2007-07-13: The Gomez Family Values

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif Manuel_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Heidi_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Armelita "Grandma" Gomez, Luis Gomez, Juanita Gomez

Summary: July 13, 2007

Date It Happened: Heidi and Peter visit Manuel in Beth Israel, both having their own reasons to talk to Manny and Elena….and somehow ending up meeting a good chunk of Ramon's family.

The Gomez Family Values


Beth Israel Hospital, Brooklyn, New York

On his hospital bed in Beth Israel, Manuel Gomez would feel the presence of -something- looming over him. And it isn't his father. No, this feels different. Very different.

When he deigns to crack his eyes open, he would find a tanned, lined face leaning close to his, glasses perched low over a straight, bold nose, and black hair pulled back in a bun. There's no mistaking it. The perpetual frown. The furrowed brows. The suspicious, squinty-eyed look.

Manny's abuela is a short, somewhat squat old lady, pushing ninety but still very spry, with strength to spare. Looking at her, one could easily glean the impression that this one could live forever. Her eyes are still bright, intelligent - and sharp. Oh yes, it is she, Armelita "Grandma" Gomez, the only force on the planet Ramon Gomez actually feared, dressed in a surprisingly feminine paisley-print, short-sleeved summer dress.

"(Boy)," she states. "(When I was your age, a stick of dynamite exploded near my head and I was on my feet in a -day-. What's your lazy ass still doing in bed?)" the former revolutionary pushes her glasses up with her pointer finger.

"Nanel!" comes a bright, happy voice, and a little girl pushes past her grandmother so she could throw her skinny, little arms around Manuel's neck. Little Juanita, curly pigtails and all, and her little feet dangling off the edge of the bed as she hangs onto her big brother. "Que es? (You look like a mummy!)" she giggles.

Luis, 12 years old and already apathetic, lifts his fingers in a 'V' sign from where he's seated, playing with his portable Playstation. "Yo."

Somewhere down the hall, Elena is making her way towards Manny's room.

Manny couldn't help but laugh at his grandmother's words, despite the pain in his side the laughter caused. "(I know, grandma. Everything worked out better when you were a kid.)" Despite the pain and…misfortune from the other day, Manny can't help but smile. Somehow, his family had a way of cheering him up…

And then, there's Nita, who made Manny smile just by being around. Although the youngest Gomez inadvertantly lays on her injured elder brother, Manny offers a hug with the arm not currently sliced open and stitched, "Hola, Nita. (Been good for grandma?)" Ruffling his little sister's hair, Manny looks over at Luis, PSP in hand. He smirks a little bit, looking up at Grandma Gomez and gesturing a bit, "(That the look I had a year ago?)" Minus the PSP, of course.

Heidi hasn't met Manny. Still, with how she feels about the whole incident, with what Peter's told her… She has to do something, even if it's just bringing a teddy bear and a couple flowers for Elena's brother. Peter said he was dangerous, and that's something that sticks in the Petrelli woman's mind. But sitting around the hous feeling sorry for herself isn't going to help anyone, and at least this way, she can make someone feel better. Hopefully.

It seems like there's someone already here, though. Catching the Spanish as she approaches Manny's room, Heidi stops outside of it, smiling, tring to decide between going in and coming back in a few minutes. She hasn't seen Elena heading in this direction just yet.

"(Hmph. Apathy will get you nowhere in this world, boy)," Grandma Gomez remarks, shaking a finger towards Luis, who actually seems to shrink into his collar at the chastisement. "(It's no way to live. That's the problem with youngsters these days….)" She sniffs a little bit, and pushes her glasses further up her nose. "(Where's your father? I'm going to -pinch his ear- the next time I see him. If he doesn't find the person who did this to you, -I- will)." There's a gleam in her eyes. A dangerous gleam. Nobody blows members of her family up. -Nobody-. That's -her- job.

"I've been good," Nita says primly, smoothing down her skirt and smiling over at her big brother. "(Abuela has been teaching me how to make cupcakes! I brought you some, see?)" She points to the tupperware next to Manny. It's chocolate. With pink frosting. Juanita loves pink, and should Manny ever open it, the cupcakes spell out 'GET WELL SOON NANEL' in English. And in squiggly, not-so-well-formed letters. Aw.

"….Heidi?" Elena comes up behind her, and she smiles. "Hi, what are you doing here?" she says. And despite everything, the young Gomez girl looks pretty chipper. She hears voices inside Manny's room though, so she nods. "I guess my grandmother brought my other siblings along." A regretful look crosses into her eyes. "…how are you feeling?" she asks softly. While she doesn't remember much of that night, she's heard bits and pieces from her father and Jack.

A smirk passes over the face of the elder Gomez male as he sees Luis shrink into his shirt, looking over at his grandmother and smiling, "(Papa's…honestly, I don't know. If he's been by, I … haven't noticed.)" It's putting it lightly, of course. Manny only just woke up about six hours ago. "(I'm…almost certain we know who did it, Grandma…it's a matter of finding him.)" Manny's brightness actually shows, explaining, "(The guy's…elusive. He knows how to conceal himself. His phone number. Everything he does…)"

A dim look passes over Manny's face for a moment, though he tries to hide it as he looks down at Nita's cupcakes. A light chuckle escapes Manny as he reads the letters on the cupcakes, smiling, "For me, hermana?" He smiles and just leans his head against Juanita's, glad to see his baby sister. For all intents and purposes, Manny has no clue his elder sister is outside his room, although he definitely hears…something.

Okay, so she's listening in a little, picking up every third word or thereabouts. Hey, who /didn't/ take a little Spanish in school? Heidi never really needed to actually use it, though, but they all sound pretty happy in there. Maybe she could ust get a nurse to leave th—

Heidi starts, looking over her shoulder at Elena's greeting. There's a frown on her face, though it only lasts a second before she throws her arms around the girl. "I am… /so glad/ you're okay," she says. It's entirely possible she's attempting to crush Elena with that hug; the flowers are in one hand, and the teddy bear's still in the other. She… really doesn't want to talk about how /she's/ feeling, because she went into that with Peter. Angry, hurt… A hospital's no place for that, though.

Eventually, Heidi steps back so Elena can breath. "I heard," she says quietly, still not peeking around the door. "I brought some flowers for your brother. And…" She holds up the teddy bear. It's pink. But the shirt says 'get well soon'! "Figured he could use a little chuckle." Everyone could use some laughter! She can say that without even ever having met the boy.

She backpedals a bit at the hug, given it's so sudden. But Elena returns it immediately, hugging Heidi back tightly. "-Me-? What about -you-?" She pulls away from Heidi a little bit, her hands on her shoulders. "I heard there was an accident. I was waving a gun at everybody. And that you tackled me from using my gun. I could've shot you!" Her face drains of color. "But I'm fine…I….he didn't intend to kill me. He intended to -transport- me. He needed me intact. He was planning on flying me out of New York…."

When Heidi presents the bear, she couldn't help but laugh. "Well, if anything he'll be -forced- to appreciate it. Nita owns him." She winks at Heidi, and gives the older woman another squeeze. "Come on, I'll introduce you." And with that, she'll lead the blue-eyed Petrelli into Manny's recovery room.

"(Eh? Yeah, I thought so)," Grandma Gomez grunts, adjusting her glasses a little bit. "(Well, we'll see the moment he gets his slow, old arse back here).

" She pauses, and looks up, lifting her brows at who she sees. "Elena." And towards the woman that she brings in. "…." Heidi Petrelli? Grandma Gomez follows politics like a hawk, revolutionary past and all. "Well! Who is your friend there?" The bulldog is shelved away for something more matronly.

"Si! (They're all for you!)" Nita says, beaming…until she catches sight of the young woman by the doorway. "Ella!" Yes, she shares Manny's nickname for her sister, hopping off the bed and running over to throw her arms around Elena's knees. Elena drops on one knee, and gives Juanita a quick hug.

Luis peeers at Heidi curiously, PSP stopping a little bit from beeping. Because Heidi is pretty and he -is- 12 years old.

"Heidi, this is Manny, my brother," Elena begins. "And this is Juanita. That's Luis. And…this is my grandmother, Maria Gomez."

"You may call me Grandma Gomez, dear," pipes the now not-so-bullish matron from her chair.

There's a little nod coming from Manny, looking up at his grandmother again, "(I'm just wor—)" He's cut off, rather abruptly, by the entrance of his elder sister…and a woman Manny's not sure who is. Flashing a smile at Elena, though, Manny looks over, "Hola, hermana. (Like what I did with the place?)" Okay, so Manny's not a comedian. He's glad to see his sister anyway, even if Nita doesn't make the best leap off the bed, the boy flinching just a little bit.

He can't help but smile at Nita's overly excited reaction to Elena's entrance, though, his head rocking back onto the pillow a little bit. Intoduced to the woman now known by 'Heidi,' Manny waves with the good arm, "Hola." He looks to his sister again, asking, "(I take it you heard what happened?)"

"I'm fine, I'm fine." Maybe her eyes remain on Elena's just a little longer than normal. They look okay, she looks okay. It has to be terrifying to know that you couldn't help but to do something - Heidi can relate, but on a /much smaller scale./ At least she was forced into doing something she might have done anyway. Even though she says she's fine… Like with Peter, there's something Heidi isn't saying, but again, the hospital is no place for that. Her eyes are darker, there are circles under them. It's pretty obvious that she hasn't been getting enough sleep, but…

AAAAH FAMILY

"It's nice to meet you all," she says politely, though it's quite sincere. She doesn't seem a bit uncomfortable that there's speaking going on that she can't understand. After giving everyone a more personal greeting - except for the youngest of them, but that'll come later - she heads over to Manny's bed. "Thought you could use a little cheering up," she says, setting the flowers and the pink teddy bear down nearby.

Her attention goes to the littlest one, though, because she's so near her own kids' age. How can anyone think of these kids as /products?/ There's a brief, very fleeting spark of anger in Heidi's eyes again, before she crouches down near the floor, and finally says simply, "Hi."

Heidi is tired. Elena couldn't help but feel guilty. She never wanted to worry anyone - what the hell was all her self-reliance for, if she made people lose sleep over her? She touches the older woman's shoulder gently, her expression softening. But…she can't be too sad. Not when she's back, seeing the people she cared about the most unharmed. And with Heidi around, she's more relaxed and well at ease.

"And you too, dear," Grandma Gomez says, pulling out a pair of knitting needles from the giant bag next to her chair, and starts clicking it together. It looks like the beginning of an afghan, perhaps she decided Manny didn't have enough blankets and was making him one ON THE SPOT. And by how fast she's knitting, she can probably have one finished by tonight. "I say, your pictures in the papers certainly don't do you justice. My son….Ramon, I trust you've met him, he mentioned Elena knows plenty of people in New York but I didn't think she knew you."

"I met her a few months ago, abuela," Elena says, striding over to Manny so she could kiss his forehead. "Does it hurt too much?" she asks, touching his head gently…and relieving some of the pain. She cheats. Deal with it.

Luis goes back to his PSP, finally quitting his stare at Heidi.

Juanita blinks her big eyes as Heidi crouches in front of her. With the pink teddy bear set down, she giggles, her little hand coming to her mouth. "Nanel doesn't like pink," she tells Heidi in perfect English. "But it's my favorite!" She lifts both hands to press on Heidi's face lightly, on her cheeks. "Nanel look! Her eyes are blue! Like abuela's earrings!" Aquamarine, by the looks of them, dangling from the matron's earlobes, all clear-like and sparkly.

Manuel chuckles at Heidi's gifts, only able to sustain the chuckle barely when Juanita puts it so plainly that pink is…not Manny's favorite color. He flashes a smile at Heidi, though, "'ppreciate the thought." He leans back again, looking up at his sister with a grin, "Physically? Only when Nita jumps on me." He winks at the youngest Gomez playfully, grinning and looking up again, "Not gonna lie…morphine's a great thing."

The amount of laughter that's come from Manny since waking up can probably be the product for morphine, but it doesn't hurt that his family's around. Minus Ramon. He looks up at Elena, "(Not gonna lie…I'm mostly pissed at this point.)" He sighs a little bit, running his uninjured hand over his head, "(We any closer to catching him? At all?)"

She's tired, but… she'll survive. And if she ever meets up with Elena alone in the coming days, she'll tell her what she told Peter. Maybe. It's just that thinking about it — well, she's already so shaken, and the dreams, and… It's not just worry keeping her awake. At least she's /physically/ fine, except for psychosomaic pain.

She's learned to take compliments gracefully, however, it's something different when it's not coming from reporters, and is coming from a friend's family member. She stumbles over her words a little, finally managing a 'thank you,' somehow missing the stare Luis was giving her, thankfully. Nathan would be jealous, or something.

She's not sure what to say, though. 'Elena saved my life?' That could just cause unnecessary worry. Instead, she just says, "I met Elena through my brother- in-law." And now Heidi and Elena are good friends, too.

Everyone else in Heidi's family has brown or green eyes. She's still not sure how she ended up with such a bright blue. POSSIBLY SHE'S A MUTANT— wait. No. She's actually what others would consider normal. "My boys don't much like pink, either," she say to Juanita, chuckling, reaching for the girl's hand. "My boys are your age." More Spanish. She catches a couple words, can put together a little context. Manny's angry about something, and… Heidi can guess what. But she's less concerned about Manny's anger, and more interested in the fact that— For a moment, those pale blue eyes narrow, studying the young girl in front of her. "Are you…" She starts to ask, but stops herself before she steps out of line.

"Papa took care of it," Elena tells Manny in English - there's a quiet look of apprehension in her eyes, but hopefully Manny gets what she means. "You need your rest though," she says. She looks over at her grandmother. "And yes, abuela. Peter. Heidi is his brother's wife."

Grandma Gomez, who's busy knitting, is not looking up, but there's a brief nod of approval in her head for the son who -didn't- screw up his life. She had two sons, and while she treated both equally….well, let's just say Ramon's brother fears her even more than Ramon does. Ramon at least went to -college-, hmph. She looks over at Heidi, and she smiles. Surprisingly it actually comes off more winsome than sharkish. "It's good to see Elena with more mature friends. I never did like her crowd in middle school." She wrinkles her nose. "That Armando boy was nothing but trouble."

"Abuela…" Elena groans.

Juanita looks over at Manny, and then at Elena, a curious wiggle of her nose directed at them. "Where is Papa?" she asks simply. "Abuela said he was going to be here."

"He'll be back soon, 'Nita," Elena tells her little sister reassuringly.

"Okay." Just as simple as that. Juanita turns to look at Heidi who's studying her curiously, and when she starts to ask her but doesn't continue it, she tilts her head curiously at the older woman, looking a little confused. She doesn't ask though, because…well she doesn't know what Heidi is getting at.

"Don't bother the nice lady, Nita," Grandma says gently. "Besides I think you should feed Manuel your cupcakes. He's so skinny!" She narrows her eyes at Manny. "You need to eat more meat."

Elena's response? Yeah…Manny's not happy about it. And he starts to sit up—and immediately winces, throwing a curse or two out in his favored language before remarking in English, "Okay…bad idea…" He closes his eyes, breathing out a slow sigh before looking over at the Gomez matron, "(Let's not mention Armando, grandma…)" /Enough's happened with him…and if he's…/ Manny shakes his head, notable to deal with what ifs.

He looks over at Elena again, just saying, "He won't say it, but Papa can't do it himself, Ella…" The unspoken ending to that sentence is, of course, 'so get me the hell out of here so I can help him.' But he knows, even with Elena's ability, there's no way she can get him out of the hospital. Sighing again, Manny shakes his head briefly, muttering something about bombs, cars, and 'that son of a bitch.'

"Mm-hm," is all Heidi says - quietly - to the fact that Ramon took care of it. She heard enough about it to know what that means, but considering her own thoughts on the matter… Heidi looks toward Elena briefly, her attention returns to Manny… She's just glad that they're safe. But her own kids… Well, who knows?

Poor Elena. Heidi has to hide a chuckle behind her hand. She'll try not to be /too/ offended by the 'mature' comment, since, well, she'll be forty in exactly one month now, and that's kind of daunting. She doesn't want to offend Gramma Gomez, but she can't help adding herself, "I think we're alike in that regard." Since Heidi believes that Elena is remarkably mature for her age. She only hopes that this last incident didn't rip the remainder of her youth away. Standing again, giving Juanita a hair-ruffle like she does to her boys (They hate it) she takes a few steps over in Elena's direction. "I suppose this isn't the best time to tell you two that I'm pretty worried myself." It's the first crack in that wall she's had up, but… There it is.

Another glance to Elena — Heidi's figured something out.

There is a pause, and Elena shakes his head. "No, Manny. I meant Papa -took care of it-." Past tense. She also gives Manny a -significant look-. As in. PAPA ALREADY TOOK CARE OF THE PROBLEM. Meaning the problem is gone. Meaning the man is…

But she doesn't want to say it out loud. Juanita was in the room. Luis is quietly playing his PSP. They were both pretty far removed from what happened. Grandma Gomez, however, lifts her brows. If Heidi looks at the older woman's face, she could probably discern that the matron knows what they're talking about. Ramon had to tell her SOMETHING before stashing the two younger ones in her house in Albany after all.

Juanita is hair ruffled, her pigtails dance a little bit at the gesture, but she giggles again, and trots back over to Manny. She hops back on the bed…well…she HOPS first, and then clambers on like a monkey to get the rest of the way up, and then she reaches over for the tupperware to pull it open. Taking one of the cupcakes (the one with 'M' on it because it's the first letter in Manny's name), she turns to try and…well. Feed it to her brother. "Say aaaaaaaah," she coaxes, waving the cupcake at his face.

Luis tries not to SNORT with laughter, but Manny can hear the little boy snickering. So. Owned.

"Worried? About…?" Elena asks softly, meeting Heidi's eyes.

There's a low, almost dark growl from Manny, one reserved usually for people who fuck with Elena and Armando. His eyes close, Manny obviously having to…repress a few emotions before he lets out another sigh, staying quiet and just looking up toward teh ceiling. His eyes turn to his elder sister, only saying, "(You're explaining this later.)" This isn't a request tone. This is Manny's 'you're telling me what's going on' tone, the one he uses on the rare occasion that he needs to get information from his sister that is actually vital.

Unfortunately, the darkness in Manny's eyes doesn't fade when he looks over at Juanita. It takes a moment for the anger in Manny to quell, and it's only through allowing the youngest Gomez to feed him a part of the cupcake. To hell with Luis's reaction. He'll deal with it later. Manny's eyes close for a moment, looking over at Nita briefly and ruffling the girl's hair. To at least distract himself momentarily, the youngest Gomez gets a flashed smile and a "bueno" from the teen.

The nurses tried to disquade Peter from going to visit Manuel Gomez. They'd said he already had a few visitors and the room would likely be full, but that doesn't mean he listened. There's a knock on the door frame, and a not very tall and someone frail looking young man is standing in the doorway. He's got a pair of sunglasses dangling from the neck of his shirt, and a carrier bag over his shoulder. Dressed simply in a dark blue short sleeve and loose jeans held up with a belt, he's also carrying a small basket of fruits. When the nurses said a lot of visitors, he honestly didn't expect to see children and an older woman.

"Sorry, am I interupting? I can wait outside." He doesn't pass out upon entering, but his skintone might have dropped a shade.

That tiredness is back as she looks down toward the floor. For that moment, Heidi again looks exactly her age, maybe even a little older. This is the stuff that causes grey hair, which… She probably already has plenty of. Don't tell anyone, but she dyes her hair. Shhh.

The look is gone, though, even if the dark circles remain.

It's only briefly that her glance rests on the grandmother's face, but there's an understanding there that she acknowledges without speaking… But there's a distraction. Namely, Juanita feeding her older brother cupcakes, which is amusing enough to put the smile back on Heidi's face.

She pats Elena's shoulder, offhandedly stating, "We should talk later." It's almost flippant, dismissive, but Elena's known Heidi long enough that she might recognise the fact that she means it. It's hard to have a heart-to-heart here.

And that's when she recognises the voice of her brother, and turns around to offer a smile. Surprise! Heidi's here, too. And so is a pink teddy bear, which was her 'get well' gift for the injured Gomez boy.

There is a nod to Manny, Elena's eyes moving over where the blue-eyed Petrelli stands. Yes it was. Heidi is given a nod, Elena sliding her hands in her pockets. When a familiar voice reaches her ears, she turns around and looks over at…… "Peter!" She sounds surprised, but not at all unpleased. She gives him a bright little grin from where she's standing. "What are you doing here?" …well, she can guess but….those were the first words that came out of her mouth without thinking. Doh.

Grandma Gomez peers at Peter from the rims of her glasses, assessing the young man, and then she looks over at Heidi. "…huh. I thought you'd be older." Nathan was usually in the spotlight, so she just assumed that the senator-to-be was around the same age as his younger brother. But it doesn't seem to be the case. The boy was a whippersnapper! And he looked like she could snap him in half! Nothing like his older brother at all!

Luis looks up from his PSP, sees it's a guy, and keeps playing his videogame.

Juanita keeps feeding Manny a cupcake until he finishes, beaming brightly at him. "All fed, abuela," she says, blinking over at Peter as he stands there. She gives him a cheerful wave. "Hi!" Friendly kid, a tiny thing with her sister's eyes, dressed in a ruffled dress and pigtails.

Elena's phone suddenly goes off. She picks it up and checks the ID, and answers the jPhone. "Papa?" she asks, turning away a bit.

Manuel looks up as Peter enters the room, unable to help but raise an eyebrow. After their last…meeting, Manny'd be shocked if Peter was civil to him, let alone polite. But he seems..nice enough, and Manny offers a litle nod toward the door. He closes his eyes when Elena's phone rings, just allowing himself to relax for a minute, to try and avoid thinking about the fact that his car's blown up, he can't really straighten up right now, he has no idea as to how the situation actually played out…

Morphine. /Where's that button again?/ The miracle solution in a hospital is morphine, but Manny resists pressing the button. He just looks around briefly, closing his eyes again and sighing. And to think…he thought waking up would be GOOD.

"Here to see Manny— didn't get a chance to drop in and visit earlier. Looks like I have good timing," Peter says with a lopsided smile as he steps further inside, "Heidi." He'd not known she would be visiting, though he might have guessed it after the mention of Manuel being in the hospital as well. At least he didn't come bareing a teddy bear. In pink. "Just… brought a basket of fresh fruit…" Apples and oranges and bananas, the stuff that can sit around and wait to be eaten. "In case the hospital food didn't keep him fed." Sixteen year old boys need more food than anything ever—

"…" The Gramma thought he'd be older. This is a grandmother. "Sorry to disappoint you, ma'am," he says with a sheepish look, before he puts the fruit basket down.

Luis and his PSP earns a glance, and then his eyes fall on the cheerful little girl. "You must be Juanita," he says, though the way he pronounces her name is a little off. How American of him. "You have your sister's eyes," he says to the girl, kneeling down a bit so he's closer to the level of those eyes. What a cute little girl.

But he didn't come to see the little girl! He looks up at Manuel, "How you doing?" It's been a while since they spoke. Last time they met, one of them died. That won't happen again, he hopes.

With the words she's managed to pick up from Manny, and his frustration that anyone in the room could cut with a knife, Heidi figures that someone should at least tell him definitively what happened. So to Luis and Juanita, she says, "Hey, you guys want to run to the gift shop and find something for your brother?" She's not so sure this will be so appealing to the older of the two, so to Luis, she adds, "we can stop at the cafeteria at the way back up." Knowing young boys - and Heidi does - she's sure the way to Luis' heart will be through his stomach. And it'll give the others a little time to talk about what happened, without worrying about… worrying the kids.

"Grandma Gomez, sonny," the matron says with a sniff, giving Peter a steely-eyed stare. But after that, she smiles….it's not sharkish in the least. She keeps rapid-knitting her grandson an afghan, as the hospital blankets are inadequate. "I was just telling your sister-in-law how her newspaper pictures don't do her justice. How did you two meet anyway? You and 'Lena, you look young, but you don't look -that- young." Straightforward. Maybe that's where Elena - really- gets it. "Or 'Grandma G' if you want to be hip." Clickclickclickclick. Her knitting needles make quiet sounds in her callused hands.

When Peter kneels down a bit to look at Juanita, she smiles at him. "Mama's eyes. Papa said so. Before she went to heaven." Most little girls would be sad, but….there's a feeling of warm, yet quiet acceptance of this fact from the little eight-year old girl. She reaches out a bit, to poke the tip of her nose with a tiny finger. She may be eight, but given she's so tiny, she looks five. And then? She giggles.

When Heidi proposes a trip to the gift shop, she perks up a little. "Okay, Didi!" she says. Heidi has a nickname already. She scrambles down, lowering herself on the edge and dangling her feet a bit and drops down…unless Peter assists her. And then, she totters off to Heidi, offering her hand dutifully. Because she's been taught to hold the adult's hand and not let go unless told to.

"I s'pose," Luis says, unfolding himself from the chair and follows along with Heidi. "Later, peeps." Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he'll follow the other two out.

Elena's still on the phone. There are choking noises coming from her. "Jaden -what-?? Papa, he…are you -serious-?" She sounds a little stunned. "…okay….I'll tell him, just….just….wow. -Wow-." After a few more moments, she hangs up, and she's still got a dazed look on her face.

Manuel gritting his teeth for a moment, Manny manages to sit up a little straighter. At least he isn't slouching anymore, which is doubtlessly against any nurse's wish for the teen right now. He looks over at Peter, offering a shrug, though, "Put simply? Pissed. I…" He stops, thinks for a minute…and says, with a sympathy in his voice Peter might not recognize, "Probably 'bout how you felt." He leaves it at that. If Grandma Gomez doens't know what Manny means, there's no need for her to.

It's then that the stunned voice from Elena comes. Manny looks over at his sister, tilting his head a bit, "Que es, hermana? 'sit at least good?"

Gritting his teeth for a moment, Manny manages to sit up a little straighter. At least he isn't slouching anymore, which is doubtlessly against any nurse's wish for the teen right now. He looks over at Peter, offering a shrug, though, "Put simply? Pissed. I…" He stops, thinks for a minute…and says, with a sympathy in his voice Peter might not recognize, "Probably 'bout how you felt." He leaves it at that. If Grandma Gomez doens't know what Manny means, there's no need for her to.

It's then that the stunned voice from Elena comes. Manny looks over at his sister, tilting his head a bit, "Que es, hermana? 'sit at least good?"

Peter does indeed assist the little girl, since he's so close, looking at her with a hint of a sad smile when she's taking to her mother's presense in Heaven so well. It's a rarity with people, much less children. Something about that sad smile is also proud. "See you three in a bit," he says to the kids and Heidi as they move off towards the gift store.

"We— met while she was working at Starbucks, Grandma Gomez." Apparently, he's not much for being hip. "Had a coffee craving and she hooked me up," he says, trying to make it sound innocent. "Talked and found out we had a few friends in common… ended up spending some time together." And one thing led to another? He's… going to play that it's innocent, though. A bad first impression is bad. He already had a bad one with her brother (though that was technically a second impression).

About how he felt? In a lot of pain, then… there might be something he can do about that… but he's not sure he should in front of their grandmother. Still, he does reach forward and touch the boy's arm, doing something he knows he can do, even if it only lasts a short time. His own sister's power as a pain-killer. He's sure she'd do that already. If she wasn't on the phone. Still, he shouldn't already be having problems, he hasn't used that many abilities today— but he can feel it getting harder on him with just that. A hint of sweat starts to appear around his hairline. Elena's conversation draws his eyes back and he blinks. …Hermana? what— "Good news?"

"Simple enough," Grandma Gomez says simply, nodding a little bit. "So are you in politics too?" Because political families tended to be political, and she watches Peter carefully for the answer to this question. Watch out, she's an ex-revolutionary. Anything you say can or will be used against you in the — oh wait. Politics. Not law. Nevermind! Still, she's watching Peter like a hawk. And people thought -Ramon- was the doberman of the family.

"Good news. ….REALLY SURPRISING good news," Elena says, still a little dazed as she folds up the jPhone and tucks it in her pocket. "Papa went to Jaden and mentioned me and asked for a job at Evosoft. Jaden….didn't just give it to him but for -some reason-, our….present space problem came up with Dezi's children living with us and everything, and Jaden just….made a phone call to a friend who knew a friend and…..got us a house. I don't know WHERE it is, but apparently we just….have one now." She takes a seat, still a little stunned. "Oh god. How am I gonna make this up to Jaden?" she groans, burying her face in her hands. She already owed the bookstore crew her LIFE, and now Jaden…and what's more, Jaden had EVERYTHING. Or COULD get everything. How the hell do you make up for -something- to -someone- who doesn't need -anything-?

She exhales a breath, and she looks at Manny. "I don't remember….much of what happened in the last two days but Papa said I was mindcontrolled into leaving everybody. He took a crew and got me back. Papa also….finished Carter, with everyone's help. He's gone, Manny."

Yeah…that tension that was becoming more and more visible in Manny? It isn't totally relieved by hearing that. Admittedly, he's a little calmer, but anyone who knows Manny knows that the teen would've wanted to have been there, if not be the one to strike him down. Manny keeps his eyes closed, just…not saying anything. It's a mixed bag at the moment…on one hand, things may finally be going right for the Gomez family…on the other, Manny knows that so many things canand very well maystill go bad.

Reaching over to his sister, Manny places a hand on Elena's knee. He can see the stress on his sister, unsure of what he can do but offer his support. He tries to think of something to liven the mood, finally laughing a little as his eyes browse the room, settling on the tupperware full of cupcakes, "Cupcake? Nita made 'em…or, that's what she said. I think she just wrote the letters on 'em, but…"

From the looks of things, Peter is a little worried about the older woman looking at him. It's the watching like a hawk thing… Maybe that's why he's already breaking out in a sweat? Yeah— must be. Elena's seen him like this enough to know it's not just because there's an a pair of hawk-eyes on him. "No, I'm not in politics. Or law— I— I'm a registered nurse. Used to work in in-home hospice care." Which he doubts this woman will ever want. Need maybe, but never want. She doesn't look like the type who would want that… "Though I'm currently working at a bookstore in East Village."

And… Jaden got them a house? There's actually a hint of a grimace from Peter as he lets his hand pull away from Manny. "That was nice of him. Should be a big help…" The family won't have to scrap around trying to find a place to live, but… where is the house? And… what will this mean? He's still grimacing as Carter is mentioned. Finished— and they're talking about this in front of the grandmother, so he's going to guess she knows— just as she's probably going to assume he knows. "Yeah— Carter won't be an issue ever again," he says, though doesn't sound particularly proud about his part in that.

Bracing his hand against the wall, he silently hopes that Heidi gets him something to drink while she's out. He should /not/ be this exhausted already. He's not done that much today… "

Grandma Gomez tends to make people nervous. Those eyes are piercing. "Sounds like you've been all over the place," she says simply, clickclickclicking her needles again. "It's good for the character to work humble positions. Though I'm quite surprised you didn't go the same way. Wasn't your father some sort of big shot private sector attorney?" Old people have long memories, and Granda Gomez isn't suffering from Alzheimer's any time soon.

At the squeeze, Elena smiles at Manny affectionately, and ruffles his short hair gently, taking one of the cupcakes. "Thanks," she says with a small smile, and takes a bite out of it. "Yeah, she definitely wrote the letters," she states with a laugh, shaking her head. But…they have a house. An actual house. No need to share the bed with Portia whenever Ramon and Desiree want to snuggle in the privacy of someone's room. And then maybe with Carter gone, Juanita and Luis can resume their lives in New York…

Though at her grandmother's questions, she groans. "Abuela…"

"-What-?" Grandma G answers in English, peering at Elena from over the rims of her glasses. "I'm just curious. The election's just around the corner you know. I just -want to make sure- I'm not making a bad decision. I didn't work three jobs for five years just to waste my citizenship!"

The younger woman sighs, but she smiles fondly at her grandmother.

There's a moment or two of silence, Manny just sorta half-laying on the bed. So the problem's gone…everything SHOULD be back to normal. He looks up at Elena, smiling a little at his sister's critique of the cupcake, "Just don't till Nita I said that. I don't think I could handle her pouting at me today."

He grins a little, looking over at his grandmother and laughing, "Hey, think how it is to live with her." Manny's at least returned to less…venomous, even teasing his grandmother just a little bit, offering a wink.

It takes awhile for everyone to return, mostly because Juanita had to find the perfect gift for Manny, which turns out to be a little tiny car that she found in one of those little vending machines, and not anything that actually came from the hospital giftshop. Which… she'll likely present to Big Brother proudly, because, hey, he needed a new car, right? Also adding a "Manny, look what I FOUND!" as she jumps back up on the bed. Luis? Has a /sandwich./ /OF DOOM./

And Heidi's not too far behind. She did notice Peter looking a little pale earlier, so she's got one of those giant syrofoam cups full of water for him, with a little bit of lemon for… whatever. It's healthy, right? "Here," she says. "We had to take a detour around the back hall so that the nurse's station didn't see us carrying food around the hospital," she says, with a pointed look to Luis. Water's usually okay, though, but a huge sandwich?

No.

"Peter, I'm going to head home. Are you going to stay for awhile?"

"Yeah— our dad was a pretty famous defense attorney," Peter says, looking towards Elena in a way that seems to forgive her for her grandmother's question. "And Nathan was a prosecutor before he decided to run for office. I went to law school for a few years— but it— wasn't really what I wanted to do. I decided medicine would be a way to help more people… One of the things I have in common with your granddaughter." Since she wants to go into medicine. It's something they could have talked about over coffee! Though he's really wondering just how much this older woman knows. "My brother has my full support for Senate, so you know, Grandma Gomez."

With the return of Heidi and the children, he can't help but smile, especially at the choice of a gift. His fruit basket aside, he'd considered giving the young man something similar too— only he would have done something to the car to make it worth his while. Poor guy. "Hope you're able to get out of this place soon, Manny," he says. He wants to reach over and try to heal them, but with the way he's already /feeling/… he's not sure he'd be able to do much more than heal a bruise.

"Yeah… I think I'll head home with you, just… I need another minute or two…" What does he need a minute or two for? "Elena, can I borrow you for a moment?" Ahem. Innocent. Totally innocent.

"Look, Nanel," Juanita says proudly. "It even looks like your old car!" She makes little vrooming noises, running it around Manny's blanket. "Do these things have nissus ossifide too?" She tries to say Nitrus Oxide, and fails. But she tries! She pays attention to what Manny is saying!

Luis sits down next to Grandma. "Thanks a lot, Heidi," he says politely. At least he doesn't look too blase about everything now considering he has a SANDWICH OF DOOM, which looks comprised of half the west end's supply of roast beef and a good jar's worth of Grey Poupon. No vegetables. Because he's Ramon's son. "It looks reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally good. Yeah Manny? NOM. NOM. NOM." He makes exagerrated eating noises. Is he TAUNTING HIS BROTHER? Oh yes he is.

"Of course you do. Family loyalty is like that, especially for Italians," Grandma Gomez says, clickclickclicking her needles. But when Heidi begs her leave, she smiles. It seems she really likes Heidi, for some reason. She isn't getting the steely look she had been giving Peter earlier. "Of course, dear. Don't be a stranger. I'll make sure my son invites you to the housewarming party."

"Hm? Okay," Elena says, standing up from the chair and pecking her little brother in the forehead. She even ruffles Juanita's hair, and Luis's along the way. But she does step over to Heidi and gives her a quick hug. "We'll talk soon, it's so good to see you," she murmurs, squeezing the older woman warmly. And then, she'll follow Peter, stepping out into the hall and closing the door behind her quietly. "What's up?" she asks softly, her expression turning serious. Did something happen?

Manny chokes on his breath when Juanita tries to talk cars with Manny, grinning and hugging his baby sister, "Course it does." Manny smiles, at least content to know Nita does, indeed, try and pay attention.

The taunting by Luis earns the younger Gomez male a glare, Manny smirking at his younger brother, "When I get outta here, I'll show you how you really make a sandwich, kid." Manny smirks and grins, leaning back and groaning quietly, just in time to feel Elena peck his forehead. Manny smiles a little bit, closing his eyes and finally seeming to relax.

Ahem. "Yeah— and my brother's a good man. He'll try to do the right thing," Peter says. His brother would do the right thing even if it gets him killed. But… that's not something he can share with just anyone. At least Heidi has an idea why he might need a brief moment alone with Elena in the hallway… Once they're outside, he's still looking a little drained, but actually somewhat less so. Maybe the lessened number of abilities in absorbing range helps? Now he just looks— maybe he's still nervous. But nervous doesn't make sense at all. Okay, he's tired.

"I— just— wondered if you wanted to spend some time together in a few days. I know you're going to be gone soon, and now with this house thing you might not have time… but… thought we could spend some time together. Hopefully without anything blowing up. Watch some movies in my apartment. Might even let you cook me dinner, if you want— you kept saying you wanted to."

She's still frowning at him, watching him as he talks. "Peter you really need a break, you don't look so well," Elena says. After that entire incident in Syracuse it seems as if things between them have, thankfully, reached status quo again, lifting her fingertips to his cheek to try and relieve some of the fatigue. Of course she doesn't know what's causing it. She doesn't KNOW Luis and Juanita have manifested, or her -grandmother- was one of them. But she lowers her hand once she's given him some sort of relief. "At least take a nap this afternoon." And she can do it without straining herself - meaning whatever she breathed in, the effects were temporary and she's got that same, solid grasp on her powers again.

At the last part, she blinks. Her hand reaches up to touch the center of her chest, pantomiming an exagerrated sigh of relief. "Agh, don't -scare- me like that, I thought something was -wrong-!" she says with a laugh, shaking her head. But at the request, she doesn't think much of it - they hang out together all the time. "Yeah, sure," she says, nodding agreeably. "After…everything it's the least I could do. I did promise you a long time ago, -months- ago, I think….and we never did get around to getting together last week. So definitely, yeah. I even know what to make. It'll be fun!"

That smile that couldn't stick around before? It's returned a little wider than before. Lopsided, still, but definitely more present. Peter's pleased with this. "Great, that— I'll give you a phone call and see what night works best for you, and what night I'm not working." It's a date! Only… not a date. "I know you like action movies, but I think I'm going to skip ones with explosions, if that's okay. The boys dragged me to Transformers last night and I've had enough of things blowing up this week." She should understand that. A lot.

He touches her arm. "I'll take a nap when I get home." So she doesn't have to keep worrying. Heading back to the door, he opens it and makes a gesture to Heidi. The two of them can leave now. And yes, he's smiling more than before.

On the way out, Heidi ruffles Peter's hair. "Did you ask her, or did you chicken out?"

"She's cooking me dinner and we're watching a movie," Peter answers with a roll of his eyes, the smile not even fading much, even if he's annoyed at his older sister.

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