2007-06-04: You Say Jump, I Say How High

Starring:

McAlister_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: Ali stops by Hyde Park to apologise for breaking Monty's arm, and Heidi finds herself all too willing to help clear the DJ's name. Maybe Heidi's just nice!

Date It Happened: 4 JUNE 2007

You Say Jump, I Say How High


Petrelli Mansion, NYC

Earlier this morning, Nathan surprised her with puppies. Two of them. Two very adorable puppies who have since met the boys, as well as the cat, and Spike, being as laid-back as she is, has already fallen asleep on them as they napped. Yeah, this shouldn't be a problem… They're already best friends forever, it seems, though it helps that Spike is also a kitten, and thusly not set in her ways just yet.

So with the boys out in the back yard with the puppies, Heidi's continuously going between the living room and the yard to check on them, just to make sure everything's okay, and that Monty isn't jumping around too much with his arm in a sling. Poor kid. He wants to have fun, but he can't - not as much as he'd like, anyway.

She's just sitting down on the couch to relax for a few minutes, when she hears the tell-tale sounds of her youngest heading back into the house. He looks pretty sour, pouty. "Mom, my /ARM ITCHES!/"

…Oh, wonderful.

—-

*ding dong!* Or perhaps it's winchester chimes - or maybe even one of those electronic doorbells that Randomly Plays American Favorites. Regardless? The doorbell has chosen that precise moment to chime merrily, thereby announcing that itching apparently has company.

Ain't that always the way?

Of course, outside, the instigator's a blonde Jersey girl in a black dress that she's obviously not used to wearing, carrying an unmarked white box that smells gloriously, richly, like pastry and strawberries. How she got to the door up the gated walk is anyone's guess, but everything is, apparently, forgiven if you bring pie.

Right? Right?

Not that she looks less than abjectly nervous, regardless.

—-

Somehow, people are always able to find their way to the Petrelli front door. Sure, that could be different one day when Nathan achieves his dream of BEING PRESIDENT, but for now, all it takes it a polite smile and the lack of something like, say, a handgun, for the guards to let people past. Heidi doesn't want to be hidden away, you see.

But it's not Heidi who answers the door. As soon as the doorbell rings, Monty suddenly forgets his arm itches, despite the fact that Heidi's already kneeling on the floor to help, and shouts "I'll get it!" Following this is the stomping of little feet as he makes a dash for the door and throws it open. Wait, who's this? "Mom, there's a lady with a box!" he shouts.

Since she's nearing forty, it's not quite as easy for Heidi to push herself up off the floor. Even so, it's not long before she appears at her son's side. The girl in the dress looks familiar, but she can't quite place the face. "Hello," she offers amicably enough. "Can I help you with something?"

—-

"Er. Hey, Kiddo.." One can almost /hear/ the wince. "Is.. your. Uh. Mom? at home?" That voice, though - her distinctive alto is colored with abject nervousness.

Of course, then Heidi's making her appearance. "Miss.. er. Miss Petrelli?" Ali holds out the box - her hands are steady, though! Go her. "It's a pie." She offers those words with a grave seriousness. "Eddie over at the bakery owed me a favor, you know? But.. I thought.. uh. I .. don't think you know me. Alyssa McAlister. Ali. I.. I kind of broke your kid's arm."

—-

Lesson one, Monty doesn't recognise Ali. Lesson two, Heidi is the nicest person in the history of forever. That said, she seems a little confused when the pie is held out, though she takes it, pale blue eyes turning upward to regard the visitor. Oh, /oh!/ That's where Heidi saw the girl! The moment of recognition is obvious on the woman's face, but it's not angry. It's actually kind of… neutral.

Then she smiles. "You didn't break Monty's — "

"Yes she did! Pie," Monty says, grabbing the box and taking off toward the back of the house. On the way, he calls for his brother. "Simon, some girl brought /PIE!/"

"…He's not too torn up about it, obviously. It wasn't your fault at all. Do you want to come in for a minute?" Actually, Heidi attributes the accident to whatever that girl did to the fire hose, which is something she and Nathan still have to talk to the kids about. "I thought it was wonderful what you were doing. It's too bad it was ruined."

—-

"Yeah.." Ali clears her throat. "If.. if I'd known the hose was bad, I never would have.." The guilt is clear. As is, obviously, the fact that the DJ didn't see a danged thing beyond the fountain of water and people flying.

One way or another, though, she tries out a smile and goes on - "I… guess I can, for a minute? The Legal Aid guy said I shouldn't even think about-" She clears her throat. "So.. he's going to be okay? My heart almost stopped when I saw it go. I didn't even know who got hurt until the DA gave me the list."

—-

Oh… Oh no, she really thinks— Heidi's eyes narrow, and for a moment, she does debate telling the poor girl what really happened, except it's not something she can talk about without people thinking she's crazy. Plus, she'd be jeopardising Nathan at the same time. Even so, no one should feel guilty for something they didn't even cause, and plus, /legal?/ Oh, man, Heidi's heart is totally going out to this girl, and she's going to say something she shouldn't say.

"He'll be fine. He's a kid. Kids heal from anything." She leads Ali into the house, into the living room, which is comfortable, though a little dark. There are a couple eagle statuettes about, as well as a couple resin horses. "I wish I'd— What happened?" She might as well get the full story first. It's just that the 'Legal Aid' part makes Heidi a little jumpy.

—-

"I don't know." Ali reaches up to run a hand through her (somewhat messy already) hair, selfconsciously straightening her hem as she follows. "We'd used 'em before, ya know? Mostly around the campus.. and I thought maybe it'd be fun to do it in the neighborhood, down by the bar I'm working at in Brooklyn.." A slight shrug. "There's a lot of kids down there."

She stops in the doorway, uncertain.. but it spills out anyway. Fidgety as she is, there's an odd kind of relief in talking, and she babbles on, worried. "So I got the guys and we set it all up.. and.. I guess it just went. I mean, I know it was old, but we didn't turn it on all that far and…" A sigh. "Doesn't matter. It went, maybe we turned it on too hard. Maybe we just weren't paying attention. I dunno." She pauses, a long moment. Then adds, softly, "We didn't have permits anyway, and the gear was WNYU's.. just .. really stupid, I guess."

—-

Well, truthfully, Heidi had no idea there was no permit. Even so, the entire thing would have happened anyway, permit or not, given the fact that none of this was even remotely this girl's fault. Whether or not it was legal - well, that is an issue, but it's not the bit one here. "Ah, well, lesson learned for next time." Maybe she should be angrier, but she was fully within her rights to take Monty out of the water, and she didn't, so if blame is being thrown around, it certainly doesn't rest on one person.

"Someone was tampering with the hose." Even if Heidi is the type of person who would say something just to make someone feel better, that isn't the case this time. Sure, she can't tell Ali the full story, but at least she can say this much, and what she can't say, she can make up. "Monty saw the whole thing, told the doctors at the hospital when we went. There was someone cutting up the hose." And that's not entirely a lie, because that's exactly what she did in the end. "She just disappeared, though, and Monty can't remember what she looked like."

—-

But she just said she didn't know! It's nearly impossible to determine who it was, because Heidi was more concerned over her son than what the woman looked like. She's absolutely sure of what she saw, though, even if it was just the briefest of glimpses. It's pretty hard to miss a hose completely liquifying, though, or miss the fact that Monty's hands and feet were sunk into the cement.

And none of this was Ali's fault.

She could say more, just a /little,/ maybe. At least to put the girl's ind at ease? Maybe ask Nathan about this, tell him what she witnessed, state that the accident wasn't due to faulty equipment. There must be evidence, because with the hose just melted away, there wouldn't have been any of it left to find, hence… Wait.

What is she supposed to do about this? Really? It's not odd in itself that Heidi wants to help this girl, but the fact that she's pretty willing to go out of her way to fix this isn't like her, especially for a stranger. She doesn't seem to notice this, though. "What did they cite you for? Disturbing the peace? Tresspassing?" Important questions. She can find out if she needs to call the district court or the circuit court.

—-

The DJ still really hasn't come fully into the room. She leans against the wall, in fact, one hand coming free; she presses the heel of that hand into her forehead, taking a breath. "Four counts of negligence. One count of assembly without a permit. One count of theft, two counts of vandalism related to public works.." She swallows. "Christ. Look. It doesn't matter. I'm sorry - I shouldn't have - " One more long breath.

"Just. If.. if he remembers something? I.. could use the help, right?" A bit of a smile, as she looks up, eyes bright. "You shouldn't worry about my problems anyway. You got that party on Sunday. A lot to do and all, right?"

—-

Yeah, it does matter. It does, because of reasons Heidi can't say, and it's killing her, because it's not fair, and—! She's getting dangerously close to making herself look crazy, and that thought is really all that keeps her from completely spilling the beans. Usually, it's so easy to keep quiet, but she's almost compelled to say something. "Don't, it's fine, I'm glad you came over. I expected someone else would have seen this girl tampering with the hose, but I'll… Call in and tell them what I saw." Sounds like it's probably a little beyond the district court, but she'll check into it. For some reason. Some reason that she'll probably question later.

How odd.

"I'll talk to my husband, see what we can do. Listen, I'm sure this'll be okay." Maybe not everything, but at least some of it. Right? Yeah, it has to, only Heidi's not quite sure why she feels that way. It's just instinct, she'll call it, and basic human kindness. "Things happen. They always work out, though."

—-

"I've had a little luck. Miss Johannsen.." Ali admits that, softly - "Well, I'm playing the party, right?" A bit sheepishly - "It's how I figured out who you were. Who the kid was.." That's an admission, too. "She's going to put a word in with the station. I guess if I end up not going to jail, maybe that'll work out, anyway." She looks down - apparently there's not much of a censor between, you know, brain and lips.

"That was a really odd talk, though. She's kind of intense, I guess. Maybe it's just 'cause I told her I voted for … you know. Your husband." It's an attempt at a bit of humor, and comes with a tentative grin.

—-

Well, this is good. It sees that Ali has some people who already believe that she's either not guilty, or that the charges against her are a little too severe. The name doesn't sound familiar at all, even if Heidi has heard it in passing; even if she's aware that Nathan is running for Senate, he's talked remarkably little about his endeavors, and Heidi hasn't really asked.

Still, the fact that this woman would help someone based on their political affiliation is just a little surprising. "I guess most people in politics are," is her reply. Whether it's a 'fan' of Nathan or an aide, they all seem to be cut from the same mold. Even if they're funny, they still have a seriousness about them.

"Hopefully with all these people voting for him, he'll make it," Heidi says. After last time… She really hopes he wins, even if they're just slightly at odds at the moment. Nathan will be brilliant with a seat in the Senate— he just needs a chance to prove it.

—-

"That's.. sort of the point. But yeah - I hope he does. He's a good guy." Ali bites her lip. "Miss Petrelli? I.. " And then she's up off the wall, moving into the room. "Look. You shouldn't have to mess with my mess, you know? I shouldn't have come.. I just had to see that your son was alright. I had to. I had to know that whatever else? I didn't … I'd really appreciate it if you called or something? But I don't know what to tell you. It's not right of me to ask anything of you, ya know?"

—-

It is the point, yes, and this does all make sense, but… Take a certain recent election where, even though one candidate got enough popular votes, he didn't get enough electoral votes and it was just a /huge mess./ Sure, Senate isn't quite the same, but saying you're going to vote for someone and then not doing it isn't going to get anyone into office.

And… There it is again. That insatiable desire to /do something./ "Don't worry, I'll see what I can do." There has to be someone, right? Heidi smiles, reaching forward to give Ali's shoulder a pat. If she knew that she was being affected by the very voice of this girl standing so sweetly in front of her, she'd probably be a /little upset./ Just a little. "Like I said, it wasn't your fault. No one should have to— Well, it's a mess, but, you know, what's wrong with accepting all the help you can get?" There's another smile. "I'm sure the boys love the pie, too. You really didn't have to bring anything."

—-

Ali nods, once, twice. And - apparently fairly lost - retreats, moving back for the door. "I should probably go. Thanks. I… just. Thanks." She looks down at her hands, shifting her bag - fidgeting seems to be her lot, today.

But in the midst of everything, it seems a few good things are coming out of the mess. The kid that was at ground-zero is alright, Mom's not intent on lawsuits - and it turns out she's even being helpful and friendly and /that's/ definitely not expected. One way or another, it's pretty obvious the young woman's not looking a gift horse in the mouth. No, indeed.

"Make sure you snag some - strawberry. Eddie's kind of a magician with 'em." And there, at the room's edge, Ali flashes back a warm smile. "thanks - for everything. For being /nice/. It means a lot. Maybe things will turn out."

—-

Yeah, even Heidi normally isn't quite this nice, but it doesn't seem out of place to her at all. Maybe Nathan will talk some sense into her— Who knows? In any case, her guest is leaving, and all seems to be on the right track for clearing her name. Let's forget the fact that there was no permit, and the very activity was neither sanctioned nor legal. Heidi will just shove that under the rug for now, to be addressed if and when her good sense returns. Yes, she should go rescue the pie from her sons now, which she will do after holding the door open for Ali. "Take care. I'm sure things'll go fine."

—-

"Yeah. Maybe it will. Have a good day, huh? And.. I guess I'll see you Sunday." And with that, Ali heads out, rubbing at her arm. "Thank you again."

Down the walk she goes, her smile back - mostly. And that's something, right?

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