2009-12-07: That Was Odd



Date: December 7, 2009


Brayden goes to the park for a hot dog and meets Lee. The pair are then criticized ("jackass'd?") by Noah.

"That Was Odd"

Central Park

It's a relatively cool sunny afternoon in Central Park. Bundled in a heavy peacoat and a hideously loud green and pink Santa-elf scarf, Brayden whistles as he pads to a bench in Central Park. In one hand he has a HOT DOG. It's covered in delicious relish, ketchup, and mustard (is he only eating condiments — seriously, the hot dog can't be seen?!). In the other hand he's holding a copy of the newspaper with Ivory's picture plastered on the front. It's all very topical.

He sits on the bench and takes a bite into the hot dog spilling ketchup, mustard, and relish all over his beautiful scarf! "Ahh! That'll never come out," he comments as he glances around for a napkin. Not seeing one, he takes a piece of the newspaper to lap up his condiment-laden scarf.

Peter has been seen in New York. Ivory Wynn has resigned from the senate as well as the Alpha Protocol. It seems now is a better time than ever to use some of those Frequent Flyer miles and go up to the Big Apple. Dressed in a black suit, a white dress shirt, and a dark grey tie, Mr. Bennet is strolling through the park. He is clearly looking for someone as he glances about, but his calm stride makes it clear that he is not in any sort of rush.

Lee is discussing the situation with a guy in a 'D.B. Cooper For President 1972' T-shirt. They are drinking overpriced coffee from a snotty vendor who chortles maliciously at each order he fills, as if this order is the most banal, worthless order he has filled since the last one.

Lee, who has still not worked out that the winter scarf his sister gave him is in the colors of House Ravenclaw, says to his friend, "See, the Raw Shark Texts is really a response to Wordsworth. I mean, c'mon, writing something down creates amnesia? That's a straight up Socratic critique of the whole enterprise of literature."

His friend says, "But that's such a backwards reading, I mean, the picaresque elements…" Despite their virtually complete self-absorption and circular nature of their yapping about trendy books nobody has read, Lee still spots whats-his-name splatter condiments everywhere. "Hold on." he interrupts his friend, offering some of his big stack of napkins to Brayden (?) "Hey." he tells him. "You need these? I already finished my biscotti, so I'm good."

The napkins are accepted with an easy grin, "Hey, thanks! Seriously, what a mess. I need to work on using less condiments." Brayden (also known as Nathan by those who remember him) chuckles lightly as he wipes at his scarf to absorb the ketchup, relish, and mustard mess. He points at the newspaper with that same smile, "Better than using Senator Wynn's face, that's for sure." Or ex-senator Wynn as the case may be. He grins. And then his gaze falls on Noah. The glasses guy… but he only offers a glance before returning his attention to Lee.

Lee says, indicating the paper, "Yeah, I saw that. What a jerk, I mean, we elected the guy, at least do your frickin' job, get up and go to work every day. There are days I don't want to go to work but I do anyway, am I right?"

Lee's friend says: "Work's for saps and suckers, he's got the right idea, just take the money and get out of there." Lee snorts and is about to riposte sarcastically when his friend's iPhone rings and he says "I gotta take this, it's last week's girlfriend," sauntering away more or less in the middle of the conversation.

It takes a while for Lee to come out of his own world to recognize who Nathan is. "You look a lot like Nathan Petrelli, is that you? Hey, hilarious, I know your brother, he used to work up the street from my sister's shop in the Village, hawking books about crop circles or whatever. How's he doing, I heard he got a job at the post office or something?"

"Yeah, it's too bad he can't fulfill his duties, but then — " neither could Nathan. Brayden shrugs a little as he leaves his thought hanging and Lee's friend disappears to take the call. With a smirk he nods and offers a hand to shake, "I'm Nathan Petrelli, apparently." The name still feels foreign on his own lips. He narrows his eyes a bit at the question about Peter, "I actually don't know where Pete's working these days. I've been gone for awhile and we only recently reconnected. Where exactly did Pete used to work?"

Lee says, "This place called Enlightenment Books, I always figured it was named ironically, because pretty much everything there was Bigfoot and UFOs and did the Mafia kill Kennedy, blah blah blah. I'm Lee Jones." He shakes Nathan's hand. "So are you going to put in to take his place now that you're back from wherever? Someone'll have to be appointed by the Gov…well, the Lieutenant Governor?"

"Ahhh. Enlightenment Books. I've been there. It is a bit of a strange place," Brayden takes another bit of his hot dog before considering the questions about his political future."Well, we'll see what happens. But yes, I'd like my name in the hat. Depends on who the Lieutenant Governor chooses though," Brayden answers with a shrug.

Lee says, "Well, do you still know anyone up there? Ha ha, what am I saying, sorry. See, I teach civics, for the most part, some literature too, but mostly civics, so I'm always teaching the kids about how things work. You know, if you get a chance to come talk about your experiences, I'd love to have you come down to the classroom some afternoon, that is, if you're not busy with the actual job."

Moving in at the tail end of the conversation, Noah gives a smile to what he hears. "I was getting ready to ask you on that, Mr. Petrelli…" HRG pauses for a moment, looking up to see a new Company Man… One of those that was coming in as he was heading out. "Mr. Jones," he states without any hint of amusement in his voice.

"I would be willing to come speak to your class, Mr. Jones. I like kids," or at least, he thinks he does, after all, Nathan has three, right? "And these days when I'm not politicking I'm volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, doing my part where I can. So I have lots of flexibility in my schedule." Brayden reaches into his coat and extracts a business card which he offers to Lee, "Helen is handling my schedule these days, but I'd be willing to shift things to fit you in…" His attention is then caught by Noah. He stares at the gasses and remembers what his mother told him, "Noah, right? Getting to ask me on what — my status as it pertains to Senator Wynn's vacant seat, or wanting to ask me to speak to your class?" He grins as he asks the second half of the question.

Lee doesn't recognize Noah. He met a lot of boring people in suits around that time and lumped them all together into one amalgam memory of wrongness and exasperation. "Hey, uh, hi, do we know each other?" He takes Nathan's card gratefully. "Helen, excellent. I'll definitely call her, thanks!"

"We don't, Mr. Jones. I sincerely hope it stays that way. Keep to your schooling," Noah states swiftly to Lee. There are many people that Noah isn't too interested in that he has to be respecful towards. Lee is not one of them. "Yes, I was refering to the vacant seat. You need to be in it as soon as possible, but we'll talk more of that later," Noah states as he looks around causally, seemingly looking for something, but considering his attention goes right back to the two men, it is clear that he doesn't find it.

"Make sure Helen knows that I cleared it. I'll tell her, but it wouldn't hurt to mention that on the phone. She's quite protective of my time these days," Brayden grins easily at Lee. The smile fades though at Noah's comment, "It's not that simple though — I don't automatically receive the seat. Me and my staff are hopeful, but until the Lieutenant Governor makes their decision, the seat is empty." Pause. "Unless you know something I don't."

Lee narrows his eyes at Noah. "What the heck? Look pal, I hassle a lot of people - all for good reason, I assure you - but it's a long frickin' list, so don't get upset that you're not in my top five. Just remind me whether you're a thug, a moron, a jackass or just caught me at a bad time and I'm sure it'll come back to me." So much for politics, now Lee is talking about his own life.

"You seem to think that I care what you think of me, Mr. Jones. I'm sorry that it is not the case," HRG replies before he turns toward Nathan. "Just make it clear you want the seat and keep going… The rest will take care of itself." Or Angela will, Noah knows that even if she is in hiding, she has many strings to pull if she chooses to. "If you see Peter before I do, tell him that he needs to talk to me in private. Important matters involving the stuff he got himself wrapped up in. Here is my contact information if you or he need to reach me." With that, Noah hands a business card with his name, a number… and nothing else. "Unless either of you need for something, I'll be heading off. Good seeing you, Nathan."

With that, Noah prepares to leave. That Noah, such a people person.

"W-what?" Brayden quirks as he takes the card and pockets it. "I saw Peter just a few days ago… I can get him in touch with you, if you want. Do you see Pete often?" Yes, he's very very confused. He doesn't remember Noah from before, other than the glasses which still feels like he must have worn before, even though his mother insists that he never owned (or wore) horn-rimmed glasses. "I know I saw you in IHOP a few weeks back, but… I still don't remember you and Ma didn't exactly fill in the blank there…"

Lee says, "Aha, that would be 'jackass'. Got it." That habit of needing the last word is probably going to get him thrown out a window one of these days…oh wait! It already has. He lets Nathan express his misgivings without further comment.

Looking back, Noah gives a faint smirk as he stops his retreat for the time being. "I see him from time to time… Mostly as the need arises rather than your usual friendship. As for myself, just ask your mother about me. I'm sure she'd be a better person to talk to than myself. I'd likely talk to highly of myself or the like." Lee is given a brief look, but no verbal response is given.

"Uh… okay, I guess. I'll talk to Ma," Brayden's still skeptical about Noah, but makes a note to ask his mother. He really needs to get his memory back. "Good-bye then?" he arches an eyebrow, but says nothing else to Noah before turning back to Lee, "That was… odd." He shrugs a little as he picks up his newspaper.

Lee says, "Yeah. Well, hey, great to run into you. Thanks again for the card. Good luck with the Senator thing." he says by way of farewell.

"Good meeting you Mr. Jones," Brayden grins with a brief wave to Lee. Shaking his head he stands to his feet. Maybe he needs to contact the Lieutenant Governor. Reaching into his coat he extracts his cell phone, he dials a number and … he gets voice mail. "Hey Helen. It's Nathan calling. A teacher named Lee Jones will be contacting you regarding my speaking to his class. Also… I think we need to get in contact with the Lieutenant Governor's people… Call me." He snaps the phone shut, stands to his feet, and heads towards his hotel.

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