2007-07-07: THE BUSINESS

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Jack visits a recovering Elena, and both talk about the possible consequences of what happened the night before…..and the early morning after.

Date It Happened: June 7, 2007

THE BUSINESS


The Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

The morning of July 7th was bright and sunny. It was too bad she felt somewhat miserable, though certainly not quite as bad as the other night at the Club DNA fiasco. Elena looks a little pale, heavy-lidded, but she seems to be in sort-of good spirits. She's busily cooking a late breakfast, and she's called in sick from work. Everyone in her house seems to have found something to do today. Papa was at work, Manny was….out. She has absolutely no idea where Portia and Parker are, and Desiree was probably out job hunting still. So the smell of bacon and scrambled eggs with a bit of cheddar fills the air of the apartment.

Her mind wanders. She can't help it. She almost burns herself with a pan, she's so addled.

She closes her eyes to count to ten. She has to stop thinking about her abilities. She has to stop thinking about that fiasco at Club DNA's. God. How the hell can she look at Heidi and Jack in the eye again…? And….

Peter.

Oh god.

"Nnnggghhhh," she groans, lifting her fingers to pinch her nosebridge in between.

It became apparent that Elena was most unwell while Jack was seeing her home after the whole club full of sexin' incident. He's doing the best to put the whole thing behind him, especially since his talk with Trina went so well. It's true, he kissed a stubbly-faced dude, and the taste of strawberries will likely be ruined forever for him. But he also 'danced' with Cass, which involved some very interesting contact. All in all, a mixed bag.

But he and Trina just made up and did the business, so he's in good spirits when when he knocks at the door to the Gomez place. He's peering out from behind a sizeable arrangement of flowers in pale yellow and pink, all of which are pretty and very few of which he knows the proper names to.

There is a rapping. Rapping on her chamber door. And when Elena takes out the eggs and bacon from the fire and walks over, she sees Jack, and nothing more.

The door swings open, and the look she casts him from where she stands is sheepish. "Jack, I'm so, so, SO sorry about the other night," she tells him morosely. "I didn't even know I could -do- what I— " She also blinks. Jack doesn't look upset. In fact he doesn't even look THAT mad. And…. "…….you're not going to feed me those flowers, are you?" Okay, she can't help it. She's her nuncle, this was just her bantering with the second most-dominant male influence in her life, she steps aside to let him in, with a small smile on her face. She even pecks him lightly on the cheek when he enters.

"'ey, Sc-'Lena." As he always does, Jack turns his cheek into the smooch and blushes very faintly. He juggles the flowers around and sloshes a bit of water onto his black t-shirt. When he passes the arrangement to Elena, the white lettering on his shirt becomes visible. EXCUSE ME, BUT YOU'RE STANDING ON MY PENIS.

"Calm down, hon. The pretties are for you as a 'get well.' No hard feelings, okay? I mean there were. I was pissed for like ten hours. But you're my lil' Scrappy, I can't stay mad at you. Issat bacon I smell?"

She eyes the lettering on his chest, and Elena takes the flowers, giving them a deep, appreciative whiff. But when she stops admiring her flowers, she can't help but laugh. "I hope that's not a hint for me to check if everything's….alright down there," she says, biting off one of their in jokes. "Thanks for the flowers, nuncle. They're beautiful, and I love flowers." Of all kinds. Hell sometimes she liked them better than jewelry. And when Jack hints at the bacon, she smiles. "Was about to have a late breakfast, I intended to get up and ask Papa to get rid of the thing he put in my head, but….I got up too late. Wanna share? I made bread too. And I got this really good hand-churned sweet butter the other day from the farmer's market."

She …made bread?

She heads in to the kitchen, so she could set the vase there and feed her nuncle. "I didn't mean to," she tells him. "I didn't even know I COULD do what I did. Not until last night and….early this morning."

"Breakfast sounds lovely," Jack says with a lopsided grin. He takes a seat, knowing better than to go muckin' around in someone else's kitchen. "And fresh bread? That's outstan—waitasec. What happened early this mornin'?" He steeples his fingers into a triangle and peers over at Elena, half curious and half suspicious. He may have turned over a new leaf as far as being overprotective, but they /are/ talking about having the ability to make people into shagmonsters.

She cuts Jack a portion of the scrambled eggs with melted cheddar, sprinkling some chopped chives over it. She adds a couple of slices of freshly toasted bread, and then some bacon. There's already jam and butter on the table. Elena makes the same for herself, and walks over to set the plate in front of Jack. She takes a seat across from him, and picks up her fork, taking a bite out of her eggs. When Jack brings up what he does, she chokes, and coughs, thumping her chest and groping for the glass of orange juice waiting for her. "I…." She looks over at Jack as he steeples his fingers. And then? Her face crumbles a little bit helplessly. Burying her face in her hands, she rubs it between her palms and rolls her head back. "Oh god, Jack. I'm so MORTIFIED. I mean the club was bad enough but…what happened after it….I didn't think HEIDI would tell him! Of COURSE he got worried."

Jack's fork falls onto his plate with a clatter, spilling eggs and bits of bacon. His wheels are spinning. Mentally efforting. His forehead creases into a frown and smoothes several times in quick succession. "Peter…" he murmurs. A slow, sly grin spreads across his face.

"YOU DID THE BUSINESS WITH PETER PETRELLI?! GODDAMN!"

Rather than an angry shout, the words come out as an elated whoop. Elena's a growing girl. A woman, now. At least that's what Jack thinks.

Yeah, already mortified. When Jack actually seems PROUD OF HER, Elena gapes at him, her jaw hanging open. Something RED and UNFLATTERING creeps up her neck, setting her face on fire. And then… "Wh…WHAT? -WHAT-?! NO! Are you CRAZY?! IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE? I'm not even CLOSE to being THAT sadistic, Jack! My father sleeps ON THE COUCH. IN THE LIVING ROOM. RIGHT OUTSIDE MY— nevermind. But we -didn't-!" She GROANS, rolling her head back and practically sliding off the chair. "Why? Why do I tell you anything?" she moans, her hands coming up to cover her face. "Not like it counts. -I- did it. I tried to kick him out, even. And…and…ooooooooooh! Who the HELL runs out in the middle of the night to rescue someone from a headache anyway?!"

Jack immediately realizes that he's committed a boner. His breakfast forgotten, he pushes back from the table and moves to stand beside Elena. He gives her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "Sure you didn't. Didn't do nothin' at all." It's an obvious platitude. "It's okay to be embarassed," he comforts her. "I 'didn't do anything' in my parents' place plenty o' times. You're a growin' girl. Woman. Thing." He nods seriously. "You're bound to have tingly girly urges. S'nothin' to be ashamed of. You can talk to Uncle Jackie 'bout anything."

"Jack. These. Were. My. -Powers-," Elena groans. "I -knew- having these would bite me back in the ass and hard someday." But at the 'tingly girl urges' part, she stares at him, and gets a stubborn look on her face. "I'm Catholic, Jack. I'm not allowed," she grumps obstinately, crossing her arms over her chest and pursing her lips at him. At the reassuring squeeze on her shoulder, she sighs. "But it's true. We didn't…well. Not to that extent, and— " She pauses, and shakes her head hard. "THE POINT IS, I've been trying all morning to figure out what the hell caused -this- craziness. I've been having my headaches and I don't know what they mean but the only thing left to do is wait here until my father comes home before -this- happens again. And it was -wrong-, Jack. There were millions of reasons why it was so wrong. Ugh." She drops her forehead on the table. "I can never look at -all of you- in the eye ever again. Not after that. Hell I'm surprised you're even SPEAKING to me right now, much less give me flowers."

Jack lets out a long, whooshing sigh of air and plops down in the chair closest to Elena. He drags a hand through his already mussed hair. "It was a royal cock-up," he admits. "But it was no fault of yours. You'd never do something like that to all of us on purpose, and I know that." He reaches out to give her a back pat, but halts halfway and withdraws. The compassion thing is new to him, and at this point he's just winging it. "I think everybody else is gonna do what I did. Throw big, impenetrable mental walls up around the memory and leave it there forever. No harm, no foul." Now is not a good time to bring up the Elena/Heidi kiss, Jack. Don't do it. DON'T! He opens his mouth to make a little joke and lighten the mood, but again thinks better and only says, "I'm not mad at you, anyway."

"I know. I'm just….I feel like I've wrecked a lot of things because I didn't know I could do that to begin with. Heidi and Nathan's….problems were just starting to get fixed and I might've fucked that up. You're dating Trina and you….well, you know what you ended up doing! And….okay, so you and Benji tag-teaming Cass was hilarious, but….god." She rakes her hand through her hair. "And this…-thing- with Peter is the biggest mess of all. I feel like I fucked up so bad. We're friends, Jack. Great friends. -Best- friends. I don't think I'd be able to take…you know. Thinking things would never be the same again after -that-. It was safer when he thought I was just a kid, not someone he'd— he'd— uurggrgrggrgrgghhh!" She thumps her forehead on the table over and over again. "I hate my life," she decides. "I should end it."

Pause.

"…okay not really, but…" She sighs and looks up at him, rolling her head back against the chair so she could look at Jack upside down. Seeing the expression on his face, she couldn't help but smile at him softly. "….I guess I can live with it since my Nuncle isn't pissed at me."

Jack laughs. He can't help it, the self-flagellation comes off as comical. He reaches out to pat Elena on the cheek fondly. "We all do things that make us look silly, darlin'. I wouldn't worry your pretty head too much about it. For better or worse, the boy likes you. And you like him back, I think." He glances over at her inquisitively. "He's a good kid. Good enough for you, I think. You could do a lot worse." It's a grudging admission, but there it is. Jack likes Peter.

"Well of course he likes me," Elena grumbles. "We wouldn't be friends if we were— " Wait. She's heard this before. She looks at his face, the inquisitive look cast to her, and finally it dawns on her. "Oh."

She glances down to the table, falling quiet. "I'm nine years younger than him, Jack. It's odd, I've heard other people say that before…I just don't think that's the case is all. He just broke up with his girlfriend and what he does for me he'd do for anyone else. I think some things are just being misconstrued is all. What we…you and me. What we think is intimate and close is pretty commonplace with him. It's just the way he is, you know? He can….connect with others so easily that even after just a few days, you feel like…." Her eyes soften. "…you end up feeling like he'd go to the very ends of the world for you."

She shakes her head, standing up and picking up her empty plate. "Besides…even if it's true I don't think it's a good idea anyway. There's so many things going on. I'm so busy, he's so busy….this entire 'The City And Maybe The World Is In Peril' thing, and…even then I don't even know if I'm staying in New York."

She pauses, and looks over at Jack. "….The middle of the year, I reapplied….to MIT, in Cambridge. I got word back today. I was accepted, full ride."

Jack's face goes through an impressively varied display of emotions over the course of the next several seconds. Confusion and dismay are prominent. He has friends, and he has his Trina, but he doesn't want to lose his Scrappy. He draws in a deep, shuddering breath, holds it for a moment, then expells it slowly before responding. "You're moving to Cambridge so some guy named Mitt can give you the full ride? What about Peter?" His head droops and his shoulders sag. Quieter, he continues, "Do you love this… Mitt? If you love him, you should do what makes you happy."

Elena stares at Jack, and drops her head in her hands. "Why?" she groans. "Again, why? WHY DO I TELL YOU -ANYTHING-?"

She can't help it though, she bursts out laughing, moving over to wrap her arms around her nuncle. When it came to Academia, his cluelessness was almost adorable. She pulls away and gives him a look. "Don't give me that look. 'Mitt' is a SCHOOL. As in, Massachusetts Institute of Technology." She gives him a look, and then she bursts out laughing, lifting a hand to poke at his forehead. "And I haven't decided -anything- yet, okay? So don't give me the 'I don't know if I need to kneel in front of the toilet' face. Besides….I….sent that application in when I thought I could afford to….you know. Spread my wings a little. Now it's….I don't know."

Jack's relief is immediately visible. He's never met anybody named Mitt, but in his mind Mitt is already a pot-bellied football player with a fat wallet and a ten inch personality. Not the kind of guy he wants giving his 'Lenabear the full ride. He coughs delicately into his fist, trying to regain a tiny shred of his dignity. "I knew that. Just. Wanted to be supportive?" He nods decisively. "If it's a big spendy school… You should go. Definitely. For a lot of reasons." His expression softens. "You deserve the best. Better than to be in this godawful city with all the mess that's been going on. No matter how much I'd miss you." The last sentance is half-mumbled, and he ducks his head to hide his embarassment.

"Yeah, I know. At the same time, I'm not exactly the best in following what I want anyway. I say all of this now, I'm brave about all of this now, but then I think of Manny, and Cass, my father's heart problems….it's hard. How can I even consider it when there's so many people I have to take care of here?" Because that was the way she was. Ever dependable, responsible (and thus, BORING) Elena. It was as if she didn't know how to be any other way. She turns on the faucet, letting water run on the sink. But when Jack's expression softens, and honestly tells her that he'd miss her, she gives him a quiet smile. "I'd miss you too, Nuncle. But seriously. I'm not leaving yet. Maybe someday, after everything I have to do is finished. I mean, one person can't be cooped up in just one place, right? What's the fun in that?"

Not leaving? Jack seems to deflate a little as suddenly aquired tension sloughs from his muscles. He would miss her, more that he'd admit to even himself. "'m proud of the decisions you've made since I met you," he says. "S'only been a few months, but I've had to stop seein' you as a kid an' start lookin' at you as a young lady. You're far more responsible an adult than I am." He grins lopsidely and winks, a hint of his usual humor returning. "Whatever you decide to do, I know it'll be for the best. Just remember that you've gotta think about what you want sometimes, too."

"Psh. Like you can -stop me- anyway," Elena returns with that same hint of good natured sass, and she grins over at him afterwards. "Don't worry, Jack. I'm not about to do anything rash. Granted…" She gets a resigned look on her face. "After last night BELIEVE me it was tempting to take the offer and go there next semester, but…." She shrugs. "I don't know. Too much of my father's kid, I think. He'd only think going is a good decision if it's because I want to go, not just because I got so embarassed about maybesorta wrecking everything for everyone. I'm a big enough of a wuss as it is, I don't need to be a quitter too."

"Hey," Jack chides her. "You didn't wreck anything. Trust me, if Cass can forgive me for touching her buttcheeks with my…" He trails off and fakes another cough. "Let's just say that anything's possible. You might lay low for a day or two until things blow over. though." He smiles and lifts Elena's chin with a gentle nudge from one crooked finger. "Trust me. We all have accidents. But your dad would be right. You shouldn't make a decision based on wantin' to run away."

Her chin is nudged up, forced to meet the Irishman's eyes. And then, Elena can't help but grin. "Right." She frowns at him. "You make me sound like I'm -forty- mentally or something," she chides back. But she does pinch his cheek affectionately. "Anyway, yeah. No rash decisions - I just need time to think about it, is all." She shuts off the water. "But lying low sounds good. I do need to talk to Heidi though…" Heidi first. She can….apologize appropriately to the other Petrelli later. "It couldn't have been comfortable for her. Maybe I'll bring her over your place tomorrow, we can bond over the unfortunate circumstances of last night."

Jack nods agreeably, smiling again. "Sounds good to me. Gimme a call ahead of time and I'll whip us up somethin' nummy to eat, yeh?" He glances over at his breakfast, then stands again, leaving it untouched. "Man. Look at the time. I guess it flies when you're talkin' about doin' the business and gettin' the full ride, eh?" He gives his niece a final reassuring backpat and wink. "I'll catch you later."

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