|So Much for the Afterglow
Author: karrenia PM
The worth any secret is usually determined by the number of people from which it must be kept Nathan and Peter Petrelli discover how very true that will prove to be.Rated: Fiction K - English - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,043 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 09-19-09 - Published: 04-17-07 - id: 3494940
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"So Much for the Afterglow" by Karen
As far as Nathan Petrelli is concerned as soon as word had reached him that a New York news wire had leaked information about the existence of people with the super human gene, it had caught him a little off balance, but only long enough to mix himself a stiff drink and go into his office campaign headquarters to place a few calls. The first was to Mr. Bennett, the next was to his wife, and the final call was long distance to Odessa, Texas.
If he had not seen the hard, undeniable proof with his own eyes proof Nathan would have been inclined to toss of such obviously pulp sensationalist reporting as merely a gimmick used by the newspaper industry to sell papers.
"After all, who in their right mind would believe that a man could fly, turn invisible, or paint the future, really now?" His hard won skepticism and cynicism had begun to slip away by increments, and it was damn frustrating. It's not that he minds, it's damn incontinent timing, especially with being right in the middle of his campaign for a seat in Congress.
As he thought over everything that had happened in the past several months, within his own family, maybe, just maybe that it might all mean something. However, at the moment Nathan Petrelli would be damned if he could say exactly what that nebulous 'something' might be.
At this late stage of his run for a seat in the United States congress, he could not readily dismiss this as a gimmick. After all his own family, including the addition of one more unlooked long-lost daughter, Claire, were now in perhaps more danger than ever.
Nathan leaned back in his leather desk chair, titled his head back and closed his eyes. The
pieces were in place, ever since that day in Las Vegas when he had been forced to quite literally take flight, straight up into the air, use his own powers to escape a perhaps fatal gunshot, sometimes he wondered if these powers were more of a curse than a blessing, and the mysterious and rather ambiguous Company knew more about the situation they were telling; stranger things have happened.
"Damn it all to hell, I could write an entire book on the stranger things that have been happening, and I can just bet, that if Peter were here right now, he'd been loving every minute of it. Peter, why aren't you answering your phone? I'd indulged your crazy stories about having powers and saving the world by saving the cheerleader. I honestly believed that you would come to your senses and come home where you belong, with your family."
Nathan sighed and rubbed slumped forward in his chair, grinding his teeth in frustration.,
In the silence of his own mind, Nathan could not come up with a ready answer. Not that he was trying to be self-indulgent, far from it, it only made sense to want to try and protect those nearest and dearest to him, his family, and if by extension, that included Claire Bennett, then so be it.
Elsewhere, on the streets of New York the object of his older brother's painful thoughts rematerialized just the way his mentor, Claude, had taught him to, and slid a few coins into the slot in the curbside newspaper kiosk, reached in and grabbed a copy of the paper with the big block letters, Truth is Stranger than Fiction: They Live Among Us:
Peter smiled and went over to a nearby bus bench to read the full article. He was not entirely certain how he felt about the truth being revealed in this manner, but it made for good sensationalist reading, and if nothing else, it was nice to have been proved that he h had been right all along, there were others out there, others who shared the super human gene, and now here was his proof, right there in black and white.
As he scanned through the article, not entirely paying attention to his surroundings, Peter realized that as happy as he might to be right, this could potentially have a lot of dangerous repercussions. After all, that Sylar fellow, couldn't be the only one out there going after and killing off those like him.
While his attention was thus occupied, Peter did not notice the 451 metro city bus pull up, open its doors and let off the passengers at their stop, nor did he notice a man with horn-rimmed glasses come over to where he sat and take a seat next to him and casually strike up conversation.
"Pardon me, but haven't we met before?" the older man asked.
Peter set aside the paper on the empty space on his left side and regarded the other man with wary amusement, Manhattan was a big city, it was bound to happen that he would run into someone he had bumped into any number of times. "Look mister, I don't mean to be rude, but I'm having a bad day, so kindly leave me alone, thanks a ton."
"You might want to hear what I have to say, young man," the other replied, not in the least put off or offended by the icy tone in Peter's voice. "If I am correct about the contents of that article you were just perusing, then I can sympathize with one of the many reasons that you, as you quaintly put it, 'are having a bad day'"
"Who the hell are you?" demanded Peter half edging off the bench and half prepared to fling aside any and all threatening moves the other might be inclined to make. Peter thinks both the tone and the man are strikingly familiar, but too much time has passed since he left Odessa, Texas, saved the cheerleader, and woke up from a potentially fatal coma, to tug at the necessary puppet strings in his brain, to place the connection.
Claude might have something to do with the current fight or flee instincts that he has been having more often this is strictly comfortable, but something in the back of his mind told Peter that this meeting is more than mere coincidence, so rails he initially hostile tone, fumbles an apology, and sat back down on the bench.
"Who I am is of no immediate importance or benefit to you," the older man replied quite calmly and apparently not in the least taken aback by Peter's outburst.
"I come as a friend, and if I am not mistaken of your own identity," The older middle-aged man offered a wry smile and a wave of his hand at their immediate surroundings, the ebb and flow of both pedestrians, commuters, and cars and taxis going by. "Look around you, this might all disappear in the blink of eye, and you, well, Mr. Petrelli, you might need all the friends that you can get, the ones you can really count on, that is."
"How do you know who I am?" Peter asked, intrigued in spite of his own reluctance to open and trust this stranger who seemed so familiar, yet at the same time, frustrated with his own inability to place him, or summon up his name.
"That really is not that much of a mystery as you might think"
"What do you mean, that I'll need friends?" Peter asked.
"I know about those who have suddenly manifested shall we say' unique abilities, and I have more than a pretty good idea of what will happen once the contents of that news article breaks. It won't be pretty." The man in the horn-rimmed glassed broke eye contact and stared out into the late afternoon crowd of Manhattan, and sat in silence for a stretch of time that Peter felt disinclined to break, before he added:
"Stranger things have happened," Peter nodded in agreement, after all, he certainly seemed to be the poster boy for the weirdness of late. "Why do I get the feeling that you more of what's going than you're letting on?"
"I thought I did. Truth to tell, I know a little more, and I know that you need to get in touch with your brother, before all hell breaks loose. Because, believe the alternative is not to think about."
"I don't know whether or not to believe anything of what you say," Peter shook his head, "It's more than a little overwhelming."
"I understand, and I do sympathize with your situation," the other replied as he reached up removed the glasses and with them dangling from the tips of his right hand fingers, dabbed at a thin coating of film on the lenses. "Unfortunately, Mr. Petrelli, time is one luxury that we cannot afford. Good luck to you. You are going to need it."
"So what is this, some crazy stranger turns up, knows my name, tells me that I'm danger, and then leaves after offering up cryptic advice?" Peter heaved a sigh. "Will there be a quiz later?"
"This is not a game, or pass and fail test," the other replied, this time with a touch of anger and impatience in his voice. "We/…er, I mean, I, need you to take this advice seriously. Can you do that?"
Peter did not reply at first, trying to come up with some kind of response, "Yeah, I can."
"Good. Then, this is the part when I say goodbye," the other said, smiling to take some of the sting from his earlier angry words. "I need to go make similar visits to other unique individuals, but it is no less important that we carry on."
"I will," Peter nodded as he stood up, "On one condition, tell me your name."
"Can't or won't?" Peter asked.
"I don't remember it." The middle-aged offered that wry half-serious smile that he had shown early on during the conversation. "Good luck. You are definitely going to need it."
Just at that moment a metro city bus pulled up at that stop, the doors slid open and Peter watched the middle-aged man in the horn-rimmed glasses board the bus, wave goodbye, and pay his fare.
As the bus slid away and back into the grid of the city's seemingly never-ending flow of traffic Peter reached up and smoothed back the dark mop of hair on his head, thinking in the back of his mind, "That was very trippy, but if he's right about any of this, I really should go see my brother."