2008-05-12: The Face Of Our Siblings


Nathan_icon.gif Tracy_icon.gif

Summary: One person is trying to be someone they aren't, the other is mistaken for someone they're not.

Date It Happened: May 12, 2008

The Face Of Our Siblings

Senator Nathan Petrelli's Office - Washington DC

Pretending to be a Senator is harrowing. By all appearances, Nathan Petrelli has actually been in his office in Washington most of the day. The aids and secretaries haven't noticed anything off, because there's little they could notice. A stack of papers that have needed to be signed for the last month have been gone through and signed, letters have been glanced at. There's so much work that hasn't been done, even by secretaries. Aids and assistants can't actually do everything, as he's quickly discovering.

And he's only been the Junior Senator for New York for a very short time…

And he isn't actually Nathan Petrelli at all, but his younger brother, albet four years older than he should be, appearance hidden behind a face that matches the one in the pictures on the walls. Peter stands at the moment, rather than sitting behind his desk, looking at a reflection not his own in the glass of a picture of himself and his brother.

She's been tracking and trying to trace him for a while. Phone calls have been missed, timing has been wrong. This time, however, Tracy Strauss, political advisor to the governor of New York, thinks she has him cornered. Following on the governor's orders, she's here. The aides, of course, try to get her to wait, but Tracy… Tracy doesn't wait for anyone, save the man she works for.

She shoves past with a smile and a 'He should be expecting me. The Governor sent me.' As she makes her way to the door, she knocks politely before she simply opens the door with a very bright grin and a cheerful, "Senator Petrelli?"

The door opens, drawing eyes away from a photograph. One of his real face, one of the face he wears now. The Senator blinks at the sight of the woman at the door, blonde hair and face familiar, voice familiar too, but… "What— what are you doing here?" From the hitch of his deep voice, he's very surprised to be seeing her. Peter hadn't expected the woman to be all the way in DC right now, much less visiting him.

"I've been leaving messages, Senator. So, I've come to talk to you." Tracy says with a chuckle as she closes the door behind her. Of course, who knows which twin he expects her to be. After all, Tracy's learned that many people expect Niki when they see her, and Nathan's been seen in pictures WITH Niki. "And I've finally tracked you here." She says, retaining that broad smile. "I hope you don't mind. After all, the governor had a few things he wanted more information about."

"The… governor," Peter repeats, blinking eyes that aren't his a few times. He looks rather stunned, pulling his hands away from the picture and toying with hair that doesn't actually hang in his face like it might. "I wasn't aware you knew the governor, Niki." The twin business must not have been told to him, even in the future he comes from. Maybe it just never came up, or maybe he doesn't expect it at all right now. It's actually the later bit. He expects to see Niki, even dressed up differently, so he sees Niki. Even if he has every reason to doubt that's who is in front of him.

There's a pause from Tracy. She WAS expecting it, but it still gets her a little bit when she hears it. "No, sir. Niki is my sister. I'm Tracy. Tracy Strauss. Political advisor." It is a bit of a faux pas, but then again, she doesn't realize that it's not Nathan who should have recieved her calls. "I've been working for the governor for a while now. I should have realized you would have seen Niki, but I forgot that she knows you." She admits, her voice a touch flat as she says so. Ah well.

"Oh… I see," 'Nathan' responds, looking away for a moment as he seems to compose himself. He should have known this. He really should have. "I apologize for the confusion, Mrs. Strauss," he finally says, touching his face in a fidgeting manner that's not quite Senator-like. He does seem rather genuine in his confusion and apology as well. The smile that follows is weaker, less teeth flashy, than the ones she might have seen on television. "What is it that Governor Malden needs from me?"

"The proposal you made. I'd like to… learn more about it. What your actual goals are." Tracy states simply. She's not really one to mince words. "And the governor would like to schedule a meeting at some point in the near future, to answer his own questions." She moves to sit in a chair across the desk. She tilts her head as she notices the motion, but doesn't know Nathan, so has no clue what his normal movements are. "And, I'd personally like to learn more about the senator himself."

"My proposal… I've made a few of them since I took office," 'Nathan' says with a quiet voice, as if trying to remember which one exactly. And mildly cursing the limit of one ability per clone. It would be most helpful if he had telepathy, or a perfect memory to help him out in this situation. Or persuasion. Instead, he clamps onto her last comment, moving away from his shelves and motioning toward a nice leather chair in front of his desk, beckoning her to have a seat. "What is it you'd like to know about me?"

Tracy resumes accepting the seat with aplomb. "The experimental studies. The one with the pharmaceutical mixture that may enhance the abilities of soldiers." She states simply as she watches the Senator's face. "As for you, where do you get these ideas? Where does Senator Petrelli come from?" She says, crossing her legs demurely as she considers ways to get the information she wants.

Settling into the swivling chair that should belong to a Senator, 'Nathan' turns to face her at her question. Such important questions, such big ones. And even if it doesn't help his current agenda… He hesitates a moment before he says, "My family is my inspiration. I grew up watching my family succeed and work hard for their successes, and I've seen terrible things— young men who should still be alive who aren't, who are forced to make difficult decisions to make this world a better place." As he says this, he sounds genuine. But then he looks away, "But I know what proposal you're speaking of, and I think I may have been a little premature on the matter. I'm recently come to see that maybe the world isn't ready for such a thing."

Tracy smiles as she hears all of this from Nathan. The family inspiration bit is always a good way to control the people, so she nods in response. "We've all seen some of those terrible things." She tries her best not to show, on her face, some of the things she's found herself doing, but sometimes control isn't perfect, even for Tracy. "I can accept that. I jumped a little too quickly into a few things in my life. Even when I chose this profession." She chuckles lightly, making a mental notation to be sure to tell Governor Malden about that part.

"I'm getting to the point where I think I may retract the proposal," 'Nathan' admits, looking over to the picture on his desk. A picture of him, his brother, and their mother. He reaches out to shift it, though his eyes are actually on the same face he currently wears, rather than the one that is his own. "What made you choose to go into politics, if I can ask?" The chance to get to know Niki's family? Not one he seems about to pass up as he looks back at her. "You look so much like her."

"I'll be sure to let Governor Malden know. Though, I'm sure he'll still want to spend a little time discussing a few other things with you." Tracy says with a quick nod. As her own life is asked about she chuckles slightly. "Actually, it's not the politics that attracted me. My job is more along the lines of making everything look better to the public." She's a spin doctor of sorts. "Though, I DO have to understand what I'm talking about." She gives a bit of a nod. "We do. It was quite a shock to us when we discovered each other." It's no secret that they never met until recently. After all, they grew up in different places.

"Of course, I look forward to meeting with the Governor. I'm sure we have plenty to discuss besides that," he starts, a kind of token comment before he listens to more on what she has to say, about herself, her job, and her sister. "Niki didn't mention that to me," 'Nathan' responds, sounding vaguely upset for a moment, almost a little younger, but then he blinks and covers it up with a smile. This is a little closer to the smile she would be used to seeing on the news. "I'm curious. If I did talk the Governor into signing off on my proposal, how would you have presented it to the public?"

"Niki and I only just met in the past few weeks." Tracy says simply. "And completely accidentally. I went to see a contact of mine near where she lives, and ran into her husband. Since then, everyone's been getting us confused. I only moved to New York recently." She adds, with a subtle nod. After the last question, there's a deep breath from Tracy. "I'm not sure as of yet. That would depend on what I could find out first. After all, the more truth in the spin, the better it goes. I would have had to have found out as much as I could first, and use that to turn it around in the public eye. And first things, I'd see if we could ask for volunteers. Volunteers are rarely looked down upon in the public eye, especially in a scientific capacity."

Now that must have been confusing for her husband. 'Nathan' doesn't comment on it, but the way his eyebrows raise show that he's more than a little surprised by that. "Volunteers do tend to be looked upon better than ones who are forced into it. Though considering the nature of this particular… proposal, it would be difficult to even ask for men and women to sign up for it. I honestly don't think you could spin this particular thing very well. There are a lot of people in this country, even those who are our biggest supporters, who would view such a thing as playing God."

"See, that's exactly why I was asking you." Tracy says with a bit of a point and a chuckle. She's apparently not too offended by the idea. "The governor didn't show me all of the details. He'd prefer I get them from you." She explains as she considers things. "It's all in how you do it. Explanations can be altered to a different type of truth without lying at all." She says with a firm nod. "But, as I stated, I don't yet know everything behind it."

"Luckily you won't have to worry about all of the details," 'Nathan' responds, offering up a toothy smile as he moves to stand up, pressing his palms on the desk top as he pushes his chair back with his legs. "There's a lot about the proposal which I had thought were a good idea when I made it, but after a few important meetings, I really have come to decide that… such a program would not be suitable for the best interests of the nation. Especially since I know I'm not God— or anything close to that. I'm just a man." A man who happens to fly— and actually happens to have more powers than any one person should ever have. Not that she's aware of this.

"Of course." Tracy says with a quick nod as she makes a few more mental notations. "I'll be certain to let the governor know." She says with her bright smile again. "Though, I suppose I should start making my arrangements to head back towards New York now that I've gotten the important things accomplished." She says, pulling a card out of her pocket quickly and passing it over to 'Nathan'. "When you find time, in New York, feel free to give me a call. Business or just to have something to do." She says the last with a laugh. "As if there's ever any time where there's nothing to do."

Reaching across his desk, 'Nathan' grabs a little notepad and writes a number down on top of it, followed by his name. "Recently I've changed my number. I had some trouble with a few constituents who managed to get their hands on it, and that's why I haven't been answering. Give me a call on this number and leave a message and I'll be much quicker to respond, Mrs. Strauss," he assures, pushing it over. "And I would like to meet with the Governor soon. We have a lot to discuss that we haven't had the chance to."

Tracy takes the number with a nod and sticks it into her pocket where she drew her own card from. THat's the easiest place to keep it after all. "I'll be certain to let the governor know this. Thank you for your time, Senator." She says, bringing her brilliant smile back to the front. "And thank you for giving me this, the Governor will appreciate it."

"Thank you for stopping by while you were in Washington, Mrs. Strauss," 'Nathan' responds simply, keeping her own card on his desk for the moment while he moves around as if to walk her to the door. "It was a pleasure to finally meet Niki's sister. Before meeting with the Governor, maybe we can talk over a lunch sometime. You might be able to give me a advisors point of view on the Governor's agenda, so I can have an idea what might be best to involve myself in as well." Especially since he's not really Nathan and is actually quite new to politics…

"I would love to, Senator." Tracy says with a pleasant nod as she rises from her seat and offers her hand to 'Nathan'. "My number is on the card. If I don't answer, simply leave a message and I'll be back soon. I haven't had the need to change mine yet." She chuckles softly. "It really was a pleasure, sir."

"For me as well," 'Nathan' responds, reaching out to take her hand in a firm grip. It lasts a little longer than it probably should, though, as dark eyes peer into her own. It's such an odd situation. One man disguised as another man meeting with a woman who looks just like another woman that he's quite a bit closer to. "I hope you never have to worry about changing your phone number. Give the Governor my best wishes," he adds, before finally letting go of her hand.

"Of course." Tracy says with a nod, not having a clue about any of the strangeness that 'Nathan' is feeling. After all, she's got her own things to deal with. Niki being one, but that's working well so far. "Once again, I appreciate your time." She says before straightening up, smoothing out her clothing, and heading out the door with a pleased expression on her face.

It isn't until the door closes behind her that Peter runs a hand through hair that isn't even his, walking over to the mirror to look at a face that also isn't his. "I'm sorry, Nathan." The regret shows in his eyes, but then it darkens, eyes narrowing. "Someone has to keep these things from happening." But he's not going to ruin his brother's career even if it would save the world.

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