2007-05-03: The Petrellis Are Mutants

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Traumatised by her capture and subsequent discovery that her husband can fly, Heidi is then further stunned by the fact that Peter can heal. She and Nathan have a talk, a nickname is revealed (Which Nathan will never live down) and Heidi loves her mutant man.

Date It Happened: 3 MAY 2007

The Petrellis Are Mutants


Guest room, Petrelli Mansion

Home. She never thought it could feel so very good to be here. Even though she had to be helped upstairs, Heidi can't deny the fact that, despite the pain, she's back in a comfort zone where she can relax again, knowing that she is, at least for the time, safe. She still hurts, evidenced by the way she's lying, still dressed, atop the comforter on the guest bed. Half-curled with her arms around her stomach, Heidi has a feeling this is going to be her default position for the next week or so. Really, she needs to convince someone to take her to the hospital, because she's not sure that she's okay internally.

The entire situation… She doesn't want to think about it, just wants to forget it. Even if she can feel safe here, the fact that she was taken at all is still pushing her to tears, despite all her efforts to get ahold of herself. That was not the norm - that's not going to happen every time she leaves the house. The odds of it happening again /must/ be so terribly low that she has nothing to worry about! —That would be the /logic,/ yes, except she can't get the sense of violation out of her head, and the feeling that it /could/ happen again.

What could she have done differently?

Could she have done something to avoid it in the first place?

She sniffles, one hand raising to mop across her eyes. As soon as she touches her face, though, she winces, drawing her hand back. Heidi hasn't actually seen how bad her face looks since she saw it in the mirror in the bathroom back in that building. It's worse now… She has to get to a hospital. Rolling over, she sits up very slowly, putting her feet on the floor.

—-

Since Elena demanded that he get some rest in the car, Peter took his hands back, but made one clear statement that they all needed to stay close to him tonight, so he'd sleep at the house. And that Elena should stay the night too. The mansion is big enough it can act as a base camp for more than a few people, and as long as they avoid contact with the boys… everything should be fine. Heidi, Nathan and himself especially. The boys shouldn't see them like this. Not unless they want to tell them they participated in a murder mystery dinner theater and it's all make up. …Like the boys would believe that…

She's had some time to be alone before there's a hesitant knock on the door and he peeks his head in, "Heidi? I need to look at how bad you're hurt— do you mind?" From the look of his hair, he just got out of the shower — to wash the blood off. Also changed his clothes, wearing something that he's left in the mansion for occassions like this. He'd been staying here less than a month ago, after all. He hasn't moved everything that's his out of the house yet.

No matter what her answer, he steps inside the room and closes and locks the door, just in case the boys wake up and decide to snoop around.

—-

There's also the fact to consider that she just saw her husband fly. She saw Peter riddled with bullets, though without injury. Maybe her mind is playing tricks on her and she's just tired and overreacting, but… Her eyes can't have lied to her that much. It's frightening.

She's just about to attempt to stand when her brother-in-law appears at the door. "Peter," she says, then "Thank God" a little more quietly. Heidi meets his eyes, confusion and hesitation evident on her features, jaw slightly slack as she tries to figure out what to say. Yes, she minds? Don't touch me, you're /weird/? No, that doesn't make any sense. She's not going to get anything that way, and besides, she /knows/ Peter. This is just… So much to take in all at once.

Forcing a smile that doesn't quite banish the discontent in her eyes, Heidi shakes her head. "Of course I don't mind. You're a nurse. Maybe you can convince Nathan that I have to go to the hospital." And tell her if she really saw him fly, and if her eyes were deceiving her when she saw those holes blown through his shirt, and— The smile falters; Heidi looks toward the floor, takes a deep breath. "Sorry, I— Can't seem to stop," the woman states, adding a humourless chuckle. Honestly, she hasn't even thought of the boys yet, which would usually be her /first/ concern. Another reason she hates the people who took her.

—-

At least the evidence of his 'supposed' demise are now gone. Should be easier to talk to him when he's not covered in his own blood, or in a shirt and jacket that's riddled with bullet holes.

She looks awful— Peter hasn't seen her in such a state since the last time she was in a hospital. After the accident she'd looked terrible, but at least she had medical attention. Right now— he feels responsible. He has to do this. This is one time he feels, without a doubt, that he has to help Nathan out on this. Fix his wife, fix him, then fix Elena— Elena's his fault, he should have made her stay behind, he should have protected her better.

"I'll convince Nathan if I can't— if I can't do anything about it. I promise," he says, stepping closer while he looks over the visible damage. The chuckle throws him off, as does her words. "Stop what?" She's not shaking, really, but there's definitely something going on with her that worries him. As far as he knows, she only saw him covered in blood, and their very odd rescue. He has no idea what his brother had done, or how his brother had flown in front of her. He missed that part of the conversation, so caught up in what he needed to do, and relief that they looked moderately okay.

—-

One thing about Heidi, even if she doesn't have much else going for her in the way of talents and abilities, is that she's extremely intelligent. She can put things together just like piecing together a puzzle, so the fact that she saw Peter at all after seeing Nathan fly is a /huge clue./ Again, there's the possibility that she's overreacting, that she's seeing things, but when she asked Nathan what he was, he didn't have an answer. Had he thought her question was stupid, he would have reacted accordingly, but he didn't try to deny it.

Then Peter ran in, and…

In any case, she isn't near as bad as she was after the accident. There's no visible blood, she can still move her legs, it just hurts a lot. Mostly it's the psychological consequences that are getting to Heidi now, because she can't explain why she was taken or why her husband can fly, and it goes against every scientific law that she's ever read that Peter can still be alive and whole after taking that many bullets. She saw it. She /knows/ she did.

Looking up again, blue eyes wet with tears, she speaks. Her voice is thin, choked. "Thinking. I saw— I saw Nathan go through the window. I saw him come back. I saw—" It seems ridiculous to say! Peter's going to laugh at her, tell her she was just delirious at the time. Maybe that's what she needs, though - if he tells her she's being silly, everything can snap back to normal, how it's supposed to be. "I saw him fly."

—-

"Oh."

That's about as eloquent as he can be right now, looking at the tears in her eyes, and knowing why they're there. Peter reaches up, hoping that she doesn't move away from his hand as he touches her face, trying to wipe away the tears that have formed as they fall. Even if she does flinch away from that small gesture, he kneels down in front of her and takes her hand, not letting her take that away from him. "I can't— Nathan's really the one who should talk to you about that, but— do you remember last year? When— when I jumped off the building?" Looking up at her face, he waits for some kind of confirmation.

"I wasn't trying to kill myself— but it wasn't an accident either. I did jump off the building." Looking down from her face and to the hand he's holding in both of his, trying to will her to heal, to remove the phyiscal trauma damage that had happened to her.

"I was trying to fly," he finally says, realizing just how stupid it sounds now.

—-

It's tempting to move away, but she doesn't, since Heidi's not so far gone that she can't realise that this is the same Peter she's known for years now. It bothers her that he's not denying that Nathan can fly, and is, in fact, confirming it in a way. Talk to /him/ about it? How is she going to do /that?/

How is she supposed to react to this? In the end, after allowing a few seconds to pass, she leans back enough so that Peter's fingers can no longer brush her skin. "You know…? You knew? You tried to—?" she asks. The only resistance she shows when her hand is taken is that she very briefly tries to pull it back, but then she closes her fingers around his, holding on. Even if she wasn't born into this family, she's more than capable of accepting the contact as comfort, even from mutants.

For a long time, she's quiet, searching Peter's eyes, trying to find something she didn't see before. As she does that, the bruise that's stretching across her face simply disappears, the pain in her stomach diminishes, the little bumps and bruises, little cuts and scrapes, they all vanish. While he's healing her, she's trying to figure out if she's ever really known him.

It's an odd feeling when the intense pain you've been feeling simply melts away like it'd never been there at all. Her stomach drops, her tongue finds the site in the inside of her cheek that she bit wide open, and she finds that the injury is /gone./ The hand that Peter isn't holding presses against her stomach, and it doesn't hurt.

"Wha…?"

Eyes still fixed on Peter, they take on the characteristics of fear. The feeling is cold, the suddenness of her healing hasn't been lost on her, and the memory of her conversation with Nathan, and of her own sudden recovery, rushes back at her and smacks her upside the head like a sack of bricks. "Oh— /OH./"

And Heidi really gives her hand a good tug this time, pulling away from Peter and pushing herself backward on the bed. Still staring.

—-

This would be the first time in which Peter's experienced someone reacting to him in such a way. Especially someone he cares about as much as he does for Heidi. Confusion about how she hadn't been told, sure— but his mother had taken it in stride, she'd known before they did, apparently. And Nathan just thought he was crazy— even when he went through the same thing. Everyone else he's told has known exactly what could be going on— even Simone didn't pull away like this, she just worried for what he would do to himself to complete the mission he'd been handed.

"I'm sorry," he says as she pulls away, letting her have her hand back, as he shamefully stands up and turns away, reaching up to run a hand over his hair. She hates him now, doesn't she? Fears him. Repulsed by him. This is what Nathan meant when he said they couldn't tell people, isn't it? This is what he'd been afraid would happen… "All I did was— heal you," he says softly, sounding shamed for something that he normally would have been proud of. Hard to be proud of something that makes someone look at him like that. "You'll be fine now. You won't even have to go to the hospital, or explain anything to anyone…"

This should be a good thing in some ways, but… he avoids looking at her now, knowing that, in many ways, she has every right to fear him and reject him. Not for this, but for everything else he's capable of. "I'm sorry."

—-

As soon as she pulls back and really gets a good look, she regrets it. The truth is, had Peter come up to her on a normal day and demonstrated this ability, she could have accepted it, possibly even been more curious than terrified. She wants to ask questions, to know what this thing is that both her husband and brother-in-law can do, but with her nerves rubbed so raw already from her time tied up in that old building, it's just not something she can easily /take./ There's no buffer for her feelings. She can't separate the bad from the good, which means /everything is making her afraid./

While his back is turned, and once she calms down enough, Heidi lifts her shirt to confirm that her stomach has been repaired. There's no bruise there anymore. It doesn't hurt. "No, Peter," she says quietly, getting to her feet. She doesn't reach for him because it's impossible to think of the proper way to do it without seeming… Well, out of place might be accurate. She's shaking now, just with the effort of standing. Even if her could take away the pain, he can't take away the fear and the memory of it. /It's not them,/ Heidi realises. It's not them at all that she's afraid of. It's not even what they can do. It's just /everything./

Eventually, one hand does reach forward, hesitates in the air, then comes to rest on his shoulder. Heidi takes a step closer, still smelling like the smoke and rot from the room she was kept in, but now without the pain that came from it.

It's always been so easy for her to put things aside, determining what's important from what's not. She's always been able to recognise fear for what it is, deal with the bad and the good alike as they appeared in her life. She's never been a fighter, hasn't ever questioned things that she had no business questioning, but now… "Do you remember how I was… After the accident?"

She told the reporter she was mad at God. In truth? It was everyone else. No one could get near her because she was so totally /destroyed./ "Sometimes I just can't—" Sigh. "Peter, everything I thought I knew…" No. She doesn't even have words to explain it. In the end, she just repeats him. "I'm sorry."

—-

In stressful situations, Peter sometimes pulls away from hands that reach out for him. Not this time, though. There's enough things going on, that any touch might actually make the situation better. Glancing back up, Peter looks into her eyes as she speaks, and nods, "I remember." He'd tried to be there for her, with his nurse training. A lot of that had to deal with stages of accepting death, which is more final than accepting injury. At least with her, she'd had hope of recovery. Whether he'd been much help or not, she'd come to accept her situation a lot faster than most would. Angry for a long time… to anyone else that would be years and years. For her it was mere months. Not long at all.

"No, I— I understand. Really, I do. Last year— everything changed." He'd never gotten angry at everything, his reactions had been very different. But at least he can understand the idea that this knowledge, what's happening to him and his brother, would change the world so drastically that it'd be hard to accept— much less believe.

"I wish I could say that I'm the same person you met years ago— but I'm not." This may not be comforting at all. It actually isn't meant to be comforting. It's meant to be truthful. "There's all these… things that I have now— that I— that I can do— and nothing at all has been the same. I wanted to tell people— wanted them to know the truth— but this isn't— maybe you shouldn't have been dragged into this." Now his eyes slide away, and he looks as if he might pull away as well. He doesn't, not completely, but he could. "Don't apologize. You have every right to be afraid of me."

—-

And she'll accept this, too. She can because she has to, because she cares for Peter and Nathan and isn't going to drop them just because she's suddenly discovered that they aren't normal. The question is, /why?/ HOW? What happened to them to make them like this? Could it happen to her, too? Maybe they've always had these abilities. She just doesn't /know./ But Heidi is certain that she'll be able to come to terms with it, even if she's just witnessed the impossible.

He doesn't really get it, though, so far as she can see… Not what she's feeling, anyway. In a way, the parallels are similar, but she's on the other side of what's been happening to them - at the window, looking in. And before now, she never got a really good look at what was going on. She's had suspicions that she's shoved aside for so long that she's very nearly convinced herself she was paranoid, but now she's just been told that - all that time - she was /right./ All the unasked questions, the unease, something really /was/ going on the whole time!

There's a lot she wants to say to Peter as she comes around to stand in front of him, both hands on his shoulders now. Most of what she has to talk about is reserved for Nathan, though - why did they all feel they couldn't tell her? She shouldn't have been dragged into this?! "I'm part of this /family,/" Heidi states, lifting a hand to take his chin. "When I married Nathan, I told him I'd be there no matter what, and I meant it. Yes, I'm scared, Peter, but it's not of /you,/ and it's not of /him./" The grip on his chin relaxes, her hand drops back to his shoulder. "I'm sure he didn't want me to find out this way."

She feels like she's taking back control of herself.

"But I did. You know where I was when you found me. Don't you think that has /anything/ to do with it? Peter, you're my brother. I've— I've always thought you were weird. So what's changed?"

—-

The hand on his chin succeeds in one thing, it draws his eyes back up to hers. Peter's not quite as upset as she has the right to be, but then again he's not the one who just got kidnapped and beaten by people— for reasons they still don't actually know. Something to do with a lawyer, and her husbands ties to both law and politics. Not money, so something more powered or legal based. Will they ever know? He hopes not— he also hopes none of them noticed anything odd about how things went, like the crazy hands that picked them up.

As she says what she does, he smiles faintly, and then moves forward to wrap his arms around her, pulling her into a hug. Always a shorter man, he's not too much taller than she is, but he can still hold her against him tightly, moving his arms around her back, and holding on. "Nothing," is his first answer, and then a moment later there's another one, "And everything."

Taking a slow breath, steadying himself, he pulls back enough to look at her again, "The important thing is that you're safe and at home now. And yeah— you're family. It'll be good to have someone to talk to about these things…" Someone who isn't quite as heavily involved in them as he is, as Nathan is, and as most of his friends are. An outside perspective, as it were. Cass— she's also much the same. No abilities, but she's one of the biggest confidents he has right now.

—-

Heidi doesn't know why it was her, either, except for the fact that Aussie told her specifically that they'd considered taking the boys instead of her, and… Jesus, she'd never be able to live with that. At least this way, she's safe and her family is safe, and— she's still torn apart, all her walls have crumbled at her feet, but Heidi can recover. It'll just take some time.

She's trying to lighten the mood a little, but when Peter hugs her, she feels the sting of tears in her eyes again, pressing her face against his shoulder. There's no bruising anymore, it doesn't hurt, and so Peter will feel quite a bit of pressure there, desperate, but comforted at the same time as she comes to accept the fact that her family is radically different than she ever knew. Peter is exactly right - he's still the weird little brother she's always known, but… She really didn't know a thing about him before now. Everything's changed. Now she has to adapt to something no one should ever have to - because this is something right out of fiction.

When he pulls back, Heidi does, too, brows drawn down, face streaked with moisture again. This hurts more than she wants to admit, but she can't say that, can she? She can't take the trust that she's stumbled upon and act angry because they didn't tell her sooner. How long has she been living in the middle of this? They /could have told her./ But what can she do, other than smile and nod? The expression on her face is bittersweet, though she's hoping Peter attribute that to the fact that she's just been kidnapped, beaten, and held against her will.

Seriously, though. Hasn't she proved herself trustworthy in the past?

She'll just forget about it.

"I don't know what to say…" she states eventually, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands. "I…" Again, she forces a smile. "Wow. What else can you do? What… How do you deal with it? How did you…" She shakes her head, one question on her mind that she's still not asking.

—-

There's more than enough reasons to be upset, or to feel lied to or betrayed, or not trusted with something so important. Peter felt much the same when he found out that his father had a clinical level of depression and commited suicide — is that even true? he's still not sure. But either way— he hadn't known, and apparently /everyone else did/. Nathan even said so in his speech. They all knew about his illness. Except his youngest son. Who they'd decided was too sensetive to know. So in a way— he does know, about something just as life affecting and important— if not quite as world and paradigm shattering. And he can't just assume all her upset has to do with what she went through. That's something the human brain can comprehend, something she probably even knew was a possibility when she married Nathan. This, though— this is outside the normal realm.

"You don't have to say anything," he says, rubbing his hands along her back, and then pulling away enough to put some distance between them. Enough to allow easy movement for the both. The door to the guest bedroom is still closed and locked, just in case the boys roll out of bed and come wandering, but— now that her face is healed, he raises his free hand and points it at the door. She'll hear a click, as the door unlocks. "Can do a couple things, it's— well… it's like evolution, genetics. Far as I can tell we're both like this. Some of us realize it a lot later than others. Only started being… different last year. Always felt like I was meant for more— but never… I wasn't any different until then. From a normal person."

Now he's really weird, isn't he? "Learning to deal with it more now— since I got out of the facility. I went there to— try and fix it, get rid of it— become normal, safe… but now I'd… rather try to use what I can do to help people…"

—-

It's just /so much./ Not only was she not told, but now… Her husband can fly and who knows /what else,/ Peter seems to be able to heal and unlock doors, and here she is with a degree in Liberal Arts and no special talent to speak of. She got herself captured, everyone else saved the day, and she's feeling awfully sorry for herself right about now. She couldn't even get away without help.

When Peter does unlock the door, that lost expression reappears on Heidi's face, light blue eyes staring at the lock as it clicks open. She's going to wake up any second now, right? "It's a… beautiful gift, to be able to heal people," she says. It's something she can wrap her mind around at the moment, at least. Unlocking doors is fun, too, but… "That's what you wanted to do. You wanted to help people. It's who you are." Does that sound lame? She's not sure. At the moment, Heidi's kind of running on auto.

She's still staring at the door when it opens, and because she's so jumpy, she takes a step backward, stopping herself when she sees that it's Nathan. No, there's no bruising anymore. That's just weird, admittedly, but she's not going to complain if she doesn't hurt anymore. Now she knows how her husband's face was healed. Now she knows how her back was healed. The gift Linderman gave them? Yeah. Yeah, okay, so now— Now…

She runs across the room, throwing her arms around him. Hopefully, she doesn't aggravate the bullet wound. "Thank you, Poohbear," she says. And that'll be the only time she says it around Peter. Honest.

—-

"Yeah— that's a new one, actually," Peter says with a sheepish look on his face. How can he possibly explain to her that he has… almost two dozen abilities… all because he somehow takes on the genetic traits of those around him. At least, the special genetic traits. He's not changing hair colors or anything. Which is good. As Nathan opens the door, he steps back a bit, not guilty over his hugging closeness with his brother's wife, but more to get out of the way in case they two of them want to hug. Of course, this is when he starts noticing his brother's gunshot wound. Maybe he saw it in passing before, but he didn't really have time to think about it. The women were kind of important… but now that he sees it…

Freshly showered as he is, to get rid of the blood, he doesn't look like someone who'd nearly died, and while he's a little on the pale side, it doesn't look pasty or feverish yet. He should be good for the moment. He gives a slow nod in response to his brother, opening his mouth to say something— when Heidi runs across the room and hugs him. She's already been healed, so that should make the hug easy on her. Easy enough she calls him /Poohbear?/

…talk about breaking down the emo with a sledgehammer. "/Poohbear/?" Sorry, little brother can't let that just fall to the wayside. Don't mind him as he's suddenly laughing softly under his breath. Funniest damn thing ever. And right now he really needed funny. Even if— He tries to stop the laughter enough to ask, "Did you get— are you shot?" towards his brother… except it still sounds like he's laughing a little from the way the words shake.

—-

Oh. Oh good. Thank you Heidi. Nathan automatically wrap an his arm around her despite the 'oh no you didn' expression that crosses his face. Peter gets a 'not a word' look for his troubles, and Nathan concentrates on the fact that he's holding his wife and she's now unharmed, at least outwardly. As for the extent of her injuries before the healing… Nathan isn't sure. The temptation is ask is great but in a way, Nathan doesn't want to know.

He pulls her back, though keeps his hands on her, studying her face then her eyes, and offers a weak smile. "How you holding up?" he asks, quietly, before remembering Peter's question and sparing his younger brother a glance. "Yeah, my arm," is his response. At least now, he has a clean shirt so it looks less dire - as does Peter, for that matter. "Just once, unlike some of us." He'll have to get that story out of Peter sometime soon.

—-

A new one. Yeah, she's never going to figure this out. She's doomed to be confused for the rest of her life! But she's safe, the people she cares about are safe… She'll have to go see how Elena's doing, but as far as Heidi knows, the younger woman is also doing just fine. Speaking of Elena, Heidi /owes her her LIFE./ Sure, Nathan and Peter helped - a lot - but she was there the whole time. She didn't have to call them. She didn't have to do /any/ of what she did. They barely knew each other, after all, but she's so, so thankful.

Holding Nathan close, she's refusing to let him go, even given the things she said to him at the building. She's trying to get it, to understand, but at the moment, all she can accept is that they're a little different than she thought. The rest… Can come later. There are some things she needs to talk to Nathan about alone, but she isn't going to kick Peter out, because at the moment, she wants everyone close.

She only allows Nathan to pull her back for a moment before she's leaning against his chest again. "I don't know," she answers truthfully, then there's a long span of time where she just hugs him, before finally letting go and taking a step back. Unsure how to bring this up delicately, she figures she might as well just come out and say it… Get as much hurt as possible out of the way while things are still down. "Why didn't you tell me?" she asks, voice breaking a little. "I was here, Nathan. I was right here the whole time. You could have told me." Granted, given how she reacted at the old building… No. She's /sure/ she wouldn't have reacted so harshly if the circumstances were different. "I'm a little… freaked out, yes, but I'm your /wife./"

—-

There's no way he got a count of how many bullets hit him. Though he could take his shirt and jacket out and count the holes some day and find out. Right now, though… Peter walks up to the two who are hugging and looks at his brother's arm. There's a guilty flinch at Heidi's question, which is when he decides to quickly take care of this situation. Hopefully he won't pass out. Looking at his brother's arm, he sees both an entrance and exit wound, so decides he doesn't need to find out if the bullets would come out if he used the healing power he has. Not an issue with an exit wound.

Reaching up, he puts a hand on his brother's neck, unsure if he needs skin-to-skin contact or not, and consentrates— the healing sweeps through, washing away the pain, stopping the bleeding, and fixing the trauma to his muscles and his bones. There's some additional palor to the younger brother's face when he's done, but he looks between the two of them and drops his hand. "I— guess I should leave you two alone to talk… Need to check on Elena, and call Elle and let her know I'm okay."

And tell her what happened, now that it's over and he doesn't have to worry about her bringing her dad into it just because he might be in danger.

—-

Nathan is spared immediately dealing with the situation when Peter approaches. He looks hesitant, switching between wariness of his power and wariness of Peter being able to use it without killing himself. But Nathan is proven wrong, the pain of damage draining away, and when he inspects his arm… there's not even a manly battle scar he can show off to his kids one day. 'This is where I got shot when I went to save you're mom, then I defenestrated the bastard.' You know, that kind of thing. In addition, the scratch visible at his hairline disappears, and Nathan beats down the urge to touch. "Thanks," he says, tone a little clipped, but not out of a lack of gratitude. A lack of understanding, perhaps, but otherwise…

When Peter says he's going to leave, Nathan just nods to him, hand moving to squeeze his younger brother's shoulder, which hopefully communicates things a little better. Then, then he turns to Heidi, a hand moving to take and hold her's. "I know," he says, finally answering her. "But it's insane to me too." He glances towards the door, moves to tug her to sit down with him on the bed. "I didn't tell anyone for as long as I knew." A pause. "What's Pete told you?" Hopefully, some ground's been covered.

—-

The last day, Heidi's had a rather fixed look of fear on her face, though that bears repeating again when Peter fixes Nathan's arm. This time, she's more /interested/ than afraid, but the fact that someone can do something like this at all is so out of the realm of possibility that no one really needs to tell her why this has to be such a secret. The ability to heal, to move things with your mind, it's incredible. Powerful. Heidi has sons who read comics and watch movies, so she knows how people treated the X-Men.

Before Peter can leave, she reaches out for his shoulder again, stopping when Nathan gets there first. Doesn't mean she can't still say something, though. "Thank you, Peter. Thank you." Not just for healing her, but for the save, for being there.

There's no hesitation when Nathan takes her hands, no pulling away this time, like she did when he found her. In a lot of ways, she's already gotten over the initial shock - or she's burying it. Whatever the case, she quite obviously welcomes the contact, and allows herself to be taken to sit down. "He said you'd tell me," is the rather unhelpful answer. "He told me what he can do, he said he learned about it last year. He said he didn't jump off the building - he was trying to fly." All this is said with a remarkably straight face for the subject matter, until the end, when she narrows her eyes, eyebrows pulling downward again. She's not angry, she's concerned. "You should have told someone. /Me,/ Nathan. I would have helped you. I was just…" Heidi seems to be unable to complete her thoughts today. "I was thinking. About the accident."

—-

Nathan is already shaking his head when she reaches 'should', opening his mouth to protest and explain what had gone through his head, what he had felt, how he couldn't possibly tell any— oh. The accident. He shouldn't be surprised that she's already reached this point… but perhaps he was hoping she'd be merciful?

But he could just be paranoid. His hand untangles from her's, moving to wrap over where the gunshot wound had been, an absent movement. "I told them I was thrown from the car," he says, adding a note of confusion. With any luck, perhaps this isn't what he's thinking, as he goes on to add, a little hurriedly, "I guess you'll have worked out by now that your back… didn't fix itself. Linderman, he had the ability to heal things, I guess he took the opportunity. There's a lot of people like… that, it seems." He's only just used to using 'we' and 'us' in terms of people with powers, but this regresses just a fraction in Heidi's presence.

—-

"Did you… Do it on purpose?" she asks. It never really sat right with her. The answers to all these questions have been just out of her reach for months as she tried to figure out what the hell was going on. That she's got the last piece of the puzzle now just brings all her realisations to the fore - Nathan escaped the accident without a scratch. Her back healed itself with hardly enough therapy for it to do so. Nathan's torn face is unscarred. The answer has always been there, and now she's just found it. But she has to know if Nathan left her in the car alone on purpose.

She nods when he asks if she's worked it out by now. It came to Heidi almost immediately after Peter took care of her - the gift Linderman was giving them wasn't a miracle, it was deliberate. She still doesn't like the man, but she's thankful for what he did for her.

"This is why you didn't call me, isn't it?" A simple question, but the tone behind it is near heartbreaking. "I'm not… Like you, I'm not special, I can't…" Biting her lip, she looks down at her hands. If she had any tears left, she'd probably be crying, but there aren't any, which means she's near dehydrated. Oops. "I'm sorry. For what I said. I didn't mean to, I just… All this— I can't seem to keep myself together. I'm sorry."

—-

The question about whether or not he had intentionally left Heidi to crash seems to stun Nathan. He honestly hadn't gone down that road in trying to anticipate her reaction to this issue. Blaming him, yes, or shock, but this? Not quite. "Don't be sorry," Nathan says, touching her again, a hand on her back and another on her arm, wanting to draw her close against him and after a moment, he does, trying to hold her. "I didn't mean to show you that. Not like that."

Then, Nathan tries to get her to look at him. He looks reserved, not quite as open as this conversation requires. But she needs strength right now, doesn't she? He's trying to deliver. "It wasn't on purpose," he says, voice firm. "I took off and I couldn't stop it. What I can do… it's not 'special'. I don't want it. I didn't call you because I'd have had to tell you how I got healed, and I didn't think you'd want it either." There, honesty. Except for the bit about how he'd have had to deal with her finding out exactly this - that he'd been lying to her. But hopefully that doesn't need to be voiced.

—-

Lowering her head, she leans against him, eyes caught somewhere out in the middle of the room - wide, blank. How is she supposed to take all this? The question keeps reappearing in her mind, and each time, there's just no answer. There's a difference between dealing with the problems of scraped knees and hurt feelings when taking care of her boys… and dealing with the fact that her husband can fly, that Peter's some kind of power vacuum. How is she supposed to understand!?

Of course, she could blame him for the accident, but she already went through that months and months ago. She accused Nathan for having the audacity to get himself thrown from the car, blamed Peter for his relation to Nathan, blamed Angela, blamed her parents, the people who ran her off the road, herself, God — it was not a fun road to go down (No pun intended), and Heidi isn't going to do it again. Besides, it seems as if Nathan was, in a manner of speaking, thrown from the car. It's just that it wasn't quite how she originally saw it.

When she does look up, she meets his eyes for a moment, then looks away. But that's only because it's hard to lean against him and look at him at the same time, and the contact is more important at the moment. "I want you to be able to trust me enough to tell me anything," she says. Excluded because she can't defy gravity? How does that make sense? She's closer to him than anyone, as far as she knows!

Sitting up, Heidi frowns, finally fixing her eyes on his. "I know who you are. I know what you can do now. I'm still here. Did you think I'd leave? That I couldn't take it? Did you /see what I went through?/" The x-rays, the CT scan… They all showed that she'd never walk again as far as anyone knew, but she'd be damned if she wasn't gonna try. In other words, if she can get through that, she can deal with the fact that her family is a lot weirder than she originally thought. "I don't want anymore secrets, Nathan. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. I promise."

—-

Hey. Hey, evolution? Why couldn't he get telepathy? Because in so many instances, flying is largely useless, like right now. Nathan would kill to know what's going through his wife's mind, apart from what she's saying to him. He was never very good at reading her anyway, so how is he meant to fix this? Whenever he tries to reverse the situation to understand it from her point of view… his brain locks. And this is why he wanted her to never find out. Too late, now. There's nothing he can hide that would make this any easier.

…except for one thing, something that her reassurance eases more than she'd ever know. He gives her a sad smile. Mara was right. Heidi wasn't going to leave him over this. He draws Heidi close in a near kiss on the cheek. "I would have trusted you," he says. "But /I/ didn't even want to know. We had a bright future, one that's not possible if people know I'm a freak. It still can't be known, but… guess you have a right to it, these days."

A pause, considering what to say, and he nods once. "It's why I told you about Claire. She's the reason I healed - she can regenerate and her blood…" He rolls his eyes up a little, again, trying to put words to a concept that /still/, to this day, seems plain weird to him. "…kind of let me do the same for a short while." A tired smile. "It's why I couldn't tell you right away. It's a little hard to swallow."

—-

Useless? /Useless!?/ Okay, maybe if you /want/ telepathy, flying isn't going to help you much, but… Flying is pretty damn cool. I mean, seriously, what kid doesn't wish they could fly? What person doesn't dream about flying at least once in their life?

As far as reading her goes, at the moment, it /would/ be difficult. She's afraid, but she's trying not to show it. She's curious, but she's not sure if asking them is appropriate. In the end, her face just seems blank, exceptt for a frown or a smile now and then. She's just about out of energy for emotion, anyway.

"You're not a freak," she says dryly, as he kisses her. "A mutant, maybe, but that's okay." Heidi leans against him again, arms circling his stomach, fingers touching on the other side. They still have to talk about the kidnapping, but after seeing him fly, that whole fiasco /almost seems mundane./

Maybe now would be a good moment for Nathan to have telepathy. Claire can regenerate, and she's Nathan's daughter. Which means… Simon and Monty… "How? How can she do it?" Heidi asks suddenly, not sitting up, but turning her head a little so she can look upward. "Is it… genetic? The boys, are they going to…?" The question comes from the fact that both Peter and Nathan - as brothers - seem to have weird abilities. And Claire does, which…

Heidi feels so, so inadequate.

—-

"I hope not," Nathan says, gravely, arms resting back around her. Where she feels inadequate, he feels burdened. Without powers in the world, he (as far as he knew) would still be congressman, perhaps on the road to a shining future. Peter would still be a hospice nurse and not the local superhero, and he wouldn't have to worry whether his sons are 'mutants' as Heidi put it, or normal. "They don't need this. Dad's already a politician, I'd like them to have a normal life where they can get it." As far as he's concerned, growing up without financial concern and being handed all the opportunities in the world that money can buy /is/ growing up normal, but you know, clearly he means everything else.

And as for genetics… the thought has, naturally, crossed his mind, and sometimes he's found himself studying the two, ever since they were brought home, looking for telltale signs. "But I didn't find out about what I could do 'til… I dunno, I was 20-something. So I guess we got a while. I'd rather spare them this explanation." Oh yes, he intends to never tell the boys, it seems.

He leaves this train of thought, and instead squeezes his hold on her a little tighter. "I'm sorry about today, honey," he murmurs.

—-

They can still have a good future together. It'll just be a little different now, and it'll take Heidi time to get used to it. Now she'll have to wonder who else she knows has these powers, because it seems like a rather large number. Now she has to worry about the boys… Most teenagers go through puberty. Hers could go through, oh, x-ray vision or something worse, and that's hard to think about. "We can't tell them," she says quietly, agreeing… As much as she hates to deny them the truth, they're too young to keep it to themselves. She can already picture Monty going to school and telling all his friends that Daddy can fly. "But they have to know that they can come to us with anything, if— If they have to."

Regarding the day itself… It's almost easier to talk about than Nathan's ability. She gives him a squeeze when he brings it up. "I tried to get away. I grabbed that rag he had, that had chloroform all over it. I wanted to knock him out so I could get out of there. He grabbed me and threw me against the wall." Her voice breaks again, briefly. "Then I bit him."

—-

Logically, Nathan would have rathered Heidi went along quietly, to avoid getting hurt. But then again, logically, he should have just done as he was told, and that last part - the biting part - makes him at least smirk. But otherwise, Nathan just feels sick - the idea of those men handling his wife like this. Not only due to the physical pain, but it can't not have been degrading. And of course, the one man he had encountered, what he had said…

"Glad you didn't make it so easy on 'em," Nathan offers. It's the truth, despite his more selfish wants for her physical well-being. She's healed now, besides, technically. "I don't even know what they wanted from me, aside from setting up a meeting with this attorney. That kind of… well yeah, that didn't really happen."

—-

Quietly? No. They threatened the boys in a sort of indirect way - if it hadn't been her, it would have been Simon and Monty. Plus, she didn't want Nathan to have to live with what they were going to do. Being tied up, being leered at, the veiled threats of unwanted attention, the very /blatant/ threats — it was too much. She couldn't let it all happen without at least trying to get herself and her family out of trouble. In the end, she failed.

"I couldn't just sit there," she says. She almost got herself killed, and earned a hell of a headache in the process, but it was all almost worth it. She hoped her family wouldn't have to be hurt because of it, but they're fine now, thanks to Peter. The sense of unease is something she can't quite shake, though. Something's still bothering her, but she's not sure /what./

"The meeting… Nate, they were going to kill him." They told her that much. Or… They were going to kill someone. "I don't know why. The guy with the accent didn't really say. I'm glad you didn't do it."

—-

So he made the right decision. One would think that Nathan had already made the right choice, seeing as he was sitting here now, safe and sound with a now uninjured Heidi held in his arms. Doesn't mean he had gone about it the right way. But preventing a murder of a likely innocent man… that's heroic, right? Totally? It was the right thing to do.

Except Nathan feels oddly apathetic about this - he'd gone in there to avoid being used as a pawn /again/, gone in to get his wife back his own way. The safety of a former associate is news to him, so he simply nods. "Me too," he says, tone a little hollow, while he's busy remembering the thug falling to his death, watching him crumple. Again, apathy, only now edged with unease because he recalls his satisfaction.

He finally releases his hold on Heidi, hand coming to lace fingers with hers. "I'm not gonna let this happen to you again," Nathan promises. How? He'll get back to you on the details. But he feels the need to reassure her of this anyway.

—-

Things could have gone a whole lot worse, in retrospect. It doesn't make Heidi feel any better, considering she still smells like the place and can't shake the discomfort she got from those eyes on her. What they might have done to her while she was unconscious - she'll never know. It's not something she /should/ worry about, but she'll likely wonder about it for a long time. Ultimately, though, decent enough choices were made to lead them out of danger. She's glad the Australian is dead - and she's not going to tell Nathan that she hoped he'd play along with their demands, because it does make her ill that she wished another person dead for her own safety. That's between her and God.

Taking his hand in hers means that she can no longer hug him, but that's okay. "Things happen," she states, searching his face again, knowing now why the scars are gone - the /healing./ "I wish it wouldn't have. I — just can't imagine why anyone would do something like that to another person." She shakes her head, sitting up again, one hand leaning back against the bed for support, while the other remains in Nathan's. "But I don't want you to think you have to hide me away, okay? We already went through that, and I didn't like it. I'm going to learn how to protect myself."

—-

Nathan looks almost stern, raising an eyebrow at her. "Well at least avoid leaving the house for the next couple of days," he says. "The boys can afford to miss a few days of school too until I'm sure there won't be any backlash for this." He can only hope that the only people in this group were the ones in the building - he's pretty sure they were all mowed down in one way or another, although he doesn't have the whole story.

What's left to say? Nathan looks down at their joined hands resting on his knee, covering them with his other before casting her a glance, clearing his throat. "So is there… have we covered most of it? Is there— well, you got any questions?" He may as well allow her that opening, just in case.

—-

"Okay," Heidi replies. She can at least do that for him… As long as it's not months sitting around the house, hiding so that she doesn't get herself hurt again, or make Nathan look weak. He's beyond that now, she /hopes./ For awhile, he was so distant— If only she would have known about this sooner. It hurts to think about, but she still understands why he couldn't tell her. Whether it was a trust issue or not, that doesn't matter now. She knows.

"I was going to keep the boys home anyway," she says, sighing. It's a horrible thing when someone threatens your children. They're so vulnerable; at least they know not to go with strangers, but she'll have to tell them again.

Does she have questions? A lot, really. "No, I think I need to sleep," she says, pauses, then looks up. There is /one./ "Is it fun?"

—-

How do you say '/yes, yes it is/' without sounding like a teenager? Sure, Nathan would trade it in in exchange for being normal, but no one can deny that zooming around the sky is fun. It is. He considers that for a second, then offers a sort of smile. "Well, maybe I can show you sometime."

—-

He could just say 'yes it is.' But then he wouldn't be Nathan, would he? Always so /serious!/ Heidi knows him, though… at least her finding out what he can do hasn't changed that. He's still the same, she tells herself. He could do this when they got married, it's just that neither of them knew at the time. Admittedly, it feels much better to be able to reason all this through, even if she doesn't quite /get/ it. At least there's some sort of an explanation. She chuckles, standing, still holding onto his hand. "I'm sorry for how I reacted. That probably wasn't easy." Finally, she lets go of his hand, turns, and heads from the guest room. Yes, she needs sleep, but before that, she needs a shower.

—-

No response. Because no, it wasn't easy. It was exactly the kind of reaction from her - hell, from anyone - that he'd been avoiding. But right now, it's barely a blip on the radar. Nathan just squeezes her hand before releasing it, watching her go, before burying his face in his hands out of weariness and some frustration. Because damnit. Why can't the word 'mutant' sound a little nicer?

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