2007-03-31: Shaking Things Up


Cass_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Elena_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Randall_icon.gif Steven_icon.gif

Summary: Niki and Cass are working and Peter comes into the store for the second time finally sees Niki. Cass calls him from the backroom while he's in the store, Elena comes in to talk about her father. Peter absorbs a power and makes things shake. Craziness generally abounds. A normal day.

Date It Happened: March 31, 2007

Shaking Things Up

Enlightenment Books

Even though Cass has hired people so that she will be able to take more time away from the store, she's finding it hard to break away. She's still in here almost every day just to check in and to do some work. It /is/ her store, after all and she feels more at home here than she does even in her own apartment. Today, however, is less of a customer service day and more of a working on the actual business end of her business. She had a quick rundown of the day from Alyssa of what happened before she came in and so, when as she leans back in her office chair, she's tapping the piece of paper she was given with Peter Petrelli's number on it. It's right on top of the sheets of paper that Jane gave her in the envelope a night or two ago. Deciding better sooner rather than later, she picks up the phone to dial his number.

Niki is slowly getting the hang of working at Enlightenment, learning the ins and outs of working at a bookstore. Of course, this particular store harbours certain tricks - such as, it helps to remember where Astral Projection is in relation to Cropfields on a moment's notice. Clueless as to who her boss is about to call elsewhere in the store, Niki is tucked away in a back corner, quietly, methodically working on restocking a shelf, where she casually keepz a distracted eye out for drop-ins.

Dressed in the same clothes he wore to this store not too long ago, Peter's opening the door when his cellphone rings. The ringtone isn't annoying, or anything, a musical tone for an unrecognized number. Reaching into his pocket as he edges the rest of the way inside, he picks up the phone and answers, hoping it's not anyone calling with bad news. "Peter Petrelli," he answers simply, saying his full name. Again. Inside this store. And since it's not terribly loud at the moment, his voice might easily carry towards other people in the main part of the store as he moves out of the way of the door.

The sound of a phone going off inside of the store isn't really unusual, so that doesn't alert Cass to the fact that who she's calling is right in the store. However, the voice she hears on the other end of the store phone is the same as the one she's hearing inside of her mostly quiet store. Weird. "Hi." The voice on the other end of the phone doesn't bring bad news, but it certainly sounds confused. "This is Cass Aldric. I was given your number." Standing up, she takes the phone with her as she creeps over to the doorway to see if she can confirm her suspicions. Standing right in the doorframe, she peers around the store to see if she can identify a man she's never met before. "One of my employees asked me to call you." Her eyes settle in on a man with a cellphone and waits for him to speak again before coming to any conclusions.

Niki can see a tiny sliver of the front door from where she is, and though she doesn't recognize the person who enters right away between that small window of books, it doesn't take her long to learn who it is. As she tucks a book onto the shelf gently, she's on her way toward the main part of the store to greet the customer like a good employee - which is when she hears the name. Stepping into side off to Peter's side, she casts a lightly confused look to Cass before she says in a soft, but surprised, voice to the man: "…Peter."

Knock knock knock.

Odd. Someone's trying to get through the back door.

There would indeed be a man talking on a cellphone. "Oh— really? I— you're not in the store are you? I just walked in." Peter says, looking around with a surprised expression on his face just in time to see a woman on the phone looking right at him, and then Niki Sanders saying his name and looking at /him/ in surprised. Well… This would certainly be a small world, wouldn't it? "Niki, hi…" Yes, he's still on the phone. Glancing towards the other woman, he gives an apologetic look and pulls the phone away a bit from his ear.

It's a weird moment to be talking on the phone to a man that is right in front of you. Strangely enough, Cass doesn't hang up just yet. She can't say why, though. Perhaps she just forgot that she still has it. "I…yes. Hi. I'm…yup, that's me right there. Woman with the phone." She grins at Peter when he looks at her. Niki gets a raised eyebrow since the woman seems to know Peter, too. Wow. Does everyone know this man? But, that's about the time when there's a knocking on her back door so she doesn't get a chance to ask just yet. Glancing over her shoulder, she gives an apologetic smile before saying into the phone, "One second. I'll be right back." Then, putting the headpiece on her shoulder, she unlocks the back door to see who it might be tapping there.
A block away, walking toward the store, is a twenty-something brunette with guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack over the other. She's in dark jeans, a grey Yale hoodie, and two inch heeled boots. Jane looks around, thinking of possible spots to set up and play for a while, to keep herself busy and make some coin. Eyes settle on the store, and she decides to see if Cass or Alyssa is around. The former to see if she has questions about what she left last time, and the other to just talk with her about having come across Anastasia and Amanda. When she reaches the door, fingers reach to open it and she steps in quietly.

And it's….a teenager. A teenager who looks like she's aged 10 years. Which would make her look, if taken literally, just as 'old' as Cass.

…okay not really. But she does look like she's been put through the ringer and then some.

Elena's got dark circles over her eyes, and the tangled mess that is her hair is pulled up in a messy twist. She has, as always, her backpack full of stuff. Cass's little bookstore in East Village has been, for the time being, a kind of sanctuary in the past few weeks. Here she had purpose. Here, she knew what she was doing…most of the time. Now she just wants to hide at the back of the store surrounded by books and chill for a little while, and then some. "Hi Cass." Her voice is hoarse, and her eyes are a little bloodshot - but it's clear the young woman hasn't slept in a while. "Sorry but can I invade? I promise I'll buy something at some point. I didn't want to go through the front door because of…." She pulls the crumpled envelope from her pocket to show her. "Didn't want to take any chances."

Niki's confusion is pretty obvious. She braces herself lightly with one hand against the adjacent bookshelf as she looks from Peter to Cass and back again. Do they know each other? What's going on? The knock on the back door jars her a little, and she glances that way - delivery man, maybe? When Cass goes to check it out, the blonde steps further out. "What are you doing here…?" As soon as the words are out of her mouth, someone is coming through the front door. A mildly apologetic look is given to Peter as she puts on a customer-friendly smile and gives Jane the line of: "Hi, welcome to Enlightenment. Let me know if I can help you with anything."

"Hi," Peter returns the greeting over the phone rather shyly, before she dismisses herself to go take care of something. Still on the phone, he kind of makes out another voice he recognizes, but he's distracted by Niki. "I— actually I was looking for you," he just says honestly, shrugging his shoulders a bit. "I met Mr. Winters here earlier, and he mentioned your name, and that you worked here— I figured I'd stop in and see if you were working yet…" It might sound odd, and it probably should. As the door opens, and she goes to do her job, his eyes follow towards the door to look at Jane, who gets a small hint of a smile. And yes, he's still holding the phone close to his ear. Why? She's just in the other room? Well, she didn't hang up either.

In her back room, Cass gapes at Elena. She's not aware of Jane entering or the conversation between Niki other than what she can hear over the receiever. But, she's not really listening all that closely. Quickly, she makes to grab the girl and pull her inside where it is safe and good. "I've got to go, Mr. Petrelli," she says into the phone again, the distress clear in her voice. True, he's just in the other room, but this time they /are/ actually separated so it's okay. Cradling the receiver, she closes the door behind Elena and points her to her comfy office arm chair. She will forcibly put the girl there if she needs to. Immediately she sets to making hot water for tea. "What /happened/ to you? Are you okay? What is that?" she asks of the envelope.

"Pete," the guitarist replies when greeted by him, just before turning to Niki. "Thanks," Jane responds. Nothing more is said, she doesn't know the employee and doesn't want to interfere with their conversation, so she just wanders the shelves a bit, looking over titles found there. Books, books, and more books. Somewhere down the aisle one is picked up and glanced over, then opened so she can have a look at the contents.

The door closes behind her, and Elena drops into the comfy chair. Hitting something soft, warm, and comfortable, she practically sinks into it. The backpack is dropped carefully next to her. Rubbing her eyes with her fingertips after closing them, she exhales softly. She needs to relax. She knows it. "I'm just tired. Papa hasn't woken up. I've been trying but…..it's not anything I can fix. It's different this time. I think it's because of how he went down. And I didn't want to try too hard because I might make him worse. And then I got a call from Grandma about…" Her voice trails off, and she shakes her head to try and clear the buzzing. "She's upstate so I went over the weekend because Papa couldn't, he's still in the hospital. I just got back. I haven't slept." She gives Cass a rueful smile. "I mean, I was told when I started as a freshman that I might have to pull all nighters in college, but I didn't think they meant like this," she jokes. "And …this?" She lifts up the envelope. "It was in Papa's pocket when they brought him in. It's addressed to me so I took it."

The unlikely bookstore employee flashes another smile at Jane, although she glances at Peter midway through when the guitarist calls him "Pete". When the customer goes about browsing, Niki puts a hand on Peter's elbow to try to lead him closer to the side of the counter, away from the aisles, where it's ever-so-slightly more private. Not… really, because it's a small store, but it helps. A little. "Why were you looking for me?" she questions, keeping her voice relatively low; she sounds perplexed by the thought for whatever reason, or perhaps that's mostly wariness in her tone.

Well, that ends the phone conversation. As soon as Cass hangs up, Peter frowns towards the doorway he'd seen the woman in not too long ago, and lets the phone drop into his pocket. Still on, but now stored safely in his pocket, waiting to be rung up if someone needs him. "Jane, hi," he responds in greeting, that hint of a smile returning before he gets dragged off towards the bookshelves with Niki. For a moment he looks almost confused, as if he doesn't know the answer to her question, really. "I just— wanted to talk to you again, really. I mean, after what happened— and all. I saw the news and— Well, I don't know what happened, but it sounded like you didn't exactly either, so…" From the sound of things, he's really not sure where he's going with this.

Oh God. Ramon. Of course. "He still hasn't woken up?" Cass frowns, remembering him collapsing in her store. She looks just as worried now as Elena, if also a little guilty. Because she was here when he collapsed and she had no idea that it was this bad. Also because she knows what envelope that is. "I…yeah. I got one of those, too. Jane dropped them off while I was talking to your father. So he…uh…kind of knows about the break in. Sort of. Lee spilled the beans." This is a forewarning for the girl. "I meant to tell you earlier, but things have just gotten really out of control." The water behind her is boiling and she grabs a mug to steep some chamomile tea for the teenager. "I'm so sorry, Elena."

While conversations go on between Niki and Peter in the main area and Cass speaks with Elena, Jane keeps to herself, perusing the book in her hands.

"It's— " Niki, her hand falling away, shifts somewhat uncomfortably where she stands. "It's been taken care of." Whatever that means, right? "It's nothing you have to worry about." It's spoken more gently than a command might be, but there's a quiet resolve about the words nonetheless. She glances to where Jane is, then also to the door to the back room. "Do you know Cass?"

"Oh, that's good. I was— worried about you," Peter admits, fidgetting at the cuff of his coat as he looks towards the shelves. What section did they end up in? Oh, it would seem they're standing in the section on alien abductions. How fitting… "I hoped you'd be okay, but I guess if you're able to come to your job…" Then it couldn't be too bad, right? He follows her eyes towards the door to the back room and shakes his head, "Only by reputation." Which isn't as wide spread as his own? "Never actually met her. Until now, I guess. Hope nothing's wrong back there…"

The young woman takes the tea, and takes a quiet sip. "It's okay, Cass. Something like that….I won't be able to hide it forever. I'm just…." She pauses for a little bit, and she sighs, tugging on a lock of hair that's fallen to frame one side of her face. "I knew if he found out he wasn't going to be happy. At the same time it's not like I wasn't telling him stuff. I was. I told him about the paintings, the Company, the group of people I'm talking to. And he knows about Peter…save the fact that I tried to help him escape. That was the one thing I wish he didn't find out but that's okay. I just….ever since I found out that his blood pressure spikes whenever he uses his powers on a bigger scale I…." She shrugs. "I didn't want to make his physical symptoms worse by making him worry that much about me. And I know he worries about me a lot. It's kind of selfish now though now that I think about it….I mean, out of everyone else he deserves to know what's up with me."

Not needing any more tea herself, Cass keeps the concerned look on her face as Elena vents her problems. "Peter." Something clicks. That's right, Elena knew Peter. Knew that he actually got out from the disastrous escape attempt. Then she laughs. "You're talking about the Petrelli guy, right? Man, this is such a small world. He's here. I was just on the phone with him." Yes. While he was in the store, but we can move past that fact. "Your father will be fine, Elena. We'll figure something out. Once I can start researching, I'll find something that'll help control his blood pressure." After all, that's what she's starting this clinic for anyway. "It's not selfish. You were trying to protect your father. Just like he was trying to protect you." Reaching out, she attempts to give Elena a hug. She definitely looks like she needs one. "Want to go say hi to Mr. Petrelli? I haven't actually met him yet. Just kind of stared at him stupidly in the doorway."

"Yeah. I'm fine. After you patched me up," Niki adds with a small smile to shine a little light on the topic. Also, hey, she's not in jail, so she actually /can/ come to work, but she doesn't clarify that part of 'fine'. She glances in the direction of the back room and clasps her hands - looking much less frostbitten now - in front of her, toying with her fingers a bit. "Cass has a reputation? For… what?"

She reaches out to hug Cass. "Thanks, Cass," Elena says softly, taking another sip of the tea. It was rather calming, actually. She had never really been a big tea drinker but now perhaps she ought to consider it. But when Cass mentions Peter, she looks up. "…Peter's here?" she wonders, her eyes wide. "Wait….how did he…?" Get Cass's number? Oh nevermind, she'll find out eventually. But after giving Cass a squeeze, she leans back and she smiles. "Yeah….thanks. I'm sure Papa would want someone older to help me out with this stuff anyway. I mean….I'm 18. I'm just starting the pre-med track. I'm not really….I'm not that qualified to…." She pauses. "…speaking of research, I had a breakthrough the other day. I might've stumbled upon a way for Papa to use his powers more efficiently. But I'll tell you more about it later when you're not busy." She stands up slowly. "But I'll be glad to see Peter. I was worried about him ever since…" She pauses, and her eyes widen and she looks at Cass. "Oh Cass, oh my god I'm so sorry! I forgot to tell you about Dr. Suresh…and his ward…and…." Cass knows by now of course but with everything going on in her end…

"I'm glad I patched you up, then," Peter actually takes a moment to glance over her, carefully looking for what wounds he would be able to see with her clothes on. They've mostly healed by now, of course, but he can't help but look. Next time she needs patching up, though, he'll take her to his apartment instead. If only to spare Nathan the trauma of seeing a one night stand in his wife's house coat. "Well, I wouldn't say it's a reputation, so much as she's been mentioned to be a couple times, by a few people. Know another employee, here, Alyssa? She's nice." Wacky, but nice. "And Mr. Winters mentioned her too when he gave me advice of meditation books."

"Hey, hey," Cass keeps a firm grip on her friend, working on being comforting. "I know. I know. Jane told me. It's bad, but we'll figure it out. Apparently Peter has a plan?" That's definitely a question, since she doesn't know for certain. It's part of the reason she wanted to call him and talk to him. Which she hasn't gotten a chance to do at all yet. "You'll do great. You've already made more breakthroughs than I have on any of this stuff." Gesturing with her head toward the door, she tries to subtly try to say they should greet others. "Come on, let's get your mind off of all this."

The spoken of guitarist, not party to any conversation in progress, is down one of the aisles still quietly reading a book. Jane seems to be getting a bit lost in it, and most likely unaware of anything else presently.

"…he does?" Elena murmurs, looking up at Cass. Peter? Peter, she trusts. She didn't know why, but it had been easy to trust the younger Petrelli. Probably because his presence was so soothing. And he understood her. She stands up slowly and stretches her spine, feeling several nasty, audible pops jerk up along the bone. She groans, and rubs the small of her back. "Thanks for the tea, this is good stuff actually," she tells Cass with a small grin. "But we'll talk more about the research later." She reaches out to squeeze Cass's hand gently. "Thanks Cass. For…you know. Helping Papa." And with that, whenever they're both ready, they'll head out of the back room. Despite looking like she's been shoved in an industrial-sized dryer with the cycle turned to high, she smiles when she sees Niki, and beams when she sees Peter and Jane.

Niki smiles a touch more, in gratitude, then nods along to Peter when he mentions the other employee. "Yeah, and Benjamin's daughter works here, too. Cass is nice. I, uhm…" She looks down, then up, hesitant and threatening to frown. "I feel like I should do something to thank you, for…" And speaking of Cass, when the woman emerges from the back room with Elena, Niki smiles at the both of them and just wanders away from 'Alien Abductions' to lean against the counter. "Hey, Elena."

"I think you already did something, Niki," Peter says, dismissing her feeling of need to return the favor. The thanks had been more than enough, and he'd really not done it for the thanks anyway. He hadn't even known who the woman falling out of the building had been, in all honesty. Moving away from alien abductions as well, he smiles widely as he spots Elena. "Elena," he says, smiling fondly. Though there's a pause and he hesitates. They'd been playing so long like they didn't really know each other in public. For a moment it looks as if he wants to touch her arm, or something, but instead he turns towards Cass. "Nice to finally meet you, Ms. Aldric."

"I assume. Someone's got to," Cass laughs at that. "Don't worry about it. Your father looked out for me and I'm just returning the favor. He's a good man and deserves some kindness." The smile is still there, but it's a lot more tempered when she talks about Ramon. "It's just chamomile tea. What kind of New Age bookstore would I be if I didn't have a stash of that somewhere?" By now she's out into the main bookstore and she beams at Niki and Peter. "I've also got Patchouli incense in a secret compartment of my desk drawer. That's only for special occasions, though. Wasted on penalty of death. How's it going, Niki?" She smiles at Peter and his greeting. "Same. I keep on hearing so much about you. It's nice to finally meet the famous Peter Petrelli."

Randall slips quietly into the bookshop, a tattered backpack slung over one shoulder, unaware that there's such an interesting crowd inside— if he'd known, he'd be out of breath from running. "Hey there," he says, looking around and spotting Jane first, then Elena, and— 'Famous?' he mouths silently, letting the door close and waiting for the round of intros already in progress to run its course.

Steven strolls into the book store nervously. He was looking for a certain /book/. Of course you all know that /book/. But he scoured the internet and found the one store in New York selling the /book/ since the copy he got from Florida was taken by a friend of his who denounced it as rantings of a lunatic. So he was searching for another copy, carrying a book bag full of large text books and wearing a guitar case on his back, he stops in on his way to class.

Still reading that book, and not having been addressed, Jane remains unknowing of Elena's presence. She just reads, until and unless someone grabs her attention away from it. Fingers move, they trace passages in the printed text her eyes perceive.

"Hey Niki," she greets the ridiculously hot blond with a cheeky sort of grin, and then to the other man. "Peter," Elena greets him with a tired smile - she sees the fondness there, which is enough for her. She'll give him a hug once they're out of public eye. Just because some people know that she knows him doesn't mean that she ought to broadcast how well in public. Especially now that the place is attracting more business. And when Randall walks in, and mouths something to her, her eyes widen. Randall. She hasn't seen him since Jack punched the crap out of him in Tabitha's club. She gives him a sheepish looking smile, and waves from where she is.

"It's going fine, Cass!" Niki answers with a bright smile. "Famous, huh? I thought that was a title only left to your brother," she says with a good-natured half-smirk to Peter. And without any awkwardness over mentioning Nathan, no less - but maybe that's because she has no idea he knows she's /that girl/. Well, ort of. Semantics. She heads around to the other side of the counter; there's not all that much left for her to do save for handle customers, and look, some are walking in the door right now. The blonde gives Randall and Steven (mostly Steven, since Randall seems to know people) one of her customer-friendly smiles. "Hey. Let me know if you need any help finding anything, okay?"

"Blame Hiro for that," Peter admits, glancing over towards Niki and looking a little on the sheepish side. He'll blame the little Japanese guy as much as he needs to. "Sure Nathan would prefer to keep all the publicity to himself," he adds on, not looking too obvious in his nervousness. She doesn't know he knows, and he can pretend it doesn't matter, right? Right. "Don't really think I deserve all of that, though. I'm just a former nurse who doesn't even have a job right now." He's working on that, though, you can bet… "Kept hearing I needed to talk to you, so I made sure Alyssa gave you my number," he adds on, shifting to set his hand down on a nearby bookshelf near the counter. For a moment, there's nothing out of the ordinary with that at all.

Petrelli, right! That's why that name sounded familiar. Randall snaps out of his moment of Zen, walking toward Elena with a look of concern. He hasn't seen her since that night, either, and the black eye is pretty much healed up by now (thanks in part to her subtle assist) and— and she's obviously had a rough day, though what sort of rough isn't yet apparent. "Long time no see," he says, reaching a hand out. "So your big sister went and raked me over the coals the other day…"

"Actually, I do need a little help," The teen says to Niki in a hushed whisper. He noticed the small crowd in the bookstore and didn't want to be rude. Place is pretty full! Steven didn't believe small bookstores could survive after he saw "You've got Mail!"

"I'm looking for a particular book," he then chuckles quietly, "My friend would be extremely upset if she knew I trying to find it, but its by a geneticist named, Chandra Suresh."

The door opens and lets people into the store and Cass opens her mouth to greet them, but Niki's already doing that. Blinking, she gives the woman a pleased smile and gives Randall a wave, since she knows him specifically. And to Steven, "Yup! Ask me or Niki for anything you need!" Then, she's back to her conversation with Elena and Peter and Niki. "I actually haven't met your brother. I saw all his ads everywhere, though. Forget what exactly he was running for, though." No, she doesn't follow politics that closely. "And I will when I see him next. It's been awhile. You know, it's funny. I kept hearing the same thing about you. I'm glad you stopped by."

She turns away from the group for just a moment so Elena can tilt her head up to smile at Randall. "Just over the weekend," she jests, rubbing her eyes. "I need sleep so bad. I see you're on the road to recovery though." She grins, seeing the shiner gone from his face. When he extends a hand out, she takes it, giving it a squeeze before she blinks. "Big sister?" she asks, confused. She was the oldest child. She didn't have a big sister, unless she meant some other big sister who isn't really a sister but was like one to her. She rubs her eyes again, and takes another sip of her tea.

"Sure," Niki says through a warm laugh to the teenager. She lets the conversation between the others pass her by, for the most part, as she slips around the counter to head toward the area Activating Evolution is shelved, gesturing for Steven to follow her. "I guess it's pretty popular lately. It's right here," she says, indicating the book's spine with a fingertip.

Yup, still reading down one of the aisles as yet another person mentions her, not knowing any of it's going on. Jane turns a page, if anyone happens to look at her they might see she's reading something about the ancient mystical role of cats. After a few more seconds she stops and closes the book with one hand going into her pocket to pull out a debit card, then starts walking toward the counter.

Right, nothing at all out of the ordinary. "It was Congress, and Nathan did try to put his face on everything," Peter admits with a hint of a smile, glancing over as the boy asks for the book by Dr. Suresh. He remembers the day when he walked into a store trying to find something to explain human flight potential. He might have been shopped /here/. He doesn't remember, but this place isn't too far from his apartment. It'd been almost half a year ago… Glancing back towards Cass, he still has a almost nervous smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. "Kind of a coincidence I stopped by right as you were calling me." Destiny, as he'd been trying to tell Elena when they first met. With his hand still on the shelf, though, something does start to happen. Namely, the entire bookshelf suddenly begins to vibrate like crazy. Within a half second books are falling off, and anything decorative on the shelf might be making a nose dive towards a shattery end. In surprise, the young man pulls his hand back almost instantly and looks— well— surprised. Huh? What was that? The vibrating stops almost the instant his hand breaks away, but not before there's things crashing towards the floor.

"Figuratively," Randall explains to Elena, waving back to Cass as well. "She was right over there, last I saw her—" He turns and points, only to do a double-take at the mishap with the shelving. "Whoa, hey, San Andreas is on the /other/ side of the country!" He's too far away to be much help in picking up after it, so instead he just watches to see who does something interesting next.

As Steven turns to follow the woman he notices Jane heading towards the counter. Although they had only met briefly at a coffee shop, she was a fellow music lover. He raises a hand, trying to catch her attention as he follows the book seller. He then hears a couple of items from the bookshelf fall on the floor. Although he didn't see exactly what happened, he knows something /weird/ is up.

Well, everyone is going in on their separate ways and conversations, leaving Cass and Peter to talk. If it was Enlightenment Books he stopped in to buy the book, the owner doesn't remember him. But that would have been right after Thomas died and things were a little hazy and confused for her. Yetis could have come in to buy books and she would not have noticed. "Right. He's the one with kind of the smarmy smile, right?" Cass blurts out. "Er, sorry. Yes. Um, Congress. That's right." Time to change the subject. "It's so weird so many of those coincidences are happening lately to me. It's just like one long string of them." Seeing Jane make a beeline for the counter, the keep gives a grin to the guitarist. "Hey Jane. I'll be right with you." Before she can help her, the bookshelf starts to vibrate crazily and the books start to take nosedives for the ground. "Woah. Woah!" This is the /second/ time something like this has happened. The only thing that's actually broken is one of the framed pictures that sits on the higher shelf comes crashing down with a very audible crunching sound. Cass winces, but doesn't seem to be too upset about it. "Hey, everyone watch your step. There's glass over here and I don't want any bleeders. I'm going to go get the broom."

"You mean— hey Jane," Elena smiles, waving when she finally sees that the woman is done with her shopping - or is about to anyway when she walks up to the counter and close to them. She leans in to murmur something to her, and then she looks at Randall again. She's about to say something more when Peter gets an accident in one of the shelves. She looks somewhat startled at the vibrating, and then she shakes her head. Looking at Randall, she frowns. "Yeah no kidding," she says lightly, backing up her 'big brother'. "It's been odd but New York's been having some weird…..earthquake problems lately. There was this one coffeeshop I was in at the East Village that just started shaking really violently. No one could explain it, it was weird."
Elena also moves so she could help, at the very least pick up some books that had fallen.

"I hope you like it. Let me know if you need anything else!" The smiling blonde tells Steven. "It's okay Cass, I got it." She sneaks back to the counter in time to meet Jane there; she's barely there half of a second, starting to hold out a hand to take the book in order to ring the order up, when things start to fall and crash. Niki freezes with her hand outstretched, gaping a little. "… Do you mind waiting for a second?" she asks of Jane apologetically before striding over to pick up the frame and some books, too.

Okay, good, people are not panicking and running around after all. Now Randall steps forward and joins in the clean-up effort. "Yeah?" He crouches down and piles up a few softcovers, watching closely for stray glass. "You gotta show me which one, maybe there are still some energy traces." Yes, he would fit right in around a place like this. Straightening up again, he taps the disturbed shelf to see whether it's still structurally sound, or if he needs to move the books to one of the others instead.

"I— I'm sorry, I didn't…" Peter glances down at his hand, as if wondering what exactly caused that. To be honest, he does not know. Kneeling down, he reaches to pick up one of the books, but suddenly stops and glances towards Elena, looking surprised. "Sorry. You sure you can handle it?" He whispers towards her, as he stands up and moves back a bit. He's getting the picture that he should avoid touching anything for a little while, but— it's also impossible to help clean up the mess he unintentionally made. And he's not even sure how! Deep breaths, right… that shouldn't be too difficult. "Maybe I should have started reading that book on meditation earlier," he admits in softened tones towards the young woman helping with the clean up. "Just don't cut yourself, okay?"

Sighted by Elena on the way to the counter, Jane stops with her hand extended to pass the item off for Niki and or Cass to ring up, with the other about to offer the debit card. She looks the latina over slowly, taking in the state of her appearance, with eyes showing concern. It reminds her of herself at a certain time in the recent past, and when the girl leans in to whisper, her arms open to offer a hug of comfort. While doing so she attempts to whisper back, and gets out part of what she wanted to say, when her attention is drawn by the suddenly shaking shelf. She looks at it, then the picture that fell off, and moves to assist in picking up if there's anything left to be so reclaimed from the floor.

Well since everyone else is in the cleaning effort, Steven decides to help as well. He places his bookbag and guitar case in the corner as he heads over to the bookshelf to assist. He doesn't know many people in NY but he's always willing to help.

She hugs Jane back, murmurs softly, and gives her a faint smile at her whisper. But they can talk later. Whenever she moves to the site of the accident, she nods to him. "I got, it Peter, I have to leave right away here, anyway - I have someplace to be. I owe Cass for the tea to boot so I'll do this to make up for it." She winks at Cass's general direction at the attempt of the jest. It's just a few books, plus Randall is helping, and Niki is moving to be a good employee. Someone will have to handle the glass though - that looks like a right mess and she doesn't have her glasses on her to be able to make sure that she scrapes up every bit of glass to keep them from cutting anyone. Then she'll set the books carefully on the counter so the stack will be away from the glass. She doesn't know how Cass likes them arranged, so she'll leave it for Niki and Cass to handle.

And to Randall, she grins. "Yeah sure, at some point this week I can show you," she says. And then she checks her watch, frowning a little bit.
Broom and dustpan to the rescue! Cass comes back from the back room with them triumphantly. "Woah, watch your hands. Don't get cut. Thanks for helping out." She grins. "It's okay, Mr. Petrelli. It was probably just the shelf," she makes a quick excuse for him. "That's an old bookcase." Shooing the well meaning helpers away, she starts to sweep up the glass shards into the dustpan - getting even the tiny little bits. Then, she dumps them into a paper back. "If you've got someplace to be, Elena, go go. I'll talk to you soon. We've got a couple more things to discuss." And not all of it has to do with clinics and 'serious stuff'.

With a quiet crunch of glass underfoot, Niki stands up from the crouch she was in while gathering things from the floor, cradling a few books in her arms, as well as the frame. She goes about shelving the books one by one, since she knows where they go. Sort of. However, books the others rescued will have to wait, as she tiptoes out of the way of Cass's broom and waves Jane over to the counter. "Um. I can run that through for you now if you want," she says with a lopsided smile, setting the broken frame safely off to the side.

"That's too bad," Peter admits softly, looking down at Elena as he continues to step backwards. The last thing he wants to do is touch a bookshelf and waste their efforts. Looking towards the two young men who'd just entered, he offers a hint of a smile, before he finally glances towards Cass, "About my brother's smile— I agree, it's smarmy." So he hadn't been insulted at all, really. Nothing to apologize, there. "He's a good guy, though. He would have made a fine Congressman." His brother isn't biased at all. All of a sudden a ring tone goes off and without thought the Petrelli reaches into his pocket and grabs his phone— and know how phones sometimes vibrate? They're kind of made for it? Well— they aren't made for /this/ much of a vibration. The ringing stops abruptly as the screen on the phone shatters, and he drops it towards the floor just as fast. …good thing all his numbers are on a notepad at home in case he needed to trash his phone anyway… But still. He just kind of stares at it. Okay. Don't touch /anything/. He's really not trying to break anything.

She looks up at the younger Petrelli and gives him a smile. A brief smile is tossed to Jane as well, and at the silent question, Elena shakes her head in reply. She mouths something to her, before she looks over at the rest of the group. "Alright, Cass. I'll be around, you have my number. Bye Niki, Jane, Randall, Peter." She rakes a hand through her hair and sets the mug, now empty, on the counter carefully. And then, with a final smile and wave, she heads out to the backroom so she could grab her backpack and head on out of there.

Jane glances at Elena again when Peter drops his phone, and offers a quick "See you soon, take care," then steps over toward the Petrelli brother. This isn't good. She's getting a sense he might've picked up something from someone here, and there are, to her knowledge, just two candidates. Randall and Steven, since he'd been talking to Niki earlier and nothing like this happened. Hoping, seriously hoping, the former Berkeley student can be misdirected, and leaving that to others at least for now, she tries to lure Peter away. "Pete, hey, that guitar lesson we were talking about… You ready, man?"

"Thanks Niki," Cass replies to the woman as she moves to help Jane and she continue to clean up the small mess that was made. "Thanks guys," she smiles at everyone who helped. She laughs. "Phew. Sorry, I just didn't want to offend you. I'm…sure he would have." She didn't vote for him, but then, she didn't vote for anyone. As the phone shakes and breaks and is dropped to the floor, Cass raises an eyebrow. She stares at Peter and then down at the broken phone. Crouching down, she picks it up and investigates the broken screen and then she holds it up. "Um. Do you still want this? Or should I just toss it?" She nods to Elena. "I do. We'll talk soon. Keep me updated on your dad, if you would?"

"I will, Cass," Elena promises with a smile. And then, she'll head out.

"Bye Elena," Peter calls out just before the young teen leaves, looking as if he'd really like to be able to say more, but really can't. And he's definitely not going to try hugging her right now. "I— stick it in my pocket if you can? I'd bought it to be thrown away in case of an emergency, and I know who was calling. I can go home and call them back, and get a new phone tomorrow." With the same number, as services usually allow that kind of thing. They might want the broken one, so he'll take that with him. "Was going to buy a book or two— and stay and talk, but— now may not be the best time. Can I stop by after hours, sometime? Like… tomorrow maybe?" As for Jane. He gives a sheepish glance. "Not tonight, but— I could do it sometime soon." He really shouldn't be touching any guitars right now.

As Steven moves to pick up a couple other books, he notices the guy's phone vibrate in his hand. Not the good vibrate, the bad vibrate…the vibrate that caused that freak earthquake back home. He had met only one other person with a unique /power/ but this guy could do what he did. Beads of sweat began to form on the teen's forehead. He was already nervous when he entered the shop and this sure wasn't making it any better. As soon as he finished with the rest of the items on the floor, he quickly made his way over to the counter to purchase the book he actually came to get.

After finishing up with the books, Randall turns and waves to Elena as she heads off, then looks to Cass. "Hope he's been doing okay?" he says to her, since she's the one sticking around. He glances over at Peter, scratching his head, but shrugs and lets Jane lead him away; whatever curious streak he might have, he's not going to do it any favors by being directly nosy about the guy.

Niki is understandably distracted when Peter's phone goes crazy, or— when he drops it or it explodes or /whatever/ just happened over there. She blinks out of her daze quickly, though. "Bye, Elena." She has a smile for the young woman as she makes to leave, then sees to Steven. "Thanks for the help! Is that all?" she asks as she reaches out for the genetics book. It's rung through and she gives him the price, but gives the teenager a bit of a lingering look afterward. "…hey, are you alright?"

"I think today's really good to do that, actually, Pete," Jane replies, looking toward him. "Anyway, I wanted you to hear what I'd been working on, y'know?" Her eyes rest on his face, she hoping he'll get that it's a cover and that she has some idea what's going on. "I just need a moment to pay for this book and we can go, yes?" Stepping up to the counter again, she holds it out to be rung up, the debit card coming along with it.

Cass holds out the phone for Peter to take. "Sure, not a problem. I close up around 8 most nights. Here, let me give you my phone number so you can check to make sure I'm here before making the trip. Though, really, you could just talk to Niki or Alyssa even if I wasn't. Or Rose. You'd love her, she's…a character." She grins and walks over to the counter for some paper and a pen. Scribbling her number down, she rips it off and puts that with the broken phone for a whole package for Peter to take. Luckily, Niki is being a good employee and helping the customers while she's doing this talking.

The boy hands the woman his purchase and searches his pockets for cash, "I'm…uh…fine," he replies quickly as he pays. When she takes his money he places his hands on the counter in anticipation. A faint rattling can be heard from the counter briefly before Steven pulls his hand away quickly. He gives the woman a faint smile as he waits for his book. "Huh…Old wood…" He chuckles nervously.

"Jane…" Peter says, holding his hands up in a helpless gesture. Look at him, he's— well, not falling apart, but /breaking things/. "All right, just…" Don't kill him if he destroys your guitar, right? Speaking of which… he reaches out and takes the phone and the phone number, and very quickly drops it into his pocket before it destroys anything else on it. Not that it can be salvaged at this point. "I've met her dad. He seems like a nice guy. Hopefully I'll catch you. I imagine tomorrow'll be a pretty busy day for this store…" Considering what day it happens to be. "Sorry I couldn't stay and talk today…" He really didn't expect this to happen. And he has no idea where it came from.

The journey of the book, bagged now, toward Steven by Niki goes in slow motion as the counter rattles. "…Yeah. It must've been one of those weird earthquakes someone was talking about," she says, acting like she's brushing off the occurrence as nothing; there's a reassuring quality to her smile at the same time. She hands him his purchase. "Thanks for shopping at Enlightenment."

Cass smiles and shakes her head. "It's fine. I'm glad you came in. Um…good luck." With everything, really. "Ramon? Yeah. He's good people. I'll talk to you when I talk to you. Don't sweat it. The way things seem to be working, I'll probably just run into you when I need to talk to you next." She grins. "I'l….get the door for you." And she will when he leaves.

Randall nods vaguely to Cass; there's a lot being talked about, and a lot going on, and he still only has a grasp of part of it. For now, he's content to wander over to the other side of the shop, browsing the shelves like he originally came in to do. A tome on numerology is flipped through, then set down sideways on top of the stack while he checks out some of the others.

The wheels click into place as she stands near the counter, being rung up, and seeing it rattle. The book she saw him with when they first met, the rattle of the counter, the shaking shelf, Pete's predicament… Yes. Thinking fast, hoping Randall the Researcher doesn't catch on, and hoping Cass can cover if he does, Jane places a hand on the younger musician's shoulder and smiles. "Wow, you know, you should totally come with us too, man. We didn't really get to talk that long the other day. Now's good, I'm free." She waits to be rung up. Once she is, the guitarist/lawyer is on her way out.

"I meant Rose's dad, Mr. Winters? But I've met Ramon too," Peter says with a nod, looking a little sheepish still, because— yes, he needs the door opened for him. "Thank you, Ms. Aldric, I'll talk to you later," he says with a smile and a nod, before he glances back towards Niki. "It was good seeing you again, Niki," he also calls out, raising the dangerous hand in a goodbye wave. And then… glancing at Jane, inviting someone else along. "Actually, I really should see what that call was about, Jane. Before I— dropped my phone." Yeah, blame clumsyness. "I promise we'll get together soon." But— not now. Especially if she's inviting someone along who might notice— the not-so-good vibrations. With the door held open for him, he'll cautiously slip outside and hope to make it home without destroying anything else.

"Umm…maybe another time. I really have to head to class," Steven replies quickly gathering his purchase and his other items he placed on the floor earlier. Too much to take in right now but he hand many questions. Especially since the other girl with the powers didn't tell him that there maybe others. Maybe she was hiding something from him, something he would definitely need to check out.

"But I have your number, maybe we can meet up afterwards." He flashes a nervous grin before giving the other young man a lingering glimpse and heading towards the door.

"Oh! Benjamin. Yes. He's nice, too." Cass smiles. "Please, call me Cass. Ms. Aldric is much too weird for me. I'll talk to you later." Keeping the door open, she waits until Peter successfully makes it out before letting it close behind him. Then, it's back to the counter to watch customers with Niki.

The book is rug up for Jane and, once the debit card is swiped and all of that good stuff, Niki hands over the purchase. "Have a nice day." That's what people who are in this industry say, right? Sounds good. She smiles to Peter he heads for the door. "Yeah, you too," she replies sincerely. "Take care." Once there are no more customers to tend to yet, she winds her way around to the front of the counter again to make herself useful. She gathers together a stack of books the others left on the counter after the tumble, lifting them all up at once— before she realizes that's probably way too many hardcovers for one woman to be carrying as she was for about two seconds. She shuffles about to leave a few behind and goes to re-shelve, like a good employee who is totally normal unlike some of these freaks. Totally.

Randall puts some other books back, picking up the first one that caught his eye and taking it over to the counter. Niki's little stunt escapes him; he's too far off to get a good look at just how heavy that load was. "So, uh," he offers to Cass as he reaches the counter. "Is Elena doing all right? She seemed kind of frazzled, and I didn't get a chance to ask her because—" Yeah, the earthquake thing kinda interrupted, there.

Failure. Jane thinks for a moment about trying to insist, but Randall the Researcher is still around, and to try pushing the issue with Peter or Steven might look suspicious, more so than things already could be, so… she lets it go. "See you later, guys," the woman replies with a quiet smile, looking disappointed they won't be coming with her. She turns back to Niki and offers a "Thanks, you too." before facing Cass and Randall.

"Hey, Niki," Cass waves the woman over to the counter again. Now that the flood of things crashing and customers wanting to buy things are over, she can actually breath. And since she knows Niki's a little wary about her position here, she smiles at her. "Thanks for that. I got totally swamped." And she's not just saying it to say it, it's sincere. Then, to Randall, she frowns. "Her father's in the hospital." She doesn't quite elaborate on that other than to say, "He's stable, I think, but not conscious."

"Anytime," Niki offers in reply to Jane. Smile, smile. She returns the books like the good employee she somehow manages to be - today, at least. On that note, she casts a thankful look to the store owner. "Really, it was no problem. Things were getting a little crazy," she says to Cass on her way back to fetch the rest of the books that need to be put back.

Randall's face falls, even as he fishes out his wallet. "Oh no. I knew she looked—" A shake of his head. "I guess she needed to get her mind off of it for a while. I hope he comes out of it okay, whatever it was." A handful of fives is retrieved as he repositions his backpack, getting ready to head back out.
She's concerned for Elena too, this is evident from her expression on hearing what Cass says. "I hope he recovers quickly," Jane softly says. "And Elena needs a rest herself." The guitarist herself is suddenly looking tired, drained a bit. "But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger." A glance goes to Randall, she watches him repositioning the pack and offers "Be good, Randall. See you around."

Man, it's good to have employees. This is all things she'd have to do on her own before Niki, Rose and Alyssa. In fact, she had to totally re-shelve the entire store on her own before. "I know. It gets like that sometimes. And tomorrow will be, too. Everyone wanting gag gifts for their friends." She shrugs and rolls her eyes. She's not about to turn down business. "I know," she frowns at Randall. "I think she just needs some extra support." Nodding at Jane she agrees. "True enough. It just sucks when you're going through it."

"Oh, God. Is it going to be April Fool's Day already? Thanks for the reminder. It's not going to be safe at home around the boys." The talk going on, meanwhile, garners a small frown from Niki, even though she's not trying to eavesdrop, and even though she doesn't know Elena well or her father at all. She finishes with the last of the books and looks the formerly shaky shelf up and down, then heads back to the counter once more.

Randall slips his latest acquisition into the backpack, nodding as he zips it closed once again. "You're probably right— I'll have to give her a call in a bit. Anyway, good luck with the practical jokes tomorrow, hopefully no one will fill the place up with packing peanuts…" He waves to Niki as well on his way out, whom he may well run into again during a future visit.

Jane watches him leave, and faces Cass again. "How're you holding up?" she asks quietly. She herself seems to relax a bit, and become edgier, as if she were no longer so much trying to communicate non-verbally. Still, though, not knowing anything about Niki, the woman doesn't speak what's really on her mind. Instead, she simply comments "I feel I could play for hours today."

Cass waves to Randall. "Thanks for coming by again!" Then it's Niki and Jane. The two ladies. "Yeah. Tomorrow. It's going to be a good one, I'm sure," she grins. "And if you want an extra shift, I think I may need some help on the opening. Making sure everything is stocked properly and all. Make sure you prank as good as you get." To Jane, she tilts her head and shrugs her shoulders, but she's smiling. "I'm doing well. Running around a bit more than usual." She definitely doesn't look edgy, though.

"Bye," Niki tells Randall, who gets the same smile most of the other customers got. It's not insincere, not at all, it's just… a certain type of smile. "Yeah, sure, that would be great. I might even be able to get away before my husband and son trick me into something crazy." Probably not, though. Family pranks are going to take on a whole new meaning when one can walk through walls and another can talk to computers, aren't they? "I'll be right back," she says, unrelatedly, and sneaks off toward the back room.

"I don't envy you," Jane replies with a slight laugh. "I can only imagine the pranks that'll be happening. One year in college, my roommate got me good, and I got her back." Her eyes watch Niki go into the back, and her voice lowers a bit. "Cass," she cautions, "watch Randall carefully when he's around. That guy researches the paranormal, and believes in it. He worries me. I wanted to say something earlier, but… I don't know your assistant."

Cass frowns, looking at the door where Randall left from. "Well, I don't see any harm in him just researching. I mean, that's kind of what we're all doing. You're one to talk about believing in the paranormal." She grins. "Alright," she tells Niki before she disappears into the backroom. "I'll keep an eye on him, though. He seems like a good kid."

She chuckles, replying "I just mean he might see things and decide to explore, y'know? I'm still not certain what he might do with things he finds in that research, should he come across anything real. I worry about things. Something could happen, like, say, a suddenly shaking shelf and have him making note of who was around at the time, et cetera." Jane makes eye contact for a moment, hoping what she says makes sense and doesn't just sound like paranoia. "If we know him better, and he seems still benign, do you think it could be safe to bring him all the way into knowledge?" Her head shakes a few times, and she glances at the door. "Maybe I'm just thinking too much. See you, Cass."

Cass shrugs. "I have the feeling that if he's meant to know, he'll know. Everyone else seems to be landing on this stuff as if through divine means." She smiles at the guitarist. "I'm always of the opinion that knowledge is power. And that it's always better for people know what they're getting themselves into rather than letting them just bump around in the dark. I guess it's a debate for later. See you later, Jane."

She thinks for a moment, and nods. A phrase spoken the night before comes to mind, and is voiced. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. If not sure which someone fits into, it still works. They're close and we know what they're doing better." That said, she makes her way out and spends several hours playing around the East Village, it's what she does to get out what eats at her.

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