2007-11-06: Landslide Luck


Elena_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Elena's fever gets a little worse, Nathan fulfills his promise to his brother, and Peter calls to congratulate his brother in winning an election.

Date It Happened: November 6th, 2007

Landslide Luck

Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park, New York

Perhaps it was a mistake to walk around the garden today in the early evening.

She didn't know what it was. She felt bad yesterday, she felt worse today, Elena slipping inside the mansion after just ten minutes out, rubbing her eyes and her bones feeling so heavy they felt infused with lead. She should check the status of her fever at this rate. She slowly peels the jacket off her, and the scarf, the hat, the gloves. She half-gropes her way to the kitchen to get some more medicine. It didn't really do much good, though. All it did was provide temporary relief before the illness was back again in full force.

She heads into the kitchen, feeling worse at every step. Lightheaded, she could use some food too. She takes a glass from the cupboard, setting it on the breakfast counter, and reaches for some orange juice only to find the jug empty. Getting back to where she was, she rests her forehead on the counter for a while. The cool surface didn't help.

She straightens up just a bit, reaching for the glass. Maybe she should just get some water.

The world suddenly tilts. Her body just didn't want to move anymore. There's a staggered step or two before she goes down, the glass slipping away from her grip and bouncing once on the floor before the next bounce shatters it utterly several inches from where her fingertips rested. There wasn't a sound, not even a cry, to her credit. It was as if the floor was as good of a place to rest as any.

Across the mansion, Nathan is in another room, occupied in his own little world.

"Holcombe? Are you sure?" he's saying into his cellphone, pacing around in his study. Bare feet against carpet, slacks, and a heavy sweater to combat the chill both from the weather as well as the inherent coldness that seems to remain in his bones, even when his skin is overheated. He draws the phone away to cough into his hand, continuing like normal once he's done. "Well forward those names to me, I need all this in print. Yes, I know. Thank you, I really— yes, I know, I really appreciate it, this won't— I know. I'm keeping this quiet enough as it is, your name won't even be…"

The shattering of glass interrupts the otherwise quiet mansion, and Nathan pauses, listening. No cursing. Nothing else. That's not a comfort.

"I gotta go, I'll talk to you later," he says, and the man on the other end doesn't have a chance to reply before the phone is snapped shut, and he goes moving out of the study, through the foyer, cell phone slipped into his pocket. He's quiet as he goes, as quiet as he has been lately, a sickly shell of the usually dynamic presence with his own home, but he shuffles instead through the vacuum of silence, feet sounding softly on the floor as he investigates, as if he weren't even meant to be here.

Instinct brings him to the kitchen, and he almost doesn't see her. Then he does, and a second of incomprehension ticks by. Then, Nathan moves towards Elena's collapsed form, only bare avoiding piercing his feet on the shattered glass. "Elena," he says, with more authority than he really has, a hand reaching out to hesitantly touch her forehead. Burning bright, as it would be. Pushing aside the bigger pieces of glass, he kneels down next to her, tries to push her into a more comfortable position, trying to see if she's hurt.

She didn't even know Nathan was up, then again the fact that election results could be rolling in today utterly slipped her mind. Adjusted on the floor, her heavy-lidded eyes look upwards at Nathan, a little more comfortably now, and she rolls her head back and groans. They all had fevers in the last few weeks, but hers is several degrees higher, though it's certainly not enough to be fatal. Still, it was expected, given the weather getting colder, and no cure in sight, and the virus having free rein over a person's body.

Studying, reading, and doing those walks and stressing out over her scholarship, plus getting yelled at by Gene over his cancer the other day, probably didn't help. She was tired, and tired never helped.

"Nate…did I break anything…?" she murmurs half-deliriously. " 'm sorry…I'm so tired…."

"Just a glass. We got more glasses," Nathan says, not really meeting her gaze, occupied in trying to discern if she cut herself. No, just collapsing, it seems, and his hand rests against her temple for a moment. There's sympathy in the touch, worry, before that hand rests on her shoulder. "Okay. We're gonna get you somewhere more comfortable than the kitchen floor," he tells her. "And some water. Can you…?"

He was about to ask if she could walk. But she's tired, and while so is he, frankly, he's also meant to be looking after her where Peter can't. Nathan doesn't really wait, just moves his arms to pick her up off the floor before she can protest. It takes more strength than he really has right now, and there's no chance of getting her upstairs like this, but to get from the kitchen to the sitting room, that he can do.

Holding her securely, Nathan heads in that direction, veering around the kitchen island and leaving the mess of broken glass behind them. "I saw you outside. You shoulda been resting," he chastises even as they go.

"I can tr— no….Nate you're sick too…" Elena murmurs, even as she moves to get up on her own, but Nathan seals the deal, picking her up and stretching her limit. The senatorial candidate doesn't have to worry it seems…Peter outweighed the young woman by 40 or so pounds. Illness had taken toll on her weight, so she was even lighter than normal. She was a pixie compared to his younger brother. Her legs dangle uselessly over one of his arms, her upper body supported by his shoulder and chest.

She is oblivious to the promise the older brother made to the younger. All she could focus on was that Nathan was worried, and he was helping her, and that she worried him, surprisingly enough. Her senses are a little dulled, but she knows that much. Heat stings her eyes, frustration strangled somewhere in her throat. She hated this. She hated this so much.

The chastisement causes her to forget it though, at least just a while. Her eyes close as she's brought to the living room, her head feeling much like it was encased in lead. "S'much…as I love your house….needed to get out a lil'…" she murmurs. "….didn't know you were awake. Th….thank you, G…Nate." Yes. She almost called him Goose. But she didn't.

"Y'welcome," Nathan mutters, as they enter the lounge room. It's cool, a window cracked open to allow the fall weather to take the stuffiness out of the space, as the harsher morning sun lights up the windows, warming the glass. Nathan moves towards the more shadowed couch, setting Elena down onto it. "I know. This place tricks you into thinking it's big," he says, which may sound a little nonsensical, but he's used up all his rational thought on talking to his police contact this morning, as well as fielding calls from all directions.

Election day. He somehow pictured it going differently.

Standing up from where he'd half-knelt on the floor to set her on the couch, Nathan moves a hand to touch her arm. "How're you feeling? If you're dizzy, try waiting it out. I can go get you some medicine, there should be some in the kitchen." There usually is, it's been kept well stocked for the past month.

She gives him a wan smile, settled on the couch and comfortably at that. There's an afghan within reach that she could drag over herself if need be. But it was cold. She'll grab it later. Elena's dark eyes fix on Nathan's slightly un-focused face from the pillow holding her head in place. "…no…s'big. You're….talkin' to someone who lived in…a too small apartmen with….three more siblings and a father for years," she tells him, closing her eyes. "Just….tired of waiting around." It was a sentiment she was sure he could relate to. "Were you busy…?" As bratty as she is towards the older brother, she didn't want to get in the way of anything. She was imposing enough on them as it was.

When he asks her how she's feeling, she tries to coax her body to sit up again but she can't. "….think….got a bump on my head. Body feels a little heavy. Was…trying to get to the Tylenol in the kitchen. No…Nyquil this time. Wanted….to stay awake." Her foggy eyesight does catch the date of the newspaper that had been sitting on the coffee table next to her, though. "….big day for you today," she reminds him. As if he didn't know.

Nathan also spares a glance towards the newspapers. Election predictions, and of course, no one was acting like he stood a chance. A recent photo of Timothy Crane printed in colour, and a portrait of himself from months ago, much smaller, down the bottom of the page. Foot note about the guy who probably won't win. "Bigger for some," he tells Elena, stepping back from the couch. "I'll get you the Tylenol, wait there."

In the kitchen, Nathan cleans up what glass he can, no point in someone, even one of the dogs, injuring themselves on it because he was too lazy. Dragging a wet paper towel across the surface to pick up any stray, smaller-than-the-eye-can-see shards, he then goes about pouring Elena a new glass of water and digging up the medicine. A dose of which he gives himself, if only to distract himself from the too-often-occurring stab of anger that draws fire through him. It's not fair. It wasn't fair last year and it isn't fair this year. But at least after today, it'll be all over, and he can let it go. The next twelve hours, however, were going to be difficult.

A few minutes later, he's moving back into the loungeroom. Sitting down on the other end of the couch, Nathan holds out the glass of water for Elena to take, then the little box of Tylenol. "I was just talking to an associate of mine," he says. "He gathered some information for me about the people who were quarantined in Sinai. He's gonna get back to me on that man who died, too."

"Thanks, Nate," Elena croaks. She reaches out to take the Tylenol from him, though she doesn't touch the glass yet. Maybe she's a little too traumatized from handling the glass earlier. Watching him set the glass on the table near her, she opens the box with her fingers, her eyes lowering on it. Part of her was mad at herself….she didn't want to worry anyone, even if it was already too late for that. Sitting here, being ineffectual. Watching her damned illness steal more of her weight.

She digs out a couple of aspirin, and…well, she pops them dry. She chews on them. They tasted terrible, it showed on her face. But she's doing this stubbornly so it would absorb into her bloodstream faster. Then, she slowly reaches out for the water. "What…was the consensus..? Anything I…can help with…?"

She looks over at him and, much like what she does with Peter, she cracks him a small, reassuring smile, despite the pale face. "Have a little faith," she croaks, going back to the topic of the election after a moment. "You're prettier than the other guy." She's joking of course. She closes her eyes then. "For what it's worth…" she murmurs. "I voted for you by absentee. You can do that if you're too sick to go to the polls…" Well, he already knows that. "Peter'll probably vote for you, too…" Her eyes move upwards on his face to meet his gaze. She hesitates, but finally… "….please don't tell him about this."

"I'm just going to forward the information to Cass and see if anything comes of it," Nathan says, leaning his back against the opposite arm of the couch. He's not really looking at her, not about to watching her crunch down on painkillers. He just leans forward and nudges the water a little closer to her, in the hopes she takes the hint. "I don't know if it's helpful, Peter just— " And a coughing fit strikes, as it's wont to do, shielding it with his hands, and once it's over, he continues as normal. Because it is normal, now. "Peter asked if I could look into it, using some of my contacts from…" He gestures, vaguely. There have been countless times, now, where he's talked to the police as well as local politicians. You don't get to be who he is now without 'em.

Draping his arms across the back and arm of the couch, Nathan shrugs, casually. "I voted for me too," he says, with a wry smile. "Here's to hoping this thing clears up by January if a miracle strikes. And no, I won't tell Peter." That almost goes without saying, in his book - god knows there are things he wouldn't want Peter to know. He may have made a promise to Peter but that doesn't mean the girl doesn't get her privacy. "We can worry about each other enough for him."

"That's a good idea….she'll know what to look for," Elena says softly, rubbing her eyes a little bit with her fingers. But when Nathan nudges the water glass closer to her, she opens them again and gives him a small, grateful smile. She reaches out to take the water, and carefully sips from it. She doesn't, however, try to get up as of yet. Her body felt like lead, and Nathan was too weak to carry her anywhere else. She needs to be able to get back to a room on her own, and she would need more rest and strength before she could do that. "From your days…as a prosecutor?" she murmurs softly, closing her eyes. "I've known Peter a while…..I know….you're the most important person in his life. He talked about you sometimes, even when we were just starting to become friends. …..he talked a little bit about your Dad, too. And this guy named Linderman…"

She doesn't say anything more for a bit, but she opens her eyes again so she could look at him and gives him a smile. "Hope…it clears up before Thanksgiving….we deserve….something normal…plus….would be fitting, right? Thankful to…have.." And she chokes a laugh. "….our health back." But at the promise and the last offer, she couldn't help but smile more genuinely, a little bit of the old determined strength back on the line of her mouth. "I just….you know if…things get worse for us here…he'll d—… he'll do something rash. I think you and I….he's reckless enough."

Not just a day ago, Nathan had been tempted to ask of Peter exactly what Elena is hoping his younger brother won't do. He's silent for a moment, tiredly moving a hand to scratch the back of his neck. "I'm starting to thing that the only thing to get anything done anymore these days is through recklessness," he says, almost at a mutter. resentful of this idea - he doesn't exactly give the impression that he makes snap decisions and impulsive moves. Except when he does, which is far more often these days - so he gets it.

To a degree.

But ultimately… "You're right. I don't know how many more comas he has left in him but there's no point in him draining himself when there's gotta be another solution." He's not sure if Elena knows about the woman they'd found that can cure illness - very likely, seeing as he's been told and Peter can't keep a secret - so it goes assumed.

"That doesn't sound like you." Elena couldn't help the slight smile. "When I first met you, you were all about the plans…" She closes her eyes again. She couldn't help it. Everything felt so heavy. "Of course when you saw the building Heidi was in…" That plan flew out the window. …literally. "Blood's thicker than water and all that." When it came to certain things, Nate and Peter didn't really seem all that different to her in those situations. "But you're right…even stepping outside is reckless for us. Kinda sad, huh?" The water seems to have helped, she's not pausing between words as much, even though she still looks like death warmed over.

"He'll adapt," she reassures the older Petrelli. "It's…happening less and less frequently. Not like before… he's stronger now. I told him…'round the first couple of months when I met him…his abilities are his for a reason. Doesn't make any sense to develop something naturally that your own body can't handle in terms of what we have. Evolution is founded on the precept that humans progress because over time, they take on the race's most favorable qualities while weeding away the bad. Natural selection and whatnot…before long, he'll be able to do what he does no problem…"

She thinks so anyway. In her not-so-professional opinion. "We're not in any shape to stop him if he tries either," she says with a quiet laugh, before another coughing fit seizes her, throat run raw in the last few days that pulling away her hand would reveal flecks of blood mingled with saliva. "If he tries. So they better find…something else." She shifts her head to look at him further. "….when are the results coming in?"

"Plans have an unfortunate habit of going awry," Nathan says, with a slightly bitter smirk at Elena. He makes a gesture, indicating them. "Case in point." Careful, the cracks are starting to show. But there's really only so long one person can stay quarantined while their life goes by before that starts to happen - for both of them. He coughs into a fist, mostly clearing his throat, though it sounds just as wet and ragged as before, voice still graveled. "But it can only get better, right?" This new development of faulty powers aside.

Elena's question first gets a puzzled glance from Nathan - his mind immediately goes towards medical results, did they do another test recently? He barely remembers. And why would she be asking him, anyway? Then, comprehension dawns, and his eyes hood slightly. "Uh," he starts, awkwardly. "Today. Ish." Stop being so specific, Petrelli.

"I know." Elena looks up at the ceiling. "Not like we expected to be here. We had plans too. You planned on winning an election, and you probably still can, and I planned on…keeping my scholarship." She closes her eyes at the moment. All that hard work. Hours of community service and extracurricular activities down the drain. Money wasn't an issue now, not with Ramon's job, but that isn't the point. She slowly sits up, feeling her bones ache, her muscles laying heavy on her skeleton. She folds her arms around her knees, but the urge to keel over was still there. God, she felt so sick.

"Do you want it?" she asks Nathan finally, seriously, after a hesitant pause. This was….a few months ago the concept of bonding or talking freely with Nathan Petrelli was an alien idea. Now…well, did they have a choice? They were stuck with each other. They have to take care of each other. She wasn't going to burden her father or Peter or her friends more than she already has…

"I mean…do you want to win?"

It still seems alien to him now, to be honest - the concept of Elena talking freely doesn't so much seem strange as does the concept of him talking freely to anyone does. Nathan gives Elena a considering look, as if debating answering her, or debating what his answer is, gaze sliding back towards the newspaper. Maybe the motivation of wishing he could punch Crane in the face at least once for that 'soft' comment spurs him to answer, because he nods once. "I want to win," he states, flatly. "This is what I've meant to do." That's as much honest sentiment that Elena gets, because he shakes his head dismissively. "Losing is better than quitting," he says, tone lightening up. "It's not as though there's nothing I can do once this sickness clears up. But— " He inclines his head to her. "You get it. It's all that work for nothing." Shrug. Whatcha gonna do. Apparently, Nathan agrees with the polls, the political commentators - his chances have been shot to hell.

"I can relate," Elena says from where she's sitting on the couch. And she could. She was an overachiever, too. She was just born on the other side of the line Nathan had been. But that's all she offers, because she knows Nathan would understand where she was getting at. The older man knew she had a scholarship. Though when he says what he does, that he was so sure public office was the life for him, she couldn't help but smile a little bit. "Yeah, you have options. You can always go back to being a lawyer again, stick it to people who deserve it." There's a pause. She knows that too, his lack of a campaign thanks to the illness probably shot his chances to hell. When it came to public service, visibility, accessibility, went a long way. And Nathan had been neither for the past month despite the internet chat idea.

With a shrug, she slowly reaches out to grab the remote. "I'm Catholic, Nate," she tells him. "I believe in miracles. And if you don't win?" She hands him the remote from where she's slumped. "Just means you're meant to do something more than politics."

The idea of something more than politics doesn't quite compute. It was his - quite literal - destiny. But she's being encouraging, and there are only so many snarky comments one can make to your near-permanent housemate, and so Nathan only takes the remote. Accepting the encouragement, whatever it was. "If I had the energy I'd grab a beer first," he mutters, as he switches on the TV and flips from the movie channel to something with news.

Near permanent housemate. Elena hopes not. As much as she loved getting to know Nate more, and even establish some sort of scary sibling/bratty cousin-type dynamic with him, she missed her family. She missed her friends. Now, she missed her boyfriend too….sentiments she would never admit out loud to anyone, considering how much she prided herself in her independence. But being cooped up in a room at night by yourself while a man-made illness sucked the life out of you made her crave just being with the people she loved more than anything else. It was sad. It was unfamiliar. But it was true.

She reaches out, touching Nathan lightly on the arm and squeezing it a bit after the remote is relinquished, and then she pulls away to lean back heavily into the couch again. Everything ached. Everything felt so heavy….

"…….the count is still rolling in with 30 percent of the New York counties reporting in, but with 81 percent for former Congressman Nathan Petrelli and 19 percent for his Republican counterpart, Timothy Crane, it looks like New York's democratic nominee is running towards close to a landslide…"

"………….." Elena gapes.

Maybe it's a good thing he didn't get that beer, it'd just be something to choke on. Nathan's grip on the remote loosens, but he manages to at least keep it in his hand as he simply stares at the TV screen. Brightly coloured images, helpful graphs, and little portrait images of the candidates are all there to help the less than savvy keep track of what's going on. With a lot of uncertainty, he sets the remote aside and sinks into the couch, simply watching the TV now as they announce the progression of the voting. "I, uh," he says, finally, and clears his throat. "It's not over, it's probably— it doesn't mean anything yet." Lying liar. It means plenty, at the very least.

"N….Nate you…..that's eighty-one percent with thirty percent of the counties reporting in," Elena says, her eyes widening and grabbing Nathan's sleeve and holding on. She's not looking at him though, but rather at the television screen, her eyes wide. "The only way Crane….the only way Crane can catch up now is if he grabs more than fifty percent of the votes coming in…" Her voice is hoarse, she had been coughing all week after all, and the cough suppressant was barely helping.

But the numbers are rolling in still, after a brief commercial break, the numbers are back, and they were even higher for Nathan's favor. Her grip tightens, her jaw hanging lower, and lower, and lower when she sees the results. She gets up from the couch, as if she couldn't see well enough, but her knees are week, and she almost falls again, the bout of lightheadedness hitting her upside the head. "Nate…you got this. You got this!"

"But I can't," Nathan argues, still watching the screen which smugly defies him. "Crane was supposed to take this out, it's a no brainer. I haven't even been to the convenience store since a month ago let alone— " But he pauses when another commercial break ends, more numbers are reported, and with a clatter, he sets the remote control down, and nervously runs a hand through his hair, leaning an elbow against the couch.

"…at this point, it's virtually impossible for Crane to regain a lead, barring some sort of phenomenally huge mistake…"

"It's ridiculous, I wouldn't have voted for me at this rate," Nathan states, which is a lie, because he did vote for himself, and he looks up at Elena. But her shock and pleasant surprise seems to be wearing on him, because he dares to crack a smile. And chuckles. And gestures towards the TV. Like, look - I'm winning! Somehow!

She continues staring as the votes roll in. Nathan's numbers are still climbing. In fact, Crane's lead seems to be dwindling. "I….told you. You're prettier," Elena says, sounding hoarse and breathlessly. But when the mark is reached, when one knows that it's really over. She can't help it. There's a cry from her. This time, it's triumphant - much like the basketball crowd in New York University, or when her college girl friends would yell out whenever they won a dance competition.

"…..and there you have it. It looks like Nathan Petrelli, not the polled favorite Timothy Crane, will be the new senator of New York…"

There's a whoop. Elena can't help it. She throws her arms around Nathan. "You won! You won!"


Suddenly, Nathan's cellphone starts to ring. The ringtone and number on the screen identify the caller as his younger brother Peter.

Oof. Nathan, a little dazed, is knocked back a little as Elena launches herself into a hug, and Nathan is still watching the TV as if waiting for the presenter to go 'oh whoops we mixed the names up, our bad'. But they don't. Of course they don't. And he'd been so prepared to lose it's almost jarring to so suddenly win. He hugs Elena back, a rather genuine embrace even, just as his phone rings out. It could be one of a dozen or so people, but Peter manages to get there first, it seems.

Backing up, he takes the phone from his pocket, checks the ID, and answers it with speaker phone. "Don't look at me, I don't know how that happened either," is his… greeting… and there is the slightest of giddy tremors in his voice, the smile that he had finally allowed to occur now rather set.

She jumps up and down a little bit even - though these are muted. Elena didn't have a lot of strength, what she had left, she was spending doing this, hugging Nathan as tightly as she can. Though when his phone rings, she eases away from him, dropping back onto the couch. She'd ask for popcorn, but she wasn't hungry. She lowers the volume of the TV while Nathan was on the phone, and her eyes are glued to the numbers, still, flashing on the screen and the newscaster still reading his teleprompter in disbelief. She reaches out for her glass of water, her throat dry and parched. Now that cushions are back on her, though, she can't help but sag upon them. She's still staring at the screen though, in disbelief, but also with no small amount of happiness and pride. She's genuinely ecstatic that Nathan won.

It's speaker phone. So she'll be able to hear Peter's response pretty well with the TV turned down, "I don't know what happened either!" He sounds like he's in a state of disbelief. As he should be. "I mean I wanted you to win, and— maybe the turn out was in your favor, I don't know, the polls weren't completely full, I got in, made my vote and got out…" That doesn't change his confusion. From the feedback coming through his phone, he's watching the same channel, causing an echo, almost a surround sound.

And it's in the face of Peter's disbelief that Nathan is finally able to accept the results still being announced on the TV. "Well the last months before the virus have to count for something," he says, moving to lean against the arm of the couch. "…Jesus, I need a drink." He should be at his headquarters, with everyone else, opening a bottle of champagne and congratulating them all on a job well done. He almost feels guilty about that, but there's really no helping it. "You're watching this, right?"

Engrossed by the tv, Elena keeps her eyes glued on it, hearing the analysts go WTF with each other on the screen as they discuss the results. Suddenly, TV is all about Nathan. Nathan's career. His heroism in facing down Linderman. Having to take the reins of the family after his father's sudden 'heart attack' and how he dealt with his wife's paralysis at the time. His career in the air force. How he dealt with his brother's psychological problems….which never fails to put a frown on her face whenever it's mentioned. But even that, at the moment, can't quell the giddiness she was feeling. It could also just be the fever. "This is unbelievable…" she says. "Maybe it was because you're prettier." She flashes a grin over at Nathan.

"Yeah, I'm watching," Peter says, wherever he happens to be looking up at the screen, he's most certainly watching, seeing the same thing they are. It's amazing that they even prepared their montage to Nathan Petrelli with how bad the poles were— then again, he won by an unexpected landslide the first time. "It's not unbelievable. I knew he could do it— I just didn't think the rest of the state would agree with me." Just don't become Logan, bro. And what does his girlfriend mean that he's prettier? That better be than Crane. But there's an odd pause, until he asks, "Where are you right now, Nathan?"

Montage goes by, showing publicity clips of a much healthier Nathan Petrelli on his campaign trail. The sick, present day version looks on, and arches an eyebrow at Elena. "At this point, I'm inclined to agree," he states, very dryly. Who knew New Yorkers were that shallow, right? "We're in the loungeroom," he says, absently.

"I know but the polls said that Crane was being favored four-to-one. It seemed like a long shot," Elena says, looking over at the speakerphone, a little weirded out that she's talking to a phone like it's a normal person - but she had little choice in the matter. After all, the rise of the underdog was as American as apple pie. "Your Landslide Luck, Nate," she tells the older Petrelli brother. "Didn't you win by a landslide the last time too? New Yorkers must really love you." At retort, she can't help but grin. "Don't underestimate the star power of good looks, Nathan, especially in public office. Good looks run in the family….I'm just afraid of the day Peter decides to try and take advantage of it." She grins towards the phone, as if Peter could see it. But he can sense it anyway.

"Okay, so it was unlikely. Too bad we didn't put money on this," Peter says, shaking his head a little. He would have won quite a few bucks if he would have taken the bet in favor of his brother. There's a sound of the television he's using being turned down, or maybe he's just moving away from it. "But it's real." That much he can assure. They're not having a shared fever dream. But they are going to be sharing something. "Look at the table," he says after a moment. And there on the table is smallish bottle of red wine. Merlot, in fact. "Congratulations, Nathan."

There's another pause, before he speaks to the other person in the room, "I don't need to abuse my good looks for anything except you." It seems he's at least in a good mood tonight. They needed good news after all this bad news. "I hope you have a speech ready for when the reporters find your number."

Best brother ever indeed. Nathan doesn't even object the blatant use of powers within his house this time (even if it'd be hypocritical anyway with his late night flying), just gives an almost warm chuckle. "Thanks, Pete," he says, then offers out the phone towards Elena. Because it feels weird to have Peter flirting through any telecommunications device that he's holding. "I'll go get glasses," is his excuse, sparing one last glance to the TV before he makes his way to the kitchen.

"Well look at you, Mr. High Stakes," Elena teases at the phone, before she coughs, muffling it against her sleeved arm. She shakes her head a bit, and she blinks when the red wine is Jacked to the table. She can't help but smile. "You're the best, Peter…granted I can't drink." And drinking while her powers are wonky is probably not a good idea considering it was largely to blame for her inhuman tolerance. But one glass shouldn't hurt, right? She takes the phone away from Nate when he goes to get glasses, and she turns her attention to the phone. "Player," she can't help but tease. "When did you get so smooth? Did your babysitting go okay?"

"You're welcome, Nathan," the Best Brother Ever answers, as he continues to move away from the television. Peter's probably more than a little pleased with the outcome of this election, even if— well… "I'm sure a sip in toast wouldn't hurt anything," he adds, voice softening for her. He might have had a comment on his smoothness, and there might be one on the other side of the line in the form of a fidget or two, but bringing up his babysitting makes him pause. "I— it went okay. I hope that— well— there's some— I'm not sure how much I can explain, but— remember that unknown boy from the dream? I met him, and he's okay. He's staying with Niki right now. She's taking care of him. I guess he doesn't have any family."

It doesn't take long, Nathan returning with two generous wine glasses and a bottle opener. He doesn't interrupt whatever Elena and Peter are talking about - in fact, he barely hears it. He won. He won. He pours the red liquid into each glass - generous helpings to accommodate the size of it, then picks up both. This is where he should hand one to Elena, but he smiles at her. "You're underage," he reminds her, then louder, to both them. "I'll go and uh, work on a speech." Lies. Lying liar. Heidi's upstairs and likes a good glass of Merlot too. He gives Elena an uncharacteristically genuine smile before making again for out, being on cloud nine improving his mood substantially.

"……..you're no fun," Elena says, sticking her tongue out at Nathan. But when he says that he's going to find Heidi, she knows exactly what he means. "……oh god," she groans, once the senator-elect is out of earshot. "What has the world done?" But LOOK, Nathan left the bottle. She looks left, right, and reaches out to take it so she can use her water glass to fill it up. "I'm just having a glass," she tells Peter. Just one glass, she promises. She won't become an alcoholic overnight. "He's an orphan? But…he looks so young…" she says softly, taking a sip of the red wine and leaning back on the couch. "Is he doing okay?"

There's probably raised eyebrows on the other side of the phone, but they're not seen. Peter says in response to his brother, hoping he's not been switched off speaker phone just yet, "Good luck." On the speech. Since those are important, and he'll have to give it via phone right now. It wouldn't do to announce that he's sick just yet— then again maybe it got out and he got sympathy— no, they would have mentioned that on the montoge. "Yeah— yeah, he's doing all right. I'm sure he'll be okay. I'm more worried about Niki, honestly. I'm probably going to be visiting her every so often— she needs more help with the Jessica thing. I have a few ideas, but…" It's too late for one woman.

"That's fine, I trust you not to leave me for a hot, older blonde," Elena teases him with a smile. Granted Niki didn't really worry her as much as Elle did. First relationship, not even in her twenties…she wouldn't be human if she didn't feel something. "….I shouldn't hog Nathan's phone like this, do you mind if I switch? I'll give you a call on my number." She'll wait for acknowledgement, before hanging up. And then? She'll brave moving to the guest room, slowly making her way upstairs. She still feels a little lightheaded, but she does reach the guest room, taking her jPhone and falling into bed to dial him up again. Whenever he picks up, she continues on…

"Papa can probably help you with that," she says after a pause. "Him, and your telepathy too. I know you still have problems with it sometimes…" Her father had learned his own tricks relatively quickly. She's hoping Peter could absorb her father's learning curve as well.

"You know me better than that," Peter says, sounding serious but not insulted. It's not even passed his mind. She's married, after all, and it that wouldn't even be an option. "Yeah, you can switch phones. I'll be here," he says. In the time that they're off the phone, things quiet down quite a bit, and it sounds like he's even moved somewhere else entirely, perhaps another room just like her.

"Welcome back, sunshine," he says when he picks up, and then listens to the serious topic. "I know your dad can help. I'll ask him if I can't handle it, but I think she'd rather me do it. She can't nearly kill me— I can actually stop her if she reverts, and your father can't." There's a pause. "Try to guess where I am."

"I do," Elena says - she didn't mean anything by it, of course. She knows him. She had seen how he reacted when he witnessed Nathan's infidelity…well, the aftermath anyway. They were having their own problems with one another during the time that came out. Though when she hears him shuffling about, she is derailed from the topic. She can't help but laugh hoarsely. "What are you doing?" she asks, setting the wine glass down on the bedside table and easing down. She bites back a groan. The cushions feel so good. Her eyes close, sinking her head into the pillows. The high from Nathan's win is still there, and for the moment she forgets about the serious discussions that peppered the week. But when he asks her to guess…

"Well…earlier you were in front of the TV, but you could've moved," Elena says. "And you wouldn't be asking me if you were in your apartment because that would be too easy…I'd say….somewhere…..not your apartment?" It was a good guess, but it's also a cheat of an answer. Then again, this is Elena. When she's being playful, she cheats.

There's a quiet pause of dead air on the other end of the phone for a moment, and then something changes, and the sharp tones of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Spring starts to play. The music box. Peter doesn't make her guess much more than that. With it playing, he says, "In your bedroom." Obviously. That's where she keeps her small music box collection. He's not increased it's size yet, but maybe he will soon. Either way, he lets it play, chiming away at the notes. "I have something for you. You're up in the bedroom by now, right?" It's a quick question. He waits for a confirmation.

Then the sound changes. It starts out on one side of the phone, and then MOVES until it's in the room with her. The music box sits open, with any jewelry she'd moved there, and something else. A folded piece of paper. If unfolded, it reads something very simple.

I love you, and I miss you, and I hope to be able to touch you again soon.


Hearing Vivaldi's Four Seasons makes her close her eyes, recognizing the tune. "One day we'll have to go to a concert," she murmurs, that warm, fuzzy feeling taking over her again, much like when he brought that rose through the glass a couple of days ago. "Go to the symphony hall or something. I…" Elena can't help but laugh. "I know you like some classical so it's not like…you'll do the typical guy thing and snore through it." She sighs softly, falling silent for a moment. "I think the hardest part about all this are the evenings," she tells him quietly. "When it's quiet and all you can do is think. I think it's all the thinking that makes me miss everyone more."

She blinks when the music box suddenly sounds much closer. She lifts her head from the pillow, rolling over on the bed to look at it. A few pieces of jewelry are in there, a chunk of her accessories. But it's the note that catches her attention. She picks it up to read.

Heat stings her eyes again. She lifts a hand to rub them, before pressing her lips gently on the note. Turning back to the phone… "I love you, and I miss you too. It's…..it's so frustrating but…when you say you're doing something about all of this, I believe you. I just…"

She laughs quietly. "I just want to kiss you right now," she confesses. "Repeatedly."

"I can be on the phone with you for a while, if it'll help," Peter says, settling down on the bed, sitting on the edge for the moment. His voice is quiet, whispered, but not completely exhausted or unhealthy. Still sounds like he's not getting much sleep. "Now that I have my abilities back, I'm not sleeping too much again— it gives me time to look into things," he explains. It means he can stay on the phone with her until she falls asleep, at the very least. And he would still have a few hours left to do things, many things.

"Believe me, I know how you feel. I wish I could be there right now…" They both know that wouldn't be a good idea, not right now. "Just hang in there— "

His voice pauses, and though he lays back on the bed, getting comfortable, he does have one question, "You're not feeling any worse, right?"

She lays back slowly on the pillows, the note carefully tucked back into the music box for safe keeping. Elena shifts her head a bit on the pile of pillows behind her. "You know you don't have to if you need to get to some things," she says with a small smile. "I'm a big girl, I'm sure there'll be something around here that could amuse me. But promise me you'll try and get some sleep, rejuvinate your brain cells…" But they have time. "Not like I don't enjoy it." Her smile takes on an impish bent. "You always sound like you just got out of bed…it's relaxing to hear sometimes." It had the double-sided effect of soothing her and other things all at once.

"I know. You should've seen Nate's face today," she tells him. "He looked so happy, Peter. So very happy." He would've probably wanted to hear that.

At the question, she chooses a more evasive answer, a truthful one - but one that doesn't really answer it. "I've been trying to pretend this is all normal. Sometimes it's the only way we can cope here…but Nate's taking care of me, and I'm doing my best to look out for him. We'll be okay, Peter, I promise."

There's a pause, before she speaks the next words quietly. "Need you."

"I know better than to not sleep at all, don't worry," Peter explains, giving her that reassurance at least. It doesn't mean he'll need it, but a few hours a night seem like a safe assumption, since he's pretty sure that his abilities don't mesh well with that other one, and he's just abused Jack's ability a few times in a row… He'll need a rest now. Though he wants to stay up and talk to her. A whispered laugh, more of an amused exhale follows her statement. "I never noticed— you usually sound so cheerful. Your voice somehow makes me feel better no matter how bad everything else is."

A good combo for each other. He relaxes, she raises him up.

"I'm glad he won. I wanted him to win." He'd not thought it possible when he went in and voted on the computer polling stations that everything has switched to in New York. Watching the returns, as expected, a majority of his votes came from the city. Appropriately so. And Albany, and other large cities as well. Crane did best in the rural districts.

"I know you'll be okay," he says. There's confidence in his voice, truth. They have to be okay. Because he needs them to be okay. Just like she just said. There's a pause, then in the same whispered tones, "You have me."

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