2007-05-24: When is it Safe to Move Forward?


Peter_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: After the Elena-in-a-Chicken-Suit hilarity, Peter and Heidi head home to Hyde Park. Heidi wonders if she's doing the right thing, and Peter draws a parallel.

Date It Happened: 24 MAY 2007

When is it Safe to Move Forward?

Inside a Cab, NYC

So, after leaving Cass' store and heading out onto the street, Heidi is mostly silent as they wait for a cab. She doesn't see the need to bother George at the moment; a cab is just as good during the day, if not better, considering the fact that there are taxis everywhere. It's not long before she and Peter are sitting in the back of one. Coincidentally, the driver is wearing headphones and can hardly hear a damn thing they're saying, let alone figure out where they're asking to go. Eventually, they're on their way, though, traversing the streets as best they can around this time of day.

She looks through her bag. The kids will love to pick out a Beanie Baby for themselves, even if they're boys and getting older. Kids love beanie babies no matter what their age. It's possible Nathan will even want one, too. They're /CUTE./ Unfortunately, the prior hilarity has worn off in the face of having nothing to keep her smiling, and Heidi once again looks worn, tired. It's going to be awhile before she's fully back to her old self, and going home where she'll doubtlessly see Nathan is more than a little stressful.

Heidi still doesn't want him to touch her.

"Thanks for coming with me, Pete," she says, leaning back against the seat. "I wasn't sure how I was going to get in touch with you… After what happened."


In the back of the cab, Peter passes across a card to swipe because he intends to pay for the cab ride on his own. At this point he's not sure if he'll be having the poor driver turn around and head back to his apartment afterwards or not. Elle's place would be closer, if it comes to that. Once he's sat down, the tape in his pocket becomes more and more uncomfortable and he has to shift so he can pull it out and shove it back into the recorder. There's enough incriminating evidence on the camera for himself that he may never share it with anone else. Ever.

"No problem, Heidi," he says, looking over at her with a hint of a smile, lopsided as it may be. "Hate to state the obvious… but you do know where I live." Of course that's the problem, so… "Or you could have called me." There's a few moments of silence to follow, at least from him.

"How're you doing? Elena told me she helped Nathan find you, and from the sound of it she ended up watching the boys for a bit too."


Ah, how's she doing? That's a pretty loaded question, and a very difficult one for Heidi to even begin to answer. "Well… I'm okay," is her initial tentative answer. Physically, she does look better than she's looked over the past week, but Peter wouldn't know that, given that he hasn't seen her. There are still dark circles under her eyes, she's still got a gash across the back of her hand - at least that's no longer open - and she's been wearing jeans and putting her hair back, because it's easy.

But there's a depression that's hanging around, despite the fact that she was able to laugh just a little while ago. "I didn't want to see you," she admits quietly, a melancholy smile appearing for a second. "Didn't want to talk to you, or Nathan, or anyone when it happened." She looks up at that, steely eyes meeting brown. "You remind me of him, Peter, and you knew… I know it's good that I didn't hear it from you, but I was mad." Heidi never would have asked her brother-in-law to tell her what her husband was doing. That's something that was Nathan's responsibility.

"I really don't know what I'm going to do," she admits, the smile disappearing to be replaced by a glassy-eyed stare. "I'm at this point where I just feel— Helpless. When I saw Nathan standing at my door, I wasn't /ready./ Elena, she… If I tell you something, will you… Not tell her?" Because it's a little personal.


No, she's really not okay. And why would she be? Peter doesn't even really look at her as she speaks, keeping his eyes on a spot in the back of the front passenger side of the taxi— which of course has no passenger. In some ways she knows this expression. It's when he's withdrawing without actually leaving. Should he have the opportunity to leave, he probably would. Stuck in a moving vehicle makes that difficult, though. "Know you were mad," he says after a moment, that comment carrying quite a bit of weight. It also seems to have pushed him deeper into this withdraw.

That changes some when she mentions her helplessness, and looks with those eyes. He glances over towards her briefly, before he looks back to the spot. He has no idea what to tell her with that. It's Nathan's job to fix things at this point, not hers, but he's not even sure he can say that much…

"I won't tell her," is what he finally says, looking back with interest in what she's talking about.


Yeah, not okay at all yet. And what she just said, she knows it was hurtful, especially to someone she really does care about. Though Heidi's never been one to mince words, what she said to Peter really was more out of spite than anything, which … isn't something she's even remotely seeking to accomplish. "I'm sorry, Peter. I didn't mean it like that. It wasn't just you, it was everyone."

She can sense it, though. He's pulling away, and she hasn't the energy to drag him back right now. So she leans against the door, face pressed against the (hopefully clean) cool window, eyes staring outward as buildings rocket by. "I want someone to tell me that it's going to be okay." But obviously, no one can, because no one knows that for certain.

Still looking out the window, Heidi attempts to figure out how to say this without sounding ridiculous. "I think she…" Pausing, she looks to the driver, whose music is so loud, she can hear it. No chance of him overhearing. "…I think she did something to Nathan and I." It's a hunch. Sitting up a little, she fixes Peter with an odd look. "Like, something to— " Diplomatically put — "Push us back together."


"I know, really," Peter says, trying to show that he does understand what she means. There's just… a lot going on that's hurtful and he's trying to withdraw subconsiously to protect himself. It's just something he does. It's not that he's upset at her at all, because he's not. "It was a rough night." And it didn't stop being rough the next few days, for either of them. For her it's still rough.

"Afraid I can't tell you that," he says, understanding what she means more than he can even admit. "Nathan does love you… and maybe that'll be enough. But I know he messed up. Told him as much. Soon as you got back I tried to tell him he needed to tell you everything. With the…" Since the cab driver might still listen even only a little, he just makes a hand gesture, pushing his palm through the air. She knows. The /flying thing./ "Probably just thought you wouldn't believe him. And with… with Mara… I don't know. Could just be a matter of being too ashamed. The stuff with Claire— whoever her mother was…" He has no idea. "… that was years ago. Might've been easier to tell you that. This is far more recent. More shameful."

He's not totally sure that's the reason why, but it sounds good to him… Doesn't excuse his brother, though. "Push you back together— like make you feel better about things?" Cause the proper release of neurotransmitters could make someone a lot more comfortable with being around people…


The whole situation is complicated to hell and back. Heidi hates it, she knows Peter hates it. She knows Nathan is sorry. But what he did is grounds for divorce, not only in society, but in the Bible, as well. She doesn't have to stay with him, but she loves him. She wants to make this work, but it's getting past these first hurdles that's killing her.

"He's… been trying. If it weren't for the past few weeks…" She leaves that hanging, because even Heidi can't say she would have left him for sure. His /being there/ has helped, though, letting her know that he does care for her. Love? She's not sure yet. To her, 'love' would indicate a lack of desire to sleep with someone else. Sure, she's /looked./ Who hasn't? But if it came down to choosing to do or not to do the deed, she wouldn't, because she's married. She took vows, and she's followed them. "He wouldn't have had to tell me at all if he didn't do it." Yeah, it's not really the fact that he didn't tell her, it's that he did it at /all./

When Peter questions her observation, she looks distinctly embarrassed. her face is almost as red as chicken-Elena's was. "N—no, more like making me feel worse about things that weren't happening." That's an excellent way to put it, without telling Peter that she was really, /REALLY/ attracted to Nathan for a few minutes. "Please say that makes sense."


It's hard. But unfortunate the whole cheating conversation… is one he's not too comfortable going into. But he does know this. "It's not your fault, Heidi," Peter says, reaching over from his side of the cab to touch the hand that'd been sorting through the bags of beanie babies that she'd just bought. They're cute, yes, but right now she needs physical contact, and reassurances that it wasn't her. "None of this is your fault." It isn't because of what abilities she doesn't have, or where she comes from, or anything else. Not to do with her looks, or her personality. It's her husband's fault. Something that he's going to have to make up for.

She's not wrong to give him a chance, either. Though she doesn't say anything about that.

But her embarassment makes him look a little sheepish, looking away for a moment before he ponders how to best respond to that. "It does, yeah— but— I don't think she would have intended to make you feel like that. Elena cares about you. If she did it on purpose… she probably just wanted to help. …But— does that mean you and Nathan haven't… in how long?" This may be a little TOO personal, but… now he's being a nurse. And a quick glance is given to the cabbie to make sure he's still listening to music.


It's easy enough for people to say it's not her fault, but there's still the feeling that she could have done something differently to keep him… What, interested? Maybe she shouldn't have left when he asked her to. Maybe that was the problem. Heidi knows it damn well isn't, that it's not her fault at all, but she can't accept that. Because it just doesn't make sense that he'd go to someone else if he knew he could just pick up the phone, and she'd be on the next flight back to New York. "I want to believe that, Peter," she mumbles.

The chance she's giving him is pretty much a one-time thing. He doesn't want her helping with his senatorial race, so she's staying ut of it, but she can't help thinking that she should get herself involved. Would that push him away, or cement their relationship?

"I don't think she knew she was doing it, either," Heidi replies uncomfortably, cheeks flushing even redder (If that's possible) when Peter asks her about her relationship with Nathan. Wide blue eyes stare probably for longer than Heidi intends to, but she's busy trying to figure out if she should answer that. "I… uh." Okay, they're both adults here. And Heidi and Nathan are married, so… "It was before I found out about Mara. Peter, I don't want him anywhere near me right now. I know it seems stupid, because…" She shakes her head. "I don't know how to put it. He isn't the same person."


Thing is he didn't think he could pick up a phone and bring her back to New York. It's not that simple, or that easy. The world doesn't work in some perfect scale like that. There'd been so much going on. They hadn't planned what happened between them, and it hadn't just been about lust or phyiscal. It'd been about emotional need… and emotional need that his brother had decided to close off from his wife. To protect her, yes, but that definitely doesn't make it her fault. "Then believe it," Peter says, not sure what else to say on that.

"Listen… I can't tell you what to do, or how to feel. And maybe the two of you could just go to some kind of counseling and talk things through. All I know is… Nathan has changed, but in some important ways, it wasn't for the worst. You need to see that. What he did— you know why he was working with Linderman? Why he let Linderman donate all that money and control his campaign?"

This is something he shouldn't tell, but he knows his brother never will. "Linderman was behind your accident. A year ago he was putting together a case against Linderman— and our father. He told me about it the night of my party— and your accident. After that— and after our father— he had to work with Linderman… but at the same time he was working against him. I found out— by accident— that he was working with the FBI to take him down offically. Nathan… does things. He thinks they're doing right by those he cares about— but— he has a hard time… being with us." This is another case of pot and kettle. Because when push comes to shove, he has a hard time being with the people he cares about when he needs it, too. "Right now, Nathan needs you. Even if you can't be with him… like that… he needs you."


To Heidi, it seems silly that the world has to be so complicated. Everyone who knows her knows that she's straightforward, honest, and says what's on her mind. Does everyone have secrets? Yes. Do people have reasons for keeping them? Yes. She knows all that logically, but the fact that the secrets Nathan has been keeping came out in the worst way possible… He either doesn't trust her, or doesn't think she could handle it. Both of which are insulting. "He has a lot to prove. I know he's your brother, but… He has a lot to prove." And yet, she's already gone home. Maybe Heidi /is/ just a doormat.

She doesn't have much else to say on the topic. Does staying make her weak? Does /leaving/ make her weak? Heidi wants this to work, but she just doesn't know if it can. At the moment, almost all her emotional responses equate to numbness. At least she could laugh earlier.

Narrowing her eyes when she's told that Linderman was the cause of the accident, Heidi scowls. "But he…" Also healed her. So what, was it to teach Nathan a lesson, and he hurt the wrong person? Was it /guilt/? All that suffering because Nathan was trying to do the right thing, and Heidi had no idea this whole time. Even if it doesn't bring Nathan out of the doghouse, it adds a few points, at least. "So I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." Lucky her.

"You know me, Peter. I can just give up on him. I can't just— He's a good guy, I know him. He made a huge mistake." Looking to the driver again, he notes that he's still bopping away to his music. "And people make mistakes, but I just feel like I've been in the dark for so long… And it hurts, knowing that no matter how much I want to, I can't completely trust him again. That's… That might be what hurts the most." She finally looks back at Peter, attempting a smile, that falls flat. "So how many times am I going to look at him now and wonder if he's… wishing he was with someone else?"

Rubbing at the back of her hand, she contemplates asking Peter to heal it, but she's either being very emo or very symbolic wondering if this is a scar she should carry as a reminder. She can't help but see it every day - one doesn't say 'I know (blank) like the back of my hand' for nothing. It'll remind her that Nathan is an idiot. She probably won't ever be able to forget it—

That's not what she wants.

"Can I ask you a favor?"


As she talks, Peter's eyes lower away from her, and he looks rather guilty. Defending his brother through all his mistakes and telling Heidi to try to find a way to forgive him might be more than enough reason to feel guilty. Though there could be more to it than that. It's the last part when he closes his eyes, for a moment, before he looks back towards her. "I don't… really know. Would like to think you can." That there's some bond that can't be destroyed between them. That extenuating circumstances led to his infidelities. That… he could still be trusted. That he wouldn't think of someone else when with her…

She wants a favor, though.

"Yeah, of course. What?"


If Heidi catches the guilt in Peter's face, she doesn't show it, instead looking at him briefly, before looking out the window again. They're getting close to their destination. "I'm sorry I punched you," she says. "I don't— Well, I didn't really mean to, it just happened. You were…" She doesn't finish the statement, just in case, despite the fact that the driver has shown no interest in their conversation so far. Unspoken - he was in her head, and she didn't much appreciate that. Hitting him wasn't her intention, though.

"I… Don't know if I feel comfortable actually asking." After all, she doesn't know how his abilities work, if he can only do this a certain number of times, if— A whole bunch of questions that she hasn't even begun to ask herself. At least she's not afraid to ask him for the fact that he can do it, though. It's more a question of whether or not it's polite, and not that she sees him as a mutant or something. Even if he is, because he's her little brother and she has to tease him.

Anyway, she holds up her bandaged hand. "…You don't have to if you can't, but, I just thought maybe I'd… I don't think the kids will notice." She hopes. Can he heal it? Will he?


"It's fine. You were upset," Peter says, reminding her with a shake of his head. She packed a pretty good hit, actually, a back hand of epic. "I didn't mean to read your mind, though. Just sort of happened. Tensions were high and… You— I normally wouldn't say anything if they just came out like that, but… I couldn't let you think that." That doesn't mean he's not sorry. He should have minded his own business and not butted in on hers. Uncontrolled or not. He's keeping his own thoughts private, she should be allowed to keep hers. Even if his insecurities are running through his mind at a level to rival her own…

Oh. Is that all? He reaches back over and puts his hand over hers. "That's not a problem. Consider it done," he says, even before the warmth of healing washes over her hand, sealing up the wound she inflicted on herself, and fixing any other minor damage she might have gotten.

When he takes his hand away, there's a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. "There you go." Healed.


"Well, I don't know if anyone in my position would have felt any differently," she says. It was a normal reaction. And Heidi still feels as if she's not good enough, that she's failed somehow, and even if she's willing to work through it, she'll always feel the ghosts of the inadequacies that aren't real, and she'll always wonder if, on some level, it's because she has no genetic mutation that causes her to do something like, say, /fly./

Her hand has been sore and itchy since she decked Peter. And for him to heal it, well, it just feels two million times better than it did. With another look at the driver, she pulls the bandage off to find the wound gone, smooth skin underneath. "Thank you. Thanks," she says. There's a long silence before she adds, "If I can get over the fact that people can do thing like that, I have to be able to get over… What Nathan did." It's more that she's telling herself than anyone else.

As they pull into the mansion, she leans over to kiss Peter on the cheek, holding his chin in her hand for a moment. "This isn't going to get better overnight. But thank you for being here." That said, she'll get out of the cab.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License