2007-04-24: Elle In The Bucket


Elle_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: After the waterlogging of Enlightenment Books, Elle is contained in a bathtub and bucket of water at Pete's Apartment. A frank discussion is had.

Date It Happened: April 24th, 2007

Elle In The Bucket

Time has passed since leaving the bookstore with an unconscious and wet Elle Bishop. Jane and Pete get her back to his apartment and take her into the bathroom, where by Jane's suggestion they tie her to a chair, arms and legs, and place her feet into a bucket with water in it. Jane then retrieves her guitar and other gear from Elle's car, and plugs into the amp to play quietly while she keeps watch. Pete, soon as things are in hand, dives into bed to sleep off the overload blues.

In so doing, at Jane's suggestion, precautions are taken. Elle's not someone they expect to be trouble free in this situation, she just invaded a bookstore and would've killed people for what she wanted. Attempts to escape are thus expected and guarded against. Chair in bathtub, clothes intact, not impacting the woman's dignity more than neccessary. Water in bucket, some on clothes which will be restored periodically, and the tub so more water can be run when needed easily.
Elle starts to stir after quite a while. There's a soft groan as she starts to wake up. Sore.

Sitting in the doorway, playing guitar quietly and keeping watch, Jane looks up at the movement. Her head tilts to one side, nothing is said yet.

Elle comes more to consciousness, and her head snaps up. She looks over, narrowing her eyes, and strains at the ropes. "Let me out of here." she hisses.

"I wish I could, Elle," Jane replies softly. "But you won't believe I'm telling the truth, or Pete either. So we're going to spend some time like this until we find a telepath like you asked for." There's remorse in her voice, she clearly hates doing this to a friend, but it is what it is. "You made quite a dilemma for us. Wanting to help you get things straight, but also not being willing to just let you torture or even kill our friends. I'd rather you kill me first instead than be responsible for them being harmed, just because you won't let yourself trust me." It's there, that sincere expression, no hint of deceit.

Elle tugs harder, but still to no avail. "Believe me, I will." Kill Jane, that is. She twists her wrists…nothing. It's kind of creepy…it's a little like possession. The woman sitting in that tub has very little to do with the one who was drinking wine and watching movies on Jane's couch only a couple days ago. "Let me -out- of here!! You have no -idea- how much trouble all of you are going to be in for!"

"I'm already in deep shit, Elle," Jane replies, sounding a bit tired. She glances over at her, shakes her head, and continues. "See, we're friends. Even though you don't remember, it was stolen from you, I'm not suddenly looking at you as an enemy. Friends don't do that to each other. We don't abandon each other in rough times, even though it might be safer. You got mind altered, I've been there before, and now it could happen again just because I know you. And things you told me." She pauses to draw a long, sad breath. "I said I wouldn't contact you again, the choice would be yours, and it was. You found me, and wanted a telepath, because what I say is maybe starting to make sense."

Elle replies "I'll accept that I was with Petrelli. The evidence is too much to be otherwise. That doesn't say a -damn- thing for why. So far as I know, you people are the reason I don't remember anything!"

"You love him, and he loves you," Jane replies quietly. "I saw it myself. He was in Company custody, his brother found out, and a group of people went to get him out. It didn't work. We got caught. I got erased hard for my part in it. Harder than anyone else involved. But you see Pete's out and free. Three guesses how that happened."

Elle shakes her head. "Bullshit." she says, bitterly. "There's no way in hell I'd have broken anyone out from the company, and no way they'd have let me do it." Pause a moment, and she manages to still some of the bilious expression. "Anyhow…look. If I promise to behave, will you let me out of this? I need to use the bathroom."

"No,"Jane replies. "It sucks, but this is how you made things, Elle. See, you could've found me, said you were wondering if I told the truth or not, and wanted a telepath to read me. I'd have said sure, let's find one. You pick, so you can have security in him or her likely not be someone I knew who might help me lie. But no, you had to go attack my other friends. If I didn't like you, if I wasn't so angry about what happened to you, right now I'd be bashing your skull in with my guitar."

Elle glares back. Okay, so it was a rookie try to get out, but still. "Oh, little miss bleeding heart's actually got the guts to keep me tied up? Y'know, this is an apartment. Thin walls. Wonder how long it would take the cops to get here once I start screaming."

She chuckles slightly. Her fingers move lightly over the guitar strings, the volume is low, just enough for Elle to hear. It starts off with a standard blues riff, and her singing voice provides lyrics made up on the fly. "Gonna tell you a story, 'bout two women I know. Jane and Elle met, not long ago. Jane, she looked like shit, she'd had a rough time of it. Elle was doing better, out on her own. They met again later, talked bout problems, you know. Elle said this man Sylar, kills people like us."

Elle groans. "Oh, for god's sake, if you're gonna torture me, use a knife. It'll be less painful." she says in a voice dripping with sarcasm.

This draws a hearty laugh, her head tilts back with it. "Wow, tough room. It's pretty rare I get a critic." Jane resumes playing, making the tune up as she goes. "Jane, she was scared, said she don't wanna die. Elle said we're building a team, to deal with him somehow. Jane said she was in, better get him than wait to get got. Now Elle and Jane, they had common goal. Jane says she's a real screamer, Elle says she doesn't look it, probably a moaner instead."

She chuckles slightly. Her fingers move lightly over the guitar strings, the volume is low, just enough for Elle to hear. It starts off with a standard blues riff, and her singing voice provides lyrics made up on the fly. "Gonna tell you a story, 'bout two women I know. Jane and Elle met, not long ago. Jane, she looked like shit, she'd had a rough time of it. Elle was doing better, out on her own. They met again later, talked bout problems, you know. Elle said this man Sylar, kills people like us."

Elle groans. "Oh, for god's sake, if you're gonna torture me, use a knife. It'll be less painful." she says in a voice dripping with sarcasm.

This draws a hearty laugh, her head tilts back with it. "Wow, tough room. It's pretty rare I get a critic." Jane resumes playing, making the tune up as she goes. "Jane, she was scared, said she don't wanna die. Elle said we're building a team, to deal with him somehow. Jane said she was in, better get him than wait to get got. Now Elle and Jane, they had common goal. Jane says she's a real screamer, Elle says she doesn't look it, probably a moaner instead."

Elle growls again. She's trying not to pay too much attention here. Instead, she carries through on her earlier threat. She starts screaming. Loudly. Top of her lungs kind of loud. "Help! Someone call the police! Rape!" All she needs is a single nosy neighbor to call the police. They'd frown on a woman tied up in a bathtub.
"You can stop that anytime now, Elle," Jane replies quietly. "I'm trying to be nice to you, and tell you how I came to know you, and you me, before what happened, and now you want to go attracting the neighbors. You might make me have to be less nice. But… if it'll help your peace of mind, and get you to stop shouting, I have an idea. Tell me how to call your father, so I get patched directly to him and not some answering service, or anything like that. I'll call him, tell him what's up, and how you came to be in this situation. I'd like to ask him a question or two anyway. There was going to be alliance formed between the Company with Pete and some of our friends. You had a role to play in that, as liasion. Now, I don't know if he still means to do that, given the editing of your memory, but we can find out if he ordered this or not."

Elle stops her shouting at that. "You being less nice somehow doesn't scare me. What are you gonna do, talk me to death? And if you're stupid enough to call my father, by all means. It'll get me out of here all the faster." She rattles off a cell phone number.

"I don't see any stupidity in this at all, Elle," Jane replies. "There was a situation, it was handled as best we could, and we're making contact to be honest with him. I'd find it hard to believe he'd suddenly shift gears like this by messing with your memories. Either way, we'll soon find out." Jane pulls out a pen and paper from her pocket to write the number down with. "What were those digits again?"

Elle sighs exasperatedly, and s-l-o-w-l-y gives the numbers again. "Did you get it that time? Yeesh, and people say blondes are the ones without brains."
She writes them down, and pockets the paper. "Thanks!" Jane stands then and goes into the other room, just far enough that she can pull out her phone and make a call with privacy while also keeping an eye on Elle.

Elle is racking her brain, trying to figure a way out of this. Hands are tied down securely. Legs seem so. Clothing is wet, but it's that tub of water that's the -real- problem. She starts rocking back and forth while Jane is in the other room, trying to slosh out the water.

A number is dialed, and she waits for it to be answered with the device against her ear. She's watching Elle while doing so, and scowls. "Stop that, Elle." Back into the bathroom she comes, and turns on the tap water to start filling the tub, taking care not to get so close as to have hair or some other part of her body grabbed, then steps back. "Hey," she greets whoever answers, "it's Jane. We have a situation, could you come here soon?" Listening again, then adding "Yes, Pete's place. Thanks!" And she hangs up.

Elle looks back at Jane, annoyed. "Would you knock it off with the water?!" she says, vexed. "Jesus, I've -still- got to go to the bathroom, you know."

"Right. Maybe you do, maybe you don't, Elle. But right now you hate me, because I dared to prevent you getting free so you can, well, kill me. I kinda like not being dead, and you killed me once already this week." Jane reaches to turn the tap off once the water is high enough to defeat further attempts at sloshing it out. Meanwhile she waits and hopes Nathan can get here, quick. Because Pete's having the overload blues and is asleep, she's alone with this electric firecracker.

Nathan didn't fly, although considering the phone calls, emails and voicemails he's been getting, he's tempted to. But no, he's taken the conventional route of getting driven, and when he emerges and heads into the familiar apartment building, he looks like he's been diverted from going to a meeting of some kind or has come back from one, all suit and tie and briefcase. He tries the door, and if it's locked, he uses his key, but either way, he steps into the apartment. "Peter?" he calls out, voice edged with worry.

Elle hears the voice. Doesn't know who it is, but hey, she'll give it a try. She screams loud. "Help! She's crazy! Get me out of here!" Please, be a cop. Be a landlord. Be someone who will get her OUT OF HERE.

The door, when Nathan arrives, isn't locked. Instead it appears to have been welded shut, then unwelded again. Of course, there's the screaming Elle, which makes Jane shake her head and sigh. "Damn." A few steps back are taken, to a spot where she can watch the blonde and drawn Nathan in, who she seems to be expecting. "In here," she calls. And in the bathroom he'll see an Elle Bishop, tied hand and foot to a chair, with her feet in a bucket of water and the bathtub around her partly filled too. "We've got a situation, and your brother's asleep, Nathan. It might be a while before we can contact her father and start to figure things out. In the meantime, do you know a telepath?"

The sudden scream startles him, but Nathan doesn't go dashing to help. His eyes inspect the door warily before his gaze lands on Jane, and he walks on over. When he sees Elle, well, that gives him pause, but he recognises his brother's "girlfriend" anywhere. "Elle. A pleasure as… as always— Peter's asleep?" Nathan repeats, attention for now returning to Jane. That's ridiculous. Except it's not. "His powers, did he pass out again?"

Damn. Well, so much for the dashing rescue. She looks at Nathan. "Get me out of here. Please." She looks at him, more honest pleading now than trying a deception…well, at least one beyond whatever she might be saying now. "Come on, the last thing your political career needs is the press finding out your brother keeps women tied up in his bathtub."

"I think he might have told you, Nathan," Jane begins, "Elle's been induced to forget him. Things were going well between them up to that point. She and I became friends too. We discovered this happened through talking to her and not being recognized. Later she came to find us, and ask questions, so we told her again we knew her. Earlier today, Elle found me again and took me to a friend's bookstore, where she proceeded to shock the owner and threaten worse unless she was pointed to a telepath. There was a fight, the sprinklers kicked in, and that subdued her. This is how she came to be here, and why she's kept in water. Pete got a bit overloaded in all of this, and is resting."

Elle's pleas go ignored, basically, though she's cast an arch look for that last statement. But otherwise, Nathan is listening to Jane, arms folded. It's obvious that this is all news to him. "Peter left a message on my phone, didn't explain anything," he says. This is where he might go on to explain why he never returned that call, but instead, he dismisses this as no one's business and moves on. "So Elle remembers nothing about Peter, and now we have her, what, kidnapped until Bob can come take her off our hands and slap her wrist?"

Elle, vexed. The dampened blonde looks back, annoyed. "Yes, by all means, -get- me off your hands. Let me GO!" she says, angrily. "Or believe me, when my father does find out, NONE of you are going to be happy."

"That's accurate, Nathan," Jane replies quietly. "She, I think, came to believe us to some degree, given she came to find us alone, and wants a telepath to read my mind while she asks me questions. I've no problem with that. She's a friend, I won't abandon her because her memory was stolen. Been there myself, it's not something I could ever do. What I do object to is her hurting and possibly killing our friends in the process. That's why she's here. Long as she's in water, that electric thing is contained. Now, about Mr. Bishop. Pete is angry over all this, and crushed, to see this done to her. He wants to meet the man alone. Needless to say, the arrangement in the works may be dead, since her father either authorized this, or has renegades in his organization who may not go along with his plans. I'd think the latter, if he was reconsidering I think he'd have given us word somehow. At least I hope so."

"Hold on a second, sparky," Nathan says, now holding up a hand to Elle. "Believe me when I say that you're right about my political career not needing a woman tied up in my brother's bathroom, but I've recovered from enough crippling burn injuries in my life, thanks anyway." And that hand comes to rub his face wearily as he listens again to Jane. "Mm. I think we need to abandon hope in regards to the Company," he says, almost quietly. "Mr. Bishop is gonna do whatever he wants and I think Peter should just stay away from the man from now on. There are other avenues, powerful ones - one that even has a telepath."

Elle hears that. Well, that is what we call good news. More specifically, that's what we call the news she -wanted- in the first place. She looks over at Nathan with a great deal more interest now. She looks from him to Jane. "All right…deal then." she says. "You don't call my father, and I promise not to either. Instead we call up this telepath. Let me loose, and I promise I won't do anything to hurt anybody." She looks over to Jane. "This is what I -wanted- in the first place." she says, as if trying to convince the musician of her candor.

Nathan is listened to quietly, and Jane nods. "I think you're right on that score, Nathan. Trust won't be the same now, if he didn't have this done we'd still have to look over our shoulders wondering if his associates would take actions against us. It'd take him a lot of work to overcome that impression. Of course, if this was done at his instruction, well, I'm going to ground for a while. Don't want to get basket cased again." Then she faces Elle. "I see you as a hurt, confused, and angry friend. I'm angry about this happening to you. All you had to do, though, was ask me to see a telepath with you, and I would have. I won't stand by for my friends being hurt. Ever. I'm telling you the truth. We're friends, you bought me shoes, I gave you an iPod, we watched movies together. In the end, it's all on you. You either trust me, or you don't."

"I don't think this would have happened," Nathan says, with a tilt of his head to Elle, "without Bob's permission." And now. You know what's interesting? The wall. Nathan studies it as Jane appeals to Elle, and he's tempted to go and see Peter, check that he's all right, but this is an important conversation to stick around for, all the same. As for letting Elle go? He seems to be leaving that up to Jane.

Elle looks back at Jane, then at Nathan. There's a long silence. When she does speak, it's without a lot of the taunting bravado she's used thus far. "If you really had this happen to you…then you know that I have no way of knowing what you say is true. There are a couple million people in this city. I don't know you any better than I know the average one on the street. But this isn't the first time this has happened to me. I want to find out the truth. Work with me, and you don't have anything to worry about from me."

"I know, Elle," Jane replies softly. Understanding and compassion enter her voice. "It was Nathan who found me after I went on a raid to help get Pete out, and it failed. I got drugged and dumped in Jersey, spent three days in cold turkey from it. Nathan came looking for me, no one else did. He and Pete told me I wasn't an addict. I didn't believe at first, still sometimes don't, since the memory of withdrawal is real, the rest is just stuff I've been told. But, at the same time, the words make sense. Went through seven years of college without even doing speed, and suddenly I become a junkie? Doesn't add up." She reaches to start undoing Elle's bonds one by one. "What you have with me is someone who won't back down if she thinks you're wrong, with enough guts to keep you tied and in water if her friends are threatened, and someone who stuck her neck out to explain what happened with you. And who believes enough in what was built to take this leap. I want you trusting what I say, I have to trust your word by letting you go." Jane pauses for a time while she continues to work on the bonds, then quietly adds "We started talking about various threats that form the reason for the alliance we say your father proposed, like Sylar. And you told me other things. About Adam, the centuries old man who the Company locked up for trying to release a dangerous virus."

As Elle is released, it's no lie that Nathan gets a little tense about it. He's heard stories and still can't let go of the phrase 'throw lightning'. He clears his throat a little, and adds, "You were one of them. Are one of them." Them clearly alludes to the Company. "You know as well as anyone what they can do to people's memories. It's shouldn't shock you that they'd do it to get one of their own back in the fold." Heh, shock. Pun!

Elle waits, not terribly patiently. "I know my memory was erased. I have strong reasons to believe it was the Company that did it. What I -don't- know is why. Nothing adds up." She says, looking annoyed as hell. "Whoever is responsible is going to fry. But, as long as we're both on the side of "getting me answers", I can work with people."

"It doesn't," Jane quietly agrees. "And because it happened, I may go to ground for a while. You'll be able to reach me, though… I'll make sure of that. But I don't much plan on sticking around and being alone for them to find me. I again know things they didn't want me to know." As she continues to work the bonds, getting faster now, Jane bends her head forward and shows her tag marks. "But… Elle, is there really any way I can hide?" Seconds later the last restraint is loose.

Nathan raises an eyebrow at Elle's threat towards those responsible, but doesn't say a word. "Playing nice with others is all we need right now," he agrees, with almost a smile. "Hopefully we can all get what we want at the end of the day." His tone and the way he looks at Elle indicates that perhaps what he wants is her out of his and his brother's hair.

Elle is up and OUT OF THE DAMN TUB as fast as she can get clear of it, grabbing for a towel. Matter of fact, the other hand is busy stripping off her water-logged clothing, onlookers be damned. Evil water must GO NAO. The blonde looks over at the other two. "No one's going anywhere." she tells Jane. "They can find you if they want to. Which means you're safer with me than without me. Besides, until I'm sure you're NOT INVOLVED with this, you're not going anywhere."

"Fair enough, Elle," Jane replies quietly. "About your memories, though, I want to try an experiment. You hit my tongue yesterday, and I couldn't feel it. Pete touched my face, and it healed. Fast. Maybe this will work, maybe not, but I want to try that on our brains to see if memory loss can be healed too. It's a nothing to lose, everything to gain thing. Worst that'll happen is we don't get what we don't already have. Also… Pete loves you, you loved him. I saw it. He'll want to rebuild that. But that's between you and him." She doesn't seem at all troubled by Elle disrobing, she neither looks at nor away from her.

Jane earns herself a cynical glance from Nathan at the talk of Peter and Elle rebuilding a relationship. Whatever. /Young people these days/. He's already turning towards the door when Elle strips down. "I'll go make some calls, whether or not the healing works," is his explanation for his departure, but in truth, he heads for the bedroom, or wherever it is Peter is being kept to 'rest'.

Elle dries off, tosses the towel away, and uses a second wrapped towel for attire at the moment. It isn't stylish, but it's DRY. She moves her hand out, palm up, and focuses, watching as the lightning ball appears in her hand. "MUCH better." With that, she settles in to wait on Peter, or Nathan's mysterious telepath.

With the crisis passed, Jane is relaxing a bit, becoming less tense. Her mind is at work, pondering how much it's going to cost her for repairs and replacement stock at EB. Not to mention the electronics and other glassware in her own place she shattered ultrasonically in anger.

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