2007-10-03: Something Had To Give

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif Nadia_icon.gif

Summary: After getting a voicemail from Elena, Eric races to her apartment…only to find her okay. Like she told him in the first place. Awkwardness ensues. And then? UNEXPECTED NADIA.

Date It Happened: October 3rd, 2007

Something Had To Give


Elena and Nadia's Apartment, East Centennial Apartments

I MET SYLAR! BUT I'M OK!

Now that's just the kind of lovely phone message that gets Eric Walker's attention. Especially when its left on his phone by one Elena Gomez. For a moment he just stared at his phone before he threw up his hands where he stood at his apartment. THAT WAS SO NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION! With hardly a pause to think he grabbed his duster, threw it on and headed outside. He knew where her new place was, and that's where he was headed. He hardly thought about using his car, and only a sense of self preservation prevented him from just shadow-stepping all the way across town to get there quicker.

Soon enough he is pulling into her apartment complex, and dashing up the stairs and…well…he doesn't /quite/ pound on the door. However the staccato knock is all the harder due to his worry.

Well that WASN'T really the voicemail she left him and her father. And Gene as well. All three didn't seem to be answering their stupid phones! Just that something happened and that Sylar had been there, and that she didn't even know it was the guy until Peter told her after but she was fine and that she had to talk to them sometime. Meanwhile, as Eric dashes across New York to her apartment, Elena's actually having a pretty mellow day after a day of classes the day after the disaster, giving her a bit of time to get over the shock until she had finally dropped messages on her father and her two other friends.

She was actually making some soup to warm herself up on the cold day - minestrone seems to be the order of the day, and she's making enough for Nadia and Peter - she probably won't see him tonight as she intends to meet up with her father before going home for the weekend, but that doesn't mean she can't cook him dinner and leave it in the fridge with a note. She blinks though, hearing the rapid pounding on her door.

She lowers the flame on the stove, letting the soup simmer. Removing the apron and setting the wooden spoon on the counter, she moves to open the door….and blinks. "Eric?" she says, surprised. "Hi! What's up?" He'll see her large duffel bag somewhere in the living room, what she intends to take with her before heading upstate.

Well Eric was busy, he had a surprise visit from his niece and a few other things on his mind, so he missed the phone call. The words 'Sylar' and 'Elena' in the same sentence usually wasn't something to start up logical thought in Eric's already rather befuddled brain. At least it wasn't some kind of blind panic that he was in. That's a good thing right? The message didn't start that up. He's fairly calm at least, as he knows if she was really hurt then she would be in the hospital.

…so it's just mild panic…

However when she opens the door, and he finally sees for himself that she /really/ is alright he at least relaxes. He doesn't quite sag against the door frame, but its a near thing. A slight smirk comes to his face before he just shakes his head slightly. "…you really know how to get me just a touch worried Elena," He finally says, the rueful look on his face easy to read as the worry fades from his eyes. However, now without that worry he had just a moment before he feels…almost foolish now that he's here.

"I'm sorry…." Elena says, rubbing the back of her neck. Things were still slightly awkward between them, but the fact that he was there now was kind of startling. Touching too, really. Some bonds were stronger than….that sort of thing. She does flash him a small, if not somewhat sheepish smile. "I didn't mean to worry. But I needed to talk to you anyway, better it not be on the phone. But come on in, me casa es su casa." She opens the door fully to let him in, and she closes the door behind him once inside, so she can go back to the kitchen and finish up what she's doing.

"How's everything?" she asks, looking over at him. That mild thrum of tension was still in the air, but she brushes it aside in favor of….the fact that they were still friends. No force in the world was going to change that, or at the very least she's determined for it not to. She digs around her fridge and pulls out…….. a bottle of vodka? "…..Nadia," she groans, stuffing it back into the fridge and finding a couple of cans of Pepsi. Closing the door, she checks the soup, and moves over to where Eric is, handing him the Pepsi.

"How's work? I haven't seen you, Jaden, or Gene lately." She shakes her head and sighs. "Between classes, study group, Dance Corps….oh, I heard your dad's company finally closed the Evosoft acquisition late last week. Congratulations."

"…its…alright," Eric replies with a slight smile towards her and a sigh. Now he looks sheepish, glancing away from her and putting his hands in his pockets. "I shouldn't have over-reacted I guess," He says with a shake of his head. "…couldn't help myself." He blinks slightly as she opens the door and raises one eyebrow. "It's…alright if I come in then?" He asks for a moment before he shrugs and takes a step inside. Well, it must be if she's inviting him in.

He tries not to look at her really, turning his gaze more to the apartment and looking around. The pulling out of vodka amuses him though and he smirks. "Not yours I take it?" He says lightly. "…and everything? Its…" He shrugs. "…it goes." That's the best he can say really, she could see its not going all that well. The smile that's not quite as bright as it used to be if one clue. He takes the Pepsi from her though before moving deeper into the apartment.

Cracking open the Pepsi he shakes his head. "Dad's had me working overtime for him to get everything finalized, that's one of the reasons it finally closed." He replies as he looks away from her and to the decor again. "I've just been coming home just in time for a bit of a workout at the apartment and then to fall into bed."

Translation, he's been working himself half to death to keep his mind nicely on track.

"Hell no. Nadia's. All Nadia's," Elena tells Eric, shaking her head, popping the tab of her Pepsi and keeping a close watch on her pot as it simmers. Shaking her head a bit, she turns down the heat lower, and then leans against the kitchen counter, cradling her soda between her fingers. "You look tired," she observes with a small frown. "Eric you know the business will still be there when you catch the requisite eight hours or sleep, right?" There's a pause, and she lifts a finger. "Before you deny it, don't even try. I can tell." She can. She cheats that way. Stress left imprints on the body, after all.

It was the only way she got practice these days. It's not like she can use the bad side of her powers at a regular basis, but the good ones, she uses in spades to refine her control.

She rubs the back of her neck. "I think….some portal of weird opened up over New York in the last three weeks. I mean…not just with…you know. But…." She rubs the back of her neck. "…I don't think you'd believe me if I told you," she says with a laugh. After a pause, she exhales a breath. "Have you ever had….dreams that were just…really weird, but so vivid you actually thought you were actually walking around it?" Because that's what happened. Whenever he settles down, she tells him the story slowly. It's a story she'll be telling Gene later, but Eric was there first, so…

"Uh huh," Eric replies with a laugh in his voice as she denies having the vodka. However he knows she's telling the truth in that. She wouldn't be the one drinking. A smirk as he takes a long sip from his Pepsi and then frowns slightly at her little statement. A little smile is directed towards her. "…your cheating," He replies towards her before he shrugs. "I'll be fine though…I catnap," He replies trying to bring that smile back in place. "I don't need 8 hours sleep all the time." He adds as he turns back towards her.

Oh he knows, his practice with his own powers is almost non-existent now that he hasn't seen Elena in some time. He's trying though.

He just blinks though at the story, relaxing back against the wall as he listens, his eyes fixed on the wall and not on her. Easier for all concerned that way. The story grabs his attention though, that's for damn sure. His eyes go wide before he just shakes his head. "…I wouldn't have believed it if you weren't the one telling me." He says slowly as he turns his eyes back to her with a slightly thoughtful frown. "…I'm…just glad that you got out of there alright." Its hard to feel grateful to the man that stole the girl you might have loved away, but he does. "I'm glad your safe…or as safe as anyone can be right now."

She snorts a bit. "I thought you'd be used to that by now," Elena tells him dryly, checking on the soup with a critical eye, and tasting it, before grabbing some potholders and shifting the thing to another stovetop that isn't heated up. She removes them, and sets them on the counter, angling her gaze towards him. "Catnaps are good but not great," she tells him simply. "I guess typical Type-A…..it's hard to shut the mind off even in the late hours unless you're really tired." She knows, she's the same way.

The distance was a little painful, but sometimes space was necessary especially after their last in-depth discussion. They didn't exactly leave with things okay between them. She shakes her head a little bit, and picks up her Pepis can again to take a sip.

"It's weird, huh? I'm not supposed to be spreading it around but….Gene knows about Evelyn, and you….you've been there since…well. Practically my recruitment to this entire thing. Shouldn't be keeping you guys out of the loop now. Not while you guys have expended a bunch of resources to help us." She sighs, and rakes a hand through her hair. "Anyways….they took him away. We won't be seeing him for a long time. I think."

There's the sound of a key jiggling in the lock, along with a woman talking loudly on her cellphone as she opens up the door. "OMG. Ma. Look. Dad's not going to fit Leo for a pair of cement shoes. Stop worryin', ma! I know he's a nice boy, that's why I'm dating him. Look, ma, gotta go. I just walked in the door, I gotta cram.. holy tomatoes that smells good.. The roomie's cooking, ma, talk at ya later and thanks for lunch. MWAH!" Cue door shutting behind Nadia, who leans wearily against the door, as if talking to her mother is the most tiring thing EVER. After a moment, she drops her bag at the door before venturing into the apartment. "Took who away? No cute Italians I know? We always get a bad rap. Damn that smells good, I just had to say it again. I was gonna make a lasagna, but you beat me to the cooking Elena. Hi there!" The last would be for Eric.

"I guess I should be," Eric replies with a slight smirk. His eyes close as he finishes that Pepsi up and smiles slowly to himself. He is by now he supposes, of course the cheating isn't entirely confined to just her. Most of the people he knows cheat in some way. "…mmmm. Something like that," He agrees. Though the truth is the more work he has to think about, the less time he has to dwell on other things. Putting it off and filing it away.

He doesn't want the distance between them, but he needs it really. When she opened the door his first thought was to hug her, make sure she was alright. He can't really do that now, not without awkwardness that he doesn't want to cause her. No, things weren't quite ok. Not when she cried, and he drank himself nearly comatose afterward.

"Since the beginning eh?" Off and on at least. Some thought though still is bothering him, and he resolves to check on something later, after this. The frown the thought brings to his face is hidden quickly behind the soda can before he smiles slightly. "…well…thanks. For sharing. That's really a load off my mind about…well…him. I hope your right."

Chatter. Chatter. Chatter. Hrmmmm. Only one person that could be. It makes Eric smile though as he hears the voice. He stands up from the wall, not relaxing anymore. The smile doesn't quite reach his eyes at least not at the moment as he turns towards the newcomer and smirks towards her slightly. "Hi back," Pause. "Elena was trying to steal your vodka."

She knows it's necessary. It hurts, but she knows it's necessary. Elena smiles at him, but there's a bit of uncertainty there in her eyes. "Me too," she tells him softly. She would say more, but the lock jiggles, unlocks, and opens and she sees her roommate come in. "Hi Nadia, nothing major. Just some minestrone….and roast beef with some potatoes. I can't cook Italian like you, so I didn't even try. I take it you're hungry?" She gestures between the two. "You know Eric, right? I think I introduced the two of you, right?" That day when she was hanging up dance audition flyers. "Eric, this is Nadia, my roommate." She pauses, and glowers at Eric. "And NO, thank you, I left her vodka alone, don't lie!" She can't help it, she lets out a laugh. "How was your day?"

"Oh /hell/ no. Steal anything but my vodka!" Nadia says playfully as she ventures into the kitchen. Elena's given a hipbump before the Italian is raiding the fridge for some fruit. "And good girl, leave it to the pro. I'll let you pass on the minestrone though." Scoring a pear, she rinses it off in the sink before biting into it. "Nah, I'm good.. and yeah, I think we did get to meet. Nice seeing you again cutie! It was alright, just enough family shit to make me consider taking up medicine. Or at least nursing." She bites into her pear with a rolling of her eyes. "So. Who got arrested?"

The smile isn't quite returned, at least not in the same form. The smile that does curl up his lips is a very small one, restrained, not close to its normal brightness. He chuckles though as Elena's roomate lets her cheerful presence into the room. It's really hard not to laugh with Nadia being…well…herself. A slight smirk before he laughs at the banter between the pair of them. He snorts slightly. Family shit. He knows that one indeed. Finishing off his Pepsi he just blinks curiously at the Italian lady. "…arrested? No one at least I don't think. And yeah, we got to meet." He adds with a nod. "…and nice seeing you too!" He adds cheerfully. "…I take it you're teaching Elena how to cook proper Italian?"

"Just something I heard on the news," Elena tells Nadia - no, she's not dragging her roommate into the other thing on top of everything else. "But that's nothing new in New York." She takes another sip of her soda, and continues. "Yeah I made enough," she says, nodding to the huge pot on the stove, still hot from cooking. "And I didn't touch your vodka, I promise!" Though at what Eric says, she shakes her head. "Are you kidding? I don't even try when she's around. Nadia's grandmother taught her I think….and you don't mess with an Italian grandmother's cooking." She sneaks a glance at Eric when he snorts at the part on family shit. "….I take it your family's still not keen on you being a lawyer?" she directs to Nadia.

"Damn straight," Nadia says between mouthfuls of pear. "and she's teaching me to cook Mexican in return. We're a multi-cultural and diverse household." Making short work of the pear, the core is disposed of. "I just sometimes gotta wonder what my Elena is saying when I'm not listening," she says with a playful wink before throwing her arms around her roomie from behind. She plops a messy kiss against Elena's cheek before letting go. Don't worry, she's incredibly straight, and very comfortable with herself! "Yeah, between her, ma, cousins, aunts.. I never have to take cooking classes! And no, dad's still not too happy about it. Just looking at the coursework makes my eyes cross though. I do have to make sure that I'm committed before I really plunge into it."

Eric will follow Elena's lead on that, he'll keep quiet on all the other weirdness around. "…well I can at least get into a kitchen without blowing it up or burning water," He says with a slight smirk. "So its not just TV dinners and ramen for me anymore," He says with a shrug of his shoulders. "Better than I did a few months ago." A smirk. "She's a good teacher." He adds after a moment as he nods towards Elena, his eyes on Nadia though. A laugh then before he shakes his head. "…as long as you don't end up a lawyer like my brother Mark." He says with a smirk. "He's a hell of a work-a-holic." Oh that's so pot calling kettle there.

"We are. If we had a bigger apartment, I would've asked Mikhail and Monica to move in with us," Elena tells Eric with a grin. "Then we'll be really diverse and multi-cultural." Mikhail was Japanese/Russian, and Monica was African American. It was almost the makings of a sitcom - except Nadia would be the only normal person in an entire apartment full of Evolved….well. She and Monica anyway. She doesn't know about Mikhail….yet. "That's an improvement," she tells him with a smile - even though he can't even look at her. Part of her deflates a bit at that, but it's not like she doesn't understand. He rushed all the way there to check on her though…that's something right? "Don't listen to him, Nadia, he works crazy hours," she tells her, hugging her roommate back and grins when she's smacked loudly on the cheek. "Nothing but good things, though. Trust me! Besides you're getting good with the Spanish thing. All I have to do is tell you I've got some classroom gossip and tell you in Spanish. You'll be fluent in no time."

Nadia giggles at Eric. "That's better than what most guys can do!" She all but skips back to the door to hoist her bag up on her shoulder. "Dude.. My dad's just humoring me on a degree. Before I even have a chance to graduate, he'll have the guys lined up, trying to pick the best one to marry off to. I'm just waiting for him to hold some kind of dinner meeting at his place as it is." Laughing at Elena, she shakes her head. "And you'll be swearing in Italian in no time, and not just with your hands." Because that's how Italians talk. Capice? "Anyway, you kids have fun, I gotta check in with my aunt, one of my cousins got the shit kicked out of him at work. Then.. I have studying to do. You crazy kids take it light!" Then she's skipping across to her room.

"The four of you in the same apartment, I'd be terrified of something like that," Eric replies as he finishes the soda and crosses across the kitchen to set it down on the counter before turning back towards Nadia. "Thanks though…its more of a self defense tactic though. Its that or hire a cook." He replies with a laugh towards the both of them. A pause though as he realizes that Nadia is about to be leaving, though he does nod towards her and grin slightly. "…well have fun cramming…" He says by way of a goodbye. "…I'll be leaving myself soon." He adds…before he pauses and shakes his head. "…and I just can't see Elena swearing in Italian." It doesn't quite compute. A blink. "…and I hope your cousin is alright."

"……" Elena watches Nadia as she skips to her room. "Your cousin got what?" But the door closes. She gapes at the door helplessly, and rakes a hand through her hair. "Here I thought Manny had problems…" she mutters under her breath. She pulls out a tupperware though, and starts packing up some of the soup in it. When Eric announces he's leaving in a bit, she looks over at him. "Don't work too hard," she says with a frown. "I mean it, Eric….you need the sleep." She smirks. "And I don't tend to curse anyway, just when I'm really mad. But I can say 'hello', 'goodbye', 'happy birthday' and 'it's nice to meet you' and 'my name is' in Italian now."

"…well at least you have an interesting roommate," Eric replies with a shake of his head as he smiles towards the door that Nadia disappeared behind. "Keeps things hopping at least," He adds before he turns back to look towards Elena. "…well you know me," He says with a chuckle. "If I don't spend a day or two in the hospital every month for something I feel like I'm not doing enough." He jokes as he leans one shoulder against the wall and fixes his eyes on Elena. He's quiet for a bit before he grins. "That's you Elena, always learning something. You'll have the language down soon enough if you can work it into your busy schedule."

"That's not exactly a good thing, Eric," Elena says, looking over at him and meeting his eyes and frowning. "You're not doing anyone any favors driving yourself down to exhaustion like that. Do you know what fatigue does to the brain? It kills it slowly," she points out. And no, she doesn't look happy. She's worried about him sure, and that comment wasn't exactly a happy one to hear - even if he could be kidding, but it didn't sound like he was. Because proof of it was right in front of her. Physiologically, thanks to her abilities, he was an open book. "And you need said brain to keep things running." She sighs, and looks over her shoulder at Nadia's room, before sealing the tupperware to keep the heat in and looks for the garlic bread she made earlier. "I try," she says, her expression softening and giving her a smile. "I'm sorry….I didn't mean….all I do these days is worry. I guess I'm a little stressed out."

"It keeps me busy though," Eric replies with a slight smile lifting the corners of his mouth as he turns his dark eyes back towards her. The look on his face softens a moment as he watches her frown at him. "I'll be just fine Elena," He says quietly before he takes a step closer to her, glancing towards the door that Nadia left by. "My brain…has its own set of issues to deal with at the moment, so trust me its getting a fine workout." He gives her a little wry smile before taking his hands out of his pockets. An open book? Well there are parts to him that are closed to her right now, even though she can see the fatigue written clear enough there. "So my brain will be just fine…" He shakes his head though. "…you take care of yourself too Elena. Stop worrying about everyone else…" A smirk. "…I seem to remember telling you that more than once."

"I know…" Elena says quietly. This time she's the one not looking at him, but that doesn't last too long. Setting the tupperware to the side, and wrapping the garlic bread up in some aluminum foil, she sets that aside to take to the place across the hall later. And parts of him, sure - but physically, he might as well be. But she cheats that way. "I can't help it. Especially with what happened." She exhales a breath. "It's….it's cold when it happens," she tells him. "Around winter." She wrinkles. "An outbreak for the holidays." With a shrug, she pushes from the counter. "I'm gonna hold you to that," she tells him simply. "That you'll be okay." She exhales a breath, and rubs the back of her neck. "I was gonna go head up the family compound upstate for the weekend." She nods to the duffel bag. "…..it….thanks for checking on me," she remarks sincerely.

Watching her pack up Eric can't help but smile slightly. She's…not all that different from before. Still worried about everyone but herself, still strong in her own way, still stubborn as a mule. None of that is ever going to really change. He knows that. "I know you can't," He replies before he nods. "I will." He assures her for a moment. "…and tell the rest of the family hello for me." There is a pause and he hesitates a moment before on impulse he takes one step closer, bringing him face to face with her. Glancing down he just watches her for a moment, a slight smile playing across his face. Hesitantly a hand comes up to touch her cheek, his fingers warm and the touch featherlight. Desire to /do/ something war with his restraint for just a moment before he sighs.

"I missed you Elena."

Simple words but more true than almost anything else he can say at the moment. Almost anything. The words dragged out of him by something he can't quite explain. His thumb runs lightly across the side of her jawline for a moment before he pulls the hand back, the movement reluctant but not hurried. Eyes close before he takes a step back from her then and start to turn for the door.

"I'm glad your safe," He repeats for the second time tonight before stepping to the door, and setting one hand on it to pull it open. "…goodnight." He murmurs quietly before he steps out.

Her stubbornness and her constant drive to take care of everyone else in her vicinity - not necessarily save them, but to take care of them with the most simple, every day things, were so fundamental to her personality Elena couldn't stop even if she tried - and she usually pulls things off when she's determined enough. "I will. Have you seen Papa, lately? He doesn't see you as often these days, what with your work with the merger…."

His shadow falls over her, and she turns around, blinking once and tilting her face upwards to look at him curiously. "What?" she wonders out loud….until his fingers brush over her cheek. There's a sense of familiarity there, warm and roughened by years of taking up martial arts and hard work with software and hardware. She's a little stunned by the gesture, and she doesn't move - she hadn't expected that. He purposely stayed by the wall, she noticed, to keep away from her. Hell, he wouldn't even look at her half the time, so why…

Something had to give, maybe.

Her stunned expression softens , his fingers leaving from their tracing on her jaw, and she watches him move for the door. "Eric it's not like…" She hesitates. "It's not like you don't know where I am most of the time," she tells him softly. "I just thought…" That he needed the space. That it might take a while before they became friends again. But she knew that look, and it broke her heart a little that she couldn't fix it.

"…goodnight…" she says quietly, watching the door close behind him. Left alone in the kitchen, she crosses her arms over her chest, and leans against the countertop, her eyes cast to nothing as silence settles over her new home.

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