2007-06-22: Change Of Hands

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After having Prometheus hack into Mount Sinai's database, Elena gives Peter the flashdrive containing the files on the non-Hantavirus.

Date It Happened: June 22, 2007

Change Of Hands


New York City Public Library, New York City

New York City Public Library. 3:00 pm.

The day is hot and sweltering outside, but inside, those who want to read are very comfortable thanks to the high, vaulted ceilings and the airconditioned confines. Rows and rows and rows and rows of books can be seen for miles. Quite certainly one of the oldest libraries in America, it smelled like such, mingled with the smell of fresh paint and varnish that the city has expended to keep the building restored like the way it was back when it was first built. Stairs and elevators lead up to the highest floor. The main floor, however, is full of old, wooden desks with lamps upon them, for the erstwhile reader to take his comfort in one of the chairs and read.

The science section is somewhere on one of the landings, up in the second floor and to the back. It is quiet there, and empty. Most readers clustered around fiction, biographies, histories - maybe even the self help section, but today the science section was quite empty. Elena browses the books while she's there, her backpack set by her feet as she runs her fingers gently along the spines of old texts. She pulls out a book on Organic Chemistry and flips through it.

It was too hot to wear jeans today, so she's wearing a long, thin skirt with a bright pattern of pastel colors swirled on it, a pair of sandals, and a sleeveless, button-down blouse. Her jacket is draped on her backpack. Her hair pulled back, the long, wavy tail is draped over one shoulder as she perches her glasses over her nose and peers at a passage that caught her attention.

Dressed in light gray and dark jeans, the majority of Peter's belongs are kept in a carrier bag over his shoulder instead of in his pockets. Not too full, there's still some weight to the bag as he walks through scanners to get checked out, and then proceeds to look around the area in search of the young woman who asked him here. Glancing at his watch, he's still early, but only just— and by the time he makes it up to the science section, it's a few minutes past.

Upon seeing her, he can't help but smile faintly, moving closer and pulling the bag over his head and shoulder so he can lay it down in a chair. The way she's looking, he wasn't quite sure it'd been her. He's just not used to seeing her hair pulled back like that, or the glasses on her face. Glasses…

There's a long moment when he can't even think of a thing to say, just looking at her from where he's settled his bag. Finally, after a lengthy silence, he manages a whispered, "Hey."

Is that all? Apparently so.

Okay. So she looks extra nerdy today. It's not a big deal!

Elena looks up at the whisper, looking left, and seeing no one, and looking right. Blinking at him behind her frames, she gives him a small smile. "Hi," she says softly, lifting her fingers up so she could remove the glasses from her nose and slapping the book shut with one hand, setting it back in the space where she took it. "Sorry about the cloak and dagger, but….I don't know if anybody was watching when…" She looks over her shoulder. "Nevermind." She crouches down next to her bag, the long skirt pooling around her as she unzips it, and retracts, first, the eyeglasses case.

"How's everything?" She keeps her voice low - this is a library after all, and she carefully puts the frames there. Standing up, in the torn lining on the side of it, she slips her fingers inside, and pulls out the small, thin, black flashdrive. Since the eyeglasses case is black, it camoflauged easily. She lifts it up for him to see.

"I got in contact with a guy I know. Guy named Prometheus," she says softly. "He broke in the hospital's electronic database. When I came back two weeks ago to volunteer again, I managed to find out they shipped off the hardcopy files offsite. No one knows where they took them. But these….these were found in the accounts of the Chief of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the hospital." She exhales softly, and gives him a small smile. "So much for being 'crime-free' these days." Her eyes soften, and she -does- look apologetic about this. But she deemed it necessary.

Well, removing the glasses does have a small effect. At least it means Peter can stop staring at her as she lowers them down and starts to apologize. The former nurse turned retail clerk shakes his head and settles into the chair next to his bag, watching as she moves to crouch down and retrieve something from her bag. "It's okay. I don't mind meeting in a public place." There's many reasons why such an exchange is safer, watching as she gets the flashdrive, in a concealed manner.

"Everything's fine. Nathan's still out of town on the campaign trail, so we haven't been able to talk to him yet. Been keeping an eye on the house while he's gone. Snowy's getting along with Spica pretty well." Both about the right size, after all. "You should see her since I got her trimmed— she looks like a baby fox. It's really cute." He seems to be amused by this.

Even more amused when she mentioneds "Prometheus". Considering what this contact was used for? He can probably guess who that name rounds out to— but he doesn't say anything about it, just nodding, even smirking mildly as he mentions her recent criminal activity. "As long as you're careful." And this happens to be for a good cause, too. Putting his hand across the table, to a casual observer someone may think he's reaching out to take her hand. But that's not quite what's going on.

"Pictures or it never happened," Elena continues with an impish grin, walking over to where he's seated, setting her things on another chair and sighing softly. "Still I'm glad she's getting along with the rest of the pets. Not a lot of dogs or cats are like that, you know. Some prefer to be the only one in the house." She winks at Peter. "Attention hogs and all." She nods slightly when she hears Nathan's still in the campaign trail, roaming around New York state. "Sounds like he's really working it this year…" One would think after the events several months ago, he would be a little burned by politics, but it seems that he's reclaimed his old fire for public service.

"How's Heidi doing? I ought to visit her really. Truth be told I didn't think….she was the last person I would've expected to be dragged into all this."

Settling herself on the chair across from him, she reaches out to rest her hand on his, setting the flashdrive there, and curling her fingers around so she could close his fingers around it. "It'll be safer with with you than with me," she continues quietly. "Besides. I know what's in it." She taps her finger on the side of her head and grins.

"She gets along with the cat better, actually. Probably because the boys are big bullies." In a lot of ways there very much Nathan dogs. Even if they're sweet under the surface, they're into play fighting a lot, and being attention hogs, and Snowy just isn't physically big enough to keep up with that. She's still a puppy, even after the few months he's had her, destined to be a small dog anyway. The groomer decided she was a minature, as she'd already outgrown toy by just a little bit— but likely not bound to get much more height. The cat's just about her size.

"I do have a few pictures of her and Spica, though. I can show you later," he explains, smiling faintly and knowing that she will probably take him up on this.

"Nathan worked last year too, he just only had to campaign for a district, instead of the whole state. A lot less travelling." Unless he needed to get money from a mob boss, but that's another story all together. "He only have to worry about his local image. Statewide elections are a bit different." The press might well be more annoying this time around… but he hasn't had to deal with that. Yet. He's hoping to avoid it, if possible.

"She's… scared. That's understandable, though— but… tried to make her feel better by testing out my art-skills again." By this, he doesn't mean his actual ability to draw.

Curling his fingers around hers, and the flash drive, he stays there a long moment before he extracts his hand, reaching into his bag to drop the flashdrive, as well as pick up a blank book and pull it out. It looks as if that's what he'd been going for the whole time. "I'll keep an eye on it— and see what's on it, too." He's sure he won't see anything she didn't already. Even if he did get nurse's training, he's just not as smart when it comes to science as she is.

Flipping through a few pages of scribbles and bad drawings, he comes across a colored pencil sketch of… well… two people. One scarred, both scowling. Might not be easy to recognize them, but— it's there. The building also leaves a hint—

"Sounds good," Elena says, smiling at him across the table. But when the topic switches to Nathan, she nods, tilting her head slightly at him as he details the elections, and then she nods. "I suppose - people might….well. Considering how widespread the news once that he had been horribly disfigured, and with the ties to the Linderman Group, I figured he would be concerned about it once his opponents start nailing him on that…..nothing's safe in the political arena unfortunately. They won't just go after his image, his past. Heidi too. His family. You, too."

It's only about time things go to head in the political arena. Like the Petrellis didn't have enough problems, but considering Elena was the type to read - everything-, including a few papers a day, she knew what New York politics was like, even if her peers didn't necessarily give a crap.

She squeezes his hand warmly, and lets go once he takes the flashdrive and hides it. A curious look is cast on the book presented to her, and when he flips to the right page….she draws it towards her. She sees Peter's likeness, and…..Heidi? Was that Heidi? She was blind in one eye, the scarring…. and the building…

"It's still going to happen, if you did this recently," she says, her expression softening to seriousness. A bit of frustration is on her face. What were they doing wrong?

"I'm sure he is concerned— but with the Linderman Group falling apart and then vanishing… Not to mention how secretive things had been when he was injured— It's not even really on record as how it happened, or the extent. They did a pretty good job covering that all up. And since he doesn't look horribly disfigured… they can play it off as a miss-interpretation of the accident." Peter's not sure how they covered everything up, but he knows they did— just as he knows that his own disappearance had been shrouded in mystery— something he fully expects to have come up soon. Not something he's looking forward to. "And if the worst secret Heidi has is— what we already know— that's not much to attack someone on. A lot of famous women go in for assistance these days." And end up with twins.

It certainly looks like Heidi. And him, too. The medium keeps to the dark colors, blacks, browns, grays and dark blues, but there's a bright blue and a white for her eyes, and dirtied flesh tones for him. Scowling unhappy him.

"Yesterday. Right before you sent me the text message," he explains on the timing, which doesn't necessarily help things. It just tells them what they did to get the information didn't stop things by itself. "There's still a lot we don't know, Elena. It'll be okay. This way… we know Heidi'll be alive to see us stop it from happening. I know it's not much, but…"

"Well considering this thing is supposed to damage the future in apocalyptic proportions, I suppose every little bit counts if it does happen." Elena looks up from the picture and at him. Sighing quietly, she closes the book gently, and slides her hands forward across the desk to return it to him. "But hey, I suppose there's always room for a little faith. It's not like you haven't done this before. It's not like Hiro hasn't done this before. Or Nathan, even." She can't help but quirk a small smile. "No pressure or anything to you save-the-world veterans and all." She can't help it, cracking the joke to lighten the mood.

She doesn't address the assistance thing as far as Heidi is concerned. She can't help but look away, frowning a bit when he brings it up - as it only reminded her of her own mother, who didn't tell her father anything. All she could remember, honestly, was the hurt on his face. It only reminded her that she had to put a halt on her own dreams so she could stay and help him out.

"I'm glad she's got you though," she confesses softly. "To watch her and the boys while Nathan's away." Like Peter would do anything less. She pushes back on her chair and stands up, reaching out to take her bag.

"I was more meaning… she'll survive this." Peter explains softly, closing the book and putting it away into his bag again, not sure if he's making any sense. It's not as if he wants the world to get destroyed, obviously, and he intends to do what he can to stop it from happening, but… "Nathan did most of it," he says after a moment, again insisting that the limelight for this feat not be given to him. He saved Claire, yes, but that could also be laid on Hiro's shoulders more than his own, and even Nathan's for getting the last painting, even if he tried to hide it. And Isaac.

"We'll figure this out, though— don't worry too much about it. From the looks of things, we have time." And as long as they have time… maybe there's a better chance they'll be able to stop it, right?

As for his family… "I'll keep an eye on them. Though… I guess I should be getting back." It's not the easiest job, watching his family. Pushing back his chair, he stands up again, looking across at her quietly. "Thanks— for doing this. I'll put it somewhere safe." Where it won't be very easy to get to. He's sure that her "Prometheus" could hide it even more securely, but he can figure out something.

"Well, from my experience, you Petrellis seem to be the hardy sort," Elena jokes, quirking a tiny grin at him as she slings her bag over her shoulder, turning to look over at him. "But I'll keep that entire thing in mind as a group effort though. At least….well. At least you're not doing this alone. You've got an entire crew to back you up. It sounds pretty gangster, but it's the truth." She wasn't about to let him forget that, even if he'd rather take the entire burdern by himself.

At the second part, she laughs. "It's kind of hard not to, but you're right. We do have time. I just…..you know me. When it comes to urgent things, I get a little impatient." She shrugs. "A failing, I guess. But something I can't help."

She nods. "You should - though I'm glad Heidi's got an entire staff at her beck and call at the mansion, too." Plus she hears George is pretty dependable. But when he looks at her, she falls silent, stepping around the table and reaching out to take his hand, squeezing gently. "You don't have to thank me for anything I do regarding this thing," she tells him, her eyes dropping to her fingers, and then looking up at him with a small smirk. "Team effort, right?"

"I know you're all there for me when I need you," Peter explains with a hint of a smile that doesn't last too long. Just because he knows they're there for him, doesn't mean he's willing to put them in danger all of the time. There's some situations… when it'd be safer for him to go it alone. After all. He's even more hardy than most Petrellis. All the times he could die and come back give him a little more security in risking himself over anyone else.

"I'm worried too— but… I know we can stop it." He has to know they can stop it. Or at least hope they can. Hope is one thing he hasn't given up on just yet.

"She's got a lot of good people working for her," he admits, as she takes his hand. This forstalls him putting the bag all the way over his head, so it just dangles off his shoulder. The hand not taken raises up to touch at a piece of hair that's escaped her ponytail, a gesture that lingers for a moment as he nods slowly. "Yeah— team effort. I'm glad that… Prometheus went with you." He'll play along with the name, though there's a hesitant tone to his voice.

The hand drops away to her shoulder, and he leans forward to give her a one armed hug, his other hand held between them. "Doesn't mean I shouldn't say thanks, though."

"Good. I'd punch you if you weren't aware," Elena teases. But she knows that. He'd rather throw himself in front of everyone before he let that happen. Then again, logic dictates that should the circumstances present themselves, they really ought to just let him, because unlike the rest of them, he could come -back- from it. But that didn't mean she shouldn't do things that could prevent an eventuality like that from happening. After all, seeing him die on her floor wasn't pretty, despite everything she knows.

"I know. You can't help it, you're a worrier," she tells him quietly, looking up even as his fingers travel up to touch at a stray tress framing her face. She was used to his gestures by now, but even then it never fails to illicit a smile from her. When he mentions Prometheus, and she could tell he's guessed who it was, she can't help but choke back a laugh. She releases his hand, so she could curl both arms around his neck as he leans in to hug her. "It's not like I have the expertise to pull that sort of stunt off. I was just the instigator this time. But we were careful. Very careful."

She sighs quietly, turning her face into where his neck met his shoulder and squeezes him. She doesn't say anything for a while - and when she speaks up, it's barely audible. "….you're important to me too, Peter. I….'m not really accustomed to…" There is another pause, and she continues. "I hope you know that."

She turns her head, pressing her lips lightly on his cheek. It's barely there, more breath than mouth.

With both arms around his neck, Peter's free to wrap both of his arms around her, one sliding in around her waist and at her lower back, while the other remains up near her shoulder blades. Her pulling in close keeps him from ending the contact as quickly as he might have otherwise. Eyes remain open, looking past her, "I know you were careful." Prometheus seems like the type to take good care of her. And he doesn't even know the half of it. "Wouldn't have been able to help much myself— so I'm glad he was there for you." His knowledge of computers is limited— though he does seem to be getting a little better.

It's when she squeezes her face in against his neck that he finally closes his eyes, letting his chin lower. The whisper can be heard, only due to the proximity with his ear, and the tingle of feeling against his cheek isn't missed either. "I know," he whispers back, voice with a little more tension than necessary. As he shifts to turn towards her himself, cheek brushing against hers, it seems as if he might be moving to return the light gesture, against her upper cheek bone— but then there's a sudden spark of electricity, like static getting between them. Not as strong as either of them have felt before, much more similar to walking across carpet and then touching someone suddenly, but it does make him pull back a little quicker than he might have otherwise, a hand going up to his mouth, as he looks away.

"Sorry," he mutters softly, "Are you okay?" Luckily it wasn't anything close to a full jolt, but it definitely couldn't have been pleasant.

The jolt causes her to start, pulling back and her hand coming up to touch her cheek, dark eyes wide at him and her mouth hanging open just a bit. It was static, causing her to pull back a bit away from his face and rubbing on her skin. It doesn't look swollen or red at the very least, but Elena looks….well. Shocked. She can't help but be fascinated. While she was quite sure that he's already absorbed Elle's powers, she hadn't really seen him accidentally, or deliberately, use them. The shock fades, eventually, but she can't help but choke down a bit of laughter, covering her mouth and turning away from him so she could quell it.

"Oh, Peter…" she says. "The -look on your face just now— !" It didn't really hurt. She's felt static before. It's surprising, but….it wasn't anything to cry over.

Turning to face him again, she can't help but smile. "I'm okay." She inclines her head at him. "I'm not really the sort that could be hurt so easily," she assures him. It could mean many things - but her abilities did protect her from that sort of discomfort. Lifting her fingers towards him in a wave, she turns so she could get moving. "Be safe," she says, looking over her shoulder at him.

There's some relief on his face that nothing happened to her, or at least nothing permenant. Peter knows she has bad memories about this sort of thing, and he's not used to losing control like that anymore. At least it was a very light jolt. Still, he only removes his hand from his mouth as she starts making fun of him, reminded vaguely of Heidi in that. Shaking his head, he pulls the carrier bag strap over his head so that it lays across his chest, and nods.

"I'm glad you're okay." He could go on and on about how he hadn't mean to do that… but right now what hatters is that she's okay. Even if she could block out pain, he knows the jolt was only enough to push them apart. Doesn't stop the guilty look in his eyes, though, even as he raises a hand to wave back as she's going. "You too."

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