2007-05-26: I Know Better

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif

Summary: In the aftermath of Pete and Cass being in Beth Israel Hospital, Elle makes a decision.

Date It Happened: May 26th, 2007

I Know Better


Forrest - Bishop Apartment, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC


It's been a long day at the hospital. But visiting hours eventually end, and neither Jane nor Elle count as family…when those times come, they have to go. Reluctantly she drives home with Jane. She's stressed, tired, and angry, all of it rolling around inside her, and she's been quiet the drive home.

Likewise adrift in her own thoughts, the brunette is quiet. There's really not a lot to say, in her mind, or do. Jane's concern is for Elle, for Cass, and Pete, but it's all mostly the waiting game. They'll remain where they are and recover over time, with visits coming over the duration. She's less worried about Pete, knowing what she does. Overloads come, he recovers, and doesn't have lasting injuries. She can guess he got that way by trying to help Cass, and is grateful he does such things, having been the beneficiary of it more than once.

Elle gets out of the car. She spent most of the day at Peter's side, except for a brief time where she headed out and came back. Once inside, she stops, steps out of her shoes, and flings one against the nearest wall. Hey, at least it wasn't a lightning bolt.

Bringing up the rear, Jane closes and locks the door, turning just in time to see and hear the shoe impact wall. She could ask, but she knows the answer. Elle is Not Okay. For that matter, she herself is Not Okay. Being who she is, however, it's put aside for presence to support and comfort her roommate. Not a word is spoken yet, she hasn't thought of any to say. Instead she stands with arms open to envelop the blonde should she choose to take advantage of it.

Elle looks over. She turns, and steps up to Jane, hugging her tightly. The brunette will probably notice her hair starting to stand on end. Hugging Elle right now is like touching one of those electrical balls at the museums.

There's no objection to this. Jane envelops the woman and holds her supportingly, letting herself absorb the hair-raising current. Within moments she looks a bit like one of those 80s people with the spiked hair, hers is that upright. There still aren't any words, perhaps none will be needed for some time. More important in her mind is being there, and known to be there.

Elle shivers after a long moment. "I know better. I know better than to let myself start getting concerned about people."

Eye contact is attempted, and Jane softly says "It hurts. The feeling of being only able to wait and let time carry out the healing process when someone is injured." Her own thoughts take hold, of Cass and Pete both in their current situations, and of Jaden suffering what Desiree envisioned.

Elle looks upset. "That's why you don't get close. That's why you just focus on doing what you have to do. Candice was right."

"Was she?" Jane asks quietly. "Do you regret being close to me, Elle? Or to Candice? Nothing is perfect, people can and will get hurt. We feel the worry of seeing them like that. And we enjoy them being healthy and happy when they recover."

Elle replies "Candice is different. She can take care of herself. The Company I'm not worried about. People outside it…" That she worries about.

"I wish there weren't dangers in the world, that there weren't so many ways to be hurt, or see others hurt, but I can't make them go away. Best I can do is live my life, having the support of people around me when I need it, giving the same when they need it from me. I won't give the hurt more power than it already has, by letting it drive me to wall myself off from everybody I might care about."

Elle shakes her head. "You're safer that way." she says. She starts towards her room. "It's the only way." Elle sounds like she's gotten A Notion in her head, as she opens her door.

She watches the blonde go, and makes a solemn reply "Safer doesn't always mean better. Living my life with no contacts, no one to share anything with, not experiencing things, to be that's far worse than dying. It's like being dead already and just marking time until my body gets old and quits."

Elle can be heard puttering in there, and it's about five minutes before she comes back out, with a bag packed. "You can still experience things. You just don't get hurt this way. Not like that." Apparently electroblonde has "leaving" on the brain.

"It makes me sad to hear you feel that way, Elle," Jane replies, as the roommate returns with bag in hand. "Where are you planning to go?" She stands, and moves toward her, adding "I hope you won't. I want you to stay. If you leave, I'll worry for you."

Elle doesn't meet Jane's gaze. Maybe she doesn't trust herself to. "Back where I belong. Back to the Company."

"I don't think you belong only there, Elle," Jane quietly replies. "I think you belong where you want to be, where you choose to make a life for yourself. I think you belong here, where you chose to live. But I'm not like them. I won't try to force you to stay. All I can do is ask, and respect the decision you make." Her heart is starting to sink, to see the possibility of this happening.

The blonde is quiet for a long moment. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, there's just a lot of conditioning she has. And Jane's open approach is bad at resisting that. She shakes her head, and then heads for the door again.

"Elle," she says quietly, as the woman starts to move, "please consider this: You want to leave, I'm not standing in your way. When the Company thought you might leave, they stole your memories, tried to force you to stay. To take away your choices. That's something I would never do to you. But whether you live here or not, I'm still a friend to you, and I hope you'll say the same of me."

Elle looks over to Jane. Her expression is forlorn. Fatalistic, really. Resigned. "You're better off without me around, Jane. And you'll be better off still once I'm no longer part of the picture."

"I don't believe that," Jane replies. "And it isn't about whether or not you can give or do anything for me. It's about standing by you. Believing you can be more than what you were taught to be, and deserve a life as happy as you can make it."

Elle shakes her head. "No." she repeats. "You'll be better off, and so will Peter." She turns back to Jane…and now there's an electroball in her hand. WTF?

"I can't make you believe me, Elle, all I can do is tell you. The most important thing is you being happy." Jane watches, not seeming troubled by the electric ball being held.

Elle looks back at her. "I'm sorry, Jane." And a pulse of electricity fires out at the musician.

She stands where she is, not in Elle's path toward the door as she spoke with her and asked her to stay. There's no sign of moving from the possible use of that ball, backing up her words, to not run away from her, to not abandon or turn her back on the woman despite knowing what she's like, and the things she's done. It's all she's got, really. Her word, and having kept it. When the pulse fires, she's in its path. Jane stiffens, and slumps against the wall to slowly slide down into a sitting position, unconscious.

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