2007-05-11: Show Me

Starring:

Heidi_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: A conversation, and Heidi asks to see the flying while not scared for her life. So Nathan shows her.

Date It Happened: 11th of May, 2007

Show Me


Petrelli Estate, the Sky

Out in the yard, Heidi's sitting cross-legged on the stone patio. It's a nice night - cool, but she's got a hooded sweatshirt on over her clothes - and she can even see a few stars in the sky. They're a little too close to the city for many to be visible, but if she squints, she can at least see the big dipper.

There's a lot for her to think about, and not enough time in the day to puzzle through everything. It was easy enough for her to live her life when there weren't dozens of complications thrown into it, but now there's so much more to which she has to adapt. Especially meeting Elle - before, the only abilities she knew of were non-harmful, but one doesn't need to be intelligent to figure out that /lightning hurts./ Heidi's not terribly worried, just… off balance.

Besides. It's just a nice night to sit outside.

It's been a week, if a little more, since that more dramatic climax in the abandoned building. Nathan has been working on skirting around the more difficult questions or topics that have since then cropped up, focusing as much as he can on the senatorial election that's starting to make itself known, just on the horizon. Kind of like an approaching storm or, you know, tornado. Just way more metaphorical. Anyway, this is why, when he first sees Heidi out on the patio, Nathan debates ducking back into his den to do some more work before retiring for the evening.

Instead, something about the setting makes him wander outside. He's still dressed for the day, tie and shoes and everything, but this kind of outfit, while uncomfortable on others, is like a second skin to him. Inviting himself over, he walks on over, although doesn't sit down just yet. "Nice night for it," he comments, with a question of 'what's up?' in his tone.

She must know something about the election. After all, she's capable of reading, and is more than able to turn on the television - or turn off the cartoons, if the kids are awake. Briefly, she glances behind her as Nathan appears on the patio, then goes back to looking upward at the sky. "I'm just thinking," she says. "Kids are asleep. Or, rather, Monty's asleep, Simon's in bed reading. He thinks I don't know." But moms know /everything./ Heidi didn't get it when she was younger, but now she understands. Kids just aren't as sneaky as they think they are… But at least it's reading, and not Killer Car Driver Dinosaur Man IV, or whatever he's playing now. Heidi isn't a fan of video games.

"Things are just weird now," she says. "I mean, not— It's hard to explain. I knew something was going on. You know what they say about thinking outside the box, though. It just never occured to me that I'd have to go /that far outside the box./" She pauses, finally looking back up at him. "You want to talk?" Like Nathan's comment, the tone of her voice suggests that she'd very much like to talk, she's just afraid to outright ask.

He's supposed to want to talk, right? Totally. Nathan is Heidi's husband and married couples do that. Talking. However, these days, talking just seems to lead to further complications - hence his oh so subtle avoidance strategies. Here, though, he can't outright say no. So gives a noncommital, affirming sound of 'mm' and sits down beside her, one leg bent and the other stretched out.

"I figured you knew something was going on," he responds, mildly. "This sort of thing doesn't get hidden so easily." Well hell, he managed it for about a decade and a half, but something had to give. "Not for a lack of trying, anyway."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Heidi asks. It's not accusing, really. Granted, the tone of it /is/ a little bit, but she doesn't mean it that way. "I'm just… wondering what happened." Drawing her knees up, she wraps her arms around them, leaning over against Nathan. She's not mad, just… sad. Confused. Especially after the talk with Elle today, where she outright stated that she would have loved to know, just so Nathan didn't have to feel so alone. It feels like she failed it some way. Like…

Like… "What do I have to do to prove myself, Nate?" she asks quietly. And… she really wants to know. It'd be great if she could be happy, and /he/ could be happy, and they could be happy together, and it /shouldn't be this complicated./ Really, Heidi has to wonder if he's got anymore secrets now, because the one where he can fly was just so /huge./

Nathan puts his arm around her shoulders, closing his eyes briefly. See, this is what he was avoiding. But he supposes, he couldn't have done that forever. He decides, not for the first time these past few weeks, to try out some honesty. Ish.

"It's not that I didn't think you could handle it," Nathan says and okay, that may have been a lie, at least in terms of recent events. He may be speaking of a time before all that, even before running for congress. All those years he never told anyone. "I couldn't let anyone know I wasn't just me, Heidi."

It would have been easier if they'd discussed all this when they were just married — a long time ago. Heidi can't change that now, though; she certainly can't ask to rewind and do it over. They'd lose so many happy memories and good times. They wouldn't have their kids. It's just that they could have had all of that, and she could have known, and she could have been there for him. It feels kind of like she's failed in a way, though that will remain unvoiced. She's sure Nathan has enough to worry about now, without worrying about how Heidi feels like she could have done more.

Sitting up so she can look at him, she asks, "What do you mean?" It's part of him. "You can fly, Nathan. That doesn't change /you./ I mean, it sounds like a Lifetime movie, but seriously, if I'd known back then, I still would have married you. I still love you, I'm still here for you, if you'll let me be." Heidi leans over again. "You've been quiet lately. You're looking at politics again."

Nathan shakes his head, not denying that last part, just the rest of it. "It makes me different," he argues, though mildly. "Makes me something not human, and that changes a lot of things. How do you know what it would and wouldn't've affected?" He sighs, because he doesn't regret having kept it a secret for this long, he just feels like he /should/ regret it. He kisses the top of her head when she leans against him. "I am. Thinking about announcing by candidacy sometime next week." Then, he asks her something he probably should have asked her before: "What do you think?"

"It makes you different, yeah. I'm not saying you should have told everyone." That would have been a bad idea. In fact, Heidi still feels bad about how she reacted when she found out. 'What are you' is going to haunt her for the rest of her life. She tells herself that it was because it was a stressful situation - she wouldn't have said it otherwise, but Heidi just doesn't know. All she can do is try. For a moment, she ponders asking Nathan, 'what if it was me?' but putting him on the spot could be a bad idea.

And she might not like the answer.

It's easier to talk about politics, though, surprisingly. "I think it's a good idea," is her answer. It's not exactly excited, but at least she's not saying 'no.' "I think… after last time, you deserve it. I think you'll do well."

She's… Trying to be positive, but it's /words./ There's something worried in her tone, and for good reason. "You want me to help? Is there something I can do?"

"No, I think I got it under control," Nathan says, hand squeezing her arm gently. At least, he hopes he has it under control. Since Linderman, he can't afford not to be. And Heidi doesn't even know the extent of how /badly/ that went - maybe one day he'd tell her that too. "Can't say it's gonna be less of a whirlwind than it was last year."

A glass of wine would be nice right now. He should have grabbed one before coming out here. This makes his mind wander to that ability of Peter's, of Jack's, where things just appear in your hand when you will it so. The world has gotten very strange, hasn't it? He lets out a chuckle, and as if to explain, he says, "You know, discovering your partner can fly isn't nearly as bad discovering it in yourself. You know this isn't all normal for me too, right?"

Okay, she can sit out again. She has no problem being the support behind the scenes, the person Nathan goes to when he's hurt, or upset, or frustrated. Heidi can easily let the politicians handle centre-stage with this one. "All right. But if you need someone to talk to— I mean it, Nate. If I have to drag updates out of you, I will." There's an insinuation there. She's tired of secrets and lies. She'll let him have his privacy, but dammit, he has to talk to her. "Don't make me hire someone to keep an eye on you. I'll do it."

She's only partly serious.

Back to Nathan's ability to fly, though. She can't really answer his question. At nearly forty years of age, it doesn't seem likely that she's going to manifest the ability to fly. She can imagine it'd be really weird, though, and frightening. Seeing it in her mind, she can only barely grasp it, because the logical side of her can't comprehend that it's even remotely possible. "Answer something for me, though. Does it feel better knowing you can talk to me now?"

This is important to her, isn't it? The whole talking and communication thing. As it should be, Nathan knows that. As it used to be, before there were just too many lies to keep track of to remain in her presence for very long. Now there are less and for that, at the very least, he's grateful. So, he nods. "I don't want to worry you," he says, an explanation, before one shoulder lifts in a loose shrug, continuing before she can object. "But yeah, it feels better this way."

And he's refusing to take this as chastisement. It would have been better to tell her once upon a time rather than now, perhaps, but he can remember his own need to keep it as secretive as possible. He can't fault himself for that, at the very least. His hand moves from her shoulder to smooth down her back, just to touch. "And if you need a private investigator, then that just means the press won't be doing their job. I'll keep you posted," he promises.

It's really important to her because she knows he's been keeping his secret inside for so long, and he /shouldn't have./ He doesn't seem to want to trust her that he could have told her years ago, too. It's… something Heidi's not sure how to approach. On one hand, she knows now and she should stop nagging. On the other, there's a huge chasm between them where trust should be, and she can't help thinking that she hasn't even begun to bridge that gap.

"You worry me anyway," she says, though it's with a smile. Now that she knows he can fly, she'll have to worry even more. Pack knee and elbow pads in his briefcase. Stick a note in his lunch to remind him not to drink and fly. In any case, the promise to keep her up to date is enough for her. She drops the subject entirely, because it's better to trust him than not.

So, back to the fun topic of /holy shit, you can fly!/ Leaning back, her eyes light up (which means they're just exceptionally /bright blue/ at the moment) she smiles, and asks, "Can you do it? Like, when you want to?"

It's kind of sad that sometimes, knee pads at the very least would be a /good idea/. Not every landing can be suave, althouh Nathan manages to fake it well. At least he's not crashing into buildings and dumpsters, unlike some people. And as for trust, even Nathan is unsure of whether or not Heidi can do that. The habit of lying to protect people from what they don't need to know is ingrained. He wants to think he can try to change that, but he knows there'll be instances where he just can't. World doesn't work to benefit those that are /always/ honest.

Her question, however, effectively derails these soul-searching notions, and Nathan glances askance at her, glancing up at the sky. One would think it'd be cold up there, especially at night, but for whatever reason, it's hard for Nathan to tell. "Yeah. Generally, I can kind of just… do it if I need to. Doesn't take much more than a thought."

Whatever he decides, Heidi will be there for when Nathan does want to be honest, and she'll probably remain blissfully unaware when he's not. There have been lies - she knows that. Hell, since she got back from Florida, she's been facing a lie every day and believing his every word. Sure, there was doubt, but in the end, there were no fights, she didn't raise her voice. Heidi needs this to work.

"Really? she asks. The smile fades, but only a bit, and is replaced with curiosity and expectation. This lasts for all of two seconds before the smirk spreads across her face. She was under a lot of stress, right? Tied up, scared, there was gunfire from a floor below them, so she's not sure about what she saw. /REALLY./ "Show me." She looks around. There's no one nearby, and unless people are /really desperate,/ she's sure there's no one staring into their yard. It'd be hard to see them where they are anyway. "C'mon."

"Heidi." Okay so there have been far less riskier and fair more trivial circumstances in which he has flown, but damnit! Nathan guesses she had to ask eventually. He knows /he/ would. But she's /smirking/ at him, the kind they mirror back and forth in games of oneupmanship. "Show you I can fly," he says flatly, as if to clarify, "you've /seen/ me fly."

Reaching out—

—She gives his shoulder a good shove.

"Yeah, but I was… What do they say? When you're— Yeah, I was 'under duress.' So I'm not sure /what/ I saw." He could have just been a really good climber or something. Or his feet landed on an eave, and he's been playing with her for days on end just because she snapped. Nevermind the fact that Peter kind of healed her and all, and she felt that, and saw it. Nevermind the fact that Elena took away the trembling that still plagued her the next morning.

Really? She just wants to see him do it again where she doesn't have to worry that her life is in danger. "Please?"

SHE'S GIVING YOU THE EYES, NATHAN. THE PUPPY EYES. You can't resist.

Oh he is /so not buying that/. And the look Nathan gives her makes this /very plain/, once he straightens himself up from being shoved.

But. Puppy eyes.

His own narrow at her, before glancing again at the sky. There is… a moment of an expression, the kind he gets when he thinks of something, but it's gone when he nods solemnly, moving to stand up and out of the way of anything above him, like the roof that reaches over the patio and offers a little protection from the elements. "You sure?" he clarifies.

Yes he will. He will do what she wants him to do, because her /eyes compel him./ C'mon, Poohbear, you can do it for Heidi. You must!

She can feel him breaking down. It's a sense she has, one that only wives can understand when they've worn down their husband's resolve to a point where they have no other choice but to comply. Maybe it wasn't a sure thing - he could have said no, after all. Explained that it was too risky, told her that it wasn't safe, that he couldn't do it whenever he wanted. Maybe she wouldn't have believed him entirely, but she would have let it go. At least for another night. Heidi, too, stands, though she allows Nathan to walk off the patio while she remains on it. "Definitely sure. You're not scared, are you?"

Breaking down, /shmeaking/ down. Nathan actually smiles disarmingly at Heidi. Yeah, someone has an idea. "I'm not scared," he answers, in a slightly 'don't even' tone of voice. He does make room for caution, though, glancing around, but they seem to be the only ones there. A glance goes to the windows of the estate - no one peeking out. Good. Heidi gets no more warning before her husband is kind of just… gone. It's not a /zoom/ ascent, but it's reasonably fast, feet suddenly lifting off the ground as he disappears up, and then— seemingly over the estate. There's a slightly thud as his foot catches on the edge of the roof, but then, silence.

She doesn't think for a moment that he's scared, because the very fact that he went into a dangerous situation to /get her out/ speaks volumes. However, she can't imagine that Nathan would do this if there was any possibility of anyone other than her seeing it. Social fear. He's like - emotionally constipated. For serious.

Except when he's not.

She has to giggle, only briefly looking away when he smiles. As soon as she looks back, he's—

For some reason, she didn't actually believe it. Or, well, she /did,/ but the fact that she's just seen it under a situation where she wasn't about to die makes it all the more real. Heidi feels the bottom drop out of her stomach, her heart beating briefly in her throat, despite the fact that both her feet are still on the ground. "Holy— "

She ends with a rather inappropriate word that no one will ever hear.

Where did he go! No one knows. In fact, a decent amount of time stretches, a good several seconds of disappearance, and not even the sound of crashlanding. Or any warning at all, because rather suddenly, Heidi will find two arms wrapped around her from behind and the sensation of someone suddenly crashing into her. But rather than either of them stumbling and falling as would be expected, momentum continues, onwards and upwards, until Heidi's feet lift off the ground as well, this time. Straight up. And up.

It's a long enough time where Heidi steps out onto the grass, and - despite the fact that she feels silly - looks up. Really, though, she knows he's /up there,/ which defies /EVERYTHING LOGICAL,/ and yet she still has to smile, a laugh just starting as she wonders how the hell he did that, because it doesn't seem even vaguely possible that he should be able to get off the ground at all, plus the fact that this is Nathan, who's normally so damn serious, and he has an ability like this — She's totally overthinking this, and she ought to stop.

So she looks.

And she's still looking when she feels his arms; only a second is allowed for her to realise what it is he's doing before she's no longer in contact with the ground. This doesn't actually catch up with her, though, until she's well above the house, but the brief moment of terror is surpassed by the fact that she's in the air, and it's Nathan who's taken her there.

It's kind of like a dream in the sense that she can't imagine this is actually happening. Heidi will close her eyes, open them, and she'll be having one of those falling dreams where she jolts awake just before hitting the ground. Except it doesn't work that way this time. Her hands find Nathan's arms, and she holds on as she looks downward, unable to think of anything to /say./ At this point, she's not sure he'd be able to hear her anyway, but if Nathan's watching her face, he'll probably note the fact that she's all smiles.

Yes, it's stupid. Yes, it's impulsive. Much like flying itself, this kind of thing was what Nathan has warned himself against doing. Even the most straight-laced, serious of men couldn't /not/ find their own ability tempting when it's just this cool. The sky is tempting when you know you can /go/ there, and not be so grounded in responsibilities and ties for once in your life. Which is why he doesn't do it.

Except now, because maybe he wants to show Heidi a little of what that's like.

He catches a flash of a smile and only when they are far, far above the ground - a safer, more inconspicuous place to be than simply hovering within view - do they come to stop, simply hovering. It's cold, wind snatching at their clothes and hair, although Nathan doesn't seem bothered at all. He just keeps holding her close, so she knows she won't fall. "Not scared,are you?" he repeats back at her… because he has to check.

Stupid? Okay, maybe. Heidi won't say it, though, because this is just too awesome and cool and (insert other similar words here) to even begin to chastise Nathan about it. It's certainly taken her sort of sour mood and banished it, at least for the time being, and there's no longer any doubts about what she saw. In a way, it would have been great if she'd known about this years ago, but this? Was worth waiting for.

The cold doesn't bother her as much as it should, though she'll probably be sorely tempted to cuddle under the blankets later. At the moment, she's just too giddy to really /care./ Despite the fact that she knows Nathan wouldn't drop her, Heidi continues to hold onto his arm, as she looks down, then back up into Nathan's eyes. That's more difficult than it sounds, but she manages it for a little while at least. "Terrified," she replies serenely, which indicates that she's anything but. And… She's really speechless. Can't think of a thing to say that would possibly make this more awesome than it already is. She's still smiling, though, eyes watery - either thanks to the wind or the fact that she's pretty much completely overcome with a case of 'Oh my god, this is so cool.'

Definitely not a wise move by any stretch of the imagination. But he did it for Mara. He can do it for Heidi. Nathan takes the time now to look down. Low cloud obscures some of the impressiveness a little, as well as adding some dampness to their clothes, but one can see the city lights like hints of stitching across dark fabric.

His hold on her adjusts into something more comfortable, so they can look at each other properly as he searches her eyes. "So this is it," he says, voice quiet, but the close range means he can talk normally without worrying too much about his voice getting carried away by the wind. "Worth it?" Because god knows /he's/ unsure. The wind on occasion tries to knock them around, but Nathan seems to be able to resist it, keeping them mostly still save for a subtle turn.

How can you not be impressed when you're this far above the earth, flying under someone else's power? It wouldn't matter if they were looking straight down at fog, Heidi would still be in awe. Anyone would. And despite the fact that she's just the slightest bit /worried/ about being dropped, she's sure Nathan's going to hold onto her. Even so, her fingers still grasp his shirt, just in case.

"You have to ask?" she replies breathlessly. "Nathan, this is amazing, I can't— How do you even stay up here?" Like… those magician tricks where there are hidden wires and MAGIC. Except there's no magic and she knows it. Another glance down… Because she can't believe how high they are. It's another long moment before she turns back to him, the expression so totally opposite from the one she showed when she first saw him fly. She's not scared, not put off. In fact, she asks, "You think this is weird?"

"You think this is normal?" Nathan counters. But there's something strangely pleasing about this, as if he'd wanted her approval, a reaction that wasn't fear, or later, betrayal. "I don't know how it works. I just know I can do it. Sometimes it does it for me. That time in the car…" He trails off. She gets the point. "It's beautiful up here and I'd give it away if I could." A smile, not one of any kind of happiness, just fact. They start to descend, slowly for now. Can't stay up here forever.

Normal? "No," she admits. Heidi's starting to question 'normal,' though, especially because it seems almost everyone she associates with can /do stuff/, and she can't. So maybe she's the weird one. It seems like it would be a hassle sometimes, and she's sure that Nathan really must be a minority, but seriously, what if almost everyone in the world can do things like fly, but they all feel like they have to keep it a secret so that no one comes after them?

Wouldn't that be irony.

The memory of the accident is painful, even though she doesn't remember the actual point where the car collided with the barrier. That whole memory is a blur of white noise and the vague feeling that something went wrong. After, though… Hearing she was paralysed hurt so much more than her back did - partially because she had no feeling below a certain area, but that's beside the point. She blamed Nathan for it at first, but she has no desire to blame him for it now. Heidi squeezes his arm to let him know that she understands.

"Would you?" she asks as the earth starts to get closer. "…Knowing you'd never be able to do this again?" She's not trying to convince him otherwise, really, but if she could fly… "I guess it must be a pain to know you're able to do it, but can't." Because if someone sees him, it would be all over.

Tough question. Nathan evades it. Doubtful Heidi would believe him, anyway - flying /is/ damn awesome, all the cool kids think so, and right now, it must seem magical.

Nathan would still trade it in.

"It can be," he agrees. A flicker of a smirk. "Especially when the traffic's a bitch." His grip tightens on her, into a more secure hold. "Hold on," is his warning, before… rather abruptly, it's no longer the gentle ascent and hover. They're almost horizontal, angling towards as Nathan tries to go in for a quick landing and evade attention.
Heidi always asks the tough questions! It's necessary. For. Survival or something. In any case, she's mostly quiet on the rest of the way down, enjoying the view while she has it - and while they descend into a bit of a warmer temperature, too, which makes her realise just how cold she was up there. Still, it was awesome enough that she won't ever complain.

Okay, is this the part where they crash?

Unfortunately, Heidi's not used to flying. She's severely tempted to do that thing where she wraps her arms around Nathan's FACE so he CAN'T SEE, but she refrains, and instead closes her own eyes, fingers grasping the fabric of Nathan's shirt. Last time they were going this fast with Nathan driving, IT DID NOT END WELL.

Yes, this is the part /where they crash/.

Except, no. With some grace, Nathan rights them at the last moment and rather suddenly, they're simply standing on the lawn around the back of the Petrelli estate, after a slight jolt. /Heck yes/. Crashlanding with Heidi for the first time would have been pretty lame. Nathan keeps holding her, even very gently setting her feet down on the ground, in case she. Falls over or something. "You good?"

Lame and embarrassing. Heidi would never let him live it down. Like. Ever. Seriously, it's bad enough that he's a mutant, but if he's a crash-landing mutant? That's just the end of the world.

At first, Heidi seems a little unsteady on her feet, though it's only a matter of seconds before she's standing on her own again. She also takes a glance around to make sure no one saw them or anything, but it seems Nathan is awesome, because she can't even hear any dogs barking. "Yeah— yeah, I'm fine," Heidi replies, looking up at the sky. She'll never get him to do that again, so she'd better remember it. "You're just lucky I don't have photocopies to wallpaper the house with."

Time and time again, security has failed at the Petrelli house. RE: Sylar. Nathan needs to look into that. But yes, it was a rather stealthy landing - a crashlanding and a tangle of limbs and 'I THINK I BROKE SOMETHING' may draw some guards.

Her statement is startling enough to draw some laughter out of him, and he kisses her on the forehead. "Lucky me," he agrees. Smugly. See, he doesn't get to do things like that very often, so he will always have a sense of pride about it. Even over a decade later. His hand tangles with her, other coming up to tuck a strand of black hair behind her ear - both of them are looking more than a little windswept. "Inside?"

No screaming or yelling, the kids aren't magically wide awake in order to note the fact that their dad can fly. It'll probably be much better for Simon and Monty to be told, rather than finding out how Heidi did.

Heidi can only kiss Nathan's chin, because that's all she can reach without standing on her tiptoes, but that's okay. It's an exchance for the kiss on the forehead. A chuckle escapes, before Heidi smiles, finding Nathan's eyes again. Her own are a little starry, mostly from the wind, but partially because this was one of the best nights ever, and she loves him so, so much. Even if he can fly.

Inside. Probably a good idea. She nods, but holds onto his hand for just a moment more before they go. "Nathan. Thank you."

Sometimes the brashest of decisions are the good ones, like tonight. Especially with Heidi looking at him like that. He was starting to think he'd lost something, there, somewhere along the way when he wasn't paying attention to anything but campaigns and unexpectedly destroying and then subsequently saving the world, and the like. His hand squeezes hers, his own more silent form of gratitude, before leading them both back towards the house.

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