2007-06-03: What Do You Propose?

Starring:

Peter_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Peter and Nathan go shopping for puppies, and Peter gets an idea.

Date It Happened: 3rd of June, 2007

What Do You Propose?


A Pet Store

After a night of observation, and lots of sleep and fluids, the doctors had no other choice but to release Peter when he made the formal request to go home. Despite the fact none of them could figure out what happened to him, he did not consent to any further tests and used his right as an independant adult to make his own decision and go home. Which is where he went. After most of a day, he's looking a lot better, nearly good as new. Reunited with his puppy, who's missed him greatly, and his family and friends, he had an interesting conversation with his brother, which led him where they are now.

Outside a pet store.

"So where'd you get the idea for getting Heidi and the boys a dog?" he asks, turning towards the man with him, eyebrow raising.

There are really only a few people in the world that Nathan can picture himself buying a dog with. Sorry, Peter, you are one of them, and really had little choice in the matter. Nathan buries his hands in his pockets as he glances over the outside of the store, then glances to Peter with a restless shrug. "I know Simon's been wanting one for a while," he says. "A cat can only do so much. Besides. The President owns a dog, doesn't he?"

Peter will have to content himself with this not-totally-an-answer, because Nathan then promptly leads the way inside, glancing towards the wall of fish tanks to the left. "Not like we don't have room for it," he adds, now looking around. Maybe there's an aisle saying 'Dog Section' or something. It's been a while since he's meandered through a pet store, okay?

Handy that he might be able to talk to them, isn't it? Though Nathan may only vaguely remember the… pigeon talking incident from Heidi's rescue. Peter doesn't seem to mind being dragged along to this, though he does side glance at the answers. Those aren't real answers, his eyes say, though he leaves it unverbalized. "I suppose I've never heard of a President than owns a ferret or a bunny rabbit," he admits, before he reaches to touch his brother's arm and move him towards the dog section.

Not hard to find. Just follow the barking and the gawking children.

Puppies all, there's a whole two walls dedicated to dogs, hidden behind glass to seperate them from potential owners. There's booths for holding the puppies while deciding whether to own. All sport promises of vaccinations, shots, and even spay and neuter thrown in. "Any thoughts on a breed?"

Nathan follows both Peter and the sound of barking, and then stops, almost warily eyeing the caged dogs. They're just all so… cute. He's not big on finding things cute. "Anything that's not one of those small yappy kinds," he says. "Simon… well I think he'd own a veloceraptor if he had his way." So what's the closest thing to a raptor? Nathan isn't so much looking at the dogs within the cases as they peruse, first reading the info printed out and taped to each case before observing the puppies. "Or a Pokemon, and unless animals start developing superpowers, he's out of luck." He left out the 'too', considering the publicness of the place, figuring Peter can add it in on his own.

That raised eyebrow gets raised again, a tug on the side of his mouth hinting towards a smile. "Doubt that'll happen. But not all small dogs are yappy…" Peter adds, in defense of his puppy, whom he adores. Snowy is a small dog, and always will be. Though Eskies can be just as big as most of the dogs his brother would probably prefer. "Okay— not a small dog… Definitely not any of the terriers, then," he says, looking at the cute Yorkshire, and the equally adorable Bostons, and instead motioning his brother further away… toward the bigger puppies. They have all kinds. "Any of these you could stand waking up to every morning?" he gestures towards the dogs. Pit bulls probably wouldn't have been a good call, but there's some pretty dogs.

Nathan comes to stand in front of a couple of Labrador puppies, one of which is asleep despite the noise and attention of the pet store, and the other scrabbles excitedly at the glass. PICK ME PICK ME. No. Not today. Nathan has heard bad things about Labradors, specifically how awful the dog-smell can get, even if they're pretty conventional dogs. He moves on. At Peter's question, he shrugs a little wearily. For someone picking out a cute puppy, Nathan is kind of on the gloomy side. Then, he spots the Rottweilers, and heads directly over. They look big, for puppies, and they're play fighting. So far, so good. "I had a dog," he says, conversationally, crouching a little so he can read the info pamphlet. "This was before you." Pre-Peter!

"I had a couple dogs growing up too, remember? Figured you did. Our father seemed to accept the idea of dogs more than any other animal," Peter admits, remembering the few dogs he'd had growing up. Not large dogs, any of them, but they'd been bigger than his current one— which is just cute. The Rottweilers are observed quietly, as he kneels down to look in on them. "I guess this could sort of pass for a dinosaur," he says, watching the puppies play, and then glancing towards his brother and his pamphlet. "This the kind of dog you had when you were young?" Pre-Peter!

"That's right," Nathan says, absently, when Peter reminds him he owned dogs. By that time, Nathan was heading into the vast, scary world of adulthood. Oh age gap. "No, I had a German Shephard," he says. He clears his throat. "Hercules." No, not a stupid name at all. The pamphlet is set down, and he kneels along side Peter to take a proper look. The two puppies, both males, seem pretty much distracted by fighting each other. Nathan observes - perhaps figuring he'll pick whoever reins surpreme. "I'll take the winner," he even says, although he sounds like he's joking. Maybe.

Fourteen year age gap is pretty large. Led his brother to being not just a brother, but almost a second father figure. Not to mention object of hero worship. Knelt as he is, Peter glances over, trying to picture his brother with a German Shepherd, and imagining him young from his pictures, and— "I think I might have a picture of you and… Hercules." When Peter moved out, he took a lot of the family photos with him. He's the one with whose far more sentimental than most. "Surprised you forgot about my dog. You always used to call him MacGyver when you'd come home from college. …and you do know they're playing? How are you going to know which one wins?" he asks, squinting into the glass cage. How do you know which one wins, really?

"Huh. That wasn't his name?" Nathan asks, then shrugs. "I don't know, Peter, the one that looks like— " At that stage, a pet store employee chooses to walk over, and Nathan stands up with a smile, nodding when asked if they'd like assistance. "Yeah, I'd like to look at…" He glances back at the case. Wait for it. Wait for it. He points, just as the slightly larger of the two puppies knocks his brother over (even if his ear is getting bitten at the same time). "That one." Totally won.

"No, that wasn't his name," Peter says, shaking his head and reaching up to push back hair that's actually starting to curl at his forehead when not spiked up or slicked back. Looks like he's managed to keep Elle from taking the scissors to his hair again recently. Not out of control bangs of doom, or anything, but definitely curling onto his forehead. It's the choice of one dog over the other that makes him frown, especially when the employee steps around to get out the slightly bigger brother, and pick him up, carrying him over and leading them to a private booth where they can examine him. Unfortunately, the younger brother's eyes are for the puppy left behind. "Nathan…" Uh oh.

Nathan is mostly oblivious to this dilemma, following the employee and looking over his shoulder back at Peter when his name is said. "Pete?" A glance towards the now lonely puppy, who has his paws pressed up against the glass. BIG SAD BROWN EYES, tail wagging hopefully. "No."

However, the employee has paused, keeping the wriggling puppy mostly calm in her hands. "Would you like to see the other one too?" she asks, directing this question to Peter.

Look at those eyes! How can you say no to those eyes! Peter looks from the puppy to his brother as he says no, making almost the same sad eyes, but without the hopefulness of a tailwagging to go along with it. A rottweiler probably won't handle living in the apartment he has, not like Snowy has adjusted. So it's not as if he can take the puppy for his own. However…

"Nathan— you have two sons. And it's not like you don't have enough room for another— and he might be happier to have a playmate." …A brother. And as if to emphasize this request, he even puts a hand on his brother's arm. But he won't ask the lady to bring the other one out. It's not his decision. It's just his decision to give his brother a hard time about it.

You gotta be kidding. Nathan gives Peter an exasperated look. He was hesitant about even getting one dog, let alone two! However, he doesn't say 'no' right away. "Let's just see if we can get one dog to like me before we think about getting two, alright?" he says, to both his brother and the employee. Peter gets an arm-touch as well - but mostly to urge him away from the lonely puppy and towards the booth.

The lonely puppy yips. Sadly.

Ignoring the yipping sad puppy might be difficult. The last time Peter'd been in this pet store he heard the voice of a sick bunny. But he allows himself to be pulled along into the booth with the one already chosen, and settles down against the bench to watch and see if the puppy responds well to his brother. "So this is just for the boys? Not— does Heidi know you might be getting a dog? I know she enjoyed spending time with Snowy."

When handed the puppy, yes, Nathan is a little awkward. He tries mostly to hold the squirming thing out from himself at arms' length, before feeling a tad guilty for that and bringing it in to hold properly, dog hair on his shirt be damned. "Well, I figured Monty might need a pick me up like this since his arm," he says. "I know Heidi likes animals. It's for all of them, I guess." He lifts his chin before his face can get licked.

"I think it's a good idea, Nathan," Peter says, giving his brother some honest assurance and praise before he reaches out and puts a hand on the puppy's back, just scratching around the dog's spine as it crawls over his brother. "Looks like he likes you, at least," he notes, before he glances outside the booth and back towards the glass that the other dog is looking through. "Excuse me— are they related?" he asks the employee, looking from the dog in the cage still, to the one crawling on his brother.

The answer is as he expected. "They're the last remaining of their litter."

Brothers. Cue sad expression turned towards his older brother again.

"Peter," Nathan sighs. Then looks at the puppy in his hands, who is twisting this way and that for affection from both, little paws fixed against his chest. At least having two would prevent in house fighting, he supposes. Peter and Nathan just weren't close enough in terms of age to have such problems, but Monty and Simon are only two years apart, after all.

And hell. He's not the one who has to take care of whatever animals he brings home.

"Let's see the other one," he finally concedes. The employee smiles brightly to Peter, and moves off to retrieve the formerly left behind puppy. "If Heidi doesn't like it, I'm telling her this was your idea."

As soon as his brother conceeds to unspoken requests, Peter actually smiles. A legitimate smile, instead of his usual lopsided ones. Standing, he holds the door to the booth open for the young woman, and stands outside waiting for the delivery of the puppy. A puppy which is no doubt excited. "I'll take full responsibility," he says, still pleased for the little dog by the time it's brought over. And when the puppy does arrive, he kneels down and practically hugs the puppy, letting him lick his face, even if his brother's avoided such affections. This really was a good idea.

Nathan just… shakes his head. Perhaps any other time, he would have stuck to his guns. But the overwhelming desire to fix his family, to trust Peter when it comes to this sort of thing, and maybe even to be a hero when he brings home not one but two puppies, well… He can make exceptions. He sets his own dog down to go and play with his littermate and Peter, and starts interrogating the employee. Do they bark a lot, how big do they get, are they good around children, can they be trained to not eat the cat, what shots have they had, do they shed every summer… it goes on and on. As can only be expected. But most of his mental checklist gets ticked, and finally he nods, and gets out his chequebook. This had better not like when they got the boys goldfish and the only people remembering to feed 'em were Heidi and the hired help. "I figure I buy enough dogs, it'll have to move me out of the dog house, right?" he says, a dry joke, when the employee goes to check things.

Sure, Peter loves his cute fluffy dog that can fit tucked under his arm, but these larger puppies have their own charm too. As his brother takes care of all of the important and logical things, he tries his best to remember the young woman he met who could talk to rabbits, and tries to hear their voices. What he does hear is muddled and out of place, very simple and not the same as the rabbit at all. But they're happy, and the puppies love each other and love the idea of having a human friend to play with. Little do they know they'll have a whole household. At his brother's joke, he laughs. "Yeah, suppose so. If nothing else it'll move you to the couch. It's a very nice couch." Hey, if his brother can joke, so can he.

Nathan kneels down, then, to absently play with the puppies, one of which tries to playbite his hand. "And no dogs will be allowed on it, right boys?" he says. Yeah, good luck with that, Nathan. He picks up the other one he hadn't held before, studying him absently. "I'm not deluded enough into thinking this will fix anything, anyway," he adds, absently. "I'm pretty sure only time's gonna do that. Heidi's made that clear enough." No, everything isn't perfect at home. Just marginally better.

"Guess this is really just a distraction," Peter says, even as he scritches at the puppies' ears. Both of them. One hand each. They like it, he can tell that much. "Won't fix things, yeah, but— it could cool things down long enough that you can /have/ the time she needs." Cause the problem with needing time… some people don't want to stick around for the time required. Letting his hands move away from the dogs, he puts one on his brother's arm and keeps it there, looking up at him with a more serious expression, "Have you thought of— remember what you told me to do with Elle. The clean slate thing?" He'd been /drunk/. He still remembers that? Apparently. "Have you thought of trying the same thing with Heidi? Not sure it'll work with Elle, but— maybe…"

Nathan had been drunk also, but he too remembers, if vaguely, this conversation, the advice he'd given. "You and Elle had maybe a few months, Pete," he points out, glancing up from the two little dogs to look at his brother, when that hand touches his arm. "I've been with Heidi a long time, how do you propose we reset that?"

"Only a month before— it happened," Peter corrects, implying the mind-wipe. It hadn't been that long. Their relationship had been rather quick to form, and fast paced. That's just the way they worked. Still, he's not about to blurt 'mindwipe' where people might here. 'It' is so open to interpretation. "I'm not 'proposing' that you reset, just…" He trails off, suddenly thinking of something thanks to his brother's word usage. "You could propose again. Symbolic renewal of vows and all— maybe even new rings. Excuse to dress up and invite all your new Senator buddies. They don't need to know why you're renewing your vows. The two of you have been married what… Fifteen years? Anniversary."

The look Peter gets is one of evaluation - are you making some kind of joke? is this the humour of youth today? - then of cynicism. "I… that's a real romantic thought, Pete, but…" But what? Nathan would like to think that Heidi is too pragmatic for this kind of thing, but she's always so happily surprised when it comes to these gestures. The dog in his hands yips to be put down, and he does so, the puppy promptly tackling his brother with a growl about as threatening as a cat's purr. "And you think it'd work?" He's not sold, but, it's something to think about.

Eyes downcasting at the mention of romanticism, Peter looks mildly embarassed, even as he turns that into a hint of a tease, "I think I got all the romantic bones in our family anyway. Should share some of the ideas with you." If it's turned into a joke, it's less embarassing. But he still doesn't look up for a time, keeping one hand on his brother's arm up until the puppy tackles him. Losing balance he has knelt down, he ends up sitting fully in the booth, with a puppy attacking his face. With licks instead of teeth. Wrapping his arms around him to try and calm him, he looks up towards his brother and answers the question the only way he knows how. "Do you think it'd hurt?"

"Well, no," Nathan says, moving to help relieve Peter of the hyperactive attack puppy. "It wouldn't hurt." He doesn't voice his concerns out loud - like how she might totally see through this or maybe feel insulted by this gesture or… women are difficult. There are many, many different outcomes. But maybe this is exactly what's needed.

ugh.

"I don't particularly want to call public attention to our problems. Unless we can make it into an anniversary thing." He gets to his feet, the whole kneeling thing quickly getting uncomfortable. "Besides, we already have perfectly good rings." (It's platinum.) "But, I'll think about it."

"Perfectly good rings— which were a symbol of a vow that you broke," Peter says, not keeping his voice anywhere near as low as he probably should. But there's a lot of dogs still barking around, including the two puppies that they've just claimed as part of the Petrelli family. "Might be a good symbol to get brand new rings to go with new vows." Yeah. Sometimes he can be a little blunt. This would be one of the times.

Nathan can appreciate bluntness - hell, he rarely pussyfoots around any issue if he has something to say to Peter, or anyone. And in this case, Peter is even right! Nathan agrees with him. But despite all this, Peter's words still manage to rub him the wrong way. It's true that their age gap made Nathan, for a long time if not still, a second kind of father-figure. And being told and shown the error of his ways by someone on the other end of that dynamic, well, it's just a pride issue. "I said I'd think about it," he says, tone clipped. "I'm gonna go see what's taking her so long, keep an eye on the dogs."

Damn stright Peter's right. But yes, pride. It's actually the same thing that'd gotten him in trouble with their real father. Whenever he'd get blunt and point out the error of his ways— yeah, that always went over well. In a seated position on the floor, he pulls both the puppies in close, "I'll be right here." That's all he'll say. If his brother said he'll think about it— he'll have to trust that he will. Though if nothing happens in a week, he might bring it up again. Just like all those 'You have to tell Heidi's got brought up. Over and over.

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