2007-03-15: Unexpected Petrelli


Mara_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: A suspended detective and an out-of-work politician walk into a bar…

Date It Happened: March 15, 2007

Unexpected Petrelli

Fly By Night Cocktail Bar

Saturday night finds Mara Damaris indulging in her favourite pastime - sitting alone at a table with a Tom Collins in front of her. She'd maybe like to get up and dance, but she knows better than to ever leave her drink unattended. So until it's finished, she'll remain seated with it. Normally, the Fly By Night would be a little too rich for her blood, but tonight's a celebration. A celebration of life. Chiefly the fact that she's still living it.

In what feels like it's been years since he last came by here, Nathan walks into the bar. Insert a punchline here. Dressed somberly, he moves through the Saturday night crowd, and it's clear that he's both arrived alone and is meeting no one. When he goes to order his (first) drink of the night, the glance he gives the excessive drinks menu is the glance of a man who sort of just wants a straight up whiskey, but instead, he orders a simple gin and tonic and leans against the bar. His gaze quickly roams over the crowd, and pauses on a certain detective, who gets a squint of recognition across the room.

It takes a moment before the off-duty detective spots the politician, but when she does, it's more than just a passing recognition. Mara sits up straighter, like people do in an 'you see me, I see you' sort of situation, and inclines her head slightly toward the empty seat across from her, brows raised with the unspoken offer. Join me?

It doesn't take long for Nathan to come to a decision about that. Standing around awkwardly doesn't have much appeal, so Nathan picks up his drink and heads on over, offering a faint smile as he draws the chair opposite her out from under the table and sits down. Right around here would be a good time for a Line, but instead, he simply says, "Mara Damaris, right? Detective." If memory serves him well.

Mara nods her head with a gracious smile, "That's right. I'm off duty, so… Mara will work just fine, Mister Petrelli." She takes a sip of her drink and sets it down on her napkin where there's some scribblings in bleeding ink. "How… How's your brother?" Her tone and expression alike turn uncertain as she summons the courage to ask the question.

"Just Nathan, then, works," he says, arms coming to fold on the table as he glances around them. No one seems to notice the two at the table, and that works just fine for Nathan, especially when the question of Peter comes up. "Doing well, though we weren't so sure for a while," he says, with a nod, then studies her for a moment. "You know much about his situation?" It's really very difficult to discreetly word 'do you know how the break in at the secret facility went?' in public, and so this is Nathan's attempt.

"I'm afraid not. I have to admit, you're the first glimmer I've had that it worked out at all. I had been planning to help out, but…" One hand comes up to brush gingerly at the healing gash in her lip and Mara shakes her head. "Somebody had /different/ plans for me."

Nathan shrugs a shoulder at this 'all worked out well' statement, and takes a decent sip of his drink. "It didn't go so great," he says, with a subtle shake of his head. "Probably a good thing you didn't go, it was never going to work even with the fire-power we had. But Peter's out, now, so I guess that's all that matters." Now, really, he notices her injury in the dim light. "What happened to you?"

"Same thing that happened to my neck just before that meeting." That is to say, Gabriel Gray. But Mara isn't about to mention that name with her own linked to the case. And with his release from custody. "I don't look too horrific, I hope?"

"Not horrific, no," Nathan says with a flash of a smile, taking another sip of his drink. "Does it have anything to do with… you know, the Company?" Times like this he appreciates their title. No one can really hear the capital C unless they want to, and it doesn't sound terribly suspicious to be talking about 'the company' if they don't.

"I'm… only entangled with the Company by association. They don't frighten me," she states truthfully. "Gray is problematic, however." At this admission, Mara straightens up and looks about the room slowly. For all intents and purposes, she's casual to anyone except perhaps for Nathan.

"Gray," Nathan repeats, raising an eyebrow. The name rings a bell - he's a man who listens to his news, after all, and he goes back to studying her, and comes to his own conclusion. "That recent murder in Queens, do you mean? You're a part of that case?"

"I was assigned to it, until he decided to break my face, yes." Mara's smile is strained. It's hard for her to admit that her foe got the better of her. "I'm on leave until the doctors are convinced I'm not going to re-break my nose."

"I'm sure it only happens circumstantially," Nathan says, with an obliging smile. Turning his glass around on the table, watching both his hands then back to her face, he asks, "How do you know Hiro, anyway? Not that I wouldn't put it past him to know everyone, eventually, but…"

"He came to me about one of my cases." The Virginia Gray case, to be exact. He's the reason she's in this mess, isn't he? "He showed me what he could do, after I…" How to put this? Mara purses her lips and thinks. "I showed him mine, so he showed me his." Sounds dirtier than it should, but it beats saying 'he showed me he can bend time and space after I passed out on the floor and had a vision.'

Nathan hms at this retelling. Sounds like Hiro, certainly. "Guy needs to be more careful," he mutters, then waves a hand vaguely. "Not in regards to you, specifically. Just. There were probably one too many people on the roof that day, is all I'm saying. He told me what he could do pretty much right off the bat."

"Trusting fellow, isn't he? If I hadn't seen it all for myself, I wouldn't have explained to him what I could do." Mara finally relaxes, seemingly content that Sylar's not lurking in a corner booth. She rests her elbows on the surface of the table and leans forward with her head in her hands. "He says we're heroes. What do you reckon?"

Nathan can't help his reaction to that, which is to roll his eyes upwards and give an impatient sigh. "I reckon he's… very optimistic," he says, diplomatically, in a tone that sort of implies that Hiro might be delusional rather than just optimistic. "The only way we get to be heroes is not through having freak powers, and… I don't know." He finishes his drink.

"Being a hero is way more than having amazing abilities. Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? Sure, you could be a hero… But doing the right thing for the wrong reasons could have the same result." Politicians do that sort of thing all the time, right? Mara shrugs one shoulder lightly. "I play hero and villain simultaneously as it is." That's the fun thing about being a cop, being on different ends of the spectrum for different people.

"Or maybe you don't play either because there's no such thing." Man, waxing philosophical, isn't he. Or just being cynical. Either way. Nathan smiles apologetically. "Not to be ruining your evening or anything," he adds dryly, then shrugs once. "My brother tried to be a hero and he ended up being the threat. I don't want Hiro… going around and putting people in danger anymore because of an idea that doesn't really work in practice."

"I perfectly understand." Mara can't help but smirk faintly as he shares his thoughts with her. "Do you ever wonder… why us?" She takes a long drink from her glass, eyes on Nathan the entire time.

"Yes." That's possibly the most definite Nathan's sounded all evening. "I just wish this…" He gestures vaguely, Man of science, he is not. "…whole evolution thing? Or whatever it's meant to be? Could have just skipped my family. I think we'd be better off. Give the ability to fly to someone who's interested." Well, he already told Mara before what he could do, and his voice is just low enough for that to not carry outside their table. So heck, why not. "Do you? Wonder about that?"

"Every day of my life." Mara likewise lowers her voice. "I would have loved for an ability that makes… sense. I mean, if I have to be saddled with this burden, it would have been nice to have one that didn't cause me to blackout." She hasn't experienced a blackout since the injection Doctor Suresh gave her, but she doesn't bring that up. "But then I count myself lucky. For all the trouble it's caused, there's still some good to come out of it."

"Really." Nathan looks unconvinced, but that's not much of a surprise. He cants his head a little to the side. "And what good have you found to come from it?"

"Know thy enemy," Mara murmurs. "It's a lot easier to catch a murderer when you've seen how they carried out their crime." If the admission of the exact nature of her visions bothers her, she isn't showing it. "Surely you've done something good with your own ability that you could not have done if you hadn't had it."

Nathan listens to this, thoughtfully, but on that last part, he just smiles faintly. "I guess so," he says, but turns the attention back onto her. "So is that your ability? Psychometry, I don't know what that is."

Mara considers how best to explain her ability, tipping her head from side to side. "Do you have anything of sentimental value on you? A gift from a family member? Something passed down? Anything like that?"

Sentimental. Nathan looks at Mara blankly, and starts to shake his head, before he hesitates and removes his wedding ring. He places this in the centre of the table and clasps his hands together, watching her with some wariness.

Mara reaches across the table to brush her fingers carefully over Nathan's right. The second she comes in contact with it, she jumps as though she's just gotten a jolt of electricity. Hazel eyes slide shut, lashes fluttering as she watches her vision play out before her. After a minute or two, she opens her eyes again and peers at the man in confusion. "That… has never happened before." She looks almost frightened. "Nathan… Oh…" She lifts her glass and shuts her eyes tightly as she knocks her head back to drink half the Collins.

Nathan watches her, distinctly uncomfortable. Her non-verdict, really, only adds to this. "That doesn't sound encouraging," he says, watching her down her drink, and he smiles towards a waitress who happens to veer closer, an indication she needs to occur, now. "You people just do whiskeys, right? Because I'd appreciate one," he tells her. "And a drink for my companion, too."

"Whiskey and cherry cola for me," Mara says after coming back up for air. If he's not going to be coy about what he really wants in his liquor, neither is she. "Thanks." She flashes a shaky smile to Nathan. Crap. How is she going to explain her vision to him?

Nathan nods once as the employee runs off to do their bidding, and he twists the ring around his finger. It's a nervous, fidgeting move. "So, what you saw was that good, huh?" he asks, in an attempt to prompt her.

"I usually only see the past. But… I think I just saw the future." Mara looks vaguely ill, lifting her drink to her lips again. "Usually, this is how it works - I touch something. I hit the floor, completely unconscious. I see the past. But I'm on a drug that's eliminated the blackouts. And now I saw the future."

"The— my future? Or… you know, I'm suddenly not having high hopes for it. Mara—" Nathan is cut off as the waitress promptly brings about their new drinks, and he indulges in a sip. "I can appreciate that is must be a huge revelation for you right now, but if you can be shocked after you tell me what you saw, I'd like that."

"I'm not sure I should tell you," Mara mutters, somehow managing an apologetic tone. "See, it's probably just a /possible/ future, right? And… And if my saying something made it come about…" She stops and looks away, "But if my /not/ saying something makes it come about…" The woman's head thunks down against the table and she groans.

Nathan winces at the headthunk, both hands moving to make sure both drinks are secure. "Okay. Well. How about you try me?" he says, patience slowly ebbing from his voice. "If it's any help, there's a big chance I won't believe you."

Mara peeks up over the barrier her arms created between herself and Nathan. "You're getting a divorce."

Blink. Bliiink. Nathan sits back in his chair and stares at the detective, before rather calming picking up his whiskey, and there goes half of it. He sets the glass down again, nice and gently, and lifts a hand as he tries to make sense of this. "I'm. As in, me and my wife?"

"Beautiful gal? Black hair, blue eyes? Mum to your kids? Yeah." Mara lifts her head and leans back in her chair slowly, afraid to make any sudden movements.

Nathan is still registering this, forgive him. "My two sons," he confirms, rigidly. He, too, is very still for a moment, before placing his hands on the edge of the table and standing up, rather sharply. "Well this has been fun. I think you should enjoy your drink now. I'm going to. Go drink somewhere else."

"You /asked/," Mara hisses sharply. "Now that you know, you can /prevent/ it, right?" Her heart is breaking and it can be seen in her eyes. "I'm sorry. You asked me… Please." Please what? She's not quite sure.

Nathan nods slowly, and picks up his drink to polish off. He takes out his wallet, lays down the money for both drinks on the table. "I did ask," he says. He keeps his gaze down, focusing on the money he's counting out, and he's basically unreadable at the moment. "And sure, I can prevent it. Thanks for the warning, detective."

Detective. Well that seals that then, doesn't it? Mara's lost any hope of possibly connecting with another of the so-called evolved. "I'm sorry." She climbs to her feet, looking about to tears. "I'm so sorry. Please, please, please." Please /what/? "Don't be angry with me. I've never done that before. It might not even be true. It probably isn't!"

Nathan finally looks at her properly, and he looks like he could be anywhere but here, and a little shocked all round. Possibly surprised that he even believes her as much as he does. "I've prevented the future before," he says, voice softening a little, perhaps for Mara's sake. "Nearly killed me, but, you know. It can be done."

"It's probably not even…" Mara trails off and shakes her head. "I'm sorry again. Here." She reaches into her pocket and procures a business card for Detective K.L. Damaris with a cell phone number scrawled on the back in purple ink. "If you ever need anything…"

Nathan takes the card with a nod, slipping it into his wallet and after just the briefest of hesitations, he takes out one of his own and hands it to her. The work phone line has been preemptively crossed out, what with he being unemployed and all, but on it reads other contact details. "You too," he says. "Good luck with not re-breaking your nose." Real smooth, Petrelli. Still, his world has been a little shook up, so can ya blame him, and he goes to leave.

Mara takes the card and slips it into the back pocket of her jeans, reclaiming her seat after Nathan departs. Hello, whiskey. She sits with her head in her hands, silently cursing herself for her truthfulness as she makes an attempt to drink until she forgets, or just doesn't care. Whichever comes first.

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