2007-07-28: The Inbetween


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Summary: Family relations are strained. At best.

Dark Future Date: July 28, 2009

The Inbetween

Kate & Peter's Hideout / President Petrelli's Hotel

The speech has ended and the chaos on the screen cut off. News reports are flooding in and Kate Petrelli is still kneeling stunned in front of her television. She dropped on the very spot when the speech began and she saw his face.

President Petrelli.

Now that it's over, she's reaching into her pocket and pulling out her phone. She presses the five key and then send. How many people have the president's personal cell phone on speed dial?

Somewhere in Maryland, Nathan paces in front of curtained windows. A hotel suite. Security paces in the hallways outside his door but otherwise, he's alone. The radio plays, soundbites of his own speech, before it goes into the infestation and he extends a hand and mutes the machine, filling the room with oppressive quiet. The entirety of the White House is, apparently, still being cleaned out of the dozens of insect and arachnid species that had made their little invasion, so here he is for however long it'd take for his people to deem the place safe once more.

Shedding his jacket, Nathan heads into the ornate bedroom and moves to observe himself in front of the mirror. Lovely. A few bites and scratches at his neck and jaw, which medics had deemed harmless, but still, there they were. Spiders or even nipping Madagascar cockroaches. Slowly, he takes off his silken, dark blue tie, and minutes go by as he simply watches his own reflection. When his cellphone rings out, it catches him by surprise.

Swiftly, he moves across the room and picks it up, glancing at the number. Oh, this should be fun. He flicks the device open and speaks into it. "Worried about me?"

"Of course, Brother Dearest." Kate never could resist jabbing with that nickname. It's the least of what he deserves. "I saw the speech and I heard all the reports, I was just beside myself." She crawls over to the couch to retrieve the remote and mute her television set. The silence hangs heavy in the air. Almost as heavily as she leans against the couch. "You've got to admit," she begins with a chuckle, "that was pretty damn clever."

"I told you not to call me that," is the quiet response, but there's an edge to his tone, words clipped. Nathan moves to turn off the lights, allowing only the outside moonlight and city glows to illuminate the room, which isn't much at all. Shadowed, he sits down on the bed, back against the headboard. "I'm glad it amused you. God knows that being married to my brother must just suck the humour out of life otherwise."

So she isn't the only one who knows how to strike a nerve. "Shut up," Kate snaps. "The only problem with our-" The only problem with her marriage to Peter is this regime. But she doesn't vocalise that. "You have no idea," she settles on. Even over the phone, he should know her well enough by now to see her fuming face.

Down the phoneline comes a rough chuckle, completely devoid of mirth. "I can live with having no idea," he says after a few moments. "Believe me. What conclusions I come to instead are far more interesting."

"Says you," Kate growls bitterly. What are we? Twelve? Her eyes slide shut and the sound of her taking in a deep breath is heard even over the line. "So, with your precious capitol in ruins, where will you hold your next party, Mister President?"

"Why don't I just send you an invitation to the next one?" Nathan says, dryly. The initial jab from Kate's greeting has worn off, and in place is cold sarcasm from the politician. "Hell, bring your husband. I have some friends who're eager to meet him."

"You may as well. You know I'll just find out and show up anyway." Kate's tone is dark. Perhaps even sardonic. "You know how Peter shies away from social functions. He's never been one to enjoy the limelight. But I do so love to get dolled up all nice and fancy. You know that I would never pass up the opportunity to put on a new dress and dance with you."

"Every time you do, you put yourself closer to some serious trouble. Though, you do make such a nice dance partner. Just remember that I won't hesitate to let Homeland drag you away if you ever miss a step," is Nathan's reply, devoid of humour, of irony. They come off as facts. His tone lightens to a taunt as he adds, "So what did Peter do so wrong that you're calling me just to hear the sound of my voice?"

"You know I would claim the credit for such an inspired… event if only I could." The smirk is unmistakable, even without the visual. "My husband had nothing to do with this. My husband is fine." Despite your best efforts. "If I wanted to listen to the sound of your voice, Mister President, I could simply leave the television on all night and hear replay after replay of your most inspiring speech. I was merely concerned with your safety. Is it true that your desk is a complete loss?" She sighs softly, "I thought it was stronger than that."

"Everything weakens if it's attacked from the inside out," he murmurs. "Then again, I suppose you, more than anyone, should know that. It doesn't matter if what happened today had anything to do with you, Kay, or my brother. He's a wanted terrorist and I'm not lifting a finger to make life easier for him." A sudden moment of laughter, a soft chuckle but a much warmer sound than before, despite his next words. "So please, do, keep showing up. It's just a game of Russian roulette to me, but I'm not the one with the gun to my head."

"Don't. call me. that." Kate's voice drops to a harsh whisper. At his laughter, she shudders. "Go ahead. Pull the trigger until you've run out of empty chambers. You strike against me, and there'll be nothing left to hold him back." There's a sort of cold comfort in that.

The phone goes quiet for a long while as Nathan stares blankly across the dark room. Light from the just barely parted curtains makes the room glow and shadows lengthen, and bounces off the mirror. "Now that would be an interesting family reunion," he says, coldly, and with a click, he shuts his phone.

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