2007-05-16: A Promise Is A Promise

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: The Worst Day Ever is not over for Elena as Elle drops in on her family's apartment to take a break from babysitting Simon and Monty Petrelli. Heidi overhears, and is furious that Peter asked Elle to take care of them knowing what she did to Elena. As another potentially volatile situation rises, Elena, once again, manages to diffuse yet another crisis the only way she knows how.

Date It Happened: May 16, 2007

A Promise Is A Promise


The Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

She is so. Damned. Exhausted.

Why? Why does all this have to happen today? With Heidi sleeping away her exhaustion and heartache in her room, she was glad everyone else had someplace to be today. The apartment was empty, except for her and Heidi. Elena had just said goodbye to Lachlan, who had come to her building in a fit of rage and ire. After a violent, verbal altercation….at least the building was quiet now. She wished sometimes she could take solace in something like alcohol. Unfortunately her own moral code prevents that. She wasn't -that- weak. She was a gigantic wussy as it was.

So Elena's in the living room, changed in a pair of jean-shorts and a tanktop. She's watching something on TV, the remote tapping now and then listlessly on the end of the couch.

Elle shows up at Elena's door. The children are, for just the moment, in the hands of the Petrelli house staff. Largely because if Elle didn't get some non-kid time, there was the increasing risk of juvenile barbecue. Unaware of the developments here, it's either Jane or Elena to talk to, and somehow, Elena seems the right choice about kids. Hence, Elle arrives, with a knocking at the door.

Oh god. Elena looks at the door, staring at it disbelievingly. What…what NOW?! This was unbelievable. Unfolding her legs tiredly from the couch, she walks over and peers through the peephole. It's Elle. Unlocking the door slowly, she opens the door to smile wearily at the blonde. "Hey Elle, it's late. What's up?" she asks, taking a step to the side and rubbing her eyes.

Elle looks, oddly enough, pretty darned worn out herself. "I don't guess you have any experience with kids, do you?" Okay, so it wouldn't be #1 on the list of Things People Might Expect Elle To Say.

"I have a 12 year old brother and an eight year old sister," Elena murmurs, gesturing for Elle to go inside and closing the door. "Do you want anything to drink?" She had replenished, thankfully, the rapidly dwindling drink supply in her fridge this evening. In fact this was how she managed to have a screaming match with Lachlan downstairs, as opposed to upstairs where they REALLY could've woken up Heidi. "What were you doing with kids?"

Elle looks back at Elena. "I'll take something, yes. I'd love to say alcoholic, but I have to drive. And I'm watching Peter's nephews. They are driving me insane."

Somewhere, inside her head, she was banging her forehead in frustration. Outside, Elena gives Elle a small smile. She walks to the fridge. "I can spike a bit of orange juice with Papa's vodka stash," she tells her. "I'll go easy on it." She takes out the pitcher and the bottle. "Simon and Monty?"
Elle frowns. "I shouldn't." she says. "I have to drive back. And then I have to watch them." She nods to Elena, though. "Apparently Nathan and Heidi are having some kind of a fight, and Peter asked me to keep an eye on them."

There's nothing specific that wakes Heidi up. Though there's a slight discomfort across her hand. That's not it, though… That's something she barely even notices. Bad dreams, maybe. Restless sleep, despite being completely exhausted. Whatever the reason, Heidi is quite suddenly awake. Thankfully, she remembers where she's at so she doesn't panic - not that she's prone to panicking - and sits up. That voice… sounds familiar.

She's not saying anything about that. She doesn't know if Elle knows the extent of the disagreement, so Elena keeps it on the downlow. "Yeah," she says, and foregoes the vodka and pours Elle a glass of cold orange juice instead. She also pours a glass for herself. Handing one of the glasses to the blonde, she takes a thirsty swig of hers. "I heard. Are they handfuls?" she asks. "You look tired."

The blonde nods. "Yeah." She takes the glass gratefully. "A couple of the people there are keeping an eye on them just for a few minutes. If I didn't get out and get at least a little adult conversation, I was gonna go nuts." -er.

"I take it you've never babysat before?" Elena asks, taking a sip of her orange juice and looking at Elle, she gestures for her to have a seat, pulling out a chair from the kitchen table. "That's okay, I can relate. It can get pretty exhausting."

Wait, Elle? Has her kids? This is the same girl who tried to kill Elena, right? Heidi's heart sinks into her stomach, she pushes herself from Elena's bed, and makes her way from the room, appearing at the doorway in some rather un Heidi-like clothing. Blue eyes /stare/ for several seconds as she approaches, before she asks, "What are you doing with my kids?"

Elle blinks. Of all the things she might have expected, Stairwell Petrelli is Unexpected. She looks back up with a blink as she sees Heidi. "Heidi! Oh! Babysitting. Mostly. Your maid is just watching them for an hour or so." So Elle could get some sane adult conversation.

"…Heidi, you're awake," Elena says, blinking as Heidi pads out in an NYU sweatshirt and a pair of comfortable, black yoga pants. "Do you want anything to drink?" she asks. Oh god. Please let everything be okay. She keeps calm, and she eases out of her chair, if Heidi needs anything.

She has never looked so angry. Sure, her husband's a jerk, and Peter read her mind, but you don't mess with the kids. You just /don't./ Even if Elena's forgiven Elle for what happened, there's no way Heidi has, because— because she's being completely irrational at the moment. And the flippant way that Elle answers - something that may have come off cute when they met - is suddenly enraging. Except Heidi isn't prone to violence, so she just stares. Wordlessly. Oh, if only her eyes could kill. It does not appear that she's in the mood for anything to drink at the moment.

Elle does a doubletake. Okay. Important things to add to the babysitting rulebook. Apparently you don't get to take time off for adult conversation when you're watching them. The Glare Of Death does get her to pause a little. "…annnnd, I was just about to head back there." Cause right now, that looks like the good answer.

Oh my god. Those eyes. They look murderous. Elena looks between Elle, and then Heidi. And then Elle, and then Heidi again. Finally she speaks up. "They're doing okay, yeah? Had fun, played a little….went to bed?" she says, trying to diffuse the situation by trying to get it in Heidi's head that the children are safe and with the house staff. Oh my god. She could feel it again, the strings slipping from her fingers.

"/No,/" Heidi says, holding out the hand that's not bandaged. Pointing. She looks kind of drunk, even though she's not. Exhausted is a more appropriate description. "No, you stay away from my children." Yeah, this is one of those things she didn't want Elena to see. Protective mother side of Heidi, who can't fathom allowing someone who hurt a friend so badly to return to her children. It doesn't make /sense./ She is a trusting person, but that trust only goes so far. And when those eyes turn on Elena, they barely soften at all. That's not the /point,/ they say. At the same time, Heidi no longer sees Elena as a kid, but as a friend. An equal. Which… is why she's even seeing Heidi this angry at all. "Do you remember what she /did?/" is asked.

Elle blinks. "But…" 1 + 1 are not adding to 2 in Elleworld. "They needed a sitter. Peter asked me." She was trying to HELP! "They're both okay!" She quickly reassures. Pause. "Well, Simon kind of has the runs. But I think that was from the pizza."

"I remember, Heidi," Elena says, softly, moving to step in between the two women. Not necessarily to protect Elle, and not necessarily to protect Heidi - but if any of them want to get at one another, they were going to have to get through her, and she can withstand a pretty damned good amount of pain. She looks over at Elle. "Elle, the two kids are with the house staff now, yeah? It is pretty late….why don't you go on home and get some sleep? You look like you need it." Her eyes are pleading. Please listen to the mom. The mom has overriding rights when it comes to the children.

WAS IT FROM THE PIZZA, OR BRUTAL TORTURE?! Calm down, Heidi, take a step back, her heart tells her. Except she really doesn't want to, and in the end, her heart and body have to compromise and remain right where they are. At least she's not leaping at Elle. Yet. Elena-the-voice-of-reason, however, does provide some sort of solution, with the result that Heidi actually does relax a little. After all, there's not a whole lot /she/ can do to Elle, and despite the fact that she did break Peter's jaw, her backhand is currently out of commission. And really, she doesn't /dislike/ Elle. She just doesn't want the blonde girl alone around her kids. It's not the ability… It's the /psychotic./ "I'll call the staff and tell them I'll be right home," Heidi says.

Except that Elle may inflame the situation. And not even really for the wrong reason. "…no." She says, simply. "I promised Peter I was going to look after them till he said it was all right." She doesn't know the details of the situation, and honestly, she doesn't need to. In this case, all that matters in Elleworld is "Elle promised Peter".

"Elle I know you promised Peter," Elena tells Elle. "But Heidi's about to go home to be with her kids, so you really don't have to keep baby sitting them tonight. The babysitter leaves the kids when the parents get home, so honestly it's okay." She digs out her phone, and turns so she could give it to Heidi. "Here, Heidi - call who you need to…there's also a cab company in my directory. NYC Cabs, to take you to where you need to go." Oh god. Oh god. Please god. Don't do this to her. She doesn't want to have to get in the middle of a catfight.

Blue eyes narrow. Heidi will do anything for her kids if they think they're in trouble, and at the moment, she /really/ thinks they are. So, option two in Operation Keep Yourself From Beating the Crap out of Elle and Getting Yourself Killed in the Process is… Keep Elle here. Keep the girl here, and the staff at the mansion will take care of the kids. Sure, they'll be angry, but they won't leave Simon and Monty on their own. Taking Elena's phone, she holds onto it, but doesn't call anyone yet. "Elle, they're my /children./"

Elle nods. She's doing her level best to be calm. Rational. "I realize that. And if you wanna go home, that's entirely cool. But -I promised Peter- I would watch them till he said it was okay. I don't know what's going on with you and Nathan, and I don't know who's to blame. But I made a promise, and I'm sticking with it."

Oh jesus. Elena, to her credit, resists the urge to rub her face in frustration. But she keeps quiet, and just lets the two women talk to one another. She slides her hands in the back pockets of her shorts, willing the higher powers to have mercy on her today and just let this blow over. She didn't care how. Either have both Heidi and Elle stay here, and then -leave- together, or they reach some sort of consensus. Either way, she'll let the two women talk it out. For now.

She can feel tears stinging her eyes again. Keep her talking, that's all they have to do. Peter. Peter kept the secret from Heidi, and now he's asking Elle to watch Simon and Monty? She's going to snap. That breaking point is rapidly approaching; all she wants to do is keep the kids safe. That in mind, she steps around Elena and Elle so she can stand in front of the door. "Please. /Please./" She has enough tact to not bring up what Elle did /right in front of Elle,/ except for the previous passing comment. "Let me call. You go home, I go home."

Elle sidesteps to block Heidi from door. "No." she says, when the woman tries to pass her. No intimidating voice, no electric ball. Just a simple statement. "Heidi…I don't know what's going on. And I -like- you. And if you wanna go home, that's fine. Hell, -I'll drive you myself-. And go sleep on a couch if you want. But I -promised Peter- that I am watching those kids till he says it's okay." Pause. "Would you want somebody watching them who -wouldn't- promise that?" C'mon, Heidi. See reason. Don't make me fry you. She's thinking that. Which, admittedly, is a step up, since Elle's usually looking for a reason TO fry someone, not a reason NOT TO.

Oh Christ. Elena looks at the couch, looks at her room, looks at Elle and Heidi. Finally, she exhales, and makes an executive decision. Taking a step out of the kitchen as Heidi and Elle stare at one another at the door, she reaches up to unhook her jacket from the peg. She was tired. So. So tired. But she doesn't have…her pride can't take telling them that, that she had a rough day and she was too tired to deal with this and she just wants to sleep. Instead, she perseveres. She slides the jacket on, and stuffs her feet in her sneakers. "Why don't we -all- go," she says, looking at Elle, and then Heidi. These two needed a buffer. She was it.

Elle wants to know what's going on? Is that what this is? On one hand, she shouldn't have to explain herself. Plus, she doesn't want the whole world to know that Nathan is having an affair, because despite the fact that she's rather distressed, she /still loves him./ On the other, she's already started this argument, she's already angry, and she doesn't want to compromise on her children's welfare. So she's about to do something very stupid - potentially - when Elena steps in. Heidi looks between the two younger girls, before turning and running both hands through her hair. The boys are obviously okay /now./ Except for Simon, who seems to have some weird food sensitivities. "No, Elena, you can stay if you want to." Christ, she's supposed to be an adult. What is this /doing/ to her?

Elle, actually, couldn't care less about what's going on. Well, okay, not QUITE true. There is a non-zero amount of caring. But honestly, it's her promise that concerns her FAR more than Heidi and Nathan's arguments, or marital troubles. The blonde looks between the other two, somewhat uncertainly.

"No, I'll go, Heidi. I promised I was going to look after -you- today, just as Elle promised to look after the boys today, so I'm afraid you're stuck," Elena says. And while stubborn, she finds it in her to give her a smile. "Come on, I'll sit with Elle in the front." Well, luckily she didn't give Elle that alcohol now. Not when she's about to go on a field trip. She scribbles a note in Spanish and tacks it on the wall right in front of the door, so her Papa, Manny, and Dezi can see it when they all get home. "Come on, we're burning the evening hours, and I'm sure you're anxious to see Simon, Heidi." Maybe she can help with that, too. She was pretty good with medicine.

What a mess. What a /mess./ At least everyone is unhurt. She doesn't feel bad snapping at Elle, because she legitamately believes that Simon and Monty are - or were - or could be potentially - in danger. She could have approached it better, though… Could have not been such an ass. "All right. Okay," Heidi concedes. This arrangement'll work out. And there's plenty of extra space in the mansion for Elena and Elle both. It's just that Heidi really didn't want to go back there tonight.

Elle nods. "All right." She seems much happier with this arrangement. The kids get their mom back, and Elena is there for grown-up conversation. "Let's go." She turns and heads for the SUV.

She grabs her own bag. She contemplates grabbing her backpack - but that had her laptop in it. Elena leaves it, and shoulders the thing. Stepping up next to Heidi, she reaches out to squeeze her shoulder and murmurs softly to Heidi. With that, she gives her a tired smile, and turns so she could trot after Elle. To the SUV. The SUV that she was tazered in. On the seat she was tazered in. She heads for there without even so much as a twitch on her face. Like she had promised Jack, she was, figuratively, getting a little more ballsy as time goes on. She had to. Human beings were remarkable when they are forced to adapt.

All Heidi has are the clothes she was wearing when she got here, and those are kind of piled in a corner in Elena's room, because they're a little torn and slightly bloody, and otherwise unwearable. Shoes are important, though, even though they're not the most comfortable, at least she can walk in them to get to the car. She eases when Elena speaks, though still doesn't seem completely happy with this. She'd rather Elle not be there at all. That could just be the exhaustion talking, though.

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