2007-10-17: Death And The Maiden


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Guest Starring (For the Last Time):


Summary: Another wonderful night goes down in flames the next morning when Elena and Peter read the morning paper. Plans to crash a mob funeral ensue.

Date It Happened: October 17th, 2007

Death And The Maiden

Bat Country Labs, Seville Medical Center, Brooklyn

Despite being feverish still, she was still in pretty good mood. It had been hard to leave Peter asleep in the bed, not after the events form the day before when they reconnected once again after a couple of weeks of strain and tension….but she had to eventually. After a quick shower, and changing into a fresh set of clothes, Elena feels a little more human than she has been in the last few days. Clad in a tanktop and a pair of jeans, she's moving around the staff room, the microwave active and holding within it a pair of veggie burrito wraps. Maybe it'll be her turn to get him breakfast in bed. She hunts for orange juice in the fridge.

She walks to the table after, setting it down and pulling out her jphone from her jeans pocket. Blinking at the voicemail left, she hits the button to access it. Nadia's voice drifts in her ears.

Hey BFF! Hurry up, get better and /come home/. This place is made crazy quiet without here, dork! I got so bored I got into that Activating whatever book you had out. Crazy stuff! What game was it for? Nevermind. Look, just come home and I'll force some good Italian cooking down your throat and cure what ails ya! Ciao!

She can't help but grin, and hits redial in her missed call section. When she doesn't reach her roommate, she frowns, and checks the time. It's approaching noon. She should be up by now… "I'll try again later, I suppose," she mutters, ending the call. She moves towards the front door of the laboratory, so she could grab the mail and the paper. Sure, Cass might not be around the clinic right now, doesn't mean she can't do a little housekeeping things while her friend was away. She returns a few moments later with a couple of envelopes and a rolled up copy of the Times.

Women with a mission may miss certain things. Like, say, their boyfriend standing in the outter hallway outside the clinic, using one of the best areas for cellphone reception that he could find. Peter's just recently hung up on his phone call with 'Dr. Stan' whom he knew by a different name, and is silent in the hall when she opens the door to fetch the mail and the newspaper. He doesn't call out, but he does move after her to follow her back in at a distance, putting his phone away and following to the staff room.

No breakfast in bed today for him, it would seem. Pity, because he would probably love it right now. But there were phone calls he needed to make too, and he got through. "Morning— or nearly afternoon, I guess," he says from the doorway, moving in to sit at the table and rub a hand over his hair. "Do need anything?" He may not be able to go to the store, but he has a handy ability to move things from one place to another instantaneously. Only his own things, though. He's not a thief.

"Hi," Elena says, smiling over at him and moving over to drop a light kiss on the top of his head. "Veggie breakfast burritos today. I wish I could actually cook something for you for a change while I'm here but there's not really a stove around or anything." An apologetic cast is on her face, though it's wiped away when the microwave dings its readiness. She moves over to where it is, pulling out the platter with the two, wrapped foodstuffs and bringing it over in the table. While Peter's denied breakfast in bed, at least she can make him food and pour a glass of orange juice for him. "How did you sleep?" she asks. "I slept like the dead….I didn't manage to call Nadia back. What about you, did you manage to get through to Dr. Giff— Adam…whoever he is?" She takes a seat across him, and undoes the rubber band from the newspaper so she can pull out the Metro section.

"I slept okay," Peter says, smiling at the kiss that's placed on top of his shortened hair— shortened by acid, but it's been growing for a time, so it's not quite 'near army cut' length anymore. It's begun to actually need a comb. "Thanks, for breakfast. Hopefully we'll be able to stay in a place with a kitchen soon— either the mansion or one of those condos you mentioned." He'd love to stay in his own apartment, since that is his home, but it's not really an option due to lack of space. He only has two rooms of any decent size, and he wouldn't force four people to stay there. "I did get ahold of him. He's going to do what he can, but whatever Suresh and Cass find in Texas will probably be a better lead, in the end." 400 year old regenerator blood can't hurt to try out, though. Who knows if he's actually stronger than his niece or not.

"I'll try calling Papa tonight," Elena says. "I don't want to bug him at work…" She frowns. "He's worried enough about us as it is, but he'll do what he can." She unfolds the paper and her eyes drop to scan the article on the front page of the Metro section…though she's prevented from reading the story for a moment so she could listen to what Peter says. While she doesn't know that Adam is 400 years old, she's hopeful that he could provide a bit more help. "I hope so," she tells him. "Whenever they do go, which is probably soon knowing Cass. She's really worried about us," she says, her expression softening. Though when her eyes move back to the paper again… "Oh my god. Peter…" she says, her hand pausing from dragging the plate towards her. "Those people…the ones that escaped. I think they struck again." She points at the paper with her free hand. "At some magic show or something in Central Park."

There's a nod, Peter unwraps his breakfast burrito and takes a bite out of it, probably intending to continue more of the conversation, but also noticing her trying to read, so he just nods for the most part. The woman is worried about them, and she has a right to be. He's not had the heart to tell the young woman what Mohinder let slip during the examination process. That they all could possibly die from this. It's her exclaimation and the things she says as she reads her newspaper that makes him put his breakfast down and lean closer. "What? But that's— what happened? Was anyone hurt?" And why hasn't the Company handled this, yet? It's been weeks since they escaped now. He knows the exact night it happened. Thanks to… other things that'd been happening simultaniously.

"This magician performing in Central Park. She got killed. The article doesn't say who but…" The modus operandi was familiar, from the accounts Peter and Cass have told her. She doesn't know that it could be potentially fatal either. Elena shakes her head. "There's….there isn't a list of casualties or anything…" she says, scanning the article. "Save for the magician and…" There was one other name in the article, and what she reads causes her fingers to freeze on the paper. Her blood runs cold. She stares at the text disbelievingly.

Before she knows it, she's off the chair, away from Peter and fumbling for her phone. She flips the top and dials the number she had been trying to reach earlier. When she gets nothing, just Nadia's voicemail, she tries again. Her back is to Peter. She tries again. When she can't reach Nadia for the fifth time, she switches to a different tack…

"Hello? Mrs— " she says, there's a slight tremor in her voice, but she chokes it down in an effort to sound calm. "Oh I was hoping she was— " And then, there's a loud sound from the other end. She's forced to yank the earpiece back away from her ear. A string of rapid Italian, English, and wails can be heard in the background, but at what she hears…

It seems like forever. Slow motion. Her arm drops limply on her side, the phone slipping from her fingers to land with a thunk on the floor.

One of them killed him twice, so of course it could be potentially fatal, but Peter looks a little furious. This was not supposed to happen. Innocent people dying left and right and now it's happened again and no one has forcefully stopped them. How many more people have to die before someone does what needed to be done weeks ago? Possibly years ago. As far as he can tell there were very little reasons to keep such people alive— why not wipe their memory and reform them? Why not use persuasion to change their ways? Why not do something besides leave them violent and murderous and in a cell that they could— and did— escape from? But then Elena stands up and starts to move away, dialing on her phone. What?

Pulling the newspaper over, he reads the victims that had already been identified— probably not a complete list, because newspapers don't tend to print names until after the next of kin are informed, but he does see one he recognizes— one that Elena would of course try to contact. A slow inhale later, and he hears a sound, the phone dropping to the floor, after the dull sounds of wailing.

Son of a bitch. Someone needs to pay for this. He stands up, quickly moving over to her, ignoring his weakness and fever, and wrapping his arms around her. It won't be okay. It'll never be okay. But… "I'm here."

Unlike her future self, she doesn't push him away. But Elena is barely aware of anything else, really. Just the sound of Nadia's aunt wailing before the call cuts off automatically after the woman on the other line drops the call because she hasn't responded in a while. Her eyes are on it, even when Peter sweeps her up in a hug. Half her face pressed against his chest, her eyes are wide open, still focused on the cherry red jPhone on the ground as CALL DISCONNECTED flashes over and over and over again, in time with the slow beating of her shocked heart. It hasn't sunk in yet. Not fully. But it will shortly. She seems to not even hear him, her arms limp on her sides.

Nadia was gone.


Murdered by the same people who hurt Cass and tried killing Peter permanently.

But she finally reaches some level of awareness. Her arms curl upwards to clutch at the back of his shirt. "It's not real," she tells him softly. "It's not real. This is another dream. Just another dream….it's a mistake. It has to be….tell me it's a mistake…"

There's some things that Peter isn't very good at and lying in these situations is actually one of the things he physically refuses to do. "It's not fair," is about the truest thing he can say. The newspaper could be mistaken, but he imagines she got through to someone, and such a thing would upset any member of a family. It could still be a mistake, a miss identification— but the newspapers are usually fairly careful about that sort of thing to avoid being sued. And they definitely would not want to be sued by a suspected mob princess' family. "This never should have happened… I should call some people— see why— see what they're doing about this. If they're doing anything."

She never dealt with death very well but she had been forced to because no one else could function back then. The scars from the past are ripped open, and Elena keeps shaking her head, trying to stem the rising panic as her fingers grip the fabric of his shirt so tightly she could tear it. "No…no…" It doesn't sound like she's sobbing. Or even crying. There's no moisture, no choking, gasping breath. Just that one word over and over for a bit, in intermittent intervals. "This isn't happening. This isn't…this can't…" She felt a little lightheaded, the shock forcing her to repeat her words, the realization sinking in slowly and the more it does, the more her hands shake. "I can't…I can't breathe…" She doesn't let go of him though, to get air. Because the moment she does, the world will spin. She felt nauseous, her stomach clenching and roiling around as if she ate something bad for brunch when she hasn't eaten anything at all.

There's some memory of a certain incident in the future, when Peter followed her to a chapel and held her while she mourned the loss of her step mother— she'd wanted to mourn alone, most likely, but he's not the type to allow that. He keeps his arms around her, holds her upright, and when she says she can't breathe, he begins to move, pulling her toward the door out of the staff room, and moving them into the hall. "Come on, let's get you into a bigger room— maybe outside. You could use some fresh air." It won't help with the situation. It won't make it go away, but… It's not okay. And it never will be. Curse the Company for not handling this sooner.

She's tugged along, half-dragged with Peter's arms around her still as she's moved out of the staff room. Lightheaded still, Elena's barely aware of her feet moving when her boyfriend tries to at the very least make her comfortable. "Outside…." she tells him faintly, barely aware that she's saying anything. It won't take long, not like the basement area of Seville Medical is too big, but they manage to get up at least, to some sun. She hasn't seen it for quite a while now, but there's no comfort to be had there. She takes a deep breath once she reaches outside with him….and upon getting there, she doesn't say anything. She just keeps hanging onto him, not knowing what to do with herself if she did let him go. And when she speaks up… "She….she's not even…she didn't even do an…anything, she's….all she wanted to do was marry Leo and graduate and become a lawyer and feed everybody because that's what good Italian girls did…"

The sad fact about death… almost no one gets to do what they intended to do. That's one of the reasons Peter respected hospice care above emergency. Those people knew their time was limited and they could choose to spend it how they wished— and it was his job to make sure that their last moments were comfortable and as happy as possible. Instead… this young woman who had been sweet and actually helped him ask his girlfriend out… her last moments were probably horrific. Painful. All he can do is keep moving her to the front doors, opening the doors to the hallway and then up the stairs. That will take longer. "I'm sorry that this happened… it shouldn't have…"

"She wasn't even…" Her voice starts trembling now, the realization sinking in faster and faster. "….we were…when she was 21 we….were going to go to Vegas. She wanted….wear a cute dress and high heels and play Blackj…j…" Elena's knees buckle, but they lock automatically - by instinct, given she's held up her own for a while now. Her hands shake so hard she forces herself to let go of his shirt in an effort to pull away from him so he wouldn't see her cave as she attempts to stagger away from him and run before she gets any worse, a fist jabbed against her mouth to keep her from wailing pathetically. She can't. Not right now. She had to call Latisha. Mikhail. People in dance corps who didn't know though they all probably heard already. New York despite its sprawling state was a small town as far as the grapevine was concerned.

"Elena," Peter snaps when she pulls away, using what energy he has to grab her and pull her back against him. "Stop. Stop, just— It's okay to be upset— that's natural. You don't have to hide it or— just stop, okay?" He knows how she feels, though. His first instinct is to get away, do something to make this better— do something period. She's thinking of making calls, and so is he, because someone has to make it so this never happens again. There's hope that something could be done to fix things, but he can't even suggest it. Bringing back one person when there was a whole list of dead? It's not fair. They shouldn't pick and choose who lives and who dies— even if he wants to make this better. "You don't have to deal with this alone, Elena…"

She shakes her head vehemently, but once she's grabbed and clutched close to him, Elena grips his shirt tightly again as an uncontrolled wail escapes her throat. Thankfully the sound is muffled against his shirt. It was too late to hold anything back now, not when he was stubbornly holding her in place and she had nowhere else to go at the moment. This goes on for a while…it feels like an eternity, even though it really only lasts a few minutes, with her sobbing violently and her feverish body coughing and shaking all the while. When does it end with these people? When does it stop? 24 hours ago she was so happy…

The stairway is silent again after a few minutes.

"….we need to do something…" she says, finally, her voice hoarse from crying. She closes her eyes. "…I can't just…let this lie…"

After a few more moments of silence, she speaks up again. "….I need to talk to her Dad…" Her jaw sets, pulling back a bit so she could look him right in the eye. "He's…just like Papa. If I can't…do anything myself…if I can't…" She squeezes her eyes shut. "If I can't do anything to touch them….I'm going to help someone who can."

There's a time when all he can do is hold her, pulling her down closer to the stairs so they can sit together while she recovers. Peter's worse onn than her in sickness, but the death of her friend is hitting her much harder than him, of course. The most important thing he can do right now is exactly what he's doing— hold her. His hands rub up and down her back, much as they had the night before, but this is for a very different reason. They'd been happy— and then this happens. And he could find blame for himself, easily. He should have stopped at least one of them when he had the chance. He should have kept hunting until he stopped all of them. But he didn't. And the future that he changed… this hadn't happened. He's sure Elena would have mentioned if her friend died like this. "All right… Make the phone calls— but make sure if they go after these people that they're careful… I have a few phone calls I need to make too…" His will be to the Company. He has the numbers of at least four members. Surely he'll reach one of them.

She is silent again for a while, Elena held and curled up somewhat against him while both rested against the wall. And when she talks, it's much calmer. The tremor is gone, now that she has something else to focus on. "…I have to tell him, Peter," Elena says softly. "Not…probably not full disclosure but….he should know just who… what…killed his daughter. I don't know how she was killed but if I asked him, what…her injuries were…since….we saw them killing people in the dream, I can…probably figure out which one if he's willing to talk to me." There is a pause. "….I'm counting on the fact that….her father's in the mob. They won't have any scruples. They won't answer to anyone. Not the police. Not the Company. Nobody." Hearing herself say those words causes her to close her eyes. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be talking like that."

"No… it's understandable," Peter says, pulling her away from him enough to look at her face, even with her eyes closed. He kisses her eyelids and leans in against her forehead. "The Company isn't taking care of this like they should be— someone else stepping in… might be a good idea. I understand." Because right now, he wants to step out and do something about it, to make sure it never happens again. But he can't— so a few phone calls will have to do. "Where do you want to make your phone calls?"

"I…." Elena pauses. "I want to go to my parish. See Father Brady. And then….I'll ask when the funeral is." She feels his lips roam over her face, and she pulls away, opening her eyes to look at him. "I can talk to him then. He'll be there. There's…there's no way he'll skip it." She reaches out to touch his face. "It's a mob funeral. You don't have to come with me. But I can't sit here when they lower her to the ground. I want to say goodbye."

"I'll go with you there. I can make my calls from outside," Peter says, helping her back to her feet and assisting her further if she needs it. It's going to take a while, depending on how far her parish is, but two people breaking out of quaratine are just as dangerous as one, honestly. The most he can really do is 'Jack' a bottle of hand cleaner from the labs and hand it to her. It won't save them from a lot of stuff, but at least… "We just need to be careful." She's a medical student, he's a nurse. They know better than to do certain things, at the very least. And for the first time in days… they get to leave the Medical Center. Though the circumstances aren't what either of them would have wanted.

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