Word count: 1,300ish
Spoilers: 1.05 ("Hiros")
Summary: Asportation (n): Removal and confiscation of a person or their property without their consent.
A/N: Written for, and in homage to, fantasticpants; originally posted anonymously here in the rare_heroes Fic exchange. Enjoy :)
Nathan Petrelli's mind goes from zero to around 100mph in the time it takes for the Haitian to cover his mouth with one hand and his forehead with the other.
It's too bad, the way things sometimes work out.
Bennet is reasonably sure that Nathan would've made one hell of an agent. The Company is always particularly interested in people who can think on their feet.
Not, of course, that Nathan is on his feet right now.
He's barely even in them.
The Haitian pulls back the covers and lifts Nathan's limp, unconscious body from the bed.
The woman sleeps through the whole thing.
She must be exhausted.
Then again, it might be something to do with the adhesive patch he applied to her arm a moment ago.
It wouldn't do to take any chances, after all.
Naturally, carrying an unconscious, half-naked Congressional candidate through the lobby of a five-star Vegas hotel is out of the question.
Still, he indulges the idea for a moment, if only because of its absurdity.
Everyone should have a hobby.
The Haitian, Nathan slung over his shoulder, looks at him impassively.
They take the fire-escape.
"Wake him up". Security cameras have an irritating way of picking up the most inconvenient details.
Like unconscious men being carried across hotel parking-lots and bundled into cars.
The Haitian crouches; passes a hand lightly across Nathan's face, and their ... guest blinks back into consciousness.
"I can take it from here." He nods the Haitian out of the elevator. "Get the car."
The doors slide closed between them.
When Nathan looks up at him from the elevator floor, approximately fourteen different and virtually simultaneous thoughts become visible on his face. The list starts with suspicion, then runs through a catalogue including, but not limited to, outrage, calculation about where he might be and how to get out of there, a brief mental tally of Bennet's nearest vital spots, a very belated recollection of whatever he was doing last night and the attending question of whether this is her fault, the abrupt realisation that he is in fact only wearing a pair of pyjama pants, and finally, an expression with which Bennet, as the parent of two teenage children, is intimately familiar: obstinacy.
That's quite a long wish-list for someone whose strategic advantages currently begin and end with 'lying on the floor'.
He takes the initiative. "I wouldn't, if I were you."
There's no sense in being uncivil, after all.
Nathan's eyes are hard and accusing, but he doesn't move. "Where the hell am I?"
Tragic that even the nation's brightest and best fall back so quickly on cliché.
He supposes it's better than "Who are you?" A pointless question, and he's pretty sure they both know it.
This isn't the kind of game in which you reveal your cards before the end.
Of course, it helps that the odds are stacked in his favour.
One of the perks of being in bed with the dealer, he supposes.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
He sees the flicker of intention just fractionally before Nathan's foot hooks around his right ankle. The one where most of his weight is.
Was. A handful of milliseconds ago.
Instead of catching him off balance, Nathan merely succeeds in leaving what he's sure will be a very interesting bruise on his lower shin.
Paper can be a dangerous business.
They glare at each other.
He shifts and goes for his gun in the same moment that Nathan decides to aim a swift kick up towards his groin.
Naturally, given their mutually opposed momentum, they both miss.
For a few seconds, the elevator is witness to a scene involving far too many limbs and a large expenditure of kinetic energy.
It's faintly exhilarating.
If you like that sort of thing.
Which, actually, he might. It's been a while since he had an assignment this interesting.
Such a shame there are currently no vacancies at the Company.
Still - business before pleasure. It's a sentiment he's sure Nathan understands.
He reaches for the holster again, but the other man checks the movement, knocking his hand away; their brawl resumes, breathless and with chess-like anticipation of each other's next moves.
Until he finds himself pressed back against the stainless-steel wall of the elevator, realisation dawning that the Congressional candidate for the 14th District has a very firm grip on his tie.
Which is interesting, given that his own hand is currently exerting an equally firm grip somewhere else.
In a situation like this, it's always best to retain some leverage.
He's exceptionally clear on that point, actually.
Pyjama pants don't really leave a lot of room for the imagination.
Not that he's ever had a problem with imagination. From time to time, it's been known to run positively rampant.
... perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, given their current predicament.
They seem to be at an impasse, so he takes the opportunity to review the situation.
Flying Congressional candidate: check.
Gun in his holster: check. He knows that; can feel leather and the steel behind it pressing into his chest, crushed there by Nathan's ribcage.
Handful of pyjama trouser and human tissue, reliable measure of their mutual proximity and, apparently, excellent predictor of an unexpected shared interest: check.
Of course, that last one's not actually on the list.
And they say there are no Company bonuses.
He supposes he might as well make conversation. Break the ice a little.
Not that other matters aren't ... pressing.
"Well, this is awkward."
There is a short pause which, if nothing else, serves to underscore his point.
He has to admire the full range of meaning packed into that single syllable. If Nakamura should ever ... abdicate, perhaps they already have a worthy successor right here.
But back to the business at hand.
As it were.
Nathan moves closer, if that's possible, until it feels like they're sharing air.
Which, he supposes, they are. Brownian motion being what it is.
The look in Nathan's eyes is remarkably ... intense.
When the elevator doors begin their well-oiled journeys apart, it's difficult to say whether the would-be Congressman's approval ratings have ever been higher.
The Haitian looks somewhat less wildly enthusiastic.
And that little interlude turns out to be sufficiently distracting that he can finally get his gun out of its holster.
Not that he's really expecting to fire it.
Still, one never knows.
He shares a glance with the Haitian as they exit the building, but as ever, the man gives nothing away.
Of course, neither does he. It's probably a good thing that having inappropriate thoughts about a future member of Congress isn't a special ability.
At least, not the kind his employers would be interested in.
Still, he's looking forward to asking the Congressional candidate some very searching questions. Politicians must answer to the people; it's a vital part of the democratic process.
He feels he's entitled to know exactly what his tax dollars are paying for.
Sandra's phonecall catches him completely off guard.
She knows not to call when he's in a meeting, which means it must be important.
In his experience, important news isn't usually good.
Not a particularly comfortable thought, and he glances down again at the flashing cellphone display.
Of course, that then takes a back seat to a nice little re-enactment of The Running Man.
It's not really a comparison that favours Arnie.
And that's before you consider the possibility of flight.
The sonic boom takes a moment to reach them, meaning that in that the instant after taking off, Nathan has accelerated to a little over eleven hundred feet per second.
That's actually pretty cool.
Sighing, he holsters the gun.
Worthy adversaries are hard to find.
It's rarer still that you find a worthy adversary who's hard.
He rubs his chin, thinking.
This little denouement can mean only one thing. All the signs point the same way.
More damn paperwork.
(Original post here; prompts were kidnapping attempt gone wrong, tie bondage, "Well, this is awkward.")
x-posted to heroes_fic, morallygrayfic and paper_pwns_all