2007-04-03: Elegiac Eliana


Jane_icon.gif Eliana_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif

Summary: Two friends meet, a song is written, a drug is dealt.

Date It Happened: April 3rd, 2007

Elegiac Eliana

So much stress, so much fear in her heart, since she was told Sylar is out there and has his talents back. She'd spent the last few days waiting and hoping to hear from the younger Petrelli with no word, Jane passed the time playing guitar wherever the mood took her and drawing comfort from it, the best outlet she has. A few gigs were played at Jack's den during that time too, honoring her agreement and more than earning the pay. But now it's time for a bit of companionship, relaxation, and seeing something of New York she hasn't yet. But where… Her phone is pulled out and a number dialed.

The phone rings several times, and voice that finally answers is strained. "Hello?"

"Eliana? It's Jane. Are you okay?" She sounds concerned, the strained voice sets off a minor bell or two.

There is more sniffling, then the rustle of fabric. Is someone in bed. "I'm… I'm here. What's up?"

"I was thinking about doing something this afternoon, maybe going someplace new to me. Like, maybe the zoo, the big one out in the Bronx. Do you feel like exploring, Eliana?" Jane's voice holds compassion, the tone is one chosen to hopefully lighten whatever mood causes the sniffling she heard.

There is silence for a few moments, then a distant meow. "Yeah," Eliana finally speaks up. "Maybe. Maybe for a little bit."

"Cool," she replies, asking "I'll meet you there, Eliana? I hope your cat doesn't totally hate me, by the way. I hear her meowing."

"Him," Eliana corrects. "And yeah. Yeah, I'm on my way."

"Ouch. You told me that before. Sorry, stupid me. See you soon." And she ends the call, setting out herself for the Bronx Zoo.

It takes Eliana some time to get there, but when she does, she looks a lot better than she did when she ran into Jack earlier in the day. It /is/ her day off, and so she should enjoy it as best she can. Ice cream and cat cuddles are comforting, but human company might be better. She's tied a white scarf around her head and has donned a pair of sunglasses that hide her eyes well, and as she nears the zoo's gate, Eli shoves her hands in the pockets of her jacket.

Her eyes are unconcealed, standing near the entrance waiting for the pink-haired writer to arrive. Jane's guitar is left at home for once, but she does still have the backpack over a shoulder. It's the Yale hoodie, navy Y on white background, over dark jeans and heeled boots today. She scans the people around, looking for Eliana, and on sighting her a hand motions to catch attention. "Hey," she calls out, moving a few steps in that direction.

Eliana looks up when she hears the hey, and thankfully, it is for her. She offers a weak smile and a nods as she turns and walks toward Jane. "Hey yourself," she says. Her voice is a little scratchy, and with the sunglasses, well, it might seem as though Eli was in bed for an entirely different reason than the real one.

A smile greets the woman, but it quickly shifts to a touch of concern; Jane asks "You got a cold?" Seeing someone who looks sick brings back memories of her own, a thing she suffered through less than a month before, but she chases them away. Focus on the present. "Good to see you again." Turning to face the zoo's interior she suggests "You're a cat person, so maybe that's the place to check out first?"

"I'm a stray person," Eliana explains with a twist of her smile. "But that's fine. And no, I'm not sick. How're you?" She sounds better than she did on the phone, but not by much.

"Doing well enough," she answers, taking a moment to study Eliana. "Staying busy, trying not to think too much. Made some good money out near Shea playing guitar when the Mets had their opening day." Jane doesn't seem convinced, but just the same she lets it go and starts to move into the zoo proper and head for the cats. "Have you been out here before? I have to wonder if they maybe let the lions be themselves and chase zebras for dinner."

Eliana nods to indicate she has visited this zoo before. "Not for a long time," she adds to clarify. "I started writing some songs for you… but they aren't finished yet. And I think one is too…I get trapped in meter."

"Oooh." A smile spreads, music. Always a topic to perk this one up. "Meter, like pentameter, etc?" Jane muses, adding "Shakespearean syntax in a rock tune. That'd be coolly unique, you know?" If she had her guitar she might well pull it out and start playing something iambic on the spot. "If you like, hit me with a sample or two of what you've conjured, Eliana." Walking along, closer and closer to the cat zone she goes.

Eliana lifts a hand to rub the back of her neck as she walks, but she shakes her head. "Nah, I'm good. But yeah, it's iambic. Not all meter is." Save the lecture, Eli. "But yeah. I think maybe the last poem I wrote was a sonnet, so that's what I started writing…it's different though. Maybe I'll change it. Maybe…" Maybe that'd be a way to get Jack back. Eliana narrows her eyes, though it's something Jane can't see, and looks at the other girl's bag. "Do you have any paper in there?"

"I do," Jane answers, pausing to sling it from her shoulder and lower to ground, then open and reach inside. A few sheets and a clipboard come out, along with a pen. "I know. It's just the most well known sort. Everything else using meter gets lost in his grand shadow. "Sonnets in rock style." She's lapsing silent and musing, perhaps running a melody through her head.

Eliana shakes her head as she takes the paper, kicking herself for not having a moleskin with her. "No, every song you sing has it. People just don't focus on it. It's just the beat, Jane." She turns and sits with her back against a low concrete wall and props the clipboard on her thighs.

Her eyes settle on the seated writer and watch her, while she ponders something in silence. The beat. Not wanting to disturb whatever's being created on the page, Jane wanders a few feet away and begins to tap on something lightly, silently. A rhythm forming in her mind, one who observes might guess. She lets it wash over and through her.

Eliana 's own fingers are tapping the page as she mutters words under her breath, checking the stressed and unstressed syllables as well as their number. Soon, three lines are on the page, and Eliana looks entirely engrossed in her work.

Soon, a quatrain appears on the page, and Eliana leans back to read it over again.

I knew a gallant man from a green isle,
Who'd landed here with luck I've never known
With cunning wit, great charm, and what a smile -
Though sharp of tongue, with kindness always shone.

No disturbance is given her, Jane glances that way from time to time and smiles. Artists of a different vein, she won't interrupt the creativity taking hold. She too sinks to sit on the concrete and let thoughts wander. Something classical turned modern, in her head she can hear the guitar, bass, drums, and piano playing it out. Speed metal with unusual instruments, like Ian Anderson playing the flute, and recalling an interview she saw once. How Ian claimed he tried guitar and sucked, he switched to something no one else did after realizing he couldn't be the best at his first choice. Soon after Jethro Tull pops into her brain, she's softly humming a bit of King Henry's Madrigal.

The next quatrain does not follow the established English Sonnet form - it's not a sentence unto it'self, but the beginning of a simile. Eliana makes no motion to shoo Jane away from reading over her shoulder should she wish, but writes on.

But like a spring's fresh rain or summer's sun
Which, though loved, are done so passively and
Are only praised and mourned when come undone
When winter's merc'less cold sweeps o'er the land.

A glance while humming has Jane spot Eliana as she leans back and reads, only to resume writing and add more to the creation. She steps over without speaking, taking care not to make noise and startle or disturb she who writes, and reads the words. They form silently on her lips, and in her head music to match them starts to take shape. A blues riff, perhaps, for the second quatrain, something livelier for the first. Her rocking mind goes first to a Zeppelinesque style for both. The chords are heard as if she were playing them, and soon her fingers are moving as if she were actually doing so.

The movement of fingers in her peripheral vision causes Eliana to look up, but she only smiles a little before she continues to write. Soon, she rounds off the third quatrain.

So too was this fine fellow's mercy lost,
Looked o'er in light of seemingly greater parts
Until a bill'wing storm lay siege and tossed
This gentle man and tore his tender heart.

The home stretch awaits. The couplet.

It takes some moments as she reads and plays out a tune to match those words in her mind before Jane starts to do the mental math. The sniffling, the way she sounded, what Eliana's writing. Oh, God, girl, what'd you do? The third quatrain draws a return to bluesy riff in her musical bits. It's that kind of piece there. Light, going dark, going darker. Anticipation forms… hey, Carly Simon. How will it end, she wonders. Hopeful, or adrift? Maybe the piece concludes with resolve to make amends and hope of forgiveness, but bearing the consequences with dignity.

It is dark, and growing darker. Perhaps the twist at the couplet, which is an element that Eliana does in fact include, isn't what Jane had expected.

But this was no impassive tempest, no,
Those clouds cry loudest, thundering their woe.

Eliana skims it over again, then stretches out her legs so that Jane can do the same with more ease. Behind her sunglasses, Eliana closes her eyes, then sniffs.

Silence, studying the written words. Not quite the path she thought about, but still with dignity. Acknowledgment, acceptance of the situation, it is what it is? It's a thing she's familiar with, Jane's far from a stranger to dark introspections nowadays. The guitarless guitarist slides into a seated posture next to the author, there to be leaned upon if needed or wanted. No words are spoken to ask what happened, there's just acceptance of sadness and that Eliana will or won't share on her own.

Eliana does lean. And it feels good to lean. She passes the clipboard over with a shivering sort of sigh, then lifts the hand with the pen in it to rub the back of a finger against her nose. "There're some parts where it gets kinda…" but Eliana just leans over a bit more and turns 'passively' into 'pass'vly' and 'seemingly' into 'seem'ly.' "Damned adverbs," she grumbles in an attempt at finding some humor. "It should flow okay. And it's… well, it's a sonnet."

"Elegiac," Jane replies softly, the first word she's spoken since writing began. "I've got some tune to this in my head. But the instrument is at home. Maybe we should go there and leave the big cats for another day, Eliana." Because this, she can tell, is about getting it all out, and that takes priority. Feet push up, she stands, and offers a hand down to help the other woman to her feet.

With a soft smile, Eliana takes the offered hand and stands. "Yeah," is all she says before she wipes at her nose again and starts off with Jane down the path. A taxi is called, and the two are soon headed first to Jane's apartment, then to Eliana's. There is at least one cat there.

Time passes while they hit Greenwich Village and collect Jane's electric guitar; she also grabs an acoustic and brings both along, then make their way here. The guitarist waits while her writer friend goes about unlocking the door and admitting her to the interior, hoping the cat beyond doesn't fear or hate her.

Traffic is a bitch, so that time is…well, it's a lot of time. Eliana helps Jane with whatever gear she can, but when she sets it down to unlock her door, her phone rings. Eliana pulls it out and looks at it, frowning at the caller ID. After it rings a few more times, though, she answers it.

She turns away and takes a few steps back, leaving Eliana some privacy for the call, trying not to overhear any of it. Jane lets her mind wander, puzzled by what could have spurred this on. Sure, she saw Jack with Yael a time or three, but that doesn't by itself mean anything. She's been places with guys she's not into like that herself. The two Petrellis prominent among them. Nor does Jack punching some guy who kissed Elena mean he was jealous. Far from it.

Stepping inside the house, Eliana closes the door with an audible thump, and Maimondies meows at her from one of his more unusual perches - atop the refrigerator. "What, Lachlan?" Eliana asks, exhaustion in her voice. She glances to Jane, then moves toward the kitchen for a what little added privacy it can give her. "He knows. He fucking knows and he hates me for it." The words bring Eliana's voice dangerously close to that Fearsome Female edge of …Funk. And we're not dancing here." into her phone.

The visitor lingers in the main room, setting down her guitars and the backpack she carries, then settles into a seat and waits, Jane's fingers starting to silently go over the tune formed a while back in her head.

Into her phone, Eliana gulps. "No," comes that soft, tearful voice from the kitchen. "No, I did. He said…he said he had to trust me." Talk about turning the tables. "Cass… wait, /Cass/ knows?" Then quickly, "I didn't tell Cass." Eli sniffs, then turns so that her back is to the main room and lowers her voice to a whisper. "Jane's here. You should…you should come over. Bring your guitar and… and some stuff." Shit. Eli's never done drugs before, and it would upet Jane, it would certainly calm /her/. "Something that doesn't make your heart go nuts."

Not hearing any of this, or at the least trying not to, Jane continues to lightly move over the strings. Moments later she decides to quietly check and ensure the tuning on both instruments, starting with the acoustic.

Speaking into her phone, Eliana frowns. "Look, I'll just…I'll just go into the bedroom or something and come back. Please? Or don't. I don't care." She sighs again, shutting her eyes tight. "She's writing a song I, or, well, the music to a song I wrote. Just come, okay?"

Into her phone, Eliana's next words are simple directions to her apartment, and what to tell the cabbie so he doesn't screw you over. With that,and a muttered "thanks," she hangs up the phone.

Eliana returns from the kitchen, shoving her phone into the back pocket of her jeans and finally removing her glasses. She has bags under her eyes, but they're red, and not the sort one gets when they haven't had enough sleep. "Sorry about that," she says as she toes off her sneakers and sits on the couch.

Still tuning her acoustic guitar when the call ends, Jane's working on the third string from left to right. She looks up and takes a long moment to study the author when she's spoken to and those glasses come off. Not one comment about her appearance is made, the words written earlier tell her enough about the reason. "Nothing to be sorry for," is her quietly given reply. Once again, she's available to be leaned upon.

But there is a couch now, and Eliana leans on that. "So," she says with a sigh and an attempt at a smile. "Did you come up with a tune as fast as I…god, fucking /vomitted/ out those words?" She did sit there for awhile, but unlike the other things she'd been working on for Jane, this one came effortlessly.

"I did, at least partly," Jane replies. "It's lively in the start, but turns bluesy in the second quatrain. Then it goes deeper into darkness. The bits about tempest and woe would reflect that in their sound, I think." Her fingers move over the strings and frets, playing out as she described, and she watches for a reaction on Eliana's face.

Eliana nods, and her eyes slowly close as she listens. It's nice, in that it's fitting, and suddenly the poem works it's magic. A small part of the pain is outside herself, and Eliana can empathize with it rather than feel it in its entirety. A copy rather than the original. "Not really pub music though, is it?"

Knock knock. Special delivery!

Took some time for Lachlan to get here from his place in Brooklyn as he had to make a quick stop elsewhere, but now he stands outside the door dressed in a clean T-shirt and jeans, astonishingly lacking in canine companionship and carrying an acoustic guitar case in one hand.

Starting to answer, Jane says "It's not, so much, but still recordable. If you want to eventually let it be, that is." Her fingers go still, the next words held back when that knock comes at the door.

The idea of anyone wanting to record her words set to Jane's music is something Eliana hadn't really imagined before. "Well, yeah. But…well, isn't that why you're playing about like this? So you can get a company interested in you?" Isn't that what all young artists in New York want? She gets up when Lachlan knocks on the door, and in another few moments, she has opened it for the Scotsman. "Jane, Lachlan. Lachlan, Jane."

When he's let inside, Lachlan enters with a sort of meekness not characteristic of him. A glance is given to both women, and the introduction gets a half-grimace, half-smile of uneasiness. "Yeah, already know 'er," he mumbles, rubbing at the back of his head with a free hand. "Hey." The last is spoken to Jane, along with a small wave. Then, back to Eliana: "Uh … can I talk ta ye fer a sec?" Alone?

"That's my goal," Jane answers. "One of them, anyway. But I wouldn't use this tune without your consent, I'm not out to poach anyone's work." She watches Eliana deal with the door and nods toward the arriving man. "Lachlan. Evening." A simple greeting, no malice or disquiet to it. Her eyes go from one person to the other, settling on the pink-haired writer last. She stands and moves toward the door. "I can take a walk if you need space, Eliana. Ring me up when you want to finish the tune."

Shit. Jane leaving is not good. Because then Eliana and Lachlan would be alone, and that only looks like things. "No, you're fine. I'm sure it will only take a second." She glances at Lachlan as if to convey the idea that whatever it is, it /will/ only take a second. Still, she can't keep Jane here against her will. Closing the door, Eliana moves to the couch again and grabs a moleskin from her desk. She flips it open to a random clean page and copies down the sonnet. "If you need to go, though, I won't keep you."

Nonononononono. Nono. No. No. /No/. "Nah, nah, stay," Lachlan bursts out, talking a half-step to the side as though to block the door. Jane leaving means that he'd be alone in the apartment with a pretty woman. This is Very Bad for his third chance with Cass. "Uh. Brough' m'guitar." The case is hefted a bit to spotlight its presence, as though somehow this will entice the other musician to stay.

She stops after a few steps and turns back toward the seat she occupied, where her guitars still are, then looks again between the two of them curiously. "Lachlan wants to talk with you alone, but both of you want me to stay…" Jane's head shakes a time or two, she refills her seat, and pushes it from mind. Hands take up the instrument again, she runs fingers over it without making sound and runs the lyrics through her head again.

Tucking the copy of the poem into her pocket, Eliana heads for the kitchen. "Can I get you a drink, Jane? Lachlan? I've got soda and Sprite…and a little bit of juice." No booze. Not tonight. She glances at Lachlan as she goes. If he wants to talk, he'd better follow. And fast.

Whew. Crisis averted. The offer of a drink causes Lachlan's heart to briefly jump into his throat, however it calms again when nothing alcoholic is in that repertoire. God, these people are going to kill him. He follows Eliana into the kitchen and, once he's sure that he's sufficiently able to converse with the pink-haired woman without being overheard, he moves up right next to her and produces something from the far pocket of his jacket. This is held out to her discreetly, and he's very careful to keep whatever-it-is out of sight of Jane. Something is muttered to Eliana in a low voice.

She's not paying attention to them, at least not apparently, as she occupies her seat and moves fingers silently across strings and frets. In her mind the tune she spun out is played again and again, combed over to identify and make improvements. "Thanks, Eliana," Jane replies when spoken to. "Pepsi's good if you have it, please."

This is not a Pepsi establishment. Coke, man, Coke! But sure that Jane won't know the difference, she pours two glasses of the stuff, a few ice cubes in each, and a glass of water for herself. It's while she's doing this that she looks at Lachlan, then his hand. Eliana narrows her eyes, then shakes her head. But she doesn't hesitate in taking the pill from its pusher.

Truthfully, Lachlan doesn't care what he's given to drink, so long as it's not booze. He frowns a little at Eliana's answer, stuffing his hand into his pocket. The muttering continues briefly before he turns back to the living room.

Oblivious, at least to all appearances, and from what's known of her more it's more than seeming. If she'd seen the pill, had any clue about it, Jane's experiences would likely cause her to bolt or at the least be very vocally objecting to its presence, but she's quietly occupied with silent tunecrafting.

The unseen pill is popped, and Eliana returns with the drinks to the living room. While the two musicians fiddle around with their instruments, Eliana simply enjoys the company. She starts to write some more, but the drug soon has it's desired effect. But before Eliana slips off to sleep, she hands Jane a spare key to the apartment so that the two musicians can let themselves out. She may not be planning on going to the Den anytime soon, but that doesn't mean Eli won't meet up with Jane later.

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