2007-05-11: Spiderwebs


Elena_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Eric_icon.gif

Summary: After booking it from Elle and Jane's apartment after her impromptu kidnapping-and-zapping session, Elena calls Gene so he could drive her to Cass's apartment so she could be checked over for any damage or injury. Cass ends up having an unexpected dinner party at her place. For once in her life, Elena doesn't answer Peter's phone call.

Date It Happened: May 11, 2007


Sorry I'm not home right now
I'm walking into spiderwebs
So leave a message
And I'll call you back
A likely story, but leave a message
And I'll call you back

And it's all your fault
I screen my phone calls
No matter who calls
I gotta screen my phone calls
— Spiderwebs, by No Doubt

Somewhere in Greenwich Village + Brooklyn

It was raining again. On top of everything else.

Elena ignores the stares from the passerby as they look at her, hunched over on a bus stop bench. She doesn't have an umbrella, so her clothes are soaking through. But rain was good. Water was good. It removed the fact that her mouth was still bleeding visibly, pooling at the side of her mouth. She twitches now and then from the massive electro-shock she had been given before she took matters into her own hands. Her right shoulder has some blood on it, and while it was hers, it wasn't from any external injury.

She wraps her arms around herself as she waits. Her eyes are fixed diligently elsewhere. Her dark hair is plastered around her face, and while a nice guy tries to coax her into coming into the pizzeria, she ignores it. She's in stubborn mode. She will sit there, until someone she trusts arrives. She's never going into a car, or any place, with a relative stranger again. She's had it.

The usual car pulls up, the yellow car moving through the harsh rain and stopping in front of the new friend. Despite the dim lighting of the stores and perhaps the bus stop itself, it's hard to make out much. He barely recognizes Elena through his passenger side window as the waves of rain pour down. He leans over and after a couple awkward failures, is able to pop the door and push it open. "Come on in out of the rain, gunna get a cold."

Gene's currently dressed in a simple white t-shirt and some lounge pants, having thrown his 'trendy' coat and some worn sneakers over to pick up the woman. After all, he figures this late she just wants to drop her off or ask a favor of him. He doesn't look too joyful himself, but it's been a Mother's Day alone. Little does he know how his day will pale in comparison.

The door opens, and Elena looks up, recognizing the yellow Camaro. Standing up and murmuring a thank you to the good samaritan coaxing her to get out of the rain, she slides into the passenger seat of the car and closes the door. Her eyes moving to the window, she watches sheets of water run down it, and with numb fingers, she moves to buckle in. "Thanks for picking me up," she says quietly. "….could you drive me to Cass's…?"

She coughs, her hand coming up to mask it, and coming away with tiny flecks of crimson. She curls her knuckles inward, and wipes the side of her mouth.

Without looking at Gene, she rubs her hand into her pant leg.

The car door opens and closes, the brief time Elena makes her way in enough to get the idea that she's injured. Gene debates what to do as he looks around, making sure he can pull out safely. Finally, he sighs as he decides to just put on the emergency lights. He'd turn on the car light, but he doesn't want to give people a chance to see in. If the bus comes, it will just honk and Gene may or may not decide to move. Friends first.

Gene looks down, his eyes going toward his manual transmission. "I'm not sure you want to talk about what happened… and I'd be lying if I knew if I had the right to ask. If you want me to get you to Cass's, just let it be and we'll drive. Otherwise…" His eyes lift up toward Elena's, trying to read her expression as best he can.

There is a pause. Dark eyes are fixed diligently in the sopping windshield in front of her. It's like she didn't hear him, Elena trying to keep her expression from turning into something else aside from serious or stoic. But at the last words, at the concerned tone, the mask starts to break. Her lips quiver. Her eyes fill with tears. She starts blinking rapidly from where she's sitting.

But she can't do it anymore.

While there are words, they're almost incoherent. She outright -sobs-, burying her face in her hands as she tells Gene about how a Company agent managed to abduct her and bring her to a place where she was handcuffed and electrocuted. She leaves out why, because the reason was humiliating enough - not only wasn't it untrue, but it was also something she would -never- do. And then the climax, how she managed to knock the person down. How she left the location, and then called him. Granted Gene may or may not understand her, because she was crying so much that she probably doesn't make a helluvalot of sense.

It's odd how Gene's skills as a good programmer make for a good listener. You take in all the information. If something doesn't match up, you swiftly take what came in before and after to infer what was going on. Then you put in his nice hearing and boom, the only time he starts losing track if she starts sobbing more without talking.

Oddly enough, Gene doesn't get mad right away. Letting logic take over, he understands that getting emotional wouldn't help Elena. Is he inwardly pissed? Beyond words. But if there is one thing Gene excels at, it's bottling things in. Taking a deep breath to ensure the cork is tightly pushed in the wellspring of his heart, the young inventor just moves a hand to Elen's back as he tries to rub the back gently, hoping there aren't wounds there he's accidently brushing against.

"It's gunna be-" Gene stops himself. No, it's NOT going to be okay, Gene. You're not one of those morons that tell people empty lies. You're Gene Jack Kensington. "Just let it out, Elena. No one to impress here."

There were no words left. When the hand reaches over to rest on her back, Elena turns on her side. She's a little inhibited by the seatbelt, but she does reach out to clutch at Gene, and proceeds to….well. Keep crying. He asked her to let it all out, so she does just that. Tears soak into his shirt, around the shoulder as fingertips dig into the fabric to cling onto him like a lifepreserver. Gulping breaths, incoherent sobbing, part of her hates herself immensely for being so goddamned pathetic - but the thought only makes her cry that much harder.

She shakes her head, trying to rein it in, but she fails horribly.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Elena repeats in between breaths. "I'm getting you wet and I have blood on me and….just….please take me to Cass. Just…just take me to Cass so she could fix me, please Gene, please…"

Well, Gene is sure that if he thought a crazed woman was gunna kill him, he's be a mess too. As Elena sobs on him, Gene leans over a bit, unbuckling his seatbelt buckle with his free hand. He still has the belt on, but at least he can lean over toward Elena. Part of him feels guilty about feeling good right now. But shouldn't he? He's helping Elena, a young woman who clearly needs help. But is he happy to be there as a white knight and be helpful or for something else? Inwardly, he beats himself up for thinking so selfishly again and just pulls back as she begs him to drive. The buckle is clipped.

Turning off the emergency lights and moving the car, Gene admits after a couple awkward moments, "It's okay, I don't like this shirt anyway. I wear it under my dress shirts when it's hot." And sure enough, it does have that odd mix of springtime Tide freshness with the strong undertone of salty mansweat.

She doesn't say anything after the quip-that-wasn't-really-one, Elena leaning back heavily on her chair and looking out at the sopping window again. Was it safe to even drive in this weather? In New York traffic? Then again, Gene's driven her through worse weather, and quickly. Closing her eyes, she inhales, trying to calm herself and making an effort to at least look presentable. Just because she was abducted doesn't mean she has to look it. The bits of blood on her clothes, she can't do anything about. She could, at the very least, wipe her eyes and remove the streaks rainwater created over her makeup. She pulls down a mirror and looks at her expression.

And she looked horrible.

She bites back a curse. Instead, she lifts her hands so she could rub the tear stains out of her cheeks and the signs of eyeliner and mascara. No wonder that poor guy kept trying to get her to go inside the pizzeria, she probably looked suicidal. But she doesn't say anything more than that - somewhat embarassed that she clung onto Gene like that and sobbed like a baby. She was 19. She thought such things were way behind her. Looks like she was wrong.

Figuring there was no laugh, Gene should try and keep the poor attempts of humor at a low. Driving through the city, the young man makes his way toward Cass'. He's never been there, but he's got a map and a GPS system in the car, so getting there doesn't even need Elena to give direction. He has no idea what he'll be doing once he gets there, but best just to play it by ear once he gets there.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, unaware that a pair of teenagers are about to disrupt her evening, Cass is sprawled out on the couch. What with all the excitement and near death experiences and attacks and fighting, it's an evening of being quiet and relaxing. The TV is on, turned to some brainless sitcom that doesn't require much thinking. One of those medical texts Cass has been reading up on is open next to her, but she obviously isn't paying attention to it. Same with the legal pad she's been taking notes on, tossed onto the coffee table without much thought. Bonnie, blissfully passed out on the floor, is idly petted.

In an effort to give Cass that wonderful quiet relaxation she so longingly seeks, Lachlan is doing the unthinkable. That's right: Lachlan is /cooking/. It just so happens that, before he met Cass, he didn't live exclusively on takeout and the kindness of others. He is actually able to do /things/ in the kitchen that don't involve the fire department. Nevermind that what he's doing is, well, barbecued ribs and crab salad (imitation crab that he actually bought without embarrassment!) and some baked potatoes (because those are easy). If there's one thing he can do right in the kitchen, it's barbecue. He's dressed for it, too, in a tanktop and boxers and an apron (yes, an apron), and the smells from the kitchen are actually tantalizing (and not the alarming scent of burning walls).

It takes a bit from Greenwich Village to Brooklyn, but New York really isn't that big. The briefest flashes of thunder could be seen over the dark horizon and rain falls in heavy sheets from the sky. Somehow, Gene manages to find Cass's apartment thanks to the GPS, and once he parks, Elena gets out of the car, waiting for Gene quietly. She coughs, just a bit, feeling the strain on her lungs for keeping that much pain at bay and whatever the shocks managed to chip out of her, the blood flecks washed away instantly by the rain. Soaked again, she doesn't seem to care - she was already wet anyway.

She trudges towards the door of the building, opening up and heading inside. Finding Cass's apartment by the listing outside, she leads the way. She was exhausted - it's only stubborness that presses her forward, and a hand lifts to knock on the door.

Gene parks the car as quickly as he can, making sure to follow closely after Elena. He clearly looks ready to help her walk if she seems ready to fall. Of course, he doesn't push it, figuring that he doesn't want to damage Elena's pride. After all, she seems to already feel bad for calling on Gene, no need to accidently rub salt by forcing his help on her. After all, he isn't sure he could carry her if he had to (he's working on that though!). Once Elena knocks, Gene gives a simple, "Should I go or…" Clearly not sure what to do. After all, the last time, he left the injuried party at Nate's, but this time is somewhat different. Less senators mean more personal responsibility.

Delighted that there is no fires happening in her kitchen - and that she doesn't have to cook - Cass turns onto her side. Man does it feel good to just relax. Giving Bonnie a particularly attentive scritch, she takes a deep breath and enjoys what she smells. "That smells amazing, Lach," she says, a little sleepily. She's been staying up too late and not sleeping a lot lately. However, the knock on the door rouses her from her laziness and she and Bonnie pad their way over to the door. Checking through the peep hole, she blinks and tosses the door open when she sees Elena and Gene. Even if the Latina has done her best to tidy herself up, there's blood and rumpled clothing and the girl still looks a bit of a mess. "Elena? What's wrong?" Sorry, Gene, she's got priorities.

Rattleclatter. Dinner is finished, judging by the sounds of things being withdrawn from the oven. "Yeah?" the Scotsman calls back from the kitchen, sounding quite proud of himself. He makes things that smell good! "Think it's done." He heads back toward the living room, noting who it is immediately from Bonnie's signals, and is in the process of removing his apron when the scent of blood is conveyed back to him. There goes that good mood. "Wha's goin' on?"

With folded arms, Gene waits calmly for the door to open. He doesn't mind Cass opening the door and not saying hello to him. It's kinda expected. He overhears another voice that he remembers. He sniffs the air. Potatos. He decides speak to ensure his personal safety.

"It wasn't me, some crazy woman who decided to join the Dark Side of the Force." The last part sounded cooler in Gene's head. Honest.

"No, it's okay, Gene…Cass is a good friend of mine. I figured….you know. Might as well some introductions while we're here, right?" Elena says, giving Gene a small smile that didn't really reach her eyes. The cheerful spark snuffed out momentarily, there's no glint in her eyes at the moment though she's trying to pretend that everything's hunky dory. See, Gene? She's not only after your awesome, she honestly wants to integrate you in her growing circle of crazy friends in New York! So when Cass opens the door, and Gene makes his quip, she gestures between the two. "Cass, this is Gene. He's a friend of mine. Gene, this is Cass….she was a med student and she owns Enlightenment Books in the East Village…" she says softly.

There. They've met.

But when Cass asks Elena what's wrong…..that was it. Once she got going, she can't stop. She bursts into tears, leaning forward so she could hang onto Cass. The story tumbles out. -Kidnapped-. Handcuffed. -Electrocuted-. While she doesn't name any names, there's really only one psycho they all know who would do something like that.

"We've met. Briefly," Cass nods at Gene, giving him a strained welcoming smile. She's about to invite them in when she all but catches Elena when she leans forward to hang on. "Woah woah woah," the woman soothes, holding onto Elena tightly. "Shhh. It's okay. You're okay now." Slowly, she maneuvers her friend into the apartment and toward the couch, but leaves the door open for Gene to follow in. Bonnie sniffs the two eagerly, but then stands close by Elena and Cass as if to try and comfort the young girl, too. "Lach, could you grab a blanket for me?" She's not about to let Elena go for the moment, stroking her hair and keeping her voice calm. "Thanks for driving her here, Gene." It doesn't take long at all for Cass to put together who Elena is talking about and the very thought puts a very steely expression on her face. However, she's trying to comfort Elena, so she doesn't let her anger show through much more than the sudden hard glare she casts at no one in particular.

Wow. Something's /really/ wrong. And it doesn't take a sobbing Elena to make that apparent (though it helps). Lachlan obligingly sets off to the bedroom to retrieve a blanket, as he's asked. When he returns with it, he drapes it over Elena helpfully, so Cass won't have to release the girl in order to do it herself. The story doesn't really sink in with him as he was a bit distracted with that particular task, so he just takes a step back and stares, glancing between Gene and the others. Now it's time to be the quiet brute in the corner, which he's good at. He does note that Cass is very much not happy, though.

Closing the door behind him, Gene knows that being silent is the best for him as well. He gives Cass an awkward smile and wave though, understanding that he will likely not be getting to know the woman anytime soon. He figures he'll just leave Cass to her work. Girls tend to comfort girls better and Gene still has no idea what to do with himself. He hears the story a second time, details filled in that might have been left the first time or worded differently. He rests on the front door as he just returns Lachlan's glances with a simple one of his own before leans against the door, his eyes staring down at the floor in thought.

Sitting on the couch, Elena rubs her fingers into her eyes, and in halting breaths, she speaks up again. "Strain…coughing….there's a little blood, I can taste…I just…I don't want to go to the hospital, I don't trust anyone there…." Especially not after the rumors she had been hearing ever since the strange quarantine that trapped her in the ER for a time. She keeps rubbing her eyes, so she doesn't look so pathetic with tears coming down from her eyes and looking all blotchy. Taking out Peter who she definitely did NOT want to see right now, Cass was the only one she knew who remotely knew what she was doing when it came to injuries. Hence there she was. While addled, she wasn't an idiot. When she knows there's something wrong with her, or if she's injured without her realizing what's causing it, she goes for help instead of going to sleep at night and see where it takes her.

When Lachlan drapes the blanket carefully on her shoulders, she looks up so she could give him a watery smile of thanks. "Thanks, Lachlan," she says hoarsely, and rubs at her mouth.

Unfortunately for Gene, Cass is still a little occupied with trying to help Elena calm down and make sure she's alright. "Lach, if you could go to the bathroom and grab the tupperware container I keep all my meds and stuff in?" Immediately into delegation mode. "Gene, would you mind getting a glass of water for Elena, please? The glasses are in the cabinet on the far right. And, please, help yourself to whatever you'd like." Wouldn't be polite to ask him for help and not offer him anything. Slowly, the bookstore owner unwraps her arms from around Elena and pushes back some of her hair. "I'm glad you came here, then. Let me just do a quick check up, okay?" Still keeping her voice steady, she starts checking up on her. "Tell me if anything I'm doing hurts you." Now that the two girls are slightly separated, Bonnie takes the opportunity to rest her head right on the couch by Elena's lap. Petting dogs makes you feel better!

She smiles. "Hi, Bonnie," Elena says softly, reaching out to pet the dog. Awww, she's so cute. And she's got her head on her lap. She loves dogs, actually. She just can't afford it. So when Cass does her check up, pushing back her hair, she nods. "I'm sorry for bothering you so late," she replies quietly. "I just…I didn't know who else…" She looks fine now, sort of, collected after the initial hiccup of her control into crybaby. She rubs her eyes again. She seems okay, there's no damage, but there's a slight wince whenever Cass's hand brushes over her sternum. She winces…there's no burn, but… "That's where she hit me. It was so bright. Pretty even, if it didn't hurt so much." Probably why she's coughing up some blood. There's a reason why they use electricity to kill death row inmates in Sing Sing. "I got away. I had to use…I had to get rough. I didn't want to but she threatened to kill me and she was threatening Jane…" There it was, the guilt. Elena hated using the uglier side of her powers. But in that case, it had been necessary.

Of course it does. Lachlan recommends this form of therapy wholeheartedly. He also recommends Cass and her med stuffs, the latter of which he heads off to fetch. When he comes back with it, he sits himself on the arm of the couch and pops open the top, holding out the things for Cass. Nurse Deatley, at your service. The talk about threats to kill Elena and Jane are starting to spark recognition, however, and the Scotsman frowns. "Wait. Tha' blonde bitch? One tha' came in an' was zappin' ever'one?" That one time, in band camp?

The young man nods to Cass's request with a simple "I'm good", just pulling down a pair of glasses from the cabinet like a good trooper. Why two? Because he fills one with water and the second one with ice if there is any in the freezer. Just in case Cass needed ice and Gene likes to think he's trying to be real helpful instead of kinda helpful. Setting them down on the coffee table with a "Here you go" Gene tries to give Elena a simple smile for support before he gets up. Moving back toward the kitchen, Gene also gets some paper towels as well if they are present. After all, those would be helpful too, right?

The mentioning of getting rough causes Gene to pause in thought as he watches the medical efforts play out. He gives a frown as he tilts his head to the side for a moment or two before he just continues to wait and listen on the sidelines.

"Thanks Lach," Cass replies, sparing the Scot a weak smile. Then it's back to diagnosing what she can from Elena's symptoms. Gingerly giving the girl extra attention where she winces. "Pardon me," she says softly and, making sure that she's covering the girl from prying eyes, attempts to pull her shirt up. Only slightly to check to make sure there's no ugly bruising or burn marks. Frowning in concentration in what she sees, she quickly pulls the shirt down to cover the girl. Leaning, forward, she listens to see if she can hear if there may be any blood in the lungs, but doesn't hear anything. Being electrocuted is serious business and she wants to check all her bases.

As this is all going on, Bonnie's tail wags enthusiastically when she's given attention by Elena. Making a dog feel good makes you feel good, too! When Gene sets the glass and ice down on the table, she smiles warmly at him. "Thank you, Gene, perfect." There are paper towels and she takes a couple, overlaps them and then drops some ice on them. Folding it up, she hands it to Elena, already putting it right on the spot that was aching. Then, she reaches into her container and pulls out some aspirin. "Here, take these with some water. I think you'll be fine. Your body just went through a lot of stress." Obviously. "You're gonna stay the night here. I'll call your father and let him know."

"Thanks so much, Gene," Elena murmurs, giving her friend a small smile, and then to Cass. "And thanks so much, Cass." She's so grateful to all of them that all she wants to do is bounce around the room and hug everyone. But she ached - her powers can only take the pain away temporarily after all. The body needs its pain receptors to let the person know that something's going on that's bad. She takes a sip of water carefully, and then drinks the aspirin. When Cass tells her she's spending the night, she blinks at her. "Are….are you sure? I was just …you know I thought I'd just get checked really quick and then head out. If you two have any….plans I don't want to be in the way." she looks over at Lachlan, resplendid in boxers and an apron. And then, she blinks.

She has to make a segue.

"Lachlan, you can cook?" She sounds surprised. Pleasantly so actually.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Warn a guy! Desmond quickly averts his gaze when the shirt starts to go up, even if it doesn't go /that/ far up, but he diligently continues to hold the tupperware for Cass to get her stuff from. Since his question is unanswered, he just frowns a little, and he doesn't look up again until he's addressed. Then he glances at Elena, then down at himself, frowns deeper and growls, "Nah, I'm wearin' this b'cause Cass' got a kink fer aprons." Yes. That's sarcasm.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Warn a guy! Lachlan quickly averts his gaze when the shirt starts to go up, even if it doesn't go /that/ far up, but he diligently continues to hold the tupperware for Cass to get her stuff from. Since his question is unanswered, he just frowns a little, and he doesn't look up again until he's addressed. Then he glances at Elena, then down at himself, frowns deeper and growls, "Nah, I'm wearin' this b'cause Cass' got a kink fer aprons." Yes. That's sarcasm.

Shirt goes up, Gene turns around. It's quick and simple, despite the odd parady playing through his head of 'Peep on the girl'. But even with catch tunes of The Little Mermaid going through his mind, Gene looks around. He needs something to distract himself. A project always makes him feel better and would be great to fight issues of peeping and possible street justice. As he looks about, his eyes go toward the fridge. "Sush an inefficient model," he muses quietly.

Reaching forward, Cass gives Elena a gentle hug, rubbing her back a bit. "Of course. You gave her what she deserved." And she sounds like she means it. While Cass isn't really big on the idea of violence or revenge, she /does/ believe in Karma. Finally, when she's no longer focused on medical stuff, she lets go of the Latina and slides back on the couch so that she's leaning against Lachlan sitting on the arm. "Yes. It was Elle," she confirms. While Elena doesn't want to name anyone, she has no qualms about it. "Don't be touchy, Lachlan. They don't know about my apron kink." Seeing Gene is still not facing them, she says kindly, "You can turn around again, Gene." As for staying here, Cass nods her head firmly. "I think you've just strained your lungs from the…electricity," she spits out the word with a sour look on her face. "But I can't be sure. If you don't want to go to the hospital, I'd prefer you stay here so I can be certain it's nothing more serious than that. Being electrocuted is a bad business."

"No…no hospital," Elena blurts out. "Or….at least not Mount Sinai. There's something…weird going on over there." Where all those crazy hantavirus rumors are going around. Not to mention she knows -they've- been there. "But alright, Cass, thanks." To Lachlan's touchiness, she can't help but smile at him slightly. "I didn't mean anything bad about it," she tells Lachlan. "I -like- that you can cook. And you look cute in an apron. For serious." She lifts her hand up in a solemn swear. While she still sounds tired, and not quite herself, she's trying to get back into her old spirit again - already. Within just an hour or so of getting out of her predicament. At the gentle hug, she gives Cass a hug back, before letting her go so she can go back to Lachlan.

Gene is distracted from his refridger improvements that would cut the energy usage by half to a tenth by Cass's comment. "Oh, okay," Gene replies with a faint smile as he blushes faintly. Moving the couch but staying about ten feet from it, Gene says, "I suppose unless you guys still need me for anything else, I should get going… Projects and all that stuff." He wants to stick around sure, socially unsure nerd is not one to overstay a welcome. More so when the resident thug is unhappy, the resident hottie is hurt, and the resident… older perso-wait, no, resident nurse? There we go. And the resident nurse has the situation under control.

Ugh. The ugly C-word. Lachlan hates that word. It is not MANLY. His frown deepens a bit, but it's not so much offended as it is thoughtful. Aprons are cute. Therefore, aprons must never be worn again. With that in mind, he discreetly reaches back to untie the apron strings around his waist. Humph. "Yeah well, they dunna know 'bout m'leather kink, but yer no' paradin' 'round in it righ' now, are ye?"

"It is cute, isn't it?" That may just be said to rile Lachlan, as she knows how he feels about being called such words. Cute, adorable, etc are all on his list of annoying adjectives. "Something weird at Mt. Sinai?" That comes as a surprise to her, but she's not about to force her to go to the hospital when she's pretty sure that some rest and pain killers will fix her almost as good as new. "Oh. Alright. But, you should at least stay long enough to have something to eat." If Elena is going to stay, she might as well invite Gene to stay, too. "We'll all have something. It'd be a shame if all this food Lachlan cooked just went into the fridge." It'll be good for Elena to have some company, too. Just so she doesn't feel like she's intruding too much. Raising an eyebrow at Lachlan, she wraps an arm around his waist. "Well, /now/ they do, Lach," she beams at him.

She stares at Lachlan, and then at Cass, and then at Lachlan, and then at Gene (in a 'oh my god I'm so sorry you heard that' sort of way), and then at Lachlan again. Elena can't help but take a sip of her water, probably to hide the smile at Cass's retort. But she can't help it. She lowers her head, and chokes back a snicker. "My mind's eye. I don't want it anymore," she says, cracking a joke for the first time that day, and she smiles over at her favorite couple. But when Cass asks, she nods. "Yeah, rumors. Remember the quarantine in the papers? I was there for part of it. Now this patient that came in that day, I remember hearing her name over the PA….she's missing. And not only that, but I overheard that her bloodwork was weird. Someone tried to look into it, but the files are sealed for some reason. It's odd."

"S'a bloody shame they dunna get ta see ye in it, then," Lachlan remarks offhandedly, bending down to offer Cass a quick kiss. Mm-hmm. He's got an awesome girl, and he's not afraid to say so, even in the presence of others who may or may not want to hear it. Even if he's mainly joking about the leather. He sees it in /his/ mind's eye. All the talk of food and sharing and what-not spurs him to get up and start doing the serving stuff that people usually do when food is finished cooking, so he extracts himself from Cass and stands to start heading into the kitchen. Along the way, he sheds his apron and tosses it harmlessly on Cass' head. Hey, it's /her/ kink. "Ye like ribs an' p'tatoes?" he asks of Gene and Elena over his shoulder, but no matter their answers, that's what they're getting (because that's what he cooked, damn it). Plates and forks are acquired from a cabinet, and he starts to dish things up.

Gene just shrugs toward Elena. He's feeling insanely awkward at this point, but that's the story of his life. This is just a new flavor the daily ice cream he's forcefed by having friends. It's likely better in the long run though, since his other circle of friends try and encourage him to LARP and talk in Elvish more. Moving toward the chair, Gene takes a seat as he says, "I'd live to stay if it isn't any trouble… Ribs would be awesome." At least he's polite when dealing with his elders.

Grinning, Cass takes the kiss chastely, but with feeling. There are young teenagers present! No need to scar them any further than they already have this evening. "That's what Halloween is for," she scoffs at him. Not that she actually /does/ have anything leather. In fact, she doesn't even own a leather jacket. Lachlan goes out to serve things up, leaving her to rest against the back of the couch on her own. While she'd normally get up to help, he seems to have it under control. "Please, Gene, stay. Really, we don't mind. Elena's spoken very highly of you. Plus, you've got an awesome R2-D2 replica." Then, she's back to some more serious business. "Hm. That /is/ weird. Missing people, lockdowns and sealed files? Huh." That makes the wheels start to turn in her brain, but it's really not the most important thing to her. It's just something to stick a pin in to follow up on for curiosity's sake.

"I thought it was weird too." Elena, however, is distracted by the concept of food. Meat and potatoes? "Ribs? Seriously? I love ribs!" Well….at least some of the old enthusiasm is back. The young Gomez girl loves food. It's almost amazing that she can eat like a horse and still look the way she does. Then again….her powers probably lent to a higher metabolism, she could literally will the pounds away. But hey, at least she looks genuinely excited at the idea of eating Lachlan's food. Plus she's also curious. And she hasn't had ribs in a while. And when Cass looks over at Gene, she looks over at him and nods. "Please stay," she says, adding her own Puppyeyes power along with Cass's. DOUBLE KO. "And I have. I told them you're awesome." She nods sagely, and looks at Cass. "He can drive at 90 miles per hour in stormy weather in New York traffic and -not kill anyone-. And he's…oh Cass, once he's done with his latest project I'll surprise you with it. It's -brilliant-."

"Really?" Gene turns the brightest hue of red possible at all the talk. He's honestly taken back by this. He's had positive praise said of himself before, but it's different when it's family. "It's nothing really… The robot's just been something I've been working on along with my car for awhile. And the Terminator, but well, that's humanoid robotics there-"

There is an awkward pause as he realizes his embarressment caused him a slip of the tongue. At least they are Elena-special-share secret time-friends so he doesn't have to figure out how to make an MiB/Haitian device. Time for a horrid subject change. Leaning forward and trying to seem as interested as possible as past conversational topics, he asks, "The files were sealed?" One day, Gene will be smooth. But it will not be THIS day.

Grown-ups are talking again. Lachlan is content to just serve up food. Carrying four plates plus condiments is a task for anyone, so he just brings things in waves. First condiments, which are set out on the coffee table, then a plate for Cass and himself (the former of which has ribs and a potato made up already with butter, bacon bits, and chives). These are both handed to Cass to hold while he retrieves the other pair of plates, which contain ribs and blank potatoes. This complete, he returns to his spot on the arm of the couch and takes his plate from Cass. Mmm, dinner. But wait! Gene mentioned a Terminator, and the little boy behind Lachlan's eyes sparks to life. "Yer buildin' a bloody Terminator?" Subject-changing? What's that?
The little boy that is always there, of course, but it /really/ sparks to life now.

Cass takes the plates from Lachlan and holds them up so as to be careful not to spill them. Bonnie, having followed Lachlan around sits right in front of Cass and Elena, looking between the pathetically for scraps. Puppy dog eyes, Elena? Bonnie /is/ the originator of them. Being a puppy. "That is pretty amazing. I barely drive any more. Don't have a car and all." But she did once upon a time. The mention of a surprise makes her raise her eyebrows. "Oh? Latest project? What? Now I just want to know." Gene's discussion about R2s and Terminators widen her eyes as she settles her own plate into her lap. "That's more than just amazing…that's…genius." Especially for Cass. Who can barely work her cellphone without mysteriously popping the battery off the back for some reason. Just like Lachlan, the mention of the files being sealed slips by for the moment.

"The files I heard of were sealed. At least I heard they were sealed. 'Off limits' was the term I heard so….could mean only that really. The stuff containing the bloodwork of the missing woman," Elena says. "A Cara Hayes. I remember her name because it's not a common name I hear in the hospital. There's a lot of Jennifers. Jeans. Marys. Catherines. Annas. But Cara is different. It stuck I guess, memorable enough for me." When Lachlan doesn't drop the Terminator bit, she looks at Gene, and she nods. "Yeah…you know, like Arnold in the movies." She looks at Gene. He's opened the door -now-. Sorry Gene, she has no idea how to get you out of this one, considering Lachlan is the HEIR OF DEATLEY STUBBORN. He's not going to let it go. Picking up a rib, she gnaws on it in relish, and blinks. "….Lachlan these are really good," she says appreciatively, and takes another bite. But looking at Bonnie's puppy eyes…..she caves. She gives the dog half of her rib. "Here you go, sweetie," she murmurs.

As for the secret project, she looks at Cass, and then at Gene. It's his call to reveal it whether he wants to.

"Built. It's nothing big. Sure you'll see it one of these days if you get into enough trouble. That's all I can really say on that," Gene offers with a weak smile. While it IS one of his personal projects rather than one of the companies, it is still cutting edge technology. To the second device that he wonders if he should talk about, he just gives Elena a look. Cass has medical information, so that makes him think. "Cass… You're the woman that is starting that center with Elena that Jaden put money into… Right?" he seems uncertain, Elena having told him quite a bit of who to watch out for, who to trust, and who not to sleep with. Of course for the last one, Gene has pretty much no worries on that. He can talk about the files later. After all, if they are electronic files on a server of sorts… Well, cue the evil genius laugh.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Outside the door to the apartment, dressed in his usual tech support outfit, stands Eric Walker…Lancaster…WHATEVER. The young man seems to have had time after the last tech support call and…well…since he was in the area decided to just check up on everything and see just what was going on. Of course Eric has /no/ clue that he's crashing a party. But. Hey. If he did…he wouldn't stop anyway!

"Thank ye." Yes, Lachlan is proud of the ribs which he has cooked and provided. One might think that he had gone out and slaughtered the steer himself, then butchered it and dragged home the ribs as the spoils of his manly kill. And then back to Gene: "'Ve been in plen'y o' trouble, an' I've no' seen nothin' like tha'. So s'like the real thing, then? No' some movie prop?" No, Lachlan doesn't get hints about dropping subjects and the like. Muncmunch ribs. And then a knock at the door, and this time Lachlan's the one to rise to answer it, leaving his plate on the arm of the couch (and giving Bonnie firm signals /not to touch/). He takes a look through the peephole, then undoes the locks and opens it to admit Eric. "D'ye want some ribs an' potato too?" he asks without hesitation. Hello, Eric, come join the party.

Bonnie gets spoiled tonight because Cass slips her some of her own ribs, too. It's custom. This dog would get very fat if she wasn't taken on a lot of walks. Dropping down to the rug, she starts to work on slobbering up all that she can eat and then sniff around to see if there may be anything else she possibly missed. "That's weird," she agrees. Gene's question is met with a nod. "Yeah. That's me. I want to get that fast tracked, too. Since it looks like we definitely need something now." What with people being attacked and hurt all over the place. At the knock on her door, she starts to get up, but Lachlan's already there. "Who is it?" she calls out, because she can't see from where she is. She's still not gotten a chance to take a bite of her food, from the talking listening and feeding Bonnie, so she doesn't compliment Lachlan just yet. That would be insincere and she wouldn't want that

She blinks when the door opens, and she catches sight of a familiar, blue RTS uniform. "…………Eric?" Elena says. "….you're still working? It's late," she observes. Then again, NYU's let out already and the 'kids' are so far in their Summer vacation. She would say something more, but a ringtone drifts from her pocket. It sounds like….Binary Sunset? She pauses, and digs out her signature, cherry-red phone and looks at the Caller ID.

Skywalker is calling…

Strangely enough, she doesn't answer it. She lets it ring, a look of indecision on her face. Finally, it goes to voicemail. A little icon blips into view, indicating whoever just called, he left a message. She defiantly shoves the phone back into her pocket, and resumes eating. The potatoes, this time. Potatoes that have hopefully not been used to bludgeon someone. "It's safe to tell her, Gene," she coaxes gently. "I trust Cass."

"Oh, well, if you're part of the group, I'm sure you'll likely see the invention then. But remember, talking about my stuff to anyone you don't hear me talking to DIRECTLY is a no-no." He then realizes something. He looks toward Elena. She was telling people about him. Maybe it was just about the R2-D2. Figuring that he shouldn't be paranoid of one of the nicer people he's gotten to know, he prepares to go on when he realizes that someone is at the door. He turns from the chair to look over, noticing that it's Eric. "Hey, Eric…" he says with a wave.

Elena's coaxing works on Gene, but he still has a look of uncertainty. One day this 'trusting friends of friends' thing is gunna get people hurt, Gene knows it. "The device? Well, when it gets completed, it'll be a somewhat portable brain scanner. It'll allow you to fit the equipment in a car and use it to check out active sites in the brain. Should you be able to find an Evolved, you'll be able to know it by the parts of the brain triggered. At least, if they trigger similar parts of the brain for a noticeable pattern. If not, at least the format should let non-technicians be able to use the device and get proper readings from it. It's a lot of work as you can imagine."

"…wow…I…I'm not intrupting anything am I?" Eric just blinks at Lachlan, staring before he shakes his head. "Er…I…sure? I could eat." He peaks his head in before grinning around towards everyone. "…this /is/ a party isn't it." A pause again before he laughs and steps in. "Its Eric…and Lachlan already let me in." Thats right! Blame Lachlan!

He grins as he turns towards Elena for a moment before he nods once. "…yes, last call of the night and it was a doozy. The idiot was an old man who had /no/ clue what a computer was…so it went on for a while." At the look on her face though he looks towards Elena curiously before he takes a step towards her. "…everything alright?" He asks slowly before looking towards Gene and grins back at the wave.

"Hi Gene," He says with a nod towards the other young man before he listens to the description of the device he gives, and whistles softly. "…Impressive…so thats what your working on.

After Gene's explanation, Elena flashes Cass a look. A look that transmits, on her face, 'Isn't he AWESOME?' She wonders if he could actually build a fully functional Transformer. That would be sweet, though knowing Gene he's probably got smaller ones walking around his secret lair right now. But when Eric steps in, she unfolds herself from her couch so she could walk over and give him a hug. Because that's what she does. She would've hugged Lachlan too….but he was in boxers. Hugging Lachlan in boxers was strictly Cass territory. "It's….fine." Fine in the way that meant 'not really but we can talk about it later because there's ribs and potatoes and everything can be put on hold for ribs and potatoes.' "Lachlan cooked," she says, attempting to change the subject. "And it's -delicious-."

That's all Lachlan needed to know. He gives a jerk of his head toward Eric — as though to say, "It's Eric" — as he turns and heads back to the kitchen. A fifth plate is made up in a jiffy and soon delivered to the newest arrival: barbecue ribs and a baked potato (the second-to-last one) that has nothing on it. Condiments are on the coffee table, help yourself, the Scotsman goes back to his perch on the arm of the chair to resume his own dinner. Brain scanners are being talked about and that's not his territory, so he just kinda goes off into his own little world. We'll not mention what this world entails.

A few moments of silence and he randomly pipes up with: "So, tha' blonde bitch's the one tha' did this ta ye, righ'? Peter's girl." Yes, Cass already confirmed that, but the way the Scotsman says it, he's starting to formulate Plans. Bad Plans.

Blinking, Cass nods her head at Gene's explicit request. "Okay, I won't. But…Nima's probably already hung the picture of her and R2 up in her shop. She's in love with that thing." She smiles. The ringing phone gets a quirked eyebrow at Elena's direction. "Who was that?" she asks quietly. Though she's not normally one to pry, she's curious. Elena's the type to answer her phone unless it's a telemarketer. Then, she's back to listening to Gene. "I. You built /what/?" Her jaw almost drops at what Gene describes. "That's…that's…" she has no words for what that is. "You did all that for us?" Amazing? This quite a bit more than amazing for Cass. Erics entrance distracts her only slightly from the thoughts that are already whirling through her brain about what she could do with this brain scanner. "No, it's cool, Eric, come on in, have some food, sit down." As for Lachlan's question, she tilts her head up so she can look at him. Finally, she does get to eating and she frowns at his question. "Yeah. It was Elle." The mention of him being Peter's gril makes the frown deepen. She studies the Scotsman worriedly, but doesn't bring up that tone she's heard from him.

"Its delicious? Not toxic?" Eric says in mock astonishment before he gets hugged. The hug is returned in kind before that reponce of fine. The fine is hrmmmed at for a moment before he shrugs slightly. He does give her a 'sure, we'll talk later after ribs' look before he finds a plate thrust at him. He takes said plate and grins. "Thanks though!" He adds after a moment towards Lachlan…and then blinks wha? Who? Blone? Did what? Peter's girl? HUH?


Gene sighs. No wonder Lachlan and Cass get along. They compliment one another. Lach thinks Gene is building stuff he's already made and Cass thinks he's built stuff he hasn't made yet. Of course, he dismisses the thought because in a battle of social graces and positive attributes, Gene would lose. Or at least he thinks he would. "/Building/… It'll likely be a week or so before I build it. I have work stuff to do. This is usually just on the side when I'm not out and about." Which usually means whenever he's with Elena, Eric, or other friends.

Gene decides to stop talking to finally have some food, though pauses for a critical moment as an important fact is made. He didn't realize Elle was Peter's girl if Elena was leaving out names. Unlike Eric, he doesn't say a word on that, merely munching his food quietly. After finishing a couple of the ribs, Gene nods to Lachlan. "Good eats," he says cheerful in a tone barely above a whisper before he goes back to eating.

"….Nima met R2-D2?" Elena wonders, stepping away from Eric so Lachlan can give him a plate of food. When the other teenager ribs the….well, ribs, she elbows him. In the ribs. She gives him a look. "Just try it," she groans. Before Lachlan beats him with a potato. And then, she's tag-teamed. First by Lachlan, and then by Cass. She hesitates, and then she nods to the Scotsman. "Yeah," she says softly. But she doesn't have the stomach to tell them the real reason why Elle went after her. It was….humiliating. Very humiliating. And utterly out of character, and somewhat of an eye opener. She hadn't realized what it all -looked like- until she was lured into Elle's car and then tazered to the face.

When Cass asks Elena who called, she -conveniently- takes this opportunity to turn to the side so she could pour herself more water, her back to the rest of the crew. "It was Peter," she says, telling the truth. "I'll talk to him later." Which is a lie. She's not talking to him. Not for a while. Not until 'his girl's' got her head on straight…..if it ever does.

The compliment from Gene is met with a nod and a flicker of a smile. All these nice comments are inflating an already incredible ego. These poor people have no idea what they're doing. It'll be a wonder if Cass will be able to fit into the bed next to him tonight. Still, this expression is very short-lived and is replaced by a steely stare when Elena mentions who was on the other end of that phone call. The Scotsman grunts ambiguously at the confirmations he receives, then goes silent again, back into his own thoughts. Bad Thoughts. Munchmunch ribs, then he passes a bone off to Bonnie. She's spoiled already, he might as well give her something too.

"Well, it'll be at least that long to get my space," Cass explains to Gene, unworried about it. Letting her plate drop to the couch, she crosses the space to where he is sitting and attempts to give him a big hug. "Thank you." It's such a remarkable thing for him to even attempt to do for their effort that she can't help but try and show some sort of thanks for it. Then, she goes back to her plate of food. "She did. At my store. She almost overloaded with joy." Small smile, which fades when Peter is mentioned. She has her issues with him after this latest issue so she just nods, once. Information received. Automatically, she moves to rest an arm against Lachlan's knees as the are right there.

"…Peter…" Eric frowns slightly before he shakes his head and glances down at his place. He goes back though to just munching on the ribs and watching them all and listening. He does take a step towards Elena before he pauses and just shakes his head. Yeah. Think of something else, yeah…subject change. Thats good. "…where did you learn to cook anyway Lachlan?" He asks curiously of the elder man-boy-Scottsman. A glance then up towards Gene before he grins towards him. "…and if you need more time to work on this special project, I can always ask dad to give you a bit more time. I'm sure he would."

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