2007-09-07: The House We Built

Starring:

Nathan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Sometimes, there's only one place in the world to be.

Date It Happened: September 7th, 2007

The House We Built


The Sky, NY - Vernon - Treehouse

This would be the last time Nathan flies. No, probably not, actually, but that's what he tells himself every time he does it, which is only followed up by an attitude of: better make it good, then.

It's late at night, and New York City looks spectacular from up here. He knows that at ground level, it'd be all noise and abstract urban claustrophobia, but up here, it's silent, like looking at am photograph with winking lights and subtle movement. He's dressed in dark clothes as he soars - not at rocket-man speed, but fast and invisible to those on the ground. It's hard to really take the scenic route up here - it's always scenic, and it's always direct - but Nathan isn't really rushing all the same. He's had a long month. He deserves this. Besides, it'll be the last time he does it, right? Right.

It's also the first time he's been caught. Which might explain why it's the last time he's doing this. There's really no time for a warning when two high speed objects sail past each other. Both dressed in dark colors, they probably can't make each other out— but the wake that they leave behind moving at the speeds they are is enough to tell them that they just passed a flying object heading in a different direction.

It's Peter that turns around and speeds up to catch up to the object he passed, wanting to see if it's who he thinks it is, or if he's found someone else who can fly as they can. But— it's not someone else. It's his brother. At such speeds it should be impossible to communicate, but… hey. They're FLYING. That should be impossible too. "What are you doing up here!?" he yells

Nathan panics briefly when something suddenly goes rocketing past him, cursing under his breath and slowing down just enough so that he can turn his head. To see what the hell just happened. In the past, he's always managed to avoid other flying objects in the sky, let alone people, so this is new! He doesn't stop, nor slow down - in fact, he kicks up the speed, heading more directly homewards, until another glance confirms some suspicions, and he allows Peter to catch up. "Me?!" Nathan yells back over the rush of wind. "What are you doing up here?! Someone might see you!!" A slightly flawed argument, all things considered, as they hurtle side by side through the sky.

"I'm not the one running for Senate!" Peter yells back, giving him a look as much as he can. They don't fly together that often— in fact— they've never really flown together except for 'MUST SAVE SOMEONE NOW' emergency— and even then it wasn't so much together. But hey— this is interesting— he'd been meaning to ask his brother something, and he hadn't quite caught him yet. But he's not sure it's the right time to bring it up this instant. "Are you going home!?"

It's definitely a first. Nathan can't help but push forward a little faster, experimentally, casting Peter a glance back when he's reminded of his campaign. "I can take care of myself!" he shouts back, which… is true. His own image is under his control and he can duck in and out of dark corners so that no one can detect the sheer amount of lies he has to keep (including a certain flying ability), but Peter and everyone else around him? Not as much of a guarantee. "I was! You?!" Short answer and question, this shouting thing is getting rough.

Where was Peter going? It's honestly a little embarassing. "I was thinking of going to see Elena! She's staying with her dad." Well, not embarassing enough that he won't tell him where he was going. He'd thought about taking a car there, driving back up, but then he decided to fly instead— and he'd been debating changing his mind and turning around and going back. And then there were— "Hey. Do we still have the house up in Vernon!?" Total segway, but not really to him. It's something he'd meant to ask since the house upstate that his family used to own recently came up with Elena. She'd even made sounds as if she wanted to visit— and as far as he knows they might still own it…

Now there's something he hadn't thought about in a while… but not an awfully long while. Nathan can't really study Peter much up here - light is muted and eerie, and the sheer speeds dictates what one can and can't focus on, even in the open sky - but he does his best to glance his way for a hint as to where the hell that came from. No dice, though. "…I do," he confirms. "And no you can't have it!" A joke, yes, but also a prompt. All the while, Nathan is speeding up, as if testing this whole partnership flying thing.

Oi. With the main flier speeding up, it's really all Peter can do to keep up. How is he supposed to talk while they're flying this fast? It's not easy! "I don't want it. I just thought it would be cool to visit it again! Maybe take a vacation up there sometime! Hey— slow down." It's getting difficult to talk, man. But he's certainly going to keep trying. "We already passed the house, you know!" They flew right over it, at high speeds. That's what his brother gets for trying to fly faster just to show that he can— or that's how his little brother views the faster flying. Maybe it's not why he's doing it.

The magic words! Nathan smirks to himself when Peter finally shouts at him to knock it off, and he does. For now, anyway. "This better for you, princess?" he shouts back. That. Might be due to hanging out with Jack too much, and Nathan clears his throat. Passed the house? So they did. Traffic isn't exactly thick up here. "Well seeing as we're heading this way…!" This might be slightly disorienting for Peter, as Nathan suddenly— well if they were going fast before, Nathan suddenly shoots forward. It's not quite breaking the sound barrier levels of speed, but it's a dramatic and sudden increase. Vernon isn't so far away when you can fly.

Oh crap. Did his brother just try to go super sonic on him? Peter can't help but make a face— not that it's seen, before he does his very best to follow. It's hours away by car— far more than the Gomez home. If his brother can do it, he's certainly going to do his best to keep up— though he's a pretty decent distance behind him anyway. Bastard. This would actually be the furthest that he's ever flown in his life— but he's going to keep up, and not fall behind. Even when he was in the future, he never tried flying to another city.

Almost correct. Nathan tried not to go super sonic on him. That would have been mean! Not that this isn't. But it would have been wicked conspicuous. Nathan slows, loops around enough to check that Peter is following, then rockets his way across the sky once more, because it's totally a race and he's not about to lose. Nathan knows the way, and it does take a while - but Nathan's flown further.

All the same, it's not a hundred percent easy, and Nathan is breathless by the time his feet find solid ground, skidding to a halt in soft grass just behind their holiday home, which is certainly empty and abandoned at this time of night. He's getting better at this whole landing thing, the touch down reasonably graceful without so much of a stagger, and panting, Nathan turns his eyes up to the sky to see if Peter is anywhere nearby.

While Nathan is panting and exhausted… Peter's landing is a tragedy in the making. Thank GOD it's night time. In fact, he's so off with his landing that he doesn't actually land very close to Nathan at all. He lands in the trees. Luckily, not in the treehouse that they built, but pretty damn close. There's a audible crash, birds fly up into the air in protest, and limbs shake meaningfully. Minutes later, his brother comes stumbling out of the woods, covered in leaves and dirty, with prickly things sticking to his clothes. There might even be some blood that's drying, but… well… he'll be fine. Just ignore that he's panting for air too— and looking a little pale. "I— can not believe— we just flew— over two hundred miles."

Nathan is waiting for him by the time Peter staggers out, walking over with a flicker of concern on his face, mostly due to the apparent paleness. But at those words, he gives his younger brother a half grin, hands up as if to steady Peter - then detouring to pick a leaf or two out of the younger Petrelli's hair. "You okay? You're okay." A manly shoulder slap goes here. "Flying to avoid a few blocks of traffic is only so useful. I don't think evolution would even bother. What's a few hundred miles?" He moves to wander away from Peter, looking towards the house - then up towards the treehouse. "This place. Been a while since a family vacation."

"I'm fine— though I may need to rest a bit before we fly back," Peter says, picking off some of the prickly things that stuck to his clothes. It could have been a lot worse, honestly— doesn't even look like he broke any bones with his landing— he just missed the clearing is all. As his brother looks towards the house, his eyes follow, nodding. From the looks of things, they're at least hiring someone to look after the house in their stead— as rich people should. "I don't think I've been up here since I was… twenty," he confesses, frowning at the house, and then looking over towards the treehouse. "…I can't believe that's still standing."

They aren't exactly standing in immaculate garden, just grass, but the grounds do look tended to, as does the house. The groundskeepers might look askance at the foot-sized trench marks in the dirt, but that can't be helped. Nathan slips his hands into the pockets of his jacket, simply nodding when Peter mentions a rest - he could probably use one too. "What, because we built it?" Nathan asks, dryly. "I was surprised too. It's still safe, even." He adds, more to himself than Peter, "Should come up here with the kids sometime." Heidi too, obviously, but more for the boys' benefit.

"With how many times we nearly fell building it…" And actually did fall a few times. The two of them have a couple scars to remember this treehouse, and the building of it, by. Peter still looks up, then can't help but get curious get his brother mentions it's safe. "You been up here lately?" he asks, moving forward a few steps as if he might just go ahead and climb up there— see if there's anything left from their youth. They'd had a few things up there… "It's a good idea— We built this when I was around their ages— it'd be a nice treat for them. And I always loved winters up here…" And it's starting to get towards the winter months, now… a vacation get away, even if just for a weekend, would be a lot of fun. If he looked like he intended to climb up, it's more obvious when he finds the handholds, and the foot holds, and starts climbing. If his brother says it's safe…

If this were a movie, there might be a flashback sequence of a teenaged Nathan tugging a much younger Peter off the handholds to race up and be first. Thirtyish years later, Nathan just raises an eyebrow and watches as Peter starts to climb, the hand and footholds holding true, nailed firmly into the side of the massive tree. He could probably fly up through a window or even the 'door' just ahead of Peter, but hovering was never his strong suit and he doesn't want to get tangled up in branches as a result. So he waits for Peter to disappear over the lip of the landing, then sighs, and moves to follow, cursing when a splinter enters his thumb about halfway up. "We may need to childproof it first," he mutters to Peter as he pulls himself inside with far less dexterity than he'd like.

Old proof it, too. Peter can't help but smile as he looks around. It's a little too dark to make out everything in here, but… it's definitely close to how he remembers it, except for one thing… "I remember this being a lot bigger." He's moved far enough into the 'house' that the built so that his brother has plenty of room to get up too. His foot happens to nudge something, there's a sound of glass knocking together, and he reaches down to find a bottle. Empty. A bottle of scotch. He lets out a breathy laugh, as he settles down onto the floorboards that they nailed together. "We could always sand it down— stop the splinters. Maybe even paint it." If it were summer that would be the best time for a protect like that. Winter will make it difficult. Maybe they could do it in the spring?

Trust Nathan to fly over 200 miles in one go, and then be slightly pwned by a ricketyish ladder climb into a small wooden treehouse. But he gets in without much more damage, dusting his hands off on his pants. The slanting roof is slightly too low for him to stand comfortably, so it doesn't take too much motivation for Nathan to settle down onto the floorboards as well, legs folded haphazardly. "Get the boys to help paint it, even," he adds, and he squints towards the bottle in Peter's hand. "Maybe, uh, rid the place of those first." He points towards a framed window just next to Peter's head. "Didn't you puke right out of there?" Happy memories.

Yes. Those are happy memories. Peter honestly doesn't remember much of that, except that their mom grounded him, and he was so sick afterwards he never wanted to drink that stuff again— until he was older. "You'll have to tell me. I don't really remember it that well," he says, leaning over to glance. There's a pause, and then all of a sudden there's LIGHT. Apparently the younger brother decided to Jack a flashlight up here. It's shined briefly in the direction of his brother, and then he waves a hand, "Lemme see what you did to yourself." Just a splinter, but he's a nurse. He can totally handle a splinter. At least he didn't Jack some scotch. They need to fly back, and flying back drunk is a bad idea. "Do you think I could maybe invite Elena up here for a weekend, too? That— I mean— I went up to her house this morning, the new one that they got. It reminded me of this place, and I mentioned that, and she… didn't really ask to see it, she just… implied that it would be nice to…" Which would be why he asked about it.

FLINCH. HIIISS. Not really. Nathan startles a little at the sudden beam of light, then relaxes. Getting used to his brother being somewhat godlike, and Jack's ability is a familiar one. "I…" He glances at his hand, then sighs and shuffles closer so that Peter can inspect where the small sliver of wood has wedged itself. "If you let the caretaker know ahead of time, I don't see why not," he answers, gruffly. "Are you two actually together now or what?"

"We're dating," Peter says, but there's a pause. He opens up his coat, since he'd been wearing one— the nights are chilly these days— and pulls out a brochure for a certain event. He passes it over. "I'm taking her there— and then I'll ask if she wants to be my girlfriend. It'll be our third date since I actually asked her out— so…" Third dates often mean something to most guys, but he's not using the third date to get laid, he's wanting to use it to ask her to be his girlfriend. Seems like a good idea, right? Is that a little fast, though? He's not sure… people can date for a long time before they decide to go totally exclusive… and he's barely been back a handful of days! "I already reserved the tickets," he even tells his brother which night he reserved tickets for, "But I'm going to surprise her— just tell her to dress up for it…" Surprises are fun, aren't they?

His free hand accepts the brochure, which is flicked open. Nathan skims over the printed information with vague interest before the page is handed back over, a slight smile alighting his features. "It's a good idea," he tells Peter, leaning back against the wooden wall of treehouse. "Girls like to be surprised." See, he picks up a few things after being with the one for what will be closing in on two decades now. "Just do me a favour and give the brat my regards, will you? She sent me a gift the other day."

The brochure is tucked safely away again, and now Peter looks over the splintered finger. Not too bad, but… he puts the flashlight down to make removing the splinter easier— and only after a few moments does he realize… it'd be a lot easier just to remove it with his mind. Stubbornly, he plucks it out the old fashioned away. "The brat, huh? Sounds like the two of you are getting along," he says while he works. Once it's out, he adds, "You might need to put a bandaid on it when we get home— and you should be more careful on the way down." That's your brother the nurse— he's a brat in another way.

"Ow. Ow. Ow," Nathan states, calmly, at each jostle of the splinter, until it's gone. He inspects the tiny wound, and wipes away the small smear of blood, casting Peter a look. "I'll do that," he says, dryly. "And we'd want to be getting along after about a month of living together while you were off gallivanting in the future." You vanter of gallis, you. Nathan isn't quite looking at Peter, however, still idly inspecting his hand as he adds, "You ever gonna fill in the blanks for me there, Pete?"

The blanks. Peter turns off the flashlight at this point, drowning them in shadows again. It makes this whole situation easier. As their eyes adjust, he ponders the best way to explain this story, before he finally just says, "You weren't the same after Monty died. I don't know all the details, but… you couldn't cope with it. There— something else took over for you. Another personality." Like something from one of his soap operas? Yeah… "We weren't very close anymore at the time, either— Which probably didn't help." If he can blame himself for what happened, he's going to do it. "I'm not sure if I was already Sylar at that point, but… sometime between now and… I was married." There's a grimace. This is not what he wanted to explain. "To Mara Damaris." Which explains them not being close.

It's not what Peter wanted to explain and it's not what Nathan expected to hear. The rest of that— he can't— no. A personality taking over… there's something chilling about this in a way he can't yet put into words, so he doesn't try, just sets this aside for now so he can blink in disbelief across at Peter in the shadowy setting. "You married Mara?" he repeats, incredulous. No. Not the important thing— well it is a bit but— he can't just drill Peter every time something shocking comes up. He breathes out a sigh, then looks at Peter again. "When you say a personality took over for me, what do you mean?"

"I honestly don't understand it either," Peter admits, grimacing about the story of Mara. "I don't… feel that way for her. Maybe if things went differently and… I don't know." It still feels like a betrayal just mentioning it. And the fact that she was actually married to Sylar for most of the time? That's actually a lot worse… "I mean… another personality. I've seen it before. Niki Sanders has the same thing. Another personality. Named Jessica. Niki's nice and sweet and Jessica's… vicious and not very caring. I'd been trying to help her with that before I left— I'd asked Mr. Gomez to help too, since he's better with telepathy than I am. Oddly enough that actually helped you in the future. Mr. Gomez was able to recognize what was happening to you and help you some." Some. Maybe not completely. "Help you enough." It had been enough. He'd been in charge up until his death, he's pretty sure… "He called himself Logan. He's the one who became President of the United States— declared Evolved to be superior— locked humans up in camps…"

It's like listening to a whole separate story, so Nathan can't be either cynical or accepting of it, really - he just listens, gaze narrowed in thought. The only thing really making a connection is the 'you' that reminds Nathan that Peter is speaking of his future. Possible future. What makes his train of thought come to a screeching halt, however, is— "Wait a minute. President?" Declared "Evolved" to be superior. "Okay." He rubs the bridge of his nose as he sort of tries to digest this information. Personality named Logan. Elected to President, just like that painting shows. What sounds like concentration camps. He recalls something Peter had mentioned before. "How did— how do I die?"

"President Petrelli," Peter says softly, lifting up one of those empty bottles so he has something to look at in the darkness. What light there is reflects off the glass a bit. "I actually knew you were President when I was going there— that was part of the vision Desiree had— Desiree is Mr. Gomez's future wife." She's been mentioned before, he knows, but… "But— yeah— when the Evolved won the war, I guess his announcing himself as an Evolved got him elected. Somehow." He's not sure how, honestly. But it happened. How did he die? There's a long pause. "Sylar killed you. As me. I… I don't know if you even knew it wasn't me…" The video didn't show that in much detail. In the darkness, his brother may not notice the tears rolling down his cheeks already. Helps that he's now looking out said window near his head. "You were you again, too… not Logan. You resigned from office. Jack and… Cyprus Donovan— he used to work with dad— but he worked for you when you were President— they were working together to fix things… The revolution started the day I came back."

Nathan drags his jacket around himself a little, as if cold, as he listens silently, head turned away as well, so Peter's tears go unnoticed for now. He wouldn't have guessed anything near this. A revolution against a government that some part of him had designed. Some part of him had done this to the future so terrible it needed saving before it could happen. It starts with the tornado. He brings this memory back up. Starts with the tornado. "I know Cyprus Donovan," he mentions, flatly, mind still elsewhere but needing to fill the temporary silence with something almost conversational. "I even only just met him properly again a couple of days ago." Now, he looks back at Peter, and reaches over that short way to grip his forearm. "Things have to change. Just by knowing what will happen, things will change. And we don't have to make the same mistakes again."

"You're right— things have to change— and things will change. Things already have changed," Peter reaches up and wipes the tears away, trying to pretend they were never there. He'd thought he finished all his crying in the future, hours after he found out his brother died. It should have been easier— his brother's not dead. He's sitting right here… but even after he wipes them away, new ones threaten to form. A slow inhale is shaky, but… he doesn't break down completely. "We'll fix things— and we won't have to fix things alone. We have… a lot of people helping us."

"Yeah," Nathan says, quietly. It's partly due to the setting they find themselves in - one Peter only partway remembers and Nathan feels more comfortable - steeped with memory and security that he puts an arm around his brother's shoulders and draws him into an embrace. It's complicated, being the older son in a family where he had all the expectations handed to him - then he winds up watching Peter attempt to carry the fate of the world on his shoulders, despite speaking of all the help they'd get. Peter's the one that witnessed the future, after all. "Beyond the tornado, I'll— do what I can to make sure the other stuff doesn't wind up happening." The things his future self - or… some version of himself - does.

Leaning against his brother, Peter reaches up to rub at his face again, grateful for the support, the human contact— and just his brother. For some reason he vaguely remembers the two of them up here at certain points in time, after various disagreements, where the more sensitive of the two brothers just needed something… and his brother had been there for him. Just like now. Despite all age differences, they'd always been close— and he'd always hero-worshiped his brother. This is one of those times. "I know— I know you'll do whatever it takes." And he will too. But he knows— really really knows… that his brother will do whatever it takes. He's done it before. "I'm glad we came up here," he has to admit. Even if the Elena of the Future would accuse him of being coddled— this support is exactly what he needs.

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