2007-04-27: Bringing The Key


Jane_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif

Summary: Jane visits the Gomez residence to deliver the key to a code she created. She and Elena talk about men, roommates, life, and movies.

Date It Happened: April 27th, 2007

Bringing The Key

The Gomez Residence, Queens, NYC

For once, Elena wasn't doing anything productive. Still mulling over what she told Gene, and her latest conversation with Drake, the young woman is sprawled on the covers of her bed. She is still in her tanktop and pajamas. Her hair is tousled and tangled around her face. She doesn't have her glasses perched on her nose, however, indicative that for once, she wasn't reading anything, or studying, or tapping away in her computer trying to figure out the hows of being an Evolved person.

Instead, she's dangling a videotape over her nose. She exhales softly and shakes her head.

It was almost sad, worrying about her best friend for the -entire- day. But she oculdn't help it. She rolls out of the mattress finally, wrapping the videotape up in a shirt and stowing it in her lowest drawer, right against the back, and under a pile of her other clothes.

Stepping up to the apartment door unannounced like she did that day a coat mysteriously appeared at the Gomez residence, the Doctor shifts the plain manila envelope she's carrying to the other hand and raises the free one. She's garbed in the familiar way, with guitar and backpack in place as usual, vintage band shirt, dark jeans and heeled boots lifting her to nearly 5' 10".

Drawing in a breath, a small measure of shame on her face, she impacts the door with her raised hand. Knock, knock, and knock again.

"Coming!" Elena says, pulling her hair up to give her some semblance of put-togetherness. Yanking a hoodie from her closet, she throws it on her shoulders and pads with her donkey slippers towards the door. Peering through the eyehole, as one can't be too careful these days, she opens the door and gives Jane a small, if not somewhat tired smile. "Hey, Jane. Just in the neighborhood?" she asks, taking a step back so she could let Jane enter the apartment. Closing the door, she starts moving towards the kitchen to see if there was any soda or something left to offer her sudden guest.

She starts off speaking Spanish. It's a good, competent Spanish, but carrying traces of Yanqui accent, showing she learned it in school rather than a natural tongue. The r doesn't quite roll as she'd like it to. "You could say that, Elena," Jane quietly replies as she steps in and moves aside so the door can be closed. "How was New Hampshire?" With one hand she extends the envelope toward her hostess. "Missed you, glad you're back."

She responds in Spanish, Elena's fluency apparent given she by contrast gets the rolling 'r's correctly. "Missed you too, and yeah, New Hampshire was okay. I actually had to come back a day or two early. Found out a few things. Peter texted me while I was in New Hampshire, and Drake left me a voicemail. You can say I had to get back as soon as possible." She takes the manila envelope and looks at it, slipping a finger down on the flap. "What's this? And I got your e-mail about Elle. Peter told me about her being mindwiped." She tears the top off, and peeks at what's inside.

The contents of the envelope are a printed sheet which details that she created a domain name and made Elena an address there, to which the email was sent with her own devised musical code, and a USB drive which holds the actual code key for deciphering them. So when she's told the emails were already read, she deflates a little. "You read that already? Crap. And here I thought I set it up well. But… how did you find out the site and address existed?"

She looks at Jane, and at the deflated expression, Elena bursts out laughing. "Don't look like that. I guess I forgot to tell you my father -works- 'net security," she says. "Encryption is his life. In fact he's the one who made my computer more secure. It took him a while to figure it out…but he did. You can say Papa's skillset is rather highly specialized." Ramon's efforts had been largely responsible for protecting her computer, as well as her data disc, the one she hides inside her mp3 player. However she has only told of one person that, and she's a little reluctant to tell others just in case. "But at least with this I don't have to come to my father all the time begging him to decode every single e-mail you send me."

"Oh," Jane answers, nodding, and adds "Maybe I told you I was setting up the site and address for you before. Hadn't thought I shared that yet." She brushes it off then, or at least seems to. "It's a fairly good code, I thought. Very me, too." And there's that hint of shame again. "You read all of it? Thing got… kinda long. And the thing with Elle, it got botched. We didn't prepare properly."

"Understandable. I still need to talk to Peter." Elena pauses, and she exhales. "Truth be told I've been putting it off. Not because I don't want to see him - I do. I just don't want to crowd him. After everything you described he needs some time to breathe." She rakes her hand through her hair, frowning a bit, though the concerned expression on her face is there and glaringly obvious. "Instead I've been talking to Drake, who found himself in….a rather sticky predicament. And I spent a day talking to a friend of mine who needed to be let in." She looks at Jane. "I don't have a lot in the fridge right now and we're out of cola. Orange juice okay?"

"That works," Jane replies quietly, still speaking in Spanish. "Let in?" That seems to puzzle her a bit. "I have to make amends with Cass over this. I knew Elle could be dangerous, but still I didn't take steps in dealing with her. Never expected she'd take over the store and throw current at people unless a telepath was gotten to scan Pete and I. Crap. Now the store is waterlogged, it was the sprinklers that finally got things under control." She pauses to collect thoughts and continue. "Should've said wrong number when I realized she didn't remember me, and lined up proof to show her before doing anything else. And water buckets."

"Yeah." But Elena doesn't elaborate on what she means. Not because she doesn't trust Jane, but simply because Gene doesn't know Jane and he was already paranoid enough. But when Jane explains herself, she pulls out the pitcher of fresh-squeezed, and pours two glasses over ice. She listens for a bit, and nods, looking over at her friend and offering her the glass. She also pulls out some cheese and crackers for something to munch on while they're in the kitchen, setting them up on the table. "I don't think Cass would ever consider what happened to be your fault," she tells Jane honestly. "She was mindwiped, confused, and probably more than a little scared considering these people she didn't know were coming out of the woodwork that claim to know her. There was no way you could've anticipated that this would happen."

"Maybe," Jane admits half - heartedly, as if she doesn't hold herself entirely blameless in this as she settles into a seat at table. "If it happens again, we'll be better prepared. I got a video camera with media to make a record and hide several copies in easily come across places. And if we have to do it again, we'll have a bucket handy. I wouldn't tell you about that, it was a confidence she shared with me, but, well, cat out of bag when people saw what the sprinklers did. I… I was so angry myself, El. Did you read about the tv and the window?"

"Water was a good idea," Elena says, being scientific-minded as ever. She takes a seat across from Jane, and toys with her glass of orange juice. Taking a quiet sip, she nods to Jane. "I wouldn't blame you for being mad at yourself either, but like I said, Jane, there's no way you would've known this would happen." She glances out the window, pondering quietly. "Did she manage to get a telepath to verify you and Peter for her?" she asks finally, though this is somewhat absent. Part of her mind is somewhere else, mulling over a certain possibility. There was something she could try. It was risky. But as the old addage went… no guts, no glory.

"We did," Jane answers. "Nathan knew someone and brought her over. It's all good with her now, Nathan and I had Elle calmed down and reasonable enough to untie her before she arrived. Pete slept, he wasn't doing well, had just enough to help me tie her to a chair and put it in the bathtub, then I filled a bucket with water and put her feet in it. No chances." Fingers lift her glass, she drinks from it slowly.

"Oh? Who was she?" Elena asks, curious. If she was a telepath, and had a good grasp on her abilities, perhaps she could track her down and ask her about them to help her father. As always her mind went on several directions at once. But that can be pondered on further later. When Jane tells her about everything else, she blinks. "Alright…" she says slowly. "But Elle is walking free now, yes? I mean, you guys just didn't keep her tied up to a chair?" She hopes not anyway. Because that would suck. The news that Peter wasn't well makes her eyebrows furrow a bit. "So what happens now?" she asks, taking a few more gulps of orange juice.
"Well, I don't want to give her away, El," Jane replies, "but she didn't seem to mind all of us knowing what she does. She's a city councilwoman. Nathan knew her. And, yeah, Elle's free. We didn't, I didn't, keep her tied and bucketed longer than was needed to get her calmed down. At that point, I had to show trust she wouldn't… fry me. She doesn't live with Pete now, they're working on relations, starting back at ground floor. No… You might think me crazy, but… she's my roommate. I can't abandon her, we'd become friends before she was mindraped, and I won't abandon her. I've been where she is." Drinking a bit more, and eating, she watches the reaction.

City councilwoman. This sounds familiar. It's been a while since Elena's heard of Arianna Rockford-Johanssen, so it doesn't click right away. It will later, probably, if other things don't get in the way. When Jane mentions that Elle is now rooming with her, she blinks….and nods slowly. "I'm….actually proud of you though, Jane. Of course you can't just leave her the way she is," she says, giving Jane a warm smile. "Besides….if this telepath confirmed for Elle that you guys are telling the truth, then she doesn't have a reason to distrust you and…you know. Try and hurt you again."

A quiet chuckle escapes as Jane replies here, her voice quiet and solemn with the words. "Elle and I talked, with Pete, about what friendship means. Sticking together, watching backs, being there, speaking the mind. It doesn't mean always agreeing, sometimes there are fights. And it can mean stepping up when one goes off the rails, even if that means you soak her and stick her feet in a bucket. If I have to, I'll do it again." She calmly means every word of that. "I definitely won't tolerate threats to other friends, let alone them getting hurt. That's intervention time. Even if it gets me cooked."

"Exactly. Though don't get cooked -too- often, or too severely. Too much electricity could stop your heart," Elena says with a hint of a grin. She shakes her head, and rubs her forehead a touch. She still seems preoccupied about something - but that's because she's trying to solve a problem, and the problem solver in her won't let it go until she's exhausted all the possibilities inside her head. Finally, she picks up a cracker, puts some cheese on it, and nibbles. "Have you heard from Cass since what happened?" she asks, looking at her friend.

"I've not," Jane answers. "That has to happen soon, very soon. Cass… I helped her out earlier this week. She was at the ferry pier, across from the statue, and got swept into the water along with a small boy when a freak gust of wind blew through. Nice day, beautiful, sunny, and whoosh! Two people in the drink, others jumping in to help them. So I improvised and helped out. Started shouting orders, at that."

"….freak gust of wind?" Elena says, looking up at Jane. After a pause, she looks towards the window again. "…the weather's been pretty on and off at New York lately," she muses. "I'm glad Cass is okay though, I saw her before I left New Hampshire to talk about a few things. She didn't mention almost drowning." She laughs. "It seems like you were everywhere last week."

"Yeah," Jane replies. "Told Elle about it when she asked, before the… thing, she saw me rubbing sore arms and asked. She thought it might be an anomalistic ability." The guitarist lifts her case strap, and continues. "People jumped in to help, there were some still on the pier, so I took this," she shakes the strap with its metal connecting ends, "and the one on my guitar, then got a camera strap from the boy's father, tossed out the end and got people around to help anchor me. That's… the shouting orders bit. Like," she points at the wall and speaks clearly, loudly "You. Do this now!"

"I'll have to call you Gilligan from now on," Elena teases. But then her expression turns serious. "Anomalistic, huh?" she says quietly. Afterwards, she shakes her head and stands up from her chair, to put the orange juice pitcher back inside the fridge. "God, the things I miss after leaving for one week," she mutters. But it was a fact of life that one can't be everywhere, no matter how much one wants to be. "My brother's back from Albany, some mishap Jack and Peter helped out with a few weeks ago. So don't be alarmed if you see thuggy-looking kid leaving my apartment. That's just Manny."

Unless she's Jaden Cain, that is. But Jane doesn't know this about him. She chuckles at the Gilligan bit. The brother's name is repeated once. "Manny. Manuel?" Hey, she's still speaking Spanish, and turning in another conversational direction. Her brow furrows, taking on the expression of one woman speaking with another about… guy issues. "So, you read the bit about me, and needing silly fun in my life?" More drinking OJ, and eating.

"Yes, Manuel," Elena says, smiling at Jane and retaking her seat, taking her glass of juice with her yet again to take another sip. But when the look enters her face, the latina teen blinks at her. "Yes, about Jaden, right?" she says. "Under all of the references, he's really a very nice guy. His heart's always in the right place, which is pretty unusual for someone who's in the position he's in."

"Him," she nods. "I'd never thought I might even consider it, but…Crap." Jane colors a little in the face. "But here we are." Her head shakes a few times, she closes eyes and lowers it. "I even wore the cat outfit. It… it's not the wildest outfit ever in rock, and I managed it well, y'know, there's a time and place for things. Most times will not be that time. But apparently that one was." And she looks up. "You can totally laugh at me now, El. I just… don't know if it's because I need silly fun in my life with everything that happens, if it was him, or… both. I mean, if we did, would this be the Oddest Couple Ever?"

"Not really. Opposites tend to attract. It happened to Mama and Papa," Elena says with a hint of a grin, watching Jane blush. At least there was a bit of normal left in her world at present, despite everything that's going down. She rubs her fingertips on her eyelids for a bit. "So has he made a move or anything like that?" she asks. Hey, it's a legitimate question! "And Jaden'

s….pretty unique. But he's cute, and he means well -all- the time. He's like a big kid, you know? Not a lot of people his age remember what that's like."
"You could call it a move," Jane answers, lifting her head to chuckle. "No kissing or anything, I'd not get close enough for that, yet, but we flirt. He mentions Risky Business, I shoot back asking if that means he wants me in one of his shirts and my panties singing a Seger tune into a statue. Basically, he proposed again, and I held him off, flirting. That such a place takes time to reach, he's nowhere close, and no guarantee he gets close, but he's also not frozen off in the friend zone. No promises." There's a silent beat next, she seems to ponder what's said afterwards. "The job thing, I talked to him about that. Said he needs to get serious, to work hard and play hard too. He took the job and the money, he's got to do right by that. I asked what he'd think of me I signed a studio deal, got paid, then never played a lick or sang a single note. I said it once, made sure he heard, then let it go. No nagging or harping, just the suggestion it could be tied to me taking him serious about… other things."

She frowns slightly at that. "I hope you're actually sincerely interested, though judging by your blush you do genuinely like him if not just a little," Elena says simply. "It's just that….I don't want you placed in the position where you're leading him on." Protective of her boys? Oh yes, especially when her girls are expressing interest in them. "Jaden's really impressionable. I mean his flings are infamous but if he actually likes a girl, I don't know if he actually knows what he's doing. And like as in serious like. Girlfriend like. Not 'like you for a day' like. I don't know if I'm explaining this well….it's not like I'm experienced in matters like that, you know? I've never had a boyfriend. But….I mean you know what I'm talking about, right?"

"Yeah, El, I get it," Jane replies quietly. "He's your friend, I'm your friend, you watch both backs and won't hesitate to call me out if you think I'm wrong. I do the same for you. And no… I don't tease like that. It's more me saying I expect to be respected, and the kind of thing I look for, expect from him if he wants to be with me. That when he gives his word he keeps it. The job thing, for example. He has to take charge of it, be the commander of his life. Not just play, enjoy the money, and take off when he gets bad press. It's like… me challenging him to step up." She trails off, thinking. "It's like… Jaden seemed like he was figuring out uncharted territory with me. Not impressed by his money, not oohing and ahing, but also not running away." Her eyes linger on the latina's face, hoping she makes sense.

"Yeah…" Elena says softly. "I hesitate to say something about this because, like you said, you're both my friends. When something happens I hate to be in the middle. That and I can't trust myself to say the right thing. I have …I mean…" She pauses, and she bursts out laughing. "I had my first date at -eighteen- years of age. -Eighteen-. I know -kids- at the clinic who are dating by twelve or thirteen. If anything I'm the -least- qualified to give advice to anyone about that. I just know that if you like him, and he likes you, then….things will work themselves out. You know?"

"I know," Jane replies, sighing. "It's that… no matter how old we get, some things will still at first make us go backwards and gush like sixteen year old schoolgirls. Here I am, twenty-four, and… we're having this conversation. We just need to have them, to get it all out there and said sometimes. No matter how old we are. Now, you say you don't have a boyfriend. You do," she teases. "you just don't know it, haven't admitted it to yourself yet." Her lightness is short lived, though, something serious comes back to her expression and is given voice. "And… the million dollar question, it's out there. The giant honking elephant in the room. It always will be, until I'm dead, regarding any guy I think about. Can I trust him, I mean, really truly, completely trust him. If I tell the full truth, do I become the rabid freak from hell he can't run away from fast enough? Will he keep my secrets?"

"………." Elena stares at Jane uncomprehendingly. How can she have a boyfriend she didn't know about? It doesn't make any sense. Still, she shakes her head, and takes another quiet sip of her orange juice. As easily as she could crush on someone, when it came to the affairs of her own heart, she was surprisingly tightlipped about them. "And I guess you're going to have to find that out yourself though, Jane. I'm pretty sure no one can reveal your secrets for you but you. And if he's cool with all of that, then things can progress." Jaden's ability, she'll let him tell Jane that in turn - that was something she can't handle for the both of them. Jaden's dittos were ultimately his story to tell. "I think despite his eccentricities, you can trust him though."

Her eyes study Elena for a moment, with a hint of teasing in them, as she remarks "Eric. I think you might be on that eventual path. If you weren't, what happened between you wouldn't have brought out wondering how to relate to him. You also wouldn't have gotten so angry about his real identity. You're just at a place in life where you're afraid to indulge, also, it's so easy to derail. But you've got time to let things develop with him. No need to hurry at all. I could be wrong, though, I just… think that's what I saw and heard." After another drink from her glass, emptying it, Jane changes tacks. "I hate to lie, El," Jane confesses, and in ways I've already told him the truth, hidden in jokes and flirting. Like when I say I'm a real screamer. Or when I went to visit him and seemed a bit down, he asked how I'm doing, and I said I had to deal with a friend who forgot all about me. You… think I can safely take the leap, move beyond the jokes and veiled admissions?"

"Eric…" Elena leans back and GROANS. "Uggghh. Speaking of who, I should see if he's back from that vacation yet." So much has happened she doesn't even know where to -begin- updating him. She sets her glass against her forehead a bit, to let it cool off her skin. The weather was getting warmer, after all. She looks over at Jane and she rubs the back of her neck. "I don't know. I think if you're being hesitant about it that tells me you shouldn't, just yet. When it comes to that sort of stuff, I think you should be at the point of actually -wanting- to tell him and to confide in him to progress and get closer. If you're being hesitant, it seems to be that level of trust hasn't been reached yet. I think you should get there first, really, before saying anything else."

The brunette guitarist chuckles a bit, listening to Elena, on both scores. That the latina didn't deny anything she speculated makes her grin slightly, while the rest has her leaning back in her chair. It's a quietly spoken reply when Jane utters it, looking at her empty juice glass. "Usually questions like that we do already know the answer to, you're right, El. If we felt ready to do so, we just do it. There is no question. But… what bothers me, and has me asking, is just what you mentioned earlier. Being fair to him. If we explore, and it later doesn't seem I want to spill, does that mean everything before constitutes leading on and teasing?" She trails off into silence. "Shit. Damn our ethics, in you and I. If he were like us, I'd spill immediately and it'd be a non-issue. But if you know the answer there you won't tell me either way, neither confirming nor denying. Just as I would if you talked about someone I know. Ethics are good, I won't break them, but sometimes they just suck." She glances at the refrigerator. "Got more juice, El?"

"No…I mean things like that happen, right? Otherwise we wouldn't have advice collumns in Cosmo," Elena says with a hint of a smirk. "You end up liking the guy, giving him a chance, but when things don't fly…that's a whole new can of worms altogether, but I don't think it's actually teasing if you yourself gave it a fair shake." She stands up, walking to the fridge to pull out the pitcher of orange juice. She also takes out another ice cube tray, and she moves over so she could dump the ice cubes in both their glasses before pouring more of the juice in. "They are," she says simply, looking over at Jane. "Jaden's story is his to tell, so to speak, not mine. I'm his friend. Hell, I work for the guy. Besides, if anything this just means that you guys ought to get together and talk more, right?" She grins at Jane. "Maybe as a change of pace, -you- can take him out. Just drop by the Cain Manor and surprise him, take him out to the new arcade that just opened up in the city or something."

"I could do that," Jane replies, musing. A smile spreads, as she seems to have hit an idea. "When I went there and we bantered, with me saying no promises, but also no rejection, we wound up watching a movie together. He specified no chick flicks until we're actually dating, I say fair enough, then I suggest Major League. One of his favorites, it turns out. That whole thing went well." But now she's pausing again, another thought having worked its way back up. "Ethics and trust between us… I don't think it's any secret who Elle works with, right?" She lifts the glass and readies to drink from it. "Thanks."

"No, I know who she works for," Elena says, leaving the pitcher out this time, but stowing the ice tray back in the freezer. She retakes her seat across from Jane, propping her chin on one hand and smiling absently when she talks about Major League. "Wild Thing, I think I loooove you?" she teases. She pops another cracker in her mouth, and listens to Jane further as she segues towards something else.

"Right. She and I talked about that, and I left no question about my position. I know people like us, and they trust me. I won't break that trust, won't tell anyone about them without their consent. It isn't about not trusting her, it's about them trusting me. The only exception is someone clearly dangerous to lives and public safety who won't work to get control. That kind of choice has consequences, can't protect and keep secrecy for persons who won't help themselves or just intend to be a danger outright. I wanted to have that clear with her, and reassure people around me that I won't go giving them up because she and I are friends." And having said that, she's veered back to Major League. "It's hilarious. Vaughn throws smoke, the manager asks what league he was in, and he says 'California Penal'."

"Exactly," Elena murmurs, crossing her arms over her chest as she rolls her head back, closing her eyes so she could think. She's got so many things to think about now, so many things to do. She should start a to-do list but she doesn't want to risk that either. Finally, she looks over at Jane and grins. "Yup. The sequel did have its moments too. 'HEY WILD THING. I THINK I LOAATHE YOU!' " she quotes, the line attributed to Randy Quaid the psycho Indians fan. Returning to more serious subjects however, she lowers her arms on the table, twiddling her fingers together. "At least you made that clear, I just try to stay away from the Company altogether…" Though she knows that might not always be a choice she has.

"I had to, really, no risk of misconceptions." Jane's quietly looking at her again, a hopeful expression settling in. "She's basically learning to live on the outside, and it won't be easy for her. I still want to do our girls night at my, our place, and hope that won't be an issue. I want her to see and experience how friends get together and get silly, cut up from time to time. I'd like Cass to still come too, but that might take some real doing, after what happened… Damn. Anyway, if you or Cass want to change plans, I understand. I'll still show. Wouldn't miss this for just about anything." She pauses to mock-think, mischief showing in her eyes, "well, maybe for Antonio Banderas."

"…yeah after what you told me about Cass maybe it's best not to," Elena says with a hesitant look. "I mean….at least not when this is all still fresh in her mind. She probably doesn't like the fact that her store's a wreck. But at some point, yeah maybe….when all of this has blown over." She looks around, and shakes her head once, taking yet another sip of her orange juice. She of course, almost hacks the gulp out when she makes the crack on Antonio Banderas. She bursts out laughing. "Have you seen Desperado?" she asks with a grin. "He was in his best at that movie, I thought."

"If I can get lucky and convince Cass, are you still in? If not, well, hey, it's not the first time I've had friends who didn't like other friends, and probably won't be the last." A drink of OJ is taken, and there Jane goes again, eyes wide with delight. "Ooooh. The guitar playing assassins, had weapons in the cases. And Salma Hayek too." She snatches up her own case and drops to one knee, aiming it at the ceiling like the thing's got a rocket launcher in there.

"Of course I'm still in," Elena says with a laugh. "I'm honestly more worried about Cass's reaction really." She looks over at Jane and when she pantomimes the rocket launcher, she can't help it. She grins broadly. "Exactly. God I love that movie. I think Papa digs it too, even though he won't admit it. He thinks Banderas is too pretty to be a man."

"I've got an ace in the hole, Elena," Jane replies with a laugh, "maybe. We were talking about roommate rules and how she doesn't know if there are any, y'know? So I ran down some old college roommate quirks. Drinking milk straight from the carton and putting it back. Eating food and not providing any. Keeping each other awake, too much time in the shower… That got us talking about how she only needs ten minutes, never has to shave. She fixed it for herself years ago, and made an offer…." Jane trails off, if Elena wants to know she'll ask. Instead she seems to remember something. "Hey, how many languages do you have? I used those mostly to practice and not let them rust, and… Come to the US, or did the US come to you?" This, while she's hefting her guitar case and pack as if she should be going.

"Papa was born here," Elena says. "And so was I, so you could say the US was already there when I came to the world." She stands up, and shows her friend to the door. "I'll see you later, Jane."

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