Date: April 12, 2010
Noah arrives to the New Jersey safehouse. Two politicos are skeptical.
"Tracy Wears the Pants"
Tracy's Safehouse — New Jersey
The safe house in New Jersey is experiencing one of its bouts of quietude — due in no small part to the fact that it's full, not empty, and the adults are keeping the younger fugitives occupied and well-behaved in the backyard, for the most part. Day is turning to evening, and the old house is faintly dim as the sky outside shifts from sunny to a dark blue.
In the living area, Tracy sits in the very middle of the white couch, her back to the curtained window — also white. Most everything is white in this room, and sparsely decorated; as it happens, Tracy is also wearing white in the form of an ivory-hued cap-sleeved blouse, but in the dim light all appears grey.
The woman is poised with a hand on the laptop open on the coffee table in front of her, opened to an article on POLITICO.com, but her attention is on a young man standing nearby with a young Hispanic boy: the one who can levitate objects, if he concentrates hard enough. Their murmuring conversation is at an end, though, and the pair depart through the kitchen with a nod to Tracy from the older. Tracy goes back to looking at the screen, leaning over with an elbow on her knee, head in hand, but her eyes glaze over after a few moments.
"Does it look bad?" the small voice asks Nathan idly from the kitchen — her favourite perch. The former blonde is now bald thanks to her roommate. Fortunately, shortly thereafter the pair had apologized for their fight. Unfortunately, the redhead didn't know how to fix her cohort.
Unsure of what to say to the little girl or how to comfort her in her time of need, Nathan males out on her, "It'll grow back." And then as if to cover for his insensitive comment he manages, "I mean… you look… lovely…" Once again thankful that he's only parented sons, Nathan raises a weary hand to his forehead.
"Let's ask Tracy — she's never busy!" The ten year old beckons for Nathan to follow her, but she finds her way into the living room where she quirks an eyebrow (at least she still has those!), "Tracy~ do you think I look lovely without my hair?"
Wide eyed behind her, Nathan just nods his head emphatically. There is no other response because the child is going to be bald for awhile.
Tracy leans her head to one side in her hand, hair swaying. Her eyes look up from skimming the article in front of her, the screen giving off a bland white glow. Once upon a time, not so long ago, all of this stuff was relevant — the article is about troubles Hill staffers are facing these days — but it seems faraway now, especially as she regards Nathan and the overpowered little girl. She sits up slightly and smiles. "Of course you look lovely. You'll always be beautiful." True — she's sincere in that.
The little girl beams — absolutely beams at Tracy's words. Turning back to Nathan she's now the one nodding emphatically, "I knew it!" Turning back to Tracy she's still beaming, "I'm a princess!"
Nathan just stands behind her gaping, but he manages, "See. You look lovely with or without hair." He shrugs at the princess comment, however, while the girl spins in a circle.
"Wheeeeee!" she sputters as she spins in yet another circle. "I should get a tiara!"
The roar of the motorcycle heralds the arrival of the lone man, a 'crotch rocket' that zips along the abandoned roads. It pulls up to the building in question, the man dressed in a distressed business suit. One jacket sleeve is torn, the shirt pulled out from the firm clutch of the belted pants. The helmet, which has a narrow slit in the plastic front piece, is dropped to the ground, revealing the identity of the man in question: Noah Bennet, which his trademark glasses still in place Though the slit apparently was right where his eye was, as there is a bit of cracking in his left lens. The motorcycle is turned off and the helmet just discarded on the ground. It's easier to neglect stuff when it isn't yours and you're too tired to care. Pulling out his empty side arm, he replacing his empty clip with a fresh one with a set of motions that are all but reflex to the man. The gun is swiftly replaced to the shoulder hostler, the man inwardly reminding himself that this is his final clip in case his troubled voyage has a tragic twist ending.
Half striding, half limping, the ex-Company Man/ex-G-Man knocks the door, even if there is some doorbell. As he waits, he leans against the door frame, doing his best to compose himself and catch his breath.
Tracy can only stare and be slightly in awe of the girl — if only they could all be as resilient. At the sound of the vehicle, she gives a questioning look over her shoulder, and an even more questioning look to Nathan; it's obviously not him on the motorcycle, so who is it?
And then there's the knock on the door. Tracy's attention immediately shifts and she takes on an edge. "Get her out've sight," she tells Nathan, getting to her feet and holding a hand up for him to stay back also. Tracy, meanwhile, heads to the door, taking a careful route to the front door. "It might be a friend of mine…" she murmurs and thinks of Erin, though she wasn't expecting her and the thought of Erin arriving on a motorcycle is … almost as bizarre as Tracy using it herself.
She glances out the peephole, pauses. "…It's Bennet," she announces with quiet surprise before (somewhat hesitantly) opening the door to eye the Man in the Horned-Rimmed Glasses. Which are broken. "I was beginning to think you were dead," she greets, half casual, half serious, and with a small smirk.
"C'mon half pint," Nathan directs as he places a hand on the girl's bald head, redirecting her into the kitchen. The mention of Bennet causes Nathan to narrow his eyes, moderately confused, but he deals with the little person first, "Go play out back. There's lots of people to play with and you need to like run around and burn off some of that twirling energy." The girl is issued a smile as Nathan opens the back door and ushers her outside.
He steps back into the living room, his eyes narrowed again. He lingers in the entranceway to the living room, much like he did yesterday, leaning against the wall, arms crossed comfortably over his chest, and ankles crossed with equal comfort. Here he waits.
When Tracy opens the door, Noah has his hand to his side. While it close to where the gun is, for the moment, is more to help support his aching lower rips than prepping for a fast draw. "Almost was a few times in the last month or so… But at least now I feel I can talk to people safely again. Parden me for not asking before I come in," Noah offers weakly as he walks in, taking a look around before he begins his eager quest to find the first open chair and gently ease himself into it. If Nathan is noticed, he doesn't say anything of it yet.
Nathan is confused, and Tracy makes two — but she gives Noah some benefit of the doubt given how beleaguered he looks. She steps aside enough to let him pass without getting in the way, and as she closes and re-locks the door, he's eyed. "What happened?" she questions skeptically. She doesn't reclaim her seat; instead, she magnetizes closer to Nathan, folding her arms. "I tried to call, I had information, but your number was disconnected."
"You can thank Danko for that…" Noah begins, watching Tracy as she closes in on Nathan. He studies the ex-Senator for a short time before going on. "Apparently, whatever this other organization is, it's completely taken over or twisted the Alpha Protocol. What ever it must be, it's been enough that now Danko and the rest of the organization has been trying to kill me for sometime. I didn't get in contact with anyone until I was sure I thrown them off the trail. I wanted to check in with people as removed from me as possible first… To get a lay of the land before trying to talk to other people they might be keeping tabs on." His family for one.
The name Danko instantly brings a dark look to Tracy's face; no surprise that it's a name she recognizes, and for an instant her eyes flash with something decidedly vindictive. "I'm not surprised," she replies with irritation, arms seeming to cross tighter. "I'm not so sure it was twisted. It sounds like this is what the Protocol was all along. Some… program to sell us as weapons." The last time Tracy spoke to Bennet, Nathan was MIA — and while he now stands there looking foreboding, she glances to him then out the window across the room. "You better be sure no one followed you."
"They found a way to control us and use us to their own ends — and then selling us to terrorists as weapons," Nathan expands on Tracy's explanation as he still stands in the entranceway rather stoically. He studies Noah a moment before his position changes, he pushes off the wall and takes an actual step into the room, "As far as your family is concerned, Claire is fine. They went to your house and she managed to outrun them and wound up at Ma's doorstep." His eyebrows furrow, "She's staying at Pete's safehouse now." He blinks, "As for the rest of them — I think Pete was going to check in on them." But he either doesn't know or can't remember their current status; regardless he doesn't say anything else about them.
HRG watches the two carefully for a short time, the hand not at his side reaching for an armrest. He puts his feet underneth him, getting ready to rise. His voice is calm and sure, without any malice. "If you want me to leave… All you need to do is ask. I would have thought considering the situation, you'd want my help, but it seems you both have the matter under control."
Tracy slides a studying — and slightly incredulous — glance between Noah and Nathan, gradually piecing this and that together. Vaguely. There are more important than what on earth the two mens' respective (?) families have in common, however. "'N' how do you think you can help?" she challenges Noah. Though her voice may contain a hint of spite, there's not true anger — really, she'd like to know how Bennet could possibly help at this point.
"Under control?" Nathan asks incredulously. "Hardly." Now it's his turn to stare out the window — something he's been doing a lot since KeLyssa split. "I don't think there's anything about this situation that is under control." The words are honest, if somewhat bitter. "But we do know what's going on thanks to the efforts of many." Tracy's question is heralded with a nod.
The Bennet is not amused with the lack of belief in his abilities, but he entertains the two for now. "There is the fact that I have been working for the government for awhile and had clearances… Even before I was recruited within the Alpha Protocol. I know how the system works and I've done mutliple investigations. Then there is the fact that you are trying to care for mutliple Evolved when you both are just controling your own abilities. I've been working with people and their powers for over twenty years. For all you know, one of the Evolved here might have the ability that could be deadly later on and you wouldn't know it until it was too late. If you want control of the situation, I can help. If not, I'll be more than happy to let you both get to it while I see to my daughter's safety." Noah doesn't fully trust Angela? Say it isn't so!
Tracy eyes Nathan warningly for just an instant. Maybe it's true — things aren't under control — but they're making a solid effort, and she doesn't want to sound so easily defeated. The look translates to Noah, and she stiffens in defensiveness. "I don't doubt that you have experience," she says. "…with… the Protocol and whatever it was you did before that…" She seems to have some idea, as she gives Noah a critical look. "You wanna help? I have all the information you need sitting on that computer. Meanwhile, we've had to make plans've our own."
Tracy's look is caught and met with a shrug. Things aren't under control; they both know it, but they are making plans. Have made plans. "And Claire isn't staying with Ma — Angela," the name is tacked on more as a reminder to himself than anyone what he's doing and why. She's staying with Pete in a house not-so-different from this one." And then as an afterthought he adds, "My — Angela — is staying there now, but only because she put herself on their radar."
Rubbing the back of his neck, Nathan shakes his head just a little, "And no, we're not experienced at this, but we are doing what we can." With a smirk he tacks on, "And while some people may be concerned with controlling their own abilities, I fly. I've pretty much got not flying down to a science… control isn't really an issue for me…"
"As I am sure you know too well, sometimes one's best isn't good enough." The ex-Company Man would admit himself in that category, but that would sort of hurt his case of selling himself as a necessary guide for all of this. Seeing as Tracy is seemingly swifter to accept the help, he decides that she is wearing the pants and takes her word as the concession for help. "Let me see what you have… And get me a full listing of those with powers here. I'll let you know if you have to find a new place for them. Some power couplings are… Unsafe." You know, like emotional empaths and people capable of generating fear and panic in people.
"Every person who's here has been here for awhile." So far, nothing has exploded. A few more tantrums, however, and who knows. "I'm not sure what some of them are capable of. The younger ones have the hardest time— controlling themselves." Tracy moves to the coffee table, sinking onto the edge of the couch to access the laptop once more. From website to files, she brings up the information about the Protocols and everything in-between and turns the laptop to face Bennet, watching him carefully; her trust is thin at best and she may have agreed — offered, even — to give him such information before, but it's still a lot of information.
Still lingering on the outskirts of the room, Nathan glances between the pair and shakes his head a little. If he's honest, he hasn't even been using his best efforts. His best efforts would be yielding further into more of who is fully. All of him. Even the ugly parts.
Finally, he pads over to the window and openly stares out it — there's no concealment here. Silently, considering everything going on he smiles — almost wickedly at his reflection. No, Logan isn't lurking as some individual within his brain, but as a Nathan-collective into one whole version of him, yet he can access pieces of his former alter. Like memories, thoughts, and even lines of thinking. And then he asks himself a question he hasn't dared pose — not to anyone. Crossing his arms over his chest that same wicked smile spreads across his lips, almost vampiric in nature as he weighs it over in his mind.
"The issue isn't control now, but rather control later. As you know, Tracy, powers can continue to evolve, depending on their nature. It is unlikely that Nathan's will, considering it is flight based, but if it was a matter of telekinesis that was merely manifesting itself as flight… Those are the issues that comes with dealing with new powers, but… You know that all too well, it would seem," Noah admits as he takes the laptop. "If you don't mind, I'll take this up…" Noah pauses as he watches Nathan for a moment. There is a look of consideration from the one good lens but he continues on. "…Up to a room. I'll look it over before I get some rest. As you can imagine, it's be a little long for me."
It is true — Tracy certainly does know better than anyone how powers can evolve. "Mmn, yes I do." Noah's pause prompts a casual glance Nathan's way and she does a small double-take; visibly, she wonders what he's thinking. But one mental note later, it's back to Bennet. She gets to her feet. "There's a kid up there who can probably take out a power grid. You wouldn't wanna scare her — I'll find you a space." She does just that, leading the way to the staircase with a glance over her shoulder past Noah to Nathan, gauging that expreession of his. And his reaction to this twist of the evening.
When you're as experienced as Bennet, such powers are just common place. Only arching a brow at the mention of the child, he says nothing, merely letting Tracy guide the way. He is at the end of his rope and just ready to sleep, but then again, if you've had a day like Noah's, you would be too. At least he'll be able to rest well tonight.