f_april_icon.gif f_doyle_icon.gif f_nathan_icon.gif nathan_icon.gif

Scene Title Sleight
Synopsis Blink and you'll miss it. Nathan, April and Doyle demonstrate teamwork as they execute yet another step in Edward's schemes.
Date May 9, 2009

Textile Factory 17 and then the Mansfield Hotel

It's approaching sunset, and in one spot in America, Nathan Petrelli waits for a meeting with his daughter.

Which isn't to say that another Nathan Petrelli, ten years older, isn't doing the same thing - it's just he knows she's not going to show up. There are a few things in the world, he knows, that will get himself of this time period to make a remarkably stupid mistake. An email, a letter, written word is enough. No one is supposed to know about Claire.

In one of the dustier corners of Textile Factory 17, Nathan is alone, leaning against the wall in a pose that at least reads casual. He cuts a nice figure in an impeccable suit, not tailored, but as neat as he could get it, and shined shoes. A pale blue silk tie is a streak of luxury against a white dress shirt. He's shaved his jaw closer than he's done in several years, and hair that had been once a silver-grey is now almost pitch black and combed into place.

This is a ridiculous facade, and he adjusts the stolen watch on his wrist to note the time. The window is closing and he feels both anxious for April and Doyle to arrive as he does wishing they wouldn't.

Nathan isn't the only one, it seems, to be taking on the facade of a self ten years younger. April has been scarce around Textile Factory 17 of late; either holed up with her computer and notes and plans in an out-of-the-way place others don't visit, or elsewhere altogether. It makes the quality of her appearance an unexpected one.

The woman who walks through the doorway has straight dark hair rather than wavy; she wears black slacks and a jacket subtly pinstriped in charcoal; the blouse beneath it is on the darker side of medium green. Not as neat a figure as Nathan — but then, she's not preparing to take on the role of US President. It's still entirely unlike the casual denim and other cotton variants that have comprised most of April Silver's wardrobe since the escape.

She looks across the room at Nathan, lips folding briefly into a tense line that only the generous would call a smile. Doyle isn't here yet, so she moves farther in and settles to hold up a wall of her own. The dust that clings to her chosen attire is ignored.

Unfortunately, only one of thoses wishes can be granted, and it's the one that speaks less pleasantly for the way the evening's going to end that Nathan recieves.

"You know, Petrelli," rises a voice from the shadows, conversational but as dry as the desert at noonday, "I spent so many years planning what I was going to do to you after I got free that it really stopped being anything more than an academic exercise…"

A slow shuffling of footsteps brings Doyle into view; he's cleaned up and picked up new clothes since their return to this world, a clean shirt, pants, suspenders. Not attempting to hide as a younger self, he still looks older, even balder than before, lines run deep into his visage. He's been out a good deal. What he's been doing, nobody really wants to ask. His gaze is heavy-lidded, mostly directed towards the ground as he approaches, lips pursed into a thoughtul frown, one hand vaguely waving through the air to punctuate his words, "I had a lot of time to think in there. I suppose I'll have to live with this, though." His head lifts, and he flashes a bright smile to Nathan that never touches his eyes. Then he lifts a hand, wriggling his fingers at the other person present. "April. Good to see you, sweet-cheeks."

Nathan elbows the wall to stand up straighter once the third member of their little group as arrived, a flicker of a smile to April that comes across forced and stilted. He doesn't even maker the effort for Doyle, jaw clenching with tension as he moves to walk further into the room. Head held high. Pretending already to be something of a leader.

At least in jail he had no such responsibility. Over the last few days, Nathan's whereabouts have been a mystery to their group of deviants, although Edward hasn't seen this to be a cause for panic or alarm. Trusting, or knowing, that Nathan would do as he were told, in the end. He's had some time to clean up, at least, and more time than that to do God knows what.

"Restraint and patience would be appreciated for today, Eric," Nathan says, smoothly. Voice lacking the venom he feels. Addressing them both, he speaks quietly, almost like a conspiracy— which would be appropriate. "This will be as simple as we make it. By now he'll be waiting for someone who's not gonna show up on the roof of the Mansfield Hotel. He brought two agents with him." Apparently, he's done some recon already. When you literally have all the time in the world, why not? He glances towards April. "If you can take care of them, that would make this go smoother. Otherwise," and to Doyle, "I need you both to immobilise all three when we get there. After that— "

Nathan head tilts a little, a twitch of a gesture, gaze slanting downwards. "Just do what I tell you to."

"Doyle." April greets the last of their little team with a politesse that lacks warmth. But then, how many of this band truly like one another? She also straightens away from the wall, turning a speculative gaze upon Nathan. "'Take care of' in the permanent or restraining sense?" Just so they're all clear on the particulars and expectations. There's no question that she can do either.

"Secret Service," asks Eric, one hand lifting to casually wriggle in his ear as if he had some wax there, pulling free as he regards it a moment before wiping his hand on his pants, "Or Company?" Presumably, he's talking about the agents in question. A smile curves more wan to his lips, then, "You can count on me. Let's just get this over with, hmm…?"

"Permanent," Nathan says, directing that look towards April with a slight nod. Probably, perhaps, a good thing they never reach an understanding about the morals and ethics of what they were doing. This would be an awkward situation, at least for Nathan, if they had. To Doyle, he responds to professionalism in kind, "Secret Service. Make sure nothing gets fired. April can drop them, then I'll take you and— him back here, and come back for you." A glance to April to indicate who he means.

In truth, he could probably execute this with Doyle alone, but running smoothly is a good idea, and besides. She's a good a leash as any. Nathan's hands go out to touch Doyle's shoulder, and April's arm, and without further adieu—

A younger Nathan Petrelli has his hands clasped behind his back, wearing a suit not so dissimilar to his older counterpart currently about to leap through time and space. He doesn't have a tie on. The sky is murky shades of sunset. He hadn't flown here, which he guesses was Claire's motivation to meet him on a rooftop. No, he drove, and two suits shadow him near the door leading back into the building.

Two more minutes, he promises himself. Then he'll go.

The rooftop is about to get more crowded, however, and at the sound of something, President Petrelli is turning from the ledge as three people quite suddenly appear in the center of the space. The suits are already drawing their guns, and it takes everything Nathan has not to fly, enough so that he doesn't quite recognise himself in that first half a second.

The crisis of conscience will come later. Right now is just doing what needs to be done — shoving all the doubts and self-recriminations to the back of her head. The abrupt dislocation helps her focus; suddenly they're somewhere else, and there are men lifting guns their way.

April only has to lift her hands.

Silver luminescence folds itself around the drawn handguns, spheres that compress themselves with a sickening crunch of collapsed metal and broken bones. That part was instinctive. The silver splinters that embed themselves in each of the agent's chests take a heartbeat's more work to form and direct; not long enough to buy them any useful quantity of time.

She doesn't look at the bodies which collapse to the rooftop, scarlet hemorrhage held back by the silver-white blades that remain with them. April looks at Nathan the younger instead, her face expressionless.

"Mister President." A lazy smile curls itself across Doyle's lips as he sweeps his head towards the man that's standing ever so stately upon the rooftop. Even as the argent light erupts to disarm and kill the agents to either side, the puppeteer's hand lifts — fingers curled downwards like a marionette's master, even as his power coils unseen through muscle and bone to seize the present-day Petrelli in his tracks.

A slight widening of Eric's eyes as he steps forward, smile widening, one hand raising to waggle a finger, "No, no, Mister President. No flying away like a free little jaybird today."

Look to the left. Dying agents. Look to the right. His more youthful mirror image suddenly paralysed in his tracks, his shoulders so straight you could put a ruler to them, mouth gaping open in a show of fear and shock— and then indignant anger. All the pride in the world.

Nathan circa 2019 takes a shaky breath, a glance to April, before he's approaching his younger self who most definitely sees him now. Part of him wants to offer reassurance. That this is for the best, that everything will get better, that they're saving him.

Not quite finding the words.

"What— the hell is this, who are you people," the President growls out, a wild look between the fugitives, fixing Doyle with more alarm. Flying, the magic word. That look settles on the mirror image come to stand not far away, like him in every way. Save for some of the lines that run deeper, the softness of skin at his eyes.

In efficient movements, the older Nathan steals away a few things - a wallet from the younger man's jacket, a wedding ring and family ring from either hand, the pin stuck into the lapel of his jacket, ignoring the indigant, mostly wordless stammering from the President. "We're the best thing that's happened to you," he finally answers, with a wry look back at Doyle. Maybe not literally.

She exchanges that glance with the President's doppleganger, her own visage not shaky only because April is steadfastly refusing to think about what they're doing. Have done. She doesn't have any better words than he.

April turns away from the puppeteered President, looks down at the slain Secret Service agents, blood beginning to seep out and pool around them. That will have to be cleaned up; she unbuttons the cuffs of her jacket sleeves and rolls them up above her elbows.

"Are you absolutely sure you don't want me to deal with this for you?" A slow step carries Doyle along over towards the pair of temporal twins, his fingers twitching a bit to bring present-Nathan's arms up for more easy rummaging through his belongings, the hand swept over for the rings to be acquired once the puppeteer realizes what's going on. One heavy arm lifts, draping over the paralyzed president's shoulders, nearly cheek to cheek as he grins a darkly unpleasant grin at his fellow time-traveller, "After all… you're him now. Why keep him around?"

Present Nathan can't do anything but to endure the jerking movements of Doyle's puppetry, all solid steel tension that heightens when the man comes closer, and the older visage of himself he's currently staring at does nothing to stop it. The time traveler Petrelli merely glances from his face and back to Doyle's, a hint of a scowl detected. But he's been good at watching his mouth ever since the puppeteer showed how he could watch it for him. "Because I'll need him," Nathan answers, without elaboration, but his voice is firm.

"Whatever it is you're doing, it isn't going to work," the younger President grits out, less gravel in his voice than his fifty-one year old self. "A shapeshifter— "

"Is something I'm not," Nathan responds, easily, but doesn't seem inclined to continue conversation. He slips his wedding band back onto his finger, caught looking at it for a moment. Heidi. His sons. It only strikes him then what a momentous gift he's been given, truly. Doubts, for the moment, slam somewhere off to the side, and by the time he looks up, some tension has drained away. He almost even smiles at Doyle. "But thanks anyway. Let's get out of here."

And all three men disappear, abruptly, from the rooftop when Nathan extends his hands out, and reappear in the room from which two had started. Doyle is left alone with President Petrelli in the next instant and blink, his heart racing in his still torso, and the time traveler version disappearing and reappearing several feet from April.

They're gone; he's back; it's enough to make a person's head spin. April blinks at the returned Nathan as though to force his image to come into focus, then shakes her head a bit. She nods over to the two Secret Service corpses. "Give me a minute to pick them up; you'll be outed right away otherwise." Odds are even taking heads and hands wouldn't be enough; there's bound to be DNA on file somewhere. Of course, the blood now staining the concrete is its own issue… but markedly less of one.

She doesn't wait for Nathan's reply, but walks over to one of the corpses and drags it onto a forcefield sheet that wasn't on the rooftop a moment prior.

"Finally." Doyle rolls his eyes in his head as the would-be President vanishes once more into the ether, offering the younger Petrelli the sort of smile that suggests someone knows a secret, "I thought he'd never leave." A slap to Nathan's shoulder, and then he pulls his arm back, strolling across the room towards one of the doors. The dominant impulse of the puppeteer's power twisting in the flyer's muscles and tendons to force him to march in his wake, both of Eric's hands spreading to either side, "Come along, now. I should find you somewhere comfortable to hide, and I have been looking for a new audience for my shows. I'm a little rusty, you know…"

This is getting taxing, and there's a slightly fever-pale pallor to Nathan's skin by the time April is talking to him. He'll have to bend space at least twice more in as many minutes and a migraine-headache is already settling itself in his skull, but the break of dealing with the bodies is a welcome one, lifting his arm up to wipe at his forehead. "Thank you," he adds, slightly more genuine for the younger woman than the thanks he spared for Eric. "I'll— be in touch. Reed can find me via cellphone. If you can keep me posted…"


Impossible nightmares, in Nathan's experience, are slow dawning things. Not things that happen in a matter of a minute. And yet, here we are, tumbled down the rabbit hole which has tunneled directly into hell. He wasn't even wearing a wire, just for Claire. Stricken into a silence that has nothing to do with Doyle's ability, the former President of the United States only follows deeper into this particular purgatory.

The other half of the first corpse is hauled off the rooftop, the forcefield sliding itself forward to rest beneath it. She proceeds to treat the second in the same fashion. "I'll try. Though — It's probably best if… well, I'm sure Edward can get to you whenever he needs to, but…" The rest of them aren't the kind who can hobnob with the President. And — it'd be better to cut Nathan loose of them, wouldn't it? He's the halfway decent one of the bunch, so far as April can tell. Dropping the second body onto its forcefield support, April looks across at Nathan. After a moment, she closes her eyes, shakes her head; reminds herself to watch her tongue a little better.

It's harder for her to fold the fields into orbs, spheres that collapse with the inward curl of long fingers. The effort manifests in the slow deliberation of her motions, strain adding sharp planes to the woman's face. They don't collapse as far; not truly an irresistable force, there's only so far April's power can compress a human body. She sets a hand on the surface of either one, and looks up at Nathan. "The river would be the easiest place to drop them." Not so recognizable any more, the corpses, and especially not when the water's done with them.

"Don't worry, though, Mister President…" A look back over Doyle's shoulder, a smile crooking to his lips, "I won't be killing you, whatever I said to your other self back there. Oh, no." He claps the silent fellow on the shoulder, before they head along towards the puppeteer's section of the headquarters, "You're my ace in the hole. Even if you don't know it yet."

More and more instances of teleporting. He'd practiced, at least, and so Nathan only nods, trying not to look at the spheres and the trapped corpses within them. Men he once knew and can't recall their names anymore. Wives and families won't be happy, is his thought as he twists his wedding ring around uncomfortably on his finger.

Oh well.

Stepping forward, Nathan places his hands on April's shoulders, studying her face for a moment, lingering on the rooftop— before she, he and the corpses vanish from the rooftop as if no one were ever there. Save for the blood stains now spattered on the concrete, but coming rain is sure to wash it away. It almost always does.

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