2007-04-13: High Fidelity


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter and Elena go on the paint errand discussed in How to Harbor a Psychic and discuss scientific possibilities regarding Cass's research project. And then, things get tense.

Date It Happened: April 13, 2007

High Fidelity

Michael's + Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

Her mind is still reeling, a little preoccupied as her thoughts tumble over what the psychic just said. It was evident by the look on her face, even as Elena peruses painting supplies. Ready-made canvases are stacked in the corner, pre-cut wood to build frames, canvas, staplers for the canvas. There are already built frames, and the store smelled like paint. And lots of it. Staring at the large billboard in front of her, the thing even had colors she hadn't even HEARD of. What the hell is 'Soylent Green'? She's never heard of Soylent Green before!

Maybe this was how artists REALLY made money? Creating colors that shouldn't exist?

Picking up a swatch of colors and all the different shades that could be produced by mixing a shade of this with a shade of that, Elena shakes her head and looks at Peter helplessly. "Could you believe it?" she mutters. "I mean…-Everything-. I was starting to think some of our encounters with other people are just….you know. Random. It's like suddenly Coincidence -refuses- to exist anymore." She sighs, dropping the swatch and picking up another one, squinting at it.

"I guess….it's best to keep her close for now. I mean, she knows….she could see something else and at least we'll know how to find her," she says softly. "Plus I owe her. A lot. Something small gestures can't just repay out of the blue."

She's seriously never heard of Soylent Green? While glancing over the paint colors, Peter seems to decide that getting an easy access pallet would probably be the best bet. Multiple colors all on one thing, should cover about what they need, more or less. "I can believe it. It happened to me a few times last year— I mean… the girl that Hiro from the future told me to save ending up being my niece? My brother being the only person who could get the painting I needed to know where to go. Officer Parkman being on the case and the one who questioned me about what happened when they arrested me…"

He shakes his head, trying to think of what all this could end up meaning now, "There's more too, I'm sure. Like there was another woman. My brother'd met her, and she's the one who stopped Sylar from beating me with a parking meter in the Plaza… and then I saved her a few weeks ago when she fell out of a building." Many coincidences…

"Yeah, it'd be best to keep her close. She was drawn to us for a reason, right? She just… randomly walked into the hospital room I was in and asked to borrow my monopoly money."

As he says this, he suddenly laughs, seeing the Soylent Green reference, "They seriously called a color Soylent Green?"

She picks up a basic pallette and shows it to Peter. "What about this one?" Elena says, squinting at the label. "It's got all the basics….primary colors….secondary colors…." Whatever those mean. She offers it to him for his inspection, and at what he says about coincidences, she smiles. "I only know parts of that story, remember?" she says with a laugh. "It's like….we had the beginning, and then we skipped all the middle parts and went straight to the end. It sounds like it'd make an incredible book, though. Or a TV show." Oh if she ONLY KNEW. She shakes her head. "But I say that as a relative outsider though, it probably wasn't cool when you were going through all of that." She furrows her brows. "It's a lot of stress on one person, and all…"

If she knew the woman had been Niki, she'd tell Peter that she knew her too. But not very well. She looks up at him. "Really? Huh…that's interesting…" she murmurs. "It's like the world suddenly pulled the word Coincidence from the Dictionary just so we can get cracking on the…you know. The thing."

She nods. "And then she called me….remember the day at the hospital with Eric in the OR and you told me to go home? I slept the entire day, and when I woke up, she was calling my father. We met her at our parish, a couple of months ago, so Papa being Papa had her number in case she needed some local friends around, you know? Turns out she was calling because…" She looks around. "…she was trying to stop Papa from doing something…bad. And then later on she saves his life in the hospital." There's a look on her face that she tries to hide, turning it to the side in favor of looking at other swatches.

She grins at him and picks a swatch up to make him look. "See for yourself," she says with a laugh. "I thought it was weird too."

"I could tell you all about it, but— honestly I probably don't know half of it myself," Peter says, reaching up to scratch at his shortened hair. "I guess in some ways it's fortunate you know the end, though. Part of the stress was in not knowing if we could stop it. If I would actually cause it." And that might have been the worst part of all. "Right, the thing…" He says, smiling faintly at the vagueness. There's another thing he's not too sure how to accomplish. He's the one who walked around his brother's office, full of interns, and spouted out stories about how he thought he could fly. A lot.

"Oh, that explains what you meant," he says after a moment, finally understanding some of the references she made, while he picks down the basic pallette of paints and looks it over. "I'm glad she was able to help your father. But I guess that means it's not resolved yet, what was happening? How… Eric got hurt?"

"Better not be made of people," he comments about the crazy color name, a hint of a smile, though he's not sure she'll get the reference. She might be a little young for it. Even he's a little young for it. "Think this'll do, though. Isaac had a bunch of actual paint cans, but he did this for a living… This should be enough for me."

"It's okay," Elena says with a small smile. "This is a different ballgame now anyway. I'm sure there's an entirely new set of problems with an entirely new set of solutions that we have to execute the right way to prevent…whatever." She exhales, and slides her hands in her pockets. "So….can you actually…? I mean, have you done it before…?" she asks. She's still a little bit incredulous about it, the way she's looking at him. Sure, she's heard of men being able to paint the future before, but she wasn't actually aware of the fact that she knew SOMEONE who could until now. "So…before meeting him, you didn't really know how to paint…? Or is this another Petrelli Hidden Talent?" she asks, quirking her lips in a teasing grin.

She nods. "Yeah," she says simply. "All we know is that whoever he is, he seems to pay really close attention to my father's routine," she says simply. "He knows what time he leaves for the day. He knows where he lives. He knows….Papa's nickname for me. I've taken to wearing earplugs because whoever he is, his voice is his weapon. It's how he gets in. His voice….and possibly if he knows your name. Since he knows mine, I've taken to carrying them. Hell I just don't answer my cellphone if I don't recognize the number." She looks at him and smiles somewhat sheepishly. "That's why I was a little adamant about you telling me your new cellphone number if you were getting one the other day. I'm sorry if I sounded so pushy about it."

At the last, she laughs. "I doubt artists would actually go that far," she says with a grin. "And okay. Do we need canvasses or…?" She looks around. "Maybe we should stick to the light, flat ones. Easy to carry in case they don't fit on the fold-up cart." She gestures to the contraption she's wheeling around.

"I still don't know much about painting," Peter explains, dropping a few things into the cart as they go along, but the paints themselves were one of the most important things. "I mean, I only really did it once. Isaac had a painting he hadn't finished, of a shadowy figure. Isaac… well… he was a heroine addict. He used it to paint, I guess he needed the proper mindframe to activate it, and heroine took him there. I'm honestly not sure. But he was out, and it wasn't finished. And— I saw something in the canvas, the part he hadn't finished yet, and I finished it for him. Don't remember doing it, but I remember seeing something before I grabbed the brush. It looked as good as the rest of the painting, so I'm not sure how that works. I'd never painted before that."

It's definitely weird. But there's more! "Before that, though, right after I met him… I drew something in the hospital. A doodle, really. It was just stick figures, but… it was me and my brother, and I was floating, walking on air. It came true too, even if it was just stick figures."

Following beside her, he nods in understanding at her desire not to answer the phone to names she doesn't recognize, "Good thing my apartment phone isn't blocking caller ids, or we'd not have met up for dinner the other night. Makes sense, though. I'd never heard of that kind of ability, but… if he can just… use his voice to make people do things? That's pretty scary…" Especially in the wrong hands.

Without words, he takes her advice on the canvas type, picking quite a few of the light ones and dropping them into the cart. Never know how many he might need. "Isaac would paint many at a time, so… might as well have a few."

"….that's…." Elena pauses and she looks up at the ceiling. "Truth be told that would be the sort of…I don't know. Superpower I wouldn't like," she says, looking over at him. "I mean, not just because I like surprises. Simply because after everything, what if you can see the future and all you see are these really bad, horrible things? You'd feel like you're obligated to stop these all the time even if you can't stop all of them because if you know about it, there's a bit of a duty to do something about it. Right? I just….I mean sometimes Ignorance IS bliss." She laughs and inclines her head at Peter, looking off afterwards. "I admit….I'm a little scared of the future. Especially after everything."

When he gets to talking about how he discovered the artist thing, she nods, that same, focused look on her face when she's trying to think in scientific terms…and failing miserably. Since Science hasn't exactly perfected the 'See the Future' part. "So even if….I mean…wow. Seriously? As scary as it is, that's pretty amazing too, Peter. Though….you -can- do this without…you know. Shooting up, right?"

She had to ask. There's a concerned look on her face.

About the phone, she laughs. "Yeah," she says with a grin. "It was fortuitous. And yeah, he can. I….Papa would know more because he actually read the mind of a puppet of his. But it's like….orders. Commands. Programmed step by step and repeated over and over in the puppet's head. It's kind of creepy. Having that sort of power that's so invasive." And it is in the wrong hands. "I don't know. I'd be more scared, but now I find I'm tired just thinking about it."

She nods, and helps him with the light, flat canvasses, sticking them in the cart. "Anything else we need?" she asks.

"Yeah, I don't think everything I could paint would be terrible… Isaac drew a comic book, too. 9th Wonders. And I guess parts of it told the future too, but that doesn't mean it was completely dark and terrible, right?" Peter tries to explain, wanting to put a positive spin on things if he can. It might be difficult, considering the situation, but he's going to try. "Maybe what I paint won't be terrible. You never know," Reaching over, he touches her shoulder, the light touch lingering a bit longer than it probably needs to, before he pulls away to pick up a couple different brushes for use in painting.

"I didn't shoot up before, so I certainly hope not. If it requires a specific chemical balance to manage it, though… well… you could give me that without having to go to those lengths, right?" It's an alternative, certainly. "Though I'd rather try to do it without, anyway." If it manages to do anything. "I think Desiree has it worse. She sees it in everything. I've only ever seen the future on a canvas or in dreams. Don't ask where the dreams came from, though, I have no idea."

Maybe he never will…

"It is scary, but— leave the worrying to me, if you can. I'm really good at it," he adds on, tossing up enough light touch, this time on her chin, also lingering a bit longer than it maybe should, before he glances down into the cart. "I think we have everything…"

"….really?" Elena says, startled as she looks up at Peter. "Are you -serious-?" She pauses. "….Luis reads 9th Wonders….he's got a comic book collection at home. I could've sworn there's several issues there, but I never read them. I'm more familiar with the other stuff, you know? Batman. The X-Men. But it's not really my thing, most of the references I know come from my little brother who's really into all that stuff." She looks up at him at the touch, and she gives him a small smile. "Maybe," she says. "I mean….I don't know….I've never actually encountered any precognitive powers until you and Desiree. Maybe if I observe, I'll be able to get something…" She ponders for a moment, and she nods, a silent promise to herself to do what's needed.

About shooting up, she looks relieved, and she laughs. "Good. Otherwise I'd have to hurt you," she says with a laugh. And then a pause. "…I mean….I didn't mean that seriously," she says, lifting her hands up with a sheepish grin. But she does agree with him about Desiree. She shakes her head. "Yeah…" she says softly. "And she sees them in the weirdest things too. ……and dreams?" She looks at him. "You dream too? Really?"

She stares at him. "…just…how many have you…?"

She'd say she'd be worried about the rate he's going, but the touch on her chin distracts her, as well as the words to leave the worrying to him. She reaches up to grasp the fingers touching her chin and give him a stubborn look. "Like I can!" she protests. "I've seen what too much worrying does to you. No way, Peter." She shakes her head vehemently. "You're like this…human sized huggable sponge. Too much and you might just leak everywhere." She pauses, and she smiles. "I'm okay with cooperation though. That cool?"

"Yeah, that's Isaac. Did gallery paintings and comic books. Not sure how many issues were released before he died, but…" Peter says, trailing off. He'd not followed the comic much either, even after he met the man. Just knew that they existed, and that he knew the artist. Surely some of those panels came true, though he never thought to actually look. "Think most people who could see the future would hide it after a while. The whole… no one believes you, thing. Or when they do it'd be even worse…" He shakes his head, knowing he'd handled the 'people can't paint the future' pretty bad upon initial hearing. Up until he saw himself in a painting.

"…Jane made up a whole list. I think it came down to about fourteen…" He shrugs his shoulders, as if that'd be /no big deal at all/… "I'm only any good at a handful of them. Most I just… try not to use, some I can't even use when I try. Others just… happen." It's no wonder he's no good at many of them, right? "Need to add at least two more after the quarentine, too," he adds with another shrug, as if /sixteen/ abilities were nothing to worry about. The poor guy's going to run out of room for more than just worry one of these days…

Raising his hands up in defeat, he smiles genuinely for a few seconds, "Fine, fine. We'll /share/ some of the worry, and also the responsibility to cheer the other up, okay? That enough?"

"Hell I didn't believe half this stuff until it started happening. I mean…it goes against what I want to do, you know? Then again I'm sort of like an oxymoron anyway these days. I mean, a would-be scientist who believes in God?" Elena looks over at Peter, and she smiles ruefully. "But it's easy to get arrogant like that, I think. To not believe that there's something out there that can't be explained. Hell even with how far the human race has gone on as a whole, there's still a lot we don't know about the universe. And ourselves and each other." She wheels the cart down the aisle, heading for the cash register now that it looks like they've got everything.

She stares when he names the number. "…f…fourteen…?" she says. "…and you're not…" Well of course he can't DIE, he can regenerate. There's that same look of scientific wonder on her face as she looks at Peter. "Are you serious?" And when he shrugs, she groans. "…and you're sure there's no way to turn it off?" Visions dance in front of her eyes. Horrible visions. Of Peter imploding and spraying his bits all over the place….only to reform again like the T-1000. ….except for some reason in this particular fantasy, he's yellow. Like Spongebob.

Shaking her head, she smiles and reaches up to touch his shoulder gently. "Deal," she says softly. "Hopefully Cass and I can….at least help you figure out a way so these things don't just snap out of you accidentally. It's dangerous."

The talk of God earns more of a smile, and Peter just nods at this point, seeming to both agree and understand what she means, in his own way, at least. Not quite the same, but suitable. When he does respond, it's to her scientfic wonder mixed with odd yellow visions of horror. "There's a way. I mean, that's why I was in the facility, right? They had me on those pills. They supressed my abilities. I'd assume they also made it impossible for me to absorb. They briefly roomed me with this young girl who could turn her skin into diamonds and I've certainly never showed /that/… but I'm not sure what happened to her…" Mallory only stayed with him a short time…

"So I guess there must be a chemical way to shut it down— but I'd rather not go back to the pills. I couldn't do anything on them. And… they had side effects." He's shaking his head, not sure if he could explain how it felt to be on them. "I'll be okay, though. As long as I keep control… it's just like a file cabinet. Only seems to throw me off when I try to use too many close together— or when I meet too many new people at once." At least he hopes those are the only times it becomes a problem.

Motioning the cart towards the counter, he pays, this time using his bank card, which he just got fixed up, taking money directly from his account, and letting them worry about bagging everything. "Think between the two of you, I'll have all the help I need. And I'm grateful for it." This part is vague enough they need not worry about the cashier, even as he reaches up to touch her hand against his shoulder… and continue to hold onto it.

She's still a little hesitant talking about such things, but Peter seems to understand, and when he smiles, she can't help but smile back. However when he mentions the pills, she nods. "I rather you not be dependent on anything chemical either," she confesses. "I don't know….for this I'd like to rely on things that're as….natural as possible. If you're meant to have this, I have to have faith in the fact that your body is -designed- to carry the consequences of your ability. Otherwise why have it at all? When human beings evolve, they evolve for the -better-. Not the other way around." She shakes her head and murmurs. "God….thinking about this now….you're -remarkable-, Peter. And I'm not just saying that just because I think you're the absolute pinnacle of the evolutionary ladder. I mean to be able to withstand everything….it speaks a lot about you."

She wouldn't oppose to getting the pills for study, but not to use it on Peter. Maybe with the right chemicals…. and then she pauses. "…..if you have my power….maybe you can do it on your own," she whispers, stopping for a moment and her eyes turning somewhat glassy, slammed by the sudden breath of scientific possibility. "Peter if what they're using on you was chemical…maybe….if we can figure out the chemical components….and then find the body's -natural- answers to those components, maybe you can use my power to…."

She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. Calm. Calm. There's no Eureka yet. It's a theory. It's just a theory. But it could work. It COULD. And it wouldn't be harmful, not if it's his body's own components. Could it?

The purchases paid, she pushes the cart forward, already mulling over the possibilities and her heart hammering wildly in her chest. Maybe it could work. Maybe. And if it worked then….. but when Peter rests a hand on hers, she looks up, derailed. And then, she laughs, and shakes her head. "Sorry," she says with a laugh. "I got carried away. I mean, it's just a theory but we can try it, and if it works…" She squeezes his shoulder.

"Could be. We'd have to figure it out, which— is why I might need to get my hands on the pills again. Get to know what they're made of." But getting them from the Company sounds… well, not /easy/… but less difficult than it may be. Peter waits until everything is paid for before and the cart is moved away before he starts to pick up the bags and work on managing a majority of the load on his own. He'll let her carry the smaller bag with brushes and other things, but he's trying to handle all the heavy stuff… which of course makes him have to remove his hand from hers. "No, it's okay. Don't apologize," he adds on, smiling at her and moving on towards the exit, so that she can get rid of the monstronsity of a cart. He's not even sure what she's apologizing for— he's the one who lingered when he touched her hand… again.

"You know… I'd want to introduce you to someone, but even if I could find him, I doubt he'd even say a word to you, he sort of hates everyone— but the guy who trained me… the invisible guy… he'd talk about Darwin and evolution sometimes…"

With all the bags pulled up over his shoulder or held in hand, leaving the small ones for her, he continues near the door, "He talked about how Darwin would breed pigeons to work it out— how he'd been looking for— what was it again?" He trails off, thinking, trying to remember the exact wording. "Maximum potential. That's what it was. Didn't quite understand at the time. I'm a nurse, you know, I should know a bit more about science than that— but I guess I never really thought as much about evolution until everything started to happen. But I think you're right. If— we're supposed to be moving towards maximum potential, then there's got to be some way to adjust to the lot I've been given…" Shaky start that he's had, he's still alive.

"Well…I mean. Only if you can. No breaking and entering, I'm still a little wigged with how badly the last attempt came out." Elena says this lowly. But after the purchases are paid, she blinks when he carries the heavy stuff, and she laughs. "Peter, at -least- let me carry one of the canvas things," she says with a laugh, picking up the smaller bags of the paintbrushes and the paints. Oh well, at least the canvasses were the light ones. "And yeah I know, but I was going way over my head there. I mean….you're not…you know. You're not a science project, you're a person," she tells him, a small frown on her lips as she steps out of the store with him. "I mean, I get so excited about the theories and trying them out that…. I mean. I don't want you to think that I'm hanging around you just for the purposes of scientific discovery. I'm not."

When he mentions the guy he can't find, she blinks at him. "….you mean your mentor? The one who could turn invisible? He did sound pretty kickass, actually," she tells him with a grin. "I mean, I wasn't sure HOW to react when you told me he -threw you off a roof- to prove a point but…" But it would definitely be interesting to meet him. "And it sounds like he knows what he's talking about."

When the discussion turns to maximum potential, Elena nods in agreement. "Exactly. Granted….human beings evolved slowly over the course of millions of years, but it's only recently that….these things just started….you know. It's like dramatic changes in a human being's structure occurs in spikes, even though everything improves gradually over the course of a few centuries. But yeah, see? I don't think you'd be able to develop this power if your body doesn't have -some way- of keeping it in check. I think maybe this is also the reason why you….you know. You overload. Right now I'm starting to move away from thinking it's a consequence of your power when it might actually be a defense mechanism to keep your body from damaging itself further." She looks at Peter hopefully. "Does that make sense?"

"No stealing, promise," Peter says, though the alternative to stealing may actually be worse, in some cases, wouldn't it? He won't go into that, until she protests on the canvases, "The paints are probably pretty heavy already. I can handle it. You just'll have to open the door for me." As well as lead the way to her apartment. Most likely they picked a close store already, to make the travelling less. With the bags held awkwardly, he continues along beside him. "I've already said you're about the only person I'd trust to study me these days. You don't think of me as a science project, so there's nothing wrong with using what medical and science knowledge you have to help me." It's said with a smile, hand itching to reach out and touch her again, but forced not to by both willpower and the burden.

"Yeah, my mentor. He— had a weird sense of humor, but he really did seem to think the worse of everyone." Had a pessimistic outlook, it would seem! "But I'd introduce him to you, just as proof that not all of humanity sucks," there's a hint of a wink, before he continues walking, trying to work out what she has to say about evolution.

"Guess so. I mean, you're trying to be a doctor, so you got more theory background than me already. Makes sense, though. Kinda like… symptoms sometimes show up to let us know something's wrong, or to try and correct a mistake that our body makes. Or just to protect us. Maybe when I start shutting down it's like… sweating. My body trying to turn off my abilities to keep me from… losing it all together."

"I will," Elena says with a laugh. Okay, so she'll let the guy handle it. She eases the door open for him so he can walk out with the canvasses as he suggests, and then she steps out with him. But when he tells her about the studying, she blinks over at him - and she smiles ruefully. "Well I'm glad you're letting me," she says. "And Cass. I mean….it's not like…." She glances away, looking somewhat embarassed. "I meant when I said that I started doing this just because I don't want to see the people I care about keel over because their powers got the best of them. When Papa collapsed, and nothing I did was able to bring him back even with what I could do….I got scared." She glances down at her toes, scuffing them a bit on the sidewalk as she goes. "….that's why…."

She pauses, and she clears her throat, giving him another smile as they walk down the block, and make a left. "But I'm glad you understand that. It's so easy you know?" she says softly. "To get carried away by everything and forgetting the person on the other side is actually a person. When I was helping my father, when I was using my own powers against him so he could learn to focus with internal distractions…it made me kind of sick to my stomach. I have to remember that feeling, I think, to keep me grounded."

She pushes that memory away, focusing instead at what he tells her about his mentor, and she is finally able to look at him again and laugh. "Wait a second. That wink. You're not planning on making me wear a pigeon costume just so he'd like me better, right? Right?" She can't help but laugh again, picturing herself descending down a wide-eyed Claude, dressed as an extremely fat pigeon in an effort to restore the pessimistic man's faith in humanity. He just….might run away.

"Exactly. I think so anyway. Think about it, people think fever is an illness, right? But you and I know that it's just the body fighting back against the disease that managed to incubate in system. It might very well be the same case with you." She nods. "My apartment building's right down the street. We're almost there."

"Right. As long as you continue to care about the person you're helping, that's the important part," Peter says, smiling again as they move. Feeling bad about causing pain is also a big part of caring, but he's not about to make the guilt a primary factor. "Loving someone and wanting to help them make what you're doing very different than what others are." Others… meaning the Company. He's directly talking about her father here, but at the same time…

He has to laugh at the mention of the pigeon costume, a genuine and throaty laugh, that keeps going for a few moments before he attempts to answer, "I'm not your friend, Mr. Cain. I wouldn't make you dress up in anything, I promise. Just be yourself and I'm sure he'll see the same things I do," he says, moving close enough to nudge her with his eblow while burdened with the bags. "Though I wouldn't mind seeing you in that female Robin costume one day. Maybe for Halloween. All of us could get together and wear costumes just once. As long as I get to be someone cool."

Even if he's practically giving in to wearing tights, and maybe even a cape. Halloween is a long way away, though, and they have to make it that far first, don't they? Out of nowhere, with the apartment building so close, he asks something else, "What are your plans for tonight?" … There's a hint of a eyebrow flinch, before he looks back over and quickly adds, "I'm just curious."

"Exactly….even if I do still kind of feel bad about it. Even if I remember that I do, or act like I do. I mean, I'm all for Science and Progress. I guess I just prefer work and personal to be separate, maybe. But…at this point it can't be helped, I suppose," Elena says with a quiet sigh, exhaling a breath slowly. "Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Well, it's too late to go back now," she says. "I'm in, so I might as well be in it all the way. Besides, I promised Cass I'd help her. Papa mentioned that Cass even asked him if it was okay for me to help since….well. He is my father. At the same time he knows the precise reasons why I'm doing this." She grins. "Doubts abound given my age, I could be useful at least."

She nudges him back, though she's careful not to nudge him INTO traffic. Granted he won't die, but they JUST bought the stuff and he was going to attempt to pain the future, and they were so close to their apartment she wasn't sure if she wanted to go BACK to Michael's to get the stuff they need because she was being careless. "Alright, I'll hold you to that," she says with a laugh. "No more avians for me! God, I might've opened the floodgates for other birds after Robin. Quail. Chicken. Pigeon. Turkey. Harvey Birdman."

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd back to the Robin costume. JADEN WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? She actually throws her head back and laughs. "I KNEW I was gonna regret telling you that story!" she exclaims. "But as long as there's a LEGITIMATE excuse. Like Halloween. Halloween is a genuine excuse. But no comic conventions of ANY KIND." She's still laughing, her face flushing a bit as she remembers the embarassment of putting that thing on. Oh GOD. And the bat signal. "….did I tell you Jaden actually flashed me the BAT SIGNAL during the benefit? I thought I was gonna die. I KNOW someone took a picture."

At the last question, she looks over and purses her lips. "….well," she says. "It's the weekend, so I was thinking after I make sure Desiree's bed is ready in the apartment and we packed away the stuff, maybe read," she says. "I've got a few books on my desk that I haven't touched yet. But I didn't really make any definite plans. Why?"

"Just don't do anything that would make you feel /too/ terrible and I'm sure you didn't go too far." Peter says, keeping up the pace, not trying to discourage her any further than she's already discouraged herself. In fact, he's rather liking the idea of knowing some of what he's doing, especially since he knows he can trust her, and Cass as well. More than he can trust other people.

"So avians are completely off the list of choices, got it. But you could always wear a set of cat ears and a tail, or something…" Even as he says that, he gives a hint of a hand raising, showing he's joking. Do not shove him into traffic for real, please. There's good money in his hands that would suck to get strun all over the street…

"No, you left that part out, but I'm not planning to go to any … comic conventions. So we're good. Sounds like you need to worry more about the people you know thanks to Mr. Cain, than me." They sound a little on the odd side. Like the one who brought R2D2 as a date. Very odd.

There's suddenly a nervous sound, a laugh almost, and he avoids looking directly at her as he tries to explain, "No real reason, I just— wondered what you were doing. Don't expect to try out this painting tonight, and you do need to make sure your guest is settled in… Just— wondered if you had any plans." Something about this seems to have made him /mad/ at himself. From the hint of a flinch on his forehead, and his increased walking pace. "Sorry. It's really none of my business."

"True," Elena says with a laugh. "I mean I still plan on going forward…" She waves a hand to the side, the paint jiggling against one another at the gesture. "I'm just venting. Truth be told I've talked about the tests, but I….haven't talked about what I actually -felt- about the tests. I guess it's because people get so focused as to what I'm doing that I don't really reflect until later." She sighs and blows a lock of her hair away from her forehead. "Thanks for letting me rant, Peter. I don't do this often, I promise." She looks over at him and flashes him a grateful smile.

At the thing about the cat, her eyes WIDEN, and she laughs even harder. "Oh my god, are you -serious-?" she says in between gales. Of course he isn't, but she laughs still. "I think Papa would…I don't know. Do something incredibly old fashioned like send me to a nunnery if I even -attempted-," she says with a grin. "But I know, I know you're just kidding. Besides, traffic's nearby." She winks at him to soften the threat. "And you're right, I'm just joking. As much as I rag on Jaden's ….eccentricity, he's actually a very cool guy. You know he scored a record deal for Jane?" she says, looking over at Peter. "Seriously. Jaden has his own band so when Jane ran into him outside of a studio….he made it happen. His heart's in the right place, it's just that it seems like his mind is gone most of the time. I told Jane she better send me a copy of her demo and autograph it for when she becomes famous."

But then things get …somewhat strange. When he quickens his pace, she stops for a moment to stare at his back as he walks down the street. Finally, she quickens her own, trotting up to him to catch up to him. "….there's nothing wrong with asking," she says confusedly, flashing him a look. "I'd gladly tell you. It's not like it's something extremely personal, my life's rather routine. I mean, granted I'll keep out some details like what time I go to the bathroom or anything, but….it's really no big deal. As for the painting thing, it's okay, I told you we can just stash the stuff in our place so it won't clutter your apartment." Now -she- looks concerned. She fumbles opening the door to the building, but opens it for him.

"I'm sure one day I'll have a rant that you'll get to listen to," Peter says with the same smile, before he glances off towards the upcoming apartment, and gets to listen to her laugh, and her comments on the eccentric man, "He sounds it. Must have a lot of money— or his hands in everything. I'm surpried I haven't heard of a Jaden Cain before…" Looks like he's been skipping the Stock pages recently, huh? "I'm glad to hear Jane's got a contract, going. She's promised to help me out with some legal issues, but it sounds like she enjoys her music more."

Once she nudges open the door, he edges inside, carefully avoiding bumping the canvases, even as he glances around, still seeming embarassed. "It's just— don't worry about it. I just got curious, is all." And he's kicking himself for not holding his curiousity at bay. "You've got a lot of friends. Surprised you're not going out and seeing them. But I guess you might prefer staying in, with everything that's been happening…" With her father, the man who tells people what to do… all of it.

"So where do I put these?"

"Well she's doing it right I think," Elena says. "With her music she can put her legal skills to good use, so it's….a win-win situation for her. So many people aren't so lucky." She looks over at Peter and she grins. "Deal. I mean, I'm here, you know I'll listen," she tells him simply. Once he's through the door, she climbs up the stairs, leading him along. Thankfully those canvases are light. It's not a bad walk - the Gomez's live in the fifth floor of the building. She unlocks the door, and opens it for Peter, stepping inside.

The apartment was generously sized for New York, about 1900 feet. Unfortunately it's not for a couple, but for an entire family so given the demographics, it's rather cramped. There is a living room and a kitchen, and the back hallway leads to the bedrooms. There also isn't a lot of furniture, and the floors are hardwood. Kept impeccably clean, most of the decorations are family photographs, mostly of the children growing up. There's one particularly prominent portrait of an older version of Elena and Juanita in plain view upon walking inside, as if greeting the guests with that same, ready smile. Just as Catalina had done when she was alive.

"Here, we'll stash these in the broom closet for now, it's relatively empty," she tells him, walking over so she could pull that door open and putting the paints up on the cabinet shelving. Though when he mentions his surprise, she laughs. "Yeah….god I can be such a nerd, but…I keep Friday nights to myself. I know it sounds strange, but I like the quiet. Saturday night I can go out and have fun with my friends….Jane and I are actually organizing a Girl's night with the girls we know one of these days. But Friday nights I typically use to …I don't know." She laughs. "Pour myself a bubble bath and listen to whatever's playing on classical radio."

"This isn't a bad apartment," Peter says, glancing around and surprised at how clean it is. The stairs up, though, that'd been quite the work out. Wish they had an elevator. With the closet open, he drops the canvases in carefully, and lets her handle everything else, trying to make sure they're at least kept neatly so if her father does open the door he's not completely shocked by what he sees. "Thanks for letting me keep them here. My apartment's so cluttered," And about to get more cluttered if he tries to move his girlfriend in. Of course, thinking of her makes him feel even more nervous about what he'd nearly brought up.

"Probably best to stay in tonight anyway. Friday the 13th, and all. A warm bubble bath and a good book sound like a plan to me. For you." There's a pause, as his eyes linger on her for a little while. Maybe he's trying to imagine her in glasses… "Well, I guess… I'll see myself home. You be safe, all right? And you can call my cellphone if you need me for anything."

It's good to have that option again, certainly. There's another long linger, where he just stands there, before he runs a hand over his hair and starts towards the door.

"It's no problem. We're experts by now in making the best out of the space we have," Elena says simply, closing the door and raking a hand through her hair. She exhales a breath, and turns to look at him. "That's that." She can't help but smile faintly at him, though at the way he's acting…she looks a little confused. What happened? Did she do something to offend him? But at what he says about Friday the 13th, she laughs. "Mr. Petrelli, I thought -I- was the believer?" she teases. "But yeah, my week's always so busy you know, running around here and there. It's good to just have a bit of time all to myself. I don't think it's weird to relish just a bit of solitude, think about Life and all its crazy and all that. Or just soak in a warm bath and pretend the world doesn't exist for an hour or so."

At the lingering gaze, she laughs and makes circles with her fingers to put on her eyes. "…..okay so my frames really aren't that thick," she tells him. "But I do wear glasses. I'm a little farsighted, so….I need them to read or work on my computer," she offers in explanation. But when he begs his leave, she inclines her head. "….sure, Peter…" she says. "Thanks for letting me know about your cell."

When he turns around, she reaches out to try and snatch his hand up to stall him for a second. "….Peter, you okay?" she asks. It's a straightforward question, but her expression is serious. "I'm not a mindreader or anything but I'm getting a vibe. I didn't offend you with anything I said, did I?" Well, he was busy trying to RUN AWAY from her now, and she's not quite getting it. And like hell is she letting him leave without clearing that up at least.

See, he's on his way out, because that's the best option he has right now. At least, it's the option he usually takes when things start looking difficult. Peter'd rather leave and sort things out than risk messing things up with someone he cares about. But then she grabs onto his hand and pulls him up short, causing him to glance back and look at her again. "Elena…" he says softly, watching her. The hand she's holding onto shifts, to grasp her in his fingers and hold on for a moment. "No, it's nothing you— really, don't worry about it." If only he could just say it. But…

It's not his place to say. Not right now. Especially not right now. "You didn't offend me. Really. If anything I just— worried I'd crossed a boundry I shouldn't. Really— don't worry about it." A slow exhale later and he lets go of her hand, pulling back a bit.

"I'll see you later. And thank you for the cookies. I only sampled one of them, a peanut butter one, before I left, but my owl cookie jar is pleased. She has a purpose again."

And while these thoughts mill in his head, Elena's completely oblivious. She had plenty of guy friends, most of her friends were definitely male. Alpha males even, especially her father - who isn't really a friend, but the most dominant male presence in her life. But they were friends. So far in her entire life perhaps it was only Eric and maybe Randall who expressed any interest in her, and even then they were pretty damned obvious about it. ….and even then Elena knew nothing until later down the line. All she sees now is Peter being jittery, for no apparent reason. But when he shifts his grip, and says her name, her expression shifts from tense to concerned. She had been ready to apologize, but…

So if it wasn't anything she did, then…?

"…boundary?" she asks simply. "….by asking me how I spend my Friday nights?" She laughs. "Would it make you feel any better if I told you I wasn't a superspy? God if I was I'd probably have been dead a long time ago, I decided I'd probably really suck at it…" She lets his hand slip away from her, and she sighs, moving with him to the door.

"Well I'm glad she's happy," she says with a laugh, reaching for the door and opening it. Stepping aside, she reaches with her free hand to give him a quick hug. "Enjoy the rest. If you like it, the girls probably will too."

Yes, if it isn't something /she/ did… than it must be something he thought he'd done. Peter isn't about to offer up the explaination right now, though, because… he can't. "If you hadn't notice, I suck at being a super spy too," he says with a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. Once they're at the door, he turns to face her again, probably to say good by, but then she's reaching forward to hug him with her free hand. The quick hug she'd intended gets marginally derailed, as he wraps his arm around her and holds her there a few moments longer than she may have wanted. A audable exhale later and he lets go, at which point he smiles again.

"I'm sure my brother will also enjoy them, once he finds out there's cookies." Maybe his nephews, or his niece, though most likely Elle will be eating a few of them too. Only one girl for him, right? "…I'll see you later," he says, pulling back out the door and starting towards the stairs, which he'll take a few steps at a time. Get out of the building and get home. Seems the best idea right now.

Hugs are good. A naturally affectionate creature, Elena lets go of the door and wraps both arms around him once she realizes he's not letting go of her for a bit. NOW she's concerned. She curls her fingers around the back of his shirt a touch. "Well at least you can fly ot get away from the danger," she teases back quietly, closing her eyes and giving him a warm squeeze. "Stay safe, Peter. I know you worry about me but I'm not the one with an archnemesis," she tells him, easing away once he's finally let go of her with a grin on her lips.

"Bye!" she says, waving cheerfully from the doorway as he goes, and she closes the door, slipping the deadbolt shut and turning to the kitchen to look at the cupboards. Did they…even HAVE ingredients for Desiree's cupcakes? "…..oh crap…" she mutters. Flour. No flour. How did she use up all the fl-argh! The pizza she made the boys a week ago or so. Perhaps the day's not done for her after all. So much for the bubblebath.

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