It had been easy enough to track Peter’s movements around Cardiff in the few days they’d stayed in the capital. His brother had stuck mercifully close to their hotel as he’d explored the general bay vicinity and a few quaint coffee shops situated around the Quay. Through his contacts over in New York, Nathan now had a professor- a Mohinder Suresh- searching for Peter using some kind of tracking system he had access to. They’d turned up nothing so far.
Even Mohinder’s reassurances that these things took time and that they may need longer than a couple of hours to refine the search and accurately pinpoint Peter had done nothing to quell the twisting knots of worry in his stomach. The professor’s first exclamation over the phone that Peter didn’t ‘exist’ still played havoc with his logic and he’d found himself leaving their hotel room not long after that conversation in the vain hope that he’d find his brother wandering aimlessly around the bay, completely oblivious to the worry he’d caused.
Nathan found himself being buffeted quite fiercely by the wind as he made his way across Roald Dahl Plass, his coat wrapped tightly about him as he walked through the spitting rain towards one of the last coffee shops he’d found Peter in. It was just going on early afternoon when he stepped into the warmth of the café, noticing that it was pretty full already with those most presumably on their lunch breaks.
Scanning the crowd for any sign of his brother, Nathan didn’t know whether to feel upset or resigned when it became obvious that Peter wasn’t merely hiding away in some out of sight nook, sipping coffee by the bucket load and smiling sheepishly up at him through those annoyingly juvenile bangs of his.
His indecisiveness over his own emotions was swiftly rectified when he made eye-contact with one of the café’s customers he could really have done without noticing. Captain Jack Harkness. The man was sat in a booth at the far end of the café, a mug sitting untouched beside him as he looked unabashedly over towards Nathan, his face unreadable even as Nathan fancied the man was smirking (inwardly) at him.
With his expression swiftly falling to a scowl of displeasure, Nathan made his way over towards the Captain. He slipped into the booth opposite him and Jack turned in his seat to better face him.
“Mr Petrelli,” he greeted politely enough, his gaze intense as he eyed Nathan inquisitively.
“Captain,” Nathan returned the greeting, shooting the other man an equally scrutinising look.
The Captain smiled. A small twist of the lips as he sat back, leaning into the padding of the booth. Nathan felt a flare of anger towards the man before him.
“Have you anymore information on my brother?” He asked, keeping his voice as level as he could.
“Ah. Then you don’t know where he is either?” The Captain asked, cocking his head slightly. Nathan didn’t need to answer. The question itself was confirmation enough.
“I’m afraid not.” The Captain eventually replied, sliding his gaze away from Nathan for a moment in order to signal the waitress to their table.
Nathan ordered a black coffee. Captain Harkness got a refill on his own brew. They sat in stony silence until their drinks were brought over.
“I believe I owe you an apology,” The Captain began, sipping at his coffee. Nathan raised an enquiring eyebrow and Captain Harkness smiled wryly at him. Nathan noted that the corner of his mouth was bruising a rather satisfying purple.
“It was insensitive of me to lead the questioning the way I did.” Jack Harkness said. Nathan waited. The Captain didn’t seem like a man who apologised all that often. “I’m used to interrogating my suspects, not leading a… an appropriate line of questioning.”
“Ms Cooper has had words with you, I presume?” Nathan asked, lifting his cup of coffee for a sip. Jack smiled a little more.
“Something like that,” he agreed.
“Then you are not sorry.” Nathan deduced, “merely cowed by her disapproval.”
The Captain laughed and Nathan found himself relaxing for just a moment at the carefree sound. The obvious amusement seemed to light the Captain’s face, chiselling away the stern outer exterior and allowing Nathan a glimpse of the man Jack Harkness was beneath.
“I am sorry,” the Captain said, smiling gently now.
Nathan nodded his acceptance but the moment between them was soon lost; his concern over his brother overruling any possible comradeship that may have developed.
“Tell me, what do you know about my brother, Captain Harkness?” Nathan asked, his gaze piercing now as a seriousness descended upon their table. The other man sat forward, his gaze losing its spark of amusement as he leant towards Nathan.
“Please, call me Jack,” The Captain said and Nathan gave him a short nod of agreement.
“What do you know about Peter?” He repeated his question.
“Tell me what you know about Ianto Jones?” The Captain asked instead. Nathan frowned, first in annoyance and then in thought as the name registered with him. There was something familiar about that name… something Peter had told him…
“He wears a suit.” Nathan replied slowly. Jack flashed him a quick smile, as if the words meant more to him than Nathan could possibly understand. Nathan drank more of his coffee before adding that that was all he knew.
“Ianto Jones works for me. He also happens to know your brother, though he’s being rather tight lipped about how they know each other.”
Nathan inclined his head, urging Jack to continue. The Captain did so, recalling the details of his first meeting with Peter Petrelli from that very morning up until his disappearance from the Autopsy Bay.
Nathan felt his heartbeat pick up a frantic pace when Jack told him that Peter had managed to bend time and space to escape their base. That meant that Peter could be anywhere. In any time. And he may never come back. It would be all but impossible to find him now. He- what was it Mohinder had said?- he didn’t exist.
Careful to keep his outward appearance composed, Nathan tried for a look of nonchalance as the Captain finished off his tale.
“That’s four ability’s he shown so far, can I expect any more surprises from him?”
Nathan smiled without mirth. “I couldn’t possibly comment,” he said and they watched each other carefully.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” Jack began, clasping his hands on the table between them. “Help me locate your brother and I will allow you both to leave Britain without repercussions. You have my word on that.”
“You’ll understand if your word means little to me at the moment,” Nathan responded, meeting the Captain’s gaze evenly. The other man smiled a little but inclined his head in acceptance.
“I will however help,” Nathan conceded. “I have contacts in New York that will ensure my brother and I return home untouched.”
“The perks of being a congressman?” Jack asked with a smile that told Nathan he’d been doing his homework.
“The perks of being in business with a mobster.” Nathan replied with his own smile. Before standing and bringing an end to their impromptu meeting.
“Ah,” Jack responded, leaning back into his seat once more. Nothing more needed said in response to that. Nathan nodded his farewell before turning away and heading for the door once again.
Jack watched him every step of the way.
- - -
To Be Continued…?