2007-06-29: Trivial And Bigger Than Anyone Can Comprehend

Starring:

Mara_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Nathan surprises Mara with a visit rather than a phone call, and offers her some of his strength.

Date It Happened: June 29, 2007

Trivial And Bigger Than Anyone Can Comprehend


Mara's Apartment

A taxi cab pulls up out front of Mara's apartment building, and out steps Nathan. No sleek black cars today, just an ordinary yellow cab - not exactly a journey of luxury, but certainly one of discretion. Paying the driver, he makes his way to Mara's door, pocketing the pair of sunglasses he'd been wearing. It's later in the day, past dinner time, but not quite late enough for the sky to start darkening, and it's still a warm summery evening. He knocks on the door, somehow solemnly.

It isn't as though there was much sound coming from inside the apartment before, but now it seems eerily still. There is a very long moment of silence before the sound of paper rustling pierces the silence and the door opens a crack. Mara's eyes peer through the opening and she looks surprised. Even though she had told Peter she wanted to speak with Nathan. She really had been expecting some sort of warning. Just like him, though, isn't it? "Is it really you?" she asks softly.

Nathan tilts his head a little, as in a half-attempt to meet the gaze of the eyes peering out at him from the apartment. A hand raises then falls in what can't really count as a wave, but the thought was there. "Yeah, it's me," he says, and glances down the corridor, in the direction he'd come, then back to her. He seems slightly restless, and worried, and annoyed that he's worried, which adds to the restless. "Can I come in?"

Mara doesn't respond right away. She eyes him almost suspiciously for a few seconds before she nods and closes the door to remove the chain and then opens it for him. Once Nathan's inside, she shuts the door and does up the three deadbolt locks before resetting the chain. At first glance, the apartment is a mess. A more careful study shows that it isn't a mess, but a carefully arranged spread of newspapers from across the country, for the span of the last couple months. "Just… Step around, or over, or… walk on 'em. Your shoes aren't muddy or anything. So, whatever." She takes the long way around the newspapers in the living room to the kitchen. "Gin? Whiskey? Beer?"

He wants to say beer. That would be the correct option. But it's been a very long couple of weeks of barely anything besides the occasional glass of wine. "A whiskey'd be perfect," Nathan says, somewhat distracted as he scans over all the laid out newspapers. His shoes may not be muddy, but he makes the effort to walk around anyway, gaze returning to the woman once he's nearer to the kitchen. He shoulders his jacket off, drapes it over something unobtrusively. "Peter only told me the barer details," he says. "How're you holding up?"

Whiskey is poured into a short glass over ice and set on the counter close to Nathan. The hostess then pours herself a gin and tonic and sips. "How bare? What did he say?" He wasn't supposed to say anything. Mara shrugs out of her brown leather duster and drapes it next to Nathan's jacket. She's lost weight since he's last seen her. She looks paler, and obviously hasn't had enough sleep. But, really, when does Mara ever really take care of herself?

"He said that Gray contacted you," Nathan says, picking up the glass set out for him. In contrast, Nathan's definitely been taking care of himself. You know, shaving regularly and looking the part of the consummate politician, rather than the insomniac chic he'd been sporting priorly. Mara's own paler, weary appearance doesn't go missed, but he doesn't draw attention. "But nothing more than that."

"He was supposed to let me tell you that." Mara smiles wryly. "But he wouldn't be Peter if he didn't go against my wishes because he means well, would he?" Her fingers rake through her dark red hair and she sets her glass aside. "You look good. The political arena really agrees with you, doesn't it?" She chuckles quietly, though there's very little mirth to it. "You always looked good in your publicity photos. I always just assumed you had a damn good makeup artist."

"Gee, thanks," Nathan says, just as wry. "Maybe I'm born with it." As usual, this is a party and a half. Nathan takes a generous sip of whiskey, leaning against the kitchen counter. There's a glass clink as he sets his drink down again. "To be honest, I think Peter was tempted to keep me out of the loop."

"I didn't want you to hear it from anyone but me, that's all." Mara's hand comes up to cover her face and she turns around. "Oh, fuck." With her back to him now, without the cover of her jacket, he can see the gun tucked into the waistband of her pants. "I'm sorry. I've been… doing this. Off and on. I just… I just need a minute." A strangled sob follows. A few seconds, and she's quiet again, catching her breath.

And he gives her that, turning away to pick up his drink. It's polished off in a few swallows. Then, Nathan steps closer, glancing down at the gun, then to the back of her head. He reaches a hand out to touch her arm. It's a very simple moment of contact, and it's there to communicate all those things that Peter is better at putting into words than Nathan is.

And that's what she so desperately loves about Nathan. Sometimes, there's just no need to talk. Mara turns around, evidence of her tears still damp on her face. She reaches up and cups his face, leaning in… But she stops. A breath away, but she stops. She closes her eyes and tips her head forward to rest her forehead against his.

She stops, and Nathan pursues nothing. But he doesn't push her away, either, just rests there like that, own eyes shutting for just a few moments and hands high on her arms. There's really nothing he can say that will reassure her more than the fact he showed up, this he's sure of, so he instead doesn't try. Once they separate, he brings a hand up to thumb away a tear that's gotten down to her jawline. "The closest he'll get is that phonecall," he promises.

"He could already be here and I wouldn't even know it," Mara whispers. That's the truth of it, isn't it? She licks her lips and then presses them together, fending off another wave of tears. "I've been… trying to track him." She tilts her head toward the living room and the newspapers spread out. "Trying to find evidence of suspicious murders. Figure out where he's been. Figure out who he's killed. …If he's gotten any new abilities." She leans in to rest her head on Nathan's shoulder now, embracing him loosely.

His line of sight goes back down to the newspapers, even as he holds her. From this vantage point, he can't pick out any headlines that seem relevant. "What have you found?" he asks, and really… really can't help a glance around. The idea of an invisible Sylar is one he's witnessed but hadn't thought on too hard, up until this point.

"I… haven't got anything yet. I've just been… looking. Searching. I have a couple leads out west, but nothing concrete." Mara sighs heavily, then takes in a deep breath. "God, you even smell different." She cuddles up a little closer with what she hopes is a discreet sniffle. "I kind of miss the stubble… And the shaggy hair. But you look good." She doesn't lift her head to look at him.

"They don't let decrepit drunks into the Senate," Nathan says with a somewhat worn, but amused chuckle. "Gotta look the part." The embrace tightens, just for a few more seconds, before he finally releases her. He scans her face, eyes searching. Paler, tireder. He returns his hands to his sides, looking away. "If you need a little more manpower, let me know. I have some contacts in the FBI that could check things out for you."

"You and your powerful contacts." Mara smiles faintly once he's separated from her. "You… I…" Her gin glass is retrieved, but rather than drink the last of it, she pours it down the sink. "Can you spare a couple of hours? Sit with me? While I sleep?"

At the word powerful, Nathan raises an eyebrow and shrugs. Yes, they can be so - they can also be completely useless. He should know. But her request is what captures his attention, and— there's actually no way he can say no. Even if he wanted to. "I can do that."

"God, thank you. I haven't slept in… It's been a while." Mara brushes past Nathan, seizing his hand and tugging him toward the bedroom with her. "I promise the bedding won't give you a headache anymore." Not like the last apartment.

"The sheets definitely had room for improvement," Nathan says, allowing his hand to be grabbed and tugged. Although in a way, those bedsheets were just sort of a part of Mara's bedroom. But things change, both trivial and bigger than anyone can comprehend, from tides to interior decorating. To serial killers and victims. Nathan remembers the invisibility and masks a shudder as he shuts the bedroom door behind him.

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