2007-02-28: The Bio Family Hour


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Summary: Insomnia runs in the family, as well as a whole lot of awkwardness.

Date It Happened: February 28th, 2007

Log Title: The Bio Family Hour

Sitting Room - The Petrelli Mansion

So guess who can't sleep after getting his skin, face and general motor functions back. That would be Nathan, who is sitting slightly sprawled on a couch. He has paperwork in his lap that he's pretty sure is important and long overdue, but he sets it aside, unseeing, and moves to pour scotch into a glass from a decanter instead. There are dim lights on but it's basically moonlight lighting up the place, and he moves to peer out the window, broodingly.

"Rough night?" The voice comes from the doorway, where Claire stands with one shoulder leaning against the frame. Her dark hair has been tied back, and she's abandoned what she had been wearing upon arrival in favour of some slightly out-of-character pyjamas. They fit properly, however, which suggests that they are not Angela's own so much as ones she bought 'just in case'. Evidently, insomnia is an epidemic in this household.

He doesn't really have to look to see who it is, and when Nathan does spare her a glance over his shoulder, it's not one of too much surprise. He, despite the late hour, is dressed in normal clothes, a plain shirt and slacks, though his feet are bare against the carpeted floor. "That's a way to put it," he agrees, and rather self-consciously sets his glass aside as he turns towards her. "Glad you decided to stay, it is the least we could do."

There's a smile on her face that's almost rueful, at that, and Claire's reply comes without hesitation. "I didn't think I had a choice," she says, arching a brow as she regards Nathan with her characteristic expression of disbelief. "I hope you're right about my family being safe." She doesn't elaborate, she simply steps into the room, sinking down into an armchair and pulling her feet up onto the cushion. "Why can't you sleep?"

"I think you could leave here if you really wanted," Nathan counters, and then moves to sit down opposite her, elbows resting on his knees. "Can't sleep because I got too much to figure out," he says, rubbing the back of his neck in a way that suggests he's more weary than he's letting on, as if the bags under his eyes weren't enough of an indication. "That and I've spent enough time in bed to last me a while. What about you?"

"I keep thinking about what might happen," Claire says, her voice suddenly quieter. "Every time I close my eyes, I see the Company, or Sylar, or a tornado." She rubs her face with one hand, her features making it painfully obvious how tired she is. "This is way beyond my maturity level." The ensuing silence finds her shifting in her seat some, resting her head against the back of the chair, her eyes drifting closed. "I wish Peter was here."

"I'd argue that's way beyond his maturity level too," Nathan says lightly, with a vague hint of an amused smile. "But I guess that's not the case, anymore." His glass has been left neglected by the window, and one might get the sense that he regrets his decision not to drink in front of his daughter as the conversation veers into /this/ territory. "I'm sorry about what you've gone through," Nathan says, more informative than reassuring. "But it'll get better. If Peter's alive…" And he forgets what he's going to say, and just shakes his head once.

The entire conversation strikes Claire as slightly odd, and she turns her head slightly, glancing back to Nathan without having to lift her head from where it's resting. "Better. Right." Teenaged girls shouldn't be as pessimistic as this girl is, but can you really blame her, after the last year? "Just in time for things to get worse." She sits up a little straighter in the chair, finally lifting her head again. "Do you really think he might be alive?"

Nathan doesn't touch the pessimism. It'd be a little hypocritical, so, his assurances, as robotic as they were, end there. "I don't think I can believe he's dead," is his non-answer. "He was meant to heal, that night, just like you. And no one's exactly sure how I lived through a fall from the sky. I figured if he was alive, I'd have seen him by now, but now I'm wondering he just doesn't have a choice in that regard."

"You think the Company might have him." The notion seems to bother Claire, and she shifts her position again, tucking her legs beneath her and leaning against the arm of the chair. There's a frown settled deep on her face. "I remember you saying that before." After a few seconds of silent thought, she continues, "They could have sent the Haitian man to erase his memory. Even if he got out, he wouldn't know who his family is to look for."

Nathan gives a slight wince, as if yes, he's been telling himself he's going out on a limb with his theories, but when Claire continues and doesn't call him crazy, he listens. And that last part seems to genuinely bother him. "The Haitian?" he repeats, lifting an eyebrow, but doesn't pursue that. There are weirder things to focus on. "If that's the case, I'll do the finding for him, and I think the first place to start is the Company." He looks slightly pained as he says all this - this isn't /rational/ or /logical/, but even just a glimmer of hope seems to be enough to force him round this bend.

He really shouldn't be appealing to Claire for rational or logical. "How are you going to find out if he's there?" Uh oh. There's no if or maybe left in this plan. For the former cheerleader, it's now a question of working out the details, it seems. "It's not like you can just walk in and ask if he's there." Claire Bennet, queen of stating the obvious tonight, it would seem. "How would you even get him out?"

There's something reassuring about someone else willing to join him on that far out limb of improbability. Enough so that Nathan doesn't just shut down this conversation. "Hey, it's been a long night," he says, spreading his hands. "So let's just say the plan is still on the drawing board. Besides, you seem to find it easy enough to walk in and out of there." He gives her an arch look, at that point, prompting for an explanation.

"I had… help," Claire replies, her frown lingering as she shakes her head. "People who knew my father when he worked with them. They didn't ask why I needed out. The Haitian said I could trust them. It's… complicated." She heaves a quiet sigh, glancing to the window. "Up until a week ago they let me leave whenever I wanted. I could go out, so long as I stuck to some rules." Which she must have broken in the last week, then, if that changed.

"Willing to bet that's not your strong suit," Nathan says, in a way that might seem affectionate. Maybe. Mostly just awkward, however, and he ruins the moment anyway by continuing with, "Then maybe you can help me. You know the place, you want Peter to be alive as much as I do."

As much as? There's a certain flicker of something in her eyes that might question that assessment, as if it were a competition over who misses him more. It's quick to disappear. "You want me to go back?" she asks, seeming slightly taken aback at the notion. Something dawns on her then, and she says, "Hiro! He can help us get to him." … "If Peter's there."

Nathan lifts a hand. "I am /not/ telling you to go back," he says, feeling the need to put emphasis on that. "I just mean, you know more than I do about the Company. I'm not willing to bench you if you have something to share." Any possible father-daughter dynamic that they could have isn't evident in Nathan's tone at the moment, but his voice does soften as he adds, "But I don't want to put you in danger either." Then, he frowns. "So you know Hiro too." Is there anyone the man doesn't?

"He's the one who told me about you," Claire replies, managing a fleeting, sad kind of smile. "I only met him a few weeks ago." She considers what Nathan says for a moment, eventually rolling her shoulders helplessly. "If my dad really is in New York, he won't let me go near them. He knows more than I do. When he comes to get me, I'm sure he'll help. He won't leave Peter there to be poked and prodded like an animal."

Nathan nods his acceptance at that. "Even better," he says, with a rueful half-smile. "He seems to be one of the people who actually has a clue what's going on, anyway. Him and Hiro." That last part is said with a tone of irony, and Nathan sits back in his seat, glancing towards an inevitably old, antique grandfather clock pushed up against the wall. "It's late, I should probably be encouraging you to go get some sleep."

There are things Claire doesn't like to think about, and her father's involvement in the Company is one of those things - so when Nathan mentions that he knows something of what's going on, she winces. She, too, glances at the clock at his latter remark, thankful for the distraction. "Yeah. I could try to sleep again. Before the walls start to move." She doesn't say anything about letting him get back to drinking as she rises to her feet, but the thought does cross her mind, and there's a slight smirk tugging up the corner of her mouth.

Nathan stands as well, and hesitates. What goes next, here, in the Estranged Biological Daughter And You script? Hugging doesn't seem to do very well, so Nathan just slides his hands into his pockets and nods to her. "Sounds like a plan. I'll be in here," he glances around the room to indicate it, "if you need anything. There's… stuff in the fridge, too." And we have plumbing as well? Shut up, Nathan.

Yep. It's awkward. Claire finds herself resting both hands on her lower back, stretching her shoulders and back out now that she's standing. "Thanks," she says, managing a brief smile that seems genuine enough, at least, if still slightly anxious. "I think I'll hold off on helping myself to any 'stuff' until morning." Just before she turns to leave, she finds a way to make the entire situation even worse by saying, "Goodnight -" It's clear she wants to say something, but what does she say? Nathan, Dad, Mr. Petrelli, Biological Sperm Donor? So she decides it's best to say nothing, and she ducks her head with another nervous smile.

Oh yeah, Nathan can appreciate the awkward, and doesn't blame her. He offers her a barely there smile of his own, just the turning up of the corner of his mouth. "'Night, Claire. Sleep well," he says to her, and with that? He turns away, heading back over to that long overdue glass of scotch that practically has his name on it.

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