2007-12-10: Safety And Secrecy

WARNING: Storyline contains Season 3 content.


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Summary: In light of recent events, Peter needs to call on someone for a pretty huge favor. And the worst part is he can't even tell her what it's for. The less she knows, the less she can tell anyone if she gets caught.

Date It Happened: December 10, 2007

Safety and Secrecy

Peter Petrelli's Apartment

It's been a long time since Elle has been to Peter's apartment. As she walks the hallway leading to his door, she unravels the scarf from around her neck, her gloves already removed and tucked into her pocket. She looks significantly better than she did the last time she met up with him, both in health and in spirits. Having had the drive to consider why Peter may have called her, she isn't any closer to figuring it out than she was when she left; just a few suspicions here and there, and that's it. Coming up to his door, she faces it and pauses, drawing in a breath. Finally, she raps on the door in a little pattern.

The knock on the door earns a surprised barking sound. Followed by an "It's okay." The words are spoken in a familiar voice before the door unlatches and opens, with barely a pause to do more than peek through the spy hole. Standing beside Peter in the doorway is a little white dog with pointed ears and a fluffy tail that swings back and forth. "Come on in." There's a mild nudge against the small dog with his ankle and she decides to turn away and go find something to chew on. "I got water if you want anything."

The dog garners a quick smile from Elle, the kind she can't help and barely notices, before it's wandered off on its own mission. "Hey." Inside the apartment, she unbuttons her coat and shrugs it over her shoulders, pulling it off. "You got a dog?" Her question is spoken in mild amusement, not accusation; something warm in her voice. "I'm okay," she replies to the offer of water, shaking her head. "Water and I don't get along."

"Oh, yeah, I got her right before summer started," Peter tries to think of the exact time and realizes with a twinge of his eyebrow that she wouldn't have even known he had a dog in the first place. The other her knew about it. He shakes his head a bit. From the looks of things, he hasn't been outside in a bit, no redness to his face. "Yeah, I remember— it bothers me when I use your ability too," he mentions quietly as he moves deeper into his apartment, gesturing her to follow. I'm glad to see you're feeling better at least. Told you they'd figure out a cure."

"I have to be honest," Elle says as she follows after Peter, her coat draped over one arm along with her scarf and hat, "I didn't think they could actually do it. I was pretty sure I was a terminal case." And so did her father, she thinks, though she doesn't say it aloud. Hesitating slightly, uncertain why he called her, she puts forth a question: "Have you talked to Cass? I went to see her."

"They did, though… that's what matters," Peter says, not willing to express any doubts he might have had. He'd been cured, and though he never did get the hang of using the same thing on other people, he knew that him being fixed should have helped them get what they needed. He hopes. He's never asked the full details. He does look surprised when she mentions Cass. "I figured you went to see her to get cured, unless you went straight to Sinai for it, but… I've talked to Cass, yeah, but she didn't mention you stopping by." Mostly because they got sidetracked with Sylar…

"Oh." Well, so much for Cass passing the message along, Elle thinks, though she can't know why the message was never conveyed in full. In her mind - and reflected some in her facial expression - she decides it must have something to do with their inherent distrust towards her. "I can't do anything about this," she says, without allowing any more detail than that. "About fixing this. You might be able to. I gave Cass some information." And that's about all she seems willing to say, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. "I figured that's why you called me."

"You're the one who gave her the name of the woman who created the virus?" Peter asks softly, piecing it all together in his head. It's slowly starting to make sense. "We're looking into that, yes. Thank you… I didn't realize it came from you." There's a quieter tone to his voice, as he processes that carefully. A grateful tone. "I actually called you for a favor. I need a supply of those pills I was on in the Company. The Haitian pills?" That's what they'd called them. He has no idea what the Company actually calls them, but that's his name. "The ones that dampens the abilities. It's… kind of important."

The tone doesn't go unnoticed, though Elle doesn't say anything on the subject. If she weren't quite so conscientious of her facial expressions now, she might even let a little twinge of self-satisfaction through to her face. Instead, she keeps her expression almost business-like. …until Peter talks about the Haitian pills, and she tips her chin down, staring at him disbelievingly. "You need Haitian pills?" Processing that request, she's quiet for a few seconds. "Should I ask why?"

"I'd prefer if you didn't," Peter says, eyes dropping a bit to where his dog has found a chew toy to gnaw on. She glances up, at him, pointed ears straightening, catching that she's being looked at and perhaps wanting to see if that means she's getting something. When he makes no moves, she goes back to her vigerous chewing. Taking in a slow breath, he looks up at Elle, "It's important, but I understand if you can't get them for me. I know you don't owe me anything anymore, but… you helped me escape. And that meant a lot to me. I just wish I could have taken you out of that place." There's a new tone, regret.

Following his gaze, Elle moves to crouch beside the dog, reaching out to pet her if she'd allow it. "I won't, then," she says with respect to asking after his intentions. It doesn't mean she isn't curious and running through a thousand different ways to find out in her head while they're speaking - but she won't ask openly. "I'll see what I can do. I can't guarantee anything. They keep things like that pretty controlled." Turning her gaze back to Peter, she says, "Don't worry about me. This is my life. It's all I know. I wouldn't even know what to do if I didn't have them." Smiling ruefully, ducking her head as she averts her eyes, she adds, "We're just trying to help keep people safe."

"Right," Peter says, shaking his head a bit. "That's why you helped break me out of there. Because they were just trying to help people." That shaking doesn't stop and there's suddenly some bitterness to his voice. There's been a lot of problems between him and the Company— especially the last few months. Mostly things that happened quite some time ago. "You could have had a life outside of them, and they know it too. You just were never allowed to have it." There's a slow breath. "Whatever you can get, thank you. If not, that's fine too."

Wincing, Elle doesn't look back to Peter at his observation, wishing he hadn't made it; she's becoming less and less adept at disguising her own sense of guilt over some of what the Company has done - and what she's done for them - and he has a particular way of drawing that guilt out. Shame, too, thought she'd never dare admit why to him. To herself, she muses over his choice of tense: could have had. Not 'could have,' she notices. "I'll see what I can do. I should be able to get them." It's just a question of whether or not anyone notices her. …and then whether or not she can lie her way out of it. She's already crossing the Big Boss just by being here, so why not go all the way? Finally returning her attention to Peter, she asks, "How many do you need?"

"I honestly don't know how many I'll need. Maybe a weeks worth, maybe a month," Peter quiets down again, still looking vaguely stressed. Whatever this situation happens to be, it's got him visibly stressed. "But I understand if you can only get your hands on a couple of doses worth." There's a small pause, he takes in a slow breath and moving a little closer. "I know you don't want to cross your father, Elle. But I also know your parent isn't really the one in charge anymore, if he ever even was. If you need to pin it on me, if you get caught— you can. But I promise… that I'm just trying to help. Just like you say they are."

"It's not my father I'm worried about," Elle replies, shaking her head, though she isn't forthcoming with who she might mean. "I'll be fine." She does her best to sound confident in that statement, but deep down she really isn't sure what someone like the head of the Company might do were they to discover what she's been up to in the last few days. Rising back to her feet, she winds her scarf around her neck and pulls her knitted hat over her head. "Just don't tell me anything I'd have to tell them about." Easy enough in theory, right? If only she knew. She slips her arms back into her coat.

"If you mean my mother, that's who I was talking about too," Peter says, giving her a look as she slips her arms back into her coat. There's nothing joking about his tone, serious and quiet still, almost whispered. As she's getting ready to leave, the dog stands up and moves over, perhaps missintreprating her readiness as being playtime. Moving over to intercept his dog, he bends down and picks her up, explaining, "I went to Kirby Plaza before the virus got cured to talk to someone in charge— and I just happened to get her instead. But I don't know if even telling her they're for me'll get you out of trouble. So be careful."

"It won't." A touch of bitterness comes into her voice now, too, and Elle looks back to Peter with an almost apologetic look. "She's the reason why I can't touch Victoria Pratt. I think my father's exact words were 'off-limits.'" The scrunch of her nose suggests just how she feels about that notion. "If she knew I'd told you, she'd probably kill me." There doesn't seem to be too much exaggeration in her voice, but that could just be Elle's fear of failure slipping in. "I'll be careful." With a slight smirk, she adds, "More than I usually am, anyway." Which isn't saying all that much. "Your name won't come up."

Kill. Peter's eyes close and his head tilts away a moment. It would look like he noticed the level of exaggeration, or lack of it. "Thank you, Elle. For this and for… Victoria Pratt." There's that grateful tone again to his voice again. "It means a lot to me that you're doing this, even when you don't have to. You know you can call on me for anything that's for you." Her personally. Not the Company. "I'll do my best to help you again. Though I know your father will probably threaten to kill me if he even suspects I'm trying to take you away." Again. And some things are too late now. Thanks to efforts of her father, and also the woman left to stand in for her for months.

Reaching out to touch his arm briefly, Elle gives him a pointed look. "Thanks." It's about as far as she's willing to go, admitting her gratitude to him for something which failed so spectacularly. He did try, after all - and she did want out, once upon a time. Maybe she still does. "I'll be in touch." Her coat buttoned, bundled up against the cold once more, she turns to head for the door and show herself out.

The white dog looks around, as if wondering if the hand on Peter's arm might have been meant for her. Her tail's even wagging from where she's being held. No, not play time, Snowy. He's in too serious a mood to be cheered up by the dog right now. "Hopefully I'll see you soon, Elle," he says softly, moving to follow, persumably to lock the door behind her.

"You will." And that's not even ominous, for once! With a final look over her shoulder and one last pat for the dog, Elle offers Peter a fleeting, somewhat uncertain smile. What has she gotten herself into? "Bye, Peter." And then she's gone, headed down the hallway towards the stairs.

Not ominous is good. With the dog supported in one hand, Peter closes and locks the door behind her, leaning his forehead against it.

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