2007-09-04: Your Father's Legacy


Cyprus_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: When Cyprus met Nathan…

Date It Happened: September 4, 2007

Your Father's Legacy

Petrelli Campaign HQ

The afternoon is ticking away slowly. Nathan rests the phone back in its cradle and leans back in his chair, the office quiet with only the hum of the laptop and the sounds of work and business from the main room drifting through the walls and shut door. It's kind of amazing, how much work has to be done - more so than when he was running for Congressman. But right now? Nathan pauses, looking at his laptop - emails have been seen to and forwarded or answered, writing's been done, schedules have been looked over, and phonecalls have been made. He has a meeting very soon but right now? Right this very second?

Nathan had nothing to do.

It's a surreal 10 seconds, tapping his fingers against the edge of his desk and then reaching over to angle a family portrait a little better, a small move he'd been meaning to make all week, so that the light of the laptop can't reflect off it. Maybe he could go for a walk, or something, play computer Solitaire, or call home and check of Peter— never mind, the phone rings. Damn. Nathan glares at it for a moment before picking up. "Yes? Oh. Yeah, send him in." Donovan. Nathan sets the phone back down, straightens his tie, and pulls some papers closer, to perhaps pretend like he wasn't just seriously contemplating a card game mid-campaign.

There's a few more moments of peace and quiet, and then the door opens. Most people would wear a business suit with a power tie to a meeting like this, to send a statement and leave an impression of strength. It is what lawyers are trained to do, after all, dressing up in their suits like knights of old, to joust and combat each other for favor and justice. And Cyprus, it seems, is confident enough without the tie. The business suit is still there, but it's not the sort one wears when you are eager to please. It is the sort one wears to be both professional and comfortable.

He pauses only a moment in the doorway before smiling. Cyprus crosses the office in three swift strides, and extends the hand not carrying the briefcase. It's a firm shake if Nathan takes it. "Mr. Petrelli," he offers. "Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to meet with me. I understand you are quite the busy man, and I do appreciate this." Eye contact, and an easy, almost disarming demeanor, but there is still no mistaking the man for anything other than a lawyer. No one else has quite the same air of directed and deliberate ease.

His own suit jacket is hung up near his door, so Nathan's down to his red and blue tie, a sky blue shirt and slacks that would match the missing jacket. Nathan stands when Cyprus enters, returning that smile with an easy one of his own as he shakes the man's hand. "Mr. Donovan," he says, staying standing as he gestures towards the chair pushed to the side, indicating Cyprus to drag it on over. "Take a seat, please." After settling as well, Nathan pushes his laptop closed and aside, leaning back into his chair. "Can't say I wasn't surprised to have your name come up." Sort of a verbal nod towards acknowledgment - Nathan may not have mimicked his father entirely in career moves, but he certainly knows the names and faces of a few of the more prominent lawyers in his firm. "What can I do for you?"

Pleasantries exchanged, Cyprus takes the seat indicated. He waits for Nathan to settle and broach the subject before beginning. It doesn't sound rehearsed, but good lawyers seldom do. "It's less of a matter of what you can do for me, Mr. Petrelli," he says with a slight smile. "And more precisely of what I can do for you. I have done a bit of research, and I noticed that while your campaign does have several lawyers on staff, you have not set upon a relationship of retention with any particular defense firm. There is the assumption, of course, that that role was being filled by your father's firm, which I am here today to represent." He pauses on that note. "As we both know, Mr. Petrelli, assumptions can lead to terrible things."

"Terrible like a missed opportunity?" Nathan asks, gaze breaking from Cyprus so as to check the contents of his featureless coffee mug, which is predictably empty. "Another interesting piece of information about my staff is that they're bad at keeping the coffee refull going." He drags his intercom over towards himself. "Want anything?" he offers. "Coffee-wise, that is, I'm getting a good idea as to your other intentions." The words might be pointed and probing, but his tone is reasonably unassuming, smile still easy and in place.

"I had a latte before I got here," admits Cyprus. "But thank you, Mr. Petrelli." The probing is accepted in stride, and if anything, the lawyer seems to relax somewhat. Thing go so much smoother when the other person understands the situation, it would seem. He reaches down to his briefcase, and opens it. He pulls out a small file, complete with the formatting common to preliminary legal documents. It even comes complete with a business card with the Symbol and Cyprus' name and contact information paperclipped to it. He places it on the desk in front of Nathan. "It is a draft of a letter of retainer, Mr. Petrelli. Both our firm and your campaign would stand to benefit from this partnership. Having our legal services available for your needs in an official capacity would certainly work as a method of deterrent for any possible actions your opponent might take." Libel and slander suits are common place in politics these days, and most hardly ever even see the light of day. But it's still good to have someone waiting for them, to get them dismissed from court.

After requesting one of the junior staff members for a caffeine fix, Nathan turns his attention to the draft slid his way. It's picked up and leafed through, but there's likely nothing unexpected there. "Call me Nathan," he says, without looking up. "It sounds like you're addressing my father." Considering his staff addresses him as such, Cyprus maybe gets special treatment on the grounds that he actually knew the late Mr. Petrelli. "I think it shows that I'm doing something right that we get to have this meeting when I don't immediately need you," Nathan quips, setting the document back down, nodding to the intern that knocks and enters to refill his mug, likely a NYU student who thought she'd be doing cooler things than coffee errands. She's gone quickly, shutting the door with a click, and Nathan inclines his head to Cyprus. "You'd know better than most that I have a personal interest in benefiting my father's firm. My only question is, why you?"

"I greatly admired your father," says Cyprus simply. He lifts his head, and regards Nathan evenly, without hostility or timidness. He knew it would be asked, and this is the truthful answer. "Your father gave me a chance to prove myself, to show that I could be the lawyer he believed I could be. And he made me a partner because of it. Your father, on that day, told me that the greatest work of a defense lawyer is not saving the innocent. Anyone can save the truly innocent. The greatest work of a defense lawyer is fighting for someone you know to be guilty with all your strength and all your will, because it is the right thing to do. Even the guilty deserve the very best in defense, for that is the very foundation upon which our justice is based." Cyprus smiles faintly. "It is in the dark you see who your friends truly are. Many of the men and women your father left to safeguard his legacy have fled. The others have little reason to stay. Your father may be dead, Nathan, but his legacy lives on. And I intend to protect it. And I would like your support in this."

No wonder his father liked this guy. Nathan almost smiles, imagining Cyprus and Peter in one room with the topic of ethics and justice between them. He's not sure anyone would make it out alive. "I'd like to believe that," he says, and sounds actually genuine too. "I know I have staff that would probably advise me to cut ties with the firm, it's done enough that my reputation could stand to be separated from my father's past mistakes." One that starts with 'L' and ends with 'inderman', for one. He taps the draft in front of him. "This could— would be a big step up for you. I want to know I'm talking to the right person." He slides the papers back, almost a gesture of rejection, but then his hand lifts for another, more meaningful handshake. "I hope I am."

"Give me the chance, then, Nathan," says Cyprus quietly. He stands, and takes the hand firmly, smiling with accomplishment. "And I will show you that your father made the right choice."

"For better or for worse, I trust his instinct," Nathan says with a slightly rueful smile. He releases Cyprus's hand, and he hands over his own business card with more direct contact details before sitting back down. "Thank you," he says, by way of dismissal, then adds, "I think he'd be grateful that you didn't jump ship when you could've." Both in the wake of Arthur Petrelli's death, and in the context of Nathan's colorful political legacy. Working with the Petrellis has always been a rocky ride.

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