2008-02-16: A Likely Story


Elle_icon.gif Gabriel_icon.gif

Summary: Gabriel returns to the apartment with blood on his hands - and an explanation for how it got there, which Elle is hesitant to believe.

Date It Happened: February 16, 2008

A Likely Story

Peter Petrelli's Apartment - NYC, NY

The day has not gone as planned. Where he was supposed to be going to the store, Gabriel finds himself running back to Peter's apartment covered in blood. It's not his blood but that of a woman who was shot at the hands of a mugger. When the police showed up, he had to get out of there.

Finally arriving at the apartment, his footsteps announce his presence long before the sound of a key in the lock does. There's a curse on the other side of the door, but finally the sound of a key scraping into the lock comes just a second before the deadbolt disengages itself. Opening the door, Gabriel steps inside quickly, dropping his invisibility. He has no idea where Elle is in the apartment. It suddenly occurs to him what this is going to look like, and he doesn't wait another second before heading towards the kitchen.

At first, it would appear as if Elle has stepped out of the apartment, as she's nowhere in sight nor does she call out to him. It isn't until the dog starts to bark and race into the kitchen that she shoves her crutches beneath her arms and fumbles with the door to the washroom to open it. Stepping out into the hallway, she begins the mildly frustrating task of hobbling towards the door - and consequently, the kitchen. Her hair is damp, tied back with an elastic, and she's dressed in a denim skirt and red sweater. "Gabriel?"

As soon as he's in the kitchen, Gabriel turns both taps as far as they'll go, grabbing the bottle of dish soap and applying a generous amount fo this hands. He begins scrubbing, head snapping in Elle's direction when he hears his name. "Elle," he says, unsure of what to say at first— the sheer amount of blood he's covered is definitely out of place. It always looks like there's more than there is, but that isn't going to help him explain. When a known killer comes home covered in blood..

"I … had an accident. Don't come in here, I don't want to get any on you." She just showered, after all.

"What are you talking about? Get any what on me?" If there's one thing he shouldn't have said, it's 'Don't come in here.' He might as well have rolled out the red carpet and set up big 'STEP RIGHT UP' signs. "What happened?" Elle's crutches turn her footsteps into a strange rhythm as she approaches. She cranes her neck, trying to peer around him to see the hands he's running through the water, intent upon moving straight up to the counter beside him unless he can come up with a more compelling reason for her to hang back.

"Blood." Gabriel continues to scrub at his hands, most of the blood coming off relatively quick due to how fresh it is. There won't be getting any off of his clothes— thsoe are stained beyond repair. Even as Elle gets closer, he hunches down, still trying to hide it from her, even though he has an excuse. He's paranoid that the first thing she thinks will be that he's killed again, and he doesn't want that. "There was an accident in the alley. A woman got shot."

Blood. The word hits her hard, and Elle stops dead for a second or two, staring at the back of his head. It's only when he explains further that she starts to move again, cautiously. It takes her long enough to get to the counter that his hands are nearly clean, and she sets her crutches aside, leaning her weight against the counter. "How did you get blood on you?" Her frown is deep, her eyes fixed on his hands as he scrubs them clean rather than looking to his face. "Who shot her?"

Once his hands are finally clean, Gabriel grabs a nearby towel, using it to dry his hands. He turns away from the sink, leaning against the counter and looking at Elle. "I put pressure on the wound. She was shot in the thigh. Some mugger was trying to take her things and I was right there when it happened, so I tried to stop him. The police showed up and I ran because I didn't want to have to answer any questions."

Tipping her head to the side, Elle flicks her eyes up to his face, turning to rest her hip against the counter rather than her belly. He ran from the police. Covered in blood. "Did you stop him?" Her voice bears a hint of… anxiety, almost, when she asks the question. As if she isn't convinced she wants to know the answer. "Whose blood was that?" She gestures with her head to the sink where he just finished washing his hands.

"Stop him? You mean kill him?" Gabriel pushes away from the counter, turning away from Elle and heading towards the bedroom area. "He was stopped. He tried to shoot me first. The woman pushed him and he missed, and then he shot her. I tried to stop it, but I wasn't quick enough. I managed to knock him over and he hit his head, but he still shot her. That's where the blood came from." Once he nears his duffel bag he kneels down, pulling a fresh, clean white shirt out of it. He takes off the bloody one and throws it in a nearby trash bin, slipping his arms through the new one and pulling it over his head.

"That's not what I meant." Except it kind of was, even if Elle won't admit that to herself, let alone him. When he moves away from the counter, she reluctantly takes up her crutches and follows after him. In the living room, she pauses to allow him some privacy, listening intently to what he says. For several seconds, she isn't quite sure what to say, her expression shifting in a subtle way. When she speaks again, her voice is softer, less suspicious. "Was she okay?"

Once he's finished changing, getting rid of his jeans after the shirt, he steps back into the living room, walking over to where Elle is standing. He comes to a stop in front of her, shifting his weight to one leg and crossing his arms over his chest. He watching her face closely, looking for any signs that she doesn't believe him. "I don't know. After all of this, the police showed up. She was bleeding pretty badly when I left, but I'm sure the police took care of it."

"I hope so." If she doesn't believe him, Elle is hiding it well, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. Leaning heavily on her supports, she keeps her eyes on his, frowning. Once more, it looks as if she can't decide on the right words, shifting uncomfortably. "You did the right thing," she says haltingly, her tone meant to be reassuring, though her stumbling delivery detracts from her sincerity. "But you should have stuck around to talk to the cops. They're going to look for you now, probably."

"I didn't kill him." Gabriel has no idea if Elle believes him or not, but he wouldn't blame her if he didn't it. It doesn't stop him from wanting her to believe him, and it's the reason he says it again. He starts to reach a hand out to her, but he changes the movement halfway, bringing his hand up to his face. He buries the palm of his hand into one of his eyes, rubbing it vigorously, and he turns away from Elle, moving towards the couch. He sits down on the edge of it, hands clasped between his knees, his eyes on the floor. "What would I have told him? They would have wanted a name, had questions… even if I gave them a fake name, they would have been suspicious when nothing came up in their records."

"I guess." He could be right, of course, but it's six of one and half a dozen of the other even if he is, in Elle's mind. And evading the police entirely somehow seems more suspicious than giving them details and disappearing - particularly when the woman could corroborate those details. …if she lives. Throughout all of these thoughts, Elle is staring off distantly, silent until she lets out an exasperated sigh. She moves towards the armchair, carefully lowering herself down into the seat. "We can keep an eye on the news and see if we can find out if she's okay." It's also a surreptitious way for Elle to find out if there really was a mugging and shooting, if she has any lingering doubts.

"I used invisibility, so there's no way they could have followed me here. I don't think they even saw me. Once they were close, I heard them, and that's when I ran." He leans into couch, relazing into the cushion as the adrenaline begins to filter out of his system. "She got shot, so hopefully anything she says they'll dismiss as part of the shock. I don't think they would believe her about an invisible man saving her." He falls silent after that, turning and staring at the TV in front of him. He doubts it would be on the news yet, but all they can do is wait.

Collecting her crutches once more, Elle rises to her feet with no small amount of effort. Without a word, she moves from the armchair to the sofa, carefully sitting down once more. There are pillows piled from earlier, and she hoists her immobilized leg onto them. Slowly, she lies down on her back to rest her head on his leg, turning to look to the television, pulling his hand around to rest on her shoulder. "You should open your watch repair shop again," she says after a short silence, a propos of nothing.

The ex-killer allows Elle to guide his hand to her shoulder, and he keeps it there. "I've been thinking about it," Gabriel says, eyes straying from the TV so he can look down at Elle. "But I don't know where I would get the money to do it." He pauses, watching her, and it's with a tiny shove that he teases her. "Are you going to be my cute assistant?"

That elicits a laugh from Elle, and she turns her head to look up at him with a wry smile. "I think we'd kill each other if we tried to work together," she teases, shaking her head. "I have a few contacts to call. People who knew my father who might have something for me." Turning away once more, she doesn't look back to the television, instead turning her eyes down to her hands. In them, she forms a small ball of electricity - first in one hand, then she adds the second overtop - and watches it with an absent stare. "Not sure what to do if that doesn't work out."

Pausing to consider Elle's words, there's a small shrug from Gabriel. "You might be right. I don't know if I'll be able to re-open that one, though. I might have to find a new one.. but I don't know if that's what I really want to do. There's some other things, but…" He trails off, eyes distant as he watches a random spot on the couch near Elle's stomach. With a small shake of the head, he re-focuses his eyes on Elle, a curious look on his face. "Might have something for you?" His eyes shift to her hands when she begins to play with electricity, tiny reflections of the blue lightning in his eyes. "Like what?"

"No idea," Elle replies, a movement of her shoulders against his legs suggesting that she'd shrug, if she were in a position which would allow her to. "Maybe nothing. But I need to do something." Tipping her head back once more, the ball of blue light still crackling in the space between her hands, she looks up to him with a raised eyebrow. "Can you see me waiting tables? Because I can't." No, Elle is absolutely not the customer service type. Even she knows that. "So I'll call around, see if one of them can use me for something."

"Don't do anything… untowards," Gabriel says, eyes still on the electric ball in Elle's hands. Without really realizing what he's doing, he extends his hand out towards her, electricity crackling to life in his own palm. "Waiting tables?" he muses, turning his hand slightly and watching the electricity creep over it. "No, not really."

Drawing one of her hands away, Elle smiles faintly as he extends his own hand. Anyone with less control of their abilities than Gabriel might pose a risk when combining charges this way - but she trusts his control. That, or she hasn't thought that far ahead, which might be more likely. "Untowards?" This time, it's a smirk which appears on her face, and she snickers again. "Should I even ask what you mean?"

"You know what I mean," Gabriel says, looking back down at Elle. This distracts him from keeping his hand a careful distance from Elle's; it gets a little bit too close, and he inadvertently gives her a little shock. "— sorry," he says, pulling his hand away so it doesn't happen again. "Just…" He pauses for a moment, and a small smirk creeps up on his face. "Be good."

The shock takes her by surprise, and Elle pulls her hand away sharply with a little yelp, the charge instantly disappearing from her hand as she curls her fingers into her palm. "Ow," she exaggerates jokingly, flattening one hand on the seat to push herself up some, allowing her to turn to face him. "That hurts." With a devilish little grin, she lashes out quickly, shocking him lightly in return. Playfully, she asks, "What'll happen if I'm not good?"

"Not so fun on the other side, is it?" Gabriel says, the smirk on his face growing. The smirk disappears, however, when she shocks him right back, and he rubs the spot where the electricity it. "Hey, now," he says, turning his hand towards her— at first, it looks like he's calling for a truce, but he quickly gives her a light shock on her upper arm, just above the elbow. "If you're not good? There'll be more of that," he says, smirk reappearing.

"Son of a— ow!" This isn't likely to go anywhere good, considering her leg is broken and in a cast, but Elle isn't one to back down from a fight. Not a playfight, anyway, and certainly not to Gabriel. "Is that a threat?" Not sounding particularly intimidated by his words, she supports her weight with one hand again as the raises the other, zapping him more forcefully this time. She has the luxury of knowing he'll be able to sustain a stronger shock without any damage - and can't retaliate in kind without hurting her. …you know, maybe she ought to have thought about whether or not he'd keep that in mind while she keeps pushing his buttons. Nah. "Try it, hotshot."

"Ow!" Gabriel pulls back at the next shock, rubbing his arm vigorously as he looks at Elle. That one actually hurt a little bit. Granted, he'll recover from any damage she might cause, but it doesn't stop the pain. "Oh, that's not a threat," he says, hand crackling with electricity. "That's a promise." He reaches out, quick, shocking her in her leg— the one that's not in a cast. It's stronger than the last shock, but it isn't enough to cause any real or permanent damage.

This could go on for quite some time before one of them ever gives up. They both have a stubborn streak, and if they get too carried away, someone is going to get hurt. …and that someone is probably Elle, she realizes. The impish smirk on her face hasn't yet faded as she reaches out to take hold of his shirt, pulling him towards her for a sudden kiss. If he thinks this is her admitting defeat, however, he's sorely mistaken. In the distraction she hopes she's caused with her little maneuver, she shocks him again, lighter this time.

The kiss disarms Gabriel, the electrical arcs crackling over his hand fading as he leans into it, one arm slipping around Elle's shoulders to pull her closer. Her tactic works well. As far as Gabriel is concerned, she's lost.

That's when she shocks him again. It stings, but now that it's happened, Gabriel is not surprised. A cheap tactic on her part, but who is he to complain? He smirks against her lips, reaching a hand down and shocking her lightly in the thigh. "I can keep this up all night, you know. When are you going to give up?"

Replying to him only with a smirk, Elle leans in to kiss him a second time, more passionately than before. He has to be expecting her to shock him again, and she knows it. Of course, that doesn't mean that she's about to let that stop her; all it means is that she takes her time with the kiss, curling her fingers into his hair. When she finally breaks the kiss, only then does she zap him again, dropping her hand down to his chest. "I'll give up when you do."

When the kiss breaks, Gabriel is breathless, and there's a small yelp at the latest shock. Smirking, he pulls her close. "I'll have to make you give up, then," he says, taking his hand in hers. He intertwines their fingers, and it's with a smirk that he gives her another shock. He doesn't give her anytime to react, however, as he leans in for another kiss, much more passionate than before. He keeps Elle's hand in his, taking care not to bump or brush up against her injured leg.

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