2010-01-08: Birthday Bungles



Date: January 8th, 2010


Jade and 'Leen' are moved into their new digs by Peter (hereafter known as NurseBoy). Isabelle pulls knives on people, Jade sings Happy Birthday, Lena gets moody, and Peter puts up with all of them. Patience of a saint, that one.

"Birthday Bungles"

Peter Petrelli's Hidden House of Horror

It would take a couple trips for Peter to bring everything the girls decided to bring along, but that just meant he took one at a time. Two trips and all their belongings and both of them stand in a one car garage. Guitar and scooter all. The garage itself is empty. "I've only got two of the bedrooms furnished right now, and you'll have to share a bed… But there's a couch, too." There's a pause. "It's nice to meet you, Jade," he finally says, having skipped the formalities when he showed up in the warehouse.

He just appeared, said a few words about the trip, and then teleported them. He's not even really giving them much chance to adjust to the trip. It happened so fast. Practically in split seconds. Time travel teleportation can do that…

The door opens, leading into the basement, which seems to contain quite a bit. Including the dining room and kitchen. And on the dining room table…

Is cake.

Having jammed all of her gear into the taxi that dropped them off near the warehous, including the ten-foot surfboard sticking out of the trunk, Jade had ridden her scooter behind the car all the way there. The brief time spent waiting was spent blowing on her hands and complaining that she was cold. And then, the next thing she knew, there was a strange guy there, he touched her, and… she was somewhere else.

Talk about trippy.

"Wh-Wh-WhOA! Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. …What was that?" But a quick look at the watch on her wrist confirmed that she hadn't been tranq'd and then drug somewhere. Not unless they'd had the foresight to stand her up just as she came to and rewind her watch. "Did you just… But…"

"Yeah, uh… nice to meet you." With nothing left for it but to straighten her little wool knit cap that kept her hair safe from the wind and then jam her hands into her pockets, she gives a small, tight-lipped, awkward grimace of a smile in hello. "Pete, right? Pete Petrelli- nice name, by the way -the do-anything guy. That's fine, I guess. We can, ah, get some bunkbeds or something later."

If only moving was always so easy. Lena, who has been through the process of teleportation once before, is just grateful they didn't have to fly in this weather. Brrr. "I told you," she murmurs in an aside to Jade, after the watch-check, her lips twitching into a briefly but genuinely amused smile. Then she is tugging off cold weather gear, pushing her hood back and unzipping her jacket as she glances around the garage. The gloves stay on though.

"I can take the couch," Lena offers as Pete gives the introductory spiel. "Um. Sharing is…yeah. Not such a great idea." Pause. "I think Jade'd snore even through getting doped up."

Having shared this tidbit, the no-longer-a-teenager decides it's wise to move ahead. When the door opens, she pads in that direction, poking her head through the doorway first rather than just barging in. Lena might be sleeping better now but paranoia's a harder habit to break. "Is…uh. Did you bake? Pete?"

The mysterious recluse who has already claimed one of those furnished rooms isn't the type to think nothing of unexpected voices. She's quite the opposite, actually, and startles easily. Her being caught completely unaware, despite having been warned earlier — though honestly, even messages given in person have a tendency to get lost — is precisely why she treads quietly through the halls in only a bra and panties, wielding a knife. Taking time to put more clothes on is just the sort of mistake that could pave the way for intruders to make away with the limited offerings a house such as this can provide.

She slowly creeps around the corner, hair wet from her shower, hanging down just past her shoulders, holding the knife firmly in one hand, clearly experience with it. These are not the hands one wants to deal with if they're carrying a knife. Truthfully, they're not really the hands one wants to deal with even if they're not….

"Teleportation. Sorry, I know it's a little awkward at first," Peter says, looking apologetic as he steps further into the kitchen. "Yeah, Peter Petrelli. And your name was Jade." Who snores, which— he didn't at all know that already when he helped Lena get some much needed sleep. Not at all. "I'm the— I can't do anything, but I can do quite a bit." There's a look across his face, as if he's tempted to ask a question of her, but then decides better.

Instead he goes to the fridge, opening it up to fetch some bottles of water. "I didn't bake it. I picked it up at the store. It just says happy birthday on it, and not your name, but… you said it was your birthday, and people deserve cake on their birthday."

He's about ready to offer them water bottles, when he spots a knife in the corner of his vision. A knife and a— undressed young woman. Oh god. He's used to her many quirks, but even then. "Isabelle, it's okay! These are friends. They're going to be staying here for a while." And he puts down the bottled water and starts to take off his coat. Probably going to offer it to her. Nothing he hasn't seen before, he is a nurse, but he's politely not staring, at least.

"Damn right you're taking the couch. I might snore, but there's no excuse for farting in your sleep."

Moving to pick up and shoulder her duffel bag, the slim-built teenager makes a small 'oof' as she hefts it up, staggers to the side, then finds her center and balances the heavy load of almost every worldly possession she had on her back. She takes a moment to awkwardly bennd down, pick up her surfboard, and set it against the wall, where, if she has her way, it can remain until the snows stopped and the weather warmed up enough for her to find some beach, some where, that had waves big enough to ride.

That accomplished, the dark-haired teenager makes her way into the kitchen behind Peter, catching the look, and decides to take a stab in the dark. "Eastly. Jade Marie Eastly, and I can't do anything. But if you wanna look me up come summer, I might give you a discount on surf or swim lessonnnnnn- Holy fuckbees, there's a knife-wielding maniac in your house!"

Pulling up straight to point rapidly at said knife-wielding-maniac, causes Jade to grow off balance with her load, having to take a quick step back with one foot to avoid planting her rear on the hard tile floor.

"You got me a birthday cake?" Lena is stunned, so stunned that both knife-wielding maniac AND fond insults from her best friend both fly right over her messy little head. Not to mention the fact she lets Jade do all of the work of arranging their belongings. She's too busy circling the table, looking at the cake from every angle, jaw agape. Then a huge and uncharacteristically sunny grin splits her face…but it's short-lived, alas.

Peter's exclamation, and Jade's remark immediately after, cause the young woman to whirl and pull a glove off in the same movement. Isabelle might have a knife, but not all weapons are visible. She backs away, arranging herself just in front of Jade. Defensive and protective both, her expression set in aggressive and then incredulous lines.

"What the hell, why is she naked?" Perhaps Jade wasn't so far wrong, to be concerned at first about this move…

Peter's appearance does put Isabelle at ease — as much as he can, anyway. She still only barely trusts him, even if he's been nice to her for some time now. She doesn't lower the knife until he addresses her and confirms what is starting to flit about in that horrifying mess she calls her mind. Once the knife is lowered lowered, she finds her voice. "Would a little warning have killed you?" It's like the bickering of an angry girlfriend. Or wife. "I'm not even decent," she cries, but rather than taking the offered coat to cover herself up, she stalks back into the hallway, still clutching her knife. Then she disappears into her room.

"I did tell you," Peter says with a surprised blink, but then moves closer and holds out his coat so she can cover herself up at least. "You must have forgotten. They're why I was fixing up the second bedroom yesterday." With himself. She probably has seen more than one of him walking around, but such is the case of living with him. Things are just different. "It sounds like I'm going to need to set up a place for me to sleep in the third one, too." Cause Lena's going to take up the couch he was planning to sleep on, but he's not going to complain. He doesn't need much sleep, anyway.

"If you— want to get dressed, there's going to be cake. It's Lena's birthday." He gestures to her first. "This is Lena, and behind her is Jade. Jade and Lena, this is Isabelle. She helped me get my memory back." And ended up taking over his bedroom.

"I just told you she's a maniac!" But that thought is short-lived, before another one pops into her head, Jade, deciding behind Lena was the best place to stay, leans forward to whisper aggressively. "…Are we sure Pete isn't the maniac?"

But then knife gets put away and Almost Naked Girl begins making her irate departure, allowing the teenager to relax her fight or flight instincts from their overwhelming flight urges. "Yeah, hey, nice to meet you…" She waits a few heartbeats to let the strange new woman get out of convenient earshot before murmuring. "…Crazy Naked Lady."

After a moment, she jabs a finger at Lena's spine, giving the girl an odd look. "…It's your birthday? Like, your real one? And you didn't tell me? What the hell, Leen! I would've gotten you something. Now, you're getting a Timex." Without further ado, as she makes her way around the other woman to sling her load down near the doorway to what she assumed was the rest of the house, she unlatches the cheap, ten-dollar digital watch from her wrist and holds it out at the older girl, wiggling it enticingly. "And no complaining, either. You'll have to scratch of the 'JME' on the back."

This is…certainly not what Lena had expected. Not at all. Her eyes, with their bright new green contact lenses, flick back and forth between Peter and the strange woman's receding back. Her face is a picture of uncertainty. "I, um…I thought I was sure, but…"

And then the potential maniac in question is addressing them. Kind of. Lena squares her shoulders, giving her head a toss and attempting a casual look. As if she hadn't just been hissing whispers back and forth with Jade. "Uh, that was cool of her…nice to…meet you…" But Isabelle is gone, leaving the once-and-future brunette to suffer her best friend's wrath. "Hey, ow!"

Lena is swatting at the jabbing finger before she remembers the lack of gloves, and quick-stepping to the side to avoid future assaults. Forehead rumpling with a frown, she spends a moment on tugging the gloves back on. What had been a delight has now become awkward. "Just a lot's been going on, you know? S'okay, Jade." Not the most gracious way to handle an offered gift. But when her hand is covered, she does extend it to accept the watch.

When Isabelle has reappeared, she's dressed in a housecoat of unknown origins (she certainly didn't have it when she moved in) with her hair continuing to hang damp and loose, though clearly toweled dry a bit more than it had been during her original appearance. She walks with an almost bouncing stride towards her two new roomies and twirls about the place to get some plates. Then of course, she takes up a chef's knife, something that is sure to bring about some concern given the previous moment. She inches closer to Lena, still holding knife. "Happy birthday," she says to her in a breathy whisper.

"Let's see, there are four of us, so quarters?" She draws lines in the icing with a finger, "No, that's much too big. Eighths then, maybe?" She handles the knife in an unsafe manner, blade bobbing around as she talks, all the while sucking the icing off her finger.

Oh good, she's got clothes on. It makes him relieved as he looks back at the other young women. "She needed a place to stay after I saved her from a bus. The bus hit me and I healed, and got my memories back. But since it— people saw it. They might think she's special and go after her, so…" She's been staying here? It made sense at the time. And she knows how to handle knives, even if she looks a little… "Isabelle, you might want to be careful with that," Peter warns quietly, even if he knows she can fix herself.

"Eights should be enough, but…" suddenly he produces a candle from nowhere so he can stick it onto the cake. A little blue flame suddenly appears on his fingertip, to light it, and then he looks back up at the birthday girl. "I won't everyone sing, but— Happy Birthday. Again." Cake is his present.

And then her watch is gone, the teen's face a semi-bemused, semi-flabergasted expression that spells out she didn't actually expect her crappy gift to be accepted. After a moment, she drops her now-empty hand and leans her forearms on the counter. "You have to give that back when I get you a real present, though. That's been with me since the Keys, soooooo m'kinda attached."

But as Isabelle remakes her appearance, Jade's eyes flick over to her, then back down at the cake, then to the knife suddenly in her hands. As nonchalantly as possible, doing her best to be subtle about it, she takes a very large step back from the counter, conveniently out of slashing range. Of course, like most teenagers, her view of 'subtle' and a normal person's definition likely varied considerably. As the candle is stuck in and lit, in a rather unexpected way, causing her to give the older, and only, male a sideways look of 'what can't you do?', she sliiiiides smoothly to the side, gripping Lena's shoulders from behind, to force her to sway along in time with the lyrics. Peter might have been unwilling, but Jade had no such shame.

"Haaaaaaaaaappy birthdayyyyyyyy to youuuuuuuuuuuuuu~…"

Oh look, she's back! There is no getting closer to Lena, for she is wary like jungle cat. Or something. But certainly, every inch of distance taken by Isabelle is reclaimed by Lena sliding backwards a step. At least until her back connects with the wall beside the door. That she does not enjoy threats, even misperceived ones, shows in the hostility that quickly replaces the confusion and awkwardness that she'd displayed just moments before.

What is far, far worse is Isabelle choosing to molest Lena's first birthday cake in years. She is sullying the joy of the occasion, and it is a struggle not to set her teeth and growl at the other female. Or burst into tears. Lena's been so conflicted since the rescue.

This is why being antisocial is a plus. You don't have to try to cover for your feelings to spare the feelings of others. When Peter so earnestly produces the candle, and Jade begins with the traditional song, Lena…takes a deep breath and tries to undig her fingernails from her palms. "Thanks, guys," she says, subdued but forcing a smile. Once Jade is done with the forcing of the swaying (ohgod help), she steps forward to quickly blow out the candle.

Maybe a wish is made. Maybe it focuses on getting a piece of cake without fingermarks. Or maybe it has nothing to do with that at all.

At any rate, the cake is cut (almost perfectly) into eight pieces, and Lena is indeed quite in luck and in getting an unmolested slice. The same can't be said for anyone else as Isabelle silently doles out half the cake. Her silence is only broken when she suddenly exclaims, "Forks!" The knife, which she was using to serve the cake onto their plates, clatters to the table top as she realizes she forget to get the forks. She makes quick work of getting them and stabbing them into each piece of cake she doled out. Except for hers. No, with her cake slice, she simply sets the fork down next to it. She looks between the three of them as she licks her lips and then hastily grabs her plate and runs off to her bedroom. Her door can be heard closing loudly.

As Jade starts to sing, Peter hums a bit, but doesn't burst into song himself. But he pushes water bottles towards people in offer, which isn't quite as good as soda, but it compliments cake just fine even then. It's water. And not the recalled crappy kind. And then Isabelle takes her piece of cake and leaves. Peter opens his mouth to say something, and then opts to shake his head and sit down on one of the four chairs around the table. He'll have to get more if he ends up bringing in more strays. "If there's anything you want in the kitchen, there's a pad on the fridge door and I'll go shopping. Or you can do that yourself. There's a store about a Walgreens a block away." That's more than a convience store, but less than a grocery store!

The forcing of the swaying doesn't end until the song does, but when Jade's finally done belting out the last note in her rather off-key voice, she finally relinquishes her hold on the older girl, after giving a squeeze, and then moves on to the impatiently waiting for cake phase. She wasn't overly fond of sweets, but once in a while wasn't so bad. And it had been a few weeks since she'd had anything that was more than two percent sugar.

The fork is eyed nervously as it's jabbed into the piece of cake in front of her, but with Isabelle in swift retreat, she can't stay too on edge for long.

"Soooooo… Yeah. That chick is… Slice-n'-Dice saved your life, huh? Kinda cool. Might wanna put kiddie guards on all the cupboards with sharp objects, though."

The water is plucked up, carried under one arm as she takes her cake to the table to be picked, and likely shoved into the refridgerator for someone else to devour later. "Sooooo… are you a superhero like Gene? You don't seem quite as geektastic as he does. But, y'know, Leen said you're fighting The Man and stuff."

Lena discovers that her appetite for the magic that is birthday cake isn't quite what it had been, even with an unmolested piece all to herself. But she is still making an effort. One small bite is placed in the fork, and while Jade steps in to take up the burden of maintaining the conversation- she's good for stuff like that, oh yes- Lena seizes the opportunity to make the wish she'd put off. The bite of cake is popped into her mouth first. Please God, don't let me hurt anyone else.

Her obligation to the universe completed, Lena sets the plate back down on the table and reaches for one of the bottles of water. Poor Peter, going to all that effort to observe a birthday with cake…

"Thanks, Pete. We emailed Rebel, he said he's busy but he's gonna try to get us new papers, so we should be able to go out soon." Pause. "I don't think anyone's as geektastic as Gene. He's cool that way."

"Technically I saved her life— but she can heal herself, so she probably would have been okay," Peter says, frowning at his piece of cake, before proding a piece off with a fork and consuming it. Cake is always good, even if— he hopes it's good for Lena. He's tying to— there's a frown, and he bites his lower lip, and then looks back at Jade, focusing on the outside voice. "I'm not really like Gene, no, but— I used to be a paramedic before all this started. I'd like to be able to go back to it some day, but… right now I'm a part time nurse at a free clinic. And a full time get people off the streets and into a safe house. Which happens to be here. But I am fighting against what the government is doing."

In some not so good ways. But the girls don't need to know about the things he has to do. Eventually. Not yet.

"I'm glad you were able to get ahold of Rebel. Until then just make sure you use cash on most everything. Cash is pretty much non-tracable, unless it's stolen."

"The words 'cool' and 'Gene' should never, ever go together. And if you try it again, I'll be obligated to hit you with something until you stop." Jade's expression as she threatens the older girl is deadpanned, blank, one-hundred percent serious. Now that the man was no longer in her presence, she was finally FREE to unleash her pent-up retorts to all the comments she'd been keeping to herself. "Gawd, he refers to himself in the third person! And his hair's all wonky, so his face, and he says he smells like victory. Like. Victory. Yeah. Only if Victory smells like what comes out of the south end of a north-bound rottweiler."

That mini-tirade out of the way, the dark-haired teen's free to give Peter's explanation consideration. "So you're a nurse. A male nurse. Ah." She's forced to drop her head and pretend to eat cake to hide her smile. Making fun of the guy putting them up not fifteen minutes after moving in did not seem like a wise real estate move for her to be doing. Especially since she was just Lena's carry-on luggage.

"That is… so awesome. No, seriously. Awesome." It was torture, holding it back. "I was gonna get an ATM card, but, uh, cash is pretty much all we have right now, anyway."

Lena cracks open the bottle of water, buying herself time before having to rejoin the chatter by tipping it up for a large swallow. Still more time is purchased by sinking into one of the empty chairs afterwards to resume poking at the joyless cake. She casts a brief glance down the hall Isabelle had disappeared down before a wrinkled nose is aimed at Jade. Don't talk about her rescuer that way!

"Yeah, he also saved my life. Knock it off." The tone is perhaps slightly more curt than Lena had intended. Poor Jade too. All of this opportunity, and so few allowed chances to unleash her inner snark. Life has been so unsettled of late. "I'm…yeah. I'm sorry, guys."

The plate is pushed away, as is the bottle of water, leaving Lena free to stand again. Pretense is dropped. "I'll get your stuff into the room. Down the hall, right?" Without leaving Peter an opportunity to answer, she seizes the large bag holding their clothing and heaves it up onto her shoulder. Then it's down that same hallway; at least she knows which door to not go into. Oh look, stairs. Lena goes up, and Lena disappears, summarily ruining her own birthday celebration. The Emo Princess really is back.

"I— Lena it's… yeah, just down the hall. The door's open," Peter says, though his voice trails off a bit, as if he's worried. The cake will find it's way into the fridge soon enough, so that it's edible later, but he can't help but stop eating his piece for a bit. He looks up at Jade, "It was fine, making fun of my career choice. My father couldn't even admit outloud that I'd become a nurse. My brother made fun of it all the time, brought me women's shoes for my graduation present. So I'm used to it."

And he doesn't seem to be insulted. "I do perfer being a paramedic now, though. More direct help for people in emergency situations. But I can't go back to that until this is over."

With that said, he begins to get up, so he can put the cake away. "I need to take care of a few things. There's food in here, though. Not a lot, but enough for a few more days. Just stay safe." Cause the world isn't really safe right now. He starts to put away the tasted and sampled cake, mulling in silence. He must have a lot on his mind!

"Okay, he saved your life, but… Tch." Well, there really was no arguing with that, Jade's inner meanness trumped by heroic endeavors, and it doesn't leave her particularly satisfied. But even less satisfying is the curt way Lena abruptly excuses herself from the impromptu party and begins lugging Jade's heavy dufflebag of things, Jade's secret to staying in shape, down the hallway and up the stairs. "H-Hey, wait a minute… Coulda gone better."

"I- Huh? I didn't say anything!" After Lena storms out, the younger teenager is left to categoricly deny the accusations of their host. "I said it was awesome. You know, a guy being a nurse. Women must, ah… respect you an awful lot. Like a guy who wears pink shirts. 'Cause real men wear pink, right?" There's a moment of silence at the end of her rhetorical question. "Anyway, thanks for letting us crash here. Leen's about your biggest fan ever and the motel was just… so sucky. I killed a roach the size of my head in the bathroom there."

After a moment, Jade stands up, turning to collect her things, "I'll help with the dishes after I-…" But her things weren't there. Lena had taken them. And the first thing someone would see when opening the bag? A neat little book with the words 'The Diary of Jade Eastly' on the cover. Upstairs. With the girl who liked to read.


In the next instant, the sound of Jade's running feet recedes down the hallway.

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