2009-12-21: Weep Not For the Memories



Date: December 21, 2009


A healed Peter fixes Brayden…

"Weep Not For the Memories"

Nathan Petrelli's Office

Nathan Petrelli's office isn't anything too fancy. Windows line the wall behind a large dark wooden desk with a computer on top. To the right of the room is a small circular meeting table with four chairs.

Having left Simon and Monty colouring happily in the office's reception area under KeLyssa's watchful eye (and being very oddly admired by the pair… he'd have to ask Anais about that later), Brayden is once again trying to open the files off his computer. He's dressed relatively well today in a black suit, crisp white dress shirt, and a red tie with yellow polka dots on it. He sits behind the desk and kicks the CPU. "How did I get here again? C'mon… piece of trash show me Nathan's old files. Gotta learn about this Linderman guy," he gives it another kick for good measure.

"I don't think kicking it works too well," a voice suddenly says from directly behind him. No one came in the office through the door, but this is a strange world, and— his brother just got a little stranger. There's something more confident in the way he stands, since the times he's seen Peter. A set to his shoulders, a slight grin— and he just appeared out of nowhere! "I'm pretty sure Linderman is dead, or I think he is. His Casino closed, but he was one of your biggest supporters, moneywise. Donated millions to your campaign for Congress three years ago. I think you used it on posters."

Brayden jumps at the voice, and his heart begins racing until he turns to see bed. "Geez Pete! Don't do that! Charlotte did that to me. It's enough to give me a heart attack!" His eyebrows furrow at the information about Linderman. "What about the Company? Was he involved in that? I need information…" He glances at the door and then around the rest of the room to make sure the pair are indeed alone. "Myself and your friend — Ms. Johnson — were threatened yesterday by a girl demanding information about Linderman and the Company. I know nothing about either. She… had an ability…" What that ability was Brayden still doesn't know… he really has no idea.

"Sorry. I know I said I'd call first next time, but— you're still young. Your heart shouldn't be that weak," Peter says, as he moves a little closer to the desk, frowning at the questions about Linderman. "I think so. He was a friend of mom and dad's, and was part of a picture of the Founders that I had— along with a few others." It's not one of the things he really asked about, but he assumes based on other facts he's found. Linderman hasn't been a really big issue that needed to be addressed, until now, apparently. "You will probably remember more about it than I do."

"Remember more about it? I remember nothing. NOTHING before a year and a half ago," Brayden says as he stares at Peter. "Seriously Pete, I'm starting this whole Senate thing, trying to take down a secret government organization, and trying to be a semi-competent father. And I still remember nothing." The father part is thrown in because the boys are visiting for a few days. He frowns as he sighs again. "She was crazy Pete. Crazy. And kept calling Ms Johnson Niki Sanders."

"Nathan, calm down," Peter says, sighing a bit at the panic, but blinking still at all the stuff being thrown about. Did Heidi let the kids come to New York or did he finally meet Claire? Niki causes a kind of grimace, but that's for another time— something he's not sure he could explain if he could. "Niki was Tracy's sister. She looked just like her, so it's a common mistake. But— Listen, Nathan, I have my memory back. And I know how to heal you— I did it before." With Niki.

"You did this before," Brayden repeats skeptically. To him? Did it work? He frowns as he studies Peter. "I'm glad you have your memory back…" Beat. "…you remember Logan then, right?" He swallows. He doesn't remember Logan, and Heidi counts it as a blessing for him. "Do… do I really want it back? What — what if Logan's still in there? What if it doesn't work the way you think it will and he takes over and I turn sociopathic again?"

"I remember Logan," Peter says, even though he technically remembers two of them. One from the future, one from the past. He hopes the present isn't going to happen the same way. "I think that was the point of having your memory erased, because it helped Niki. When she lost her memory, and when I healed her, the second personality she had, who was as bad as Logan— Jessica disappeared. She didn't come back when I healed her. She remembered everything that Jessica had done, and she was part of her, but she was Niki. I think the idea is that— you're stronger than him. But you can't just hide from it."

Brayden hmmms quietly. "I'm not hiding. Some things aren't worth the risk. Heidi didn't think it was." Of course Logan tried to kill Heidi. Twice. With a frown he sighs, "I need Nathan's memories, but I don't want Logan's trouble." He tightens his jaw before he finally says, "Alright," beat "fix me. But before you do, promise me something. If Logan resurfaces… take me out. I don't want to hurt Heidi or the kids." And the kids are here. In New York. Visiting. He swallows as he clamps his eyes shut, wholly unsure of exactly how this works.

"I'm not going to kill you, Nathan," Peter says, looking rather serious for a moment. "But there's ways to control Logan. I did it before and I promise I'll do it again if I have to." Logan isn't the only one that's dangerous in the family, but they're dangerous for very different reasons… Stepping closer, he reaches up to touch his brother's shoulders, looking him over. "There's things I did that I don't want you to remember either… that I wish I could forget— then there's also things I don't remember about myself that you might…" The future him. Who he never met. But is the one who did this to his brother in the first place. The one who failed to fix it, in the end. That died before it could be fixed.

The hands raise up to touch his brother's face, and then he steps forward again, pulling his brother into a hug, pressing his forehead against his cheek. He doesn't need to use his hands for this. "I'll read your thoughts once this is done, and make sure it's not Logan I'm talking to." And then… there's a sudden warmth spreading from where they touch.

There's a moment where Brayden almost objects to Peter's comment, but what's the use? The Alpha Protocol needs to be stopped and as it stands he's crippled to help, even if he manages to get into their good graces. The warm feeling is reassuring, tingly even, and then things begin to come back to him. Memories. Nathan's memories: He remembers their childhood. His wedding. The birth of his sons. His first flight. Linderman. The Company. Niki Sanders. Jessica. Logan's memories: Pinehearst. Arthur Petrelli. Flying out of the car with Heidi in it (on purpose). Drugging Jack.

Cringing, Nathan steps back from the contact to catch his breath. Logan was everything everyone had said and more. His heart races as he fights for air. "I. Remember. Everything." After several moments he catches his breath. His jaw tightens as he crosses his arms over his chest. For better or worse, he remembers vividly. Eyes are narrowed at Peter. "I'm me, Pete." The tone is mirthless, very different from Brayden.

Part of the memories also include Peter. Young and old. Present and future. Peter who tried to confess that he committed murder to a brother who wasn't really his brother. Peter who he shot and almost killed as Logan, and then who fought back rather viciously, leaving him stranged in Central Park in great pain. Peter who then got locked away from the Company and wasn't allowed to be seen. And a Peter from the future, face scarred, weary and battle worn, who confessed to trying to stop Logan for one main reason. Because if he could save his brother, maybe his brother could keep him from becoming the man he would.

Stepping back, he winces a little as he switches towards telepathy, making sure, before he's moving back, rubbing his forehead. "Yeah, it's you."

And the memories about Peter don't leave a positive mark on Nathan's face. The Brayden naivety is gone. That sparkle in his eyes, that joy, has vanished. Now, the weight of the world rests heavily on his shoulders. There's no worry, but a hardened concern that shapes his exterior. The notion of hope is far from Nathan's lips. The dimpled grin is gone for the time being. He tries desperately to stay numb. As numb as he can, determined to process his own thoughts and feelings later.

Silently, he crosses his arms over his chest as he leans against the desk semi-comfortably. His eyes are still narrowed as he stares at his brother. Decisively he gets down to business. There's no time for some kind of joyful reunion. There's no joy to be had at this moment; not for Nathan. He feels torn, but he suppresses the feeling as best he can. "Tell me what you know about the Alpha Protocol."

"I'm glad you're back, Nathan," Peter says softly, though there's some doubt in his voice as he says that. Now that his brother remembers what he did as well as Logan… in some ways he already misses the man he'd become in the last year, though he knew this would happen. Stepping away a bit, he puts some physical distance between them. "I can't tell you that much. They didn't really trust me a lot— didn't let me get involved in a lot of things. But I'll tell you what I can." Mostly about Max. Ivory. Bert, who he thinks defected.

"The trains, the dragging off of people, all of it reminded me of the future that I'd seen before, except then it was humans who were carted off and put into camps." And it was Logan who was behind most of it. "You should probably know that— dad died. So did… the me from the Future. And Niki."

Focusing on the words themselves, Nathan pushes the emotions aside as best he can, but he's losing in a way. "How did they die?" the words are hisses through a clenched jaw. He's not angry at Pete, but Heidi was right, in a way he was better before when he didn't remember anything. There is, however, one reassurance now that he has his memory back: he didn't do it. Logan wasn't responsible or else he'd remember.

"So they carted people like us on trains? Are they putting us in camps then?" He hmmms quietly as his hands ball into fists. "Who is responsible? Do you know?" Beat. "They're taking everyone. Bennet told me." He swallows.

"I don't know exactly how dad died. I wasn't there. He'd attacked me, nearly killed me. I was in a coma for a month before Niki and Jack found me," Peter explains, wincing a little at the memory. And the lack of memory. "The future me— after he erased your memory he somehow overloaded himself. Lost all his abilities. Kory told me he died trying to rescue her from some muggers. Since he didn't regen anymore he…" Just died. But…

"Niki died only a couple months ago, I was told. An earthquake. Something natural." Or so he hopes. If someone was involved… "But they didn't tell me anything in Alpha Protocol. They made me think that I was helping defend the country against terrorists. I wasn't told where they were being taken, or that people even were getting taken at all. Tracy— Tracy thought that they wanted to use me as a weapon."

Swallowing hard, Nathan turns to face the window, frowning at the outdoors. His lips twitch with conflicted emotions as he stares at the city outside. His arms remain folded across his chest. "Sorry about the coma," he says, although the words lack that genuine sincerity that Brayden possessed in everything he did and said. He continues to stare at the city. Something about the bustle is comforting at this moment. "Who told you about Niki?" Nothing is mentioned about their father or what he'd done while partnered with Arthur.

Finally he turns back to face Peter, eyebrows furrowing, "Tracy?" He doesn't know who Tracy is. "I'm trying to get on the committee for the Protocol." Trying to meet Peter's gaze, he purses his lips, "Pete, we need to keep my memory gain to ourselves. If I'm going to get on the committee, they need to think I'm malleable. Bennet thinks we can take them down from the inside out, but I need to be on that committee."

"Cam. The boy that she and D.L. had taken in," Peter explains, looking down and away. "And her son, too, but that was later." When he didn't remember being told by Cam at all. There's a sudden wince and at his failure to use names that he's supposed to be using. Like… Linda. "Nevermind. Don't worry about it. Linda knows more about Protcol than I do, I think. I can keep the memory regain to myself, though Mom will probably want to know too."

There's a quiet pause, as he looks back up. "Bennet's helping you? I don't know if I can help you get on the commitee, but… I'll do what I can to stop them. What they're doing is against everything I've been trying to stop."

"Linda knows things about their inner workings," Nathan says quietly. "Bennet's working for them, and is taking them down from the inside." Or he's trying to set Nathan up. With furrowed eyebrows he hrms. "We can't go in there guns blazing. This has to go down quietly otherwise things will go the other direction. The quieter the Alpha Protocol disappears, the less likely people like us will coordinate an attack of their own. With coordinated efforts, your view of the future would come true." Of course, Logan's all merged now. Nathan wouldn't let his sociopathic self take over.

"Unfortunately I don't know if there's any stopping someone coordinating an attack on their own. If they're taking everyone it's already too wide spread," Peter says softly, keeping a distance, but looking greatful that this is Nathan, and not Logan trying to use it as a power grab. "People like us are going to panick and get reckless. No one likes being taken. Even if they're using non-lethal force, people will use lethal force to ensure their own freedom…" He knows, in many ways, he might. If he didn't avoid it. "I'll see what I can do to make sure things don't go that far."

"We can't have all-out war," Nathan says softly. "It can only end badly." He frowns and shakes his head, "No, this has to happen quietly. I'm going to try to find a way to cut their funding. Linda says that they have a massive budget. If we can get an inquiry into expenditures the entire project will be cut. American people care about where their tax dollars go." He clears his throat. "Money talks. In this case we need to shut it up. But it will only work if the general public thinks there is no threat to their security."

"People are running for their lives — I get that — but if people with abilities retaliate, then the government's actions are legitimated and we will have war."

"I'll let you and Linda handle the politics and real world stuff, and I'll do what I can to keep the people with abilities from raining fire down on them," Peter says, though it sounds like he doubts this will work. Who knows how many people they've locked up. "I won't stop them from trying to free people, though— I'll just make sure they do it carefully and quietly as possible. People shouldn't be locked away."

"Agreed. And in the meantime no one can know we're talking," Nathan says quickly. "Especially if you help free prisoners. In fact, it's probably best if people think we've had a falling out." He frowns. Somehow this doesn't seem so unbelievable now. "If I'm going to work the President — " this leaves a bubbly feeling in the pit of Nathan's stomach " — they can't be hesitant about my current allegiance." He knows that he's going to appear a villain to their people, but to be helpful… how can't he? "If I get on the committee, Bennet and I are going to push Protocol to pursue level 5 lock-ups. Hopefully that will buy us enough time to cut the purse strings." Beat. "If I hear about the location of prisoners I'll pass that on as best I can. And I'll work at getting a human rights inquiry into the facility. Linda tells me best practices are long forgotten."

"The people from Level Five escaped?" Peter says, eyes widening a bit at this revelation. It worries him quite a bit. Considering a few of the ones who could have gotten out. Some he might think are okay. Others he'd rather not see the light of day again. Like a certain woman who kileld him. Twice. In a row. "All right. Falling out it is. I'll have to meet with you in secret. Either invisible or in your dreams. Now that I know how to dreamwalk again. Though it's a shame I won't get to spend time with the boys." Cause that's what a falling out means…

"I'm sorry Pete, I think the only way to avoid a giant war is to implode the AP. And to get into the Protocol, I need to be spotless. Having amnesia actually might give me a leg up." Who knew that lack of experience could be of any benefit? The good humour that was in his eyes holds a very small glimmer at the mention of the boys. "Simon and Monty will be going home today, anyways," Nathan says with a sigh. "I can't have them near this." He raises a hand to his forehead. "They were hoping to see you. And Ma — who I told them is in Fiji." At this he can't help but smirk. "Can you imagine Ma in Fiji?" the smirk broadens into a toothy grin.

"Actually I can," Peter says, with a grin and a hint of a laugh. "Mom, laying on a beach, sipping wine. Probably with Church leering over her shoulder as her bodyguard." Good ol Laurence Church, a family friend of old. And a Company Agent that they didn't know of. But Peter does now. "They liked using me when I had amnesia, so I can see it working. I'll probably pretend I still have amnesia around them too— gives me an advantage." This time, though he stops stepping back, and moves forward, touching his brother's arm. "Be careful. I'll check in with you when I can— as under the radar as possible."

With a nod Nathan offers Peter a small smile before squeezing Peter's shoulder with the opposite hand. "We'll get through this Pete, I promise." Can he promise that? Probably not, but without that determined hope, what would be the point? He'd become a hopeless coward incapable of doing the task at hand. "Stay in touch. And take care of yourself." The smile fades as he presses his lips into a thin line.

"I don't take care of myself very well," Peter admits with a laugh, pulling back from him. "Good thing I can't die," he tosses out, before he runs a hand through his too long hair— and then vanishes from the room entirely. It's that sudden disappearance of teleportation, instead of the fade out of invisibility.

Pete's disappearance leaves Nathan alone, considering everything he knows in Nathan, Logan's, and Brayden's memories. "That's what worries me, Pete." Nathan confesses to the empty room. "That's precisely what worries me."

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