2007-04-21: Fears and Freak Outs


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Summary: Alanis Morissette, You Owe Me Nothing in Return: I'll give you countless amounts of outright acceptance if you want it. I will give you encouragement to choose the path that you want if you need it. You can speak of anger and doubts, your fears and freak outs and I'll hold it. You can share your so-called shame-filled accounts of times in your life and I won't judge it. And there are no strings attached to it.

Date It Happened: April 21, 2007

Fears and Freak Outs

Lucky Joe's Diner

Candice sits at a booth with a milkshake in front of her (and two more empty glasses pushed to the side of the table, waiting to be picked up by a busboy) and a copy of 9th Wonders! issue number eight. She glances up at a retro-styled clock for what seems like the millionth time and flips the page. This is what she gets for always being early to meet with Elle. But, truth be told, it allows Candice to indulge without feeling too guilty when her tiny friend has, say, a salad.

Elle shows up on time…she's generally a pretty punctual sort of person. She looks about, and spots her friend, and approaches the table. She's in (tight) jeans, wedge 3" sandals, and a green top with slightly flowing sleeves. She smiles as she approaches. "Hey there."

Candice lets out a low wolf whistle. "Aren't you the sharp one today, Elle Belle?" The illusionist closes her comic book and pushes it aside, face down. "Not that you aren't always but… Where did you get those shoes? They're cute."

Elle smiles. "I bought them the other day. I needed some new clothes anyway. I'd have bought you a pair, but I'm never sure of your sizes." Cause, well, illusiongirl. She looks at the comic, the glass, and then finally to Candice. She seems a bit uneasy. "So how are you today?"

"Oh, same as usual. Bored out of my skull without you around to raise hell with." Candice falls silent for a moment, turning her straw counterclockwise slowly in her half-finished shake. "I can't seem to stay focused, I guess. I haven't had any real big assignments lately. I think I might be going stir crazy."

Elle looks a little awkward at that. "I'm…I'm having second thoughts about some of it, Candice. The Company. I like some of the things I'm getting to do now. It just means…not doing some of the things I used to do." Like, oh, torturing, killing, and all those FUN things.

Now the milkshake is abandoned. "Second thoughts about which aspect, exactly?" Candice leans forward, steepling her fingers.

Elle sounds as uncertain as she looks. "They don't like me hurting people, Candice." Even if she likes it herself.

This is the part where Elle may expect her friend to ask 'what's wrong with them?' but it doesn't come. "Yeah, do-gooders are kind of like that." Candice frowns slightly and reaches out across the table. "You need to decide what's more important, sweetie. Being true to yourself, or becoming this shining beacon of light and blonden goodness that Petrelli and his friends want you to be." Though the words are spoken gently, it's clear which way Candice thinks her friend should lean.

Elle frowns. "Do I even know if it's myself, Candice? There's so much I don't remember." Cause A) The Haitian swiss-cheesed her early memory but good, and B) Petrelli and co. have been planting a lot of doubts.

Candice looks horrified. "Oh, Elle. You aren't going soft on me, are you?" There's panic there. True panic. "You can't seriously be thinking about leaving the Company, can you? Leaving your father?" Leaving /me/?

Elle looks hesitant and uncertain. "I…don't know." she says. "I…" She DOESN'T want to leave her father. Or Candice. And more or more she's feeling torn between them both. "I don't know what to do, Candice." she admits.

"I don't want to tell you what to do, Elle." Candice looks down at the surface of the table, heaving a soft, but heavy sigh. "I want you to be happy, because you're my best friend. But I really don't want to be forced into a situation where I have to drag you off to a plastic room or risk a world of trouble myself."

Elle looks confused. The blonde isn't following at the moment. "Drag me off to a plastic room?"

"Nothing. Just…" Candice shakes her head. Don't make me have to bag and tag you for your daddy, Elle. "It's not important. Just think about it. We're your family, sweetie. You've got control now, so you don't have anything to fear from us. You know there isn't anything we wouldn't do for you."

The blonde nods. "I am thinking about it, Candice. I just don't know what to do. It used to be so easy." Do what Daddy says. Hope he'll notice you for it.

She can't be serious. She just /can't/ be. Candice sits back in her seat and just looks at her friend, almost sympathetic. "If you leave, you lose our protection, Elle." It almost sounds like a threat, but Candice will swear it's merely a simple statement of fact. "Do you really think Peter Petrelli can protect you from someone like Sylar?"

Elle nods. "I know." she says. "But I do a pretty good job of taking care of myself. And it's not just Peter. It's all the people that work with him. That's a lot."

"You're willing to take that risk? Honestly?" Candice looks incredibly serious now. Damn. "I understand, though. If that's… If you need to leave, then I wish you and your little boyfriend all the best." Never mind that he's older than she is. He's still just a rube. Provincial and dull.

Elle looks all the more frustrated. "I don't KNOW." she says. There's a little lightning crackle around her hands for a moment…evidence of her emotional turmoil. "You could come with me…" She doesn't want to lose her BFF.

Candice scoots back and pulls her hands away from the chrome trim of the table. Getting electrocrisped is not on today's To Do list. "Come… with you?" This is an entirely alien concept that has clearly never even entered the woman's mind. "I really don't think that'd be a good idea…"

The blonde looks back, trying to press her advantage. "Why not? You and me!" She caps off the discharge, and reaches out towards Candice. "I don't want to leave you. You're my best friend." Not to mention -only- real friend.

"Do you have any idea the kind of-" Candice cuts herself off. Admitting why she can't leave the Company makes the idea that Elle /will/ leave seem far too real. "We've made this situation work for so long. Why does it have to change?"

Elle looks like she wants to cry. It's a rare expression for the sadistic lightning blonde. "Can't I want more than I had there? I -like- going on dates. I -like- getting presents. I -like- being with a boy." A long pause. "I like being noticed." It would probably take a person a lot less perceptive than Candice to fail to notice how much Elle tries to get Bob's approval…and how he fails to provide it.

The lack of attention paid to Elle Bishop by her father has never been something overlooked by Candice. It's what made her so very easy to befriend. Compliment her hair or something silly like that, and the girl eats out of your hand. That's why Peter Petrelli is suddenly Very Dangerous. This simply will not do. "I know you do, sweetie. But if he can't accept you for you, then you don't need the bum. I could maybe help find you someone more… understanding? You're gorgeous, Elle Belle. You can have any man you want." If they ignore the part where she's a sociopath with possible delusions of grandeur. Candice laces her fingers with Elle's, despite her instincts screaming at her not to touch the lightning rod.

And…no shock. Elle has trained for too many years for an accident…which only illustrates her emotional turmoil in the fact that she HAD one just a few minutes ago. Elle swallows hard, still trying not to do something stupid and weak like cry. "But…" He bought me unicorns. She won't say it. It sounds too weak, even in her head. "I don't…know what Daddy would say. About…someone else." Not that she wants someone else. There -is- a faint smile at the compliments, though. Candice has it to a "T". Elle is so -desperate- for approval of some kind that it doesn't take much. It's perhaps her greatest weakness…more than any water could be.

"Do you wanna go someplace more private? I totally 'borrowed' some dumb bastard's car keys at the bar last night. We can drive until the thing runs out of gas." Candice's brows arch toward her hairline and she smiles encouragingly.

The blonde looks back at Candice. "If we do that, then how do we get back home?" She manages a smile. "You always make me feel better." She tells Candice, and squeezes her hand. "I'm so glad you're my friend." Yep. Elle is definitely in sappymode.

"So'm I, Elle Belle." Candice returns the smile with a sadder version of her friend's. Dammit, Elle. You've just made things so very, very complicated. "Fine. We won't go drive until the car runs out of gas. But you have to help me choose a new outfit." Not that they're buying anything. Candice /never/ tries on clothes in public. Ever. "Maybe you can pick out a pair of heels for me. You have the best taste in shoes." More sugar cubes for my favourite unicorn.

Elle smiles. "You have to actually tell me your shoe size for that, you know…" she says. But the notion of clothes shopping has perked her up at least a little. "I wouldn't mind a little shopping. We could pick something nice."

"See? That's my girl." Candice reaches out to tip Elle's chin upward slightly, smile turning a little brighter. "Size seven, by the way. Give or take a half a size."

Elle smiles. Nothing is resolved, but for right now, maybe that's enough. Her world is falling down around her like she's trying to hold sand in her hand. She stands, and heads out with Candice. Shopping must follow.

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