2007-05-31: The Next Step

Starring:

Nathan_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: Nathan meets Heidi at the hospital when Monty's arm is broken.

Date It Happened: 31st of May, 2007

The Next Step


Beth Israel Hospital

Beth Israel's emergency room is fairly busy; nevertheless, Monty was seen fairly quickly by a doctor, all things considered, and he's already had several x-rays taken. Currently, Heidi's standing outside the OR; though there's no surgery, they needed to give Monty some light anesthesia in order to fit the bones in his arm back together. It shouldn't take too much longer - Heidi hopes, anyway. She's been pacing for the last ten minutes, unable to sit down.

Also, she's still soaking wet. Wherever she steps, a wet footprint is left, to the point where the staff has just put up a couple 'caution, wet floor' signs as Heidi half-heartedly dries herself off as she goes between the OR door and the door into the hall outside to check for Nathan. Did she remember to tell him the right hospital? Did William convey the proper message? Where was Nathan when he got the call? He should already be here, right? Perhaps time is moving slower than Heidi thinks it is… Looking at the clock on the wall, she can see that they really haven't been here for that long! Unable to wait any longer, she heads out of the little waiting room outside the OR, and into the hall beyond. She's going to look for her husband.

Having come straight from his headquarters in Times Square, it doesn't take Nathan an awfully long time to get there. He's dressed for work, just sans tie and jacket, suitcase in hand seeing as he doesn't have much of an intention to go back there today. He's starting to know the layout of this place, and after a few quick questions, he's pointed in the right direction. His pace is brisk, 'concerned important father guy' written all over him. When he does see Heidi, turning the corner into the hallway, the concern of his expression has confusion added to it. Yes, she is soaking wet, as the stranger had mentioned. Why. "Heidi," he says, to get her attention.

"Nathan," she says, running to him, stopping short of hugging him when she remembers that she's still wet. Instead, she looks up at him, face almost blank despite the obvious worry in her eyes, and reaches out for his wrist. She'll drag him along, if he lets her, back the the room outside the OR where she was before. "He's okay. He's just— they're fixing his arm now. It'll be a little while," she explains. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that, and while it may be a bad idea to explain things where people can overhear, she needs to. With this waiting room being mostly empty at the moment, it's probably okay.

Where to /start,/ though? She tells him the whole story, from going out to buy Monty a new suit, to him running off to play in the sprinklers /while in the suit,/ to Heidi being dragged into it by Desiree… It's like she's stalling, working up to something she doesn't want to say, because when she reaches the point where there was this woman leaning over the firehose, she just /stops./

Nathan doesn't pull her close once they reach the waiting room, although he wants to. But what he wants to do more is hear what happened and like, you know, kill whoever was responsible. The story is just confusing, however, Nathan's hands resting high on Heidi's arms gently, a distant attempt to be soothing. A soft squeeze of his hands is given when the debrief falters, and he just gets that feeling that this isn't a normal 'kid fell off the monkeybars' kind of event. He glances around the room, but no one seems to be close enough to listen in. "Honey?" he prompts, wishing he had a coat or something he could wrap around her.

"She leaned down. I looked over as she was— I don't know what she was doing. She put her hands on the hose and something happened. Monty— he fell." Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. He was kind of /thrown/ a little. Still hesitant to really say anything telling where someone else can overhear and figure out what they're talking about, Heidi still hesitates, even as Nathan squeezes her arms. This is important, something he has to know, because… "Nate, he found out like I did."

Hopefully that sinks in. Hopefully he gets it. She can explain it better later. "We need to talk to him. He saw something he shouldn't have."

It sinks in. Loud and clear. Well maybe not clear, but Nathan gets the point. Automatically, he wonders exactly how to cover this, not how to explain it. The latter barely occurs to him. "He's probably not gonna remember too many details," he points out, quietly, not really looking at Heidi as he thinks, though he doesn't take his hands off her. "If he got hurt badly than it might just be a blur, we can come up with something."

Nathan's right. Monty might not remember everything, but he saw a good deal before he was knocked flat. A broken arm isn't like, say, a serious car crash. Heidi herself doesn't remember the specifics behind her accident, but she already knows her son saw something, and was coherant enough to say something about it after the fact. "Nathan."

Reaching up, she takes his chin gently in her hand. "Nathan, we can't do that." Lying to their child, covering it up… It's not something Heidi wants to do, especially because she was so angry abut having it kept from her for so long. At the same time, she sees the logic of denying it outright, making up a story he might believe… "He's too smart, I don't know if he'd buy anything we could make up." She pauses, then admits, "I already thought about it. Telling him that he hit his head and he's just… got his facts mixed up like he was dreaming, you know? Do we really want to go that route, though?"

He's listening to her, although at any one time, Nathan looks like he wants to argue. Monty is a kid, he can't… this is happening too fast. People keep finding things out before he can get a grip. "Do we really have a choice?" he asks, gently but firmly. His mind may already be made up, but he knows a compromise of some kind has to be reached. The usual thing is that he gets his way, but… Nathan takes her hand into his, gently squeezing. "Don't you think he's too young to be dealing with this kind of secret? He's gonna say something to Simon, or someone at school. I know people might think he's just being a kid, but it's dangerous."

"Yes, I do. I think he's /far/ too young to be dealing with something like this. It's why I didn't say anything to him when we were there, because I needed to think about… Whether or not he should know." Heidi's smart enough to know that telling their children about this is a decision they both have to come to. Not just her, and not just Nathan. "I told him not to say anything on the way here, and he didn't. And he was completely cognizant… Nate, if we don't talk to him about keeping this quiet, what if he /does/ say something at school? What if the wrong people hear him? We can deny it all we want, but that doesn't stop other people from knowing what he saw." They're taking a chance either way. They just have to decide which chance is safer now. "And if we tell both of the kids, at least they can talk about it with each other. We don't— We don't have to tell them about you." They /should,/ is what her tone seems to suggest.

Oh ho ho. No. Nathan doesn't always need a translator to understand what his wife is and isn't saying, and he raises an eyebrow at her. "No, we don't," he agrees, firmly. Then, he relents a little, and says, "Not over this. One day. But not today." Or tomorrow. Whatever. He paces away from Heidi, briefly, now glancing towards the door that would lead to where his son is having his arm seen to. This, this is why he hates these freaking, so called abilities. It only harms. Sure, he saved New York - and paid for it dearly, and powers were the problem in the first place, uncontrollable and dangerous. A telling mood of despair, anger flickers across his features, before he straightens himself back into thoughtful stoicism. "We'll talk to them," he finally agrees, simply. He looks back at Heidi, then moves closer to pull her into a hug, soaking wet or not.

One day, they'll tell them about Nathan, but it's too risky right now. They're so young, they could inadvertantly say something without meaning to… It's so hard to put the responsibility of keeping something quiet on kids so young. Hopefully, though, this is a good enough compromise, and ironically, it's taken a disaster of this sort to completely move the affair from Heidi's mind. She just wants to be on the same page as her husband right now. "Not today. We'll give it a couple weeks, until Monty's not in pain anymore." She pauses. "Even when Peter's better, we can't have him fix this. Too many people have already seen it." It'd raise questions, put the attention on their family. Leaning against Nathan, she wraps her arms around his back. "I'm sorry. I didn't… Expect anything like this to happen. I was /standing right there./" Surely she could have done /something./

Nathan kisses her hair and holds her close, taking comfort in the simplicity of holding and being held even as his mind leaps back and forth between scenarios and outcomes. That last comment gets his attention, and he shakes his head. "No, it's— this isn't your fault." He's not sure if she'll believe him, but, it's an attempt at what he considers to be the truth. He pulls back slightly, meeting her eyes before glancing to the door again. "How bad's the break?"

What parent doesn't blame themselves when their child gets hurt in their care? She should have been able to do something, like not letting Monty play in the water in the first place. He had a lot of fun, right up to the point where they returned, and he wandered over toward that woman. She should have made sure he was back over near the kids and their dog. To that end, she doesn't say anything about whether or not it's her fault.

"It's not horrible," she says. "They said he broke his radius, but the way he fell, they needed to put him under to fit the bone back together. He— "

The door to the OR opens, and a doctor steps out, smiling. "Mrs. Petrelli, your son is in recovery. He's just waking up. I'll take you to him."

Damn. This isn't like a fracture or a dislocation, simple things. Put him under. Nathan's brow furrows deeper as Heidi talks, but then, they're interrupted, and Nathan looks back towards the doctor. A little distrusting, even if this is just a minor injury we're dealing with - no shattered backs, no comas. So all the same, he manages to match the doctor's smile with a weary one of his own. "I'm Monty's father," he says, by way of introduction and explanation, and walks with them both to go see his son. He keeps a hand holding Heidi's as they go.

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