2007-09-11: The Darker Poisons

Starring:

Ramon_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Ramon visits Nathan at his HQ with advice in future prevention. Unfortunately, the future is kind of… now.

Date It Happened: September 11th, 2007

The Darker Poisons


NYC - Times Square - Nathan Petrelli's Campaign HQ

It's about 1 in the afternoon when Ramon comes by the campaign office. He drives up in his Mercedes, parks the thing, and walks in. He stands in the doorway, looking faintly bemused by this hubbub of activity: people rushing here and there, phones ringing, papers flying, energy filling the air like so many bees. He sticks his hands in his pockets and just stands there for a moment.

As is generally the norm for the HQ, Nathan isn't immediately in sight - just a whole gaggle of employees in semi-formal attire doing his bidding in the open office space. A young woman, a very important woman, no doubt, comes pushing past Ramon inside, holding— well, holding a tray of coffee. So maybe she wasn't immediately important when various employees required a caffeine fix of something slightly fancier than what the back room coffeemaker could provide. "Excuse me, sir," she says, then pauses, perhaps noting his slight lost-ness. "Can I help you?"

"I'm here to see Nathan," Ramon says, as if he expects this to be like going into any place where you just want to see a guy. He inclines his head down at her. "If he's on a phone call or something I'll wait." His single eye is curious more than anything else, and then he steps to the side. "Or you can just tell me where to go or wherever, if you need to go," what might she be doing that's important? "Make a law."

Make a law? Maybe one day. She smiles with some reservation as she tries not to twitch her hands too much to create a small Niagra Falls of foamy coffee. "Are you a friend of Mr. Petrelli's?" she asks. "Because I'm not sure if he's in right now, but you can talk to," she manages to balance the cardboard tray on one hand as she points," that man right over there and make an appointment— "

"Or just clear it with me," Nathan says, as he steps through the doors form the outside, flanked by a few other staff members who integrate themselves back into the office space. He's dressed in formal daywear, suit and tie and everything, perhaps having just come back from some appearance of smiling and shaking hands somewhere. "Ramon, good to see you again," he says, casting a 'you may leave' glance to the woman, who quickly darts away. "Come on in." He starts moving towards his more private office.

"Thanks," Ramon says, stepping gingerly through all of this. He smiles faintly. He himself is dressed up in Full Suitness, because he hasn't figured out the subtle shadings yet. If anyone was caught in a ton of nouveau riche traps, its Ramon, but he tries to be unassuming and not loud and obnoxious about it.

Normally, Nathan would fill in the time it takes to get from the front door to his office with inane small talk, but he doesn't this time. He's always a little nervous when people from THAT portion of his life collide with THIS portion of his life, as he does so try to keep them separated, but mostly? People just sort of show up anyway. But Ramon is on the 'time of day' list, it seems, as Nathan deflects someone trying to get him to sign something, and leads the way into the smaller office, shutting the door behind them. Okay. Better. "There we go," he says, the space immediately quieted from the general noise of outside, and he gestures towards one of the chairs by his desk, offering. "What can I do for you?"

Ramon pulls out a check. "Campaign contribution check." Its large. Its from Evosoft-Lancaster. He puts that on his desk. But he could have just sent that. He closes the door and says, bluntly, "I also need to talk to you about some things. I don't really know what your brother told you, though, about his walk about and what he learned." He's pretty sure what Peter /didn't/ tell him though.

Nathan is pulling off his jacket to hang up just as the cheque is set down. Moving towards it, his eyebrows raise. "Thank you," he says, with a tone of surprise and sincerity, picking up the slip of paper and disappearing it into a desk drawer, for now. Sitting down behind his desk, Nathan looks immediately guarded when Ramon approaches this subject. He hesitates, then says, "He told me plenty," he says. "The next two years are looking dire, aren't they."

"He said he didn't want to talk to you about all of it," Ramon rasps. "So I decided to handle the unpleasant bits he couldn't handle out of brotherly love." He sits down and looks Nathan in the eye. "If there's any unresolved issues you need to deal with, you're going to need to deal with them. If you control, at present, any lynchpin to avoiding that future, it's that. I'll be happy to tell you what I know happens, or I can shut up about it, but that's at the heart of it."

A baseball rests off to the side on his desk, just shy of the family photos. Nathan now picks this up absently, leaning back into his chair as he listens to Ramon. Peter didn't want to say anything. Well if the massive gaps in his initial story was of any indication, Nathan did manage to pick up on this hint. "He didn't want to tell me," Nathan agrees - a guess that's now confirmed. "I made him spill some more details. I know that my son dies." This is stated flatly. "I know that— something happens to me." This is a prompt - perhaps Ramon knows more than what Peter had glanced over.

"Something does," Ramon says. He's not blessed— or cursed— with Peter's sensitivity. Or its just cause Nathan's not his brother. He says, "And while the death of a child could fuck anyone up— apparently I lose two of mine and it does some real great shit to me too— in you the results apparently turn worse than usual. There's apparently a phenomena among our sort that can cause a personality to literally split. Not like the mental disease. Like, you get an alter-ego, and it truly becomes a separate person, to the point where telepaths hear them separately. I've seen this case before and it's nasty and elusive, and I don't understand it yet. What happens, Nathan, is that you split into two. You become Nathan, and you become Logan. And Logan, rage filled, power hungry, angry at the world, and ruthless— goes on to become president of the United States of America. Now I'd vote for you as President, but not all your worst impulses turned into a personality. He is apparently strong enough to keep you back in the subconscious for months at a time, doing all sorts of damage, and destroying everything that remains that you care about."

There's a good amount of pause after Ramon finishes, Nathan simply watching him carefully, listening to the details and filing them away. It seems that at the very least, Peter prepared him enough so that he can hear all of this without his natural cynicism, though his expression is stormy. Finally, he says, "Won't it be prevented if— " A slight, uncomfortable shrug. "If we prevent his death?" He can't really bring himself to say 'Monty's death', so 'his' will work fine. It's the simple solution, in Nathan's mind - except there is something deeply disturbing about this news, which he doesn't voice out loud.

"I don't know. I'm not God," Ramon says. "But I tend to think like this. If one tragedy can cause something like that, another can, unless the underlying crap that causes it in the first place goes away. Therefore, simply preventing this tragedy this time just might delay it, instead of stopping it. What stops it is here," he touches his head, "and here." He touches his heart. "I don't know what demons you're carrying around, and I don't know enough about you to ask, but I suspect that to create something like that requires a lot more poison than that. It requires lots, and lots and lots of poison, built up. Harder, darker poisons. That's my guess from the one like that I've worked with in the here-and-now. Being in denial and writing yourself some good spin isn't going to stop this, Nathan. Dealing with it is. Get a therapist, get yoga, get religion, get your memoirs written, but get it dealt with."

It makes sense. An uncomfortable amount of logic. Nathan restlessly sets the baseball aside, linking his hands together in front of him on the desk. "Get it dealt with," he repeats, with a hint of a mirthless smile. "Preferably before I become Senator and the next presidential election comes up. That's what I'm aiming for, it's what I've always been aiming for." Of course he'd contemplated giving up the race, when he was told about becoming President and ruining the future beyond repair. But if the war is prevented, then he wouldn't have to - that had been the logic. Now it's been replaced. "Stay sane," he adds, more to himself. That's what Peter had said, in a way that suggested it had been a flippant comment. "You'll forgive me if I'm not entirely sure where to start."

"I do," Ramon says evenly. "I sure as Hell wouldn't." He closes his eye though, thinking it through. Having taken it onto his shoulders, he owes Nathan a starting point. He says, at last, "I'd start, maybe, by really thinking about all those hurts in you, stuff that's happened to you. And then finding someone you trust to talk to about them. Or if someone hurt you and it's someone in your life, talking to them and letting them know. Or if you know you hurt someone and you need to make amends, instead of making apologies for it. I'm not saying to do it in a way that jeopardizes your campaign, but— fuck, man, all of us have unfinished business in our lives. I can't offer more without knowing what it might be." He opens his eye. "And if you start feeling watched, if you start seeing things, or blacking out and going whole periods of time without knowing where you were, if you ever wake up somewhere and you don't know why you're there or what you were doing and you can't account for your state— call me right away."

Touchy feeliness. Exactly what Nathan strives to avoid and dismiss in life, and he winces a little at the examples, the suggestions Ramon gives him. But he doesn't protest. He'll just have to come to grips with that stuff in his own time. Or drink heavily first, you know, either way. It's this next part that causes him to meet Ramon's eye, brow furrowing in contemplation. Then he sort of rolls his eyes at himself, cynically, and gestures. When he talks, Nathan seems deeply reluctant to share this information, because it's a weakness, but it might be important, so, he forces himself to do so. "There was a time not so long ago where… I don't know. I'd sometimes see things. Flashes of a face, where my reflection would be." It felt like being watched, as Ramon stated, and so he shares, and glances at the other man.

Ramon doesn't do touchy feely either if he doesn't have to. Thus the sudden swearing. He grimaces. "That's a symptom," he says softly. "And you know what that says? That says it didn't have as much to do with a death as you'd like to believe." Crap. Crap crap crap. Now what? He says, "I'd like your permission to 'listen'." This time he'll just be careful about poking. Poking, he's learned, makes the other guy come right out, and he doesn't have the habit of shoving them around yet. "I want to hear if you're alone in your head still or if— " Or if its already happening.

"'Listen'?" Nathan repeats, again looking guarded, hands coming to rest on the edge of his desk. "I… no, I don't think so." That might come off a little callous, given Ramon's good intentions, but it's nothing personal, it's just telepathy. He amends this with, "Not right now." As if this weren't the right environment for it, rather than Nathan just being plain scared of the concept.

"Very well," Ramon says, respecting Nathan's wishes. For now, he will. But now he'll be keeping a closer eye on the man. Of course, he may or may not ask next time; but for now he'll respect it. He stands up, in fact, backing all the way off, adding: "I have said what I came to say. You now know how large a part of all of our futures you hold in your hands, and where your responsibility lies. I know that you'll have the courage to deal with it however it must be dealt with."

Nathan relaxes a fraction when Ramon backs off, and politely, he stands when the other man does, extending a hand to him to shake. "Thank you," he says, a little grimly. "I won't let it come to be." A final promise - phrased like a platitude but then again, he is a politician. Just this time, he means it. He puts on a smile, the kind he's developed over the course of lawyerdom and politiciandom. "And thanks for your contribution, it's greatly appreciated."

Ramon shakes his hand and smirks. "Tone down the wattage. You look gay when you smile like that." The handshake is firm, friendly, man to man. And then he turns and leaves Nathan's office.

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