2010-03-30: Son of a ...

Starring:

Angela_V4icon.pngClaire_V4icon.png Peter_V4icon.png

Date: March 30, 2010

Summary:

How do you solve a problem like Nathan? Angela, Claire, and Peter discuss the situation — somehow, civilly.


"Son of a … "

Petrelli Safehouse

After Nathan left, Claire took out her frustrations in the kitchen — by making brownies. The scent of warm chocolate fills the air, and Claire kneels on a chair in the kitchen spreading peanut butter frosting on top of the baked treat. She'd rather go punch something but there aren't that many options, and she may as well help feed the house with something somewhat productive. Sure, brownies aren't the most nutritious, but she's pretty sure the rest of the "inmates" as she thinks of them will prefer gooey chocolate-chip brownies with peanut-butter frosting to something healthy.

Once the icing is finished, she brings the bowl to the sink, swiping a finger through the remnants then bringing it to her mouth to lick it clean, before filling the mixing bowl with water. Cleaning is not as fun as baking. Definitely not as fun as eating.

A few footsteps create minor creaks on the stairs. And so emerges the elusive Angela Petrelli — a timed entrance, perhaps, missing the coming and going of Nathan. One can only truly hide for so long in a house with so many others, and Angela isn't especially one for hiding. She did, however, need her solitude. Her quiet. Her time to think, if not to sleep.

In front of the kitchen, she watches Claire. The matriarch is dressed well as always, in black slacks and a high-collared white-and-black patterned blouse, but she seems tired, pale. What she has on may be all she has with her. "I thought someone was baking down here."

Claire, as usual, is her grandmother's foil — blond to dark, casual to formal. She is dressed in jeans and a hoodie, her feet bare and her hair back in a ponytail. She turns to look at her grandmother, her brow raising slightly. "Hey," she says, frowning a little. "What are you doing here?" Nathan didn't want her to say he was here, so she has to try and find out what happened without saying she knows some of it. Definitely not all. Nathan was annoyingly vague, but she's not mad at him at the moment — for once.

She gestures with a soapy hand to the pan of brownies. "Help yourself. Do you like brownies?" the teen asks, looking a little uncertain. Who doesn't like brownies? But if there's anyone who doesn't, it's probably Angela. She's more of a creme brulee type. Probably.

"Who doesn't like brownies?" See, Claire, every now and then your grandmother is human. "Thank you, Claire, they smell wonderful." However, Angela stays where she is for the time being. "I'm here until it's safe to go elsewhere, unless I overstay my welcome." Relying on the generosity of her youngest, Angela can only hope that won't happen. "I must have been followed; to the apartment I was staying in, not to here. Nathan didn't tell you? I thought I heard his voice. I'm sure I didn't dream it."

"I didn't know if I was supposed to know or not, so I was pretending not to," Claire says with a little bit of a smirk. "And I wasn't sure if you were supposed to know that he was here or not, so I was pretending I hadn't talked to him." She may as well be honest, because clearly her grandmother knows he was here. She rinses out the bowl, then picks up a towel to clean it. "He said you two had a disagreement?" Her green eyes glance from the bowl to her grandmother as she towels the bowl dry.

Angela can't seem to help but smirk at Claire's tactics. "How clever of you. You are your father's daughter." When it comes time to speak of the disagreement she had with Nathan, well — she waves her hand. "Disagreement is putting it lightly," she admits. Her tone itself is light despite the weighty reality of the argument with her son, but scorn soon begins to lace Angela's her voice. "I also wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. It's always give and take with Nathan. It's nothing you have to worry about."

Claire sets down the towel and turns her back to the counter, palms coming down to bear her weight so she can hop up onto the counter and sit facing her grandmother. "Nothing for me to worry about?" Her green eyes narrow a touch and she gives a soft bark of a laugh.

"I'm worried about you, because they came for you. I'm worried for him, because he's leaving this house for somewhere else, and I don't even know if I'll see him again, if this … threat is as bad as everyone seems to think it is. Am I a part of this family? I mean, if I'm not, sure, I don't have a reason to worry, but whether I like it or not, we're blood, and so I do worry, Angela." She waits a beat, taking a breath. "What did you fight about?"

Expecting this as she seems to, in many instances, expect everything, Angela remains stoic-faced. If only the conversation could have remained about brownies. With a frown creasing her mouth, she steps further into the kitchen. "Well Claire," she says through a sigh, "That's not something I want to argue. We are blood. I suppose what I should've said is it's not something you can necessarily change. I made a choice about his future that Nathan didn't like. It's done now. But it's the future ahead he's being foolish about. He won't listen."

"Maybe you should stop making choices about your children's futures now that they're grown men, Angela," Claire suggests. "I mean, if he's angry about the fact you made him carry a GI Joe lunchbox instead of Barbie, because you thought it was more appropriate and wouldn't get his ass kicked in school, I'll probably agree with you. But if it's something you did in recent history? I'm going to have to side with him. He's not a little kid and you can't control his life. Or Peter's." 'Or mine' goes unsaid. "And keeping me in the dark won't help. If he really is doing something that is foolish, maybe I can help. But by being honest, and by talking to him — not by doing things behind his back."

"The futures of some people, my family included, are unfortunately tied to things greater than what they think they want." Quick to reply, not so quick to admit she may have been wrong in her last course of action. Angela's eyes, faintly bloodshot as they are, narrow intently on her granddaughter, adamant. She's close now, enough to bear down on the young woman. "This time I'm only trying to protect Nathan. I had a dream — " It's here the woman halts. " — I'm afraid he's going to do something he can't undo this time and it's going to get him killed."

Claire frowns, worry replacing the anger in her eyes and fierce gaze. "I know you think you're doing what's best for him. For all of us, but … whatever you did in the past obviously wasn't keeping us safe. Look at us — we're all hiding like… like rabbits or something." Do rabbits hide a lot? "What do you think he's going to do? Have you talked to him about it, or Peter?" Peter… her solution always seems to be to look to Peter, but he's saved her more than once.

Speak of the Peter!

There's a sudden shift in the air, a sound like a train coming to a hault, and there Peter stands. His eyes are closed, as they often are when he teleports around, and while wrapped in a coat and scarf, he also happens to have a dufflebag of rather feminine design hanging from a shoulder. He'd not had it when he teleported, but he did some fancy movements to go and pick it up again before finally coming home. Eyes open, and he's shifting the bag forward and looking at the two women, "Oh— hey. I finally stopped into your house and picked up a few things for you, Claire. I also left a note for your mom." A glance at his mom shows he's not surprised to see her, but…

"My dreams are… confusing," Angela explains to Claire. "Nathan has his heart set on doing the right thing," she says regretfully. "On taking charge. Another day, I'd commend his determination." Turning, she strolls away from Claire several paces. As she's poised to mention her other son, instinctively, dark eyes roam to other corners of the house, and up to the floors above.

Peter isn't in any of these places. In fact, he appears out of nowhere and prompts his mother to slowly spin on her heel. She bears no surprise either. He does, however, earn a mild smile. Oh look, a distraction. "Speaking of him and he shall appear. Hello Peter." A glance to Claire, nearly conspiratorial. "To answer your question: no, I haven't."

Claire blinks at the noise and then at Peter's appearance. "Thanks," she says, with a smile, moving toward him to take the duffel bag from him. "You didn't see her or Lyle? Everything looked like it was okay?" she asks, worry for her other family apparent on her face. Her eyes dart back to her grandmother's conspiratorial comment. "You probably should."

"I didn't see either of them, no, but the house still seems lived in, and the dog was there, so I don't think they've been forced to leave," Peter answers the question quietly, as she takes the dufflebag from him. He offers a small smile at his mother, but there's something about his glance that seems distracted, as if his mind is trying to process something he hasn't been able to yet. "I— they are doing patrols, so I couldn't stick around long. I had to leave. But the note tells her that you're okay. I'll try to stop in and see her in person next time."

But, there was a conversation going on before he teleported into the room. "Should what?"

Angela uses the time in which Claire catches up on the whereabouts of her family — her other family — to quietly situate herself near the pair in a sort of semicircle. She folds her arms, but once Peter poses the simple encouragement, her arms fall.

While many of the dreams of Angela remain in her own head or told to a select circle, circumstances shift. Companies fall. Looking darkly between Peter and Claire, she decides to go straight to the point and cut to the heart of the matter. It is clear, however, that she is reluctant to do so, her every word bitter. "I saw your brother dead."

Not die; not dying; dead. "In a dream. But like I said: my dreams are confusing. Sometimes they don't make sense. They're not in order. Things change."

The blunt honesty shouldn't be surprising — but it still has Claire turning with wide eyes toward her grandmother. "What… could you tell what led up to that? You said his choices… what he's going to do might be foolish but…" She looks from Angela to Peter, and the worry and fear in her eyes is sincere. The look is pleading — Peter is the one she trusts to save her, and maybe save them all. "You need to help him," she whispers, the tone urgent and imploring. "We just… we're finally… he can't die now."

If there's one thing Peter can understand, especially now, it's how dreams that predict the future can come in pieces, out of context. The result but not the 'how'. He saw a lot of that not too long ago. Over and over and over. The 'what' and the 'who' without any other questions filled in. So many nightmares, all wrapped up into one giant one. And in one of them… "How was he dead? Where was he dead?" He's suddenly stalking toward his mother, freed hands landing on her shoulders and demanding answers. "Was it glass? A broken mirror?"

Of all the dreams he wishes he could forget, there's a few he doesn't want to think could really happen. One involves his niece, who he glances over at, seeing the pleading look and returning it with something desperate. He does need to help him. And he needs to know that…

That it wasn't like his dream.

The single look Angela turns to Peter manages to express the answer he's looking for without words coming to fruition. Rather, that she can't answer it; that look is of apology. Remorse. If a glass or broken mirror are involved, she doesn't know it. She speaks, all the same. "I only saw the aftermath." Details of which she's not about to share. It's a really a kindness — Peter and Claire don't need to be picturing more than they already are.

"I couldn't tell how it happened, just that it did. The path he's on now is certainly be treacherous, but— " the Petrelli matriarch swoops in closer to Claire and curls a hand down on her shoulder. She looks pointedly at both her son and granddaughter. "We're not going to lose him now, we just got him back. Twice."

"Let me know how I can help," Claire says, first to Peter, and then to her grandmother, her jaw setting and her eyes fierce. She won't cry. It hasn't happened yet. You only mourn the dead, and she's not going to let it happen.

"Don't shut me out and don't lie to me or keep me in the dark to protect me, because obviously that doesn't work, all right? I'm more likely to survive than anyone else, so let me help." She keeps asking, but unfortunately, there's nothing she can do yet — at least that she knows of. "You didn't send me to Haiti because I'm some fragile flower, right?" This to her grandmother, whose hand she reaches up to grip, holding it onto her own shoulder, before turning to Peter. "He's probably too angry to talk to her right now, but … you can maybe see what he has planned…?"

Whether he believes her or not, Peter's hands drop away and he moves back, pacing away a few feet. It causes him to remember when his brother was standing in this very house, talking to him and there'd been pacing involved then too. "I may know some of what he's up to. I'll try to talk to him, find out more. We just got him back." And it sounds like he's not sure he can handle losing him again. Not after everything. There's so much to do and now— "Wait, isn't he still here?" He glances around upstairs, and then toward the back door, where the motorcycle would usually be parked.

Angela gives Claire a small, knowing smile in the midst of it — a smirk, truly. She is well aware her granddaughter is no fragile flower. "No, you're strong, and that's exactly what you need to be." Stepping back, she continues to intently regard her family. "If I can't convince him of his fate maybe the two of you can," she says and, have it be noted, Angela deferring onto someone else to do the convincing is next to unthinkable. "That's why he isn't here, we had a … difference of opinion."

"No, Peter, he flew away." Claire arches a brow at him and dips her head to try to express 'I'll tell you later' without actually mouthing it, and without Angela seeing it. She turns back to her grandmother. "We already sort of disagreed with him on something, too," Claire says quietly, glancing at Peter. Neither of them liked the idea of going to the press. "You told him about your dream? Or did you have the argument before you got that far?" She's no longer blaming her grandmother for the situation, as Angela might have the best information to help them get out of it.

"Son of a— " Peter catches himself before he finishes. "Sorry, mom." But still. "What we disagreed on could be what gets him killed. And he accuses me of being reckless," he clenches his hands into a fist, as if he very much wants to find his brother and send one of those fists at his face. There's too much of a risk with Nathan's ideas, and he doesn't seem to realize it. The risk isn't worth what he's seen happen. And what their mother saw happen. "I'll find him, wherever he went, and I'll talk some sense into him. He doesn't have amnesia to hide from me this time."

After… eyeing Peter, Angela answers Claire, matter-of-fact despite being ever so vague. "Yes and no," she says. "He knows there's a serious risk involved and he's making the leap. That was all I needed to know." Turning, now, mostly to Peter, she adds, "Convince him but don't push him too hard." Brother vs. brother, it can ignite a fire. "There's always a backup plan when things get too bad."

Claire frowns a little at the evasion. "If you tell him, he might listen. I think for once… maybe we all need to be as honest as possible with each other, now that we have a common enemy," she says softly, eyes flitting from Angela to Peter and back. "And sooner or later, we're going to run out of back-up plans."

"I can try. I'm usually honest with him. I told him about Logan even when I probably shouldn't have," Peter says, shifting where he stands, which is essentially pacing without walking. It has the same kind of nervousness about it. "He knows about the futures I've seen, and— I'll try to talk to him. If he doesn't listen…" His mom has a back up plan. "I'm not sure I like the sound of your back up plans."

Angela's brows lift at Peter. In comparison to the others in the room, she is now much more composed. While she is — and had, noticeably, been — worried about Nathan, Angela has said what she's going to say. What she does look, however, is still tired. "Well, we'll cross that bridge when and if we come to it," she points out tersely and that's that.

Claire hops down from the counter and goes to a drawer, pulling out a knife. "I can try to talk to him, too. Now that we're talking. Or something," she says quietly. "Maybe we can have a little Petrelli family meeting, with all of us, and go over options together. Like a family." She begins to cut the brownies, putting large pieces on paper towels for the three of them. Until Peter talks to Nathan, there's not much she can do, but in the meantime, there's chocolate.

"What, like family brunch? That's— never really gone over well," Peter suddenly says with a smile, and a bit of a laugh, moving over to where the brownies are, and taking one of them. "Your birthday is coming up soon. Maybe we should plan for a birthday party for you." It's a little better than family brunch, at least. Hopefully his big brother will be more willing to listen to reason, so as not to upset the birthday girl. Who has a knife.

Peter gets a smirk for his comments on brunch — it would be decidedly unimpressed, if there wasn't that hint of levity — and Angela retrieves a piece of Claire's chocolate handiwork as well. "That's right, you have a big birthday," she notes as she turns about. "Well," she sighs, moving along out of the kitchen. "I'm going to take this and try to get some sleep." No matter what time it is.

"Only if the party will get him here. Otherwise, I don't really feel like I have much to celebrate," Claire says a little grumpily, less amused than her uncle and grandmother. "But if he'll come for me, and it will help…" she shrugs. She'll let them use her birthday as the trap to get her father to come talk to them. She picks up her brownie and takes a bite. "Sleep well, Angela."

"I can probably even bring your mom and brother, too," Peter says, taking a bite on the brownie after he's finished saying that. Once he can speak again without being gross, he adds, "Well, maybe after you talk to Nathan. No need to expose them to too much of our family if they can avoid it." Cause— The Petrellis make the Bennets look— well— something.

"Good night, mom," he says, before taking another bite on his brownie. He doesn't even seem to realize it's not night yet. This is what happens when you sleep as little as he does, though…

A strange family indeed.

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