2007-05-03: Saving Heidi: Why Is It Always A Black Van


Elena_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Elena runs into Heidi, who is promptly kidnapped by a group of armed men who want Nathan to do something for them.

Date It Happened: May 3, 2007

Saving Heidi: Why Is It Always A Black Van?

Wholefoods Market, 3rd Avenue and 22nd Street, New York City

Spring is here, oh spring is here. Life is skittles and life is beer. I say the most wonderful time of the year is the Spring….!

The cold is clearly giving way to warmer days. The sun is sinking slowly over the horizon, but it's closer to seven than the actual afternoon. Long, summer days are in their future, so to speak. In the parking lot of a local Wholefoods, Elena steps out from the grocery store itself, with a bag in one arm and GROANING at the receipt as she goes. The economy sucked so much she swore even the price of the apples had doubled. She loathed the twisted irony of the fact that one can get two frozen pizzas for two bucks, and then shell out a metric crapload of money for fresh produce and meat that you had to cook yourself for a decent meal. There really was no justice. None whatsoever.

She exhales slowly, stuffing the receipt in her pocket and digging out her bus pass. She proceeds to cross the parking lot then, so she can get to the nearest bus stop. She is already trying to figure out what to cook for dinner now that the apartment was full of people again, consisting of a badass telepath, a quirky psychic, and a juvenile delinquent brother whose own scary powers she's not aware of……as of yet.

She could have the hired help go out to get groceries. Or hell, she could make Nathan do it. Or take the kids, or friends, or something. Heidi didn't have to go alone, but since she'd been with the kids all day, she used 'shopping' as an excuse to get out of the house. Sometimes she gets tired of paying people to do her stuff for her - she can make breakfast herself, dammit! - and just needs to cement herself to the real world sometimes.

So telling the cashier that she neither needed a cart nor bags was probably a mistake, since she's got a twenty-five pound bag of cat food for Spica (Not Spike) as well as some fun round-shaped things like rolls of paper towel and oranges that are doing their best to roll right off the bag of cat food and onto the ground. Heidi can drive, but in New York, she'd rather take a cab, and so she said she'd meet the guy outside the store.

A half hour later, no cab.

The walk across the parking lot isn't going well. Heidi needs to get to the bus stop so she can get home, and probably should have considered the fact that she could have gone back into the store to have the employees consolidate her purchases, but /hindsight is 20/20,/ and she's already most of the way to the stop anyway. Of course, that's when the thin baggie full of oranges falls out of her control and smacks into the asphalt with a dull thud, followed by the paper towel, followed by almost everything else she's carrying. In the end, the only thing left in Heidi's arms is the bag of cat food, which she sets down so she can run her fingers through dark hair in exasperation. Looking upward, Heidi notices Elena, smiles with some embarrassment, and gets to the task of picking up her stuff.

The world was certainly trying its damndest to prove to her that not all rich people were little, spoiled, bonnetted babies born with silver spoons in their mouths and expected everything to be handed to them on silver platters. Elena has met many who didn't fit the mold of the rich, OC-type brats she met in high school, starting with Eric, and then Jaden, and then Peter…..if she knew Heidi was the same way, she would probably like her more. As it stands she wasn't sure if she could look her right in her iridescent, Christmas-lights eyes from the spectacle she made of herself the first time she met her.

………and look, there she is. Picking up oranges from the ground. The young woman's altruistic nature takes over, seeing the woman bogged down by her purchases. Since she only has one bag (since she was poor and had to choose her purchases wisely), she trots over to Heidi, setting down her own bag and helps her pick up her purchases. "Hi, Mrs. Petrelli," she greets cheerfully. "Here….at least the people in the store tied the plastic bags correctly, yeah?" She lifts up the baggie of oranges that has, thankfully, remained intact and unmolested by the concrete. She also reaches out and grabs the roll of paper towels before the wind blows it and sends it tumbling down the street.

"I'm not carrying much, where are you headed? I can help carry some if you need a hand," she offers. Her eyes fall on the large bag of cat food, and she can't help but grin. "Spica eating you guys out of house and home already? she teases good naturedly, returning the baggie of oranges in its proper, larger bag.

Heidi didn't start spoiled, and she's really not complaining. Maybe she got a little too used to it for awhile, but having her spine crushed in an accident kind of made her look at the world through new eyes. Walking through the store, carrying groceries, leaning down to pick them up when they fall - she doesn't admit it to many people, but she loves this, even if it's annoying right at the present time.

"You don't have to do that, Elena," she says apologetically as the younger woman helps her pick up what she dropped. "But thank you. I thought I could make it to the bus stop, but it looks like I bit off more than I could chew. Er. Bought more than I could carry—" Yeah, she's sure Elena gets the idea. So, oranges, paper towel, cat food. A couple other odds and ends like a can of soup - why couldn't she buy anything that didn't roll? It's like the god of shopping disasters guided her hand as she put the worst possible items into her cart.

"I was just going to the bus stop. Didn't feel like driving around the city at this time of day; I'd probably end up stuck in traffic for a few months." Mostly because she's incapable of driving like a typical New Yorker, and would probably let twenty people cut in front of her before she went. Laughing as Elena comments on the kitten, Heidi shrugs. "She's a lot bigger already than she was when I got her. It's amazing that the food she /had/ lasted as long as it did."

That was the one thing she knew about Heidi Petrelli before meeting her, from the time she first met Peter and went to Google his family to grab a picture just so she could be reassured it wasn't some imposter playing her. Elena had remembered seeing an old campaign photograph with Nathan and Heidi on the wheelchair. The fact that she was walking now spoke wonders of medical science (not knowing, of course, that SOMETHING ELSE happened that got Heidi to walk again). And while she was curious about it, she didn't know Heidi well enough to ask. And life-changing things like that were rather personal.

"It's really no problem. I was going to go to the bus stop myself, I can show you where it is. You live uptown, right? Hyde Park?" She doesn't really know for sure, but the teenager has lived in New York all her life and most of the wealthy people lived uptown. But she does continue helping Heidi with her groceries, placing them inside the bags as quickly as she can and to get them off the ground. And hey, at least with cans, they were salvageable. Imagine if a hunk of meat fell and the concrete tore through the plastic wrap. It would be a waste of a good rib-eye!

She laughs at what Heidi says about traffic, and without Heidi asking, Elena grabs a few of the bags that she could carry. Sad to say she was quite used to this - her family was large by today's standards after all. "Yeah, it's rush hour, you'll be lucky to get home by nine if you took a car. Not to mention all of the dead ends and the one-way streets. A bus or a cab will get you there faster."

Indeed, cars are speeding through the highways with the usual New York City recklessness. Cab drivers are swearing at one another. More than a few rude gestures are exchanged in between traffic. It was amazing no one's been killed yet. Somewhere down the street, a nondescript black van pulls away from the sidewalk, and starts driving towards the parking lot of the Wholefoods.

Ah, yeah, the whole healing thing that keeps coming up. Her back, Nathan's— everything. It's weird, but Heidi can't question it because she doesn't realy /get/ it, to be perfectly honest. She doesn't know if things just got better on their own - unlikely, due to the speed of both hers and her husband's healing - or if there was a higher power at work. Nathan mentioned something odd, but it's hard to trust in things like magic. Even if Heidi doesn't always trust science, she doesn't trust the arcane, either. Namely because things like potions and wizards are fairy tales. Just like 'healing.'

"That's right," Heidi says. She's used to people knowing weird things like that now, because of Nathan's brief stay in the political world. It was both amazing and tiring, and left the woman with the opinion that her own personal life belonged to everyone who happened to pick up a newspaper, too. Who needs privacy? In summary, Elena's knowledge doesn't upset her at all.

Groceries back in hand, and with someone to help her now, she stands back up. "Thank you, you really didn't have to stop," she says. Seems like her me-time ended up being shared, and she can't say she's not grateful. "I called a cab, but they never showed. With the way tey drive, I wouldn't be surprised if there's an accident report later on the news. Figured the next best thing would be to take the bus - either that, or I'd have to call someone to pick me up." Or walk! But that'd be an awfully long walk with thirty pounds of groceries, twenty-five of which is for the cat. "How's the puppy doing? Have you seen her since I stopped by?"

If she wasn't so preoccupied with almost everything else, perhaps it would've clicked. Elena was a perceptive creature after all, and she's seen strange, healing mojo at work, remembering that day in the hospital with Peter, her father, Eric's nearly-dead carcass, and the mysterious Dr. Stan Gifford (who she read in the news perpetrated some sort of elaborate hoax…but how could it be when Eric's walking around like he didn't almost die?). Nefarious forces are at work in the hospital! Unfortunately she just didn't have the attention span to get paranoid about it. She had other problems now….like her boss and his CEOship in jeopardy.

"I guessed," Elena says with a grin, shifting the bags of groceries so they would be a little more comfortable. She starts walking to the bus stop with Heidi, her attention on the older woman as well as making sure nothing drops from her end. Having to stop and pick up things JUST when the bus is arriving was going to suck.

"It's really not a problem," she assures Heidi. "Besides, I would feel bad just walking past when you needed the help and me with my one little bag." Mama raised her better than that! "And yeah, it's New York. People aren't above stealing other people's cabs here," she says with a sheepish grin. "Especially during rush hour, it's impossible to get a cab any place." She was the type to help Heidi carry her groceries all the way back to where she needs to go, really. She's just that nice.

When she mentions Snowy, she grins. "Yeah, a couple of nights ago actually. I was in New Hampshire at a biochemistry conference for class. I was in the neighborhood so I dropped in on Peter for a visit. She seems to be adjusting well, but I think he's going to have to invest in a box of lint brushes and lint mitts if he hasn't already."

The black van takes a turn, into the entrance of the parking lot, and circles around, slowing down behind the two women as they walk towards the bus stop…..and it suddenly speeds up, the driver making a hard right to suddenly cut them off from the main street. The double doors open with a jerk to the side, and suddenly, UNEXPECTED NPCS WITH SKI MASKS! ……and automatic weapons. One suddenly makes a grab for Heidi, bogged down with her groceries.

Suspicions are high with Heidi. She hasn't just accepted the fact that Nathan has no scarring at all, but without an explanation for it, what is she supposed to do? Ask if one of Monty's cartoon characters came out of the TV and magically repaied his face? Yeah, if only she knew she's /living/ with a cartoon character. Well, so to speak.

But, really, other than the occasional weirdness, Nathan's hid his abilities pretty well from her, and it's easier to sit around and chalk it up to science than start doubting her husband. There's already enough of that, and there was already a recent spike that tried to drive its way through that trust with Nathan's announcement that he had a teenaged daughter. It's bordering on being a doormat, but there are far worse things. Besides, she spent a long time after the accident feeling bitter and resentful - enough so that she doesn't want to go back to that place even for a minute.

So, she tells herself it's fine. Maybe it is.

With two people carrying her things, it's a lot easier to walk. Less worry about things falling on the ground, at any rate! The oranges are going to be a little bruised, but it's not like she or the kids are really gonna mind. "I guess I'm not used to it," she says. "I was in a wheelchair for awhile. Before that, I didn't leave the house too much." Calling cabs? Waiting hours for one? Not something a small-town girl like Heidi's really used to, even at her age. She's… a little sheltered.

"Can't beliieve he got a dog," Heidi muses to herself. It seems fitting - Peter's definitely more of a dog person than a cat person, at least as far as Heidi can figure. And he's about to say just that when she notes the van, glancing off to the side as it circles around. She doesn't think anything more of it, though, until the door opens behind her, and there are people trying to GRAB HER.

There's a squeak of surprise as the groceries again fall to the ground. She isn't going to go without some sort of fight, though - the upper arm grab doesn't work on Heidi Petrelli, no sir! A little too dazed to struggle in earnest, she nevertheless gets a couple good kicks and an elbow away before she realises that they're carrying weapons.

She's sure she said something at that point, but it was a combination of surprised syllables that really can't translate to anything. Not really wanting to get /shot,/ though, her fighting doesn't persist past the first few seconds, and she's a little too rattled (and possible scared) to really do anything other than stare ahead. Eventually she manages a 'What—!' but that's about all she can muster.

Peter had told her a little about his family life - mostly regarding his parents. He was the only reason why Elena actually knew a bit about Linderman. Despite everything she knew, she clearly didn't know everything, but all she really knows about the now-dead man was the fact that he was a criminal and Arthur Petrelli had been his counsel for several years. She wonders if Heidi knew that about the man himself, but then she had to be. Wasn't Nathan a lawyer too at some point? She really couldn't remember it very well. She had looked them up so long ago that a few details were missing.

"A wheelchair…" Heidi brings it up first after all. "Were you always on it, or…?" The question was extremely hesitant. Elena doesn't know it was caused by a car accident, but it really was one of the two major reasons why people would be in a wheelchair. 1) Accident. 2) A birth defect. Considering Heidi is now able to walk she assumes it was the former. But it's clear on the young woman's face that she broaches the topic rather shyly. She was well too aware of her boundaries, despite knowing her brother-in-law rather well.

When Heidi mentions the dog, she laughs. "Definitely a dog person. If you saw him in the puppy daycare you'd peg that easily. I took a picture, I was just waiting for the right moment to embarass him with it," she says with a laugh. In fact, she would show Heidi the picture in her phone now…if it wasn't for their unexpected Black Van.

This is when she realizes that something is wrong. "HEY!" she rages, when the van cuts them off, expecting a rude, and somewhat drunk New Yorker piling out to get right in her face for calling him out with an armful of groceries. But now….it looks like it isn't the case. "…..oh my god…" is all she can get out, and she drops the groceries. She doesn't even think. She lunges for the man grabbing at Heidi, attempting to seize his other arm to try and yank it away from the woman's body. But there were more of them.

The man wrestling with Heidi grunts when he's kicked, but otherwise his grip tightens. When the other girl interferes, he's struggling with both of them now. "Grab the other one!"

Another ski-masked person leaps into the fray, grabbing at Elena and yanking her away from Heidi and his comrade. "Let her go!" Oh she was scared. She was so scared she'd probably pee if she hadn't embarassed herself in front of Heidi enough. The spirited latina lashes out a kick towards the man holding Heidi, and finds purchase on the kneecap. He howls…..and in a sudden fit of rage, he KICKS back, plowing Elena right into his comrade's chest as he forces Heidi into the van. Inside the van, she'll see two more guys, and both pairs of hands are reaching towards her to drag her further into the interior to restrain her.

yes nahtan. mai goonz r in ur city groping ur wimminz

The mysteries of Heidi's accident are going to have to wait 'til later, it seems, due to the untimely arrival of her captors. She'd much rather talk about the accident than end up inside that van, but it doesn't look like she's gonn be doing much talking - at least to Elena. What is it they always say on those shows? Don't let them get you to the second location. Your chances of escape go down by a lot at that point. That in mind, the blue-eyed woman gives another tug before she's pulled into the van; Heidi isn't physically very strong. Too bad.

"No. /No,/" she states angrily as she makes a lunge for the door in order to try to escape. If she can get out for just a second, maybe Elena can do something, though god knows /what./ At least she can get a message, though at this point, Heidi half expects Elena to be tossed into the van right after her. Black van. Why are they always black?

The hands pull her back, though. It's at this point that she'd almost rather be shot than deal with what they'd do to her if they managed to get her to wherever they're driving. Hell, she's lived through excruciating pain before. They either want her alive or they intend to kill her anyway, and with her panic at this point, she'd much rather take the chance than regret doing so later. So, elbows, she twists, she kicks, and otherwise makes it difficult for the guys to hold onto her - as much as she can, anyway.

Obvious question? "What the /hell/!" is snapped, along with a few other choice words that Heidi reserves only for occasions such as these.

THWACK. The boot solidly lands into her abdomen, Elena crumpling against the chest of the man holding her. She keels over, her hand clutching her side as her knees crumple underneath her. She was made for speed, not strength, and that brutal kick is enough to have her hacking and coughing for air. However, when the man hauls her up bodily in an effort to shove her into the van with Heidi, something happens.

The man who had just shoved Heidi into the van starts screaming, dropping down on one knee and crumpling into the ground, clutching his head and spasming. The same goes for the other man holding her, forcing him to release Elena who drops on the ground. Her knees hit the pavement, one hand bracing her up while the other clutches at her ribs. Pain, indescribable and searing, scorch through each of the men's systems like blood turned molten fire.

"What the -fuck-?!" one of them yells from inside the van, even as he struggles to hold on to the struggling Heidi….his comrade gets a good -kick- in the face thanks to the Petrelli female, but for the most part throws himself bodily on top of Heidi in an effort to pin her legs down and grab a piece of cloth from his back pocket. Soaked in chloroform, he attempts to press it over Heidi's nose and mouth while he struggles with her. He doesn't want to HURT her, mind. But he WILL if she insists on fighting. So yes, just in time when Heidi yells out what she does, if unprevented, she'll get cloth to the face.

"HEY! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOING?" yells out…..someone else. The security guard in Wholefoods catches sight of the skirmish, and he's on his walkie talkie, baton drawn out. The other guy in the passenger seat rolls down the window, drags his automatic rifle out, and starts firing, forcing the security guard to duck and cover behind a parked SUV.

One of the writhing men manages to scramble up on the van, frothing a bit at the mouth. He doesn't know what's wrong with him. "…go….we gotta…" he chokes, more froth bubbling from his mouth.

The other one manages to do the same. With a cry of pain and sheer desperation, he picks himself up off the ground, and throws himself in the van. He couldn't care less about the other girl, they got the one they wanted.

Unaware of what's happening outside the van, Heidi continues to struggle inside, up to the point where she's nearly crushed under one of the goons and can no longer move her arms, since they're pinned to the floor of the van. Without the ability to really defend herself from this guy, it really doesn't take much effort to press the cloth to her face. She's too panicked to realise that this is the point where she should hold her breath, which means it's not long before her brain just kind of starts to drift off, despite her desire for it to do otherwise. Even the sound of weaponsfire doesn't do anything to keep her awake, and it's not long before she faceplants against the floor of the van. Thud.

Shots. These people had guns. In her fit of not-thinking, Elena forgot these people were armed. And when she looks up, all she sees is the van speeding away, the door sliding shut with a slam as it tears into the New York traffic. The guard they shot at is probably calling the cops. While it was her civic duty to stay and give a statement, she knows she can't afford it right now. And so she is faced with a moral dilemma. Stay and report to the cops, and have it filter out in the radio where suspicious people may be listening, or ……..do the next best thing.

"Nghh…." Elena grips her side tighter as she struggles to stand up. She leaves the groceries behind, staggering away and into the nearby alley where she presses her back against the wall and lets it slide. A breath. She needed to breathe. Did the man manage to -crack- her ribs? Who the hell kicks that hard??? Fumbling for her cellphone, she flips the top up, and ….realizes she doesn't have Nathan's number.

"………………shit!" She slumps her head back, and thud-thud-thud-thuds it against the wall in frustration. She practically has HALF of New York's Evolved community in her cellphone and she doesn't have the ONE number that matters in this case?! This was officially the worst day ever!

She groans softly. The only person she could call is the one person who DIDN'T need this right now. But what choice did she have? So she scrolls down to Skywalker's number, and dials.

When his cellphone rings, Peter's not in the apartment. Or visiting his girlfriend, or in an office in Kirby Plaza… he's out at a store somewhere downtown, talking to some sales ladies about a specific item— that shall remain a mystery. Whatever it is, he's not bought it yet, but they recognized the name on his credit card, and are more than willing to wait patiently to make the sale to a Petrelli… Either way, when the phone rings, he flips it open and sees the name displayed there. "I'll be back in a moment," he says, leaving the ladies to talk amongst themselves while he steps away, closer to the exit.

"Elena? Is everything okay?" He's hoping she's not calling with potentially bad news, because— well— that would be bad. And he's had enough tense moments since he left his cell with the Company.

"Peter! Oh thank god, do you have Nathan's phone number?" Elena sounds breathless over the phone, biting back a groan. She'll use her powers on her later once it was time to stand and walk, but she needed to relay information - and relay it fast. "It's….I was in the….they took Mrs. Petre— " Wait, there were two Mrs. Petrellis, right? His mother was still alive. "They took Heidi!" she blurts out. "These guys in a van. I ran into her in the Wholefoods at 3rd Ave. and 22nd street. I was helping her with her groceries to the bus stop, and they came out of nowhere and I tried to stop them. They had guns, and they tried to shoot the security guard and their license plate was muddied up and I don't have your brother's phone number—!" The words come in a single, rapid-fire torrent.

Sorry, Peter, but this was not the nice phone call you were looking for.

"Yeah I… what?" Peter starts, but the more this conversation over the phone goes on, the less he says and the less he likes what he hears. There's too much for him to interject, so he quickly walks back to the counter, takes his credit card back and leaves the two ladies to stand slack jawed at potentially losing a sale. No worries, ladies, he'll be back… someday. But right now. "Okay— stop a second. I have Nathan's number, yes. It's 283-6969. I'll be there as soon as I can, okay?" The number itself is easy to remember, and as soon as he's on the street, he's moving at a fast jog in the right direction towards 3rd Avenue. He might need to take to the air for this, but he's still on the phone. "Are /you/ hurt? Is there any reason why they took her? Did they know who she was?" If they knew who she was… it'd be a ransom situation, wouldn't it?

Yes, this is not the nice phone call he was hoping for.

"I'm fine," Elena says. She wasn't going to admit she was kicked in the gut. She already felt like a failure, and a wussy for letting them take Heidi when her powers were dangerous when used properly. One day, perhaps, she'll get over her regular hesitation for using the negative aspects of her powers. "I'm hiding now, I can't afford to talk to the cops anymore, I've been at the station too often in the last couple of months and I think -they- listen to dispatches." Ah yes, the stories she could tell him. But not right now. She memorizes Nathan's phone number when given to her. "And I don't think she knew them, it was…..they came out of nowhere, Peter. We barely knew what was happening. She tried to fight them off but…" There were too many of them. "And I think they did. They ditched me when I nailed two of them. I don't think they figured out what was happening to them but….they let me go, so I think they were after her specifically."

"Alright, if they knew who they were taking— then we'll probably have instructions of some kind soon, a ransom, something." Peter says, looking around quickly. It's too /daytime/ for flying… but he ducks into an alleyway anyway and says, "I'll be there soon, though you'll have to come out of hiding so I can find you at least… Be careful." It's a request that he has to make, even though the danger has passed— he hopes. Closing the phone and cutting off the call after giving her a few moments to respond. After that… he fully intends to try to fly… more than once if he needs to. At least he's not jumping out of a window this time.

"Okay. You too," Elena says. She makes the promise, before she hangs up the phone. She moves to step towards the street, though she creeps at the corner. When she catches a visual of Peter, she'll come out. But not before then. With her side smarting like the dickens, she closes her eyes, and wills her power to take effect on her own body, letting the pain go away for a few more moments. And then, she dials Nathan's phone number. She doubts he knows her, he's probably seen her in passing during that last, failed attempt at Kirby Plaza. But christ, how the hell is she going to communicate this?? 'Hi, Mr. Petrelli, I just wanted you to know that I voted for you….by the way I was with your wife when she got kidnapped ten minutes ago.' She takes a deep breath, and dials the number. She's willing God to have the man she's never spoken with to believe her.

It should, strictly speaking, be quiet at the Petrelli estate. Instead, there's a curse, a meow, and things getting dropped to the floor as a young cat manages to get her tail caught under the heel of Nathan's foot. With an annoyed sigh, Nathan picks up his briefcase, and after some hesitation, he picks up the cat as well, and moves to step outside once more, urging the kitten outside. "Go chase things," he mutters. "Spike. Spica. That must get confusing." And his journey back to his office is resumed, setting down his things, and the thought to go and find and greet his family only just enters his mind when his phone rings out. The work day! It never does end.

Fishing his cellphone out of his pocket, he glances at the caller ID, frowning when he sees an unrecognised number. This isn't a line he gives to people normally, after all. Still, he flicks it open, pressing it to his ear as he goes to sit behind his desk. "Hello?"

"Mr. Petrelli," Elena says, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. Deep inside her head, she spreads her arms out…..and jumps off a ravine. Her gold-flecked gaze opens again as she continues. "My name is Elena Gomez. You…you don't know me but we know a few of the same people. I'm friends with your brother Peter, and Dr. M. J. Forrest." She pauses. "I also know your wife….a little bit. She was…." Oh just say it! "Mr. Petrelli I don't know who they are but these MEN took her while I was helping her with her groceries. They came in a black van, they came out of nowhere. They didn't say anything but I'm pretty sure they were after her specifically. The police were called by the security guard who saw what happened to us and they dropped me while they took off. I don't know who else to call but you or Peter."

I'm sorry, what? Nathan pauses even moving as soon as Elena's explanation starts up, and his mind races ahead of him even while he freezes. It's a rather admirable struggle to not fire off questions he knows whoever this is can't answer, like 'who were they? where did they take her? why?', and so in favour of that, a silence falls on Nathan's end of the line. It's brief, however, and he finally sits down. "Okay. Where are you and where did this happen?" Nathan spares a glance towards his office phone, as if expecting it to ring right then from whomever… kidnapped? Kidnapped his wife.

"I'm at an alley close to the Wholefoods on third avenue and twenty-second street," Elena says, poking her head out from around the building to keep an eye on Peter's arrival. She could see them, the boys in blue, black and white cop cars screeching to a halt right in front of the grocery store. She slinks back behind the wall again, shoving one hand in her pocket and clenching her fingers tightly. "This happened around….ten, fifteen minutes ago. I couldn't get the license plate number of the vehicle they were using, it was too muddied up. There were five of them, but they all had masks. And they were armed."

The phone in Nathan's office stares back at him. Silent. Taunting.

You know what would be smart? To not do like the movies. To actually call the police, to handle this sensibly, rationally. But god knows who these people are, what they want, what they /know/, and god knows how long it can take to do things by the book. So that is why Nathan is removing his tie and suit jacket, remaining on the phone and listening to Elena as he tries to recall that exact location. Tries to recall the best possible place to land. "I'll be there, stay and I'll be there in a few minutes," he orders, sounding far calmer than what's going on inside his brain, which resembles frenetic thoughts that go like this: black van who company gabrielle armed mafia why /Heidi/… and etcetera.

Luckily, today is Peter's lucky day, at least where flight is concerned. Taking to the sky on the first try, he flies up as high as he can, and then as quickly as he can in the direction of 3rd Avenue. It doesn't take too long for him to get there, but the difficult part about flying in a city is the landing. There's just no nice convienant landing strips. The buildings are so close together. The buildings being close together are what creates the problem. When he tries to land in an alleyway, he clips the side of a building with his arm, and ricochets downwards towards the alleyway floor… right into a very large trashcan, must have been for the restraunt to the right side, too. He lays there for a minute, after the loud crash… with a broken arm. …okay— not doing that again.

Crawling out, he snaps his arm back into place, and watches the wound heal over as he tries to dust himself off. It really still looks (and smells) like he landed in a trashcan. …Don't ask. Please tell him no one saw that.

"I'll stay put," Elena promises over the phone, and ends the call with Nathan….just as something -whooshes- past her head and crashes HARD into the trashcans behind her. She's still looking out in the street, stunned. Peter was moving fast enough to whip her hair around. And while New York's pigeons can get EXTREMELY fat, THAT was no fat pigeon. Fat pigeons don't wear blue. So she turns around slowly, finding a familiar-looking young man straighten himself out and snap his arm into place. She doesn't see the wound close over, but she does see blood on him from the 'flesh wound' he had given from his clumsy flight. "Peter," she breathes, pivoting around and running over to where he is.

Thanks to Peter's Unlucky ouchie, someone DID see that. Thankfully, it's someone who doesn't care if he smells like rotting banana peel.

No, this is no fat pigeon. Though Claude did take quite a liking to him, so maybe he has more in common with the pigeons than just flight and good breeding. Or— possibly clumsy breeding.

As he sees the young woman who'd called them happened to be in /this/ alley, he looks quite embarassed, but moves forward. The wound continues to heal, though it should be done fixing itself in a few moments. There's some pain on his face. "Hey— apparently I need to work on landing," Peter admits, knowing he's failed to land well at least twice in recent history. Once he slammed into the side of Mara's loft, this time… a lot worse. Definitely needs to work on that. "Did you get a hold of Nathan?"

She isn't too worried, Peter regenerates. But Elena is considerate, and her hand lifts upwards in front of his face - she doesn't touch him. She doesn't have to touch a person anymore for her powers to work, and the flow of pain ebbs off. She lowers her hand, and she exhales. "Yeah. He's on his way here," she says, looking over her shoulder across the street where a couple of cops are poking at the groceries…..and GROANS. She was never going to hear the end of this from Manny, who was probably stomping around the apartment moaning over not having anything to eat. He was a growing boy after all. "If it makes you feel any better if anyone asks, I can say I was too busy looking in the opposite direction to see what happened," she says, trying to keep her tone light, but there is tension on the delicate face. She straightens up her rumpled shirt, and wrinkles her nose at the bootprint on the white fabric. "Ugh. Hope bleach gets that out."

The pain fades away a lot faster than it should, because Peter's still aware of his arm healing even if it doesn't hurt anymore. Yeah, he's calling her first if his hand ever gets frozen… or turned to gold for that matter. Either of those happens to be possible at this moment. "It's fine. I'll still have to tell Nathan while I look like I dove into a trashcan," he says, shaking his head and moving a bit closer to the young woman— as he reaches up again to try and dust off trash from his nice clothes. There's a piece of paper in his hair that he doesn't see, as well as some food bits clinging to the back of his jacket and the collar, but he dusts most of the— "Did you get kicked?" he suddenly asks as he notices the boot print, because she's straightening her shirt and talking about bleach. "Are you sure you're okay? You know I can heal now, right?" She could have a bruised rib!

"Not too hard," Elena says, which…….wasn't exactly true. While a heartier girl could probably take it, combat-wise, the young woman was no Jessica Alba in Dark Angel. "But I'm cheating a little bit. I'm keeping the pain at bay," she tells him. She can't take a hit for crap. She hesitates to look, really, but now that Peter's called attention to the fact that she could be injured worse than she should be, she tightens her grip on her shirt, and slowly draws the hem up to peek at her torso. Despite the smooth, tanned skin underneath…..it was already bruising, yellow and purple having spread over the soft, healthy surface over the ribs. "I don't know if they're cracked. I've never been kicked before," she tells Peter. "I've never broken a bone in my life so I'm not sure how it's supposed to feel. It hurt like the dickens earlier though. I know it's not broken at least."

Here is what Nathan does. First he makes a few calls, the same people hired to watch the mansion while Claire had stayed here. He can only hope they're more effective this time - because it's not like he can nor wants to bring his sons along. Mandy, the hired help, is debriefed without actually getting information, and before Nathan leaves, he takes the handgun from the drawer in his desk. It's one of those days where you just feel you need to be armed for once.

Not a few moments later, it's a bird it's a plane no it's a politician is zooming through the air. At the rate he's going, the 'few minutes' he mentioned was mostly taken up by organising himself at home rather than the time it takes to get from the estate to the alley way, and soon, fast enough so that should you blink, you'd miss it, Nathan lands on the roof of the building, keeping low so that no one who happened to glance that way could confirm that yes, a man did just drop from the sky.

Sneaking to the edge, he peers over, spots his brother talking to a girl he doesn't recognise, and in a move that one can only do if they have ankles of steel or hovering capabilities, he jumps over and lands just beside them, very lightly despite the 15 foot drop. This would be a good time for some kind of line, but Nathan really doesn't have one. Just a grim, pissed off expression on his face. "Don't suppose we have a game plan yet," he says, tension in his voice, looking from Elena, to Peter, back— no, again at Peter. "The hell happened to you?"

While his brother looks down into the alley from above, he may or may not noticed the trashcan which is going to need repairs. Either way, when the young woman raises her shirt up to reveal the bruising, Peter reaches forward and puts his hand over her skin, and tries to think of the hospital, and how he'd felt at that time. Elena was assisting him with fixing some poor woman's arm, so it's not too difficult to feel the same way when he's touching her gently. At least his hands aren't /too/ dirty. This one wasn't in the trash, but the one that grasped the rim to pull him out.

The healing should work, at least on the bruise, and possibly even any fracture. But as Nathan lands beside them, he pulls his hand back, surprised by the sudden appearance. "Nathan— I— You'll have to teach me how you land like that," he finally admits, reaching up to run a hand over his hair, dislodging the piece of paper at least. "So no word from who's holding her?" he asks his brother, hoping they've made a ransom demand by now.

Even if it was, she wouldn't care. That's what showers in the evening were for. So when Peter reaches out to press his palm gently on the injured area, Elena watches with fascination. She can't help it. She keeps her eyes down -there- as opposed to his face, because it could get awkward plenty fast on her end. But as she sees the skin beginning to heal, she slowly relinquishes her own control over her abilities. The pain throbs once, twice, but gradually decreases as tissue and blood vessels are repaired. She exhales a bit in relief. At least that's -one- thing she doesn't have to explain to her father when she gets home.

"Thanks," she murmurs at him gratefully.

And then, UNEXPECTED PETRELLI. When Nathan drops in on them, she pulls down the hem of her shirt once the bruise is healed fully. She also turns to look at Nathan, lifting a hand to give him an unsure, little wave. Hi! It's me! Someone you've never met!

A glance is spared to the trashcan, then to Peter. Riiight. But not even a hint of a smile, a trace of amusement. Maybe later. Nathan shrugs a little at being asked to teach Peter how to land, which is, in SeriousNathan language, a yes, before he shakes his head. "No word from anyone but her yet," Nathan says, tilting his head to Elena, and fixing her with a look. "Is Heidi hurt? You said they were armed."

"They were. Automatics." Thanks to Jack, Elena knows that much. She slides her hands in her pockets and she shakes her head. "I think…..from what I saw, they were doing their best not to hurt her," she reports. "She fought them, but they didn't….punch her or anything. The last I saw, they were busy trying to hold her down in the van. I tried to use my own abilities, but I was only able to peg two of them and they got away." She doesn't mention what they were, and thankfully Peter or anyone else didn't see what she did exactly. "They did get a little rough in the end though, when the security guard showed up."

"If she's hurt, I can heal her," Peter says, putting his hands into his pockets. There's signs of a broken bone on his arm, though that's healed over. It's mostly just a blood stain and apparent rip in his sleeve right now. No real damage. "Nathan, this is Elena. Elena, my brother Nathan. She was part of the other rescue team that came to Kirby to bust me out." The one that didn't get betrayed and captured because of it. There's a long pause, before he glances towards the street. "Did— did they drop anything? I guess the police probably have it by now if they did…" But he's trying to think of a way to find them, figure out where they might have taken her— and he's only got so many things at his disposal. Even if Elle keeps saying he has a whole bag of tricks. …And he does. But they don't seem to be /useful/ bags of tricks sometimes.

You what is cruel irony? Jane had just said the other day that Peter should try and get Molly's power, and Nathan had expressed disapproval of deliberately giving Peter even /more/ powers to coma himself with. /But it would be really useful right now/. This thought crosses Nathan's mind, bringing a hand up to rub the bridge of his nose. "Hi, Elena. Yeah, I guess they would," Nathan says, almost to himself, but he's looking at Peter now. Useful swiss army knife. "You don't… you haven't happened to have met Molly, have you?" Wild stab. You never know.

"I've met her, but I've never used her ability before— trust me, I tried to use it to find Sylar about thirty times. All my hand did was shake from being held up over a map for an hour," Peter admits, moving over to the alley and looking around. There has to be something he can do… She said a van, right? Glancing around, his eyes settle on a couple pigeons that look to be perched under the hanging of the building … oh man, this is not going to work. Thinking of the young woman at the pet store, he tries to call up the right feeling, as he calls up to the birds, "Hey— did you happen to see where the van went? The big one? A woman was pulled into it? There were people with black… head things?" How does one talk to a pigeon? He has an idea he doesn't need to say it outloud, and no doubt his brother thinks he's crazy, but— he's got to try /something/… It does help, though, that he can start to hear their whispery— emotion and perception based thoughts in the back of his mind. He must have done something right.

"Hi, Mr. Petrelli," Elena says quietly, sounding sheepish as if she did something wrong, though there are still tension lines around her eyes. She should've tried harder. She knew her powers when applied right could be devastating - it was just that even when the bad guys are around she still had that mental block against hurting people too badly. And her powers needed that conscious control, the desire to push them as far as she needed them to. She pauses when Peter looks up at the pigeons perched on the roof, and she stares at him. What…… what was he doing? Part of her was fascinated, part of her was just confused. Was Peter actually attempting to talk to the birds? When the hell did he get that ability?

The pigeons stare back at Peter. There is nothing for a while, and then…whispers. 3rd avenue. 3rd avenue. Move to the right. Ran red circle thing on metal thing. Hey, no one said pigeons were the smartest things on the face of the planet.

This is when Nathan's phone rings. When he looks at it…it's Heidi's Caller ID staring at him in the face.

Okay. Too many powers have actually affected Peter's brain. Nathan stares as Peter addresses the birds. Just stares. Because there's no power that can possibly involve talking to pigeons… right? Or is there? He didn't mention one! "…Pete?" he starts, but then his phone is ringing. Heidi is ringing. Which is illogical. Hi honey, got kidnapped, tell the cook to tinfoil my dinner! He flicks it open, moves away from Elena and Heidi. He doesn't know what to say, at first, voice catching in his throat. He listens for a second, then says, "Petrelli here."

"Mr. Petrelli." The voice in the other end of the line is garbled electronically, one of those voice synthesizers attached to the receiver of the other line. "Before we begin I would like to express the simple fact that this is not a joke or a prank of any kind. We have your wife. She is, at present, unharmed and unmolested." …..did they really have to add the last part? "…and she will continue to be if you follow our instructions."

Yes. Whoever was at the other end probably bogarted Heidi's purse for her phone, the crafty bastard.

While Nathan answers the phone, Peter tries his best to listen to the birds, because— yes, he got this power. Even if the most he's ever used it for is when he's trying to figure out why his dog is jumping around barking. Either it's potty time, or she wants some attention… usually it's attention. Some strange reason he seems to keep missing potty time, until she's already done her thing on his kitchen floor. Luckily not on the rug, yet. He really needs to take her too Lachlan, but everything with Elle has made him… busy. "Okay…" Stepping back over to Elena, he says, "The pigeons said they went down the street, to the right— and that they ran a red light there— I think that's what they meant. It's hard to tell… Though I'm guessing that's them," he nods towards Nathan, and looks worriedly at his brother. No, he's not insane. Honest.

"…..Peter since when did you….are you channeling Noah or something?" Elena murmurs. Noah as in, the dude with the ark. Not Noah Bennett, who she has absolutely no idea exists. She watches Nathan as he answers the phone, her expression falling from a stunned sort of awe, to apprehension. "I think so too," she tells Peter softly, chewing on her bottom lip. She had never dealt with shady people like this - all she had experience with in the past were the thugs that got Manny in trouble on occasion. She nods at what Peter says. "Maybe we ought to follow the trail," she tells the younger Petrelli softly. "If you can talk to birds now, if we find some more along the way…." But WHICH red light? WHICH right turn? The first one they saw? That would be logical.

Whatever is being said on the phone almost seems like it's aged Nathan by about ten years, brow furrowed and what lines he has deepening as he frowns, save for the simmering anger beneath the surface. He listens to Peter absently, but his attention is on the garbled voice on the line. He'd really like to tell them to, you know, go fuck themselves, if they touch Heidi he will /defenestrate them/, they won't get away with this, and all those manly irrational things. But he's thinking somewhat logically, and so he says, "Instructions. What do you want?"

"No, it's— it's like what Lachlan can do, only with other animals," Peter explains softly, voice almost a whisper so that he's not sharing the Scottish man's ability with his brother. Of course, his brother's distracted. "I can try— but it's not exactly an ability I've practiced much— it won't always work, and then we'll get stuck," headmits softly, frowning quite a bit. It'd really be nice if he had Molly's ability right now. Very nice. Looking towards his brother, he adds, "And we should hear what their demands are. If we don't get there in time, they could really hurt her…"

"We're not interested in money," is said flat out. "We won't be entreating you for ransom. There is something we want you to do, and expediently. We want you to get in touch with Special Prosecutor Matthias Dayton. I trust this name would be familiar to you." A fellow prosecutor, from the days that Nathan practiced as a criminal attorney who busied himself putting crooks away. "You will inform him of what happened to your wife, and you will tell him to meet in your office at 10:00 am tomorrow morning. We will call you then. No police. If we even so much as catch a whiff of the law on our tail, you'll find her body floating in the Hudson." And with that, the phone call ends. Which means they were leaving Nathan with several hours stewing over just what the hell is going on and whether his wife was, indeed, going to be safe. Desperation, after all, was a huge motivator.

Elena remains silent as the Petrelli boys talk in hushed tones. She does look worried herself, and she looks over at Peter. "We have the number," she says softly and looks away. "I might know someone who can help." Connections once again save the day! But she doesn't tell Peter who or how. Instead, she waits patiently for both brothers to convene and talk.

Owch. Nathan's eyes shut as they hang up, because that image is a scary one and saps away the angry energy in favour of cold fear. With hands that notably /are not/ shaking, he pulls the phone away, hits speed dial for Heidi's phone, and brings it up again. Why? Because he wants to speak to his wife. As fate would have it, no one answers - and he does get to listen to his wife, or at least, her voicemail. With a notable anger flashing through the stoicism, he almost growls when he hangs up. Okay. Plan time. Looking to his brother and Elena, and calmly relays what he was told.

When he's done, he pauses, and slips the phone back into the pocket that doesn't hold a gun. "I'm not leaving her with them all night."

When Peter sees his brother calling again, he steps away from Elena. There's silence, until he reaches up to touch his brother's arm, squeezing gently as he's told what's going on, and that she'll be with them all night if they follow the demands of her captors. Why is this happening? As long as it has nothing to do with their abilities, their specialness… they have a chance to sneak up to them without feds, and without anything like that. So he nods. "We can try the birds… or— whatever your plan is, Elena. We'll find her, and we'll get her back, I promise." He'd just recently lost Elle, and his brother came through to help him with that— time to return the favor.

"Right…" Elena says softly. But she's in this for the long haul. She's GOING WITH THEM. She takes a step towards Nathan and Peter, and extends a hand towards the former congressman. "….If you can trust me with it, Mr. Petrelli, I would like to borrow your phone for just a minute," she says, a determined expression in her face and her lips in a serious, gentle line. As young as she was, she's had a knack for making something that seemed completely out of reach from her to happen, and relatively quickly. The young woman was a natural problem solver. Coupled with the fact that she isn't the type to be afraid to ask for help, it wasn't surprising that things got done when she was around.

How young is this kid? After a flicker of a kind of not really smile to Peter, Nathan regards Elena with a squint. Vaguely recognises her from crossing paths during the failed rescue mission. There's some hesitation, but ultimately, he hands over the phone. He's starting to learn that help comes from unlikely places, like strange little Japanese men and random Latina teenagers. He adds, as an aside, "I'd call the cops, but I figure it'd be more trouble than it's worth." Besides. They're superpowered. …god help him.

She takes the phone, and walks away from the Petrelli brothers. Elena takes out her own, trademarked cherry red phone from her pocket, dialing a certain number that she finds in her electronic black book. She turns her back to both, and walks to the -far- end of the alley to make the call. In her other hand, she flips up Nathan's phone, and looks up his call history and depresses the button to get Heidi's number. Even if they turned the phone off at this point, it wouldn't matter. The person she's calling isn't going to need it on. A few words drift from her, even if she's speaking softly. "Hi, it's me….are you busy?" A pause. "…I'm so sorry I know I've been bugging you lately but this is pretty urgent…"

There's some recognition of his brother's expression towards the young hispanic teen, so Peter glances over as she moves away to talk on the phone and says, "She's nineteen. She's a really good kid. Heidi met her when she stopped by my apartment to drop off the thank you card from the boys, when I watched them. Right after you got Spike." Because Spike is the name the kitten was called, so that's the name she's got. Maybe one day he'll ask her if she dislikes that name, but right now… "Not sure what she's doing with the phone… but… She has a lot of connections. With the people who tried to rescue me, and others too."

"Superhero mafia, huh?" Nathan says, almost lightly, hands sliding back into his pockets. His weight shifts slowly but restlessly from foot to foot, almost radiation with tension. He glances towards Elena, a little impatient, wary. He doesn't stop her or anything, although he does say as an aside, "I want to do all I can to get her back, but we need to keep this between as few a people as possible."

"I figured… I'm not picking up my phone to call the people I know," Peter admits, giving his brother's arm another light squeeze. There's really only so much that he can do at this moment, besides hope that whatever Elena's doing happens to work miracles… "I'll need to call Elle, at least. Let her know I won't be seeing her tonight, but I'll make something up." Brain-fried or not, she is his girlfriend still… even if he's gotten death threats earlier that should make him think twice. "Who's that guy they wanted you to meet with? Have you ever heard of him?" It might be important to determine why they want him to meet with the man, which could tell them what they'd wanted… but he's not too sure. He's not a genius.

When she returns, Elena hands Nathan his phone back, and she exhales quietly. "We wait," she says. "It won't take long. But we're going to have to wait for just a little bit longer." She casts Nathan an apologetic glance - she couldn't blame him really. If she had a husband and he had been taken, she wouldn't be happy with waiting around either. She won't profess to know what Nathan was feeling at the moment, but any anxiety or snappishness that would result from this is probably rather understandable. "Meanwhile I think we can start walking down the path the pigeons told us to take." Oh god. Oh god. Did she actually just SAY that? "See if Peter can pick other things up to speed things along."

"Dayton? I know the guy," Nathan confirms. "Don't recall his cases. I don't know if he's behind this or if they want something from him. As far as I know, he didn't have these kinds of associations." Ya know, unlike Nathan. He clears his throat, and looks to Elena with a clearly puzzled expression, which turns into annoyance at the news that they will have to wait. Following pigeons, yes, whatever— Nathan shakes his head. "What are we waiting for, exactly?" He's not snapping… not exactly, but that's not a friendly tone of voice and his look at Elena is hawk-like. He wants to go rescue his wife ten minutes ago, after all.

Despite the hawklike stare and the not-too-friendly tone, Elena smiles at Nathan. The Petrellis may be prone to brooding, but when faced with an idea she -knows- can work and can prove rather fruitful, Hope is able to keep her on the lighter side of things. Her eyes remain serious, but that same determination gleams in the dark irises. "An address," she says, sliding her hands in her pockets and pivoting so she could walk to the end of the alley.

"I can try to talk to more animals along the way, but I can't promise it'll work," Peter admits, stepping out into the street and looking for the red light that they must have drove past. Okay— that way. "The pigeons said that they ran the red light down there— we'll go and see if any of the other animals remember a black van speeding by— if not— well— we have the person she called, who'll give us an address. Doesn't mean we can't do something while we wait. Even if what they're doing… is talking to animals. And Peter doesn't even seem to think this is that crazy! He says it just how he used to say 'Hey Nathan, I think I can FLY!' If they'll follow, he'll lead the way to the red light, looking around for animals… this could be a long night.

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