2008-01-28: Busted

contains Season 3 material


Elle_icon.gif Gabriel_icon.gif

Summary: After falling asleep on the sofa, Elle attempts to sneak out of Peter Petrelli's apartment to take a trip.

Date It Happened: January 28th, 2008


Peter Petrelli's Apartment, NYC

In Peter's absence, Elle settles down onto the sofa, the blanket wrapped tightly around her shoulders. She doesn't seem surprised that he has taken off so suddenly; if she had her way, she'd be out the door and on her way to New Jersey, too. She pulls her feet up to rest them against the edge of the coffee table, her eyes falling on the movie, still playing on the television, without focusing on the picture at all. She's staring through it, in a way, rather than watching it. Thinking.

When Peter disappears, Gabriel watches the spot he just occupied for a few moments, before turning his attention back to the TV. He looks over at Elle when she sits on the sofa, watching her for a few moments before turning his eyes back to the movie that's playing. He remains silent for now, crossing his arms over his chest, but eventually he turns his eyes back towards her. "Elle," he says, turning on the couch slightly to face her more easily. He opens his mouth to say something, but he closes it, unsure.

The only indication that she heard her name is the way Elle moves her shoulders in a rolling stretch. Her eyes remain transfixed on the screen, her arms hugging the blanket close, and she says nothing. At first, anyway. A faint frown, obscured by her bangs, settles onto her brow. Finally, she turns her head one tiny, infinitessimal amount, not even an inch in his direction. "Yeah?"

When she finally turns in his direction, Gabriel speaks, even though he isn't sure what to say. "I'm sorry," he offers, looking away from her and towards the TV.

Again, Elle is silent at first, barely acknowledging that she heard him speak at all as she watches the picture on the television change. "You should have told me," she replies, her voice retaining some measure of bitterness despite his apology. She slumps down in her seat, remaining this way for a long moment without speaking, the figurative black cloud above her head dissuading him from saying anything more.

Then something shifts in her demeanor, and Elle lets out a breath. Letting the blanket slip from her shoulders, she takes the pillow she had been using before and drops it into Gabriel's lap. Without a word, she stretches out on the sofa and lays her head down on the pillow, one arm beneath her head while the other rests over his knees. Quietly, she says, "Me, too."

"I know," is the soft response from Gabriel, his eyes drifting to the floor. "I shouldn't have kept it from you." Silence lapses over him, turning his eyes back up to the movie playing on the television. He watches it, not really taking in what's happening on it.

Even when Elle shifts on the couch, placing her head on the pillow in his lap, Gabriel doesn't say anything. He moves his hand to her upper arm, gripping it softly, and he moves his other hand to just beside her head on the pillow. After watching the TV for a few more moments, he finally speaks, responding to her apology. "You don't have anything to be sorry for," he says, looking down at her.

"I do," Elle argues, her protest without conviction or heart, "but let's just forget it." Her words are punctuated with a lazy yawn, her eyes beginning to drift closed. The movie on the television has begun to scroll through the credits now, but she's paying it no mind. "We'll figure out what to do next in the morning," she adds in a tired voice, quickly losing her battle with sleep.

Yawns are contagious sometimes, and when Elle yawns, so does Gabriel. He takes a long, deep breath, letting it out slowly as he settles further into the couch. He smooths her hair back, tucking it behind her ear as his eyes drift down to her. "Are you going to sleep right here?" Gabriel says, the hint of a smirk on his face. He continues to smooth her hair back, eyes locked on her, the TV ignored. "Not that I'm going to protest if you do."

The brush of his hand over her hair elicits a quiet murmur from Elle as she fades out of the waking world, the corner of her mouth turning up in a slight smile. "Maybe," she replies, intentionally noncommittal. But she certainly isn't moving, and every passing second finds her closer and closer to sleep. No, it's quite clear that Elle plans to stay right where she is, short of moving her elsewhere himself.

The man has no intention of moving her, leaning his head back into the couch, eyes falling on the ceiling. He keeps them open as long as possible, still brushing his hand over her hair, but the movement becomes slower and slower until it eventually stops, his hand resting just behind Elle's ear. Gabriel's head slowly tilts to the side, eyes drifting close, and it isn't long before he's asleep. The TV continues to play, images flashing across the screen, causing a soft blue light to fall on the room.

Some time later, Elle lies awake, her mind too plagued by thoughts to sleep any longer without suffering nightmares. There are only so many times she can see her father's demise in her head before she becomes upset, after all. With no intention of waking Gabriel, she takes his hand lightly in hers, trying to slip out from beneath his arm. Her movements are slow and calculated as she does everything in her power to escape unnoticed. Please stay asleep, she thinks to herself, wincing slightly as her feet slide to the floor and she begins to stand up.

Being a serial killer the past two years has turned Gabriel into a light sleeper. After all, staying in places that aren't yours, avoiding the police, FBI, and the Company, one can't be caught offguard. However, Elle seems to have gotten away without Gabriel waking up. His arm falls to the couch, and he murmurs something in his sleep as he turns his head slightly to bury it further into the couch, the cushions sewed to the back of it acting as a makeshift pillow.

The movement of his head prompts Elle to pause midway to standing, watching him closely. If he is going to wake up, now would be the best time. She can still explain herself, if he wakes up now. There are a dozen perfectly legitimate things she could be doing that would necessitate her getting up from the sofa, after all. But no, Gabriel remains asleep - and when he's still again, Elle begins to creep towards the kitchen, taking care to keep her steps light.

Elle will make it as far as she needs to in order to prepare for her trip to New Jersey. However, as soon as she moves back into the living room, she'll probably notice one, glaring thing that's wrong with the room: Gabriel is no longer on the couch. He's standing just in front of the door to the apartment, leaning against the wall, arms crossed over his chest. "Where are we going?" he'll say, eyes falling on the woman, a frown on his face.

Busted. Elle's face says it all, her eyes wide with surprise and feigned innocence as she meets his gaze, her coat in her hand. She doesn't have a hope in hell of pretending she wasn't about to leave, and she knows it. "Jersey," she says slowly, tipping her chin down, her weight shifting uncomfortably between her feet. "To Pinehearst."

At her admission, Gabriel pushes himself off of the wall, crossing the room towards Elle. Once he's within arm's reach he reaches out towards her, tipping her chin up so her eyes will meet his. He doesn't stop, however, closing the final distance between them, pressing his lips against hers in a fierce kiss, one arm traveling up her back to pull her tightly against him.

"I know he's your father," he says, once the kiss breaks, leaning his forehead against hers, "but we can't. We need to find out more information, figure out who they are exactly, what they can do… and we can't go in the middle of the night." He pulls back a bit, his arm still around her, so he can look her in the eye. "I can't let you go."

Her sound of surprise muffled by the kiss, Elle leans against him when he pulls her close, her free hand flattened against his chest. Testament to just how poor an idea her covert plan truly was, she mounts no defense out of frustration when Gabriel tries to speak some sense into her. It's almost as if she expected him to intercept her before she made it out the door. "I'll wait until the morning," she says, her fingers lightly tracing a line down the front of his shirt as she speaks, "but I'm not going to sit around researching them. You and I both know we can take anything they've got."

"Sounds like a plan," Gabriel says, before leaning in to give Elle another quick kiss. He trails his hand down her arm, grabbing her hand, and leading her towards the couch. "Did you really think you could get past me?" he says, smirking at her. But then he turns much more serious, fixing Elle with a look that says he's completely sure of what he's saying. "We'll get him back."

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