2007-05-11: Omission Versus Lying

Starring:

Elle_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Cameo:

Jane_icon.gif

Summary: After the A Tragedy of Errors, Elle and Peter have a fight of sorts. He very nearly breaks up with her, but she talks him out of it.

Date It Happened: May 11th, 2007

Omission Versus Lying


Elle's Bedroom

There's no screaming, no broken glass. After Elena leaves, Jane moves closer to losing it. So close she'd been to losing a friend forever and being able to do nothing but watch. Into the main room she goes once she hears the exit door close, and straight for musical instruments. One of them is picked up and plugged in, she lets it all start to pour out then. Heavy, angsty metal, anyone? She just plays whatever chords her fingers go for, as if on some sort of autopilot.

Elle is crying. "You don't love me." she says, distressed. She's still convinced she's right, despite people's protests.

"Elle," Peter says in the same winded, and now pained voice. The accusation certainly hurts. At least the music seeping through the walls is nice to listen to, even if it doesn't help elevate his mood any. "You know I do." She has to— but with her convinced that he doesn't…

She looks back at him. "No…you wouldn't lie to me otherwise." That's at the heart of it. She trusts him -not- to lie to her, and can't reconcile that he did. "You and her." she sniffles.

"Elle… everything's not— I can still love you and have promises I have to keep— and it isn't," Peter closes his eyes, head turning away. His grip even loosens. She could probably beat her way out if she really tried now. "You didn't ask. —why didn't you come to me?" The words might be accusing in another tone. Right now they're just broken, the blame on him, not on her. As if he somehow thinks he caused her to make the assumption.

Well, he DID. "Because you lied last night!" she says, accusingly. "If you lied about it then, you'd just lie about it later!" Paranoia, such a wonderful thing.

"I sorry," Peter finally says again, before he does let go of her completely, moving to stand up and make a venture towards the bathroom area. "I'll get you some towels."

Elle pulls up her knees, miserably. Soaked, shocked, and emotionally traumatized.

In the bathroom, Peter pulls out a couple of towels, which he brings out and across the room to her. "Dry off." There's something quiet and sad about his voice, drained, but not traumatized. Tired, might be the best word. Exhausted. But his priority is for her to dry off, for some reason.

Elle does. It's not that she's marking any concession, beyond being too worn out to protest. She starts to get herself as dry as possible, after the earlier bucket-dumping.

As drying may require her to remove clothes, Peter diverts his eyes, though that may not be the only reason for a diversion. After a long moment, when he's sure she's /mostly/ dry, he says softly, "I can't do this, Elle. I do love you, but I can't do this anymore."

Elle looks back at him. Her expression is miserable. "It's not fair. I've been trying -so hard-. And I've lost -so much- over this. It's not fair to lose you to her."

"Elle…" Peter does look back towards her for this, so there's no doubt that he's telling the truth. He doesn't sound disgusted or angry, just drained and beaten. Just as miserable as she is, "You're not losing me to her. Elena is just a friend. I can't keep doing /this/. Can't keep hiding things from you, but I can't betray the people who trust me. You may be able to juggle your job and me both— but I can't."

Elle looks back at him. "Then don't -hide- things!" she says, upset. "TRUST me! All you had to do was say you knew her! I haven't betrayed you, EVER."

"This isn't about you— or even her alone," Peter says softly, flinching a little. "This would have happened without her. When I told you that I couldn't give you the list. Because they trust me. Because they believed in me enough to try and break me out of the Company when they barely even knew me. And I know you're after that list… and I can't give it to you. Even though I said I would try."

Elle looks back at him. "That just means I have to try another way. That's not something that has to be between us!" Upset. She seems frustrated. "You have to TRUST ME." she repeats again. "You asked me to trust you, why can't you trust me??"

Eyes closing, Peter turns a little away again, at least tilting his head away, "I want to." It sounds like he really does want to. But… "This is my fault. Not yours, not anyone else's."

Elle stands, finally. She moves over and puts her hands on his shoulder. "Then -do it-. You can look at my head, for god's sake. Just…trust me." The tone is almost desperate.

Since she's shorter than him, Peter doesn't need to lift his downcast eyes to look at her— all he needs to do is open them. Which he does, for a moment. Then his eyes slide away again. "I can't. Most of them just want to be left alone. They trust me to respect that. I know you want to protect them like I do— but there's no promises at all that once your father has that list he'd not use it. And I /can't/ ask you not to give it to him."

Elle looks back at him, almost desperate. That need for approval is so much a part of her psyche. "Don't do it." It's not a demand. It's as close as the blonde will likely ever get to begging. "Don't leave me."

"I don't want to," Peter admits, lowering his face closer to hers, though to press his forehead against her, his eyes remaining closed. Still, it wouldn't be difficult to kiss him right now. "Don't want to. I love you. But I can't separate you from them— from your father. Can't ask you to betray them— him."

Elle still has her hands there, on his shoulders. "I'm not my father. I never have been. "You're not responsible for me or what I do. Just be there for me. That's all I want." And she will kiss him then.

The kiss is short, because Peter's actually shaking at this point, breath catching in his throat, lips quivering, hands suffering from light tremors as they move up to touch her waist. When it breaks, he rests his forehead back against him, tension easily felt. "What if I have to stop you— stop you from taking the list?"

She looks back at him. "Then you try to stop me." she says, honestly. "Peter, we do what we have to. But we do what we want to, too. If I have to try and get the list, it doesn't mean I don't love you. If you have to try and stop me, that doesn't mean you don't love me. But where it doesn't deal with what we do, we have to trust each other."

She looks back at him. "Then you try to stop me." she says, honestly. "Peter, we do what we have to. But we do what we want to, too. If I have to try and get the list, it doesn't mean I don't love you. If you have to try and stop me, that doesn't mean you don't love me. But where it doesn't deal with what we do, we have to trust each other."

There's a slow inhale, and Peter keeps his eyes closed for a time. "And if the things— I'm hiding from you— have to do with what you do? Your job? Would you allow me to do that? To keep the secrets without thinking I'm… cheating on you?"
Elle frowns. "Tell me…that you can't tell me. Was the fact that you knew Elena something that was going to involve my job?" She asks, sounding frustrated.

"No— it was because I promised her I wouldn't tell you about her. Because of your job. Because of who you work for. Because of what your people do," Peter says softly, lifting his head up so he can look her in the eyes.

Elle frowns. "Then you have to not promise that anymore, Peter." she says. "Can't you understand I'm not just going to hand you…or your friends…over to the Company?"

"But you'll hand over their names, Elle," Peter says, eyes closing. "And have them followed, take away their privacy… To them that's bad enough."

Elle looks back at him, annoyed. "Peter, I didn't -KNOW- she had abilities till she hit me with them. You could have told me, last night "Oh, yes, I know Elena, she's a nice girl" without EVER telling me she had abilities."

"Fine, then that's my fault," Peter says, letting his hands drop away as he straightens. "Next time take it out on me. You know where to find me. Don't torture someone who might be completely innocent."

Elle looks a -little- admonished at that. "I hadn't hurt her till right before you got here. And that was only because of the things she was saying. All I did was knock her out and bring her here." For Elle, that's practically pacifism.
"You still could have asked me first. I didn't /lie/. I just didn't tell you I knew her," Peter says, taking a step away. The difference between omission and lying is slim, though, very much indeed. "Why would you think I'd cheat on you?"

Elle looks even more unhappy. "Because she's so pretty! And nice." And because Elle is paranoid. "I'd even gotten her something nice for last night. Before I found out." she mumbles.

"She's also eight years younger than me," Peter points out, as if the age difference might actually be important to him. Only two years older than his niece, actually. Still young enough to be his brother's daughter. "Jane's pretty too. And all the other women at the bookstore…" Probably not the best thing to be pointing out. He takes a slow breath. "She's just a friend."

Elle points out the relevant difference. "But you didn't hide Jane. Or the women at the bookstore." That's the key in her mind. "I'm sorry." she says. She overreacted, even if she still feels somewhat justified.

There's a pause. He might not think she's justified in it, but at least he doesn't look mad. Drained, tired, emotionally wounded… but not angry. "Claudine Salonga contacted me a few days after you got wiped," Peter suddenly says. "She also told me not to mention the meeting. She wanted to try to help you get your memory back, offered to exchange information with me if she foudn anything. I denied her. I didn't want to owe anything to anyone who worked for the Company."

Elle nods. "I went to her to get her to test things." she says. "Back before Rianna proved things."

"I've also been training with my abilities," Peter says, this oddly defeated sound to his voice. "With the bookstore owner. She's not one of us— but she's got good ideas— good head on her shoulders. She's the one who's been helping me train. And before you think anything's going on there, we're just friends. You're the only one I've been with, in any way, dating, kissing, anything else, since last year."

Elle nods. "All right." Long pause. "I'm going to tell my dad the list was destroyed. Unrecoverable." she looks back to him. It's her peace offering.

There's another pause, this time Peter's looking at her for a long time. Then he nods slowly. "All right." The physical list most likely was. "Just need to figure out how to do this, I guess…" When she said she could juggle two lives… he has to try and do the same.

Elle nods. "We'll make it work." she says. She'll blindly believe THAT. She has to. She steps up to hold him tightly.

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