2007-05-10: Road Trip!


Jane_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif

Summary: A videotaped dance practice, a surprise road trip, and bonding talk, among other things.

Date It Happened: May 10th, 2007

Road Trip!

NYU Campus, Manhattan, NYC; The Gomez Apartment in Queens; and Interstate 95 South headed toward New Jersey

After her conversation with Nathan, Doctor Forrest heads for the campus of NYU. She'd asked Anastasia and Amanda, two of her bandmates, if the dance team has any more practices or performances left in the academic year, and they told her they think there might be something on Saturday morning, so here she is. She doesn't, however, intend catching the attention of Senorita Gomez yet. That's come later, as Part Two of her plan. Part One, being put in motion now, has her on campus with video camera in hand hoping to record the Latina's dancing excellence.

Sure enough, practice is going on in the quad. Tia is snapping her fingers along with the beat as she makes her group go through the motions. Elena isn't in the middle, but rather to the side, and somewhat in the front. The group works like a well-oiled, synchronized machine, going through the choreography like they've done this a hundred times. The slim, attractive black girl claps her hands sharply and calls for a break. Promptly half the dance corps collapse in a heap.

Elena moves off to the side to pick up a bottle of water, and she blinks at someone filming them from the side. Noticing Jane, she smiles and waves slightly. She picks up a towel, slinging it around her shoulders and walking towards the attorney. "Hey, Jane. What are you doing here?" she asks, taking a swig of her water.

When the break is called, she stops recording and moves to slip the camera into her backpack before she can be seen with it. "Watching practice," Jane replies with a chuckle, "and hoping to abduct you afterwards." She hopes the camera wasn't spotted, because that might throw her entire plan into Jeopardy, and not the good kind where Alex Trebek hosts and people win money for questioning answers. "It's so we can celebrate, and… talk business." A wide smile is flashed.

"Celebrate? ….oh my god. You signed the papers, didn't you?" Elena says, grinning at her as she removes the towel from her face. "C'mon, Jane. No be cryptic now, tell me everything." She slides her hand in her pocket as she falls a step next to her friend. "So what's the label's name again? And when do you start studio time?"

"Oh, the contract, yeah, I did," Jane replies with a grin. "I've been doing studio session work and pulling things together with the band for a while now. The studio is called Cutting Room, on East 4th Street in Greenwich Village. But," she adds with her smile widening, "this isn't about celebrating me. This is about celebrating you." Oh good, she thinks to herself, the camera wasn't spotted, because she didn't call me on it.

"……..uh. I turned nineteen a few months ago or so, Jane," Elena says with a laugh, and flashes her friend a look of confusion. She stretches her arms idly over her head, and she takes another swig of her water. "So……why are we celebrating me today?" she asks. "What did I do? Or rather…what did -you- do?" she asks, giving Jane a -look-, with a quirked eyebrow and squinting at her, as if she could read her mind. But that power fell to a different Gomez.

"Chica, don't be obtuse," she replies with a laugh. "You survived freshwoman year at college!" Jane steps forward to deliver a hug if such a thing is permitted, adding "That's potentially the scariest, hardest part of it… well, except graduate school, but still. So… congrats."

"…OH!" Elena laughs and grins at Jane. "Yeah, yeah I am," she says. "Well, survived as much as I could anyway. We'll see how I did when the grades come in. I think they come in later today. If I were still in high school, I'd be dreading it but….I guess over the course of senior year I've stopped sweating it." She slides her hands in the back pockets of her yoga pants. "God, this year flew by. Maybe because I was so busy. So how have you been?"

"Not badly," Jane answers with a quieter grin. "Busy. Cleaning the apartment, discovering a minor interest in art, meeting your brother. So… I'll hang around and check out your moves with the team until it's done, then we'll head off somewhere and kick back, yeah? I'm glad I timed it right, wasn't certain if you might still have finals left to survive."

"You did," Elena says with a laugh, and she nods when Tia starts calling the group back together. "Alright I better get back in there." With a playful towel-snap at her friend's direction, she jogs towards the rest of the group, to fire off four more sets.

Practice is over after another hour. The members are tired and exhausted, but with those many endorphins in their system, it's not really fitting to say that they're depressed. Elena picks up her stuff, and her water bottle. She says her goodbyes to her team, gets the time for the next practice, and starts heading over to where Jane is.

As the practice resumes, Jane gets the camera out again and resumes recording. She again hopes not to be spotted doing this, and her focus is on Elena herself. The rest may be in the footage, but it's not about them. When it's done she quickly moves to hide it in her pack and straighten. "Chica," she calls out, "you got moves on your moves."

"I try," Elena says somewhat breathlessly, wiping a hand over her forehead. "It keeps me in shape at least. Tia's a slave driver, but she knows her stuff. I hear over the summer she's been booked for a couple of music videos. Pretty awesome, huh?" she asks rhetorically with a small smile. "What about you, you're a performer. Have you ever tried?" she asks, putting a thumb over her shoulder towards the dance corps.

"I might be able to," Jane answers with a chuckle. "But I'm more into guitar and singing. Speaking of which, I'm meeting some fairly interesting people. That day at the pier Karoliina Hanson saw me play for a bit before the boy fell in, and I ran into her again on Broadway. We did some spur of the moment musicality right there, and she says if I come play at the Majestic for the cast I can score front row seats." Hands lift her pack and guitar case, she slings them over a shoulder. "You're probably wanting a shower before we do this, after practice and all, we can hit my place for that. Or yours. Got plenty of time. But if you want we can go straight to… where we're going."

"I'll be okay. It's not like we're going anything fancy, right? Though I could take a quick shower," Elena says. "We can drop over my place - we're not in any hurry anyway." And so off they go, back to the Gomez Apartment so Elena can freshen up. A quick shower and a change of clothes later - jeans, a pair of nicer boots, and a black tank-top, she pulls on a fitted, black jacket and heads out the door with Jane. She's curious….where are they going? "So where are we headed?" she asks. This is Jane's show, she'll follow where she leads her.

"You'll see." Jane chuckles as she steps out, and they're off. The first stop is a subway station, destination the edge of NYC where traffic is lighter, and where she parked her car when she came up with the plan now afoot. It's a 2006 blue Dodge Neon, fully loaded. "I don't know if you've been to a place like this before, but I'm sure you'll just love it. Totally love it!" Whatever it is, she's certainly enthused. And Up To Something.

"….okay," Elena laughs, pulling her hair into a loose twist behind her head and tugging up her collar. She gets in the Neon, though she can't help but look at her friend curiously. "So….I didn't know you had a car. Are you really up to braving New York traffic with me?" she says with a grin, buckling her seatbelt just in case. After Gene and Jack, she's really not taking any chances.

"I've driven in New York a few times," Jane answers with a chuckle as she too belts in. "I just usually don't. We're not going into the city anyway. This place is a bit out of town. South, in fact." The car is started and put into gear, then rolls forward when safe to do so. "I've been thinking about art lately, Elena." As she speaks, an intersection with a traffic light is reached, it's green and she turns left. The way a sign indicating I95 says she should.

"Art…?" Elena smiles faintly at Jane. "Alright, what about art?" she asks, folding her arms on her torso and relaxing as Jane takes the wheel. "You mean like those colorful doodads in the Met?" There's a teasing note to her voice, indicating that she's only pulling her chain. "Speaking of the Met, I think they just opened up their Greco-Roman exhibit recently adjacent to their Egyptian collection. I hear it's gorgeous."

She grins, playing along for a moment. "I'll have to check that out sometime," Jane replies. "But this one painter really caught my eye a few days ago. Some fellow called Mendez. He painted some of the most interesting, and bizarre, work. Have you seen any of his pieces?" Not far up ahead is the ramp, and they're soon merging with traffic on I95 headed south.

"…..some," Elena says. "Did…Peter manage to tell you who he is?" Considering Elle's living in Jane's apartment now, she figures he visits them both rather often. She turns her eyes back to the road. "So you found an exhibit with some other Mendez paintings?" she asks curiously. "How? I mean, now that the artist was killed sometime last year….his work must be really valuable now. More than everyone else knows, and more to comic book fans."

"Pete and I talked," Jane confirms. "He showed me prints of the paintings. Tornado, virus, a string of others. I didn't find an exhibit, I was just being playful back at you, like you didn't get what I meant by art." A grin is flashed. "This isn't all about business, though. We are going someplace relaxing and fun, but we do have some time in the car on the way there. You mentioned paintings before, like I knew what you were talking about, but I didn't, and we never got time to really get into it."

"I've actually never seen any of the Mendez paintings mentioned to me," Elena says. She's SO NOT TELLING JANE about the stripper painting, because she's convinced it's a fluke. "I've even never seen the prints." There's a sort of grumbly-ness to her tone. She was so curious about them too, but she tries not to be overbearing about it. "They were only described to me." She rubs the back of her neck. "Isaac Mendez was a man with the ability to paint the future. So far to date, all of his paintings have come true, except for two."

"That's not good," Jane remarks. "We'll have to speak with Pete about that." Her tone of voice, calm yet firm, indicates she means it. "If I'd been there at the hospital when you were quarantined, I'd have thought a connection existed between the paintings and that too. One's got a shattering biohazard vial, and… Elle told me about a man called Adam Monroe who she says tried to release a dangerous virus and got locked away by the Company for thirty years."

"Adam Monroe…?" Elena says, blinking at Jane. She furrows her brows, remembering the day in Times Square. There was a blonde there, chasing a man named Adam. But Adam was a pretty common name. It could've been anybody. "….and a deadly virus? Really? So he's the cause of the viral holocaust?" When Jane mentions the quarantine, she gives a slight nod. "That's what Peter thought, too," she tells Jane. "The entire situation was pretty strained, but…" She pauses. "Hey, did you see the posters around lately about the missing girl? Cara Hayes. She was….I remember her name being called over the intercom the day the quarantine happened. But I can't remember what she was admitted for."

"Adam's a few centuries old," Jane shares, "can't say he causes a viral holocaust, but he sounds dangerous. He regenerates, from what I was told. And yeah, I did see some of those. She was at the hospital too?" Eyebrows raise. "I talked to Nathan earlier this morning, he hasn't decided yet about the Senate thing. We talked about Rianna too, about what you told me and how neither she nor I remembered meeting before." As she drives along, now about five miles down the road toward their destination, Jane's calmly pensive by her facial expression.

"…..wait. So she doesn't remember meeting you either?" Elena says, looking at Jane, and rather startled. As for Adam Monroe, she blinks. "Wait. So….he's….wait. HOW OLD?" Granted, if the man could regenerate…but what does that mean? It makes sense but….would that mean Peter's immortal? What about Drake's girlfriend, Claire? She didn't know…was that really the ultimate aspect of having regenerative abilities? She just assumed it would die down with age. Surely no one could be immortal. It was unnatural. It was against God's design… or was it?

"Centuries," Jane repeats. "More than three centuries. A few months ago I'd have been surprised to hear a thing like that, and skeptical, but now… My tendency is to believe because… I'm me and you're you and Pete is who he is… The list goes on and on." It's a hushed voice she speaks with there, awed despite her claims of tending to believe. "And you tell me Rianna allegedly thinks we're a master race, I don't buy into it, but still can't help thinking about the genetics of all… this."

"That's what I've been told," Elena says, propping her elbow against the armrest of the door and watching the scenery pass them by. "And as….dorky as Hiro is, he doesn't seem like the type who'd lie about it." She looks over at Jane. "I don't know if you remember him. He's this chubby Japanese guy with an accent, who can teleport. Peter knows him, a great deal more than I do. And his non-Company acquaintances, I tend to trust." She pauses. "Even if his father is apparently one of the Company's founders."

"I don't," Jane answers softly. "Just the name told to me by people. He hasn't been around since the raid, I've not seen anyone calling himself or being called that. His father is one of the Founders? Do you know the names of any others?" She pauses for a moment. "So it seems I've been edited twice. Nathan thinks I was tagged before the raid, it might have been part of my reasoning in being part of it. I… hate having to rely on others to tell me what I'm supposed to already know. Thinking about it, if we weren't going where we're headed I'd be screaming, playing out the angsty metal, or both. Fortunately there's relaxation galore there."

"I don't know his name, but Hiro's last name is Nakamura, so any Company guy named Nakamura is probably it," Elena says simply. "I've….I don't really know a lot of the founders's names. All I know is that they've been around for a while. Jack managed to tell me that they're disguised as a dummy company called Primatech Paper." She frowns over at Jane. "Yeah….you were. Edited twice, I mean," she says softly. "The first time was selective, the second time around it was much more severe."

"That explains things, to a point, I think," the driver states. "They handled me more harshly than Nathan because it wasn't the first time. Nathan said, after some blanks were filled in, that he wouldn't ever cut ties with them as part of why he thought he hadn't been edited." Ahead of them is a slower car, Jane turns on the left blinker and checks her mirror, then turns partly to look out the window and check the blind spot before changing lanes and passing. In doing so, speed returns to seventy miles per hour. "Primatech Paper. Thanks."

Silence follows for a bit, before she quietly states "I told Randall about me, because him being a researcher is scary, I wanted him to understand it's not just data, we're people and if he publishes or anything, it could be really bad. And… I confessed to Jaden. Then we made out."

"Maybe because they thought they could use Mr. Petrelli," Elena says softly. "He's still heavily tied to the political climate of New York after all." She looks over at Jane as they keep going. She watches her friend's profile quietly for a moment. "Anytime," she tells her with a hint of a smile. She's still wondering where they're going, but at least the drive is getting shorter with the conversation abound. When Jane tells her about Randall, she blinks at him. "He's a researcher? Of what? And he knows about you?" Though the news on Jaden cracks a smile. She laughs, and looks up the roof of the car. "Wow. I'm jealous," she teases.

"Randall researches the paranormal," Jane replies. "He'd seen at least one instance of a person using an ability. I think he's safe, though, he understands what I was getting at. I didn't, and won't, tell him about anyone else. Now Jaden…" It seems as if she's about to say something, but stops with her lips parting, and holds silence for a moment. He didn't give consent to telling others about him, and she can't be sure what Elena knows. "He's fun. But it isn't just about that, how it could keep me sane. Can't really explain. It just starts to grow. Even after he ditched me at the concert because he went off half-cocked to save Gene from not needing to be saved and nearly got arrested."

"…….wait, he tried to save Gene?" Elena says, looking surprised. And then she smiles. "Told you, his heart's always in the right place." Even if he almost did get arrested, she….well, she's rather proud of her boss. "And I'm glad you think he's fun. He's been a blast to hang out with and chat with once you get used to all the references. He's really a good guy, despite his eccentricities." Oh Jaden you better give her a raise with the way she's puffing you up.

"We were heading in to see ZZ Top, Jaden and I," she explains, laughing a bit. "We ran into Gene along the way, and just outside MSG there was a girl who looked to be buying cocaine. Gene, I think, went up to try talking her out of it, and she was an undercover cop. So he nearly gets busted, and Jaden decided to try telling the cops he wasn't a criminal. Meanwhile the undercover cop spoke up for him, and they stopped cuffing Gene, let him go. Jaden doesn't see this, and puts his arm around one of the police detectives…" Her head shakes, she laughs a bit now, but at the time… "Eventually he saw Gene wasn't arrested, and took off running for the entrance door. I couldn't find him until after the show, when he got back to his car."

"….well he did what he could," Elena says simply. "I guess his deadliest weapon really -is- his charm." She crosses her arms over her chest as she thinks. "Regardless, I wonder if he knows that. If harnessed properly, he could rule the world. Sounds Machiavellian, but….well I suppose he doesn't need to. He's got more money than anyone I've ever met. Then again, money really isn't everything. Did he tell you about the merger between EvoSoft and Lancaster Ele— " She pauses, and she laughs. "Nevermind. Jaden's probably not going to talk business when he's around you."

"I saw it in the paper," Jane replies. "We haven't talked about it. With me he's mostly focused on Risky Business." Her hand gestures toward the glovebox. "There's cookies and chocolate in there." And back on topic. "I told him about me, Elena. Defended myself against a guy with a beer bottle on the way to MSG, Jaden didn't get it, didn't connect the dots about why I whispered he should cover his face and seconds later the broken bottle was much more broken. So after the show I came clean."

She nods. "I try not to use them in public when I can," Elena says. "Though hopefully my abilities are subtle enough that no one knows I have them." She looks over at Jane. "Besides, now that the EB's apparently under surveillance, we have to be more careful than ever." She, too, doesn't say anything about Jaden's own abilities - that was Jaden's story to tell, not hers.

Again, she's at the edge of speaking on that topic, because she's got a dilemma, and at a loss as to how she might handle it. The Pete conundrum. How to keep those two from meeting, because it wouldn't be good at all if there were suddenly a gang of Petes in public. Not so hard to keep them apart, but… by doing so it might make people wonder about the reason and be exposure in itself. Far better to make the intro with Pete knowing exactly what could happen and being prepared… Jane's silence speaks volumes, there's clearly something she doesn't say. Quietly she tries redirection, gesturing at the glove box again.

She blinks a bit, Elena looking at Jane, and then the glove box, and then Jane again. Finally, she doesn't say anything more. Instead, she reaches over, and pulls the glove box open. "Are we lost?" she asks. "Do you need a map?" She reaches in to pull out some of its contents, to start sorting through them.

"No," Jane replies with a chuckle, gesturing again. "I said there were cookies and chocolate in there, Elena." It's a momentary relief of the conundrum, this. But just as quickly it's back. So she decides to try a test, that maybe if Elena already knows she'll get it, and if she doesn't, nothing is given away. "Do you think it's possible to be in two places at once?"

"So there are," Elena says, popping a chocolate in her mouth and handing a piece over to Jane. When she says what she does, she laughs. "After everything else? People flying, healing, breaking things with their voices and reading minds? Sure, why not?" she says, looking over at Jane. "We're all crazy in this car, might as well make it official, right?" She winks at her teasingly.

In the glovebox, along with the cookies and chocolate, are brochures Jane may have forgotten about, from a spa in New Jersey. Full body massages, manicures, pedicures, all manners of general pampering. Full service. She takes the chocolate, and sighs quietly. "Ever met such a person?" The chocolate piece rests on her lap, she moves to pass another car and get back up to seventy.

"Yeah, one," Elena says, smiling over at Jane. The brochures, she peers at, looking at some of the glossy images wistfully. It must be nice to have a trust fund. Maybe once she's a doctor…. she doesn't think much of them, however. So she folds them up neatly and stows them back into the glove box, shutting it carefully with a click. "Why do you ask?" she says, looking over at Jane.

"Because I met one," Jane replies quietly. The brochures Elena looked at and put back have the name of a town in New Jersey on them. As they move along at that steady seventy miles per hour, a road sign on the right shoulder informs they're about thirty miles from that same town. "And it's kind of stuck in my head. Raises questions I can't find an answer to, yet."

She sees the name of the town. Elena looks over at Jane. "….are we going to a spa?" she says, blinking at her friend. Wait. Isn't that expensive? "Jane….I don't….think I have the money to…." Her lack of funds is usually a source of embarassment to her, even if she tries to pass off her comments about money as a joke. But when Jane distracts her with another revelation, she blinks. As perceptive as ever, she speaks… "Ah. Same one I met?" she asks.

Now Jane is replaying the conversation with Jaden in her head, and she's kicking herself. It'd slipped her mind that when they talked, he told her Elena knew. Damn, and damn again, going around and around like this. So… embarrassing. If she could bury her head, she would, but when driving that would be a Very Bad Thing. "Jaden Cain, and yes, we are." The mention of money is ignored, she's paying and doesn't intend to take argument over it. "And it gives me a problem. I couldn't get him to agree to me telling Pete without giving Pete up, and I won't tell Jaden without his consent either, so… how do I keep them from meeting without giving either of them away by the simple act of trying. After what Pete did to Elle's pants, I really don't want them to meet without our Petrelli friend being prepared."

There is a pause. Elena leans her head back against her seat. "That's quite a predicament," she says. They're mutual friends, all four of them are connected. Maybe it was a good thing that Peter is helping out at Cass's store, until she can get Jaden to agree to have him hired in Seville Medical so he could be closer to Cass's research. "I think this is one of those cases where…." She pauses. "I think this is one of those cases where one of us has to tell him," she says finally. "I don't like it, I rather not have Jaden's power be broadcasted everywhere. At the same time I think we can trust Peter not to say anything if we ask him to."

"He turned Elle's pants to gold, Elena," Jane relates. "I had to help him get my roommate out of her pants. There's no telling when or where something he picks up will trigger before he can get a handle on it." Her face reddens a bit, sharing that info. Helping a guy get a woman's pants off. Not something she ever expected to do, powers or not.

"I know," Elena says simply. She heard Jane once about that already - she's not about to venture in the territory of wondering just -how- they got the woman out of her pants. She looks over at her and smiles faintly. At Jane's blush, she can't help but grin impishly at her reaction. It's not often someone sees Jane embarassed. "I'm sure you only did it because you had to, Jane," she says with a laugh.

Subject change, in five, four, three, two, one… "Your brother's a character," Jane states. "I went to Queens yesterday looking for you with coffee and those chocolate muffins from Starbucks. You weren't in, obviously, he and I talked a bit. He says he likes racing, I ask if he's got NASCAR dreams, and he tells me no, it's more like movie racing but more dangerous than they make it look. Then he gets a phone call and is taking off, I tell him be careful racing because, y'know, I'd really hate to have to comfort his grieving sister. Then he says you won't be grieving, you'll be pissed, and says I should ask about something that happened at the last race he was around."

She laughs. "I'd be both," Elena says, giving Jane a small smile. "Unfortunately Manny thinks NASCAR is too tame. I've seen him race, if they ever made extreme circuits legal, he'd be all for them. I doubt that's going to happen any time soon, so. Anyways….he didn't offend you or anything, did he? He can be pretty volatile when his temper is riled. But he's my little brother, as much as he hates to admit it, him and Papa are extremely alike."

"I didn't see any temper on him, actually," Jane answers, "he was fairly calm. We were basically talking about how something feels. He was working on a car when I got there, came out from under it, and asks if I like cars. I don't know that much, guitars and instruments, music is my thing. Well, that and knowing the law, but, when racing came up, I can somehow relate. Sometimes I just get into the zone and it's like my voice, the guitar, and the music are one. Ever get that with your dance team?"

"Sure. Endorphins are wonderful things," Elena says with a grin towards Jane. "Manny's an adrenaline junkie. I guess it runs in the family. Back in college, Papa swam competitively. He's still pretty good at it, even if he's getting a little too old to do the butterfly strokes he used to do rather often." She exhales a soft breath, and watches the surroundings fly past them. "Do you have any siblings?" she asks, glancing over at Jane. She mentioned her parents before, but never any siblings.

"Just me," she states. "It's different. No fights between me and others because there weren't any, but at the same time having that feeling of missing out on the closeness of it. That… probably explains things about me for you, how I can be so tough to handle things alone, yet share so easily? Even needing it. I didn't have those natural sounding boards, had to find my own. And I treasure them."

"That's understandable," Elena says softly, looking at Jane. "I guess I'm the opposite. I have two brothers, and one sister. But they're all younger than me so…..I tend to keep my problems to myself." She closes her eyes momentarily, relishing the fact that she doesn't have to commute. She had to be the strong one, for her siblings, even if Manny tries. "But I'm glad you found your sounding boards."

She taps her ear. "I get it," Jane replies softly. "But you know this is yours if you want it. It's a road in two lanes. "Things we know, deal with, if we don't have outlets we go nuts. Sometimes I think I still might." She puts the chocolate in her mouth finally and eats it, enjoying the confection. After her mouth is empty again, she comments "Yeah, this can be better than sex sometimes." A quiet grin rests on her features.

She laughs and hefts up another piece of chocolate to her mouth. "I wouldn't know," Elena says with a laugh. "I've never. The conscripts of the Faith tell me I need to stay pure until I'm married." And that was that. She looks over to Jane, and flashes a wicked grin. "So when you said you and Jaden made out, speaking of, did you guys….?" She lifts her brows in inquiry.

"Not yet," Jane supplies, "but I was tempted." A wider grin flashes. "Someday, I think. Eventually, you'll know what I'm talking about, whether it's after marriage or by believing you're just ready." Then her voice becomes quieter, solemn. "Faith… not something I've really followed, so much of religion to me is used as tools against us, as women. To justify all manner of things. But it's also private. What you believe is what you believe. Two things are true, though: virginity means you never went through extending that kind of trust to a guy who never gives you the time of day again and/or tells everyone he knows, and never had a pregnancy scare."

She laughs and shakes her head. "It's by choice anyway, above anything else," Elena says. She glances down on her lap. "I've been so busy….I don't know. I feel like I've been stretched out too thin these days. I have so many things to deal with." She closes her eyes. "I could remember spending days in class, doodling Eric's name on the margins of my notebooks - but then things just started piling up and…" A brief flash of something at the back of her mind, before she stomps down hard on it. No. Not that. Never that. On top of the entire possibility that her career as a doctor would give way to a career in performing in front of drunken, salivating men. Ew. "At least my father's dating again."

She chortles. "See, Emma? He's your boyfriend. Even busy, you can't get him out of your head completely." Jane turns briefly to look at the passenger, grinning a teasing grin. "He is? Cool. Does he like plays?" And she stretches to try opening the glove compartment in hope of more chocolate.

"-Nobody-'s my boyfriend," Elena grumbles. "At this rate it's going to stay that way." Finals. Saving the world. Dealing with one of the Fourth Horsemen for a brother, and her father's sorta-kinda-maybe-would-be-girlfriend having seen her own death. Coupled with the job, plans for the summer, people to 'train' and still manage some sort of semblance of a good social life, she hasn't had much time to think about herself and her own wants. "And Papa? I'm…not sure really. He's a simple guy. He likes quieter things, though I did suggest he take his date to Phantom of the Opera."

"If you say so, Emma," Jane replies with a grin. "I might be able to get him excellent tickets for that. Met the woman who sings Christine Daae not long ago. I'll go to their theatre with the band and play for the cast on their stage, she'll hook me up. Came about in a fun way, too, she and I singing in the theatre district. Karoliina Hanson."

"Hey if you can hook me up, I'm all for it." Papa's happiness, after all, came first. Elena smiles gratefully at Jane. "Thanks a lot - if it's not too much trouble. I really want him to make a good first impression." That and she figures Desiree might enjoy it too. "And you mentioned her before, I think - described her at least. Karoliina Hanson…" she murmurs. "I wonder if she's as good as the original Christine." Sarah Brightman. Hah hah hah.

"I will," she replies simply with a smile. "Her voice is almost as good as mine." Proud? Yes. Jane turns quiet again, offering "Thanks for coming out to do this, Emma. So many things we planned to touch base about, and never pulled it off, I just decided to make it happen, y'know?" It's heartfelt, her appreciation of this opportunity and Elena's acceptance of it. She's pulling off the interstate, and not far ahead is the spa from the brochures. "So I picked a place to get pampered as celebration of surviving, and far enough away to talk freely in the car."

"No problem. I'm sorry it took so long. I guess I've just been caught up." She looks over at Jane and reaches out to curl her fingers around her friend's hand on the gearshift. "Besides, I think after everything we both need a breather." Elena winks at Jane.

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