2007-09-05: Static Mutants

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Ian_icon.gif

Summary: While waiting for Peter at the steps of Bobst Library, Elena meets a fellow classmate who has more in common with her than just their Biochem emphasis.

Date It Happened: September 5th, 2007

Static Mutants


Outside the Bobst Library, New York University Campus

The Bobst Library was a little empty in this time of day - it was approaching 7:00 pm in the evening. Students are still inside, those who are working the evening shifts for Work Study. Several graduate students are working through the darker hours inside. Most undergraduates though? Are gone. They're out, either back in the dorms, socializing with friends, or, if you're a geek, playing WOW in one of the numerous computer labs on campus.

Outside of the library, however, are sparse clusters of students. Some lounging in the main quad, others just walking around with cups of coffee from the on-campus coffeehouse, Flava Java. A group of NYU cheerleaders fresh out of practice leave the Coles Sports Center, tailed by the NYU mascot….a young man with a large Bobcat head tucked under one arm. Go Violets!

Elena herself is perched on the stairs leading into the library. She seems to be waiting for somebody because she's absently checking her watch. It was getting a little cooler, so she removes her hoodie from her backpack and shrugs it on over her tanktop. Clad in jeans, worn and frayed on the hems, she's got a pair of broken-in sneakers on. Her long hair is twisted loosely behind her head, secured by a claw clip, leaving several locks framing her face. She's got a book on her lap, open, and a highlighter in her fingers. The book looks heavy, and…well, incredibly boring. It looks like a textbook on organic chemistry.

Ian has this way of walking like he believes he's illuminated by his own personal spotlight. As if everyone's eyes should be on him. Might be an Angeleno thing, might be native natural arrogance. He comes sauntering out of the library like he expects paparazzi to be waiting on the steps, and starts pattering down them, only to be diverted by Elena's presence. "Oh, man, that first test is gonna be a bitch," he says without preamble, as if picking up a conversation just recently paused. Her watch? Unless it's purely mechanical - it starts blinking as if the battery were faulty.

The first thing she realizes is that the battery in her watch is…..doing something. Her watch doesn't look digital, even if it does have digital components. But the little warning light for something is telling her that something is messing with the GPS chip that had been secretly installed in it. And then, Ian's voice. Elena looks up, peering at the other college student with her cats eye glasses, and she removes them from her nose. "Oh, this?" She holds up her textbook. Come to think of it, he looks familiar….was he in her class? She gives him a small smile. "Yeah. I was just going over the first two chapters, get a head start on it. At least it's not until next week. The professors're really starting early this semester."

"I hear he's a tough one, Profesor Watley," Ian says, sounding rueful. "I'm already working starting a study group for it. Free, since all the tutoring around here costs. You should totally join," he says, offering a tentative smile. All the gear around him starts to go a bit weird, really - a girl passing on the steps frowns as her call is abruptly terminated, and then scowls at her cellphone.

"Professor Watley's nothing compared to Professor Morrison," Elena groans. "If you're taking chemistry this semester." She is tapping at her watch, frowning a little bit. What the hell? Was it supposed to be blinking like this? She has no idea her cellphone's getting a little fritzed, because she's not using it, but her watch she can see enough. When the other student tells her about a study group, she pushes a lock of hair away from her eyes. "Sounds good," she says with a grin. "I was wondering when the rest of us peons start banding together to take on the Wat." She shuts her textbook and extends a hand from where she's sitting. "I'm Elena. I thought I recognized you from the class."

Ian makes a face. "Man. And Chemistry's my major," he says, before putting on an expression of mock despair. "I've got Organic as my one big course, since I got all the APs out of the way in highschool. Rest of it is all touchy-feely liberal arts stuff," he says, before taking her hand and clasping it firmly. Rather than shaking it, he bows over it, and clicks his heels together - an oddly formal gesture, considering he's dressed more or less like a skatepunk.

Ian adds, belatedly, "Ian."

"Ian." Elena smiles, though she can't help but blink at the odd gesture when he takes her hand. She grins though, it's different - and the way he dresses reminds her of Drake. "APs too, huh? Me too. Almost all honors classes through high school. I had to, they would've taken my scholarship otherwise and Papa wouldn't have been able to afford St. Clemens' tuition. So are you taking Morrison next semester then?" She pulls out her cellphone, to check and see if she's got any text messages…and frowns. No signal? She looks around. What's going on with her service? Does she need to switch? With a sigh, she tucks it back in her back pocket. "I'm pre-med, so Biology's my major. Organic chemistry's required."

"Yeah, Morrison's on the way," he says, looking sour about it. "I thought I was something special in high school, now I'm finding out just how small a fish I am academically, you know?" He watches her check her phone….and looks momentarily embarassed. "I'm basically biochem, but since they don't have that as an official major, I'm doing Chem with a Bio minor. Hoping to do pharma research down the way."

"Worlds full of brainiacs these days. Curse of our generation, I think….well. If you're my age." He looks her age. "Only way to get into the best colleges is to compete once you're in high school. Not just academics either. It kind of sucks, I'm pretty sure our parents are looking at the requirements right now going 'what the hell' since they didn't need to do all of this when they were younger." Elena inclines her head at the embarrassed look, but she grins when he mentions biochemistry. "That's my emphasis. I think they offer it for Chemistry and Biology majors since there's no actual course for it." She digs into her backpack, and produces a textbook. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior. "It's pretty dated, published in the 1990's, but it's a good read as an external reference.""

"I know. I had to pile on the extracurriculars. My dad couldn't believe all the hoops I had to jump through to get here. He kept asking my why I didn't just go to UC Santa Cruz," He takes the book, riffles through immediately to the table of contents, and starts nodding sagely.

"Because it's a party school. You wouldn't learn anything," Elena says with a laugh. She lets him take the book, watching him look through it. Everything a sophomore needs is in there, starting with an overview, basic biochemistry, mental processes, and so on. "So what made you decide to go into pharmacology?" she asks, standing up now that she's gotten sick of sitting down, sliding her hands in her pockets. She'd offer to let him borrow the text for a few days, but she needs it to study this evening after dinner.

Ian worries at his lip, brow furrowed in thought. "Wave of the future. The advances in drugs even in our lifetimes….it's amazing. I want to see it all happen," he says, in apparent earnest, glancing up at her. "And yeah. I mean, I grew up out there. I can deal with missing good surf for a few years to try something different."

"I heard compared to what we pass off as beaches here, east coast's coast sucks in comparison to the west's," Elena says with a grin, lifting her hand to take her book back. When she gets it back, she stuffs it back in her book bag. "So you're from California? I have a friend that just moved there. You guys dress alike." Drake was a musician and a bit of a skater-type too. She digs out her phone to check it again, and frowns. "What's with this thing…?" she mutters, poking at the buttons of her phone. Lifting her eyes to Ian, she smiles ruefully. "Sorry….I was supposed to meet someone who said he was going to text me before heading over, but…" She lifts her phone for him to see. No signal. What the hell?

"Oh, uh," Ian says, reaching for it. "Odd. I mean, this is a big city - maybe interference from a lab, or something?" he says, tentatively. "I am. One of the Los Angeles suburbs - Venice Beach. And well, I can't say until I've seen something other than Rockaway. I hear there's a bit of decent surf way the hell down in Florida, but gods only know if I'll ever make it that far south. Yeah?"

The phone he takes, if he's technologically savvy like most kids her age, is one of Evosoft's new jPhones, cherry red, with a cartoon ninja on the LCD display. And indeed, it looks like it doesn't have a signal, and the indicator lights are flashing a little oddly. "It's never acted this way before, and…." And she knows who designed the things, so whatever's messing with it has to be external. Gene's work was impeccable. "…I sort of work for the company that produces it, so I know the quality's pretty top shelf. Oh well….you're right, maybe it's just interference or something." She takes the phone, and pockets it. "You know, Spring Break's in March this year. If you intend to catch some surf, it'd be the perfect time to go. It's dismal here in March, if this is your first year here." She smiles. "….is it your first year here?"

Oddly enough, the phone seems to have begun working again - though it sort of reboots itself. "Yeah, it is, and so I am told." Ian says. "I'll have to see if I can weather a New York winter, or have to flee back to sunny California," he says, sounding a bit wistful. "I'll put that on my calendar."

She catches the wistful expression, and she couldn't help but give him a small, sympathetic smile. "Homesick?" Elena asks kindly, and she takes back the phone… "…oh, hey. It's working again," she says, shaking it a bit. "Must be a service area problem." She furrows her brows, and tucks it back into her pocket. No messages, it looks like - at least she didn't miss anything important or too late to respond to. "New York winters tend to be incredibly bad in December and all the way through February. I don't know, it didn't used to be that way, but…you know. El Nino, Global Warming and all of that. East Coast weather just gets weirder and weirder every year."

The latina sophomore is standing on the steps of the Bobst Library, facing Ian who's perched on a higher step than she is. They seem to be chatting amicably.

"Honestly? Yeah. I mean, New York is cool, no doubt. But the climate in California is like paradise," Ian explains, gesturing earnestly with a hand. No comment on the phone. Not yet. 'At least I'll be home for most of December."

"Yeah that's what I heard. I was going to ask you what the hell were you thinking moving up here, but I just started talking to you, I figured it'd be rude," Elena says with an impish grin. She doesn't remember Ian from last year's classes, but it seems like he just moved here. Maybe he was a freshman, or maybe he was a transfer. But hey at least she knows someone who's in the same classes as her, she'll probably see him often considering they've got the same emphasis. "You make any new friends yet around here? I mean, are you dorming or what?"

Ian rolls his eyes. "Yeah. I wrangled a single, so I don't have to sleep under someone else's bunk. I think my mom went all Don Corleone on the housing organizers, or something. But I couldn't afford a shoebox in Manhattan. No, don't really know anyone, I've been just sort of milling around with the guys from my dorm that I knew in Orientation." He lifts his hand. "Hey, it's only four years, I'm a tough guy, I can suck up the winters," he says, though his eyes are gleaming iwth amusement.

The steps of the library. That's the goal for a young man moving quickly through campus. Peter Petrelli's well dressed, in jeans, a light shirt and a dark jacket, but his hair looks decidedly rumpled, windblown, sticking every which way, and his clothes are wrinkled. It looks as if he had a slightly rough time. As he hurries up to the library steps, he doesn't see anyone except the person he'd hurried to see. "Sorry I'm late. I tried calling but…" He trails off. This is when he notices that she's not alone. She's facing someone perched on the stairs. "Oh, sorry. Hi?"

"Best way to meet new people," Elena says with a smile towards Ian. "That's how I met most of my friends Freshman year last year. And you managed to get a single? Wow….yeah no kidding. I wonder who your mom had to bribe to get one of those. Don't they do the lottery thing for that?" She slides her hands in her pockets, rocking back on her heels. But at his quip about the winters, she laughs. "Yeah well, we'll see, Cali boy. But yeah you don't really strike me as a wussy." Someone was running up to them. She turns around, and she blinks. "Oh, hey," she greets Peter, furrowing her brows a bit at his state. "….are you okay?" And since it'd be rude not to do this…. "Peter, this is Ian, he's a classmate of mine, we have the same emphasis, but different majors. Ian, Peter."

Ian makes the little gesture of rubbing thumb and forefinger together that signifies some cold, hard cash changing hands. "I'm sure my mother bribed the hell out of someone. I'm so spoiled," he says, innocently. Peter gets a little wave. " 's up, Peter?" he says, extending a hand.

"I'm— fine. I'll explain later," Peter says, managing a hint of a smile. There must be something to explain. But it's not something to go into in front of others. Looking over at the young man he nods, "Nice to meet you, Ian." And then there's a sound as— well— it's his phone. Not reacting well to a sudden electrical surge that isn't well controlled. It could be worse. He's not frying his phone completely. He looks confused for a moment, and glances down at his hands. There's a strange sensation, similar to another ability he's actually fairly proficient in, but it's trying to do something that he's NOT used to it doing…

"Oh boy. One of those, huh?" Elena mock-groans. But she does grin at the comical gesture of thumb rolling against his index finger. "I'll pretend to look the other way." She glances over at Peter, and she nods, a curious look on her face….but a sound reaches her ears. Was that his cellphone. "There's this service problem going on around here, I think," she explains. "Probably why you couldn't get my phone when you tried earlier." She, of course, doesn't know that there's something out of the ordinary going on………until Peter's genetic structure starts shifting as he's exposed to another Evolved's power. -That- she can sense, and she's looking at him strangely, and then her eyes rivet over to Ian. A hand comes up, resting gently between Peter's shoulder blades to re-adjust him. Of course it just looks like a friendly gesture.

"I swear to god, I don't have syphilis," Ian notes, suddenly. "What's that look for?" His tone is teasing, but the dark eyes are worried, as he follows Peter's gaze to his hands. He has it -under control-. So what's doing that now? And then Peter gets a faint narrowing of the eyes. Too bad there isn't a secret electrofreak handshake, like the Masons, or something. Because you can't just up and demand to know if someone else is a fellow member of the Brotherhood of Mutants, can you? Even though this is New York. "I promise, I am not a total Trustafarian," he assures Elena.

"Sorry," Peter says, giving his head a shake. The cellphone stops fritzing now, thanks to a little nudge from his friend against his back, and he finally does take the hand. There's no special handshake, but there might be a hint of static on his hands, a hint of a spark. Could just be from normal static, right? His hair's standing up in a few places. "I've just had a weird day, that's all. At least I know there wasn't anything wrong when the phone said you couldn't be reached."

"Yeah, it's some weird….service problem." Though she's not sure anymore. Peter only reacts the way he did biologically when he's absorbing someone else's powers. And the only person closeby right now is Ian. Was he…? She blinks when Ian asks what the look was for, and she laughs. "Ah, nothing. It's just…his hair." She gestures to Peter and his hair that's reacted a little bit to the static. When he says the trustafarian bit, she laughs appreciatively. She was quick to laugh, it doesn't take much. "I'm going to have to use that later. Surprisingly I know my own share of Trustafarians." Then again you almost have to be if you're going to an expensive private university like NYU. Unless you're in a scholarship. She looks over at Peter. "You ready to go?" she asks.

Ian David Jackson, human Van Der Graaf generator, and singlehanded bane of all iPods in the greater metro area. There's a reason the watch he pulls out of his pocket looks like the sort of thing Wyatt Earp would be wearing in his vest. Elena gets a grin. "I only wish I coined it," he says, trying to smoothe over his unease. And then he blurts, attempting to keep his tone joking, "So, you're totally a static mutant too, huh?"

Static mutant? Peter raises an eyebrow, putting most of his attention at the other young man for a moment. It's different but… "Yeah— we can leave, if you're ready," he says, almost absently. Not that he's ignoring the girl he's currently attempting to date, he's just… curious. Especially when the young man asks if he's a static mutant. It's toned as a joke, and he actually smiles a little lopsidedly. "You could say that." Static freak. That one's new. "It's— nice to meet another static freak." Though it really is doing something odd to his hair. He reaches up, trying to push it down.

The pocket watch is eyed. That's interesting - she was more used to seeing those things in Western films, not in the pockets of skater boys from California. Elena looks over at Ian and laughs. "So you bit it off somebody? I see how it is." Static mutant? She can't help but lift her brows slightly. "Well, while the both of you are bonding," she says, digging out her now functioning jPhone. "Ian, if we're doing the study group thing I should get your digits," she says simply, flipping the top open…and blinks.

You've. Got. EvoMail.

And it's from the boss.

She furrows her brows, tapping some buttons with her thumb. The screen really can't be seen by Peter or Ian since they're talking….but they'll definitely hear the sudden BLARE of…

~IT'S TEARING UP MY HEART WHEN I'M WITH YOU
WHEN WE ARE APART I FEEL IT TOOOOOO
AND NO MATTER WHAT I DO I FEEL THE PAA….~

She shuts it off instantly, her eyes wide. She even hides the phone behind her back. OH MY GOD. JADEN.

"…..I." Pause. "….I swear to God that's not one of my ringtones." Her cheeks are red. OH MY GOD. JADEN. WHAT.

Oh, Emo Peter. You are such the charmer. Because Ian is giving him the sort of rapt stare that usually ends up with the subject being invited up to the dorm room to ….look at etchings. Or insert euphemism of choice, there. Only, it's not the dewy eyes of utter attraction, so much as it is the stare of a bomb defuser trying to figure out if he should cut the green or the red wire first. "Yeah. One of us, one of us," he says, finally, before that particular bit of digital irritation revives, and his attention snaps to Elena. "Yeah, okay. Here," he says, digging in his pockets to produce paper and pen, the better to scribble down his info.

Well, if he'd been invited back to a dorm it would just be to talk about electricity or that sort of thing, but even then it could look wrong. Peter's not that kind of man, honest. He's picking up a girl he might want to have as much more than a friend, and not trying to siddle up to her fellow classmate, honest. "One of… us?" he's repeating, but gets cut off by music coming from her cellphone. Eyebrows raise again. "Um— is that one of your suitors from Spain?" Sorry, he couldn't help it, with her blushing like that. He teaches over and touches her arm. No more sparks this time, honest.

She reaches out to take the piece of paper. "Thanks," Elena says with a hint of a smile, though she still looks embarrassed. She tears off a piece of that piece, and scribbles out her number, to hand to Ian. Organic Chemistry was a tough class, a study group would certainly come in handy. When Peter touches her arm, she looks at him helplessly. "You could say that," she groans. Jaden did ask her to be his girlfriend while she was in Spain. She eases away from the touch, but it doesn't last long, absently linking her fingers in his. "Yeah, I'll definitely keep in touch….I think I have lab with you tomorrow anyway," she tells Ian. "For Organic Chem. Last one before the test next week."

Ian tucks away the info with the speed of a magician palming a coin. "Hey, at least it wasn't the crazy frog song," he reassures her. "Anyway, good to meet you, Peter, Elena," he says, offering a little salute. "And yes, we do have lab tomorrow afternoon. At four." 'cause she might have forgot!

"That's not the class I walked in on, right?" Peter has to ask, because— it seems like the question to ask. "Yeah— it was nice to meet you, Ian." He raises a hand to wave. There's a hint of that surge again, but now that he knows what it feels like he's able to push it down on his own without assistance from Elena. "You meet a lot of interesting people, Elena," he has to add. Fate seems to have a way of putting her around people that could cause him to go into a coma eventually. No such thing as coincidences, right?

"Seeya, Ian," Elena says cheerfully, waving a bit when the other college kid leaves. Whenever Ian moves far away from them enough, she looks over at him. "I met him just today. Well…he's been in my classes this semester. Most of them really." She drops down a step, and starts heading down it after picking up her backpack. "But I didn't know he was….until I sensed you….do your thing." Which was easy enough for her to detect. "I'll talk to him and see what he knows tomorrow at lab. We need to pick partners for it, maybe I'll scoot over. I don't know anyone else in that class save for him." She exhales a breath. "Besides….I'm starting to learn to expect this. Dezi did say New York's about to become some weird intersecting point for….people like us." She grins a bit. "And no, that's not the class you barged in on." She can't help but tease him.

Ian does a little Christopher Walken soft shoe shuffle down the steps of the library. He's entirely oblivious to the commentary behind him. Namely, because he's cheerfully singing that They Might Be Giants song about Istanbul, as he does, backpack slung over his shoulder. Like he meets fellow Evolved every day.

"Yeah— I wasn't sure what was happening at first, but…" Peter figured it out fairly fast— due to the similarity with another ability that has electrical properties. This one feels different, though, but he'll let Elena figure it out. "If he needs help, tell him that he can talk to Cass, too." That was the whole point of Bat Country after all… "Just be glad I didn't have to barge into a lab in Massachusetts," Peter teases, reaching to find her hand. He'll tell her everything that happened today later— or he might not. They tend to get distracted.

"He might not have to," Elena muses, feeling his hand slide into hers and the taller man moving to lead her down the quad. She follows, of course. Like a puppy on a leash. She's carrying a couple of books in one arm, as her other one is taken up by his hold. "I handed him my phone earlier and it started working again. I think he's aware of it and can fix the problem, but I don't know if….he's naturally like that or he doesn't know how to keep it in. I'll figure it out though." She looks a little hesitant. She liked keeping her own abilities under wraps. The greatest thing about it aside from its subtlety was its versatility. At the moment Nathan knows that she could make people….antsy. Heidi knows that she can do that and inhibit Pain. Of course, Peter knows most of it, but not all. Hell she didn't know the extent of her powers still. "I think my reaction would've been the same no matter where I was," she says with a laugh.

"Then you can blame you knowing about it on me. He already knows I'm a static mutant," Peter says, keeping his hand entwined with hers, though he glances towards her burden, and holds out his other arm. "Let me carry those, you've already got the bag." And he's not trying to drag her along, honest. He's just helping lead the way. Would things have been the same no matter where it happened? Probably… but… "At least we didn't have to go back to your dorm." Because that could have been more awkward— and she would have owed him for a plane ticket.

"You think he knows?" Elena asks, looking over at him curiously. "About you, I mean." Did he read his mind? He was getting a little better at that, though Peter didn't do that unless he had to. He shared Ramon's viewpoint on Telepathy. When he offers to carry the textbooks, she smiles, and passes the burden over. "You know the best part about all this is?" she jokes, tilting her face up to kiss him on the cheek as they walk. "I get to do the things I never got to do in high school." Well that's probably not the best part, but it was a joke so she doesn't have to be serious. Like have a boy carry her books for her. The boys in high school had been way too snooty and rich to give her the time of day. "Yeah. Especially if I had a roommate. I wouldn't even know how to begin explaining you," she says with a grin.

The problem with Peter's version of telepathy— it's easily mistaken as spoken words if he's not careful. But Peter shakes his head, "Nothing like that— just the static mutant line that he used— my hand still had some sparks— the ability kinda felt like Elle's and once it felt like that I think it began to switch to it as well." Hence the static. He's not too sure, honestly, just that it felt similar— and he started thinking about the similarity. He has a lot of control over electricity, most of the time. And now he has her books and she's kissing him on the cheek. He can't help but smile, lopsided as it is, squeezing her hand. "You could start with saying I'm a friend from New York that got on a plane and flew to another state to beg you to come back because he's crazy for you."

Elle. The mention of her name causes her to wince inwardly - not really out of jealousy but rather the fact that doing this was sort of breaking Girl Code, which was similar to Guy Code in many respects. Elena and Elle had actually, gradually started becoming friends. But she actually hasn't seen the blonde in a while. Not to mention the fact that she had to limit her interactions with her due to her Company Agent status. Still, was this really okay? She couldn't help but worry about it a bit, being as conscientious as she is. "Oh yes. Certifiable," she says with a laugh, squeezing his hand back. "Straight jacket-worthy. I wonder if they make those in blue. I don't know if I should be proud of it or distressed, being so charming to drive someone to kidnap me from class." If she gets a look or a smile, she'll laugh again. "I'm sorry it's just….that story will never. Ever get old for me. I can see me now, decades in the future, with grandchildren going: Yes, when Nana was very young, this -devastatingly attractive man- stole her away from her professor."

That situation will never be easy to deal with. But luckily Peter doesn't realize he just made her wince, since it was inward and all. Else he'd start apologizing. They have happier topics between them. Involving imaginary grandchildren in a far off future and stories that might be told to them. "Irate professor. He seemed like he was about to declare a cavalry attack to take the hill the way he was yelling." And yes, he's making fun of the man's accent and his appearance. Poor professor. "Devastatingly attractive, huh?" He had to follow up on that. Just be glad he didn't go into the grandkids part— and the mental image of her being nicknamed Nana. …okay, maybe he'll go into that too.

"I think you'll make a great grandmother— and mother for that matter." She's already good with kids. But— that's about as far as he can go with that. She's got a lot of schooling to get through before she'll probably even think that far…

At least he didn't accidentally read her mind in that part. Elena laughs. "I heard Professor Morrison actually is a civil war re-enactor whenever he gets back down to good ol' Georgia," she informs Peter. "I don't really know much about him but outside of class he's famous for his mint juleps. He makes them every faculty gathering or something like that." When he teases her about what she said, she rolls her eyes skyward and sticks her tongue out lightly at him. "Maybe by then I'll be so old I'd have forgotten what you look like," she ribs back, swinging their joined hands idly between them as they walk. "Where are we off to tonight?" she asks him. They were just winging it today so she has absolutely no idea where they're going.

At the last, she grins. "I think Papa would disown me if I didn't give him grandchildren. Truth be told I haven't really given much thought to all of that. Been too busy with school, and now work and school. And now work and school and New York." And on top of it all, a budding relationship with a walking all-purpose ability sponge. "But Papa really likes kids. He tries not to look it, but I can see him make googly-eyes at babies sometimes."

They reach a bus stop near campus, Elena detaching her hand from his so she could lean against a light post. "And I know you do, by the way you dote on Simon and Monty and how you almost instantly gravitated to Nita when you met her."

"That doesn't surprise me at all— he looks the part," Peter has to admit, smiling over at her. That Professor sounds like a character, all right— and he hopes everything got smoothed over easily there. Getting her kicked out of an important lab within her major wouldn't be good. "You're taking a lot of classes this semester," he adds, noticing. She'd had two labs plus Shakespeare— and how many other classes? How is she going to have time to date, go to class, work and save the world? It's not an easy schedule…

"Ouch— I'll just have to make a good enough impression that you keep a few pictures to remind you, then." Or he can stick around the whole time and see how that works too— right?

Are they winging it again? Um… sort of. "I figured we could go back to my place and rewatch the Illusionist— since we never technically got to watch all of it together," he says, giving his plan for the day, which is pretty simple. She'd fallen asleep on him the first viewing, and missed the ending. Even if she watched it again on her own, they never officially watched it together… so it works. "And it's my turn to cook for you." Even if it's a bit late. Never too late for food the way she eats. "At least me and your father have two things in common." Love of children and love of one particularly pretty young woman… Yeah. "And there's always time in the future. Since we're making sure there is one."

"Just six," Elena says. Yes. Just six. "I have three labs. Bio, Organic Chem, and Chemistry. And then I have Advanced Shakespeare, and Eastern Lit. We started the Trials of Takezo Kensei last week. And I've got Calculus II with Eric. I needed two math classes for my core, I already took Calc I last semester, so…" She sighs. "I'd go crazy with the workload - I can't devote a lot of time at Evosoft, but they're paying me well even if I cut back a few hours. I needed the time for Dance Corps. Auditions are in the next couple of weeks. I've already got a spot, but Nadia and I think Miki are trying out."

At the ouch, she grins, and reaches up to tap the tip of his nose teasingly. "I'm only kidding," she reassures him.

She laughs. "A re-do?" she asks, casting an amused expression at his direction. "Sounds good to me. Means I'll have to come back to the mansion a little late…." Unless she stays over again, but she doesn't want to assume. "And yes, there is. I'm pretty sure I'll want them when the time comes. It's just hard to picture it now when I'm full up with other things I have to do. And a social life on top of everything." She winks at Peter at that. "But that sounds ideal to me. Are you making me breakfast for dinner?" Yay personal IHOP.

"Just six," Peter repeats, leaning his shoulder against hers briefly and squeezing her hand. And he thought he was taking too much on his shoulders by trying to save the whole world. And on Takezo Kensei. That story seems to cause a small glance, but… it passes. Interesting choice of stories, though. "Just don't overtire yourself…" There's times, like now, when he feels a little guilty for stealing her away— she's got so much work to do, and he's not got quite as many responsibilities. "If people are allowed to watch your practices, you'll have to let me know when they are." That way they can spend time together on her schedule… so he doesn't have to worry about taking her away from it. Miki? That's a unique name for a girl— he'll remember it later.

And be embarrassed when he finds out it's not a girl.

"If you're too tired to make the trip, you don't have to," he does toss out, even if— well— it is making an assumption. Puts the ball in her court, while letting her know the offer is open. Social life on top of everything… "Yes. I went shopping earlier today, so my fridge is stocked again." And breakfast doesn't take nearly as much time. And… he knows what she likes. Besides everything.

"Well…..we talked about you coming to at least one of them. You and Heidi. Never panned out though, too many things got in the way," Elena says, glancing over at him as he leans into her shoulder. She gives him a softer smile. "I don't know how much fun you'll have though - you'll just be sitting there…but if you really want to I'll let you know." She'll give him that much, she just doesn't want him to be bored waiting for her. Granted, the routines would be enough to keep other people's attentions, and not just men. As far as dance teams are concerned, NYU's was pretty top notch. They had been division champions in 2002 and routinely placed in the top 10 ever since.

At the last, she grins. "You don't mind me sleeping over again? Pillow fights and shots to the butt notwithstanding?" she teases. She nudges her shoulder against his in a playful manner. "What if I drool on you this time?" She doesn't. She didn't last night. But she can't help the banter, it was the way she was.

She sneaks the fingers on her free hand to tickle his side. Given he's got his arm full with her books, and one hand on hers, she takes advantage of the fact that he can't block it. She'll pay for it later but right now the opportunity was there. Elena does not sleep, she cheats.

"It'll work out this time," Peter assures, knowing that he'll make the time to come to her practices as much as he can, work and world saving aside. If only because he wants to watch her. "You'd be surprised how often I spent watching people," he adds, though he doesn't follow up on that. He'd always been more of a sideline person in much of his personal life. Watching other people achieve. Supporting them. Brother especially, but friends as well. It's unlikely he'll be bored. Anything she does with dance has to be easier to watch than his brother's political dealings. Those are killer. Sometimes literally.

"Who says you didn't drool before?" he asks, raising an eyebrow at her, and nudging right back. "Maybe you just didn't notice." Yeah, he totally mopped it up before she woke up last time— or not, but it's return teasing. But yes— he wants her there. Even if he doesn't say it directly.

He might have. If she hadn't chosen this moment to tickle him when he's defenseless. "He- hey…" He's carrying her books. Instead of dropping the books, he lets go of her hand, dancing away a little to avoid further tickles. "Now that isn't fair. I didn't even tickle you last night." Mock frown. He only threatened. Did she find a ticklish spot? Maybe. He's not quite laughing, but he's definitely trying to get away. "Cheater," he adds.

Still holding the books, he takes quick steps back towards her and reaches out with his now free hand, not to tickle her, he's reaching too high for that, but to touch her face and her neck, and pull her in closer. PDA alert! Edge of Campus! Best way to stop further tickles, kiss girl breathless again. On campus. In public. On the bright side none of her friends are around. It could have been worse.

"…you're not getting pervy on me are you?" Elena says, with a very wide grin when he tells her about watching people. Oh she knows what she meant. Peter had said in very few words before that he tended to be a wallflower, even if he took a quiet sort of enjoyment watching people interact with one another. "But yeah, okay. I'll let you know - we haven't started this year, tryouts come first. I hope Latisha says yes to Nadia. Don't know if Miki's going to follow through." But hey, he might be really good. Asians got rhythm. Usually.

When he teases her about drooling, she laughs. "Oh. Oh. You're really going to play like that, huh?" she says with a grin. She can't help the wide smiles. It was rare to see Peter loosen up and actually banter back, considering how quiet and unassuming he usually is. Something changed, a little bit. She would be lying if she said she didn't like it. And when he dances away from her, she laughs and mock-wiggles her fingers at him. "Oh hoh…wait. Wait…..you do have a tickle spot!" She won't be as defenseless later then! Victory can be hers! "I play to win," she tells him when he calls her on her cheating.

When he takes the steps back to her, she feels his hand thread into her hair, curled over her neck, thumb on her cheek. They were on a college campus, it's not like other students didn't do this on occasion. That and it was approaching eight in the evening. It was getting dark. Her hand lifts to touch his cheek, kissing him back - just slightly at first, before she curls her arms around his neck and leans back a little heavier on the lamp post behind her.

Said lamp post flickers a little bit….before the power dies, casting the both of them in shadow.

"…you didn't do that, did you?" she murmurs against his mouth. It's absent, like she could care less. She's busy!

If he were pervy, he wouldn't ask. He'd show up. Watch. Invisible. But Peter just smiles a bit and keeps up the good humor. She found a ticklish spot— or one that makes him flee at least. And it doesn't surprise him at all that she's threatening to play to win— she seems the type. There might be more to say about this, but he's suddenly preoccupied. It involves kissing, and pushing her up against a lamp post a little. There's still a stack of books held against him between them, keeping them from getting as close as he might like.

When they're suddenly dropped into darkness, he shifts just long enough to glance up at the light, then returns to what he was doing— or mostly. He does respond just as softly against her lips, "Don't think it was you…"

It takes a moment, but his hand shifts from her neck to touch the pole. While he's still kissing her, it lights back up— too brightly. The light bulb ends up exploding. That's when he pulls back and looks up. Okay— um— Oops. "Maybe we should get to my apartment." Before he causes more property damage.

Her spine pushes up a bit against the post once he adds a bit of pressure with his own weight, her head tilted up and her mouth angled over his. "Mmhm?" Whatever she was asking, it's a little muffled and more than just a bit preoccupied. Her arms loosen around his neck when he looks up at the suddenly dead light fixture above them…..but he doesn't stay away from her for long. "…no, definitely not me," she mumbles back, her half-lid eyes closing in full again once he resumes what he's doing.

The removed touch from the side of her neck was almost regrettable, what was warm was now a little cooler now that his palm was gone and cool air was brushing up against sensitive skin there. And then….the lamp explodes. She jerks her head away to stare up at the sparks, eyes wide.

"……uh. Yeah. I think we better. Like, now," she says, her arm coming up from under his arm to curl around his waist as she steers him away to walk in a different direction. "We'll take a cab." Laughter is in her eyes, even if she doesn't do it out loud.

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