2008-02-23: Celebration Ruined

contains Season 3 material


Elle_icon.gif Gabriel_icon.gif

Summary: Elle and Gabriel fight. Shocking, yes?

Date It Happened: February 23rd, 2008

Celebration Ruined

Peter Petrelli's Apartment, NYC

Late afternoon finds Elle returning home after a trip out to have some adjustments made to the treatment for her broken leg. It's been hours since she left, but as she pushes open the door, she looks none the worse for wear. In fact, her heavy solid cast has been replaced by a black walking cast/contraption, leaving her without the crutches, though she carries them with her beneath her arm. There's also a take-out bag in her hand, the scent of egg rolls drifting into the apartment as she steps inside. "Gabriel?" she calls, without glancing up to find him, as she nudges the door closed and unwinds the scarf from her neck.

As soon as his name is called, Gabriel emerges from the kitchen, carrying a mug of tea. It's clear that he just made it, as he's dipping the small pouch of tea in and out of the water to mix it up. "Hey," he says, stepping towards the couch. He takes a seat, setting the mug down on the coffee table, before suddenly looking up at Elle and standing to help her with anything she might need help with. He looks conflicted, and it's clear his mind is elsewhere.

Offering both the crutches and the take-out bag to Gabriel as he steps up to help her, Elle greets him with a bright smile - until she spies his conflicted look. Refusing to allow his countenance to deter her from sharing what she considers welcome news, she shrugs her coat off her shoulders and says, "Whatever Bekah did to my leg freaked out the doctor a bit. I guess I'm way ahead of schedule." She gestures down to the black boot, holding onto the wall as she raises it. "Walking and everything." When her coat and scarf have been put away, she moves towards the kitchen, still adjusting to her awkward movement in the new contraption. "I got Chinese for dinner to celebrate. We can eat it before or after you tell me what's bugging you."

"Oh," Gabriel says, eyes shifting down to the black boot, setting the crutches and take-out bag onto the kitchen table. He looks at it for a few moments, and when she mentions what's bugging him, he suddenly looks up. He smiles, but it's not fake— there's warmth behind it, but he does look away quickly. "It's nothing," he says, turning towards the bag and taking the contents out of it. "Any idea how much longer until it's healed?"

Not looking the least bit convinced by his dismissive attitude, Elle pulls open a drawer and finds plates and utensils, bringing them back to the table after. "I was supposed to wear the other cast for at least four weeks and it's only been two. This one's supposed to be another two." Rolling her shoulders in a shrug, she pulls the covers from the containers, setting them aside. "So I have no idea." The plates are set out in two places, along with cutlery. As she serves her own, Elle does not look up when she speaks. "It's not nothing," she insists, her tone shifting in a subtle way. "What is it?"

Watching idly as Elle prepares the dishes and containers, it's only after she's finished serving herself that he begins to serve his own. He waits until he's finished before he speaks, his voice low. "I went to the watchshop to see if it could be salvaged. Repair it into working order." He pauses, taking a bite of food and chewing as he gathers his thoughts, watching Elle curiously. "Well— when I got there, the phone rang. It was Noah Bennet. He said he had.. a way for me to make things right."

It isn't until she hears the name that Elle snaps to attention, her hand closing tighter around her fork instinctively. The look on her face makes no secret of her feelings towards the man. She trusts Noah Bennet about as far as she could throw him, and that really isn't very far. The tines of her fork hovering just above her food, she tips her head to one side, watching Gabriel across the table with a level stare. "What did he want?"

"He said for me to go to Pinehearst. They've… been stealing and using Claire's blood for their own purposes. He wants me to destroy the blood." He takes another bite of food and sets his fork down, fixing Elle with an even gaze across the table. "I think I'm going to do it. He says it's a way for me to make things right." It's obvious he's looking to Elle for support. He doesn't have anyone else to turn to for an opinion, for ideas. The last person he turned to… "I need to do it to prove that I'm.." he begins, eyes lowering to the table. "… that I'm not supposed to be this way. That I'm not a monster."

Her grip on the fork doesn't loosen even a tiny bit as Gabriel speaks, and Elle's gaze is steady and unwavering. She's silent for quite some time after he's finished, staring him down as if expecting him to say something more. In truth, she doesn't trust herself to try and speak at first, uncertain what to say. Her brow furrowed in an obvious frown, she takes a bite and chews it slowly. "How are you going to do it?" she asks, without sounding as though she doesn't think he can.

"I don't know," is the truthful response from Gabriel, who picks his fork back up tp take another bite of his food. His eyes move upwards to the ceiling, and he watches it thoughtfully for a few moments before his gaze shifts down to Elle again. "I'll have to stay invisible the whole time. I /can't/ let them know I'm coming. I could always use help.. but I don't know who to ask." Eyes flick to Elle's leg for a split second, then back to blue eyes. "I would feel safe with you there, but…"

"But I went and got myself shot," Elle says, finishing his sentence, struggling to keep a self-deprecating bitterness from her voice. "I could ask Peter to fix it." Except that he most likely hasn't done so already because he thinks that if he does, she'll go and get herself into trouble again - which is fair. After all, they are talking about walking into Pinehearst again. "But I'd slow you down like this." Still, there's a barely-contained eagerness in her voice, tinged with frustration; these are the people who killed her father, and she would love nothing more than to be face to face with those responsible. "You can't go by yourself. Even if they don't know you're coming."

"I could wait," Gabriel offers, watching Elle closely. "Pinehearst should pay for what they did to you. To me. To Peter. To everyone." He stands from the table, pacing back and forth in the kitchen. He's been thinking about this ever since the phone call with Noah, and now that he has it out in the open, there's plenty to talk about. "Angela Petrelli said she…" he pauses, a sad frown mixed with anger crossing his face as he thinks about it. "… created me. That all I am is my ability. That I could hone it, find a purpose, but it all comes down to the same thing. A weapon used to kill people."

"Angela Petrelli is a witch," Elle snaps without hesitation, setting her fork down as she watches him pace. "Don't listen to her. She'd throw Peter in front of a bus if she thought it would help her get what she wants." As a chill creeps down her spin, shee takes up her fork once more and stabs at the food on her plate without taking a bite. Psychotherapy Time with Elle Bishop is a little strange, however, and she knows it even as she's speaking. "You're not a monster. You're not a weapon if you don't let her use you that way. Stop talking to her and your life will be a whole lot easier, Gabriel."

"She knows something," Gabriel says, and there's a clear defiance in his voice. "She may not always tell the truth, but if I can just.. convince her, or show to her, or— something, she'll tell me the things I want to know. All of this." He stops pacing to look over a Elle, his brow furrowed. "Unless you know something, there's really no one else I can turn to." There's a bit of a bite to his tone, and his jawline tenses. "I'm sorry," he mumbles, turning away from her. "I shouldn't be taking it out on you. I'm tired of all the lies, and you're right— she probably is lying, but I need answers. I need to prove that she's wrong. I need to do the right thing, and I think destroying Claire's blood is part of that."

"Know something about what?" Meeting his gaze without flinching, despite the biting tone, Elle is almost challenging in her response to his stubborn focus on Angela. "What are you trying to figure out, Gabriel? Whatever it is, there's no way Angela is your best chance at getting answers. You'll end up her little lapdog doing tricks for table scraps." He isn't the only one being stubborn, but she'll be damned if she's about to admit that. "What do you think she knows that no one else does?" she asks, finally allowing him a chance to respond.

"I don't know," responds Gabriel, his voice stubborn. He sits back down at the table, leaning his arms agaisnt the edge as he looks across at Elle. He grabs his mug of tea, cradling it between his hands, and he gives her a shrug. Informative. "Something about my past. Why the things that have happened to me have happened to me. Why the man who called himself my father abandoned me and my mother. It's obvious my parents didn't tell me everything. If they were even my real parents. Both Angela and Arthur have said things… it may be their twisted version of the truth, but what if it's still the truth?"

"No one's parents tell them everything." Dropping her gaze to the table, Elle slumps in her chair slightly, resting her arms on the table. For a short time, she considers his words in silence, her expression unreadable. "Does it matter why it happened?" Tilting her head slightly, she looks back to Gabriel, her voice lower when she speaks now. "I tried to figure out what my father did to me, once. You know what I got out of it? Nothing. Because it happened, and there's nothing I can do about it now. So your father abandoned you. So what? He was a deadbeat dad. That doesn't prove anything."

"Your father was always there," Gabriel says, and he knows that he's treading dangerous waters, considering Bob is definitely no longer there. "He may not have been the perfect dad. He may have done things that were horrible, but he didn't just abandon you in the middle of the night over twenty-five years ago and never show back up, leaving with you with a crazy, psychotic mother with visions of her son being something special. I always had the desire to be special because for years it was all I heard from her. Well, maybe my mother got what she wanted. Maybe I got what I wanted. Maybe I am special, and being a perfect weapon for people just like Arthur wants, Angela wants, the Company wants is how I'm supposed to be special, and I'm just sitting here wasting time." He shoves away from the table, the feet of his chair scraping against the floor, and he stands up to head deeper into the kitchen to stand at the stove under the guise of preparing another mug of tea.

That's about all Elle can take before she slams her hands against the table, a crackle of electricity escaping her palms and seeping into the wood. Shoving herself up from her chair, she flicks her wrist out to send an arc through the air at him - a small one, barely anything at all - as she snaps, "Maybe I wouldn't be so screwed up if he had just left me behind." Turning to face him, there is contempt on her face, though it's unclear whether it's directed at him or the bitter memory of her own upbringing. "My father abandoned me every single time he let the Company do things to me, starting with the day he brought me to them, and then he tore my brain apart making me forget all about it. Every time. Get the hell off your high horse. You're not the only one whose parents tried to turn them into something they wanted and got a monster instead." This conversation, as far as Elle is concerned, is over. She stalks away from the table and heads for the living room, the limp from her walking cast detracting from her imperious attitude.


The ex-killer has no doubt what the slamming against the table is. His words about Elle's father have to be the reason for the sound, and even though he means what he says, it doesn't mean he lacks regret for it. Her father is dead. She'll never see him ever again.

The shock, albeit a small one, startles him, and he drops the mug in his hand, the handle shattering off when it hits the sink. He closes his eyes, a look of anger crossing his face, and his hand crackles briefly with electricity flowing over it. Flexing his fingers and curling them into a tight ball, his fist shakes until the electricity disappears, and he whips around to face Elle and chase her down. He closes the distance quickly, her limp giving him an advantage on speed, and once he's close enough he grabs her shoulder to turn her around and face him. "I'm not on a high horse. You asked what it was, and I'm telling you. You of all people should be able to understand, Elle. Because of all that happened to you, as horrible as it was? You might be the one person who can. So when I tell you and ask for help and tell you what's going on, don't throw it back in my face."


The hand on her shoulder is unwelcome, and as Elle turns awkwardly to face him, she shrugs out of his grip with another small shock snapping from her skin. "Back off," she growls, though she doesn't turn away from him once more, instead backing away a step with her eyes fixed on him in a glower. "I didn't ask you to act like your problems with your parents are worse than mine. Everyone has issues." Folding her arms, she maintains her glare for another second or two - and then she falters, guilt finally pulling at her conscience. Heaving a sigh, she runs her fingers back through her hair and says, "Angela can't tell you anything the man you raised you couldn't tell you himself. She can probably tell you less, and whatever information she has is going to come at a higher price."


At the shock, Gabriel pulls his hand away, rubbing his palm with the thumb of his other hand. He looks very much like he wants to shock Elle back, really shock her, but the part of him that carries affection for her in this strange, surreal, complicated mess of a relationship, friendship, or whatever the hell one would call it, prohibits him from doing so. That, and he can take a shock far better than she could.

"I never said they were worse than yours. That's not what I'm trying to do, Elle." He turns away from her, facing the other side of the apartment, and it's a few moments before he slowly turns around to face her. "You're— you're probably right," he says, his body language showing a clear sign that he's admitted defeat. It's with a long, deep sigh that the breath goes out of him, and he moves past her, arm brushing against hers as he takes a seat on the couch. "I just want answers."


It's an empty victory for Elle, and she turns to watch him as he moves to the sofa. "So go find them," she suggests, leaning her shoulder against the doorframe, taking the weight off her immobilized foot. "Just don't go looking with the Petrelli family." She crosses her arms once more, the last vestiges of disdain disappearing from her face. "I get it. Wanting answers, wanting to know. I'm not going to try to stop you, Gabe. I just don't want to see you begging Primatech for answers. There are other ways."

"No, you're right," Gabriel says, although there's still that same conflicted look on his face. His eyes dart towards hers when she calls him Gabe, but he doesn't hold eye contact for long, choosing instead to look at the blank TV across from him. It's off, and all he can see is his tiny, warped reflection looking back at him. "Whatever they tell me will only be enough to twist me for their own needs." A pause, and then he stands from the couch, heading towards the sink. He needs to clean up the broken mug he left there. "I'm sorry I ruined your celebration."

He really needs to stop moving around so that she needs to turn to watch him. It may be a walking cast on her leg, but Elle sincerely doubts she ought to be putting this much weight on her leg straight away. Still, she turns without comment, her eyes on him as he returns to the kitchen. "You didn't," she says, shaking her head. "Don't worry about it." Well, he kind of did, but she won't dwell on it. She watches him in silence for a few moments, tapping her fingers against her arms. "Why not track down the man who raised you?"

Picking up the mug and handle from the sink, Gabriel is careful not to cut himself— not that it would really matter anyway, if he thinks about it. Still, he takes care when he throws it away, depositing both pieces into the trash and wiping his hands off on a nearby towel. Once finished, he heads back into the living room, leaning against the end of the couch and watching Elle, crossing his tightly across his chest. "I've thought about it. I would have to figure out where to start."

This time, when Gabriel moves past her, Elle follows him into the living room at her limping pace. She settles into the armchair, carefully raising her broken leg to rest it upon the coffee table. "You could start with the phone book," she says gently, looking to him with a faint smile. "Last I heard, he hadn't done anything to hide." Reading between the lines, he might interpret this as 'she's looked into his supposed father before'. "I'm willing to bet you could find him pretty easily if you wanted to."

"Yeah, maybe." Gabriel's response is distant, and it's clear he is too. In fact, he's becoming more distant by the second, his eyes stuck on his reflection in the TV as he mulls over the various ways he could find his father. It's only when those three words come from Elle that his attention snaps to her, slowly turning his head to look at her. "… last you heard? What do you mean?"

"I mean…" Damn it. She really ought to be more careful with her words. Not that Elle should be keeping anything at all from him, at this point. There's no point - and she's undoubtedly going to get yelled at if she keeps it up. "…I looked into him." Shifting her weight in the chair, she turns her eyes back to Gabriel, looking almost sheepish. "It's standard operating procedure to know as much about your target as you can when you're assigned to a case. That includes their background. So I checked your parents out."

Had Elle's story been different, Gabriel might have gotten upset with her. But considering it was back when she was assigned to his case, he can't get mad at her. "Oh," he says, his tone taking on an odd quality, as if the thoughts of her case back then still unsettle him. "Well, that's— okay. Were you able to find out anything concrete?" It's difficult for Gabriel to keep the hope out of his voice, and he almost succeeds. Almost. There's still the barest hint of it carried in his tone.

Wincing at the hope in his voice, Elle slumps against the back of the chair, dropping her hands into her lap. "Just… that they aren't your birth parents," she replies, feeling vaguely uncomfortable at being the one to tell him this information. "They adopted you as a baby." Instantly, she raises her hands, palms out and facing him. "Before you ask, I don't know who your parents are." Smirking faintly, she adds, "I never said I was a good agent. A year ago, your adoptive father was living in Baltimore, repairing watches. He probably still is."

Not his real parents. He always had an inkling, always wondered.. whether it was because he wanted to be special, the fact that he was special, or the fact that other people (namely, Angela and Arthur) have told him so many different things.. but at least it feels good to know that it is the truth. Good being relative, as finding out that your parents aren't your real parents opens a whole other set of doors. "That's okay," Gabriel says, giving Elle a warm smile. She may not know who his real parents are, but the information she's given him is welcome. "Thank you. You.. despite everything that's happened.." Gabriel frowns, looking down at the floor. How could he even sum it up? Their mutual past isn't something that can be said in a few words. "Thank you."

"Don't." Shoving herself back up to her feet, Elle glances to Gabriel with a fleeting smile. "You don't have to thank me. I should have told you sooner." She limps around the chair, headed back towards the kitchen, her mind wandering until she finds herself contemplating the strange relationship they have. She, too, has no idea what to call it any more; but it's volatile, that much is certain. Hesitating at the entry to the kitchen, Elle looks back over her shoulder, one hand resting on the doorframe. "Can we pretend to be normal for ten minutes and eat something before my stomach goes rogue?"

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