2007-04-23: This Is Not a Test


Drake_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif

Summary: Drake comes to Angela with a problem he’s been having.

Date It Happened: April 23rd, 2007

This Is Not a Test

Petrelli Mansion – Sitting Room

After the -long- day of errand running for Angela, Drake has decided he is going to invest in a new pair of shoes, once he gets his first paycheck. Then again, he isn't sure if he even 'is' getting paid for this, but, it at least beats serving coffee for eight hours straight during the busy season. After hanging up the last of the dry cleaning in one of the hallway closets, he takes a look at his watch, squinting his eyes. Nearly ten at night, and he has been at this since eight in the morning. "Mrs. Petrelli… was there anything else you needed?" He calls out to her.

In the sitting room, Angela is perched on the edge of the coffee table with a leather-bound album in her lap and several dozen loose photographs spread out around her. Each picture appears to be from a different period in time, but the one thing they all have in common is her children. She gazes fondly at them in their varying stages of adolescence, silently reminiscing about the years gone by as she rubs her thumb along the edge an old dog-eared Polaroid. This particular photograph has so many stains and water spots that it's difficult to identify the face of the teenager posing for it, though to Angela this is unimportant; she remembers taking the picture, and easily recognizes a seventeen-year-old Nathan Petrelli, his arms folded across his chest, his jaw hard and his expression stern, wearing nothing but a pair of swim trunks while his younger brother wraps his arms around his waist and beams at the camera, showing off the large gap in his mouth where two of his front teeth are missing.

The sound of Drake's voice snaps her out of her doting reverie, and she presses the picture to her breast as she lifts her head and turns toward the doorway. "No, I think that's quite enough for today," she calls back, though her voice isn't nearly so loud as the teen's is. "Let me write you a check before you leave."

Peeking his head into the room, Drake looks surprised. "I'm being paid 'today', and not.. like.. every two weeks?" This is completely new to him, and so very awesome. "Wow. Thanks, ma'am." He says with a smile on his face, straying his eyes to the table. "Hey, is that Pete and Nathan? Wow. Pete sure looked goofy back then." He says with a chuckle, wandering a bit closer to peek at the pictures. "I always wished I could have had a brother, or.. well, a sibling in general. They're real lucky to have each other."

"There's no reason /not/ to pay you today," Angela points out with a small, if tight, smile. "Fifteen dollars an hour, I think we agreed — and you've been here since eight, yes?" It doesn't take her long to do the math in her head, and by the time she's leaned down and fished around for her checkbook in the designer purse that sits between her feet, she has the figure in her head. "A small part of me regrets not having more children," she admits. "There's thirteen years between them, and while they have each other now, I think that it was harder for Peter when he was younger."

Nodding his head, Drake says, "I suppose I can understand that. I guess it's why he looks up to Nathan, at least from what I've seen." He rubs the back of his neck for a moment, before saying, "So.." He trails off a bit as he looks around the room. "Is.. Peter around, you think? I kind of need to pick his brain about something." As he speaks, his tone takes a bit quieter, subdued manner as he shifts somewhat on his feet.

Angela takes her time filling out the check, not because she's concerned about making a mistake, but because she enjoys the scratch of her pen against the paper. "The last time I saw Peter," she remarks absently, "he was here just long enough to escort an uninvited guest off the premises." This is definitely something of an understatement, though Drake doesn't have to know that; the last thing Angela wants to do is spook the teen with talk of Sylar, especially when she doesn't have any reassurances to offer him. "Is it serious?"

Biting on his bottom lip for a moment, Drake weighs the question back, and forth in his head a bit. ".. Well. I suppose it.. is in a way. I could really use some big brother advice." How do you say: I'm being stalked by hot chicks who may want to wipe my memory? "I'm kind of having an issue with a certain group of people who's been.. err.. following me around now for some time. It has grown a bit uncomfortable for me."

"Oh?" Angela's signature completes the check, and she tears it off the book with a sharp flick of her wrist. She raises her eyes to his face, studying the expression he wears with a slow, scrutinizing stare that seems to go on for much longer than it actually does. "Well," she says finally, "have you told them that you're not interested?"

"Yes, but this group of people do not like taking No for an answer it seems." Drake says as he clears his throat. "It's really hard to explain, ma'am. But.. I'm…" He pauses, his brows knitting worriedly. "Well.. It just… err.." Taking in a deep breath. "I.. um.. don't think you would understand even if I told you."

"Drake." As comforting as Angela tries to make her tone sound, it possesses a chilly undercurrent that's almost as cold as the hand she now places on his shoulder. "I survived both the sixties and the seventies — if there's one thing I know about, it's groups who don't like taking No for an answer. Try me."

Shifting a bit uncomfortably, Drake says, "… um… OK, well, there's this group of people who have the ability to erase people's minds because they feel it's their duty to the world to find people who are a bit different than they are, and well, turn them into tools, I suppose. So, they've been after me for a few months, and it has gotten to the point of harassment and I don't think a restraining order is going to help me any." See, he's crazy now also.

At first, Angela says nothing at all. Instead, she tilts her head to the side, bird-like, and blinks — once. When she does speak, her voice is softer than it was a few minutes ago, though no less cold. "And why would these people be after you, dear? What makes you so special?"

Quirking a brow at her, Drake says, "I dunno. I'm good at soccer I guess." He says with a soft sigh. "Nevermind. I'm…. I'm just being stupid I guess." Though by the way he's twisting his hands together, it's obvious that he's fairly worried, and a bit nervous, especially with this topic.

"Have you told anyone else about this?" Angela asks as she carefully folds the photo album shut and sets it aside. She suspected from Day One that Drake possessed an ability; you don't associate with Nathan, Peter /and/ Claire unless you, like them, have something to hide. "Your mother? Your teachers at school?"

Shaking his head, Drake says, "Nuh uh. Um.. It's not something I really talk about to anyone." He says as he bites his lip for a moment, then shoves the check into his pocket. He stubs his foot against the ground for a moment, then ventures out. "When you talked about Peter trying to save the world, you were.. eluding that you knew stuff, and you were testing me, weren't you?"

"I know a lot of 'stuff,'" Angela replies mildly. She's no longer smiling. "If I was testing you, you'd know about it." She glances past Drake, out the doorway into the hall. While she can say with certainty that Peter is around, she's not sure about Heidi, Simon or Monty. "I'm not sure you understand how serious your situation is, but I agree that seeking Peter's advice is a wise move. Do you have his number?"

"No, ma'am, I understand completely how serious my situation is." Drake says, reaching up to the collar of his shirt, and giving it a tug down to reveal the pair of black marks against his skin. "I have Peter's number, I just don't really know what to say to him. I was promised sanctuary from them by one of their operatives, but, it seems that current deal has been revoked. I know of at least two, possibly… three, who are currently keeping tabs on me." He lets out a breath. "Any suggestions?"

"/Call Peter/." There's a flicker of recognition in Angela's eyes when she spies the mark on Drake's neck, but as usual she hides this well. "As soon as you get home. Tell him exactly what you told me. I understand that this is difficult for you, Drake — but he can protect you. He /will/ protect you." And if he doesn't, well, Angela will just have to take things into her own hands. It's been awhile since she stuck her nose in Company business, but she's had about enough of their meddling with her family. Claire's boyfriend, although not related to her by blood (thank goodness), falls under Petrelli jurisdiction.

Nodding his head, Drake lets out a breath. "Alright, I'll do that then. But.. I just.. " He shifts a bit on his feet. "Alright." Of course he agrees, though, what weighs heavily on his mind is who is gonna protect Claire? Sylar is still out there after all. He forces a quick smile, then says, "…Thanks for listening. I should get going. I don't my mom to get too worried."

"I'll call you a cab." Frowning, Angela once again reaches into her purse. This time, she pulls out a small silver cell phone that fits in the palm of her hand. "I don't want you taking the subway until you and Peter have sorted this out." The length of her nails makes the task of pressing the buttons difficult, which is why she has the cab company on speed dial. "Don't worry about the fare. I'll have the driver charge it to my account."

"Er.. um.. alright, thank you ma'am." Drake says, giving her a faint smile on his face, glad that at least someone seems to care about his well being. With that, he heads out the front door to wait on the porch, settling into the bench and staring up at the sky in thought. Reaching into his pocket, he plucks his own cell phone out, and makes the call.

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