2007-02-26: Quite The Party We're Having


Bryant_icon.gif Eliana_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Job_icon.gif Sydney_icon.gif Trixie_icon.gif

Also starring:


Summary: Sydney's loft turns into Grand Central Station as neighbours, lost partygoers and heroes stop by.

Date It Happened: February 26th, 2007

Quite the Party We're Having

Sydney's Loft

On one hand, it does appear that Hiro's got a place to live, somewhere on the other side of the world, that he goes to sometimes. But the paintings are here; and he dotes on Kellie, which is why he pops up here from time to time. After his latest excursion to the outside world, he makes a house call. That involves him appearing in the vicinity of the front door, like a fingersnap, mysterious tube and all.

"Helloooooo? Miss Sydney? Kellie? It's me! Hiro!" Because, you know, other Asian men run around in here yelling. "Hellooo?" And he pauses, and looks at the couch, at Job. "Oh. Hello."
Bryant has arrived.

Hiro's initial announcement of his entry was enough to only somewhat rouse Job from his sleep. Enough, at least, to wake up a tiny bit and blink his eyes. But then, the conversation apparently continues and Job wakes up the rest of the way, finding himself looking straight a strange Asian fellow who somehow let himself in. "Hello?" Job says tentatively, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you knock." Obviously, if he was able to let himself in and is so calm about running into Job, he had a key. No big deal.

"Hiro?" It's the first time in a while that the door to the second bedroom has cracked open with others about. Still, the girl inside seems reluctant to emerge from the room, opting instead to try and peer out from the safety of knowing she can slam the door shut at a moment's notice. Her voice sounds like a child's. "I-I'm in here," she calls tentatively, the door inching open a tiny bit more, her big, blue eyes staring out.

Sitting at the kitchen table, working on the daily crossword, is Sydney. She's so intent on finding a five-letter word for 'grouches' that she doesn't look up from the paper when she hears Hiro calling. Not immediately, anyway. Tapping the tip of her pencil against the corner of her mouth, she drums her nails on the tabletop and furrows her brow into an irritated sort of expression. What /does/ get her attention is the unfamiliar sound of Kellie's voice. For all the time that she's spent here, she hasn't gotten a chance to sit down and speak with her properly. "Well, well — look who's summoned the courage to come out and face the world."

It's hard telling what has drawn Eliana to Sydney's loft. She took her time on the stairs and even outside the door, running over the same thoughts that have been rolling around in her head, like rocks in a tumbler, ever since she first visited Sydney's place. Eliana left a saucepan filled with a noodly something on the stove for Jack before she slipped out, but aside from doing that and changing into a hoodie and jeans, the pink-haired writer hasn't done much else. Finally working up enough courage, she lifts a hand to rap on the door.

Hiro looks down, again, at Job, and then calls over to Kellie. "Oh! Kellie. Have you eaten? I will cook," he says. What he /means/ by that is not particularly clear. He's about to depart from the front door when someone knocks on it, prompting him to pause and step quickly over to it. He does tense, somewhat, and one hand absently unzips the top of his funny-looking courier case. He peers, slowly, through the peephole. "Miss Sydney! It is Eliana. Can I let her in?"

Bryant doesn't even have the excuse of knowing anyone offhand to bring him here. Just a torn piece of paper with some smudged scribbing on it, that he keeps peering at. In his semi-oblivious state of laissez-faire existence, he's come to what might or might not be the right address on the paper, wandered into the building behind someone else, and ended up behind Eliana at the door. Maybe, just maybe, this is the party the cute girl at the bar told him about. Or not.

The door closes several centimetres when Sydney speaks, most of Kellie's face disappearing inside the room again. Slowly, sloooowly, she convinces herself to inch it open again - just enough for her to slip out into the hallway. There's a very sheepish look on her face. This is not the demeanor of a supposed killer, particularly when she creeps along the wall, hands fidgeting with her shirt sleeves, on her way towards the more populated part of the apartment. She has her chin tipped down, causing her to look up through her bangs at the others. Not that she's really paying much attention to anyone but Hiro.

From his resting place on the couch, Job turns his head to look at Sydney. "This is the guy you were talking about?" he asks, "With the conspiracy and the world-saving, or whatever it was you said. Really, I was expecting him to be a little more, convincing than this.." And there are only going to be more people in here before he knows it. Quietly, Job hopes Sydney is not secretly part of some kind of cult.

"Eliana?" Sydney squints at Hiro, and the corners of her mouth crease into a frown. "Jesus Christ, Nakamura. How many people are in on this?" She shakes her head. "Sure, what the hell — there's room." It's a small loft. Fortunately, it's also a split level; between the upstairs bed, the couch, the overstuffed chairs and the kitchen table, there are plenty of places for people to sit down.
As Kellie timidly makes her way across the apartment, Sydney watches her like a wolf might watch a lamb — eyes bright and attentive, the corner of her mouth turned up to reveal a sliver of tooth. Her smile isn't a very nice one, though it's unclear whether it's intended for her, or for Job. "Ask him about the Company, doctor."

Hiro pops the door open, and then waves to Eliana. "Hello! We are in a full house," he says, awkwardly tackling that figure of speech. "Convincing?" he asks, sort of brightly. "What do you mean? Oh! Is he a friend of yours?" he asks, with earnest curiosity, before adding, for good measure: "Hello. I am Hiro Nakamura. Good to meet you."

Before the door opens, Eliana starts to turn her head to look at Bryant, squinting as she surveys him. But Hiro's greeting snaps her head around, and she gives him a strained smile. "No, he's not. And it's not a house. It's an apartment." Still, she lifts a hand to wiggle her fingers in a gentle wave. "Is there room for one more, just for a bit?"

"I mean… never mind," Job says with an inward shrug. No use. "Mister, Nakamura, I'm Job Blut. Sydney's psychologist. I'm here to figure out what's making her turn slowly insane, unless you can convince me otherwise. Feel free to start with the 'Company' and whatever conspiracy they're behind. I'm listening." He's not sitting up, though, so he can't be listening that intently.

Bryant blinks. "Okay, maybe I -am- in the wrong place. This doesn't sound like the cast party for Full Metal Jacket: The Musical." He glances down at the paper he's holding. "1495 Central Street, Apartment 12?" Frown. "I mean, Company, that's, y'know, theatre company, right?"

Kellie seems to be warming up, little by little, to this idea of emerging from her safe cave at the other end of the apartment. Even if Sydney's looking at her strangely - because deep down, that look on Sydney's face? It's one that Kellie's familiar with. It's one that in another life, she used quite frequently. But the second 'the Company' is mentioned, she lets out a squeak of surprise and stumbles back into the hallway, her shoulders raised. She never even really made it out into the living room. "I-I—" But she never even quite words what she wants to. She's backpedalling quickly, headed back to her room.

Hiro calls up to Sydney. "Is your doctor supposed to sleep over?" he asks, confused but, well, one thing at a time. Hiro looks at Bryant, and then to Job. Strangers abound! "I think you are in the wrong place," he asks, before looking at Job. The doctor. Here asking about Sydney. Hiro gives him a sort of deer-in-headlights look for a few seconds before scooting Kellie's way. "Don't be scared," he says, mastering the contraction nicely. "You should eat something. It will be okay. I promise. This is Eliana. She is a friend. I, uh, do not know who he is." That's Bryant. "Or him." That's Job.

All intentions Eliana had in joining the gathering inside Sydney's loft are erased when the strange man behind her utters the word 'Company.' Company with a capital C. Eliana gulps, but before she can get a 'grip' on it, her heart is racing, sending the mood-altering gas out in a five foot sphere around her. "This is an apartment building," Eli manages to get out without stammering as she looks at Bryan with a mix of fear and mock-confusion, "Not a business."

And now, Job's face goes right into his hand. "Sydney, what have you dragged me into?" he asks whine-ishly, "Please tell me there's no secret friendship dance involved. I *hate* the secret friendship dance." Job has found that sometimes, a sardonic outlook can be an effective defense mechanism. It's not so effective this time around. "Really, *someone* needs to start explaining why there is suddenly a, what, a cast party here? I'm missing the vital details."

After a long day of pondering and pounding pavement, Jack stopped in at Eliana's apartment and found it dark and empty. A few minutes of brooding and three fingers of single malt later, he's back on the stairs. Playing detective is all well and good, but a fella's got to check in with his cohorts every now and again, after all. Leaning against the doorjam, Jack gives a quick rap-tap-tap to indicate his presence.

"Come on, Kellie. You can't keep yourself cooped up in there forever." But Sydney makes no move to intercept or chase her. Either she's too lazy, or she's been giving some serious thought to what she may or may not be able to do; Hiro hasn't told her what Kellie's power is, and she isn't about to risk something horrific just so they can squeeze a few more droplets of information from her. "Why don't you show us why they're so interested in you?" It's worth a shot.
Hiro's question draws a low chuckle from the blonde, but that's all. She reaches into the back pocket of her jeans and pulls out a battered package of Camels, which she flicks open and holds under her nose, inhaling deeply while she waits to see what happens next. Hiro's running the show — she's just here to host it. Explanations are all up to him.

"Noooo." Kellie shies away from Hiro, even, as he approaches her. She's casting an anxious look back into the living room, where more and more people seem to be appearing. "T-too many people." As she lowers her voice, she whispers to the Japanese man, "I don't… think…" That sentence is not going the way she wants it to. She shakes her head, frustrated. "They're strangers. M-maybe dangerous. You can leave something a-at my door, I'll get it."

Bryant shrugs helplessly, what with the questions he's not entirely equipped to answer. He takes a stab at the ones he can. "Name's Bryant. And yeah, so maybe I took a wrong turn. I met this girl at this bar and we were talking, and she told me about a cast party, and gave me the address, but then I put my drink down on the napkin and smudged it, and started just following my instincts, and here I am. Sorry to confuse. And intrude."

"You do not have to show anybody," Hiro says, "And…" How to deliver a message quietly? Hey, there's something. "Ixnay onay hetay owerspay," he adds to Sydney. Who also finds a little note on the table near her. When'd that get there? It reads: SAFE TO TELL MR. BLUT? MAYBE BETTER HE THINKS YOU ARE CRAZY? DOES HE HAVE A POWER TOO? It seems like a reasonable conclusion, based on the fact that he's… here.
Down on the bottom level, Hiro reaches out to touch Kellie's shoulder. "I will protect you. I promised," he reminds her. "That is Miss Eliana, and that is Mr. Jack. They are, um, friends. You can trust them."

Dangerous? Sydney raises a brow at Kellie's strange choice of words. "Look," she says, "kiddo. No offense or anything, but we're not the ones who escaped from the Abu Ghraib of the East Coast. If you're gonna stay here, we need some answers about what's going on." She fishes into the package and pulls out a single cigarette between forefinger and thumb, rolling it back and forth as she speaks. "I—" Before she can continue, she notices the note that wasn't there before. Huh. To Hiro, she nods. Translation: yes, it's safe.

For the time being, Job elects to keep quiet and let the others in the room sort the situation at hand out. Any single one of them appears to have a better idea of what's happening than he does. Hopefully, that will be changing soon. Hopefully.

There is way too much going on for Eliana to feel comfortable so close to Bryant, and suddenly Jack is there. Still outside the door herself, Eliana grabs at the Irishman's shirt and drags him into the loft, ducking around the side of the door to perceived saftey. The gas trails in her wake and ebbs, hovering an inch or so from her jeans and exposed skin, the rest enveloped by her hoodie. As she turns her head to look behind her, her eyes fall on Job, then snap to Sydney. But Eliana catches the nod between the stripper and the supposed ringleader, which helps to ease her heart further.

"Whoa. Packing 'em in tight today, eh Hiro-san?" Jack waves as he steps through the door, but there's a hint of tension in his muscles and the set of his features. So. Many. People. He's grateful for the reprieve supplied by Eliana as he slips an arm around her waist and snugs her close. Slowly, Jack locks his eyes onto those of each strange man or woman. After a few moments he smiles at Eli. "Hallo, lass. Quite the party we're having."

"I… I don't remember," Kellie replies to Sydney, though her attention is divided between the hostess and Hiro. "Hiro, t-tell her that I don't remember." She rubs one hand over the wound on the opposite arm, averting her eyes to the side, clearly uncomfortable with this situation. "T-they had me locked up. Like an animal. I don't… I don't remember what they did. But they did this," she says, gesturing to the mostly-healed gunshot wound to one arm. "And this." The gesture, this time, is for the newer wound on the other arm, healing without stitches. Which means it's somewhat more gruesome than it needs to be. "I don't… why do I have to talk about it? C-can't I just try to find my family and forget this whole thing?"

Hiro nods, reassuringly, to Kellie, before turning to Sydney to intercede on her behalf. "She does not remember. There is a man who works for the Company called the Haitian. He can turn off your powers… and he can change your memories," he says. "I think he did this to Kellie." Hiro may well have just baffled Bryant, but he's trying to take this one step at a time. But if anybody in the room is a Company Agent, it's most likely to be that guy — but maybe him being here is important, too? Hiro's been getting big doses of destiny lately. Maybe he'll think they're playing D&D. He sort of waves.
"But with so many of us here… maybe it is for the best. We should have a team meeting," he says, and actually refers to it as such, before turning to Mr. Blut. "Um." How to start. "Do you have an unusual ability?" he asks. That sounds reasonable.

Bryant finally just accepts that he took a wrong turn tonight. He watches the one girl grab the other guy and practically throw the both of them into the apartment. No one else seems to care one way or the other who he is, or why he's there. So he shrugs. "Yeah. Sorry again." He turns, and heads back down the stairs.

Hiro leans a bit to peer at Bryant as he goes. He sort of waves at the odd coincidence as it passes, and shuts the door.

"Quite," Eliana mutters as she presses herself against Jack's chest as if doing so would allow her to sink into him and be safe. She glances to Kellie and narrows her eyes with curiosity. "You could write it?" she offers with the smallest of smiles and a shrug. But when Hiro takes the floor, Eliana quiets and turns her attention to Job.

It occurs to Sydney that she might want to, you know, close the door — but just as she's about to get up and take care of it, Hiro beats her to the punch. With everything going on, she hadn't noticed Bryant until Eliana and Jack cleared her field of vision — and by then, it's too late. He's already gone. Making a mental note to approach him if she should happen to catch him lurking around the building, she purses her lips around the cigarette's filter, and awaits Job's answer.

At this point, Jack seems content to stick with Eliana and let others take the lead. He's not a thinking man, after all. Eli's close proximity is beginning to have an effect on him, despite the fact that she's calming. Jack's grey eyes glaze over and his pupils dilate the slightest bit, but this isn't his first time in contact with his lady's mind-altering presence. Leaning down, he whispers briefly in her ear.

"An unusual ability?" Job replies, mimicking Hiro's question for clarity, "Why yes, I certainly do. I have the unusual ability to sit in one position for an hour, listen to what someone has to say and then determine whether or not they've lost their mind. I get paid for it too." Finally, the psychologist does sit up. "I think the *real* question, Mister Nakamura, is, do *you* have an unusual ability? Besides, building up a cult of personality. Somehow." Maybe that *is* Hiro's 'unusual ability'. Or, whatever.

Hiro heaves a visible sigh to Job, before he sort of shakes his head and mumbles something in Japanese. "<Here we go again,>" he says, before making eye contact with Job. "Please remain seated," he says, and then disappears. As though he were never there at all. Just… whoosh. There's actually a bit of a woosh, in fact, as air rushes to fill the Hiro-shaped void in the room.

And then Hiro taps Mr. Blue on the shoulder, from the opposite side of him. "Miss Sydney is not crazy," he says.

Eliana 's eyes leave Hiro just as he starts his little display. Or rather, she closes them and turns her head to press a gentle kiss to Jack's collarbone through his shirt. When Eli turns her attention back on the rest of the room, she immediately blinks. Hiro wasn't there just before, and even though she's seen him do similar things before, it still surprises her.

Grinning like a madwoman, Sydney makes a face at Job as she lights her cigarette with a match procured from the space under the table's centerpiece. She hasn't yet recognized Jack as the man from the Back Alley, but when she does you can bet she won't be looking nearly as smug.

Job puzzles at the vanishing Hiro, but when he looks to the source of the tap, he visibly jumps a little bit as his heart does some physical training. "Gah!" Fortunately, he seems to recover quickly, looking from Hiro to where he *was* standing, and then back to Hiro. "Okay," he says finally, "Barring any other explanation, and assuming that *I'm* not also crazy, I will accept this as proof. For now."

Jack grins and loops his arm tight enough around Eli's waist to clap a few times at Hiro's little show. "I never get tired of seeing that," he whispers to her as an aside as he nuzzles in against her kiss. "Everyone blows their top the first time he does it." He's starting to loosen up now. After all, Hiro's both trustworthy and reasonably smart. He wouldn't put the big show on unless it was warranted.

Writing them down doesn't work for Kellie, either, clearly. She watches Hiro's display with a flicker of a smile, but otherwise remains where she is. Were anyone paying attention to her, they might notice a change in her demeanor for a split second, where her smile seems less innocent and child-like and more… predatory. But they're almost certainly paying attention to Hiro. She takes advantage of the distraction to creep back along the hallway, slipping into her room. Convenient!

"There are many people with special abilities. I do not know how many. Mr. Chandra Suresh's book said there could be as many as a hundred in a city like New York. It is because of their DNA, and there have been people with abilities for at least three hundred and forty years." That's a very strangely precise number. "Mr. Suresh's book calls them — us — "Evolved". Um." Hiro stops to think for a few minutes.

"There are people who want to control us and use our abilities for evil. They are called the Company. The Company took Kellie…" He looks at the door as it closes, before continuing. "… and did things to her. We do not know what. Some of the people who work for them also have abilities. There is also a very bad man who uses his powers for evil. In November, he tried to destroy the world. That was the bomb. We stopped it. I stopped him. But I think we need to save the world again."

Something about the expression on Kellie's face strikes Sydney as odd, but she brushes it off, opting to focus on the issue at hand. There will be plenty of time later to take a closer look at her timid little mouse of a houseguest.

As Hiro fills in the blanks, Job listens just like a good psychologist, although his reasons for doing so have little to do with Hiro's welfare. "Okay, so, what you're saying, is that there are people, potentially thousands, who exhibit paranormal abilities, of which you are, one, and there is an evil and mysterious 'Company' that wants to exploit those people for profit. Additionally, someone tried to blow up new York City, and you saved all of us. Is that what you're saying?" Job wants to be absolutely certain he is on the same moon that Hiro, and apparently everyone else is.

Trust Hiro to find a way to summarize the world's problems in a few short sentences. Jack grins and slips his free hand inside his coat, tugging out a pack of cigarettes and a silver lighter. Somewhat awkwardly, he shakes a butt free from the pack and twists it between his lips. Jack speaks around the cigarette, directing a few words at Mr. Blut. "That's exactly what he's saying. Welcome to the party, Doc. Strap yourself in, you're in for a bumpy ride." He makes no attempt to hide his amusement as he lights his cigarette, then offers the pack to Eliana.

Eliana lifts a hand and takes a cigarette from the pack with the tips of her long fingers. She slips it between her lips, turning her head toward Jack in order to get a light, but she keeps her eyes on Job. "You /do/ listen well," she remarks, "that was the best summary of it I've heard so far."

"I did not do it alone. A very brave man saved the world, and he was very badly hurt doing it. Another… did not make it. I will keep fighting, for them, since they cannot," Hiro says. "But yes. I believe within a few months New York City will be destroyed by a tornado. I am going to stop it. We are not just people with abilities. We can be heroes." Did he just say a tornado?

"Really? The /tornado/ is your top priority?" At this, Sydney raises both her dark brows and puffs out a ring of smoke through her nostrils. "What about Sylar? The people in the paintings?"

"One, at a time," Job says, "One at a time, and then we'll move through this one issue at a time. Does anyone object to this? Anyone? Good, glad to hear it." Not that he gave anyone a chance to answer. "First. Tornado? This is New York, not Kansas."

Smirking wryly at at Eliana's comment, he flicks his lighter again and lifts the flame for her. Then he snaps it closed and tucks it away. Briefly, he pats his pockets, then frowns. With a quick wiggle of his fingers, he relocates his trusty flask from atop the kitchen counter in Eli's apartment. An instant later it appears in Jack's hands, and he grins. He deftly pops the top with one thumb and takes a long swig, then wipes his mouth on the back of his coat sleeve. Cocking a curious eyebrow, he takes another moment to look Job over, then smiles ruefully and shakes his head.

Eliana reaches up with her free hand to take Jack's flask, despite what little good it might actually do. She leans away from him and back against the wall before she exhales the smoke from the bummed cigarette through her nose and mouth. "Don't forget the biotoxin," she says with a smirk. "We've got a quadruple threat, but you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. Which one's first?"

Hiro starts to walk to the other end of the loft, looking at an area with several things, all covered in tarps. "When the world was in danger last time, there was a man who had the power to paint the future. He helped guide us to save the world. Um. Maybe it will be better if I show you," he says, and pulls the tarp off of a painting. It depicts a tornado, wrecking New York City. He pulls another one; it depicts a little purple vial with a biohazard symbol on it, shattering. And then he pulls a third. It shows a woman having the top of her head cut off, by an invisible force. "All of Mr. Isaac's paintings came true, except for the destruction of New York, because we stopped it. I do not know what the tornado is… or what this is," that's the vial. "But I believe they will happen unless we stop it. This… is what Sylar does. He kills people with abilities and takes them for himself. I'm going to stop him, too."

He lets the paintings remain visible. "We don't even know where to start, right now… if the tornado is a real tornado, or somebody with a power, or what the disease is. Sylar… I will find Sylar."

"Wouldn't it be easier to let Sylar find you?" Sydney asks, resting one elbow on the edge of the table where she sits. "If I wanted to steal people's abilities, yours would be at the top of my list." It seems, at least to her, as good a place to start as any. "There's a whole slew of us, and only one of him — he can't be that powerful."

Jack snaps his teeth playfully at Eliana when she relieves him of his liquor supply, but he doesn't voice a protest. Giver her a quick hip bump, he says, "It's true. We've got more issues that we know what to do with. We need to pick /somewhere/ to start." He shifts his feet and shrugs, obviously at a bit of a loss when it comes to answering his own question.

But Eliana isn't paying any more attention to Jack at the moment. She lowers both of her hands and focuses on the Japanese man, her eyebrows furrowing. "Hiro," she says with a concerned firmness, "/you/ were the one who said no one should go up against Sylar alone. You know more about this than any of the rest of us." There's an implication behind Eliana's words, but she leaves it at that.

Job looks over the paintings from a distance, and then rises from the couch and walks over to them for a closer look. "You really are serious about all of this," he says after a few moments. Finally, the truth sinks in. "But that's not everything. What about the Company? How do they fit into all of this? How do *we* fit into all of this?"

"It's easy, Doc. Company bad, us good." Jack rolls his shoulders briefly as he gives what is, in his mind, a most thorough explanation. Then he frowns, eyeballing his flask briefly. Sadly, it's still securely in Eliana's grip. "Anyway," he continues. "You don't want to cross the bastards, from what I hear."

"No one should fight Sylar alone. If you see him…" And Hiro pulls the tarp off of another painting, showing two unidentified figures, and a very Sylar-looking fellow. "… Run. You're right," he says, agreeing with Eliana but there is something of serious Hiro bleeding through. Hiro starts pulling the covers off of several paintings, including one that looks a great deal like Hiro, dressed in period Japanese dress, and some blond man in samurai armor, having a sword fight. What the hell? "I think the Company kidnaps people with abilities and does /something/ to them, and I think they had something to do with the bomb, too. A friend and I rescued Kellie from their headquarters. I think they stole her memories. They are hurting innocent people, and as long as they do that, I have to fight them."

Sydney's face twists into a grim and solemn expression when Hiro begins to speculate about what happened to Kellie. She knows that Sylar should be their priority, really she does, but she can't let his comment slide, either. "Hiro," she says softly, but firmly, "there's one way to know if the Company took Kellie's memories or not. She might just be suppressing them. I can— I can help."

The situation, in Job's eyes, is rapidly deteriorating. "Sydney, let's not jump straight to that conclusion," he says, "There are a few things to consider before you try something like that. She has an, ability, sure. But what is it? What if an intrusion triggers some suppressed memory that she's a violent serial killer. We have a whole other set of problems, then."
"I trust Kellie," Hiro says, without a moment's hesitation. "I don't know what her life used to be like, but she is a good person." He stops, and thinks for a second or two. "How can you help?" he asks, Sydney, with a note of bizarre curiosity. Sydney said she didn't have an ability!

All of this is a bit too thought-oriented for Jack. He's not slow, he just much more useful when there's something to hit. He glances from Hiro to Sydney to Job in quick succession, waiting to see how this is going to play out and trying mightily not to yawn.

Eliana wasn't aware that Sydney had any abilities either. She sits up a bit straighter, slipping the heavy flask into her hoodie's marsupial-like pocket before she takes another drag on the cigarette.

"How many violent serial killers do /you/ know?" Sydney asks Job irritably, scowling. "She's emotionally damaged, not a psychopath." It's true that she's suspicious of Kellie, but for completely different reasons. To Hiro, she puts on her best sympathetic face. "I wasn't exactly honest with you earlier," she admits, somewhat guiltily, "but Kellie might know something about the Company that could help us. If it's in there, I can get it out. The process is painless." For Kellie, anyway.

"Sydneeeeey!" A cheery voice calls from the hallway well before the source reaches the apartment. The voice is then accompanied by a knock on the door. "Sydney! Are you home?"

A knock at the door? This day keep getting better and better. Disregarding the fact that Hiro is right there, Job begins to lunge for the tarp that covered the paintings. And then, his common sense kicks in and he finds himself instead looking at Hiro. "Maybe you should cover those before we check the door," he suggests, "Could be someone we don't want seeing these."

Hiro says, "You /do/ have an ability," he concludes. He was right! All along. "If Kellie wants to. But… the Haitian, he does the same thing. I am not sure she'll want to—oro?" Hiro stops, and turns to the door. He starts covering up paintings, but he looks to have something of a faraway stare. Does he recognize that voice?

Eliana waits until the paintings are covered up before she slips over to the door, pulling Jack gently with her. She nods gently to the other occupants of the room before she speaks. "Some of us still have day jobs, but we're not far. Third floor." Asking where the girl with pink hair lives shouldn't be hard. Eliana opens the door then and slips out, giving Trixie a nod without letting her see inside the room. "They heard you," Eli says to the waiting visitor. "Just cleaning up some dishes. It'll be a sec."

"It's just Trixie," Sydney says by way of explanation. "My neighbor — she's harmless." She cups one hand around her mouth to amplify the volume of her voice as Eliana answers the door. "What!" she calls out. "Sink's not leaking into your bedroom again, is it?"

Jack chucks a wave over his shoulder to the crowd as Eliana tows him to the door. Congenially, he smiles to yet another new face. "Crowded in there," he advises her. "Good luck." That said, he laces his fingers through Eli's and the two of them head off for the night.

Hiro peers through the door. It's that Trixie. Hiro holds up a hand, and waves. "<Remember what I said about destiny?>" he asks, and at this point he's no longer surprised by this sort of thing.

Trixie stands outside the door and beams a smile at Eliana and Jack, stepping back to give them more room to exit. She's clutching a large frying pan in one hand, hanging at her side. "I'm returning your pan!" she calls back to Sydney. When the door opens again and Hiro peers back at her, she gasps with delight. "Hiro! <Oh yes, I remember! I think you may be right! May I come in?>" She bows low, like she would for a respected elder.

As the events by the door play out, Job uses the opportunity to calmly walk back to the couch and lounge on it once again. Nothing to see here, that's right. Everything here is completely normal and has nothing to do with the end of the world.


Sydney doesn't speak a word of Japanese — or Chinese, or French, or anything but English. She taps the ash from her cigarette onto her crossword and clears her throat. Loudly.

Hiro rubs the back of his neck, thinking. "<This isn't my place,>" he says. "<Sydney lives here, but I'm pretty sure she wants her pan back. Um, it's funny that you're here, actually. Do you remember the promise I made you make? When we were talking to the blonde girl?>"

Like Sydney, Job is clueless on this conversation and wisely keeps out of it.

"<Yes. She got away fast! I wonder if she's got a grappling hook in her pocket or something!>" Trixie steps inside the apartment and waves the pan to prove that she actually /did/ show up for a reason. She also lapses back into English, "Sydney! I didn't know you knew Hiro." She approaches the kitchen to put the cookware away. She glances over her shoulder to Hiro and continues her conversation in the universally understood language (for this room, anyway!) "I didn't tell anybody. Just like you asked me."

"Chiyume is my friend," Hiro clarifies, before lowering his voice. "She saw someone use their powers," just in case there was some degree of doubt. She has a foot in the door, to an extent.

"How much does she know?" is the first question out of Sydney's mouth. "The paintings? Sylar?"

"Maybe you should have just asked the first question and not the other two, just in case she doesn't," Job comments after Sydney speaks.

"Not much. She… doesn't have an ability. But she knows about the Company. Somebody told her. I don't think she's in danger. And I think we can trust her," Hiro says, summarizing his thoughts on the matter.

"Right." Sydney snuffs out her cigarette and pushes it across the table, where it joins a growing pile of spent butts that has accumulated over the past twenty-four hours. "Pull up a chair and let's figure out this Sylar thing. We can't focus on the tornado, or the Company, or anything else until we're sure he isn't breathing down our necks. If we're scrambling around like headless chickens trying to stop everything else, then he'll just keep picking us off one at a time."

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