2007-04-17: Sometimes You Just Have To Vent


Jane_icon.gif Elle_icon.gif

Summary: A visit, a conversation, a burst of lightning, and a scorched wall.

Date It Happened: April 17, 2007

Sometimes You Just Have To Vent

Jane Forrest's Apartment in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC


Hearing the knock at her door, the one marked 108 on the first floor of Greenwich Village's High Rise Apartment Building, Jane comes to answer it. She's a bit surprised, having not so much expected a knock. Within thirty seconds of the rapping, muted sounds of someone playing heavy metal guitar inside stop and the door is opened. There she stands in shorts, no shoes, and an old Pat Benatar t-shirt. "Elle," she greets. "Come in."

Elle smiles. "Evening, Jane." She considers the musician, before stepping in, and looking back to her. "Peter said you'd been having some kind of trouble." She takes the moment to take a look around the apartment, curiously.

The door is closed behind her, and she nods once. "Yeah, yesterday at the noodle place with no noodles, something weird happened. I was writing music, and the notes started moving around. That's why I suddenly bolted like that, I thought maybe I got dosed with drugs of some sort and might have to go through withdrawal hell again. I… called Pete because he's a nurse and could help me with it. Last time, the only time in my life I've done that, I was entirely alone." Jane lapses into silence, shuddering from the memory. "You first saw me a day or two after that, and you were right. It did make me look crackwhorish around the eyes."

Elle considers the statement, and she even offers a slightly apologetic smile. Not that she means it…but she can fake it. "But it's better now?" she asks, looking Jane up and down as if she doesn't already know the answer to that question. "I've been out of the loop for a couple weeks…have you been talking to Peter during that?"

"It is. The hallucination stopped after I left the restaurant, Elle," Jane answers quietly. "I had to wonder too if it wasn't some kind of flashback from whatever caused the withdrawal session. I still want to get my blood tested and see what might be in it." Walking further inside, the guitarist asks "Could I get you anything to eat or drink, Elle? Peter and I have talked about your father's proposal, I told him I'd help look over contracts and be in with the thing if it goes ahead. I'm on board for the things you mentioned at the coffee shop, Common Grounds, that day. Especially taking down this guy who kills us for our talents." There's a pause, and she adds this: "I still think, though, if it involves trying to break people out of buildings, it's someone else's turn. Things like that tend to make a girl crackwhorish around the eyes."

Elle nods. "I could help you with the blood testing, if you like." she offers. "And I'm glad to hear that you're still helping us out. Sylar's dangerous, and we need to do something about him…and Peter's dragging his feet a little where Daddy is concerned. Having another voice of reason would help." A smile. "If we have to break people out of someplace, that just means we get better at it."

"But not breaking into your father's operations, basically. I'm not down for that again. His associates made their point very well. Memory holes, thinking I was a drug addict. I don't… remember any of it, it's just that people tell me things which make sense, so I accept them. Spending three days shaking bad while I recovered, now that's a very vivid memory." And she falls silent, as if remembering something, her eyes searching the place carefully. "Elle, you told me you could power a city block… Can you hit the room with a mild current, 360 degrees? Peter says Sylar can be invisible now and…

Elle frowns. She looks around. "I can. But you might want to get down first." Powering a city block is actually nowhere near her maximum output. But it never hurts to have some secrets. "Stay low."

The woman ducks quickly, replying "He might be watching or following people known to associate with folks like us, so it never hurts to test by throwing a little surprise just in case."

Elle starts with both hands out in front of her, and there's a blue beam, bright. She sweeps them around, out to her sides, before bringing them together behind herself. The blast was, as requested, mild…there's not even a scorch mark where it passed. But it seems to go through clear. "Nothing invisible in here, or we'd have gotten a lightshow." She says, before reaching down to offer a hand back up to help Jane up. "Hmm…it might be better if we were to get everyone who's in on this in one place. Someplace we can secure."

"Thanks," she replies with a chuckle. "Nice effect, beats my batsonar." Jane adds "It can't hurt to do something like that periodically. I'm not so much on hiding out and holing up. Wouldn't want to give him that victory, being so afraid we stop living our lives." Her eyes settle on the shorter blonde, the expression she shows one which silently asks if that makes sense to her. "But we do need a place to gather and talk freely in crises."

Elle shakes her head. "I'm not talking a bunker, as much as…offices, sort of. A secure place we can work from. Though honestly, I wouldn't mind it if it had some living spaces in there too. I'll have to see what kind of resources we can put together on it."

She nods briskly. "That's good." Jane turns toward the kitchen and walks that way for a moment, then turns back. "You didn't say if you'd like anything to eat or drink, Elle." And she's thinking.

Elle smiles. "You're right. I don't want to impose." she says. "I didn't call to let you know I'd be coming by or anything, and I don't want to keep you if you're busy."

"I've got time, Elle," Jane replies with a chuckle. "Sylar scares the hell out of me, and chances to brainstorm the problem aren't passed up often. We're all targets, and if we don't get him he'll spot and take us out one by one by one. Some things just don't hide well. I think I figured out a way to stop it, but dog whistles hurt me. It's an easy thing for someone who knows what to look for seeing a woman wince because someone blew an ultrasonic whistle and doing the mental math."

Elle nods. "I'll take a coffee, then, if you have some made. If not, whatever's handy. You have a nice place, by the way." And she looks over to Jane and considers. "Have you thought about earplugs? I mean, if you hear that well, you could probably still hear the normal ranges through them, right?"

"I've used them a time or two," she admits, walking into the kitchen to make coffee and inviting Elle to follow. "And I've worked on a trick that I think can help with the problem. Jamming." Hands draw out the supplies needed and prepare the coffeemaker, it soon starts to brew. "Like, you know how you can scream and it doesn't hurt, but if someone else nearby does, things are different? It occured to me I could make quick countertones when a blast hits and neutralize its effect on me."

Elle smiles wryly. "I try to avoid doing a lot of screaming, honestly. Usually I'm the one hearing it." She walks into the kitchen, her heels clicking out a beat on the floor. "But that's another good thing to think about for these offices…some way to neutralize as many of our weaknesses as we can."

The guitarist grins. "The really potent ones you'd never hear. You just see the effects. Broken glass, pigeons flying away. It might not be much, but it's mine, and I like it. Fits me like a warm glove now." Jane watches the coffee brew up, waiting for it to be ready with two mugs. "I think a lot about practical uses for it. It's both the artist and lawyer parts of me, I think. Always wanting to organize and be creative, play it like a fine instrument. Like my favorite Fender Strat, the one I'm usually carrying around." She doesn't know whether or not Elle might be rolling her eyes inwardly listening to her, she just clearly enjoys being able to talk freely about all of this, and has given the electric blonde her trust.

If she is, she's doing a good job of not letting any of it show. She watches Jane as she works. "I have to admit, it's pretty radical extremes. Most people wouldn't take you for a lawyer, I think. You know, I'm really not certain about -everything- you can do. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get everyone together, just so that we all can find out. I mean, information, weapon, all that." She's not used to being the tactical sort, and this situation's put her in more of it than she'd like.

"Parents," Jane replies with a quietly rueful chuckle. "And me wanting to be the dutiful daughter. They insisted on law school, I went along. I had a plan in mind, too. Lots of musicians get ripped off by contracts. They wind up not owning their stuff. So I focused on copyrights and trademarks, intellectual property. Now I can help people starting out in music not to get taken in so hard, and manage my own career better. Like so many things it's taking the situation and making what we can out of it." The coffee finishes and she pours Elle's cup first, indicating the cream and sugar while doing so if her guest wants any. "I made a suggestion to Peter recently, one I hope he can pull off."

Elle looks at Jane, and her expression goes a little flat when she starts talking about Parents. "They're a big part of the person you end up being." she finally says, as she adds cream and sugar to her coffee. Distant look in her eyes for a moment, and she finally sips the coffee to break her pensive moment. "What suggestion?"

"They are," she agrees quietly. "They wanted me to be well rounded, so I studied music, and wanted me to do law school, so they shaped me to be what, who I am." She's silent to pour her own cup before replying "The suggestion, yes. One of us can locate people. Peter should meet that person and pick the ability up, work to master it as a priority. Then we could find our target and go after him at a time we pick, with strength in numbers."

Elle looks into her cup, as if she really wasn't hearing it, except that she then looks up. "Molly." she says. "You're right, we should. I'll talk to Peter and start getting that done, so we can go after him. Better than just sitting here waiting for him to make the first move." An angry expression crosses her face, before she says "Did I give you my number?"

"You did," Jane replies with a nod, pulling her phone from her hip to pull up the stored numbers and show the blonde voltage producer. It displays the name Elle Bishop, 283-3553. "Oh, good, you know her name. I don't tell others about people without their approval to anyone who doesn't already know. Molly was kidnapped, and I certainly wouldn't ask a ten year old to locate Sylar for us, but then it hit me we don't have to. We've got a man who absorbs."

Elle looks back. "Oh, I got a new number. It's 555-4658." she offers it up. (OOC: number for the phone code) "Of course I do." A wryly amused smile. "You know who I work for. I know more than most people do."

Her fingers tap the new number into her stored list, and Jane nods. "Thanks, Elle." Then it's put away and she quietly sips her cup, being careful not to burn her mouth with it. "Got told about that when the offer to pull together a team was made," she explains. "I'm told I went on a raid to help get Peter out, but I don't remember it." The subject of memories vanished, and what she has as a vivid memory being called to mind, brings out a somber expression. "It didn't work as planned, and I woke up somewhere south of AC to come home and do cold turkey. But… it seems to have served a purpose, made a distraction so he could get out anyway. And there's all this bomb stuff, him overloading. Makes us all responsible to help him deal, crucial to stick together."

Elle nods. She looks back to Jane. "I'm sorry that happened." she says, looking to her. She actually -is-, at least a little. "I know what it's like. But it'll all be okay." There's a moment's pause, and then she says "And you weren't drugged, at the sandwich shop. It won't happen again."

The guitarist chuckles quietly in reply. "I took a risk and paid a price, Elle, based on what I'm told. It's surreal, trying to match things I hear about my own actions and not remembering. Part of me wants to not believe, still, but… I never was one to mess with drugs. All that time in law school, and I never even did speed, so things make sense to accept I was dosed hard enough to get withdrawal. So no regrets, although I don't have any desire to repeat the action, involving them. It's… a badge of honor, the taking of a metaphoric bullet." But she also blinks. Her head tilts. "What did happen there? Flashback?"

There's a long pause, as Elle struggles between what her own amoral self would answer, and what Peter would want her to answer. "Someone was using their ability on you. I'll talk to them and make sure they don't again." Even if it was FUNNY!

Her expression shifts, and the face shows she clearly isn't the least bit happy to hear that. Jane's quiet for a long, long moment while she sips her coffee and thinks this over. Eventually, the expression eases, and she says simply "Thank you, Elle." Ever the practical, however, her mind is racing ahead. "You were with a woman I don't recognize." Maybe that was her, maybe not. "Illusions. Nice. You know, Sylar has specific priority targets, and…"

Elle's eyes narrow. "Forget her, Jane. I mean it." There's a sudden dangerous tone that enters the electroblonde's voice. "I'll make sure nothing else like that happens to you. But you don't want to go there."

Her hands lift up in acknowledgment of that, and she nods. "I will. Just thought she could maybe project an illusion of someone he's after and draw him out, Elle." Her tone is soft and apologetic, she moves on and leaves the topic behind. "You like music?" Her cup is lifted, another sip taken.

Elle sets down her cup, half-drank. There's a definite tension to her now. "I should get going, really." she says, and she starts to turn to head for the door. Her thoughts are atumble.

Her words are quiet, and sincere. "Elle, I'm sorry. I think too much sometimes. I won't ever speak of her again, I swear it." Jane walks after the electric one to let her out. "We can't have conflict between us. I won't make there be one if I can avoid it."

Elle doesn't stop, not at first. She finally does. "There's already -conflict-!" she snaps. "You have no idea how hard it is, putting up with all of this!" Elle has had to force herself to Be Very Nice for the sake of all this, and that's just not her nature. "That's not what I -do-!" And then she turns back to the door again. Psycho Girl is Psycho.

Surprised by the outburst? Yes. Jane takes a step back, giving the shocker space, not wanting to make any move that might seem the least bit threatening. She simply and quietly states "Lots of things aren't easy, but they're worth it. We go through different wringers and come out surviving, we're tough because we have to be. And we do things that are hard because they're important. You can tell me what's on your mind, and I'll listen without talking." She doesn't, however, do anything to stop Elle from leaving. It's all left to her choice.

The blonde is literally shaking a bit with her own internal conflict. She looks back to Jane and shakes her head. "What do you know about tough? You went on a raid and got it blanked, boo-hoo." She's lashing out, because that's what Elle does when her emotions get the better of her. "You don't have any idea what it's like to "go through the wringer."

There's no reply, not a word said. She just listens, as she said she'd do, in silence. Their experiences aren't the same, the degrees of pain Elle might have suffered aren't known to her, in Jane's head that's not the point. Experiences color judgments, shape actions, and she'd not so long ago let it be said what she'd held in to Elena. Each person has their own way to vent. Hers is going someplace to scream and break glass safely, or to stay extremely busy playing guitar. And she's done a lot of playing these past months since coming to New York.

The lack of response actually just seems to make her angrier. "Shall I show you what it's like to "go through the wringer", Jane?" A sudden searing crackle as she lifts a hand and fires a bolt of electricity, aiming just to the side of the musician's head. "I can do that. I'm good at it."

Okay. That wasn't part of the deal, to stand there and get lightningbolted. A quick step is taken to one side, to not get hit. She glances where the bolt goes, then back to Elle, still mostly calm. "I never said I went through the worst thing in the world, Elle. All I said is how it felt to me. You listened, now I listen, the thing I know most is sometimes it all has to come out. I go scream and break glass in deep woods, or play lots of guitar. You get angry and throw current at people. I get it. Angry as you are with me right now, the goal is still more important. Sylar."

Elle had intentionally fired a bit off to the side, so with the sidestep, the bolt goes well wide. "We'll deal with him." she says. "I'll fry him till he turns black and the pus is oozing out of his skin." And she says that very much like she's had experience seeing it before.

"Excellent," the guitarist answers simply. "You don't have to be nice with me, Elle, or hold back what you're thinking. I didn't say much about things like I looked crackwhorish around the eyes, because, well, it was true. And I knew you could be blunt. If you want to be blunt, be blunt. I get that I need to prove myself to you. Maybe I never can. But I'm gonna try. Not too big on backing down from challenges." Her hand picks up Elle's coffee cup, still partly full, and offers it back to her.

She hesitates a long moment, and then seems to rein it back in. She reaches out and takes the cup. "Thank you." she says, forcing the words out. They don't want to come.

"You're welcome, Elle." Jane glances back to where the bolt went, examining the wall for marks from its impact, then back to the blonde. "What is it you don't want to deal with, the mechanics of it all? I think, at the risk of being wrong and getting electrocuted, you just want to have a target and take it down. Everything else drives you nuts."

There's definite scorch marks where it hit…that wasn't some light current, that was "crazy blonde throws a lightning bolt". She looks back to Jane. "This is all new to me. All of this. I'm not used to being out here. I'm not used to having to be nice to people. I'm not used to having to not do what I want." Her expression is hard to read, but given her general tone and actions, it's probably not too hard to infer that Elle might not be entirely stable (TM).

Her hand lifts the cup, Jane sips from it slowly. "I believe you can make it, Elle. I believe, because you were so angry, and here I am standing. Talking, drinking coffee. I'm not on the floor frying until my skin turns black and pus oozes from it. Even when that angry, you had enough control to not aim at me squarely with the Zeus ammo."

Elle's reply is perhaps just a little creepy. "Peter wouldn't like it." she says. As if that's the ONLY reason why Jane isn't in that state. Not because, you know, that would mean killing someone, or that would be wrong, or any of the right reasons for not turning a person into a charcoal briquette. She sips from her coffee, hands just a little shaky at the moment.

If that had an effect on her, she doesn't show it. Surreality is real to her now, so many things seen and heard. Jane does suspect she went through some real Hanoi Hilton experiences, but she thinks Elle can recover. Believes the blonde will recover, and that has her not freaking out at what's happened here. She just sips from her coffee.

The blonde takes a last sip of her coffee, and then sits it down on the nearest level surface. "I really should go." she says. "I'll talk to Peter, about the things you said. See what we can do about it. I'd rather be on the offensive than the defensive." She heads for the door again. As she reaches it, she offers a last, somewhat awkward "Sorry about your wall." before walking out.

"See you, Elle," Jane replies quietly, as the blonde leaves. Once the door is closed and she's alone again, the calmness starts to crack. She gets an old glass out of a cabinet, sets it atop a plastic bag in the sink, and closes her eyes. One of her special screams is let loose, the glass shatters under her ultrasonic assault. And it's just starting. Soon as she's thrown out the broken glass Jane stalks over to a guitar, plugs in, and throws herself into angsty metal.

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