2007-05-19: Three Days



and George The Driver

Summary: Nathan can't find his wife. OH NO.

Date It Happened: 19th of May, 2007

Three Days

Outside the Petrelli Mansion

Three days. Nathan can feel his control slipping, very slowly. Three days is too long to not know where your wife and children are. He's actually going about his life, there are always things to do and people to talk to but there comes a point at which you can't keep pretending like you aren't on the verge of /shooting something/ because it might improve your mood.

And no one would be able to sense this from Nathan, who steps outside of his home and heads down the stairs that lead out to the winding road just out front, where cars can park. In fact, one is pulling up, because he called for a car. A limo, and a specific driver. Catching sight of George in the front window, Nathan gives him a polite smile, and waits.

George knew this day was coming, and has prepared himself - he hopes, anyway. At thirty years of age, he's neither too old nor too young to handle Miter Petrelli, and smiles amicably as the car pulls up. Not deluding himself into thinking that Nathan wants to go somewhere, neither is he going to play the fool and treat Nathan like an idiot, he parks the car, turns it off, and steps out. "Mister Petrelli, Sir. They told me you asked for me by name."

"I did," Nathan says, keeping his smile up and grateful that the younger man isn't attempting to dance around the circumstance. He has absolutely no patience for subtlety, as of three days ago. "Listen, I wanted to ask you about something," he says. Still pleasant. Look, you like me. I pay you well. Use you often. In a good way. "Peter mentioned a couple of days ago that you drove my wife and my kids to a hotel no so long ago. Was hoping you'd tell me the name of it."

Well, at least there's no small-talk and little pleasantries to go along with this chat. Right to the point, and that makes it easier on both of them. "Missus Petrelli gave me very specific instructions, Sir," he says, the smile disappearing, the man becoming suddenly quite serious. "I didn' ask what the matter was, Sir, but she was quite adamant on the point. No visitors, Sir." And George feels it's important that he holds up his end of the deal. Heidi seemed pretty upset. He's trying not to fill in the blanks, but he can't help it. And at the moment, he's not inclined to give Nathan the location, even if he's paid very well.

A laughing edge is given to his fixed smile, and Nathan nods. "Of course, she needs some time alone," he agrees, easily. "It's been a few days though, you know, and I think being her husband for almost two decades sort of pushes me over the line of 'visitor', don't you think?" A pause, and that smile fades a little, a little colder. "So I'm asking for the name of the hotel she's staying at. It's very important."

Were George the type to crumple under the stress of talking to Mr. Nathan "Scary" Petrelli, Heidi wouldn't have picked him to take her to the hotel. As it stands, he doesn't seem intimidated, even when Nathan's pleasant smile turns upside-down. "I'm not going to do you the disservice of creating excuses, Sir, but I promised the lady that I would not under any circumstances tell anyone where I took her. This includes friends /and family,/ Sir. I will assure you, she's safe and well cared-for."

Time to speak mano el mano, or whatever the hell the term is. Nathan allows the pretence of smiles to go away, and he settles a hand on George's shoulder. "That's admirable," he says, almost sincerely. "It is, really, but Heidi's going through a really rough time right now. I'm worried for her, for our kids being looked after her when she's not really thinking straight. I know you're trying to do the right thing here but I'm thinking of her safety." Hard to tell if he means all this, but he says it with quiet conviction.

George isn't going to budge, though. The seriousness turns to frown, because he fully anticipated that this is either going to come to bribery or blows, and he's really not sure he'd like to be involved with /either./ Not that he thinks Mister Petrelli is especially violent, but that hand on his shoulder… "I could take her a message for you, Sir," he says, voice still firm. "And she is more than capable of taking care of her /children,/ Sir, I assure you." A hint of anger, perhaps? It's stored safely behind the idea of him remaining as pleasant as possible. "And as I said, she's doing quite well. I took care of Simon and Monroe for a couple hours while she made a visit to the doctor."

What? Nathan's game face flickers for a moment, showing a sliver of alarm, worry, the hand on George's shoulder tensing a fraction. "What do you mean, doctor?" he asks, well, demands. "What did she need a doctor for?"
George seems genuinely confused for a moment, though he'll answer. He does glance to the hand on his shoulder momentarily, before meeting Nathan's eyes again. "She's got her hand in a bandage, Sir. I didn't ask otherwise, I'm sorry."

Her hand. What. Peter didn't… Nathan shuts his eyes, that hand falls away. He really doesn't want to to snap in front of this man. He wants to speak reasonably. He wants to be a /freaking politician/ who could talk his way into and out of almost anything. And he can still be that. He looks back at George, nods once. "Well you can see why I'm worried," he says, faintly. "People can be liable to hurt themselves when under certain kinds of stress. The human tendency to self-destruct."

"Of course, Sir." Heidi is his wife, after all, and he does understand. But he's seen her, she knows tht despite the fact that she and Mister Petrelli are having some sort of argument, Heidi is doing a very good job with the kids. Simon and Monty are happy, and George is absolutely certain that, when she's ready, she'll bring the family home. Sensing the situation is about to turn, the driver's voice returns to its previous adamance. "This injury was sustained before I took her to the hotel. She's done nothing to jeopardise the safety of your family, Sir. I cannot tell you where she's at, but I /will/ tell her that you've asked after her. Now, if that is all, Sir…"

"No." Nathan isn't just letting this slip away so easily. His hand comes to grip George's arm, and it's not a friendly pat or touch, but a way to keep the man from leaving for his car. "Your loyalty is great and all but /you do realise/ you're coming in between me and my wife on the back of whatever morals you're running on, here. What do you want, money? I am happy to write you a cheque that ensures you won't have to drive limos for a long, /long/ time, but first you can tell me where my wife and has taken my kids."

If anything (and perhaps foolishly) this makes George less likely to want to give away Heidi's location. "You're upset, Sir," he notes, trying to keep his voice gentle, but the volume is ever-so-slightly raised. He has no idea what happened… He doesn't know if Nathan intends to hurt Heidi. As unlikely as it is, this look in the boss' eyes is as telling as George needs it to be. "Sir, I urge you to calm down. What would Missus Petrelli think if you showed up when she wasn't yet ready, Sir? Please, I urge you to reconsider."

"I am calm," Nathan says. Calmly. Before /shoving/ George back towards the limo parked just a couple of feet away. "And you don't know what the hell you're talking about." God, no, he can't hit anyone. There are laws, and the way things work in the real world, and Nathan just settles for clenching his fists. No flying out of windows, no loaded gun, no playing hero or even passionate husband - George is just a guy. Who could press charges. "If you don't tell me where she is, I will find her regardless. You're just adding painlessness to the process."

George is shoved.

His face reveals something similar to anger.

He's breaking down, and he's embarrassed, because Heidi put her trust in him. He asked for no extra pay, but she's given it anyway. He hasn't complained, and yet she's repeatedly apologised for the inconvenience, and yet here he is, seriously considering telling her husband where she's at. "It is true, Sir, you will find her even if I don't tell you. It would be far better for you to meet with her on her terms, though. Allow me to take her a message. I will tell her that you'd like to speak with her. Perhaps arrange a middle ground in which you can meet." …Please?

Nathan is aware he's coming apart at the seams, more and more every hour. He almost turns away from George because /god knows he will hit him soon/, before nodding to himself, looking back at the driver. The fake amicableness is gone, even the dangerous anger is gone. Now he's just tired, because everyone seems to be picking up his life and making decisions for him. And hasn't it always been that way? He considers what message he could possibly give this man. What message he hasn't already left on Heidi's phone. "Tell her… tell her I hope she and the kids are alright. That I want to meet with her, wherever she wants." Some life flickers back into his eyes as Nathan fixes George with a look. "Then tell me what she has to say. If she refuses… we'll be having this conversation again."

George nods. He's truly sorry that he can't tell Nathan where Heidi's staying, and he's glad this isn't escalating. He's aware that he's just turned down the chance to /retire/ at the age of thirty, but for this guy, trust is much more important. He'll kick himself later, of course, especially when he has to sit at home and plot how to make ends meet for his own family. Hopefully he's made the right decision. "I'll see to it that she gets the message, Sir. Good day."

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