2007-09-22: Out On Bail

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter's out of jail and goes to visit his girlfriend and explain himself to her. Surprisingly she didn't read all about it in the newspaper. There's a lot to talk about. And Peter's very needy.

Date It Happened: September 22nd, 2007

Out On Bail


NYU Campus

Out on bail.

Means a couple things. Can't leave the state, for one. Definitely can't leave the country. At least they don't think he's a 'flight risk', no pun intended, with his brother running for Senate. Still, this means Peter's not free from all charges, and it means he'll definitely need to go back. At least they set an early date for the pre-trial, before the elections— but still a long wait to him. But that's not the point— his girlfriend's in class, and she's the one he wants to see most now that he's out.

Having memorized her classes for the last couple of weeks, he knew exactly what building to go to, and what room to lounge outside of. He's changed— having gone home briefly for that much at least. Someone had seen to his dog while he was in jail, at least. But…

He's still worried. It takes all of his courage not to go invisible. He didn't even think to check his cellphone for messages to see if she left him one— Sometimes seeing someone in person is far more important than just hearing their voice, and right now he needs more than that. And in ways— he's afraid of what she might say.

Leaning against the wall across from the door, he waits patiently. No storming in, no kidnapping… just waiting.

—-

He would find a few missed calls on his cellphone from her, when Elena had called him, but didn't leave a message because she knew he'd call her back eventually. But when the day wore on, and when she realized he wasn't going to, that's when she got the call from Nathan telling her that Peter was in jail. Of course, she was worried - but Nathan had assured her that they were handling it. If anything, legally, at the very least, she knows that he's well taken care of and she had been advised not to go to the police station. She didn't, she didn't want it to get worse.

Hence her preoccupation through class. Chemistry today felt like forever. She tried to pay attention but occasionally, Elena's thoughts drifted off in worry. When class finally ends, she gathers up her things and leaves the classroom. She'll bug a classmate for notes later. Stepping out of the classroom, the first thing she sees is Peter, waiting for her. The tight, worried face practically melts in relief.

"Peter," she breathes, practically breaking out in a short run. He was just across the hall after all, and she didn't care who was watching. She throws her arms around his neck in relief. Hey, give her a break. Nathan didn't TELL HER what he had been arrested for. For all she knows, he could've killed someone!

—-

Jail wasn't fun, but at least he was able to avoid being beaten up or getting into any further trouble within the cell, which he shared with a couple of men. If she'd read certain newspapers, she'd probably have seen the article about what he was arrested for— though they wouldn't talk too much about it yet— the pictures and the exclusive interviews were probably on the papers she wouldn't read— gossip magazines, and the like. The Post. That sort of thing.

As the door opens, he straightens, expectantly watching those who step outside until— her. At first he looks concerned, worried— but then she breaks into a short run and throws her arms around him. "Elena…" he says in that deep whisper, before his eyes close and he wraps his arms around her. He's just going to gold on for a short time. Hold on tightly.

"I'm sorry." If it were killing someone, he'd probably not be out already, so at least there's that, but he's still apologizing, even if she's asked him not to in the past. This time he really does have something to be sorry for.

—-

As he holds onto her, Elena buries her face in his shoulder, fingers gripping the back of his shirt tightly. Finally, after a few moments, she pulls back to look at him, slipping her hands away so she could grasp his shoulders. She'd shake him, if it wouldn't cause a scene. She's probably causing a scene now. She hadn't seen the stories, because he's right - they had been published in papers she wouldn't read. "What -happened-?!" she whispers urgently. "Your brother wouldn't tell me anything over the phone, just that he would take care of it and that he was calling a lawyer. He told me not to go to the station. What's going on?"

She looks over her shoulder, and takes his hand, turning around so she could tug him down the hall. Her eyes dart around, peering through the plexiglass windows embedded onto each door until she finally finds an empty classroom. She jerks the door open, and heads inside. Once there, she releases his hand, and moves to close the door, and lock it.

She turns around, looking at him expectantly. Class can wait - she's got others today, but she's so relieved she can be late for one of them.

—-

"He didn't know what happened when he called you— not much of it at least. I couldn't even really explain to him when I called," Peter says, sounded rather tired and withdrawn. He probably didn't get much sleep last night, after all. But he does allow her to tug him into a classroom, and close the door behind them. Once inside, he pulls in close again, buring his face in her shoulder for a short time, before he says, "I punched a reporter. Tabloid— New York …World… Times… something. I'm pretty sure it's a small-time tabloid." Not as big as the Post, at least, but still…

"He was asking me questions that… I shouldn't have done it, and I'm— I'm only out on bail. Donovan— my lawyer— is going to try to get me just a fine and community service— maybe anger management classes too, but… I dunno." He's almost afraid to let go at this point, but when he does, he's looking at her quietly, expectantly. Worriedly.

He's not had a history of violence like this before, but punching a reporter for asking a few questions may be… questionable.

—-

He pulls her in again, Elena can't help but sigh, leaning against the wall and curling her arms around his shoulders. "As long as you're okay. I thought the -worst-. But if you punched a reporter….eh, most New Yorkers would say you did the city a favor," she says, swallowing a laugh. She can't help it, she's so relieved. But she doesn't let it out because Peter's clearly so distraught about it. "I'm honestly glad it's not….you know. Homicide or arson or involuntary manslaughter…" She tightens her arms around him. "Your brother'll handle it. I'm sure he got the best lawyer he could for you."

Nathan doesn't mess around when it came to Peter after all. She can't help but exhale a breath. She just holds onto him, and when he gives her -that- look, she gapes at him. What? What was that look for?

Her hands slip upwards to cup his cheeks, kissing him soundly. It was meant to be short, brief…but it turns deeper, and a little more desperate as relief sinks in, her arms coming around him again and tightening. She had been crazily worried, it didn't help that Nathan didn't know -what- to tell her other than he was in JAIL, and that she shouldn't come see him JUST IN CASE her presence made the situation worse.

—-

"This isn't a good thing," Peter says, shaking his head a bit. He's definitely got a serious expression, tension lines along his forehead, and he's not feeling too great about this whole thing at all. However… he is glad that she's looking at him instead of upset— she's not demanding he never do it again. She's not even telling him he did anything wrong really. It's surprising. But… "Yeah— he got me the top lawyer from my father's old firm— he's a good guy." Anyone who could remain good in that dark future must be good in present day.

There might have been plans to say more when she kisses him. And not a short one. There's a sound in his throat, and then he's suddenly holding onto her again, twisting her around to press her against the wall of the classroom. The thorough kiss is returned in full, and he's not going to be speaking for a while.

This could get out of hand— but he does have to pull back to catch his breath, pressing his forhead against hers. "I love you," he murmurs hoarsely, before shifting to kiss her again. Not long this time, brief. "It's… third degree assault, at least— otherwise it might've been a felony." And felony's are much worse. He could actually plead guilty to this and not throw away a lot of awesome stuff— like ability to vote.

—-

It lasts longer than she intended, her breath stolen when he twists her around and she feels the cold wall press further into her back. When they finally part though, the Gomez daughter takes a deep breath, closing her eyes when he rests his forehead on hers.

Not too surprising. Elena had to deal with legal troubles before - she had a brother who had a record and a mean streak a mile wide. Punching a guy for being out of line is -nothing- compared to what she had to deal with before. "Of course it's not a good thing, the timing's pretty bad," she tells him, smoothing her fingertips over his forehead in a soothing manner. "Especially for your brother, I'm just happy that it isn't worse, because it could've been." She looks at him seriously. "I know you feel bad, and I'm not really condoning this just because I'm too relieved to get mad at you, but…I'm sure everything'll be alright, Peter. When it comes to this stuff, Nate and his people know what they're doing."

She's silenced again at the brief kiss, and then she nods, her eyes opening partway. "What set you off anyway?" she asks softly, rubbing her fingers against the back of his neck to try and work away the tension.

—-

"Yeah— a year of community service wouldn't be too bad," Peter says softly, admiting to this possibility of having even MORE to do as not a bad thing. He could help in a hospital, a nursing home, a children's hospital, a clinic… there's a ton of things he could do. Might even be able to get his hours in Bat Country transfered to community service if he forgo'd getting paid for what he does there. Technically he doesn't get paid now. She stacks his hours onto his paycheck for the store, more or less. "You're right— they know what they're doing. Nathan's— Nathan's not exactly happy with me right now." Barely speaking to him. Last time they saw each other, they didn't even touch. That's a pretty sad moment for him.

But she's touching him, kissing him— and not angry at him. That helps. He didn't want anyone to condone what he'd done, not in the least, he just wanted people to tell him it was okay that he made a mistake, that the world didn't end because of it. That they still care about him.

"You did," he finally says in that deep tone, closing his eyes as he buries his face into her shoulder and neck again. "He asked me about you— implied that… we were together… because your father made a contribution to my brother's campaign. That he was… buying a… boyfriend for you." Or husband, or whatever. "Was already upset with him, but that…" Last straw.

—-

"These things happen, Peter," Elena says softly. She has three siblings, all with high tempers. They squabbled fiercely sometimes too. "If anything I think Nate's more worried about you than him actually being mad at you. Granted he probably is, but when it's over you, usually it's out of worry. I mean, he still went to see you personally, didn't he? He didn't just send a lawyer over?" That would mean a lot, she thinks. But she doesn't know Nathan as well as Peter does.

She could feel his breath against the side of his head, and she curls her arms around him again more securely. Pressing her lips lightly on his temple, she keeps rubbing the back of his neck soothingly. Though when he explains, she lifts her brows. Really? She sighs. "Oh, Peter…that's nonsense, you know that. Papa wasn't even all that happy when we started…you know. Hell even before then."

But it set him off clearly. She couldn't help but be somewhat flabbergasted. "So…you went to jail after you tried to defend my honor?" she reiterates. She couldn't help but grin impishly. She sighs, half-fondly, half-exasperatedly. "It's pretty white-knight of you." She buries her face against the side of his neck. "Kinda sexy too, actually, in a medieval adventures sort of way. But that's just between you and me."

—-

"No— he's mad," Peter says, shaking his head a bit, but he doesn't really want to go into that any deeper. If Nathan'd been worried about him, just worried, there would've at least been a touch on his shoulder— but even when the lawyer left the room, and he tried to get closer… It's not a good thing, there. High tempers aside… This has never quite happened before. Not quite like this.

"I know— I know it's nosense. It's just… the fact that he said it— that he thought it— other people must have thought it too. He acted like our date was… buying your father's money. Like— like…" he trails off. He never liked implications that he got things because of his family's money, or his family name— but getting a girl because of it really grates him most of all. Especially this girl.

Even when she says he defended her honor— calls him a white knight, he shakes his head, looking serious as he backs away a bit. Even if she didn't read the newspaper, on his way home he grabbed one from the stands… he knows what they started to talk about in it. He knows what's going to come up. "Wasn't just about us. Since you're probably going to hear a lot about it… according to public record— the press— everyone— I tried to kill myself last year. Because I jumped off my apartment building. He was asking me about my mental health problems. My suicidal tendancies." He's pulling away at this point, which isn't really a good sign.

—-

…what?

When Peter pulls away, Elena slides her hands in her pockets. She lifts her brows a little bit when he does, retracts and looks away even as he haltingly tells her what's got him so riled. Not just them, but… and when it comes spilling out, she inclines her head a bit to look at him.

"You jumped off a building," she reiterates slowly. "And it came out that you had suicidal tendencies?" As if she couldn't believe it. "….that's not true, right? I'm pretty sure it's not. You might be sensitive but I'd like to think you're not really like that." He did say according to public record. There had to have been a reason why he attempted to leap off a building. "What were you planning on doing then when you leapt off a roof?"

She lets him go, frowning. The cheerfulness is gone, for now anyway. She's looking at him, patiently waiting for an explanation. That can't be all of it. And if there's a story, a good reason, why would she be angry over it?

—-

"I was trying to fly," Peter says softly, using the distance between them to draw his hands up to his face and rub at it. He's not proud of that, even if it turned out he could fly. "It was when it started to happen— I had the dreams where I could fly— and then I saw a painting by Isaac Mendez— that looked like my dreams." It'd still been foolharty, especially since he didn't actually fly at first. "I was trying to prove it to Nathan— prove that I wasn't just talking crazy— prove that I was somebody. I wasn't trying to kill myself, but if Nathan didn't fly up and catch me…"

Hands lower away, he shakes his head. She reads closely— and now that they're dating he imagines it'll get brought up a lot more. He's supposed to avoid reporters, which he will. Cyprus is going to try and keep his mental health out of the questionings— but he doubts that will succeed. If the defense doesn't use it to lessen the charges, then the city might to try and get him hospitalized.

"They think I tried to kill myself… because Nathan told them that I did. To keep the press from asking questions about it— to hide the truth." Because the truth would have been worse. "And even now I can't deny it to the press because… if he gets caught lying to them it'd look even worse." A brother's mistakes can be dismissed by the public as family problems, but a candidate's mistakes? That's different.

—-

…well. If Peter wanted to prove a point about his abilities, he certainly made it. As Elena gapes at him, the inner her is palming her face in belief. Honestly all she could see was her adorable boyfriend, in chibi-mode, tossing himself off a building and flapping his hands while chibi-Nathan went 'D'OH!!!' from somewhere on the ground, sprouts tiny little white wings, and flies up to save Chibi-Peter. THANKFULLY ONE OF THEM knew how to use their powers, otherwise Peter would be hamburger, and this conversation wouldn't be happening.

She sighs, and rakes her hand through her hair. "So you have to keep up the lie." That's essentially what she's getting from Peter's entire spiel, driving the stake into the heart of the matter. Sure it was serious. But it didn't change the fact that there's really nothing she or Peter could do but to let the entire city keep believing that Nathan Petrelli's brother is a little crazy. Which he IS, but he certainly wasn't certifiably insane.

She shrugs. "Alright. Now what?" She isn't really being blase about it, but it wouldn't do her or him any good to dwell in the shouldacouldawouldas. All this stemmed from last year, before they even met. Now that she was aware of it, at least she knew the story in case people asked. "Not like we can do anything about that now. What's done is done. This happened a year ago and that's apparently what the press think of you. At least now I know about it in case someone pesters me from the papers. What's important is Mr. Donovan tries his best to keep this out of your record. I don't think it'll be too hard, as far as court is concerned, you're a first time offender….well. At least I hope so. They won't be too harsh, I think, especially if they hear about the circumstances."

She's not too happy that Nathan LIED about it in the first place, but she didn't see any use walking up to the older Petrelli brother and punching him in the face for propagating it. It had been a year ago.

—-

She keeps her hands in her pockets even as he draws away and maintains a safe distance from her, even though Elena knows him well enough to know that he's doing this to prove a point, and not because he's pushing her away. Partly it's to defend himself too, in case she told him something devastating. She falls silent at first, shifting on her feet, and turning to the side slightly to stare at the corner wall. She couldn't help but think of the discussion they had aboard Destiny, about how she was going to need to get used to this. Her father. Being tied to the Petrellis. She just didn't anticipate that -this- had surfaced back when she hadn't even met him.

When he asks her a question, she gives him a look from where she is. "You said it yourself," she points out, her lips pressing in that stubborn line. "I was going to have to get used to this eventually. Being a figure related to public figures so that makes me public too. I'm the daughter of Evosoft's Chairman of the Board. I work for a Wall Street Pariah. My father and your brother have conversations, and you and I are involved. I already know what they're going to say, about how you're using me to get to my father's money and give my brother a perpetual lifeline for campaign funding, just as I'm using you to solidify a power base for my father on Wall Street since he rose inexplicably from -nothing-. About how any show that I put on being your supportive little girlfriend is just that, a show, because in the end, it's all about politics."

She continues, sweeping a hand to the side. "They'll probably pity Evosoft's little princess even for being sold to you, because of your depressive behavior, that I have to sit here and take care of you in case you jump off the edge again, and wonder if it's a Petrelli curse to have their women mourning over their men. They'll mock you especially once they figure out how old I actually am. I don't drive, and I'm not even legally allowed to drink and gamble yet."

Her jaw sets stubbornly, the tick appearing where her jaw meets her neck. "But I don't care. You and I know the truth. With so many lies, I think honestly that's the only thing that should matter when it comes to the two of us. I can handle it. I can take it. I'm just wondering if you can."

—-

Luckily, all of what she says gets taken very well, especially the last bit. Even if the things they'll say sting, at least now she knows. Peter's used to being the disrespected younger sibling— he's used to having his whole life live in the shadow of his brother and his family money— and he's especially used to certain other things… But bringing someone else into this… pulling her along in such a way that might emotionally harm her… He really wanted her to know what she was getting into. And now she does.

And she doesn't care.

Eyes close and he takes in a slow breath, before he's moving forward again, touching her face with his fingers and leaning in to press his forehead against hers. "I love you," he repeats again. He doesn't say what else he probably wants to. If she stays at his side, he can take whatever they throw at him. Even if she can't say she loves him back, she doesn't care— and that will have to be enough to keep him going, keep him strong, and keep him put together.

"I know I'm not strong compared to you…" It's one of the things brought up a lot in the future. How he's too weak to be counted on when it comes down to it. He's trying to fix this… he's trying to take a stand and do what he needs to do— This may have been a minor setback, especially with his brother's anger… but at least… at least he has her.

And then all of a sudden he blinks, draws his wrist up to look at his watch. "…you're late for class."

—-

He's said it so many times. So many times she wanted to say it back, only to falter in the last minute. Like any further would seal her fate utterly. Common sense should've dictated to Elena long ago that it had been too late for her for a while, but she stubbornly holds onto the belief that she can still pull back when she needs to. It would have to be need, because -clearly- she doesn't want to. Even after everything, her principles….she just couldn't abandon him when things are hard for him. She exhales a breath, her head tipped up a bit when his hands slide over to cup her cheeks, feeling the warm press of his forehead on hers.

"Jeez," Elena grumbles at him, somewhat petulantly as she closes her eyes. "Anyone ever tell you that you worry too much?" This is made in good humor, though. Her hands come up to curl around his wrists as he holds onto her face. But she pulls away for a bit so she could look at him. "I know," she tells him. She has no illusions that he's as strong, or stronger than she was emotionally. "But that doesn't mean you can't learn. And between you and me, you're pretty good at that."

She steps in again, wrapping her arms around his torso and staying there, her cheek resting on his shoulder. "Might as well skip it if I'm already late," she tells him. "You just got out of jail. One class isn't going to kill my grade."

—-

"People've said it before," Peter admits softly, puttng his hand back against her face and letting his clock tick onward. If she's going to skip— he's not going to stop her. In fact he's tempted to follow her around invisible the whole day just so he doesn't have to leave her just yet. He wants to be with her… in as many ways as he possibly can, especially in the light of his worry about losing her altogether. For a mistake. "But no one else has seen what I saw… no one knows what happened… I know I can stop it, but the only ways I know how… I don't know if I can do them." There's ways that would make the future that happened never happen. Part of him knows this. But he's not strong enough to let himself do them.

She'd turned herself into a killer for the future, for the sake of those in it, to protect those she cared about. Could he ever do the same? Would he be able to hold onto his sunshine if he did? She'd somehow managed to hold on to what made her sunshine to him, what made her an angel, even with all the terrible things that happened to her, that she was capable of…

"Maybe you can help me… become what I need to. To make this world better. To stop… stop things before they get worse— without losing myself in the process." If anyone can do that, it's her.

—-

"Peter you didn't get the answers there at once, you won't get the answers here all at once either," Elena says. "Sometimes the best thing you can do is wait it out a bit. I know…we're running on borrowed time here, but…" She sighs. "I hate to say this but when the time is right, something'll turn up. You'll see." It was her faith talking, the unshakeable belief that God helped his children especially when they're trying to save what He created. She reaches up a hand to touch his cheek. "But you -have- to stop…you know. Doing things like getting tossed in jail. We need you free, you know. Like I told you before…you're too….you're too important to lose. And I know you are, strong enough I mean. Most of the time the only thing holding you back is you. I think once you recognize than and take it to heart…"

She was the way she was in the future because she had to be. Elena tended to be driven by love and necessity, and she could somehow strike a balance with both. But that was two years in the future. This is now. Maybe she hasn't mastered that yet, who knows? But she always saw ahead, looked at everything in big-picture terms. It may help them, it may hinder them. Only Time can tell, and at present, they were all its slaves.

At the last, she looks at him, and she nods. "I will. I've been trying to. Since the beginning, remember? The moment I tried to help break you out." She interlocks her pinky finger against his, lifting both their hands up. "I made you a promise," she says. "Since the beginning. I'm not about to break it." She leans her forehead back against his. "Not alone, okay?" She leans in after, pressing a kiss on his mouth, that same tingle, the same connection sparking from nerve endings.

—-

"I think… I got a lot of answers— it's just not easy to impliment then," Peter says softly, talking about thing she probably doesn't even know about. While he's told her much of the future, there's parts he's kept hidden— conversations that hurt, but tried to teach him certain things, lessons he maybe shouldn't have learned at all. There's just some things he has to do on his own, though— some things he has to make himself strong enough for. "I didn't plan to get arrested," he admits softly… "I could have gotten out of it." There's tons of ways he could have avoided the arrest— he could have told them not to arrest him at all. He could have told the reporter not to press charges. Things would have been EASIER for everyone if he had…

But he couldn't do that yet. That's not who he wants to be. Maybe it's who he should be.

The sparking connection brings out a soft sound in his throat, and he presses a little more against her body, pushing her back up against the wall. But he does manage to pull back, because he has to speak. His voice is husky, whispered, tense… "You have been… you've been here so much of the time. Even in the future, when we weren't… when we hadn't seen each other in years… you still kept the promise— you still helped me. You didn't let me stay by myself." Even if there's some things he needs to handle on his own. She taught him that, too. He's not worthy of her if he's completely co-dependant on her…

But there's something she said, and he takes a slow breath, looking quietly into her eyes while he touches her cheeks. "How… how am I too important? Just— just because I know about the future? Because of my abilities? Or…" He knows those first two aren't what she meant, but…

—-

"Peter I told you before," Elena tells him with a sigh. "That's not you. The easy way….you always try to do the right thing. Even if it's detrimental to you or those close to you. That's….just the way you are. It's got -plenty- to do with who you are. I hope that never changes, to be honest. In a way in terms of that, you remind me a lot about Cass. The way you two see the world…it's very similar. Almost the same." Her fingertips toy with the short hairs at the back of his neck. But she's told him she doesn't want that particular aspect to change about him. He's never hurt anyone deliberately, never used his powers for ill gain, or inflict them in a terrible way on others. He's never killed anyone.

She'd hit him if she could read his mind right now though - but again, that power went to another Gomez member.

Pressed against the wall again, when he draws back, her eyes open, trapped between his body and the cool surface on her back. His voice is so low she has to strain her hearing a bit to hear him. There's an unreadable look on her face. She doesn't know what he and Future Her had discussed, but it sounded important. At the same time, she looks relieved - no matter how much she changed, she kept -that- promise at least. "It had to be done, didn't it?" she asks quietly. "I think…that'll never change about me too. If she saw…that you could change this. That you could end this with everyone's help, it…"

The last causes her to pause. "…I told you this before," she tells him. "There's so many reasons why. I've listed them all. Truth of the matter is, there's too many people who know they can't do this without you, many things without you. Nathan, Heidi, your nephews….and where would Claire be now if you hadn't been there? Or Niki Sanders?" Her face softens, her eyes drifting to the side even if he's got her face held in place. "….or me? And me." Her gaze gravitates towards him again.

"You're my best friend," she tells him softly. "You're my boyfriend now too. My first. Probably my only in a very long while. You held me when I cried, you pull my hands away when I try to hide, you broke open a several-ton steel door just to get to me a few months back. You try your best to take care of me. You've loved me for months and didn't resent me when I didn't see it. Even after everything one of the first things you did when you came back was find me and….don't you see? I need you, too. You help me breathe." Her lips quirk upwards in a small smile. "And sometimes you stop me from breathing when I need to shut up and just be."

—-

"Well— that's not an insult at least— I trip less, though. Unless I'm falling through walls." Okay, Peter has power fail while she has physical movement fail. Yeah… And she's right about that too… she'll always do what needs to be done. That's who she is. He'll try to do what needs to be done, the right way, but he doesn't always succeed. Nor does he always think before he does things. He's winging it far more often then he probably should.

"She knew I needed someone to keep me from getting myself killed… permenantly." Since they know now that he can die permenantly if he were really truly dead in the future of darkness. "That I'd need a push in the right direction— and someone to make me go back when…" When he decided he didn't want to go back. When he wanted to stay with her. He'd wanted to say it so many times… he even wanted to tell her since he couldn't really tell the other one. Part of him still needs her to know how much he wanted to stay with her… It's infinitely important to him, that she understand how much he cared about the her in the future, so that she'd know he didn't want to leave her behind— just like he'd want to stay with her here.

But he can't. And he doesn't.

"You haven't said all of them," he whispers softly, still watching her, waiting, even after she stops speaking. She still doesn't say it. Comes close. But not… It's one thing that clicks, though. "You need me?" he asks, thumbs rubbling along the cheek bones, still keeping distance to look into her eyes. Because otherwise he might silence her, and right now he wants her to continue to talk… because just like she needs him to breath, and to stop her breath… he needs her to speak. "How… how do you need me?"

—-

"Well, -yeah-," Elena can't help but grumble. "You're lucky you regenerate but you do get into more trouble than you ought to be sometimes." Not just with getting arrested, but getting shot, run over…it wasn't really his fault, but he tends to throw himself headfirst into dangerous situations, especially when someone else is in danger. But at the very least she sees the changes in that these days at least, he thinks more, he's a little more careful - he's still got a temper, but at the very least he's not so passive anymore. It's a -good- thing. He just needs to improve on his personal concept of self preservation.

She doesn't understand the question - or doesn't know how to elaborate on it further. She thought she illustrated it enough. When he rubs her cheeks with her thumbs, her head tilted up slightly, she can't help but bite down on her lower lip. What else was there to say? That intense look was back, and while that was just the way he was, the edge of it is making her a little nervous. She swallows. She knows, deep down, what he needs to hear, it's just that… "Peter, it's not….I…"

RAP
RAP
RAP

The locked classroom bangs a bit, and the doorknob shakes. "Hey!" exclaims a voice on the other end. "I thought we had a meeting in here?"

Elena eases away from Peter, throwing him an apologetic look. She moves to the door, and opens it. "Sorry about that - we were studying," she tells the group of students outside, taking a step back to let them in.

—-

In some ways it might be best if he keeps going on the path of taking too much of a stand… it'll get worse instead of better. But that's to be decided by time more than anything else. Peter's looking at her intently, because she's right. He needs to hear what she has to say. But the rapping on the door pulls his eyes away and he suddenly steps back, looking from the door, to the young woman with him. Today isn't the day, it would seem— probably not the right place for it, anyhow. "Sorry," he repeats once the door is open.

Only when a majority of the people are inside does he move to pass through the door himself, apparently intent on leaving.

Luckily he's not going to get too far ahead of her— he's not going to turn invisible and vanish right before her eyes. Instead, he turns and waits for her, so he can say, "I should go. I'm going to check up on a few things before I go to work." Pause. "Maybe we can see each other tonight?"
She scoops up her backpack and her books, moving over and out of the room as the group of students pass her, heading inside the room. Elena can't help but look over her shoulder curiously, the door closing after. Sliding her hands in her pockets, she follows Peter out, blowing a lock of hair from her eyes. The hallway thankfully is pretty much empty by now. She furrows her brows at his back. He's in a strange mood today - then again, he did just get out of jail.

"When are you checking in with Nate and Mr. Donovan?" she asks. She can't help but be a little bit anxious about his case, regardless. It didn't seem like it was going to be too bad - these things happen. And the reporter probably deserved it. But she knows he's worried about it, and his worries tended to feed her own. When he turns to look at her though…

Her hand reaches out, threading into his fingers and squeezing. "Don't you always?" she asks lightly. "Well, lately anyway. Sure, we can. Maybe we can have dinner, vedge in front of your TV or something."

—-

"I'll check in with Donovan tonight. There's really only so much he can do until my court date," Peter says, wincing a little as he mentions that. If he'll check in with his brother— that isn't actually clarified, much less given a timeframe. There's definite tension there still, but he returns the squeezing from her hands, leaning forward to kiss her very briefly on the cheek, rather than the lips. "Dinner and vedging sounds like a good idea." From the way he's clinging to her hand, though, he'd probably be happy just to see her and touch her right now.

"Thanks," he adds, before he finally pulls his hands away, not explaining why he would thank her for this— not yet. "I'll cook dinner. So don't start anything," he tosses out before he starts to move away, a hint of a lopsided smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. Just a hint, though.

With that, he'll turn and start toward the door, ready to disappear into campus. Though not literally.

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