2008-02-15: Company for Dinner

Starring:

Gabriel_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif

Summary: Hiro stops by to check in on Gabriel and Elle, and they discuss his plan to help Peter.

Date It Happened: February 15, 2008

Company for Dinner


Peter Petrelli's Apartment - NYC, NY

Since helping to deliver Peter to his apartment, Hiro has learned that Gabriel and Elle are staying there. With heroics in mind, he made it part of the post-breakfast agenda to stop by and check that everything is alright. He doesn't just teleport into the apartment. That would be rude. Instead, he appears in the hall, pauses a moment to straighten his jacket, and knocks lightly on the door.

Already situated in the kitchen trying to prepare food with limited mobility, Elle turns her head at the sound of the knock at the door. There have been very few people knocking at this door in the last few weeks, a fact which prompts her to set down the stirring spoon and take up her crutches almost immediately. Hobble, hobble - it takes her a few seconds, but she makes it to the door in one piece, stopping an abnormally large distance from it so that she might lean forward to pull it open. "Hiro?" That's Elle's surprised face as she regards the visitor.

The ex-killer known as Gabriel Gray is watching Elle as she tries to prepare dinner, his eyes glazed over. Sitting on a chair in the living room that grants him a view into the kitchen despite that he's not really paying any attention to what he's looking at, it's very clear his thoughts are completely elsewhere. His jaw is tense with a frown, and his brow is furrowed. It doesn't seem like they're good thoughts. The knock at the door snaps him out of it, and he looks to the door as Elle hobbles over to it, brows raising a bit when he sees that their guest is none other than Hiro.

"Hello," Hiro says quietly, offering Elle a bow. He remains outside for the moment, waiting to be invited in. He leans slightly to one side to address Gabriel as well when he begins to speak again, "I came to … check up on you … ?"

He asks it almost like a question. To be honest, he's not entirely sure why he visited.

"Hey," is Elle's quick reply, offering Hiro a swift smile as she steps back from the door. "Come on in. I'm just making dinner." She sweeps her arm in a gesture made awkward by the crutch on which she leans, inviting him inside. Playing Suzie Homemaker often recalls memories of when it was all for the sake of manipulating Gabriel, and she flicks a glance in his direction before looking back to Hiro. "You're welcome to stay, if you like pasta."

Standing from the chair, Gabriel turns towards the door, and moves forward to close it behind Hiro. "Check up on us?" he says, not sure how to respond to it. At Elle's glance, he turns his eyes towards her, but only for a moment; his eyes fall to her shoulder, and ultimately the floor, before he turns towards the kitchen. "Do you want something to drink?" he calls back over his shoulder, stepping towards the area to prepare himself his own drink, and Hiro and Elle should they want something as well.

Hiro wasn't expecting a happy, homey environment so the offers come as something of a mild surprise. He lifts his eyebrows at the offer of food, contemplating it before he nods his head and answers both question, "That would be nice, thank you."

"I did not mean that I don't trust you," Hiro explains, "I just wanted to make sure everything was alright."

"Ignore him," Elle chirps in a teasing tone to their guest, making her way back towards the kitchen. "He's been cranky all day." The teasing may not go over well with Gabriel, but it's a risk she's willing to take. "We're doing alright. Trying to adjust to… everything." Leaning her crutches against the side of the table, she settles into a chair before a cutting board and vegetables. "You never did get to tell us what you meant about helping Peter."

"I was hoping to hide the power that causes him to be the way he was," Hiro murmurs, obviously not that comfortable talking about such things in front of Gabriel, "But … if it is gone then we do not need to, do we?" He doesn't know how many of Peter's powers were stolen but he's assuming that is one of them … always the optimist.

Rolling his eyes (where Elle can't see), Gabriel pours each of them a glass of tea, which he carries over to the table and sets down. Taking the seat opposite Elle, he watches as she cuts the vegetables, considerinh Hiro's words. He can't help but wonder if Hiro sees him as the same way— the way he was because of the power. Maybe everyone will be able to see that, but then the things Angela said to him recently suggest that maybe it's all he is. "What do you mean… 'hide' it?" he says, looking up from the vegetables towards Hiro.

Chopping vegetables while sitting at the table is somewhat awkward, but Elle takes her time, taking care not to slip and injure herself in the process. Indeed, she misses the eyeroll - which is likely for the best - and offers him a warm smile when the cup of tea is set down. Shoving a metal spoon in her mouth, she sets to work dicing onions, turning her attention back to Hiro as Gabriel questions him. She doesn't interject with her own questions, opting not to bombard Hiro with too many at once.

Hiro thinks of how to answer the question. It is obvious he's choosing his words carefully, not wanting to offend. He thankfully accepts the glass of tea, taking a sip before he begins to speak.

"I know somebody who can stop powers. Keep them from working. First, she could not control it and powers never worked around her. Now she can choose if they work or not when she concentrates. I am not sure, but I think she could turn off that power … "

This is all undiscussed theory but that doesn't mean Hiro doesn't believe in it.

"… then the hunger would be gone," Gabriel says, finishing Hiro's sentence. "Anything is worth a shot." Gabriel has no idea whether Hiro's plan will work or not— he isn't quite sure he even understands it. But anything that can be done to help Peter get rid of his ability and the side effects it causes should be done. Especially something that doesn't sound dangerous or life-threating.

There is something nagging in the back of Elle's mind now as Hiro speaks, but she continues dicing the onions without speaking, a faint frown overtaking her face. When she's finished, she rises from the table and slides the bowl of vegetables over to the counter beside the stove. "You think she could turn off one at a time?" She sets to work preparing the pasta sauce, glancing over her shoulder to Hiro and Gabriel as she works. "I've only ever known one person who could turn off abilities, and I think it was an all-or-nothing deal."

"Well, Peter Petrelli is the only one I know who has many different powers," Hiro continues, looking a little caught out for the moment as he glances sidelong at Gabriel - he's not the only one but best not to dwell on such things, "She didn't think she could keep powers from being stopped a few months ago and now she can if she concentrates. I think she can help."

Gabriel falls silent, contemplating both Hiro and Elle's words as he sips at his tea. He's frowning as well, a dark look passing over his face as he sets his cup of tea down. Cradling it in both hands, he finally looks back up to Hiro. "Even if she turns it off… can she turn them off permanently? Or is it only when she's around?"

No, Peter isn't the only one. Elle knows how this might sound or feel to Gabriel, to have someone be putting so much effort into saving Peter from the hunger when he struggles with the very same thing. She has the luxury of having her back turned to both of them, which allows her to wince without worrying that they might see. At Gabriel's question, Elle turns away from the stove, where the sauce is simmering, to look back to Hiro expectantly.

"I don't know … I hope it could work," Hiro begins, not quite picking up on the origin of the mood in the apartment. But he already had such a thing in mind when he came, "I cannot promise. But if it does work … it could work for you."

"Maybe." It's the only word Gabriel says in response to Hiro. He looks up at Elle for a brief moment, before taking another long sip of his tea and looking out the window. "If she can really turn just one power off… otherwise, may as well take the pills that block your abilities." Even then, the hunger was still there. "What do you think?" he says, turning his eyes back to Elle.

Letting out a quiet breath, Elle turns back to the stove and flicks off the elements. Hiro did think of Gabriel after all, and for that, she's grateful. Even if she's not likely to ever admit it. She tosses the pasta together in a bowl beside the stove, careful not to lose her balance as she does, considering both Hiro and Gabriel's words. "It's worth a shot," she says finally, leaning to slide the bowl of pasta onto the table without needing to take a step. "Worst case scenario, it doesn't work and we're back where we started."

"If it does not work that way," Hiro continues, removing his glasses to polish some tiny speck of dust off the lens, "Then she could still help you, I think. She knows how to turn her power on and off. Maybe she can teach you the same for that power?"

Come to think of it, Hiro doesn't actually know what the power in question is. Murder power?

Considering Elle's words, he watches her for a moment, before finally turning towards Hiro and nodding. "Then we'll try it. Hope for the best. Take care of Peter first." Standing from the table, he takes his glass of tea with him as he moves past Elle and into the kitchen. He refills it, taking a few sips and setting it down as he grabs plates and silverware for the pasta.

"We could use a bit of good news right about now." Taking up her crutches once more, Elle returns to the table to take her seat, pulling her cup of tea towards her to sip from. Her attention returns to Hiro, and she casts him a quick smile. "Peter's better, by the way. In case you didn't know." 'Better' being a relative term, when it comes to someone as complicated, at least right now, as Peter. "A friend of his stopped by to heal him."

"Good." Hiro nods his head, genuinely thankful that Peter isn't all beat up and cut and scraped like he was the last time he saw him. He beams once Gabriel decides to give his plan a shot, putting his glasses back on and clapping his hands together, "Good! I will talk to her as soon as I can."

"Of course, as soon as he got better, he ran back out into things," Gabriel says, a hint of exasperation in his voice. It's hard to tell if he's joking. "I hope he watches himself." Taking one of the plates, Gabriel serves the pasta, sliding a plate towards Elle, and then filling one for himself. Grabbing the third plate, he looks at Hiro. "Are you staying for pasta?"

Elle wants to be able to say that Peter will be okay, but with his reckless attitude and having lost regeneration, she isn't so sure. "I kinda wish he'd let people help him more," she says, shaking her head as she pulls the plate over to her place and takes up her cutlery. "I know why he doesn't. I just wish he'd get over it. I hope he lets you try to help him, Hiro."

"I hope so, too," Hiro agrees, looking towards Gabriel and the offer of pasta. He contemplates it for a moment and realizes he hasn't had a real, filling meal in quite some time, "Yes please."

Serving pasta onto Hiro's plate, he sets it down in front of the Japanese man, standing from his chair to go grab his cup of tea. As he turns back around to the table, he pauses, switching his gaze back and forth between Elle and Hiro. Just a few months ago he would have laughed at the notion of something like this happening, but here it is. Surreal. Sitting back down at the table, he doesn't say anything else for the time being, slowly eating his pasta.

Elle is silent for a short moment, her gaze distant as she toys with the fork in her hand, nudging her pasta with the tines without ever taking a bite. Finally, she drops her fork to her plate with a rough sound and looks to Hiro, pointing at him in a way that is more of an inspired gesture than a threatening one; she's figured something out, evidently. "She was there, wasn't she? Your friend who can cancel abilities. At the 7-11. She was there."

"Hai," Hiro answers, his all-purpose smile turning to one that is more of a beaming 'Good for you!' look, "She was. She still needs to practice but I am sure she will be able to help." He accepts the pasta gratefully, taking a stab at it with a fork before he takes a mouthful and looks quite pleased with it. Om nom nom may be a real term here.

When Elle points at Hiro, Gabriel pauses in his eating, his fork about halway to his mouth. He watches her for a moment, and slowly turns his attention to Hiro, lowering his fork. He watches the exchange, and when Gabriel realizes what Elle is talking about, his eyebrows travel up his forehead, and there's a definite look of 'ooooh' on his face. "That's why I couldn't go invisible…" he says, looking at Elle.

If there was any lingering doubt in her mind that she made a grave mistake in firing at Meryl in the store, it's stripped away by Hiro's assurance that his friend was present in the store. It's precisely what Meryl suggested - and what Elle didn't want to believe, because it calls her entire motivation into question. "Right," she says to Gabriel, accompanied by a quick nod. "I thought Meryl had the Haitian with her. I thought they were there for us. When I went to give her back her gun, she told me she was trying to give me a way out at the store by dialing the wrong number. I still thought— she was lying." Spearing a few pieces of pasta with her fork, she takes a frustrated bite. "Guess she wasn't."

"I've been staying with Meryl," Hiro pipes up all of a sudden, as though it were the most normal conversational tidbit in the world, "She is helping me do something my father asked me to do. We went go-karting. She thinks I am an alien."

A pause and he looks apologetic, "I'm sorry about what happened. My friend did not know."

Gabriel doesn't have much to add to this conversation. What happened between Elle and Meryl was between Elle and Meryl, even if he has been helping Elle around the house because of her injury. He pokes at his pasta, taking occasional bites accompanied by sips of tea as he watches the two in front of him.

This time, Elle's fork falls to the plate with a much louder sound, and she stares at Hiro, agape. "You what?" Pressing her palms to the edge of the table as if she might push herself up to her feet, she says, "Hiro, she's dangerous. She works for the same people who locked Peter up, along with a whole bunch more. If she wants to help you, it's probably because Primatech wants to know what you're doing for your father. Even if that's not why she's helping you, she's going to tell them. She's loyal to them."

"She doesn't know what she is helping me with," Hiro admits, perhaps feeling a little guilty that he's deceiving Meryl in such a fashion, "I know who she works for. I will be careful … but it is something I have to do."

"The Company can be trouble," Gabriel says in between bites of pasta. "As long as you're careful and watch your back. Not… all of them are necessarily bad." He pauses for a moment, thinking, and he looks over to Hiro after taking another bite of pasta.

No, not all of them. Elle knows that well, and her downcast eyes would suggest as much, taking up her fork once more to tab at the pasta on her plate. "Just make sure it stays that way," she advises Hiro, looking back to him with a faint frown. "I don't want your— I'd hate to see them mess up what you're doing." Her tone is sad, a tinge of bitterness creeping into her voice, at the talk of fathers and the Company. Shifting in her seat, she shovels another bite of pasta into her mouth and looks away, eating in silence.

Hiro cannot help but feel a little awkward at the sudden air he's seemingly created around the dinner table. He eats a little pasta himself, finishing the mouthful before he speaks again, "I will bring my friend with the power-stopping power soon … will Peter Petrelli be staying here?"

It is Peter's apartment, sure, but Hiro doesn't know what he is up to these days.

"Well— no," Gabriel says, gaze flicking towards Elle for a brief moment seemingly against his will, frowning slightly. He turns his attention back to Hiro, taking a drink of his tea before speaking. "We've been borrowing his apartment until Elle and I can find better arrangements." One day they'll get to work on that, but it's a bit difficult considering their situation and who they are. "He does stop by from time to time… we can always call him. Or let him know that you came by."

"Maybe you should leave your number," Elle offers, her countenance shifting to a more hospitable one as the conversation turns away from the subject of the Company. She looks back to Hiro now, flashing him a swift smile. "We can tell him as much or as little about your plan as you want us to. He's staying close by, so getting in touch isn't hard."

"I will write it down before I go," Hiro promises Elle in regards to leaving his number, finishing another mouthful of pasta, "You can tell him about it. I've already tried … he didn't think it would work. But I think it will."

"I'll talk to him," Gabriel says, stabbing another piece of pasta onto his fork. "We'll talk to him," he says, looking over at Elle. This time he'll have to keep it civil, and not prod and poke at Peter so much like last time. Things got a little bit heated, and they should probably try to avoid that. "If it doesn't work, at least it won't get any worse. It's worth a shot."

As she picks up her mug of tea, Elle tips it towards Gabriel slightly as he corrects himself, smirking faintly. The boys are less likely to press each other's buttons if she's there, so that we Gabriel suggested is a wise idea. "He'll come around," she says, taking on a more reassuring tone. "How's your pasta?"

"Mine was delicious," Hiro says, even if the question isn't really directed at him. He puts the plate down on the empty plate, smiling as he gets up to go and find himself a pen and paper, "You are a good cook."

As Hiro looks for pen and paper, Gabriel turns his attention to Elle, pushing the remains of his pasta around on his plate. "The pasta was good," he says, making small talk. He wants to discuss Hiro's plan with her, but he should probably wait until Hiro is gone before he does that, looking over at the Japanese man.

Managing a fleeting smile, Elle looks between Hiro and Gabriel as they each compliment her. "Thanks," she says, quick and dismissive, even if she was the one to ask in the first place. When Hiro rises from the table, she too gets to her feet (or foot, more accurately) and takes up her crutches, awkwardly making her way out from the table. "There should be some paper beside the phone," she calls to Hiro, hobbling after him casually. "I…" Leaning on her crutches, she stops and watches Hiro curiously, stumbling over her words. "…I'm surprised you want to help him, after what he— did. Why are you doing it?"

"He was not himself," Hiro answers, giving Gabriel a brief look even as he speaks to Elle, "He did not want to do what he did. He deserves help just like anyone else." Finally finding the paper and pen, he writes down his number along with his name just above it, "I cannot judge people."

This time, the smile which graces Elle's face is warmer, lingering far longer than any other so far. "It means a lot to him to know that," she says sincerely, ducking her head. "You're right, that he wasn't himself. It wasn't his fault. I'm just glad he has someone like you who can… see past that." Because she isn't so sure she could say the same thing about herself, if she'd been in his place.

As Elle and Hiro talk in the other room, Gabriel collects the dishes from the table, taking them into the kitchen and placing them into the sink. He then begins to put the pasta away, catching the look Hiro gives him; he quickly looks down though, focusing on the task at hand.

The number written down, Hiro nods his head, "I should go." He clears his throat, obviously having made things awkward enough for one day, "I keep the phone with me so you can call. Be safe."

"We'll talk to Peter when we see him next," Gabriel says, emerging from the kitchen and moving over to stand by the end of the sofa. "We'll keep in touch." He doesn't know whether to shake Hiro's hand, bow, or do some other form of gesture, so he settles on giving him a nod. "Take care of yourself, Hiro."

Awkward is what Elle does best these days, it would seem. She glances to the number written down, then back to Hiro. "I always am," she quips in response, her sarcastic tone clearly meaning it to be a joke. With a wry smile, she adds, "Trying not to get into so much trouble these days. I'll do my best. You do the same. Keep that work for your father close, alright? Don't let too many people know about it."

"I won't," Hiro promises, waving happily enough to the pair before he fades out of 'being there-ness' and into 'being somewhere else-ness'.

Once Hiro disappears, Gabriel turns to Elle, giving her a quick glance before heading back to the kitchen. "I'm going to finish putting up the rest of this," he calls back over his shoulder, and soon the clinking of dishes and silverware indicate he's already on the task.

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