2007-04-28: I Kinda Like My Sin-Filled Ways


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Jane visits Enlightenment Books filled with guilt over what happened there. Elle shows up to make an apology, followed by Pete. The conversation turns to the ethics of anger and not attacking people, ending with all three non - bookstore owners expressing their continuing disquiet.

Date It Happened: April 28th 2007

I Kinda Like My Sin - Filled Ways

Enlightenment Books, East Village

Trying to re-open a store is a lot of work, as Cass has found out the hard way. She's been packing up the rest of the waterlogged books into boxes and phoning up various organizations to see if they'd like free damaged books for libraries or to give away to homeless people or anyone who may need a book in their life. Unfortunately, most of those organizations are run by churches and they were not exactly excited to have books with titles like, "Telepathy for Dummies' or 'The Witch's Guide to Tarot'. The last phone call had the priest trying to save her soul for the past twenty minutes. "No, father, I know. I do. Yes. You know, I think Jesus was pretty awesome, but…no, I kinda like my sin-filled ways. Um, right."

It's a tentative hand that opens the door when she reaches it, but it opens the door just the same. She has to do this, venture inside this place so connected to her current life, being where it all began. A few seconds later and she's fully inside, slowly wandering around the aftermath and seeing how things are moving toward recovery. Jane's expression is stricken, one of shame and… speechlessness. For once in the time she's been known to the owner, she's neither got the guitar nor is in lawyer clothes. After nearly a full minute of exposure she just sits, and rests head in hands.

Though the door is normally one of those things that jars Cass away from whatever she is doing, it takes her awhile of talking to Father about her impending doom. "Right. Hell. I know. I've read the Bible. The typos and bad translations killed me. Look, Father, I appreciate what you're trying to do, really I do, but if you don't want the books, that's fine. I'll call up some Episcopalians or Protestants or something. You don't think the Mormons would want them do you?" Pause. Longer pause. "Um, right. Okay. Sorry. Didn't mean for that to be insulting. Really, I didn't. Uh, bye Padre. Thanks for all the soul advice." She hangs up and takes a deep breath. "Phew. Catholics." Deciding to take a break from calls, she readjusts the kerchief she's tied to cover her hair and steps back out into the main room to see…Jane. What? "Jane!" Surprise? "Didn't hear you come in. What can I do for you?"

It's a slow movement as she lifts her head when spoken to, that same stricken expression present from seeing all of… this. "Forgiveness is a start, if you can swing it." Jane looks the woman over, remarking softly "I help save you from drowning to let this happen." Fingers pick up a nearby book and examine its condition by slowly flipping through. "I thought maybe she had something already lined up for the answers, didn't do anything to prepare. It wouldn't have taken much to be ready." The book is allowed to just drop from her fingers. "Knew she'd look for me again, and never even thought to carry so much as a spray bottle."

If Elena hadn't have told Cass already that Jane felt responsible for this, Cass would have been totally confused by this whole situation. "Well, I'm still alive, Jane. And there's nothing to forgive. You didn't do anything. There's no way you can prepare for everything that could go wrong ever." She shrugs. "It happens. The store'll get fixed and it'll re-open. End of story."

"That's fairly accurate, Cass," Jane somberly replies. "Didn't do anything. Didn't expect she'd go at people around me, come here and be that way for answers. I thought if anything it'd be Pete and I who took the heat until we had her convinced we didn't lie. Do… do you have insurance, Cass? I've got money. More than I really need."

"Oh, please, Jane. I wish I could stop everything bad that happened, but I can't." Cass frowns at Jane and shakes her head. "Can't start blaming myself for being human. Neither can you. I've got insurance. Don't worry about it. I'm getting all the paperwork and annoying phone calls done." She waves a hand in a dismissive manner. "I'm not about to take your money. Thanks for the offer, though."

"And the deductible too, Cass? How much is that?" Jane stands slowly and faces the storekeeper. "Beyond that, what do you want of Elle for her part in this?" Being told there's nothing to forgive or not, she still wants, seemingly needs, to make it right.

"I'm telling you, Jane, don't worry about it." Cass is firm on this. She's not being unkind, but she refuses to let Jane pay for something that she had no fault in breaking. "Well, /she/ I'd take money from to fix my door. That'd be a start. After that, I don't know. I don't want her back in my store again. And if she comes anywhere close to threatening any of my friends again, there will be far more repercussions for her actions."

"She knows that, Cass," Jane replies with an edge coming into her own voice. "We talked about that while I had her tied to a chair in a bathtub, with her feet in a bucket of water. I won't abandon her, we've been through some of the same things, but I also will. not. tolerate. threats and hurt to my friends. She knows if I have to I'll hose her down and put her right back in the bucket." Plainly spoken and serious. "I can be dangerous too, when I need to be." There's a drawn out pause, before she quietly adds "Water. That gives the upper hand over her. Her kryptonite, so to speak."

"Makes sense. Water and electricity don't mix. Basic science." Cass gives a lopsided smile. "Good. Well, as long as that's taken care of, then I don't see a problem. If you're going to stick with her, do what you have to, but just keep an eye on her. She had no problems threatening to fry you once."

"My eyes are open. If I said she's got lots to learn about living in the world, it's an understatement. Epic in nature. But she'll make it. You may call me nuts, but… in her entire life being treated like a person's been rare. If she's to behave like one, that has to change, starting with someone simply deciding to. It's not been that long since she and I were in a similar place." A bitter chuckle follows. "This is how I explained friendship. We stick together, we get each other's backs, we argue, sometimes fight, we'll never completely agree on everything, and if we think something is wrong, we say so. If behavior is wrong, starts to go off the rails, we act. Even if acting gets us hurt and involves a bucket of water." Another pause, before she makes eye contact. "I still want to have girls night at my place. You're coming. She won't be there. Out of town, at work, with Pete, whatever."

"I'm not about to tell you who you can be friends with, Jane." Cass shrugs. She can't tell anyone else how to live their life. It's not her place, plus it would be pretty hypocritical of her. "Just as long as you're okay with it. Just because bad things happen to you doesn't excuse you for doing bad things to others. Anyway. I'm up for a girl's night. Something to take my mind off of the seriousness I've been so mired in lately. Just tell me when and I'll try and be there."

"That's just me saying our plans don't go off the rails because of a choice she made, Cass," Jane replies simply. "And when you're there and she's not, if you want to freeze her bras, I won't see a thing." From there the subject changes. "What'd you make of that freak wind gust, Cass? It was just… weird. Maybe one of us kind of weird."

"I'm not that petty, Jane." Cass laughs. "Please. I'd at least make sure it was her underwear, too. Anyway, I'm not about to do anything of the sort. She stays out of my way, I'll stay out of hers. And you might want to warn her to stay away from Lachlan. He won't think twice before giving what she gave and won't think twice about it." Just to avoid some awkward situations further on down the road. "I don't know. Manhattan gets pretty windy sometimes, but that's normally in the Avenues. Who knows what it was. Global warming, maybe."

"Maybe," Jane replies, thinking. "Just such a clear sky, nice day, for a gust like that to hit." She lets it go, though."

"I know." Cass shrugs. "I've seen weirder, though. I wasn't really paying much attention to the weather when I was trying to keep myself from drowning." The bookstore owner smiles. Finally unable to just stand without doing anything, she moves to collect a few more of the damaged books to put in one of the many boxes strewn about. "And now I've been more worried about where I'm supposed to buy a new window. And door. And back door." She gives a strained smile and shrugs. "At least I know where to order books from, you know? Done that for years."

"I'm just glad," Jane replies softly, "there were enough people still on the pier to anchor and pull with me so I didn't go in trying to do it myself. I used my guitar case strap, the strap from the guitar itself, and one from the camera that boy's father had, made a rope with it." Her head tilts. "Guess Rose was right that day, guitars can make more than music, doesn't have to be as a defense weapon." She's standing near Cass and some of the watered and dried books, talking, still looking partly somber.

Elle arrives at the bookstore. The blonde takes a look about, and works on finding her way inside. If nothing else, that should probably be easy after the other day.

"Yeah, well, you might have found yourself in the bay with me," Cass replies with a grin "That kid was /heavy/. I finally got to take the Staten Island Ferry, though. Hadn't actually done that yet. Never had a need to go over there." It should be easy for Elle to head inside as the front door is unlocked. Her approach is masked, too, by the board of plywood that is serving as her non-functional window.

Her back is to the door, and she's not aware of anyone electric approaching. "Might?" Jane scoffs. "No might to it, definitely would've. I'm not so much with the upper body strength. I'm all brain, fingers, and voice."

Elle opens the door, and then looks inside. Well, that's her roommate's back. And past it, there's target-girl from the other day. She moves to take a step inside, looking over at both. No comment, at least not as of yet.

"And modesty," Cass teases, tossing a couple more books into the box. She's keeping some of the not too badly damaged books to go on sale when the store re-opens. At least it'll be something and not just charity. The moment the door opens, the store owner glances up and then freezes when she sees Elle standing there. "What do you want?" She does not sound welcoming.

Cass freezing and speaking that way causes her to turn in the direction she's facing and see the cause of it. Jane spots Elle and raises an eyebrow with her expression otherwise calm. "This might not be the best place for you to enter, Elle." It's entirely unexpected, and she watches carefully, listens, to whatever comes next.

The blonde looks over. "Actually, I wanted to apologize. I realize that probably doesn't count for so much…but I wanted to say it anyway." She looks over at both of the two.

"Okay." Cass, normally, is a sucker for apologies. She forgave Lachlan, she forgave Eliana, she forgave Jack…but sleeping around is something entirely different from trying to electrocute her and her friends. However, if she's going to be hanging around Jane often, she's not going to go completely postal on the woman. "Well. That's a start. You're still paying to fix my door."

The brunette, the younger one, remains silent. She hasn't much to add to this conversation, it's entirely between Bookseller and Electra. Jane simply listens, stepping back a bit so they don't have to lean around her body and speak, but also perhaps ready to try separating them if needed.

The blonde looks just a bit awkward at that. "I'll pay for the door." She says, looking at the other two. "Look…I'm just…things were kind of insane. I'm sorry I zapped you."

A short time after the door was initially pushed open, someone else pushes on it and steps inside. It's possible Peter'd been following the blonde, with how soon after her he appeared, but based on the start of surprise as he sees the blonde woman— that may not be the case after all. Once inside, he pushes the door closed behind him, and catches the words that she says, looking surprised, and a little awkward. "And I intend to pay for the back door too," he suddenly adds, looking a little guilty himself.

Grand Central at Enlightenment Books, apparently. Cass blinks when Peter appears behind Elle. "Yeah, well. Don't do it again and we'll see how it goes." She gives a decisive nod as to her fixing the door. "Hey Peter. No, don't worry about it. You were trying to help." Her demeanor is decidedly less icy when dealing with Peter, but her guard is still up with Elle being right there.

"Evening, Pete," Jane offers with a nod, still otherwise remaining quiet. So far, so good, she thinks, Cass isn't trying to throttle the blonde yet. That doesn't mean she won't, of course. But it seems a positive sign. She begins to wander back toward the Petrelli.

The blonde looks over, and sees Peter. "Hey, Peter." She sounds a little down, probably from the whole "trying to do something nice."

"I'll still pay for it. It's my fault," Peter says, shaking his head at the denial of his fault in this, and steps closer to the blonde girl to put a hand on her arm, hand loose, but certainly offering support. "Are you okay, Cass? It looked like you hit your head when you feel…?"

"I'm fine. My head still kind of hurts, but I'm okay. I've been taking some aspirin." Cass once again waves a dismissive hand at the thought of her being hurt or for Peter paying anything. "Believe me. I'd rather you have broken my door and stopped what was happening than for you to have been polite and waited for me to open it. It's okay, Peter. I'll get the insurance company to pay for the back door. It's the front I can't claim as a break in."

She does finally speak as the conversation goes on, Jane makes a simple statement. "Cass, Elle came here on her own. I didn't suggest or ask that she do this."
Elle shrugs once. "It's okay, Jane. You don't have to back me up. I came to apologize; I've done that. So I'll make sure that you get the money for the door." She seems to think that's everything on the topic.

It's pretty clear that Peter didn't know she'd be here, unless he's bluffing. The hand moves to the blonde's back, rubbing between her shoulder blades gently, before ne nods to the owner of the store. "I could still pay for whatever your insurance company charges you. I could have opened it with less damage, probably." Or, if he'd known Lach was just going to break the window, he could have come in the front… either way… "I know you two didn't meet under the best of circumstances, but… This is Elle, Cass." Obviously she knows the girl's name by now, but… "She's… my girlfriend." Still? Yes, still.

"That's fine." Cass tells Jane with a shrug. "You know what, you came here to apologize and that's good. You went through something really horrible and I'm sorry about that. But that doesn't really make my store up and functional with all of it's books back in place. Nor does it excuse the fact that you threatened to kill me and my friends over something that if you would have just talked to me about and told the truth, I'd have been glad to help you with." She shakes her head at Peter again, still quite firm on her position. "It's okay, Peter. I can handle it." The introductions are met with a bit of a frown. "Well. I'm Cass." Introductions are now done, at least.

Having spoken her simple truth, Jane's back to quiet observation. It's a conversation between Cass and Elle, she lets it be so from there unless drawn into it.
The blonde looks back at them. "Yeah, well, you know what?" She says, sounding annoyed now. "I kill people. That's what I do. So, I'm sorry that I jacked up your store. But it could have been a lot worse." Once again, she continues doorwards.

"She also had no reason to trust us," Peter says softly, a hint of a flinch at the mention of what she could have done. What she would have done to him, actually, if he couldn't regenerate. "But now she knows that there are people she can go to who she doesn't have to threaten…" The hand stays against her back, and unlike Jane, he can't keep himself out of this conversation.

"That. Uh, you were doing better with the apologizing." Cass stares at Elle's retreating back a mixture of that same annoyance and confusion. /She/ was the one that got electrocuted and her store ruined. What is /she/ getting annoyed about? "Yeah, well, I don't trust her, but you don't see me threatening to kill her for information about what she does." She sighs. "Sorry, Peter." And she is sorry that she doesn't trust Elle and it will take a huge leap for her to. She's important to Peter and that makes her want to like her. But, there's a lot of warring instincts wtih that.

One hand rubs lightly at her eyes as Elle departs after making that statement. "Big changes don't happen in a week," Jane muses, "she won't become calmer about situations like this for quite a while, and Cass won't stop being angry for just as long, if ever. It just is the way it is, Pete. It's progress this came and went without being a fight." The guitarist looks a bit tired.

Peter followed her all the way to the door, even if his hand twitched to grab her shirt and pull her back. It drops away when she steps outside, though, letting her leave, even if she'd feel a hint of a grab before it does. Tilting his face towards the ceiling, his eyes close and he shakes his head. "Big changes happened in less than a day, Jane," he murmurs softly, drawing his hand up to run over his hair before he pushes the door closed and leans his head against it. "You also weren't trained to kill since you were ten, Cass," he adds, voice sounding rather pained.

"That still isn't helping me with the trusting her thing," Cass frowns at Peter. "I'm sorry. I really am. I'm sure she was better before she lost her memories. But…someone who is so casual about life like that…it's terrifying." Not to mention who she works for. "I'm not /angry/, Jane. I just don't trust her. And that's something that certainly isn't built in a day. Just…be careful. She would have killed me if you hadn't have stepped in. I know you can regenerate, but I doubt that means you can't be killed."

"She'll get there," Jane quietly answers with confidence. "I believe it. I see it coming. I've bet my life on it. If she snapped, I may be first to eat it. I'm certain she won't. But I can't force anyone else to accept that as truth just because I say it. That she and Cass were in the same place and talked without a temper being lost, not so long ago that wouldn't have happened. Elle's managed, just tonight, to apologize and take criticism without losing it."

"I'm not asking you to trust her, Cass," Peter says, eyes closing as he's turned away from them, shoulders even shaking. "I was trying to get you to understand her. I know what she is, and I know what she was before and that tells me what she could still be… But when she gets there… again, what's to say they just won't take it all away overnight?" Again. He takes a slow breath, shoulders obviously shaking, and then he reaches for the door and pulls it open, seemingly planning to follow her now, or maybe just leave before he loses control of his emotions.

Seeing Peter in such an emotional state obviously distresses Cass. "Peter, wait." Quickly stepping forward, she reaches out to put a hand on his elbow to stop him from leaving in such a state. "Us. We're the ones that say that they can't take it all away again. They have no right to play with her mind or anybody's. I'm just worried about you. I can't say that I understand her because I can't ever imagine trying to kill someone, but the situation…I empathize. Doesn't mean I like her any more, but I can empathize."

What Pete says as he goes to leave makes Jane's fingers clutch something, anything in reach, with a tight grip and turn white from it. She's been there, at that place, not so long ago and the reminder she could easily be there again was just sounded. Her own tension starts to build, easy to see. And here she is, no guitar to plug in and crank out angry metal or somber blues. Stupid, stupid, stupid. That she loves music is just part of her reason in carrying it around so much. The rest is she needs it. Eventually one hand releases whatever she's squeezing, her shoulder dips as if to slide something off of it, but… it isn't there. Her mouth opens a bit, but there's no sound. Pete's seen her like that before, Cass may have also, and know what it could herald.

"Don't worry about me. I'm not the one who's mind got violated," Peter says, shaking his head and actually moving away from the hold, glancing back towards Jane and flinching. "Better give Jane something you don't mind her breaking," he adds, before he continues out the door and starts to move away. The more emotional he gets, the more he just wants to be alone. Maybe he should take up screaming at things too.

"Yeah, but you're the one I care about," Cass sighs. It's said mostly under her breath so he may not hear it, but she doesn't try to renew her grip on him. He's made it plain that he doesn't want company and she's not going to force it upon him. Blinking, she turns around. She's never seen Jane like that, for sure and she's unsure of what it means. Though, she can kind of guess from what Peter's said. "Jane, come on, stop it. I don't need anything else broken in the store. Deep breaths?"

Her head nods slowly. While Jane's mouth is open without sound she might be screaming already, but there's nothing broken yet, so maybe not. Seconds pass, she hovers at that threshold, before the control wins out and her body starts relaxing. "It still hits me sometimes, Cass. I haven't suffered like she has, so I'm much better able to not lose it. When I get close I usually have the guitar to go play and get it all out. Wasn't that long ago I did cold turkey, and they could easily put me back." Her eyes close for a moment.

Cass frowns. "They won't. We won't let them. This has gone on for /far/ too long." If she was ever more convinced to get her clinic opened as soon as possible and start doing her own thing for people to have an alternative, it shows now. "They don't have the right to do this to people. It's ridiculous and it's got to stop. The can't keep ruining people's lives and taking parts of who they are. We'll stop it, Jane."

"I won't break, Cass," Jane asserts. "Sometimes it looks like I might, but I won't. My life isn't ruined, I refuse to let it be so." There's a beat or two of silence. "I lost it when I realized what happened to her. Shattered the tv without lifting a finger. This is how I can understand the anger, all of it, Elle has. My experience doesn't compare to hers, beyond in concept. Maybe you'll forgive her, maybe you won't. She did what she did and actions have consequences. I'm just saying, like Pete, we believe she'll overcome. I know she will, if she weren't capable of it, well, I'd already be dead."

"Never said you would." Cass gives Jane a nod. "And I wasn't talking about you for the life ruining. Just the taking part of who you were. I'm not making any promises for forgiving anyone. But I'm not going to cause trouble for Peter if I can help it. He's kind of had enough of that."

"I'm thinking, almost always thinking, Cass," Jane muses. "Elle clearly needs some form of safe, enjoyable stress relief. We'll find it." Not a trace of doubt in her voice. "And I'm thinking contingency, if we have to do this again. Got a video camera, plan to make a briefing tape with several copies so they can't all be easily found by the wrong people and eliminated, but can also get into her hands as proof easily enough. And before trying to tell her anything, being able to prove we aren't lying. My god… I never thought any of this would go beyond the targets of her rage, it'd just be Pete and I. You may forgive me, say there's nothing to forgive, but I can't forget the need to be more thorough, anticipate and forestall flipouts."

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