2007-04-20: An Electric Sunday Morning


Jane_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif

Summary: Another visit, a second conversation, sharing of secrets, death, and revival!

Date It Happened: April 20, 2007

An Electric Sunday Morning

Jane Forrest's Apartment in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC


It's fairly early Sunday morning, and Elle Bishop is troubled. More and more, being with Peter Petrelli is making this incipient conscience grow. It's completely at odds with who she is. And there's the annoying realization that she doesn't have anyone she can -talk- to about these things. Candice is as amoral as Elle, and wouldn't be a good choice. Her father certainly wouldn't. And well…Peter…it gets too muddied up in emotional nonsense. And well, there's just not that many other people that Elle knows. So this Sunday morning, slightly before 9 AM, Elle knocks (or rings, as appropriate) at Jane's door.

She's up and moving around in there, but maybe hasn't been for long. Her head turns toward the door when the knock comes, and seconds later feet follow it. The door opens, to reveal her standing there with a fresh cup of coffee in one hand, shorts on her legs, an oversized shirt from a boyfriend she had at Yale and still likes to sleep in, along with no shoes. She tends not to wear them at home. "Elle," she greets. "Come in. I just put the pot on. Perfect timing, yeah?"

Elle is, of course, dressed to the nines. When isn't she? At the moment it's one of the ladies' business suits she tends to wear on, well, business, along with the ever-present sky-high heels. She has a folded up paper bag in one hand. "I brought breakfast." she offers, just a little awkwardly. That's what you're supposed to do when you visit someone, bring something, right?

"Thanks," Jane replies, her features shifting into a smile. That Elle would come by and bring food, after their last… encounter, well to her this is solid progress. The taller brunette, well, not so taller given she's in natural heels and Elle's got shoes. The difference between them now might be just two inches. "Perfect timing on that count too. I'm famished." She heads for the kitchen and the table there.

Elle walks out with Jane to the kitchen. She sets the bag down on the table. Inside are bagels and cream cheese from one of the nearby delis. "I hope I didn't wake you up." Which she couldn't have if the coffee's on, but Elle's just a little uneasy at the moment. This is unsteady turf.

"You didn't," she assures. "I've been up around 8:30 most Sunday mornings for years." Jane's eyes go to the coffeemaker, which finishes its task a few seconds later. Two mugs are grabbed from a cabinet and set on the table, then the pot is brought over. Her guest's is filled first, then her own. Condiments follow, she replaces the pot to keep it warm, and finally she slips into a seat. "How've you been, Elle?" She doesn't even look at the Spot Which Scorchy Made on her wall, which has been painted over. If these two didn't know it was ever there, no one would. And the guitarist's manner? Water under the bridge. It happened, and is over. Sometimes a girl just has to vent.

The blonde takes a seat of her own. "I've been better. We have possible trouble, so I came to warn you." Well, not REALLY. But that's her cover and she's sticking to it. She pulls out an envelope with a photo of Pamela, as well as a blown-up version of the camera phone picture from her fight with Peter.

Her eyes shift toward the photos and study them carefully, as if memorizing the face or trying to. "I'll be on the lookout," Jane replies, and asks "If she's sighted, what's the plan, Elle? Make contact?" Trust happens here, it doesn't occur to her in the slightest she might be taking part in something not so above board. And her eyes drift from there, across the blonde, and to the food. Foooooood. Fingers might reach for it, they seem to twitch a bit in that direction, but she clamps down the urge for the moment to let Elle give rather than take.

The blonde notices the glance, and offers the bag over to Jane. "With Peter or I. Preferably me first." she says, looking to Jane. "Don't try to fight her yourself." Because she'd actually prefer Jane NOT getting squished, a thought which vaguely surprises her.

A nod of acknowledgment to the words spoken. "I won't." Fingers take the bag and dip inside, coming out with a bagel and some of the cream cheese which she proceeds to apply. It's then she realizes something is missing and she stands to get two plates, sitting again on her return, and starting to eat it. "What'd she do?" Curiosity, yes. "I should maybe at some point brush up on my fighting. Right now it's somewhere between using a guitar as a club and nonexistent."

Elle answers "She went after Peter and Adam. And then when I tried to bring her in for questioning, she and I fought."

"Ow." A wince comes over her features at that, and perhaps a bit of fear. After all, she's seen what the blonde has on her side, and if this one tangled with her and got away, well… that's scary. "Questioning…" it's not in itself a question, more an acceptance. Although one might tell she's a bit troubled by that angle, she appears at the least to accept it at face value. Attack someone, expect others to come ask why. Fair, to her. But, curiosity still. A new name. "Who's Adam?" And the bagel? Bitten into.

The blonde looks more surprised. She'd assumed Peter had told his allies more about all of this. It causes her to hesitate a bit, and then she asks the question on her mind. "How much…has Peter told you about all of this? I mean, the big picture."

With one hand ready to lift the coffee cup, as she neatly chews the bitten off bit of bagel and swallows it before speaking, Jane replies "I know about Gabriel Gray and he fought him, and that he can be invisible. Most of what we've talked about has been that, the top priority. But there's been mentions of paintings, we've not taken time to really pour into it all." And her eyes lower for a moment, then lift again. "Apparently I knew things before, but I don't now, and… some have been reluctant to share details. If you tell me things, Elle, is that going to make trouble for you?"

Elle considers that a moment. Daddy wouldn't like it, that's for certain. But Peter…it surprises her that Peter hasn't said anything more. There's a long silence from the blonde, and she covers it some by preparing a bagel herself. "I…probably." she says. "If it's found out. So the answer is we don't let people find out."

A nod of understanding. "Thank you, Elle. I'm… I mean, you came to me with this, it was from you I learned about the Sylar thing. And the plans to form an association, then I talked with Peter. Given what I'm told is my history, it's not certain in my mind if I'll be accepted into all of this. But I'm on board as much as I can be." Her cup is lifted and sipped from, Jane's listening.

Elle nods. "All right." she says, and she sips her coffee. This wasn't her plan this morning, that's for certain, and for the briefest moment she finds herself surprised that she's rolling easily into the "more important" matters rather than the ones -she- wants. "How much do you know about the Company? The one my father and I work for? For that matter, how much do you know about my father and I?"

"You're his daughter, he's your father, and you make electric forces work for you. Your father is apparently the head of this company, the one that held Peter. And you helped him leave, with the distraction caused by the raid I went with Nathan and Hiro on. The Company works with people who've developed beyond general human capability. And it sometimes, obviously, keeps people." Then she leans forward for Elle to see the back of her neck and pulls hair aside, baring a spot there near the base, just where she can't easily spot it herself.

Elle nods. "That's right." she says. "The Company deals with people who have superhuman abilities. There are three normal means of dealing with them. One is recruitment…bringing them aboard as Company agents. A second is identification and release. That's what -that- means. She nods to the spot on Jane's neck. "The last is incarceration, for those too dangerous or maladjusted to go free." Though some of that third bunch wind up as agents. "Sylar is the greatest threat on the boards at the moment, but there have been others. Are others. Adam Monroe was one. He was incarcerated for quite a long time. He eventually escaped…and at the moment there is an uneasy truce between him and my father, in large part to the fact that Adam is working with Peter."

She listens, her eyes settling on the blonde as she speaks. Jane doesn't seem to like the idea of incarceration, but it's qualified in her expression. "I don't like the idea much of locking people up without trial, Elle," she quietly admits. "But I have to concede it's neccessary. We can't go to the standard police, that's madness, it involves public knowledge of who we are and what we do. Society isn't very receptive to people who are different, it's scary and fear on that scale leads to big tragedies. One hand rubs the front of her neck. "I really don't want to be called a witch, dragged out by some mob, and hanged. Or set on fire. So we have to have some form of government amongst ourselves."

Elle nods. "Well, Adam has tried before to wipe out the entire human race, Jane. He's as big a threat as Sylar if he decides to go that route. My father's opted not to try and bring him back in at the moment, mostly because Adam's threatened to go public, and if he does, we get the problems you just mentioned. The fact that Peter's associating with him could either be a moderating factor on Adam, or a dangerous one for Peter. It's one reason I'm so tied up into all of this. To be a watchdog."

She nods, speaking a quiet reply. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If you're not sure which applies, the keeping them close still works. They can be watched." Jane takes a sip from her coffee again and sets the cup down. One hand rubs at her neck again, possibly an unconscious sign of fear from the idea of being publicly exposed, and having a rope strangling her there. This, of course, is added to by the mention of… wiping out humanity. That shifts the expressionary gears into holyfuckingshit! territory. "Why would anyone want to do that, and… how?"

Elle looks a little agitated herself. "Adam has…become disillusioned with humanity. He believes that we're beyond redemption. He was originally locked up for attempting to release a virus that would have wiped out more than 90% of all human life on the planet. The Company managed to stop him. Barely. Now that he's loose…needless to say, no one is terribly comfortable with it.

Now she's on her feet and pacing. "Holy shit," Jane exhales. Her face has gone pale and the fingers shake a bit. It might take a few minutes to recover composure after this one, at least enough to present a facade of calm here. People who know her well might at this moment be hiding all the glassware, because she's starting to look like she might just scream. Her mouth is opening and there's no sound seeming to emerge. The eyes close, she starts to draw in a deep breath, and… somehow just barely manages to avoid letting loose. No, that'll come later when she's alone. "He created a fucking virus and tried to let it loose? And he's not, just dead?"

Elle looks back. "The virus was created based of experimentation of a naturally-developed but very rare virus. Adam didn't develop it, but he -did- try to release it into the wild. And as far as the other…" She looks less comfortable still. "Adam has the ability to regenerate damage, Jane. I'm not sure if he -can- be killed. He's been alive more than 300 years."

The woman takes a few deep breaths as she listens, working to draw herself back under composure. It's some seconds longer than that before Jane speaks again. "If he tries anything like this again, I vote we find out, Elle. Seriously. Even if means tying him up, sneaking him onto one of Nasa's rockets, and giving him a one way trip to the sun. I… I don't really believe in arbitrary killing, I've even got some issues with capital punishment on conventional cases, too often it's found the person wasn't really guilty, didn't have enough money to hire decent lawyers, but… this one, sometimes it comes down to the simple primal issue. Kill or be killed. Adam Monroe seems the type who'll present that same stark choice."

The blonde nods, slowly. "Yeah. I don't know, Jane. Being with Peter confuses moral issues for me. I don't -have- a whole lot of moral compass.

Amid all the things swirling in her brain right now, there's that angle too. Elle and her lack of moral compass. It helps to draw her back into some kind of focus, some kind of calm. Something she can talk about in more concrete terms, a single thing right in front of her. It's one of the things Jane does when she's close to exploding. Shift gears, push things aside, and come back to them after having time to process. The voice softens somewhat. "Why is that, Elle? Compass is learned, generally. You're capable of having one. Peter gives you one."

Elle looks back at Jane. "What do you know about me?" she asks. "I mean, actually know. That Peter told you, or anyone told you?"

"Very little, Elle," Jane admits, lifting her cup and sipping from it again. "You're electric, you're dangerous when you're angry. You'd have no problem frying a man if needed. I think you might've done it before. But some things are more important than following those instincts. I didn't get fried because something was more important. Most of it you told me. All I got from Peter about you is your name and the link to the Company. The rest came from you, through things you said and did."

The electroblonde takes a deep sigh, and she explains a little more. "The Company aren't "nice" people, Jane. They do what they do, because they believe they have to…but they're also big proponents of the whole "greater good" theory. They'll hurt people, if they think that at the end of the day, it will help more people." It's an oblique approach. She's not comfortable jumping in both feet first.

"Much like the CIA has, in legend and in practice. Or even standard military forces. The United States nuked Japan twice because Harry Truman thought it would save lives, and an argument can be made he was right. Invading them, occupying when they were committing kamikaze acts, it was felt they'd line up to commit mass suicide and take as many as they could along for the ride. So Truman used something so new, so shocking, as to break that resolve. Nukes." Jane pauses, adding "The Company does whatever it believes the mission requires."

Now's where it gets hard. Because now's where it gets personal. "My ability developed when I was very young, Jane. When I was eight, I set my grandmother's house on fire. When I was nine, I caused a four-county blackout in Ohio. That's when they brought me in. Because I was dangerous. They tested me. A lot. And I have to go on hearsay for a lot of this, because just like your memories were taken of the raid? Mine were of the testing. I don't…remember very much, except being raised at the Company. Until I left with Peter…I'd never been on a date. I'd never kissed a boy. Never seen a movie. Never done anything that didn't relate to testing, or being an agent for the Company. I remember some of it, and what I do isn't pretty…I remember the psychological tests. "Sadist." "Sociopath with paranoid delusions."" She's tense, and it's visible in every line of her body. "Whether that was the training, or the testing, or my powers, or the memory-wiping…I don't know. But it's who I am. I'm not a nice person, Jane. I -like- hurting people. I've killed people before, and I'll do it again…and there's a strong part of me that LIKES doing it."

Her eyes are wide as she listens, the tale clearly shocks her. Jane can't hide the reaction. She hopes against hope it doesn't set the blonde off, the memory of the Zeus ammo display is fresh, she knows if the woman wants it to be this is her last conversation, ever. But there's that part of her that can function under stress, and it kicks in. Keeps her from cowering in a corner, draws things back to practicality. "But now there's a part of you that wants something else. The chance to experience all the things you never have, the company and love of a man. This is why I'm not a charred body in the morgue, or the water right now." A deep breath is drawn, and another, before she speaks more. "You scare the hell out of me, Elle, I won't lie. You'd know even if I tried. And I'm not a shrink by any means. But… a lot of people I know are in uncharted waters, developing abilities people aren't supposed to have outside of movies and fiction. I'm not going to run away from you."

Elle looks back to Jane. "I do want those things." she says. "But at the same time that doesn't change who I am. I hold back on doing a lot of things, because I know Peter wouldn't like it if I did them. But that doesn't change who I am in here." she taps her chest, then with her other hand inverts it, palm up, fingers cupping empty space, and little bolts of electricity come from each of her fingers to form a ball of electricity hovering in the center. "I don't know how long I'll be able to do the balancing act, Jane." She stares into the ball as if it holds the answers.

"It'll come, Elle," Jane replies. "The more you do it, the easier it gets, in ways. At other times, you find a place, somewhere you can go that's just yours, where you can take all the frustration, all the urges you chain back, and let them go. Did you see me a few minutes ago, Elle? I… I was seconds away from turning anything glass in range into shards, and I wanted to do it for a moment, it was so close. These things I learn are a whirlwind, and when they get so intense… it's hard. But I don't want to hurt you, and not just because you'd have fried me on the spot for the glass cloud. After we're done talking I'm going to go somewhere and scream. Scream at full power. Then I'll play guitar for a long time." Silence settles in, and with it she remembers the outburst. "Not that we're the same, or that anything I've experienced compares to your own, but… the coping is the same concept, isn't it?"

Elle looks back to Jane. "When I want to cope, I hurt people." She says. She looks to the ball in her hand, and electricity arcs through the air from it, jagged, crackling lines that snap and pop near Jane as if someone were cracking a whip. "I like it when people are afraid of me." And then, as if with an effort, she closes her hand, snuffing out the lightning ball. "Right now…you're the only person I can talk to. About…trying to be good."

She should run. Seriously run. Jane knows this is dangerous, Elle is at the best borderline nuts. But she does control herself. The brunette knows her life is proof, she still has it. And there's this thing about her, that makes her do the insane thing sometimes, like breaking into secure places to break out a boyfriend she's largely forgotten (with help) and Petrellis. Altruism, curse you. The devil she can't escape, and in so many cases doesn't try to. "I'm here, and listening." She pauses. "It works two ways. I like to be honest, and there aren't many people I can be honest with."

Elle nods. "You can always be honest with me." she says. "I can't promise that I won't hurt you for it. But you can be honest." She's being so, in answering that. And she takes a moment and shows a little trust. Since Jane just got appointed to unofficial shrink and counselor. "Keep water handy." she says.

"What's the water for, Elle?" Jane asks curiously. Her hands shake a bit with the thoughts running through her mind, and to cover she lifts the coffee cup and drinks deeply from it, finding the beverage cool enough now. The other hand settles on bagel as her mind works, and her own question's answer perhaps comes to mind. "Oh. To use for turning the tables if I need it?" Yes, water conducts.

Elle nods once. She's trying hard to beat back her own paranoia. "If I get…too dangerous." she says. "It short-circuits." And hurts like a bitch.
Her eyes rest on the blonde's face, making contact with her own, as Jane states simply "If I use it, the situation might well be one where I've got nothing to lose, after all, by trying to defend myself. It could be one where I'm getting fried either way. Pissing you off more wouldn't change things, but the water might just shake you out of it."

Elle nods. "Just…in case you need to know." She says, sounding a little awkward. "I don't have a lot of friends." Yes, this is friendship. Nearly frying someone one second, and handing them your weakness the next. Of course, as mentioned, borderline nuts.

"In the beginning, no one does. Then we make some. We argue and disagree, we don't fear to be honest, painfully honest even when it means a painful physical fight. And we cover each other's backs as best we can." It's unfamiliar territory, to a point, but also not so much. Jane some time before agreed to help a man with a very explosive nuclear past keep it together, after all. "And through it, we learn and grow." Feeling the need, perhaps, to lighten the mood and ease tension she pulls out something at least a bit funny to her. "I figured out a trick, Elle, and it's a bit cruel, but it still made me a little proud. Playing guitar on the street a few days ago I used it. A pigeon was about to bomb someone who was listening, and I scared it off. But no one heard anything. It just suddenly changed course, and all I did was purse my lips. Like this." What she does is a demonstration of how she looks when hitting that note and holding it.

Elle smiles at that. "It must be nice, to be able to use your ability like that. I can't use mine openly." Pause. "Well, not usually. I did use it on some drunk guy at the bar last night."

"Creativity, Elle," Jane replies with a chuckle. "I think a lot, and sometimes I have to just play or scream, even both, to stop thinking. My thoughts, a lot of them, involve things to do with this ability. It doesn't even have to be ultrasonic. A couple weeks back I figured something out, it just came to me, and… no cab has gone past me when I wanted it to stop since." She faces away so the sound of it won't hit Elle directly, places two fingers against her lips, and looses a very sharp, high pitched whistle. It's piercing, but nowhere near the volume she'd use on the street. Then she braces for the backlash, in case it hurt the blonde's ears.

Elle doesn't seem to be bothered by it. Noise doesn't disturb her (though hypersonics would give her a bad day, like anyone else). "You should give some thought to coming on." she says. "The Company trains you in ways to use your abilities. Even narrow-focused ones. I can do more than just shoot lightning bolts, for example.

"I'm thinking about it," Jane replies quietly, in her mind the thing being put together is joining the Company. Company Light? "But I have reservations, I should tell you. I've met people, people like us, and they trust me. I don't tell other people about them, and they don't tell about me. Just like things we discuss, your urges, for example, stay between us. And if I joined the Company, the full company, they might mean agreeing to give them up. Mind you, if someone I come across is dangerous and won't do anything to keep it in check, that's a different story. They, by not being reasonable, make a choice and choices have consequences." She pauses, and asks "Show me something?"

Elle thinks a moment. MOST of her abilities are combat-based, and of one of the ones that's not, she's pretty sure that Jane DOESN'T want her to display a certain one. She looks back. "Show me your circuit breakers?"

"Down the hall, this way," she replies. Jane stands and walks the way she mentioned, toward a small panel near the bathroom entrance. Fingers pull the cover open to reveal the switches beyond. With another hand, she gestures at other doors. "Bathroom, bedroom, second bedroom I made into an office of sorts." A quiet laugh escapes. "I play street guitar because I like it and it makes me money, but I'm not poor." Yes, she's a trust funder of some degree.

Elle smiles. "Money has never been something I worried about…Daddy turns things to gold." she explains, and then flips the breakers off. She reaches out and touches the panel, and the house suddenly returns to being powered again, though the breakers are still off.

Watching this, seeing things go dark around her and return to being lit, Jane lets out a quiet whistle. "Nice, Elle. Now, I can turn the breakers on again in a bit. I'll stay here and wait while you go into the main room and move some things around." She grins. "If you want to see a demonstration of batsonar."

Elle smiles. This is a fun game, and it lets her use her powers. She moves her hand from the panel and the house goes dark, and then illumination returns a moment later in the form of a crackling lightning ball in her hand. "I'll go move things." She walks out that way.

"Thanks. Call when you're ready." This way, Jane believes, Elle will know she didn't just have the contents and their locations memorized. She just hopes the demo doesn't become an embarrassing failure. That would well and truly suck.

Elle does so, a few minutes later. "Ready!" she says, hiding herself as well.

Moments later she comes along the hallway at a walking pace and turns to enter the main room. From the doorway Jane moves forward, her head raising and lowering before each step with her lips pursed like she's letting out a musical tone Elle can't hear, and keeps her eyes closed to deny herself benefit of any residual light that might be present. The obstacles, in whatever pattern Elle placed them, are avoided. It's not as fast as she might move with lights on, but not creepingly slow either. A clear advantage is displayed over people without her talent in the dark.

Elle laughs. "That's very handy." she smiles. "Never have to stub your toe in the dark." She moves out to flip the breakers back on, and comes back to see Jane again. "I can show you another one. Go ahead and find your pulse." she says.

She stops, standing in the dark and touches her arm near the wrist. It's held out with fingers still in place. Jane remarks "Sometimes it works better than others, it's a bit inconsistent. But at my best I can tell people from objects, solid from hollow, and even identify materials from the echo they give. It hit me one day, flipping through tv channels, Discovery had a bat documentary on,"

Elle reaches out and lays a hand on Jane's shoulder. There's a surge of electricity, a shocking sensation, and then…no pulse. It's probably enough for an instant of sheer terror…which is how Elle generally used it at the Company.

Her eyes go wide, as the hand settles on her and Jane feels the pulse stop. Her lungs empty out slowly, the limbs twitch and a frantic expression comes to her face. In her head there's just a single thought. Oh God, I'm dying, I'm dead, and her knees start to fail. Lips try to speak but words won't come, she just mouths her fear and asks without sound 'Please. I'm only twenty-four.'

This part isn't quite as smooth, just because Jane's doing this annoying falling thing. Most of the people Elle's done this with were already lying there or sitting at least. So she has to step in and grab Jane to stop her from falling, and then with another searing shock, Elle acts as a personal defibrillator, restoring a nice, steady beat.

Leaning on Elle, her eyes starting to drift closed, Jane suddenly stiffens from the second jolt. Her pulse reboots and the lungs draw a deep gasping breath, then she coughs a few times and latches on to not fall over with refiring consciousness. She takes some time to get her bearings, still breathing hard and shaky, before being able to support herself and move into a seat. Wild eyes search out the blonde and she gasps words. "Fuck, Elle," she declares, "that was intense. I… Not quite seeing the white light calling to me, but it was coming."

Elle keeps hold of Jane, and once she wants to sit, she helps guide her over. The scarier thing seems to be that from the pleased and unbothered look on Elle's face, it's obvious that as far as she's concerned, this was just showing another trick, like they'd been doing all along…never mind the fact that it involved STOPPING SOMEONE'S HEART. Elle smiles. "Part of what they showed me. In case someone needed resuscitating." Or torturing.

Feeling a bit weak still, Jane sits there and works to get control of her breath. A slight smile shows, and she remarks "That was quite the trust exercise. And an EMT's dream." Unsaid: her thought that it's also an executioner's wet dream. "Damn. There's a movie I think you'll like. I can get it, or you can ask Peter to rent it sometime. Flatliners. Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland."

Elle looks back to Jane, smiling. "You feel okay, right?" Only now does it actually occur to her to ask, you know. "And I'll mention it to Peter."

"I'm good and getting better, Elle," the briefly dead and now alive woman answers quietly. A few seconds later she manages to stand and head back for the kitchen. "Hungry too, want to finish those bagels off. Wow." Jane's steps are a bit slow, but she gets there. In the kitchen she passes the table and the coffee there, choosing instead to grab a wine bottle, pull the cork out, and drink deeply from the neck before she goes back to sit.

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