2007-03-03: A Good Learning Experience


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Summary: Xander visits the Gomez apartment to get Elena's testimony for the Hava Java incedent, and learns that there are a few people he's going to track down.

Date It Happened: March 3rd, 2007

A Good Learning Experience

Gomez Apartment

It's been a while since Xander has checked on the Gomez family. He doesn't really -have- to, but since there are a couple of investigations on his schedule that would require going in every now and then to see how they're doing. Xander makes his way through the city, coming from Brooklyn, and soon steps into the hallway of the apartment building, making his way through to the Gomez apartment, and proceeds to hit the buzzer real quick.
When the buzzer is responded to, it's Elena - and once she realizes who she is, she'll buzz him up.

When Xander comes up, the young woman opens the door for him and smiles. "I guess you know by now I'm an early riser. Papa left a little while ago so you just missed him, but is there anything I can do for you?" She's got a fading bruise on her forehead, a tanktop, a pair of pajama bottoms, and an apron. This is one of the few mornings where she isn't working or at school early - and given the past 48 hours, damn it, she was entitled. She looks like she just rolled out of bed as well, her hair is a little tangled, which is somewhat alleviated by the fact that she has tried to disguise this with a scrunchie pulling her hair up.

She's also got a pair of Shrek's "Donkey" slippers on her feet.

She lets him inside. "I have leftovers from breakfast, have you eaten?" she asks Xander. She looks like she's in the middle of her own breakfast herself - omelettes done in a southwestern style, with homemade salsa and hash browns.

Xander allows himself a grin as he sees the girl's face pop out from inside, and replies, "Serving the masses their daily dosage of coffee does seem to be an occupation requiring an early rise, yes…" However, his tone shifts, and he replies, "As much as I'd love a little more breakfast than a hot pocket, I don't want to impose myself on you more than I need to, which brings me to why I'm here…" Uh oh, professional reasons. "Do you mind if I come in, Elena?"

"Sure, come on in." She'll give him something anyway. Besides, she was hungry. So when Xander walks in, Elena moves to the kitchen and sets an extra plate out for him. Her own breakfast is half-eaten, and she brews a fresh batch of coffee. It's easy enough, and their coffee machine looks rather well used - just like most of the pieces of furniture in the apartment. The Gomezes were barely scraping by as is, but the apartment is clean, and the space maximized as much as possible.

Xander steps on inside and sets his briefcase down for a moment, and then slips his coat off, and sets it aside, before carrying the briefcase over to the table. He blinks when he sees Elena readying another batch of coffee, and chuckles a bit, "As much as I'm always for allowing you to serve me some coffee, I much rather prefer the frappecinos, and I don't think you can make one here." He takes a moment now to open his briefcase, and tugs out a file, before shutting the case and setting it on the ground, and says, in a grim tone, "I'd heard there was an incident at your workplace… I'm sorry to hear of the loss of one of your coworkers. Did you come out of that ordeal alright? You seem a little bruised in the face…"

"Oh, it wasn't my workplace…" Elena looks over at him with a small smile. "It was another coffeehouse down at East Village, a bit aways from my Starbucks. I was there because there's a small bookstore there I like going to on occasion, and I picked the place so I could study. It's a little quieter there and I was trying to pull myself away from the library." At the last, she pauses, and looks away a bit, nodding. "Yeah…" she says a little quietly. "I'm okay. I just wish two people hadn't died, is all."

"Ah, my mistake." The Lawyer admits, since it was apparently a misunderstanding that one coffeehouse was mistaken for another. Elena's a barrista, so he came to that conclusion. Never the less, he is allowed to be concerned, isn't he? Xander nods and takes another look at the inside of the file, reading the place of the incident, and mentally smacking himself, before replying, "Still unfortunate… Would have preferred that I didn't come here with the purpose of double checking on your testimony. The remaining perpetrator has a great deal coming for him, I'll see to that… So what happened?"

She pauses, and then Elena takes a seat so she can take a bite out of her omelettes. "There's not much to tell," Elena begins slowly. "I was in the bathroom washing my face - I was getting a little cross eyed with my research. When I opened the door, I saw this kid, not much older than I am, jiggling the door to the men's bathroom trying to get his friend to come out. He didn't. Instead, gunshots flew from behind the door. It almost hit him. He flew from the door and ducked. That's when the coffee shop started shaking. I don't know if it was because there was construction nearby and the foundations were built poorly or what - I know it sounds strange, but the shaking was bad, the floor started breaking apart and knocking things off balance. I grabbed a fire extinguisher because I knew the gun man would have to step out of the bathroom eventually and he might shoot someone else. I thought….well, I didn't really think. I knew I had to do something."

Xander nods slowly, listening carefully as he reads the testimony that had been given to the police, and compares it to what he's hearing, and makes a note on his papers, before saying, "I see… This does seem to be consistent… Christian Stokes, the gunman that was arrested, you said he was thoroughly pummeled, did you not?" He pauses for a moment, before asking, "And… Did anything else happen? Anything out of the ordinary? Aside from the apparent earthquake." Asking if something strange happened is often a good idea these days.

"Yes, he was pummelled. But I don't know who did it." Which was true, Elena didn't know Lachlan's name. All she knew was that he was a friend of Cass's. "But aside from that, nothing out of the ordinary. Mr. Stokes shot his gun at another customer who happened to be carrying, but that customer bailed when the police cars came." She felt bad omitting so many things - but honestly is the jury going to believe there was also some guy present who could zip around in lightning speeds? Xander would, but jurors? "…there was also another kid there, a little older than me," she begins slowly. "He ….helped other people out. He's….I know it sounds a little ludicrous, but are you familiar with 'The Flash'? He was the same - incredibly fast. I don't know if any jury would buy that though."

Xander arches an eyebrow, and hmmms, "I'm aware of certain comic book characters, yes. And considering the nature of your mother's case, and the fact that you were recently rescued from a women who tried to fry the lot of us with flame on her hands, someone with an ability such as super speed no longer seems too ludicrous." He takes a moment to stand up, and ponders this out. "All we have to do is underplay all the abnormal happenings. Nothing too difficult about that. Stokes will be convicted before he knows it." He then looks to Elena again, and tells her, "I could also use the names of any other witnesses… They'll need to testify."
"The manager was present," Elena says. "The manager's always present - I work in a coffeehouse. He or she was probably evacuated by the hyper-speed guy. And there were a few others who stumbled out. The waitress on call at the time got shot." She pauses. "And I don't know how to find the guy who ended up pummeling Mr. Stokes." She inclines her head at Xander, her brow furrowed. "You recovered the weapons, yes? I hope so anyway….there were guns and bullets and they're probably very incriminating."

Xander nods as he replies, "Forensics are working on the ballistics today, so there's no worry on that… My main concern is trying to ensure nobody testifies to someone running faster than the speed of light around the place. The man who pummeled stokes will probably be just let off for helping you all out, so long as everyone testifies to that." He hmms and turns back to the table, and sets his notes down, taking note of who has and has not given their witness reports, before putting all that into the file, and stuffing it into his briefcase again. "This'll do for now. I'm going to try to locate the ones who ran off later…" He then glances back to Elena, and says, "I do wish I didn't have to visit on business."

"It's alright," Elena says with a smile. "Truth be told I'm used to it. I've made my share of 9-1-1 calls so I'm getting used to the protocol with the questions and everything. It's a good learning experience." She toys with her fork a little bit and sighs. "I just wish things weren't so crazy all the time, you know? It's like ever since Papa witnessed Mr. Winters getting kidnapped nothing's been the same." She rubs the back of her neck and closing her eyes momentarily. "It can get pretty exhausting."

Xander grins for a moment, before replying, "Dialing a number isn't nearly as daunting as everything else, believe me when I say that." He sits himself down and rubs his temple a bit, and sighs, "I'll figure that one out eventually. No missing person's report was filed for Mr. Winters, so I'll see if I can't visit his apartment." Unaware, he is, that elsewhere Benjamin has been found.

"Um…" Elena pauses. "I thought my father told you but Mr. Winters is back. He's staying at his own apartment if you wanted to speak to him. I saw him last night, actually, I gave him a welcome home cake because we were so relieved he was returned unscathed." She frowns a little bit. "Whoever these people are, they 'tagged' him," she tells him. "I don't know how though, but it has something to do with the marks on his neck. It's the only sign that something happened to him.'

Xander blinks for a moment, eyes opening a little wider, before going, "Oh… Well, that's good news. I must have not gotten the memo on that one… Well regardless, I've been meaning to pay Mr. Winters a visit anyway, so I suppose it won't hurt." He stands himself up, and grabs for his jacket, and begins to pull it on, "Anyways, thank you for your company, but I must go now. Unfortnately Justice is a job that is never done."
And incedentally, Xander didn't have any coffee or anything to drink.

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