2007-11-23: Softer Side


Cass_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: After speaking to her father, Elle calls Peter and gets allowed into Bat Country to consult with the virus issue. Peter ends up going home with her, to at least make sure she gets home in her condition.

Date It Happened: November 23rd, 2007

Softer Side

Bat Country Labs

As she descends the steps to the front door of the little facility, Elle finds herself hugging her arms around her body tightly, as if it might help keep out some of the cold air. She doesn't need any help looking pitiful; she already has the sunken, dark eyes, sallow skin, and slight figure of someone who has been sick for a significant length of time. Still, the journey down the steps is enough, and as she reaches the door, she leans against the wall. The palm of her hand is pressed against the buzzer, and her eyes drift closed as she waits.

Meanwhine, behind the doors leading into the labs, Peter Petrelli stands near a sign that reads 'No Petrelli's Beyond This Point' and he's talking through that doorway. "…I know it's hard to understand, but the Elle that you knew— the one who messed up your bookstore, isn't really the one that's stopping in. She's— it's hard to explain. But she won't remember any of that. I'm not even sure if she'll have ever met you before, honestly, there's— " It's so complicated. Just like his life. He waited til now to tell his boss about something this important. The door buzzer stops him, though.

"That must be her," he says, moving away from the doorway to walk across to the entrance of the lab, where he sees that indeed, it is her, and he reaches to let her in. "Hey…"

"You know that sign is just for humor, right, Peter?" In a slightly better mood than Cass has been for awhile now that she knows she may be able to find a cure. It's part of the reason why she wanted Peter here to talk. Of course, when he comes saying things that the Elle that she knew was not the Elle that she knows and that the other Elle is now dead this Elle is someone she doesn't know at all…it's a bit too much for her sleep deprived brain. "Do…do we have some sort of chart to explain the Elle factor?" There's a shake of her head. "I'm…yeah, you're right I'm not sure I understand this at all. Why were there two Elles?" This sort of story couldn't have come at a more confusing time for her. When he opens the door, she's not exactly sure what to say to this Elle. Has she met her before? Do they know each other? It's all so strange.

When the door opens, Elle opens her eyes, though not wide, and looks up to Peter with a slight upwards turn of her mouth. She pushes away from the wall, making her way through the doorway with some measure of help from holding onto the frame. "Hey," she says, her voice as rough as one might expect, given her appearance. One hand unwinds her scarf while the other rests against the wall inside, and her eyes pass over the lab curiously. She's reluctant to look at Cass at all, particularly with the new information her father gave her earlier; when she finally does, it's not without… well, it's not quite sheepishness. But it's probably about as close as Elle gets. Coat unbuttoned, scarf hanging loosely around her neck now, she looks back to Peter. "I lied," she says, tipping her chin down, "when I told you I was fine."

A chart. Why didn't he think of that… And why were there two Elles? Because of Sylar, and because her dad is a jerk. But now that Peter's opened the door, he doesn't get to say that outloud. "I figured you did," he says, looking at her quietly for a moment. His expression moves more toward serious. Elle knows something he'd not had the chance to figure out how to explain to Cass yet, or many people at all, and now— it just might come up. "Come on in," he adds, though she's definitely got plenty of room to move around on her own. "Elle, this is Cass. She runs the lab here. Cass, this is Elle." There's a pause, before he asks, "How far have the symptoms progressed?"

"Nice to meet you?" Cass isn't sure what to say to someone who she met the doppelganger of. The question is quite easily heard in her voice. However, the last part is something that makes her straighten quite easily, stepping from the door of the lab quickly toward the middle of the main room. "Symptoms?" There's a blink and she stares at Elle. "You're sick?" It doesn't have to be the virus. That may not be why she's here. It's just that when you have a hammer, everything you see is a nail. She just say an Elle recently, but she's still not sure as to who that Elle was.

Actions speak louder than words, and once she's gotten her coat off, Elle holds her hand out, palm up, in a gesture Peter ought to know well by now. But when the faint crackle of electricity sounds, no ball forms, no lightning arcs from her hand. There's a little blue spark, and she closes her eyes, head bowed, teeth gritted as if she were in pain. The spark is quick to die, visible for maybe half a second. "Far enough," she says finally, looking back to Peter without raising her head more than an inch. Her eyes flick to Cass, acknowledging her question with a slow nod. "Sometimes I can't even get that much."

"I'm so sorry, Elle" Peter says, genuine guilt in his voice as he rubs his hands over his face after the display has been made. It's difficult for him to think of a way to apologize enough for this— at least it isn't too late for her. "You pretended you weren't sick when we saw each other before… what made you change your mind and decide to come in here?" he asks, as he waves her over to a chair that he pulls out for her. It's not much, but if she sits down it might be easier on her.

This is a conversation that Cass feels a little strange being a part of. There's a complicated past and history here that she can't even begin to understand. What Elle was Peter dating for most of the time? It's a little awkward. For the moment, she allows the two to talk for a moment before adding, "You're having flu-like symptoms? Tired? And I'm assuming your ability is getting harder and harder to use." There's a frown. She's not exactly sure what Peter is sorry for, but she waits for answers anyway.

"I don't eat," Elle says to Cass as she makes her way over to the proffered chair, sitting down a little less than gracefully. Her eyes close as soon as she's seated, her head tipping back slightly. "I don't sleep. I can't walk into a room without thinking it's spinning. The last time I tried to use my ability, it backfired and I shocked myself." As she pulls up the sleeves of her sweater, dark bruises around her elbows become visible. "We know what it is," she explains, looking back to Peter with almost pleading eyes. "But they can't fix it, and they're not exactly expecting me to get better. They keep looking at me like I have terminal cancer." This time, the short-lived smile she casts to Peter is another step closer to sheepish, though tinged with some regret. "I didn't want you to know."

"I shouldn't have let you inside that day," Peter says, shaking his head a bit as he looks at her quietly, examining the bruises. There's a hint of hesitation in his eyes, before he looks between the blonde woman and his mentor. "We'll fix it. Just because they can't, doesn't mean we can't. We're not then." And he looks at Cass as he finishes.

It's so strange for Cass. This woman has the same voice, the same face as the other woman that she knew before. However, she's different, so very different. That shouldn't actually surprise her, but she can't help it. "It's fixable, Elle. You don't have something terminal." Well, she does, but if the can find a way to make more of the antibodies. "I think I can fix it soon with some help." There's a glance over when Peter mentions having let her inside. "Unless you engaged in something intimate with anyone there, going inside isn't going to infect you, I don't think."

For a split second, a flash of colour appears in her cheeks, and Elle ducks her head, her hair obscuring her face, as she makes a quiet sound of amusement. Memories, maybe, or some stray thought that sneaks into her mind. When next she looks to Peter, it's with a level stare. Pulling the sleeves of her sweater down again, she draws her feet up onto the chair, hugging her arms around her legs. "It's not your fault, Peter," she says, her voice low. Then, to Cass, she asks, "How can you fix it?"

Wait, what? Peter blinks visibly, more than once, at the possible implications of his bosses words. But he does nod. Okay. Letting her inside the house might not have done it. BUT. "No, it is," he says with a shake of his head. "Maybe not for letting you inside…" Cause he doesn't think she even got anything to drink in there, but it still could have passed on somehow— it's still his fault. A sentiment that his boss should be used to, but… He looks back at her. "What do you recommend for this?"

There's a sharp look that Cass gives Peter. "This is not your fault." Not Elle, not any of it. She's not about to let him go down that route again. Not while he's in the lab. "I recommend rest, lots of vitamin C, treat it as if you really do have the cold. If it gets much worse, shots of epenephrine, because it's attacking your adrenal glands." There's a pause and she looks at Elle. This is a woman that still works for the Company, no matter what body or person she is and she doesn't want to let too much of it slide. "I'm not sure yet. I've got a few things I'm trying, but I'm confident one of them will work."

"Please." Her voice nearly breaks as she looks to Cass again, her eyes barely visible as she rests her face against her knees. "I don't—" Whatever she was about to say, she cuts herself off, the words lost. Elle turns her head again, this time burying her face completely, her hair tumbling around her face again. She draws in a deep breath, then shivers as a chill winds down her spine. After a long moment, she looks to Peter, lifting her head slightly. "You got better." It's a question, really, rather than an accusation. "How?"

There's a slow inhale and Peter shakes his head. He can't keep telling people how this is his fault— except now he knows for a fact that he did bring it back. Doesn't mean he made it, but he still faciliated them getting it. Just as much his fault as a guy who boards a plane with a virus he's not aware of. He can still blame himself, and nothing anyone can do can make him think otherwise. "What worked for me won't work for you, Elle. Cass is going to fix this. I know it's…" He trails off. "I'll get you home. I might be able to ease things enough so you can sleep, but it's going to take a while longer…" But even then, he looks at her with determination, "They are going to fix this Elle, I promise you." They, not him.

Elle's voice nearly breaking is enough to make Cass' heart. She wants to assure Elle somehow. Even if she works with the Company, she's a person. Moving so that she can put a hand on Elle's shoulder - tentatively - as she's not sure how the woman will take it. "I think I've found a way to introduce antibodies to combat the virus, Elle." That's giving her hope without giving too much away. "What made Peter better doesn't work for anyone else." She can take that any way she wants. "I'm working on it, almost non-stop. I don't care who you work for, you're going to get cured. As will your father, when I find a way to stop this. I'm close, I think. Very close. Leave your information for me and I'll call you as soon as I have a way to fix this. Just…make sure you keep rested."

When Cass' hand comes to rest on her shoulder, Elle doesn't recoil; the heat from her skin transfers easily through her clothing. For a second, it seems like she might stay like that for a while yet - seated on the chair, hugging her legs, like some kind of scared child. It's short-lived. Though not immediately clear which remark finally snaps her out of her self-pity, something Cass says leads Elle to dig her nails into her legs for a second or two. If Cass' hand is still on her shoulder, she'll feel the tension rise. In the next instant, Elle bolts up from the chair, swaying briefly when she does, crossing to her coat. Her hands are held at her sides, closed tightly, her head bowed and eyes on the ground. A static hum rises, the light dims just a little… and then Elle whimpers, stopping dead in her tracks, as electricity courses through her own body. It's quick, and it can't be all that much of a shock given the virus, but it's enough to drop her to her knees beside her coat. …and then, like nothing happened, without so much as a word, she just starts wrapping her scarf around her neck, getting dressed to leave.

While he watches the exchange, Peter keeps quiet. If anything there's a vulnerable look in his eyes for a moment, hesitation of sorts, especially with her curled up as she is. It's why he promised that she'd be cured— if he could cure her in another way, he probably would. But then she snaps out of it— with a spark. That makes him blink a few times, and he starts toward her, where she's crossed over to her coat. "Elle…" he says softly. Neither versions he knew ever lost control like that. It could be entirely about the virus, but it still makes him want to do… something. "If you're ability is that…" he hesitates to say 'out of control.' "Maybe I should drive you to your apartment." The offer has hints of hesitation as well.

Driving Elle anywhere in any sort of vehicle that could short circuit does not sound like a good idea to Cass, but she doesn't say anything right now. The electricity, the dimming of lights startles the woman and makes her worry about her lab, about the woman, about being electrocuted herself again despite the woman getting away from her. It's hard to mistake the tension and all she does is hold one hand in the other and hold them against her chest. "We'll fix it." That's all she can say about that. "Be…be careful."

Draping her coat over her arm rather than putting it on, Elle braces one hand against the wall and gets to her feet, still not willing to look either of them in the eye. "I can take care of myself," she says in a ragged voice, moving for the door. She doesn't stray from from the support of the wall, but at least (for the moment) the lights aren't flickering. "I'll call a cab." Closing her hand on the door handle, providing no one moves to stop her, she'll pull the door open and step outside.

"Elle, you'll make a cab crash," Peter says with a hint of frustration. "I can get you home safely…" He adds, glancing helplessly back at Cass for a moment, before he says, "I'll be back later," and starts off after her, grabbing his coat, obviously intending to go with her.

"I'm not saying you can't," Cass tells Elle. "But you're sick and this is an extenuating circumstance. You should allow someone to help you out." The exasperated look is caught and she just nods at Peter with an understanding expression. Go chase her. "I'll call you," she adds stubbornly to the goodbye. "I'll see you soon," she says to Peter.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License