2008-01-03: Daddy's Little Girl


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Summary: Elle awakes in her father's office to find him looming over her, expecting answers. She isn't prepared to give them.

Date It Happened: January 3rd, 2008

Daddy's Little Girl

Bob Bishop's Office, Yamagato Industries, NYC

Between the sedative and Benjamin's ability, Elle has been asleep for a considerable amount of time by now. The first indication that she is waking is nothing more than a faint murmur. A few seconds later, one hand slides across her stomach, heavy and sluggish. She murmurs again, louder this time, and rather ungracefully moves her hand up to her face to rub at her eyes. For the moment, she doesn't realize where she is, her memory fuzzy around the edges…

…until, slower than she'd like, she snaps her eyes open and pushes up from the couch, both hands flattened against the cushion beneath her. Awkwardly, she drops her feet down to the floor with a thud and sits up, running her hands through her hair to smooth it back. It takes a few seconds for her eyes to adjust properly to the light, and she squints at the desk across the room. "Daddy?"

This office is a new one, and a fraction larger than the old one, which was smaller than the original one. If you're still following that, you'll know that father and forcefully visiting daughter are deep in the belly of the building known as Yamagato Industries.

The desk, while most certainly belonging to one Bob Bishop, is void of its owner. It is not a coincidence that Elle's father is looming over her when she finally stirs. Though he was seated at his desk not moments ago, mulling over details, when be witnessed the small details of waking from sleep occurring on the couch of his office, Bob moved to … greet Elle. He's out of sight to her at first, standing behind the handsome couch of dark, gleaming leather. "Elle." Already, that one syllable expresses his displeasure. He wastes no time in showing more. "I'd certainly like to know what's been going on in your head these past few days."

The tone is not lost on Elle, and she turns with a start at the sound of her father's voice, tipping her head back to fix him with a bewildered look. Her injured expression asks the question she never voices: you had me kidnapped? Slowly becoming aware of the pain in her back and neck from lying on the sofa for so long, compounding the mild injuries from her confrontation with Sylar in the warehouse, Elle slips a hand behind her neck and rubs the muscles there absently, wincing every now and then. Her tone of voice confused, she asks, "What do you mean?"

"I think you know what I mean, Elle," her father is quick to snap, though his voice remains quite even throughout his chastising. He walks around the couch, his brown suit rustling, and comes to stand in front of his desk — his back to Elle. "Going off the grid, refusing orders, lying — to me, in particular…"

For most of her life, a remark like that from Bob would have cowed Elle; she'd have grown red in the face, apologized profusely, and done what she could to regain his trust and approval. Even now, she feels urged to give in and explain herself in full, to justify her actions as best she can in an attempt to lessen the punishment she will inevitably be given for such an insubordinance — but the urge to fight him is stronger, and she sits up straighter in her seat. She casts a cursory glance around the room, as if to ensure there isn't another agent in a corner waiting to spring on her at any sign of resistance. When she's satisfied herself that they are alone, she looks back to Bob with a frown. "I didn't lie to you."

"Yes, Elle, you did," Bob replies immediately. He turns back around, and the glare he's giving his daughter through his glasses is immediately obvious. His face has been knit and glowering for so long that it seems set that way. "I expect full details, you know that. You left out key details about your activities and that is an omission I take seriously." A pause, then, before he heralds back to Bennet's earlier visit to Elle: "And I'm not talking about Peter."

Steeling herself against her father's disappointed look, Elle tips her chin down, willing herself not to lose her resolve. You can do this, she tells herself, thinking back to the words of both Peter and Gabriel now. She's almost certain now that she's been under surveillance; and she had stupidly thought she was flying under the radar on so many things…. Shifting in her seat, her head canting just slightly to one side, she asks, "Then what are you talking about?"

"You know exactly what I'm talking about." Bob says this … calmly, all things considered; even with the accusation, the implication. He is, in fact, not at all calm — but his words are slow. Measured. He wants them to sink in. His brows lift above the rims of his common glasses and he fixes his daughter with a look that expresses a number of things, none of them good: fury, disappointment, expectance. "I want you to admit to me what you've been up to, Elle."

Torn between the opposing desires to stand up to her father and to give in and beg forgiveness, Elle sits in stunned silence for a handful of seconds, feeling each one pass as if it were an hour. His calm demeanor makes her uneasy as she watches him, her attention close. Slowly, she rises from her seat on the sofa and stands, all of five foot one, meeting his gaze with a level one of her own. "It's none of your business," she protests, holding her head high as she speaks, her heart skipping a beat or five as she crosses him. She can count on one hand how many times in her life she has stood up to her father this way, and none of them had stakes this high. Turning her back, she starts towards the door, as if she were planning to walk out.

Bob Bishop prides himself on predicting Elle. He made her. Her made her the way she is. He likes to think he knows his own daughter. So, when Elle defies him, he can't hide how affronted he is, because Elle isn't supposed to do things like stand up to him and just … try to leave. "It is very much my business! It's the Company's business!" he rages. Gone is the calm voice. He stomps after her, trying to reach the door before she does, a hand already outstretched with the plan to keep it shut. "You are not walking out of here until you explain yourself." All it's missing is a 'young lady!' on the end. "You have to know we'd have you under surveillance!"

Elle's own calm is long gone by now, even before her father's outstretched hand reaches the door before her own. Her heart is racing in a way it hasn't since her last horrifying encounter with Sylar, when she was tied to a chair and completely at his mercy, and the fear she feels now is nothing the same. This is a fear that is almost exhilarating, flitting between terror and excitement, her cheeks flushed. Turning to face her father with a look of determination on her face, Elle swallows hard and states calmly, "It's not the Company's business any more." Edging another step towards the door, she gathers up the last of her resolve and adds, "Now please get out of my way, Daddy."

"You'd better think carefully about what you're saying," Bob warns, leaning heavily into his hand against the door and looking down on Elle in the close quarters. "If you leave this office right now, Elle, I can't promise that you'll be allowed back in."

Her head slanted back, Elle doesn't shy away from her father when he leans over her, vaguely aware of his hand keeping the door shut just beyond her line of sight. She meets his gaze with her own, staring him down, challenging him in a way she never has. Her voice has never raised to a yell, unlike his, and she feels strangely proud of that small victory. Suppressing the smirk that so desperately wants to come out, Elle raises her eyebrows. "I can live with that. Now move."

"No," Bob counters. "You can't. What were you thinking, Elle? Letting Sylar into your home? Withholding his location?!" Well, there it is. He lays it out before she does. Perhaps he's realizing that she might not have given in, after all. And that's a thought that makes Mr. Bishop antsy.

"I was thinking he should get to have a life without them taking it away again," Elle snaps in response, raising her voice just a touch, her cheeks flushing again now that he's vocalized his disapproval. Somehow, hearing it from him elicits another flare of anxiety, and she can feel her heart palpitate again. Interesting how quickly she has distanced herself from the Company. When she speaks again, it's with a faint overtone of bitterness. "Something I never had." Uncharacteristically, she's starting to feel as if she might faint. What the hell is she doing? "Get out of my way."

"He's a monster, don't you remember? You certainly should. He doesn't deserve a life that's not behind bars." Oh, that could be contested, and oh, there are multiple layers when it comes to Sylar and the Company. Bob stays where he is, only leaning more heavily into the door, staring darkly down Elle more for every second longer that she defies him. "Don't project yourself onto someone like Sylar. You should know better, you're better than that, Elle. Or I thought you were."

"You're wrong." Caught between her father and the door, his proximity forcing her to feel every word as well as hear it, Elle stares at him, unblinking. Soon, this rush of courage will be gone, and this surreal encounter may very well seem as much like a dream as the last few days of her life. For the moment, Elle is caught up in the wave, shifting her weight to stand up straighter. "I'm not better than that, Daddy. I'm just better than you." Her hands are at her sides, her fingers flexing and then curling into fists anxiously.

Elle's biting words are surreal, but Bob rolls with this new punch from what he considers to be the New and Unimproved Elle Bishop. He lets go of the door, but only because he advances in an anger-fuelled rush and grabs for Elle's shirt collar. "You've changed. What did he say to you! This state of mind isn't beneficial for anyone," he rumbles. Daddy knows best.

The moment he reaches for her shirt collar, Elle's instincts take over, and she lashes out in both desperation and anger. She hears the sound before she quite realizes what is happening, the blue light leaping from her hands defensively - an act of self-preservation. A second later, the considerable charge has dissipated, and her eyes go wide at the realization of how far she's come. There's no going back now, is there?

Betrayal. That's what this is, Bob thinks. It's expressed very sharply through his eyes straight at Elle's before the electric shock jolts him to the extent that he's blasted unconscious. His heavy form starts a shaky, knee-buckling descent to the floor.

Though she may be the reason for his untimely fall to the floor, Elle does not wish to do more harm to her father than necessary; compassionately, she slips her arms beneath his as he falls, bracing herself to support as much of his weight as she can. She pulls him away from the door, but, knowing she has no hope of lifting him onto the sofa, has no choice but to leave him lying on the floor of his office. Slowly, she lowers him to the floor, then drops to her knees beside him. "I'm sorry, Daddy," she murmurs, resting a hand gently upon his cheek, giving the unconscious man a sad smile.

Her legs are shaky as she rises from the floor, and Elle finds her palms damp with sweat. Looking back over her shoulder, a new sense of urgency is taking over; she has to get out of here, and fast. Before anyone finds him. Crossing to the door, she pauses a moment with her hand on the knob, her eyes closing. Three deep breaths later, rubbing her palms on her hips, Elle opens her eyes again. Ready.

She pulls the door open just enough to slip out into the hallway, closing it tightly again after her. A lump in her throat — swallowing hard, again, she starts the nerve-racking walk to the elevator.

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