I was gonna make a virus to unleash onto the populace, I'd want to have some kind of insurance when it all goes horribly wr— " And his point, sarcastic as it may be, is unfortunately interrupted when another bout of coughing takes place, hands up to shield it. When it's done, his smirk is gone, and he doesn't bother finishing his sentence. "How do you predict this thing ending, doc?" he finally asks.

"'My people', huh." Dr. Aldric seems oddly, darkly amused at the comment, but he's silent for several moments afterward, resting his hands flat on the table in front of him. His answer eventually comes in the form of a question. "You're aware of the connection to the quarantine at Mount Sinai?" he queries. "So are my … colleagues. As it happens, I looked into it and one of those present - a Phillip Burstein - works in a plant in the meat-packing district… or should I say, worked. He is recently deceased." There's an ending for you, Nathan.

She's trying not to think about the possibility of dying. Elena had faith that Cass would come back with answers, but the situation wasn't good. Hell it wasn't good before, it was just getting worse now. "Was….anyone able to observe him before he died?" she asks, trying to work the words around the growing lump in her throat. She's trying not to turn ashen on her chair, doing her best to focus on knowing as much as she can. "How the…symptoms progressed?" What do they have to expect in the next week? "Do you…kn…know how it's passed on so we don't…" She doesn't want this to spread.

Right well. That certainly is an ending. Through the grapevine, Nathan had known this to be a possibility, but— well everyone wants a second opinion, don't they? He shuts up, now, as Elena asks her questions, looking across at her, because little by little, they're all weakening at the seams. He brings his hands up to rub his face wearily, otherwise listening to Aldric's answers.

"And what about the recent mutation in the virus? Did he have that version, or one of the earlier ones?" That would be a hoarse and tired voice from the doorway leading into the sitting room. Peter's hand trails on the frame, before dropping away and he takes a few steps deeper into the room. It seems he came down just in time for the announcement of possible doom and gloom.

When Peter draws attention to himself, Dr. Aldric looks to him; his expression changes little, sober. "Good morning, Peter. He ah, he died only days ago, I believe under the care of a family doctor… I'll know more soon. But now we have a broader scope to examine, and a list of names. As for how it's passed on…" Well, Dr. Aldric is clearly concerned; he still wears his mask for protection as a precaution. He shakes his head. "The tricky thing about an illness such as this is … it's difficult to determine how it transfers… until we see it transfer."

Well, an autopsy would probably yield answers. But at Dr. Aldric's answers, Elena nods, her jaw set and the stubborn expression on her face. Her father would lovingly call it her Game Face, even if it was merely a mechanism to keep her from looking like she's about to panic or blow a gasket. Instead, she patiently waits for her turn to give blood. Wearing a tanktop under her hoodie, it'll be easy to take the thing off when the time comes. "…I understand, thank you doctor," she says. To her credit, her voice sounds normal, if not somewhat hoarse around the edges.

Nathan glances towards Peter when he arrives, and seems to visibly pull it together a little, back straightening. His gaze wanders back towards Aldric as he talks, taking in, once more, the mask, the gloves, and he rubs his hands together slowly in a nervous gesture. "So you have no idea how we got this thing?" he asks in his illness roughened voice, going on to add, "Should we be somewhere safer than where we are now?" with a nod towards Aldric, as if to indicate the precaution's the man is taking.

"That doesn't make any sense," Peter says, shaking his head a little, but he doesn't really clarify why it doesn't make any sense. Instead he walks over and sits down, wearing just his short sleeved white shirt and a pair of jeans. He's shivering so much that he should probably be wearing more, but he'd been told to get downstairs, and here he is. There's more questions he could ask, but without an autopsy he can't ask more, so he just reaches over and touches Elena's hand.

"There will, of course, be an autopsy, and…" Dr. Aldric hangs his head for a moment, hesitating over the various medical supplies he's laid out. "The fact is, you clearly picked it up in the quarantine. How it got to Sinai, well. I only wish I knew. But the second— the second part - what's so curious about this whole thing - it was introduced later." He approaches Nathan, going through the small ordeal of taking a blood sample. "And in some, not introduced at all. Mr. Bishop, for example, appears to have the dormant virus. What makes him different? What is the missing link, the trigger?" He turns away, unable to answer every question, even his own.

"We thought…..well. Cass and I thought that it could've been connected to the missing woman who walked in on the ER at the time and was symptomatic. The quarantine followed shortly afterwards. But since you're telling us that it may very well be….synthetic… created… I don't know how she got it. I….don't remember what Miss Hayes did for a living. I only remember picking one of the Missing Persons flyers up and showing it to Cass. All I remember is the name." Since it had been on the files Prometheus managed to get for her. To Peter's remark, she looks over at him. "There's a lot we don't know," Elena comments quietly. "I doubt anything will unless some holes are filled." Her dark eyes wander over to Peter as he sits near her, though she glances down at the black doctor's bag again - though it's nowhere near her. At the touch on her hand, she looks up again, and manages to flash Peter a small smile. Her fingers shift, curling over his and squeezing once. The last part of Dr. Aldric's explanation causes her to blink. "….introduced? It's not a natural or induced mutation?"

Nathan holds out his arm compliantly, wincing just slightly when the needle buries into his skin, gaze dropping down to the floor. At the talk of some sort of missing link, Nathan glances towards Peter, but says nothing, a hand up to brush against the mark the needle left. At Elena's addition, he adds, "The second virus was designed, right?" He looks to the doctor. "Humanity letting you down. Why are we inflicted?"

"You'll have to find out which version this man had," Peter says, glancing down toward his free hand for a long moment. "If he doesn't have the same mutated strain, there's a lot of possible factors that could have caused us four to get it. He could have something closer to whatever that woman entered the ER with, and we would have been fine, just remain dorment forever— until something changed." He raises the free hand to run over his hair. "The four of us have a lot more connections, but I've never heard of this man, and none of us go down to the meat packing district. Unless he's a closet UFO buff and walked into Enlightenment one day, there's almost no way we'd have the same trigger for a mutation."

"It's not a different virus, so much as-an activator of the original, which leads me to believe that it's more than a natural mutation." Pause. "U UFOs?" Dr. Aldric shakes his head. "Dr. Suresh could speak more, ah, intelligently on the subject." Another pause. "Of the genetics of the virus; ah, not UFOs. That I know of. It's possible. I don't know much about his personal life, maybe he likes aliens." The man clears his throat and goes about putting a vial of Petrelli blood away to move on to Elena for another. He first checks her pulse, and takes her blood pressure, and uses the glucometer.

When Dr. Aldric moves towards her, Elena lets go of Peter's hand, so she could unzip her hoodie and shed it. She doesn't have to roll anything up considering it's a deep red tanktop that she's wearing, the crucifix ever-present in the dip of her collarbones. She extends an arm out, her eyes wandering to the needle, but not really flinching or anything when Dr. Aldric draws blood out of her. Not because she had nerves of steel, but because she cheats, and doesn't even feel the prick and slide of the needle into the vein. The digression of Cass's father and Mohinder liking aliens causes her to smile a bit, appreciative of humor despite the situation. Hell, right now she'll take anything. "You mean somehow within the course of a few months, a catalyst was introduced to our systems that affected the dormant virus we were carrying somehow?" she asks, doing her best to understand by asking questions.

Tests over for himself, now, Nathan pulls his bathrobe back over himself, tying it back into place and folding his arms to retain a little warmth. At this point, he's letting those that know a little more about medicine talk about the virus - which includes basically everyone in the room but himself - and Spica, who chooses then to jump off the armchair and wind herself around Elena's legs with an insistant meow. It's a wonder the dogs haven't come in and tackled down this new visitor.

There's a long pause and Peter looks back up, directing his attention on Dr. Aldric, and Elena by association since she's getting her blood taken, and he's patiently waiting for his turn. "I think this is my fault, Dr. Aldric." And there it comes again. Something that he's been saying for the last month, and not without good reasons. "Not this man you're talking about— his case seems different, though the timing makes me wonder if I might have had some kind of contact with him in the past. I'm not saying I created the virus or anything, but there was a… dream." He looks over more directly at Elena, then back at the doctor. "I've had prophetic dreams before— and in this dream someone— my mother— told me. Another me really, but a me in the dream— that it was my fault. And there was a heavier quarantine in the dream, tents and… and you were there. And Mohinder. So if something activated it— it's probably me." No, he's never dropped this self blame, no matter what people kept trying to tell him.

"It is possible," Dr. Aldric answers, flicking his gaze up and down at Elena through her testing, hesitant to give solid answers. He watches Peter over his shoulder, listening quite intently as he prepares for the next round of testing. "Your fault," he repeats, ponderous. "But how? You don't supposed you picked up some ability…" he trails off, approaching Peter with a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope and nearly walking into Spica (?) as he moves past Elena. "You know, if you saw your mother in— o-oh, it's a cat! Pardon me." The doctor steps around the pet. "…perhaps she has some insight." He freezes midway to placing the stethoscope in his ears. "Mrs. Petrelli. Not your… not your lovely, um. Cat. …Please stop talking," he should be giving that advice to himself, "And relax your arm for a minute."

When her blood is drawn, she puts pressure in the cotton swab and pins it down with her inner elbow, withdrawing from Dr. Aldric. With him moving away towards Peter, Elena watches him for a moment, knowing what he's about to get at….until Spica distracts her. She looks down at the cat, and scoops her up. "Hey, Spica," she says, scratching her ears mildly. At Peter's words, however, she remains silent - there was his self-blame again. Considering he mentioned it was his mother who said the words, she can see why he'd believe it. She just can't without solid proof. Him coming back before everything else started could be a coincidence.

Nathan will definitely leave the how's and why's as to why it's Peter's fault to Peter. Instead, his attention veers back to the doctor, eyes narrowing. "You mentioned her before," he says, reclining back against the couch. "Before this dream thing was ever brought up." Asking if she was in, seemingly relieved that she wasn't. "What does she have to do with any of this and how would she know if it's Pete's fault or not?"

"I pick up abilities all the time, Doctor. I don't have any control over that," Peter says softly, holding out his arm to obediantly allow checking and blood taking, not even smiling at the poor cat. Though he does nod at mention of his mother, not finding it weird, since he thinks he brought her up first. "I probably should." There's a trailing off sound in his voice, a quiet whisper, and then he looks over at Nathan, surprised at his question— and the revelation that she'd already been mentioned. It makes his arm not relaxed, but he visibly works to put it back into a relaxed state again, he looks at Dr. Aldric, obviously want to hear the answer to that.

Test, test, test. Dr. Aldric very slowly removes the cuff and goes on to the other testing, regarding Peter, then Nathan, unsurely through the dark frames of his glasses. "Well. Just. You know." Evasive? Dr. Aldric?! You sick freaks are hallucinating. "She was in that … uh. Dream of yours. Mothers know best." Now it's time to stick a needle in Peter's arm. "And relax."

Nathan shares a glance with Peter, one that is puzzled on his end of things, then back to Aldric. He raises an eyebrow at this last evasive comment, bringing a hand up to rub the bridge of his nose in a weary gesture. "You'd be surprised," he says, somewhat bitterly, and if he takes anymore notice of Aldric's evading, he doesn't bring it up, save for a lingering, studious look on the doctor as he goes about drawing blood from Peter. "Obviously you don't know our mother." Evil incarnate. "In the meantime, you wanted one of us for further testing?" He'd volunteered before, might as well see if he is going anywhere today before he makes plans like— watching daytime TV and— maybe learning how to do the laundry, god forbid.

If he had been any better at lying, Peter wouldn't have suspected anything. But since Nathan brought up that he mentioned mom before the dream… there's a narrowing of his eyes as he looks at the doctor taking his blood. The tension moves from his arm to his neck, his forehead, and everything slides vaguely out of focus for a moment. Of course all his consentration is on that, so he doesn't speak, even as his blood is going into the vial.

The blood swirls into the vial. Dr. Aldric studiously waits. "Ah, yes. Everyone, in an ideal world. I, uh, can arrange pick-up."

His unspoken voice, the one inside his head, echoing ever-so-slightly to Peter's mental ear, is even more serious. …Hope she hasn't been staying here so close to possible contagions… could infect us all. No, of course she'd take precautions… what if they all die, first Jacob, now this…

Dr. Aldric pulls the needle out of Peter's skin. "I'll get you a— oh, I suppose you don't need one…" He interrupts his own mission for a bit of cotton and band-aid, letting Peter just heal. Taking Peter's silence as an indicator that they're done skirting around the subject of a certain matriarch, thank the heavens, right?

"When can we expect… the blood test results from this latest round?" Elena asks finally, turning her eyes from Peter to Dr. Aldric when he finishes up with collecting blood from anyone. He was right, there wasn't any time to dance around secrets, even though some must be kept close, so she just asks outright. She lets Spica go, placing her gently on the floor, and stands up from her seat.

One sexually confused cat goes running out of the room, and Nathan is getting to his feet too, presumably to show Aldric out once he's done taking the samples he'd come for. For now, the sickly politician leans against the arm of the couch, arms folded. "We'll see what we can do," he answers as to an ideal world, not about to speak for the other three sick-types. Peter's silence, now, earns him a curious glance from his older brother.

What he manages to hear causes Peter to jerk back slightly when the needle is removed, and not just because of the pain. The doctor did a good job, it shouldn't have hurt much, but he's visibly grimacing as he looks down at the droplet of blood, the wound that heals over. "If anyone's going in for testing, the three of us should go in together." It's safer that way, and he's leaving the teenage girl out of it, if possible, because she's an innocent. "But I have a question for you, Dr. Aldric." With his hand moving to wipe away the blood on the inside of his elbow, where the wound has sealed over, he looks back up, directly at the man. "Who's Jacob?"

"Very soon," Dr. Aldric answers Elena. He's just turning away with the vial of blood - the Big Daddy of the Aldric Vampires, Cass was clearly his protege (as far as blood tests go, at least) - when Peter asks his question seemingly out of left-field. He freezes, visibly tensing. "You read my mind." Quick on the draw, Aldrics are. He takes awhile to respond; a few moments, at least. "He was, ah… someone of significant importance who is no longer so important. He was killed. By Sylar." He resumes his trek, pace brisk, and just as briskly goes about organizing and putting away his array of doctor-y things. "I believe we're done for now."

When he got away. Elena doesn't say much else - she's not supposed to know Sylar's gone. Hell no one's supposed to know, if Elle hadn't told Peter, she and Nathan wouldn't know now. "…thank you for coming to see us, doctor. I appreciate it," she says. The man's only trying to help after all. He was a doctor, his job was to save lives, not end them. So she slides her hands in the pockets of her penguin-print pajamas…..the prominent ones running down one leg has a squat one with binoculars, a tall one with a dynamite stick, and the very last is a penguin in a martial arts pose. Yes. She has Madagascar jammies. Shut up.

"We'll look forward to hearing back from you. I'll see you out," Nathan says, though his gaze is trained on Peter, as if wondering what else he must have heard. Plenty of time to discuss that. He starts making for out, to lead Aldric back to the foyer.

There's a pause, and Peter chooses not to persue anymore on that as well, even if he could bring up Sylar's escape and dismiss it as telepathy. "I hope we'll hear back from you soon on the autopsy and blood tests," is all he says instead, letting Nathan see the man out. He lets out a tense breath, but doesn't explain why he's tense. Not yet.

The doctor's kit packed up, leaving no trace behind. His gloves are replaced by those meant for the outdoors, corduroy coat and scarf retrieved and put back on — it's exactly the same coat and scarf from the dream, as a matter of fact — and his mask is hesitantly removed. Dr. Aldric follows Nathan. At a distance. Just incase. He gives Peter a rather questioning look over his shoulder on his way. Is his mind still being invaded? Come on, think about… anything but Angela. Cats. The colour of the walls. Bananas. Banana banana banana banana— "Yes. Yes, of course. Take care."

When Nathan leads Dr. Aldric out, a look of puzzlement is on Elena's face, first at the two men disappearing, and then at Peter. She couldn't help but quirk a small smile, and a brief shake of her head. She drops heavily on the seat next to him and exhales a breath. "….that was pretty ballsy of you," she says, her hands still in her pockets as she gives the younger Petrelli brother a sidelong glance.

No Petrelli shoulder grab for Aldric, Nathan simply opens the door for him and steps back otherwise. "Tell Cass I said 'hi'," is his departing words, although for a moment, it looks like he was intending to say or ask something more, thinking better of it and offering the older man a smile instead. On that note, he's moving back towards the sitting room, figuring Aldric can handle the art of shutting doors fine on his own.

As the two men disappear, Peter looks over at his girlfriend. He stands up, stepping over to touch her arm gently. "He was hiding something," he says, not sounding too terribly proud about it, even if he did discover something. He glances to the door they left from and frowns. "I think Nathan and I should go talk to our mom together. It should be an interesting meeting…" And one he's been avoiding a lot longer than he should have.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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