2007-05-04: The Girl In The Other Room


Elena_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter sneaks in the guest room Elena passed out in to fix her overload-induced blindness, only to collapse at the effort. Thankfully he managed to fix it so Elena could use her powers on him in turn.

Date It Happened: May 4, 2007

The Girl In The Other Room

The Petrelli Mansion, Hyde Park, New York

She had been dead for almost four hours.

….alright, perhaps not really dead. But Elena was unconscious, dead to the world and sleeping the stress and tiredness and pain away. The Excedrin she popped into her mouth before Eric carried her to the spare guest room and made sure she was tucked in and okay for the night didn't work, and all she could do was pray that God gave her a bit of unconsciousness so she could forget that her head felt split open with several spoons being stabbed in it to scoop out her gray matter. Thankfully, she was so exhausted that she fell asleep - probably because once she was left alone, she sobbed onto her pillow until it dripped, because it hurt so much and she couldn't see….and not being able to see was scary, especially when someone lived with their sight all of their lives.

She was sprawled on the bed, the blankets tangled around her legs as she had tossed and turned to brace herself from the severe brain-pain, in an effort to sleep. The pillowcase was wrinkled and crumpled, where her fingers had been digging on them to keep herself from bashing her head into the wall to knock herself out, and where she had clutched it desperately so she could cry against it and so no one would hear. She had exhausted herself enough to sleep, thankfully, before resorting to any drastic measures like drinking an entire bottle of Nyquil or some sort of sedative.

She was on her chest, curled up fitfully and somewhat on her side. Despite the tense position on the bed, her face, at the very least, looks peaceful - if not somewhat pale and blotchy.

There's a very hesitant knock on the door outside, so soft it may not even be heard completely. Peter rested in the car, as requested by everyone else, and when he got to the Mansion he took a shower to clean off, and changed into a pair of clothes he had stashed since his days of living here. In fact, she may even be in the very guest bedroom he had to retrieve his clothes out of. A few moments after the soft knock, he opens the door and peeks inside, moving towards the bed quietly, whispering, since she wouldn't be able to see him if she looked up anyway. "Elena? It's Peter."

He kneels down beside the bed, reaching over to push some of the hair out of her face as she lays face down, and starts to reach out towards her again. She'd been through so much, and he's not about to make her stay this way before he needs to leave… And he does need to leave. He'd like to stay the night until she's ready to go home, but he's not sure that's going to be an option right now. And hopefully he won't pass out after he does what he needs to do here…

This time, he won't take any protesting, as he touches her cheek and the back of her neck and starts to consentrate on the imbalance within her. All he needs to do is find it— fix it— she doesn't even need to be awake… Which is another reason why he's trying to be quiet.

She doesn't hear the knock, or even the door opening. Elena tried so hard to sleep, so when it was time to maybe wake up, her body was resisting. Resistance fails, however, when she feels something push her hair aside and touch her cheek, and then the back of her neck. "…..wh….." Her eyes flutter open, the unnatural gray and white sclera and the unresponsive pupils peering towards where she could hear someone's quiet breath near her. "….Pet…er….?" she murmurs groggily. "All…rested…?" The words are quiet spurts of breath. Plus the fact that she was awake again, the pain was back in full force, and she turns her head away so she could bury it in her pillow to hide the expression.

When he reaches out, he could see the same things he had diagnosed in between bullets and getaways. Part of her brain was unresponsive, the neurotransmitters produced by that side of the brain are nonexistent in her system - probably why she isn't as exuberant as she usually is. But using her own abilities on her, Peter could understand, at least on both an intellectual and instinctive level that before anything else could be fixed, that part of her brain needs to be revived.

There's a slight change through it all…….at the very least, the condition was better. Her levels had slightly improved thanks to sleep. It was enough of an indication that what happened to her -was- temporary, and that within a few days perhaps, she'd recover.

"I…." she murmurs. "….I tried using them…to keep the pain away….but there was nothing….still felt it all the while…"

Looks like it killed the use of her powers too.

"You'll be fine, Elena, you just overtaxed yourself, I think," Peter explains softly, eyes closed as he continues to touch her face, feeling out the problem. Half of her brain is shut down… so he needs to revive or, fix the damage and let it return to normal function. And then he can push her body to produce more of the neurotransmitters that she's missing… That should fix it. "I'll fix it for you, okay? You're going to be fine."

Taking in a slow breath, he stops moving his hand and lets it settle there, and that's when he starts trying to make her body do what he wants it to, pushing her towards an equilibrium by reviving function of the shut down portion of her brain. Sure, he's never done this before, but somehow he can feel what would be the right way to go, how to get things moving. Nurse training and biology definitely help him move in the right direction.

With her right there, he can feel exactly how she's always made him feel. This might not work as well with anyone else. The emotion might not be easily grasped, he might not be able to hold onto it and retain consentration. If she could see his face, he looks rather calm, quiet, and not as stressed as he might using another power. She's always felt like a calming presence to him, even when under great stress. The expression could be called peaceful, even.

"….never happened to me before. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry you," Elena murmurs sleepily, closing her eyes again and feeling the strange, warm tingle suffuse her body. Was this how it felt when she used her powers on someone else? When she tried to fix them? She knew there was both a positive and a negative side of her powers…..she just wasn't keen on experiencing the other half herself. And while the sensations were there, that's all she could feel - she doesn't know how he's fixing her, only the pain was slowly starting to ebb. Slowly at first, and then a little faster once he gets a hang of it.

The darkness was starting to lift, she could see some light through her lids. She opens them experimentally, and while the gray is still there, it's slowly starting to get darker, and darker, hints of gold fragmenting the irises slowly showing yet again as her sight starts coming back. Her body pushed back to homeostasis, it's easier for her brain now to free up some space so she could be able to see. The image in front of her is fuzzy, but the details sharpen slowly. She sees the dark color of his hair, before she could see the actual strands, and then his face, and the calm expression. She sees the eyes last, dark.

"…..I think your eyelashes are longer than mine…" comes the groggy observation. But once the pain is gone, and despite the fact that she's still somewhat sleepy, she braces a palm on the mattress, and pushes herself up on a sitting position. Her hands come up to rub her eyes, fingers curling to rub her eyes. She blinks her eyes rapidly to get used to light and images again, and then she looks over at him.

"…..that's a handy thing to have," she quips, a small smile tugging up the edges of her mouth. Her eyes are somewhat bloodshot, but it's nothing some Visine can't fix.

"Are you trying to tell me— that I have girlish eyes?" he says with a hint of a cough on his voice. For a few moments after she regains her eyesight, Peter's eyes open and he looks relieved, smiling lopsided at her… As her eyes adjust, though, she will see his skin turn stark white, as if all the blood drained out of his face. Redness appears around his eyes, around those very eyelashes she mentioned. There's a few sudden breaths, and then he wobbles where he sits, leaning forward against the bed at first to catch himself.

What he fixed in her— is now coming back to hit him rather hard, it would seem. "Should be handy— it's yours," he mentions, trying desperately to keep talking normal, and even moving to stand, taking his hands back away from her. He should get out of here before she taxes herself by trying to fix him. But he doesn't even get more than a step before he just crumples onto the floor at the side of the bed.

Luckily there's no blood or evidence of how much he went through before they got home— the collapsing on the floor might be the only sure sign. His body temperature raises almost immediately, as if his body has decided to raise his thernoregulatory normal point, producing more heat. The worst side effect of all, though… In many ways it's similar— and very very different from her own body's reaction. For one, there's no pain, because as soon as he hit the ground, his consciousness has slipped away, almost as if he's fainted— though his eyes are open for the moment. And unregularted, unfixed… he could be stuck like this for days, or weeks. Luckily, he fixed her first.

When he mentions his eyes, Elena can only quirk a grin. "You can take the comment as it stands," she says with a small, quiet laugh. "Or just take it to mean that in my addled, post-brain-fry state I think your eyelashes are longer than mine." She blinks, however, when his expression changes. He's pale, blood draining out of his face as if he saw something scary on her features. And then he keels over on the bed. She can't help but feel her now-seeing eyes widen. She's never seen him go on anything like this before. She's heard of it, so she's at least prepared, but…

"Peter, don't— !" she says in warning, her hands lifting up in an effort to stop him from standing up - but he drops like a stone at the first step. She stares at him, crumpled at the side of the bed. The grogginess is gone. Faced by yet another purpose, another something to do, she scrambles out of bed to get to him…..and faceplants on the floor while doing so, tumbling off the bed because the sheets are tangled around her legs. Thank god the carpet was soft.

"OOOF!" A pillow lands on her head, and a blanket slides off the edge to drape over her body. She kicks spastically at the sheet to get it off her, and slings the pillow away so she could crawl over to where Peter is on her hands and knees. "Peter…Peter! Oh sonuva— " She takes a deep breath, and her hands reach for him, using all the WUSSY POWER in her possession to roll him over on his back. Oh god. He's not dead, is he? Her fingertips brush over his forehead, and draws it back suddenly, as if scalded. "….I'm so glad you told me about this before," she whispers. She looks at the bed. It looks so far away, and Peter, while only two inches taller than her, was solidly built.

She groans. "Alright….let's try this…" She maneuvers her way around him, and slips her arms underneath his…and tries to yank him up. She collapses back down in a heap.

"…..nngghhhh!" She'll have to do this on the floor.

Yeah, carrying him won't be easy at all. Peter may not weight a great deal— he's a healthy weight, but that doesn't mean she can lift him when she's just gotten out of a sick bed herself. A part of his brain, in the back specifically, has closed down opperations, much as he'd seen when he scanned her. May or may not control his abilities, but either way, it's shut down and not working. At the same time, his body is producing overdoses of certain chemicals, and not enough of other ones, throwing him into unconsciousness, even with his eyes open. Breathing is off, his heart rate has jumped up, and his body produces more heat than is necessary.

The time he told her about, this state lasted for two weeks. From what she can tell, he'd have threat of a heart attack if his body stayed in this state for that long. He's hot to the touch, burning up.

Her powers have -just- gone back 'online', as the techies would say. Elena squints hard at him….and she could feel it, slightly. She needs a clearer picture. She wasn't one hundred percent, perhaps Peter already knew she was going to do this when he collapsed, hence the getaway attempt. Oh well. She hesitates, her fingertips twitching a little bit, before they raise to rest gently on his forehead. Her eyes close, feeling the surge of craziness in his body, and that node in his brain having ceased its function. His body was highly unstable. Despite the fact that she had just been revived from her brain fry, she could sense it all with such a clarity that it startles even herself.

"….alright…" she murmurs, and stops her detection. She drags the pillow that had fallen back to her, and lifts his head so she could place it underneath the back of it. She moves his legs so they remain parallel - to maximize his blood circulation. The more she optimizes this, the faster what she's about to do can circulate around his body.

She tries to do this remotely, again…and while she feels the spark, it resists. "Shit," she mutters under her breath. Hesitating yet again, her fingertips slide over his jaw, and she winces at the burning sensation. It felt like a dangerous fever. She looks up at the ceiling to collect her thoughts, and then she lifts her other hand, cupping his face between them and closing her eyes. She needs to focus.

The urgency of the situation coupled with the fact that the girl had spent the past few months figuring out other people's powers, other people's abilities, control, and the refinement of control, what she does is almost second nature now. She treats the requisite nodes of his brain like sliding scales, gradually working his body back into a state of balance. If he had been over 15 feet away, she'd be frying her brain again, but he was well within her range - she was touching him after all. The strain to her, in this case, is nonexistent - even when not running in a hundred percent.

The two of them are good folks to have around when overloading is in the picture. Peter's not even aware of what she's doing, until she's done it. Moving his immobile body on the floor isn't too difficult, though she wouldn't have had an easy time lifting him up to the bed. The very fact that his eyes are open and unresponsive, pupils clearly not visually active, might be the most unnerving thing of all. At least he's breathing. There's some signs that if this had happened a little differently, perhaps after a longer build up of overdosing, that he might not be able to breathe without assistance. Such is not the case now. His chest rises and falls in slow, hollowed breaths.

The more she nudges at his body to correct the imbalance, his temperature drops, and his heart rate decreases. Unlike her, one of the last things to be fixed is actually the shut down portion of his brain, as if the imbalance needed to be controlled before that would even begin to respond. When it does, the final thing corrects itself, and his eyes blink once, then a few more times, and he takes a sudden deep, gasping breath as consciousness returns.

With her leaning over him, he just stares up at her for a time, breathing, blinking. The color returns to his cheeks, and a shaky inhale follows before he says, a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth, "…see— it's yours. Thanks." A hand lazily reaches up to touch her cheek, before he lets his eyes close for a moment, to allow himself to lay there and breathe.

The shut down part of his brain is the hard part - but not so hard when armed with the knowledge Elena has, as well as the advanced control of her abilities. When it feels that it's activated again, it was like slipping the right key in a lock and twisting it, feeling the latch and letting light shimmer outwards from the crack in the doorframe, bathing everything in a warm glow gradually. Her eyebrow ticks a little bit, a small drop of sweat rolling from her temple and sliding on her cheek. His skin was so hot, it was alarming. She wonders if she should've tried to place an icepack on him first.

Still everything starts righting itself. She could feel herself relaxing, her shoulders slumping fowards as she keeps doing what she's doing, pushing the work into completion. She hears his breaths evening out, deepening into something akin to relaxation. If she were less stressed, she'd be patting herself in the back. But she isn't. Her eyes remain closed.

It's only until she could hear him speak, and feel his fingers brush on her cheek that she finally opens her eyes. She blinks once, seeing the healthy flush back on his face. She exhales a breath, extricating her hands, though one lifts up to curl her fingers lightly over his wrist - the one touching her cheek at the moment to feel his pulse…..and to make sure he's not trying to do anything else when she had just fixed his ability to….well. Use his abilities. "How are you feeling?" she asks quietly. "I tried to get you on the bed, but you're too heavy for me to lift." She can't help the smile quirking on her lips. "And before you say it, no, I don't think you're fat."

Oh, he's definitely not trying to do anything except lay there, though he does open his eyes again when she takes his wrist, staring up at her behind his rather large lashes. And blinking a lot. Peter's eyes could have dried out if he hadn't gotten the ability to blink again. Any damage would have been fixed as soon as she turned the switch back on. As she checks his pulse, she'll feel a mild increase or two, above a normal resting rate, but not in dangerous areas. At her words, Peter smiles faintly again, almost laughing at her 'before you say it'. Almost as if he'd been about to say it.

There's definitely a burst of certain chemicals in his body, but that could just be because of the strain of waking up suddenly after being forced to shut down. All of this is within acceptable, normal levels. Maybe he's embarassed for practically fainting a few steps away from her.

"Fine. Now," he says softly, looking up at her. His voice is subdued, almost whispered, but without pain, and almost gentle. He's looking up at her quietly, studying her face, when all of a sudden he blinks rapidly and starts working to sit up, turning his face away from her. "I— need to get home to my apartment. I called Elle before I came in here and told her to meet me there— she doesn't have a key anymore." Sure, she could burn the door open, but…

In retrospective she should've shut his eyes for him, she had been so crazed over getting his body temperature back to normal that she missed that detail. Big problems first. Little things later. That was how Elena usually operated - it was something that was going to stay with her all of her life. But the heartbeats are strong, somewhat spiked, but he's been through a lot today. She was just glad he wasn't out of commission….it was extremely late in the evening. She would hate to go upstairs and bug Nathan, who had enough to deal with, to pick up his brother and move him someplace more comfortable.

She could also sense a bit of an anomaly - but they're all fine within him. Normal under a certain strain, but his body temperature is back to normal, he's conscious, and she wonders if doing this too much might be, in the end, bad for him. His body might grow dependent on her abilities. He should be able to fight this off on his own….. she wasn't sure. She would have to monitor him closely, and let Cass know as she's the one in charge of his file, so to speak.

At his whispered words, she smiles, the gentleness returned there. "Good," she says quietly. "I'd hate to bug your brother to move you someplace more comfortable. It's ….late by now, I think. I didn't really check the time." She falls silent there, watching him. "Thanks for carrying me out of there. I know you can regenerate but….it must hurt a bit, getting shot like that." And when he works on sitting up, she blinks. "Hey. Hey…no sudden movements," she says, and helps him sit up more gradually. "Have you called a cab?"

With his sitting up slowed down, Peter complies, settling into a seated position before he glances down at his watch. The time that he has tells him that he only has a short time left to get to his apartment. He can always call Elle on the way there, let her know that he's going to be late, stay on the phone with her until he gets there. She can take care of herself (and him too), but that doesn't mean he wants her standing in a apartment hallway all by herself at this hour.

"Eric carried you longer than I did," he amends, letting her know that her 'almost-boyfriend' played a big role in getting her out of the building. "But you don't have to worry about the bullets— it hurt, but… it would have been worse if you got hit," he says, moving to stand, carefully after he says that. Okay… "I'll just get Nathan's driver to take me. He didn't get to do much today. Are you planning to stay the night here, or… do you want to ride with me to the apartment and have the driver take you home?"

"Yeah," Elena says, rubbing her eyes. "He texted me before I went in, but I didn't text back. After everything he tends to worry. When all of this first started, I always took his calls, so whenever I miss one, he gets antsy. Gene and Eric run in the same circles and they do hang out together so…" While she doesn't tell Peter outright that Gene was the one who grabbed the address for them, he could probably tell by now since he was their getaway driver. "They're both….really awesome. I owe them so much." Despite her blindness she hugged them both last night, thanking them for coming for her. "I ought to drag them out to do something more enjoyable than building stings."

At the last, she groans. "You know I keep saying I'm tougher than I look and then something happens that always proves me wrong," she grumbles. "I don't know how I'd fare against a bullet but I hope never to find out any time soon." She moves to stand as well, and heads for the door to see him out. She pauses at the offer, and she shakes her head. "I….I would but I'm exhausted," she tells Peter softly. "That and I heard Mrs. Petrelli crying last night. I want to make sure she's okay before I leave, and she's probably sleeping by now." She smiles at Peter. "You, however, have a girlfriend to see and cuddle with."

There is a pause there, and she exhales, raking a hand through her hair. Lifting a finger to touch it gently on the center of his forehead, she smiles at him. "Get some rest. I'll see you whenever I see you next."

All the talk about her friends makes Peter nod slowly, smiling a bit. He's got a lot to thank them both for, he's sure. They arrived in time to keep him from losing it on a couple of gunmen… But he won't say that to her. When she denies the ride over with him, part of him looks relieved, but at the same time… he reaches over and touches her shoulder. "Get some rest. I'll see you later." He has a girlfriend to go home to and cuddle…

She closes the door when he leaves, Elena turning around and leaning heavily against it to exhale a gust of breath. "Ugh…" she mutters quietly, thumping her head backwards into the wood. She's careful to do it quietly though, and she closes her eyes for a moment. More than just a little bit exhausted, she cracks her eyes open again to look at the rumpled bed. It was a pity, she just got her sight back, and now she was going to have to close her eyes again and get some sleep.

She sets an alarm in her cellphone so she could sneak out of the Petrelli mansion early. No one else will find out she's here.

And then, in the morning, she can figure out what to tell her father.

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