2007-05-04: Silver Linings

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Summary: Elena tries to sneak out of the Petrelli Mansion so as to avoid questions from people she doesn't know who might be living there, only to discover Heidi in the sitting room, wide awake and unable to sleep. The two talk and spark the beginnings of an almost-unlikely friendship.

Date It Happened: May 4, 2007

Silver Linings


The Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park, New York

It wasn't a particularly restful night. In fact, Heidi barely got any sleep at all, which is very strange for her. As soon as the birds started singing, though, Heidi knew there wasn't much of a chance that she was going to nod off, so she's up a little while before the sun, before the kids, before Nathan, even, curled up on a couch with a mug full of hot coffee that hasn't been touched.

The bruises on her face are gone; it's pretty clear /how./ Granted, Elena wouldn't have seen them, but Heidi doesn't know that, and she's already planning how she's going to stay away from the girl for the forseeable future so she doesn't give away the secret. It shouldn't be /too/ hard, since they barely know each other, but considering their random meeting in the parking lot, it's possible. Notably, she also doesn't realise that Elena /knows./ It's… Highly likely, but just in case…

She should have asked Peter or Nathan if Elena was aware of their abilities. Surely she must know of Peter's, if the two are friends. Then again, Heidi's known Nathan for almost twenty years, and she never had a clue.

The room is dark, the curtains still drawn, though the earliest light of day is beginning to filter through the fabric. The TV is off; it's very quiet, except for the purring of the grey-blue kitten napping on Heidi's bare feet. She wonders if last night was /normal/ for Nathan and Peter - do they do that sort of thing all the time? Is that where Nathan is when he comes home so late? It's like a whole mess of questions that she can't answer. Sure, Heidi will ask eventually, but she's almost thinking she ought to write these things down, so she doesn't forget. It's all very important, and… One of the things she's really afraid of is the fact that she'll accidentally tell someone. A slip of the tongue, a note found by someone who shouldn't have seen it… She'll just have to be careful, and tell herself that she's better off knowing. It turns her world completely on end, but that seems to happen now and again.

Spica rolls over, wrapping tiny paws around Heidi's legs. The kitten knows all about Nathan's secret already, but she's not telling anyone. And Heidi had to talk to /someone./

Heidi would hear something down the hall, the quiet pitter-patter of stocking feet. It sounds like, to the trained ear, someone of a light build walking as quietly as he or she can up the hall, to pass by the sitting room doorway. It is only a few minutes later that the younger Mrs. Petrelli would catch sight of Elena, still wearing her clothes from the night before, her jacket on her shoulders and her hair pulled up and secured by a scrunchie. She looks like she's actually -tiptoeing- down the hall, as if afraid to wake anyone up.

Spica, having heard the intruder, suddenly -meows- from where Heidi is. The sound causes Elena to jump a little bit, her hand over her heart as she looks around for the noise. She was so concentrated in getting out of the house unnoticed that she didn't realize that the TV was on, though turned in a quiet volume, and that there was someone on the couch. She recognizes who it is. The young woman herself looks like she had been through a long night of fitful sleep herself.

But despite that she flashes Heidi a hesitant smile. She doesn't say anything about the healed face, simply because she didn't see it. Her eyes are back to normal, hence the dark glasses are gone. There's a hole in one of her jean legs from the altercation with bullets the night before. She looks like she's in -great- need of a shower, but that's something she can handle when she gets home.

"Good morning, Mrs. Petrelli…I didn't think you'd be up so early," she says, keeping her voice low, rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly. "I mean, you had a pretty trying time last night and everything, I thought you'd be able to sleep a week." Hell if she didn't have so much to do, -she- would have slept a week after that and she didn't even get to see the last half of it. She lingers by the doorway. This was someone else's house, after all.

Heidi's actually pretty zoned, so she doesn't really notice Elena until she's looking right at her. And by that point, it's a little too late to look the other way. Hopefully it's dark enough so that she doesn't notice, or maybe it was because of the dark glasses that the bruises were simply overlooked.

She's still a little too new at this whole 'Healing' thing to even /think/ about the fact that Elena could have been blind.

"Elena," she says, smiling. "My name is Heidi." Mrs. Petrelli? To someone who saved her life? No way. It just doesn't sound right. It's one of those times where they both went through enough that mutual respect has been earned. She wouldn't ask her friends to call her Mrs. Petrelli. Besides, it sounds so /old./

Shaking her head, turning a little so she can set the mug down on the coffee table (Appropriate, considering the fact that there's coffee in the mug), Heidi says, "No. I'm exhausted, but I couldn't sleep. Too much to think about. Figured I'd come down here so I didn't bother Nathan." Tossing and turning and all that. Hopefully /he/ at least got a little sleep. "Trying to think of what I'm going to say to the kids." At this point, she offers a sad smile. "They don't know. But they'll know something is wrong."

Heidi stands. Her legs feel like jello - shaky, unsteady. It's disturbing… Like a throwback to her paralysis, and she doesn't like it. "Did you call Nathan?"

Dark eyees blink at Heidi and then Elena smiles ruefully. "Sorry…it's a habit. Of course, Heidi. I knew your name but…Mama told me I shouldn't address other people so informally unless given leave to." Her elders anyway, but she's not about to tell Heidi that she was old. She slides her hands in her pockets, and rocks a little bit in her heels, and when she says that she had trouble sleeping, she furrows her brows a touch. "….well…you can take this day to have some rest at least, yeah?" she ventures hesitantly.

When she brings up the kids, Elena nods. "Peter mentioned he had nephews. They're both boys?" she asks, making small talk. "I have two brothers myself." She did mention to Heidi that she had siblings before.

And she looked so tired. She couldn't help but feel her soft and squishy heart go out to her. Of course she would be worried about how she was going to explain it to the children. Of course she wouldn't sleep very well after being kidnapped. There would be some post-traumatic stress involved, in fact she was surprised Heidi didn't look -worse-. She hesitantly takes a step into the room, out of protocol considering she wasn't invited in, but she couldn't help it. Heidi just looked so….well. Sad.

"I did," she says softly. "Well….I called Peter first because I didn't have Mr. Petrelli's phone number. He was the only one in my directory who I knew would have it." Jane has it as well, but she doesn't know that. "He seemed the most direct line of contact to him that I knew. I'm so glad he managed to get you out of there." Hell, the man saved New York City before. If he could do that, he can save his wife.

Vocalising her thoughts, Heidi says, quite matter-of-factly, "Elena, what we went through… I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you." In other words, she's been 'given leave.' Still, it's nice to know there are polite kids out there. Not that she ever thought Elena wasn't polite, mind! In reply to the question about relaxing, Heidi looks at Spike, who's jumped up on the back of the couch. The smile turns into a frown as she says quietly, "Spike still needs food."

She left it in the parking lot.

It's easier to talk about her sons, though. "Simon and Monty. They'll be asleep for another couple hours. I didn't have any siblings, so I thought they'd appreciate if—" Trailing off, Heidi sits back down, resting her arm on the back of the couch, with her chin on her hand. "You can sit down if you want to."

Ah, right. Makes sense that Peter would have been called, which is why her brother-in-law was there. He wouldn't have let Nathan go alone if he knew about it, which kind of makes her feel bad. All these people wrapped up in a dangerous situation, all because Heidi couldn't manage to defend herself. Blue eyes look upward at Elena; she wonders if perhaps she has abilities, too. It's too risky to ask, though, and impossible to just /know./ How many people around her can do things like Nathan and Peter can? Eyes travel back to the floor, when she notices the tear in Elena's jeans. "Are you okay? Were you hurt?" That… wasn't there when they met up in the parking lot.

She blinks a little bit at the first declaration, and Elena blushes a little bit. Heidi looks so grateful. All she did was call someone. She smiles shyly at Heidi for a moment, however, moving closer to the older woman so she could stand right in front of her - that way they didn't have to talk at each other from across the room. "I….all I did was call the people closest to you. That and…I knew they could do something about it. It was risky to call the police, simply because….well, usually from what I heard kidnappers don't usually like it when the police are on their tail, so if I did that….you were in enough danger. That and…you know. You and I don't know each other very well, it didn't feel right for me to make the decision. So I called someone who had the right to call the shots." That would be Nathan, her husband.

At the invitation, she hesitates for a moment. Truth be told her intent was to sneak out of the mansion as if she hadn't been there, big, rich houses were never comfortable for her, and she hated to impose. But at the same time, she wanted to know how Heidi was doing, so she does take a seat, folding her hands on her lap.

She glances at the hole in her knee, and she shakes her head. "I'm okay," she says. "It just got torn when we were running from the guys and Peter pushed me in a room to protect me. I….I wasn't just going to leave Peter and your husband to deal with those people by themselves, so….since there was no one else with us…" She laughs sheepishly, softly. "Truth be told, I'm a bit of a wuss. But…I'd like to think I'm smart. I thought I could help. We caused a ruckus downstairs, a distraction or so. It was accidental, but I'm just glad it worked."

She links her fingers together. "I come from a rough neighborhood. Plus my little brother isn't…the sweetest smelling rose in the garden. So it's not like I've never seen a gun before. Or several. She looks up to watch Heidi's face carefully, and then, she moves forward with the question in her mind. Elena couldn't help it, she was a straightforward creature. She was sure Heidi already knew there was no way 3 people who were barely armed could manage to take out a bunch of guys with guns by themselves. "….do you….know now?" she asks softly.

The smile returns, though only in Heidi's eyes. "Don't," she says. It doesn't make sense to downplay her own part in the rescue, and Heidi won't let her do it. Even if it was just a phone call, she didn't even have to do /that./ As far as she's is concerned, Elena could have just gone home, and no one would have thought worse of her for it. After all, they were /both/ attacked, even if Heidi was the one taken.

What Elena says really makes her wonder, though. The memory of Peter's shirt full of holes with no wounds is still clear in the older woman's mind. Elena was there, so she must have seen it - no one could have missed that many bullet holes, unless they were incredibly dense, and this girl doesn't strike Heidi as being stupid in any way. It's funny, though, that she'd admit she's a 'wuss,' right after admitting she willingly went into a building where there were people with firearms.

In contrast to Elena, Heidi came from a very easy-going, calm neighborhood where she was raised without any sort of hardship. At all. No wonder she was kidnapped so easily! It's almost embarrassing. It'd be easier to comment on that than the question, though, which has Heidi staring for a long while, trying to figure out if she should say anything or now. After realising that she's been thinking about it way too long to deny anything, though, Heidi closes her eyes, sighs. /Fail./

A moment later, she takes a look around to make sure there's no one else in the area besides herself, Elena, and Spica. "I… yeah. Yes, I know. It's hard to— Yes. Yes, I know." very eloquent. Not one of her best moments.

She laughs softly, Elena glancing down at her fingers. "…truth be told it wasn't like me," she confesses to Heidi. "I'm so used to running away from trouble, you know? Worrying anyone, Papa especially, is the furthest thing in my mind to do. I know I'm not even twenty yet so I thought I'd stay out of trouble. And I know I can barely take a punch as is. Now after everything though, I guess the past couple of months made me realize that sometimes, running away just doesn't cut it anymore." As much as she tried to tell Drake to rein himself in, it looks like part of his philosophy has rubbed off on her as well.

Well she was a physical wuss. She can be brave. She can charge in - but can she take a hit without going down hard? Probably not. Just one kick was enough to neutralize her. Hell if it wasn't for the fact that some of the other kidnappers suddenly started getting sick, Elena wouldn't have gotten away….

When Heidi admits that she knows now, Elena looks relieved. "I'm glad someone finally told you," she tells her, confirming the older woman's conclusions. "When I first met you, I asked Peter if you knew about them. He told me you didn't. I said that I didn't think it was right, because you're part of the family, too. And he said he agreed, but that it was….it was Mr. Petrelli's thing to do and he wasn't going to take the choice away from him." She looks up at the ceiling. "I knew I wouldn't be able to hide this part of me away from Papa." Aside from the fact that her father can read minds. "It wouldn't be right, when he tries so hard to protect me all the time."

"I'm glad you stayed. I'm glad you called Peter. I know the men who had me called Nathan, but I don't know if… If it would have turned out as well if you all hadn't come. I really don't know how to thank you. /Any/ of you." But by the tone of her voice, it's Elena especially. She's like the building block for the whole rescue. "Didn't know I could take a punch, either. It's surprising what a person can go through when they have to."

Really, Heidi had no idea that she could live through that and come out of it with her sanity still mostly intact. She remembers the pain, even if there isn't any sign of it now, and the fact that she /had/ to get through it, that she hoped for rescue, was what kept her going the whole time.

In contrast to Elena's relief, Heidi looks downright troubled, her frown deepening as she says, "No one told me. I saw— Nathan." And that's all she says about that. She's still reluctant to say what she saw Nathan do, for fear that someone will call her crazy. Or overhear. Heidi doesn't know if Nathan would have told her if she hadn't seen it. "And Peter, he… Well, I thought he was just going to bandage. He's a nurse, you know? But he just made everything go away." It was amazing. And frightening. The look with which she fixes Elena is nervous, if not curious. She should have figured, really. In fact, it was in the back of Heidi's mind, but now that it's confirmed that this girl is also able to /do things,/ she's curious. A little scared, too, but she already /knows/ that's ridiculous. Why does she have to fear it? SHE'S LIKE A WALKING CLICHE!

"You, too, then," Heidi asks, allowing a smile to reappear. It's tense. "I'm still not used to— Sorry." She stands again, coming around the couch so that she's a little closer. "Are you like Peter and Nathan?"

"It's always been our greatest trait as a species," Elena says, smiling over at Heidi. "Being able to adapt and quickly to the situations presented to us." She leans back against the couch and closes her eyes, sighing softly. "Being human's pretty awesome." She looks over at Heidi then, and while she had just implied that she was like Nathan and Peter, she doesn't seem fussed telling this to Heidi. She knows about Peter and Nathan, she -knows- she's questioning her…might as well come clean with it, right? Besides, it's not like Heidi was going to tell anyone about this, right?

She frowns softly however. "….did they hurt you badly?" she asks her softly. And the girl does look sincerely concerned. "You were crying last night but it was so….dark I couldn't see how badly you were injured." She could've lessened the pain too, but considering how fried her circuits were, so to speak, she couldn't have managed it. At all.

When Heidi's expression gets tense, she looks away. "I understand," she says - the girl was always a perceptive creature. "I mean, the things that Mr. Petrelli and Peter can do…they're not supposed to happen. They're the stuff of comic books. But they can, so….I mean, as far as evolution goes, I always figured that this…" She gestures around them. "Can't really be it. For us as a species. Truth be told when I found out about this, I was pretty scared myself."

She looks over at Heidi, and she nods. "Yeah," she confirms, meeting Heidi's eyes. "I am. Not like….I mean, Peter's something else, and your husband can fly. I'm like them in terms of there's things I can do that others can't. I can understand if you're a little apprehensive about everything, though. I know I would be. Hell I was for a very long time until I realized I was one too."

Funny, she never thought of Peter or Nathan of any less 'human,' even when she asked Nathan what he was. It was kind of a question like 'are you a plumber? An architect? A doctor?' They have kids together, which means that even if Nathan isn't entirely human, he's close enough, and that's enough. "Really, I kind of feel…" While she doesn't say it, it's implied with the expression. Inadequate. She can't do any of that stuff. Sure, she can /walk,/ which is a gift in and of itself, which reminds her. "I can answer your question now. I figured it out last night. I was healed. I broke my back… Someone healed it." Someone she doesn't like. Or… Didn't like, rather, but now she's kind of grateful to Linderman.

Briefly, she considers lying and telling Elena that it wasn't that bad. "Physically? Not really," is her answer. "A little, but they could have done a lot worse, considering. It was just degrading… And I was scared." Heidi doesn't cry often, so she's probably shed more tears in the past coupe days than she has since she was a lot younger.

"They kept me tied up most of the time. I tried to get away once, but it didn't work out. That's where the injuries came from." Briefly, she looks at the floor again. It shouldn't have happened at all. Maybe she should have just played along, but then she'd hate herself. It was a fine line.

It only takes a second of debate for Heidi to decide whether or not to open up to Elena. "I thought I knew Nathan. This is just all so /weird./ I think I offended him." Calling your husband a mutant tends to do that. It's one of the things she thought about while she was lying awake all night; one of those things she probably could have put better than she did. A short-lived grin appears on Heidi's face, though, as her attention turns back to Elena. "Well, I'm glad I'm not alone. What can you do?"

"You—" Elena stares at Heidi, a little startled. "….really? I mean, Peter can heal, but….he couldn't until very recently. You mean someone else…?" It couldn't have been Dr. Gifford, could it? Him and his miraculous RGEN-400+. She smiles ruefully. "You know, when Peter first introduced me to you, I was wondering for the longest time where the wheelchair was. I remember seeing the campaign photos, I read the news a lot and everything….I remember seeing the chair, and I was curious as to how they had been able to fix you. I didn't think it was …something I could ask you at the time. It was pretty personal. But…really? That's…amazing. I think having the power to heal would be one of the best ones out there." But she's a little biased. She wants to be a doctor after all.

"They could've but it was still pretty bad," Elena says, looking a touch concerned, her brow knitting over her forehead slightly. "I'm glad you weren't hurt too badly, and I'm glad Peter managed to heal you. You were crying so much…I thought they did something to really hurt you." When Heidi mentions her escape attempt, her eyes widen. "Really? Wow…with all those guns? That's…that's pretty ballsy." Yes. She did say ballsy.

She nods. "I know….it must be. I'm glad he finally decided to tell you though. Because….this is pretty big. And this is genetic. You're a mom. You're supposed to know about these things so you know how to anticipate it in case your children start…you know. Showing." She pauses, and explains. "I've been studying it. I'm pre-med in NYU so…I figured if people around me are going to be different physiologically, I better be prepared, right?"

When asked what she could do, Elena hesitates, and then she reaches out to gently touch Heidi's knuckles - a barest brush of her fingertips. The shakiness that Heidi feels starts growing lax, a little bit. She would feel, physically at least, better. Her head clearer. Her senses more alert. "In its best, I can make a person feel better. Calm them, soothe them, make them so drowsy they sleep if they're having problems sleeping. I can take away panic attacks. I can take away shock. I can also keep someone's heart beating even if they're gravely injured - I can keep someone like that alive long enough for help to come." She ponders whether she should tell Heidi that her powers had a darker, more negative side. But she opts not to, for now.

This makes Heidi smile. "Really," she says with a chuckle. "I didn't know it at the time. One of my husband's acquantences— " And she uses the term loosely "was here. After he left, I could walk again." For a moment, she's quiet. Heidi thanks God every day for that… It never gets tiring. Being able to stand and move without pain, with feeling in her legs and feet, is the best gift anyone could have given her. "I was in a car accident. Somehow I slid under the seatbelt, and my legs— There was a compression fracture in my spine. Bone severed the spinal cord. I wasn't supposed to walk again." She told everyone she was going to, but there were doubts, especially with the severity of the injury.

"It was amazing. Peter really kind of startled me. I wasn't expecting it." Actually, she pulled her hand back like she'd been stung, but… She won't say that. She feels bad enough already.

As for her crying… "There were gunshots. I'd just seen Nathan jump out a window and fly back in. The— gentleman who took me told us that he was going to kill —" She stops at this point, biting her lip. The smile disappears as she looks toward the floor. No. She can't cry again, she's too old for this. "Sorry, I just… Sorry." She presses her hands into her eyes for a moment. It was the affirmation that Nathan would be killed and her raped that really hurt, more than the physical. So much more.

The good humour does return, though, with a laugh, when Elena offers her odd compliment. Her simple answer? "I had to try."

The boys, though. That's a touchy subject, something that's hard to think about, and hard NOT to think about. "I know. And I don't know how I'm going to tell them that they can talk to us, if… If they're like their dad." It's enough to show most children that their parents are there for them, but in cases like these… They could be scared, unaware that they have an outlet. They could feel ashamed, turn to the wrong people for comfort. Heidi's at a loss, just a hair's breadth from breaking down again when she feels that contact, and it feels as if she can handle everything again.

Blue eyes stare for a moment, then look away. It's not polite to stare.

She doesn't smile, though. The amazement is there, though subtle, limited. It's hard to process the fact that the people around her are /awesome./ "I think that's a gift, too," she says. "It's really amazing… Three people I know of, and each of you has a different ability. You say healing is one of the best things someone can do, but it's not just all about fixing cuts and scrapes." She pauses, lifts her hand to look at it, then adds, "Thank you."

"That's pretty amazing…" When Heidi describes the extent of her injury, Elena's eyes widen. In fact, she looks horrified. "WHAT? But….but…." She doesn't want to say it, but there was -no- coming back from it. After the spinal chord was severed, it was over. In fact Heidi was lucky she didn't get seizures or anything, or any fluid build-ups underneath her brain after the accident. At the last, she smiles. "It sounds silly but I think…" She, thankfully, doesn't mention God. She's a little conscious about the fact that people aren't as religious these days. "A higher power really did want you to walk again. I'm glad you can. That….that sort of injury is pretty devastating." She could barely fathom spending her life in a chair. Never to dance again.

She nods. "Yeah….he can….do a lot of things with what he has. I think that's the sort of power he would really like to master. He'd rather help people than hurt them." Still, she looks relieved. She looks even happy now that Heidi's told her that her injuries had been taken away.

But when Heidi looks like she's about to cry at the memory, she can't help it. She doesn't know her very well, but Elena's hand lifts, to rest in a comforting fashion on Heidi's shoulder. "It's okay…" she says softly. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. I won't try to understand, I've never been kidnapped but I've been really, really scared before so….no one's going to blame you if you're wigged over it."

"Well…." Elena pauses. "If they start to….once they know to tell you, if you need any help figuring them out, don't hesistate to ask for help from me." She fishes around for a piece of paper and comes up with a crumpled one, and scrawls her number on it. "I'm studying to be a doctor, but….I've been helping Peter and some others figure out their gifts too, with my background in science. The tricky part about this thing is that….the age when people show these gifts vary. It can range to be as young as three, to as old as….well, in a person's forties. The most common medium I've seen are in the teens, though. So if it's the same with your two boys, I'll be a full, licensed doctor by then….an MD or a phD." She hands Heidi the folded up piece of paper.

"You're welcome," she tells her, smiling cheerfully at Heidi. "It's the least I can do. I mean, with what I have…it would be a pity not to use it, right?"

She still maintained hope, because it was all she had. But with no feeling in her legs, no movement, the fact that she needed help doing the simplest things like going to the bathroom and holding her kids. In truth, it probably wasn't snapped all the way through, but Heidi's no doctor… All she knows is what she felt. Surgery for ten-plus hours, days of her life that she doesn't remember because she was in and out of consciousness. The complete inability to walk, the hope that she could one day, while facing down the truth that it wasn't likely. And then? She stood up.

She doesn't comment on the 'higher power.' Heidi's since found her peace with God, but… "I was angry. For a long time." At everyone, deities and family included. "But… I still had two arms." So she made the best out of her situation.

She should talk about it, but she really doesn't want to. It's a matter of getting up the courage to be angry about it all, but Heidi's not sure she can. She's still just scared… And besides, she tells herself, Nathan took care of the guy with the accent, so it's not like she'll be seeing him in court. "I appreciate it. I'm not sure it's…" Sigh. "Maybe I'll be able to talk about it later.

She's never been kidnapped before, either. Well, before last night, anyway, and it's an experience no one should have to suffer through. It was terrifying not knowing the outcome. Heidi's just going to have to give herself a little time to come to terms with it… She's staying home today, though. Probably tomorrow, too… Though she'll need to send someone for cat food.

"I'm just afraid they won't tell me at all," Heidi says. Though she's starting to realise that she's dumping on someone who's half her age. It doesn't make as much of a difference /now,/ though she's not sure Elena wants to hear about her problems. Putting on a smile once again, she reaches upward to put her hand atop the younger girl's. "I will, definitely," she says, taking the paper and looking at the number. She'll have to remember to put it in her phone later, 'cuz she'll never remember it otherwise. Though tempted to ask how many there are out there, again, Heidi feels bad taking up so much of Elena's time. The phone number goes into a pocket, and she turns to face her directly. "I won't take up more of your time, but… Thanks for saying hello before you left. You're welcome here any time." It's an invitation to come back if she wants to. In fact, Heidi wouldn't mind at all. There's a cup with some pencils on it on the table; tearing the little piece of paper in half, she writes her number on it and hands it over.

"Just take care of yourself, and call me if you need anything."

"It's….reasonable to feel that way," Elena says slowly. "I mean, you've walked all your life, and then later on….it just gets taken away from you. I'd be angry too, angry at other people for not trying hard enough to make me feel better. Angry at myself for taking my legs for granted…things like that." She pauses, and she grins. "And hey, if anything, your arms were probably -ridiculously- toned after all that. You probably look great in sleeveless stuff."

She nods. "Alright, I'm always willing to listen. It's….kind of what I do. I've been volunteering in hospitals since I was younger, so….this is a learning experience too, in a way. To become a better doctor."

At the last, she smiles. "Well, I don't really know much about parenting….but I do remember what Mama and Papa did when they raised me together. They just really loved us, we four kids. They didn't really coddle us or anything, but they were honest with us. Especially with Manny because he had a tendency to get into trouble. Love and encouragement go a long way. Just…keep doing what you're doing, I mean, I think it's a good sign that you're thinking about it already. Simple things like that have a tremenduous ability to save lots of things, I think."

She pockets Heidi's number, and stands up. "I will, and you too. Get better, okay? And good luck with your sons." She turns towards the doorway….and pauses, before turning back to look at Heidi. "Do you like movies? I go a lot so….maybe we can go to one sometime. And then we can walk around, grab some ice cream. Enjoy the fact that we both have our legs." She grins. "The days are getting prettier as summer closes in, it'd be a shame to be cooped up indoors."

Heidi likes Elena… They're a lot alike, trying to find what good they can where they can find it. Optimism isn't always easy, especially with a broken back, or a kidnapping, or things of that nature. Heidi must seem like a wreck half the time lately, with her worrying about her family, herself, now a cat! It's like she's never able to just relax!

But now that the truth has finally come out - and she's sure this is what she's been missing for a couple months now - maybe things will settle down. It's also nice to know she has someone else to talk to when she needs to. It's one thing to talk to Nathan and Peter, but they're family. This - Elena could be a friend. Besides, she's still just a little put off than no one thought to actually /tell her/ about these abilities. Heidi's trustworthy! She could have handled it. Nathan said he'd been able to fly since his twenties… Understandably, it's hard to tell your wife you can fly, but…

Yeah, little bit of bitterness there. It'll pass. With Heidi, it always does.

Honesty is going to be hard, especially with Monty. The kids aren't gossips, but she's afraid it'll slip out, and they'll tell people who shouldn't know. It was easy enough to figure out that not everyone will be so accepting of people who are different, and, again, she's referencing X-Men here. Heidi herself is still shocked, and embarrassed about her own reaction, which she can't ever take back. "I'll try," is her eventual answer.

Certain that Elena wouldn't want an old lady tagging along with her - after all, Heidi is almost 40 - she wasn't going to bring up hanging out or movies or anything, even if she could use a few friends. So when Elena comes forward and makes the offer, the rather reserved smile becomes much brighter. "Definitely. Definitely. I could walk for miles."

She hears noises coming from upstairs where the boys sleep, and sighs. "I'd see you out, but they'll be down any second now. Thanks again. I can't say that enough."

"Great! I'll hit you up….and the days are warming up so….if you like Shakespeare better, they still do the Shakespeare At the Park things under the big gazebo in Central Park so we can check that out too," Elena says, smiling cheerfully at Heidi. She nods, and takes a step for the door. "Again, good luck with everything….and you have my number so…. I'll see you later!"

She peers around the doorway, and then after one final wave to Heidi, she heads out of the door, closing the door quietly and making her way to the gates.

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